Knowing How to Fix Your Garage Door and When to Call In a Professional More people than ever before are attempting to do home repair jobs themselves rather than paying the high labor costs of having professionals come in. Obviously, some jobs do require the help of a pro, but there are others, such as the repair of your overhead garage door, where you can tackle most of the repair jobs. The challenge comes in learning how to diagnose the problems, deciding what you can do about them, and knowing when to call in expert help. You’ll find that there are many strategies which will keep your garage door in top shape without costing you a lot of money. The door itself rolls up and down on metal tracks with the help of tension springs. The easiest preventive maintenance you can do is to regularly make it a point to check over the tracks. Look for debris, dryness, dents, or other types of damage. Tracks need to be cleaned and oiled periodically in order to keep them operating smoothly. Dents and dings can be straightened using a rubber hammer. If the tracks have more severe damage, they will need to be replaced. In addition, you need to check all the screws and bolts that hold the tracks in place and tighten them if necessary. Take a visual assessment of your door. Is it hanging straight, or does it appear to be out of plumb? Check all hinges and tracks to make sure they are in proper alignment and operating correctly. If tightening the screws doesn’t tighten the hinges, it usually means that the screw hole has become enlarged, and you may need to change to a larger screw. If the wood the hinge is attached to has been torn away, wood filler may or may not give you the solid surface you need to reattach it. You can try it, but if it doesn’t work, then it’s time to call an expert. Tension springs that operate the door can be dangerous due to the pressure that they are under. If you only have one spring above the door, never try to repair or replace it yourself. When you have springs on both sides of the door, it’s okay to tighten screws and try to straighten the springs yourself, if you know what you’re doing. There are websites that will give you step-by-step instructions for tightening springs. If you feel the job is beyond your abilities, call in the professionals. Most overhead garage doors today are equipped with electric door openers. Once again, you can perform routine maintenance by making sure hardware is tight. If the opener isn’t working, the first thing to check is to make sure that it’s still plugged in. If it is, and if it isn’t working properly, you may need to have it looked at. You can also replace it yourself if you believe it can’t be fixed.