Powered garage doors have a lot of modern technology that makes the movement smooth and predictable. Unfortunately, homeowners may not maintain their systems as thoroughly as necessary, leading to years if not decades of debris buildup and corrosion. If your garage door isn't moving the way it used to or isn't moving at all, consider a few inspection points and reasons for poor performance.
Gearbox Buildup Blues
Some garage door systems use a gearbox setup that moves rails through a motorized box of gears. This is used to pull doors to the side or overhead in a controlled drive and requires a relatively airtight box. The gears are lubricated during manufacturing and are relatively inexpensive to service, but homeowners may not think to have the gearbox serviced until the garage door system begins to fail.
Failure usually takes place as the lubricant dries up and the gears begin to grind with dry metal contact. The problem becomes worse if the door material or rails have residue that regularly enters the gearbox, mixing in with what little lubricant is available to create a gritty mess that can clog the gears.
Some garage systems use plastic gears for driving the lift or pull system. Although the gear isn't directly touching the door or outside elements, any debris that enters the gearbox can lead to worn out and smoothed gear teeth that can't drive the lift system. Replacing these gears are relatively inexpensive, but continued failure may suggest leaks in the gearbox enclosure or the need for a better gear material.
When a garage door installation and maintenance professional works on the system, a simple diagnostic and lubrication can get you back into working order. If the technician notices that the gearbox itself is damaged, it may be time to replace the gear system or look into more modern replacement for your garage door system.
Dangers From Debris And Pests
Your area may be a natural adversary for garage doors, but you can make the system safer if you know what's getting inside. Mud, leaves, dirty water and pests are a few of the common problems that clog up the system.
A lot of the debris enters from where the rail or lift system meets the garage door itself. Any part of the inside system that touches the door can be contaminated as mud or wet debris sticks to the door, which can either leak into the gear box or grind directly against gears.
If the gearbox is damaged, rain can create a stagnant, damp box that invites mosquitoes and other damp-loving pets inside. Although not a major health risk with such a small box size, the waste, husks and dead pests can ruin the lubricated movement of the gear system.
Contact a garage door installation and maintenance professional to get an idea of what could be clogging up the system and start looking for ways to clean up the area.