Garage Door Repair Experts Give Maintenance Tips

Keep your garage door running smoothly with routine maintenance and repair.

Keep your garage door running smoothly with routine maintenance and repair.

We asked three highly rated garage door installers on Angie's List what homeowners need to know about maintaining, repairing and replacing their garage doors.

Jason Carter, customer service manager, Banko Overhead Doors Inc., Tampa, Florida,
John Edelen, owner, Edelen Door & Window, St. Louis,
Michael Dryer, consulting representative, Cookson Door Sales of Arizona, Tempe, Arizona,

What should homeowners know about garage door maintenance and repair?

Jason Carter: The springs are the most common part to break on a garage door. That's also the most common scam that's out there. A lot of companies will tell customers they need seven different parts in addition to the springs, and charge them $500 to $600. We charge $225 to replace springs on a two-car garage, and that includes tax, labor and galvanized springs.

Michael Dryer: Garage door springs are typically designed for only 10,000 cycles, so it depends how often you open and close the door. To replace and service the springs costs about $175, but that includes a full diagnostic check of the garage door system, including greasing the motor gears.

What are some garage door repairs homeowners can do themselves to extend the door's lifespan and increase safety?

John Edelen: Customers can lubricate the door and its components at least a couple of times a year.

Carter: Lubricate the door, or get a tuneup once in awhile. A tuneup costs about $69. I recommend using a silicone-based lubricant.

Do extreme cold or hot temperatures affect garage doors?

Dryer: If your garage door faces west out here in Phoenix, you can pretty much fry an egg on a steel garage door. Insulation keeps the heat and cold out.

Edelen: Not so much hot weather, but extreme cold affects a garage door's operation. We recently had a streak of days in single-digit temperatures, and our service-call volume increased considerably.

What types of garage doors are available and how much do they cost?

Carter: All garage doors in Florida are wind-loaded because of the hurricanes. The bracing on the back makes them heavier. The average weighs 300 to 400 pounds, but some can weigh as much as 800 pounds. It costs about $1,000 to replace a two-car steel garage door, or about $5,000 if it's made of wood. Some customized high-end doors can cost as much as $20,000 to $30,000.

Edelen: The carriage-style doors are becoming very popular. They're designed to look like carriage house doors from the days of old, but they work like a standard overhead door. To get into the true carriage house style, $2,500 to $2,600 will get you a very nice door. If you get into the higher-end wood products, it'd probably start at $6,000 to $7,000.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on February 8, 2010.

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Hi! Thank you for sharing this information on garage door repair and how to get the most out of the garage door opening unit you have. I think that it's important to know how to repair these units in our garage if needs be. There are many benefits to being handy and knowing the different ways to repair and fix different parts of the house.

I found a pair of garage door springs on Garage Door Nation and it was about $100 and only took me about 15 minutes to do my own garage spring replacement. Saved me a ton of money!

I had a tune up and the garage door company said I need 4 pulleys @ $68 each, does that sound reasonable?

My existing garage door roller diameter is 1 7/8 in. It looks like the tracks also have enough room for the 2 in. rollers, but I'm not 100% positive. Can I use the 2 in. instead? Or should I use the 1 7/8 in. rollers and leave a little bit of room in the tracks? Thank you!

I just had my torsion spring assembly replaced on a two car wood garage door. It was 4 new Springs, a new shaft, new bearings, pulleys and cables. The cost was $970. Did I overpay?

Replacing the springs is an easy do.

Thank you so much! This will be very helpful to me since my garage door is quite new and now I can keep it in good shape.

Stephanie, if you read the questions and answers where you just posted your question, you will find your answer.

Keep in mind - some garage door maintenance can be done on your own, but replacing springs can be very dangerous and should be left to a pro:

Chain & cable lube is what the tech used to lube my garage door. It doesn't dry out like WD-40 does.

We've had 3 service calls for springs in the last 6 years. My son bought springs for $20 bucks @ Home Depot and installed them. I now go around with the WD-40 and spray all the tracks and pulleys every season. Hope this keeps me in business for a while

Hi Sandra and Stephanie, There are many lubricants out there but many garage door experts suggest using WD-40 (or similar light weight oil) twice a year to keep garage doors in working shape. All the moving parts of the door should be lubricated, including the hinges, the springs and the rollers. A bead of oil across the top of the springs will give a nice coating, and spraying the rollers is most effective. Also, it’s a good idea to check your garage door hardware for loose screws, nuts and bolts as you lubricate.

My garage door installer advised against using a silicone-based lubricant and recommended WD-40 instead. So which should I use?

Hi Roger, Adding insulation to a hollow garage door can help heating and cooling costs and reduce noise. However, the most important thing to consider is how much weight you are adding to the door. The springs on a garage door are specific to the size and weight of the door, and adding weight to the door without changing the springs can damage them and wear out gears faster in the electric operator. Also, adding a strut across the door might be necessary to make sure the door doesn’t buckle when in the horizontal position.

Thanks Celeste! My opener also has 2 wheels on the top of each side of the door: one with a big spool of line and the other just a pulley wheel. So I also lubricated the axles of those spools. You can watch closely while raising/lowering the door to see where the parts spin and move. Now my door runs much quieter, so I must have done something right! Hopefully this will reduce strain on the motor and make it last longer.

I use silicon spray for the Garage Spring, but Home Depot now has two products out for the springs one is call Blast, the other will be in the same location. Each product will state specifically that it is for the Garage spring.

Stephanie & Sandra, I'm not a professional, but I watched as my garage doors were serviced last year. The tech used a spray lubricant (I had bought a different brand in the garage door section of a home improvement store). He sprayed the inside of the entire track, top and bottom, the rollers that ride along the track, and all hinges on the door. He sprayed each hinge twice -- once on each side. The techs were more generous with the lubricant than I was when I'd done it before, so don't be afraid to give it a good squirt.

I would like to know if you can insulate your own non-insulated door.

I'm with Stephanie. I know that we need to lubricate the garage door but I got no instructions with mine and don't know where to lubricate it and with what. Can someone give us a clue?

I asked a question here almost a year ago and it was never answered, so why should we bother asking questions?

Where on the door, and how, does one lubricate a garage door?

Article is good. Replacing the springs is easy to do it yourself work. Thanks

Cathie, most garage door systems should have a cord you can pull to disconnect the door from the system so you can open and close it manually.

Replacing the springs is an easy do-it-yourself project. When one goes, the other is not far behind. Do both at the same time.

I'd like to know what to do when there is a power outage and I can't get the car in.

To insulate my garage door, do I just glue those 1-inch thick foam panels to the inside? Since I can't insulate the joints, will it make that much of a difference?

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