DIY 101: Fixing Bent Tracks on a Garage Door

When a garage door comes off track, it’s a very common yet serious problem. We get emergency repair calls for bent tracks all the time. Perhaps it’s how many of us keep our garages stuffed with rakes, brooms, and garden equipment. It’s easy for something to come misplaced and get stuck in the track, bend it and cause serious damage.

The most important thing you can do is to stop using the door immediately. This cannot be stressed enough. A door off track is a recipe for disaster if it’s used. It could also, potentially, harm your car and yourself if you back out of your garage. You can also cause seriously expensive damage to the garage door itself. Luckily, a door off track is typically a fairly easy garage door problem to repair. But if you damage the door or the track, this can become a several hundred-dollar repair. While you won’t have to completely replace your garage door, your pockets will still take a hit. So, instead of using your overhead door while it’s off track, call yourself an Uber and then call a garage door professional that offers 24/7 emergency garage door repair.

Fortunately, we do emergency garage door repair for the Roseville and Greater Sacramento areas. We are available for house calls 24/7, including holidays and weekends. The best garage door repair companies are those who offer emergency service, as they value the time of their customers. Garage doors rarely break during convenient times, and we understand how you have other things to get done.

Fixing a door off track is not a simple DIY repair and it’s something that should be handled by a garage door service. However, it’s also important to understand why your door has gone off track and what measures your garage door repair company will take to fix the issue. Knowing is half the battle when it comes to garage door repair, so let’s learn something about these convenient machines.   

What Causes A Door To Go Off Track  

The average garage door has up to 12 rollers. All of them have to be perfectly aligned for the door to glide smoothly. Should one go off track, your door will need to be immediately repaired. You can always know a door is off track when one of the rollers isn’t aligned properly. Numerous conditions can contribute to a door veering off track. 

Pay specific attention the door’s tracks. Have they warped or do they sport some sort of damage? Tracks that aren’t perfectly shaped can force a door to jump track. Did you hit your tracks when you were backing out? Have kids been playing in the garage? Whatever the case may be, now you know it’s important to be careful with the tracks. While you’re dealing with the tracks, how clean do they look? If door tracks are riddled with dirt, dust, grime, and little pebbles, then rollers will jump off track. Regularly clean your tracks to ensure nothing grimy gets lodged in there. Next, use a garage door lubricant to smoothen out the tracks. This will prevent the build-up of rust and ensure that the rollers can easily glide on the tracks.

Does your door shake when it opens and closes? If so, something is loose, which puts extra effort on the door, which contributes to wear and tear. It’s a good habit to tighten nuts and bolts down every few months so everything stays in place. If the door constantly shakes in an excessive manner, then it’s likely that it’s responsible for the rollers going off track. A track that constantly becomes misaligned signals poor quality. Consider replacing you existing tracks with a premium, more reputable product. Next, tackle why the garage door is shaking, it could be a myriad of reasons. A garage door repair company can help determine the cause. 

DIY Garage Door Repair: Fixing a Bent Track

By now you can likely determine what caused your garage door to go off track. Regardless of what the issue was, fixing it is all the same. First step is to open the garage door so it is past the seam of the vertical track and the horizontal track. This helps take pressure off the springs.

Next, clamp a pair of vice grips around the front edge of the horizontal track so they point toward the center of the door. Place another pair under the roller on the opposite end of the door.

Straighten out the bent garage door track as much as possible with the claw end of a hammer.

Next, remove the track bolts that secure the vertical track to the wall brackets using a socket wrench. Remove the bent track. It will usually be secured by a nut or a pop rivet. If it’s a pop rivet, with a 7/16-inch drill bit. Be careful not to remove the track brackets or the flag brackets from the wall.

Straighten the track with a pair of pliers or hammer. If this proves impossible, you’ll need to purchase a new track from a reputable dealer.

Reapplying the Door

The track will have a straight angle side and a curved side. When you reattach the track, you’ll want the straight side pointing towards the wall.  Secure the track to the brackets with a 1/4-inch flat-head. Make sure the bolt heads are flush to the inside of the track so that the threads protrude through the track brackets. Tighten the nuts securely in place. It should be noted that a door going off track signals a larger issue. If your tracks have been significantly damaged, then it’s best to get them replaced as soon as possible so the issue doesn’t arise again. If a shaky door is the culprit, find out why that’s the case. In every case, a shaky door is a safety hazard, so it should be at the top of your to-do list. 

Keeping up With Maintenance Once the Door is In Working Order

Maintaining a garage door is important to ensure that it functions properly and lasts a long time. After you have had to reapply a door due to going off track, there is regular maintenance you can do to keep your garage door in working condition.

Firstly, it’s important to inspect the tracks to make sure they are straight and aligned properly on a regular basis. If there are any bends or damage, the tracks should be repaired or replaced. Cleaning the tracks with a soft cloth and lubricating them with a silicone spray or oil can also help prevent future damage. Regular relubrication with proper oils will also help ensure smooth operation.

Secondly, inspect the rollers to make sure they are not worn or damaged. Replace any worn or damaged rollers and lubricate the rollers with silicone spray or oil to ensure smooth operation.

Thirdly, check the hinges, bolts, and nuts to make sure they are tight and secure. Loose hardware can cause the garage door to come off track or cause other problems.

Lastly, it’s important to keep the door balanced. If the door is unbalanced, it can put excess strain on the opener and cause premature wear and tear. A professional garage door technician can perform a balance test and make any necessary adjustments.

A Garage Door Repair Company Can Fix a Door Off Track

As you’ve read, it’s difficult to bring a door back on track if you don’t have the necessary experience. It’s certainly a time-consuming effort and one that could further damage the door if you don’t know what you’re doing. For a swift and simple repair, consult a garage door service to have your door back on track in no time. The added benefit of working with a professional is that you can learn from them and understand your garage door more. And thanks to emergency repair that works on your schedule, you’ll be back on the road when it’s convenient for you. A quality repair service will determine why your door went off track and advise you on next steps, in additions to dealing with repairs or installations. A professional will likely need an hour or so to fix an off-track door unless there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed. 

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