What You Need To Know About Garage Door Alignment

What You Need To Know About Garage Door Alignment

A misaligned door can be very frustrating especially when you are rushing out or when the weather outside is unruly that you want to get in right away.  Who wants to be stuck inside when you need to head out the garage door or who wants to be locked out of the garage when you want to get in?

Garage door alignment is a crucial element in a well-functioning garage door.  How can your garage door be misaligned and how can you fix it?  Here are facts you need to know about garage door alignment and how to fix the issues with it.

Why Your Garage Door Is Misaligned

How you will repair issues with garage door alignment will depend greatly on what caused the problem.  These issues can cause:

  • A garage door rubbing up against the stop molding, making it difficult to maneuver
  • A garage door that is hard to open and close due to its binding
  • A large gap of space between the stop molding and the door.
  • A crooked or off-balanced door
  • Unpleasant noises

In any of these situations, the main cause is that either one or both garage door tracks need to be aligned. The misalignment might be due to loose, damaged hardware or force that caused your panels to become damaged or dislodged from their tracks.  

Luckily, getting your door back on track is fairly easy.  But you should repair it quickly to prevent daily inconveniences or extensive damage and injuries.

How Your Garage Door Works

The tracks of your garage door are two metal pieces arranged on either side of the door. Leading from the floor to the ceiling.  There are rollers along these tracks that glide and guide your garage door as it opens and closes.  

When the tracks get damaged or misaligned, your garage door will not open or close effectively or will not do so at all.  At this point, you may have to fix issues with alignment by adjusting the tracks that help your garage door in its opening and closing mechanism.

Adjusting Garage Door Tracks to Fix Issues with Garage Door Alignment

Before doing any repairs on garage door alignment, take safety precautions by wearing protective clothing to keep your skin safe from cuts and other injuries.   

You should likewise close the garage door before you start.  If this is not possible with your automatic door because the door is misaligned, turn off the garage door opener and pull the door shut yourself.  

Keep the garage door opener disabled by simply pulling the emergency release handle located near the front or back of the overhead track.  Check your garage door user’s manual for model-specific information regarding this feature.

    Shift Vertical Tracks

    Adjust your lower tracks by following these steps:

  • Loosen the screws and nuts holding the lower track brackets on the left and right track.
  • While the lower track brackets are loosened, gently shift the tracks to the left or right.  Make sure there is 0.25 in the gap between the bottom door and the top of the crown molding indicating that the tracks may be properly aligned.
  • Check if the tracks are aligned perfectly using a vertical level.
  • Retighten the track brackets using a screw or wrench to make sure they are properly tightened.
  • Check if the tracks are properly aligned by opening and closing your garage door multiple times.  Be careful in this step to avoid compromising situations and injuries.

    Move Overhead Tracks

  • Loosen the screw securing the overhead garage tracks.
  • Move the tracks to the position you want them.  Shift the tracks left or right until they are perpendicular to the vertical tracks.  You can also raise the tracks up if you want to slow down the speed of your garage door when it opens.  Keep a 0.5 in distance between the tracks and your garage door.
  • Tighten the nuts or screws that hold the overhead tracks in place.  Use a screwdriver or wrench to tighten the fasteners safely and securely.
  • Test if the door works by opening and closing it multiple times.  Make sure that the horizontal tracks can support the door while it is in the overhead position.  Do not stand underneath the door while performing this step.

Perform Basic Maintenance

Garage door alignment issues can be prevented with simple maintenance like regularly washing your door and its tracks, regularly lubricating the hinges, rollers, tracks, and springs, checking and adjusting the screws, nuts, and bolts while lubricating, and repainting annually.  You can also add weather stripping or replace worn-out ones regularly to extend the life of your garage door.  

With regular maintenance and regular garage door alignment, along with basic methods of regular repairs, you can be assured that your garage door will last for many years without having to spend a lot on bigger repairs or replacements.