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Do-It-Yourself Garage Door Repair: What to Know Before You Start 

Do-It-Yourself Garage Door Repair: What to Know Before You Start 

Recently, we have written an article about why you should always hire a professional garage door technician to repair your garage door. Garage door repair injuries account for the majority of hospitalizations when it comes to home improvement projects. Our disclaimer: we do not recommend repairing your own garage door. However, there are certain easy fixes you can attempt yourself, and we will list other more complicated repairs that should require a pro, but we know you will try to do it yourself anyway.

A garage door that is not working properly is more than an inconvenience – it can become a hazardous element of your home or a potential risk factor when it comes to home invasions. Your garage door moves up and down multiple times a day, year-round. For many homeowners in the United States, a garage door serves its purpose not only for storage but also as a main source of entry into the home. A garage is a convenience that we highly value and recommend to anyone building a house or looking for a new home. That is why taking care of your garage and its door is extremely important.

Let’s talk about what you can do to fix minor issues of your faulty garage door.


The photo eye of your garage door is there to keep you and your family safe. This safety feature of modern technology utilizes an infrared beam that prevents closing when an object, person, or pet is in its way. So when you encounter a situation where your garage door suddenly stops closing and pulls back up again, the culprit behind the reversal is a blocked sensor of the photo eye. When this happens, you will notice the light blinking multiple times in your garage door opener.

You can fix this issue by aligning the pivot bracket and making sure the photo eyes are placed parallel to one another. Check the surroundings to see if any physical object is blocking the path of the infrared beam – it can be something as simple as moving a toy or hose around. If nothing works and the issue persists, carefully but thoroughly clean the area of cobwebs, moisture, debris, and any other dirt from the unit.

You may have experienced your garage door acting funny during a hot, sunny day. The photo eye is very sensitive, picking up sunlight as an obstacle. To prevent your sensors from acting up when the sun is beaming right on your garage door, you can purchase a sun shield.


A noisy garage door is screaming for some easy maintenance, such as lubrication of certain metal parts, tightening loose hardware, and replacing worn rollers and hinges. You can purchase a synthetic spray lubricant for convenient maintenance. Those solutions are usually anti-friction and rust-resistant, ready to be used in multiple applications. Avoid using the lubricant spray on nylon rollers.

Keep in mind that your garage door might need an expert to diagnose and repair if the noise persists after you have taken the appropriate steps. Do not try to replace hinges or rollers by yourself if you have no prior knowledge or experience.


Part of keeping your garage door healthy is making sure it gets a good cleaning once in a while. Thorough cleaning of the exterior of your garage door will enhance its longevity and provide an aesthetically pleasing curb appeal to your home. All you need is mild dish soap and a cloth or a sponge to get your garage door a new shine. If your garage door is made of steel, you can use a spray-on car wax twice a year to avoid corrosion and prolong the finish.

The garage door cleaning day is a good time to lubricate all the metal parts of the door and gently remove any dirt from the photo eye.

We do not recommend washing your garage door during winter months. Many modern doors have multiple panels, and when temperatures drop below zero, the moisture trapped inside will turn into ice, causing your garage door to malfunction.


Just like the rolls that can prevent the garage door from opening and closing smoothly, the springs responsible for balancing the weight of the garage door during its operation are also subject to wear and tear. Garage door manufacturers clearly define the life of the springs, specifying the maximum number of cycles after which they wear out. After this time, the springs become weaker and might break, which requires immediate replacement. Without these elements, the functioning of the garage door is not safe. Some models of garage doors have special protection that stops the door from closing when the springs are damaged.

Keep in mind that replacing these elements is not easy, and this task should be entrusted to professionals only.

Expert Advice: While you may not be able to perform the replacement of worn springs yourself, as part of regular maintenance, you can take care of other safety features of your garage door that affect its proper use.


Incorrect use of your garage door can lead to more serious damage, as well as dangerous situations for our health and even life. Continuing the use of faulty garage doors, despite knowing it needs a thorough repair, will eventually lead to compromised safety. A garage door with any damages should not be used until they are inspected and eliminated. We should also remember that the garage door should not be manually raised or lowered when there are children, animals, and objects that can be damaged within its path. When closing the sash, pay special attention to the fact that there are no elements with sharp edges where the floor meets the bottom seal.

If you need a piece of expert advice, do not hesitate to call our professionals at BH Garage Doors in Chicago.