As with any complex piece of mechanical equipment, moving parts made from metal often clamber and bang against one another creating worrying sounds. Since a garage door has lots of moving parts, it’s going to generate some noise during its operation. But sometimes the noise that comes from your garage door might mean more serious troubles are just around the corner. The following list of items can help you diagnose your garage door noises and help you to find out why your garage door is so noisy.
The first thing you need to do is to determine what part of the system is causing the noise! Is it the Door? Is it the Operator? OR is it only when both are connected together? Many times the door and the operator will both seem to be within standards when running alone, but the combination of the two systems may create noise. This is where a professional can certainly be of assistance.
Electric Door Operator
One of the noisier components of any garage door system can be the electric operator. Chain drive systems are used because they are generally less expensive and have proven themselves over may years. However, they do produce more decibels than a belt drive system. The newer units with Belt Drives are showing themselves to be long lived and also very quiet.
Door operators have internal mechanisms that can wear out over time and generate noise. Gears inside can become worn down and create noise from vibration. If you suspect your door operating system is creating more noise than usual, it’s wise to have it inspected by a professional garage door expert before problems get worse.
A door that is not properly balanced can also create noise issues when opening and closing. You can easily test your garage door for balance by opening the garage door halfway. First, release the door from its drive by pulling the emergency handle hanging from the operator drawbar. Next, lift the door. If it is very heavy, you need to have it adjusted. If you can easily lift the door, open it about halfway. It should stay or drift only very slowly from this position for most doors. If the door wants to fall down or if it wants to take off to the full open position, it is improperly balanced and needs to be adjusted by a professional garage door company.
Poor alignment within the track can also cause the garage door to generate more noise than it should. By closing your garage, door almost all the way to the ground, you can better judge if the door alignment is off. The door should generally sit solidly on the floor and the space on each side between the door and the track should be equal, both top to bottom and on the left and the right side of the door. If it looks wrong, it might just be!
Worn door parts can also be a noise generator when a garage door is moving. Hinges and rollers wear out and bolts loosen. This can all happen over the life of a door—and the older the door, the more likely that it’s going to have worn parts that start to make noise. Having garage door maintenance performed by a garage door installation expert every year or two, minimum, can help extend the life of your garage door as well as keep it running as quietly as possible.
A garage door is a heavy item which is why a counterbalance system is used to lower and lift the door. Counterbalance springs are under a great deal of tension and torque, and as they age, they will often lose some of their power. The counterbalance should always be serviced by a knowledgeable professional. Generally the life of a standard garage door counterbalance in normal use is between 5 and 7 years. We strongly suggest that you simply replace it before it breaks. The springs breaking on a garage door are probably the loudest noise your door will ever make and with a broken spring the door should not be operated!
“Unusual sounds and noise levels are almost always the sign of a problem” says Jim Norman of Overhead Door Company of Central Jersey “it’s just a question of how serious a problem.”
After Fixing the Noise
After the repair, it’s a good idea for the owner to double check that their garage door has fully opened before backing the car out from the garage for the first few times. That’s because we all become accustomed to the noise of the garage door as an indication that the garage door is still opening. One of Overhead Door Company of Central Jersey’s clients actually backed into their garage door after it was repaired since it was so quiet. They assumed the door was fully open as there was no detectable noise.