How to Check Garage Door Balance

If your garage door makes odd sounds or looks uneven when it opens or closes, the balance may be off. A perfectly balanced garage door distributes weight evenly based on spring tension, spreading out the strain so that the garage opener doesn’t become overtaxed. When the tension is even, your door moves up and down smoothly without a sound.

When a door is unbalanced, however, the opener must strain to lift it. In many cases, this happens because the garage door spring balance gets thrown off, and the springs either exert too much or too little force. You may notice your garage door slows down when opening or closing, makes those strange sounds or even refuses to open entirely. When any of that happens, you can check your garage door balance to see if you need to make any adjustments. 

How to Check the Balance of Your Garage Door

Here’s how to check if your garage door is balanced:

  • Start with the garage door closed. Unhook the door from the automatic garage door opener using the emergency release cord. 
  • Use the handle to open the door manually. If it sticks and you can’t open it, add lubricant to the rollers and try again. If you still can’t open the door, lubricate the hinges and try a third time. You should call in a professional if the lubricant doesn’t help. 
  • If you can get the door open, bring it halfway up and then let go of the handle. This process is the garage door balance check. The door will stay in the middle, with perhaps a little back-and-forth motion, if it is balanced. If it is out of balance, the door will move up quickly or fall back down.
  • Reattach the garage door to the opener after you have completed every step. 

Dangers of Unbalanced Garage Doors

Now that you know how to check the balance of a garage door, you want to know the next step. Do you need to do anything? Or can your garage door remain unbalanced? Unfortunately, you can’t let the issue go if the door displays signs of balance problems. 

An unbalanced garage door places strain on the garage door opener, which can lead it to break or wear down more quickly than you expect. Cables or springs might also break if you don’t get the garage door balanced, which can put your property and your family at risk. A broken cable or spring or malfunctioning opener could cause the door to slam shut unexpectedly, potentially harming anyone or anything caught beneath it.

You’ll likely want to get your door repaired right away, but this isn’t a do-it-yourself job — working with springs can cause severe injuries to someone who lacks the proper training. If your door fails a balance check, it’s critical to call a professional technician for a lasting repair. Fortunately, Quality Overhead Door can help. We have provided garage door services to Toledo and surrounding areas for nearly four decades, and we service all makes and models. Schedule your service or contact us for more information today. 


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