A garage door coming off track is a nuisance you do not want to experience. It presents a problem for the owner and everyone in the house.
Many things can make a garage door come off tracks. A simple understanding of what might trigger this is essential. It will go a long way in guiding you towards any danger that might arise. Also, you will be able to keep yourself, your pets, and the family safe.
Your garage door could be a hazard to you and your household, especially kids if handled poorly. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Knowledge of the common reasons garage doors go off track can go a long way in preventing issues with it.
If you are wondering: Why has my garage door come off the track? Here are a few common causes of an off-track garage door:
Hitting the Garage Door
The most common reason for a garage door coming off track is hitting it with the car. While this happens accidentally, it can result in severe damage to your door. Even if you hit it gently, it can trigger misalignment, which will affect the operation of your garage door.
Should you hit the garage door with your car, make sure to get it inspected as soon as possible. It does not matter if you feel the hit is light and too insignificant to trigger any issue.
Issues with the Lift Cable
The responsibility of the lift cable is to move the garage door up and down. The cables are present on both sides of the door. The lift cables are fixed around the drums linked to a steel shaft. This shaft holds a torsion spring. There are grooves with the drum that must properly align with the lift cable. Any misalignment with the cable can make the cable break.
If a lift cable breaks, the garage door might not come crashing down. However, the entire weight of the heavy door shifts to one side. This weight causes excessive stress on the roller and other components of the door. This can trigger misalignment, which could cause the garage door to come off tracks.
Wrong Track Alignment
Another common reason for a garage door to go off track is misaligned tracks. What causes this is loosening and coming off of the bolt holding the horizontal tracks. This could trigger a wobbling of the bracket should there be any vibration.
A misaligned track makes it very easy for the rollers to come off track. Horizontal tracks manufactured from poor materials often cause this. With this, any forceful impact on the door can make it fall. This makes it critical to go for strong and high-quality horizontal tracks.
Poor Quality Tracks
The Horizontal track is one of the critical parts of your garage door. As a result, you cannot compromise on the quality as low-quality material can make it go off tracks. The material needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the garage door.
A weak horizontal track that cannot hold the weight of your door will cause it to buckle. This will also cause misalignment of the door.
Using 14-gauge steel for your horizontal tracks is highly recommended. For added security, reinforce the tracks with L-shaped angle iron.
Worn Out Rollers
Sadly, a problem with one or two rollers is enough to cause serious issues with your garage door. Interestingly, your roller will work fine if one of the rollers breaks. This is due to the presence of the extra rollers to stand in place of the spoilt rollers. The result of this, however, is an additional stress for the remaining rollers.
In time as you use the garage door, you could have a problem with the door. This is due to the additional stress on the remaining rollers because of the unbalanced distribution of weight.
With this, be sure the rollers present in your door are the ones specifically designed for it. The more bearing the rollers have, the better. Excessive friction while opening and closing of the door could make the rollers break.
In the same way, be sure you have the right roller size. There are short stem and long stem rollers. Short stem rollers work for single garage doors while long stem rollers work for double garage doors.
Excessively Cold Temperature
Cold and freezing winter days also affect your garage door. The moisture and cold could make your garage door stuck. As a result, opening and closing it in such a situation could pose a significant threat. Excessive ice could cause the door to stick and be hard to open.
In such a period, opening and closing the door might be pretty hard as the door might not respond to the button. Out of frustration, you might keep hitting the button in the hope that it will open up. This might cause a bigger problem to the garage door, which could make it go off track.
In periods like that, you should melt the door ice with a hairdryer or heat gun.
Obstruction on the Path of Door
With the improvement in technology, garage doors these days come with electric eyes. This helps ensure that the path of the door is clear during movement. Not all models, however, have this feature, mostly old models.
With the absence of an electric eye, the door might hit any object left in its paths like the trash can, tools, ladder, or other items. On making contact with the obstruction, it might knock the door off its path.
Make sure you do not attempt to fix a garage door that has gone off track yourself. Fixing it might cause further damage that you did not plan for. Besides, there is the risk of putting yourself and your household at risk.
With a faulty garage door, make sure to disconnect it from the power supply. With this, no one will use it and endanger themselves. Make sure you do not force a garage door up or down. You are better off leaving this to a professional technician to handle it.