Your garage door is a workhorse. Most people open and close their garage doors at least 3 to 4 times per day. In a given year, it goes up and down between 1,000 and 1,500 times. Not too shabby for a mechanical device that weighs hundreds of pounds. And it does it all at the push of a button. But every so often, your door will have problems and need repair. One clear sign is if your door starts to open slowly. There are a number of reasons why it might be doing this, and a few repairs you can do yourself to remedy the problem.
How Long Should Your Door Take to Open and Close?
Most garage doors can open and close a full cycle between 12 to 15 seconds. If your door takes longer than 20 seconds, there may be an underlying problem. It may be time to have your garage door inspected by a professional.
Lubricate Your Door
The first place to start with a slow moving garage door is lubrication. A door that hasn’t been oiled for a while has to work extra hard to go through its basic functions. Not only does this take longer, but it puts extra strain on your garage door.
You should be lubricating your garage door every 6 months. Only use an approved garage door lubricant — not WD40, which can cause the components of your door to prematurely rust. You’ll want to lubricate the tracks, brackets and hinges.
Check the Track Alignment
Another place to check is the track alignment. Make sure your tracks are perfectly vertical. Hang a string along side the track to test its straightness. You may need to loosen the bracket holding the track to the wall, reposition the track, and screw the bracket tightly back into place. This will make it easier for your garage door to go up and down. It will also prevent your garage door from going off track.
Tighten the Bolts
Your door may be slow because the components rattle too much. Tighten down all loose bolts and components with a lug wrench. This will help your door open and close smoother and increase its speed. There will be less strain on your garage door opener.