A garage door’s entire structure is meant to handle its weight. A garage door that is off the tracks is a serious risk as it could come crashing down. A double garage door can weight up to 400 pounds so you can imagine the kind of damage that it could do if it fell and if it was to come down on a person or pet, it would cause severe injury or even death. If your garage door has come off its tracks, this is something that needs to be dealt with immediately since it is such a safety risk.
So, what can cause this to happen? We will explain the most common causes of garage doors coming off the tracks. Knowing what can cause this safety issue can provide some insight on what to look for.
Hit by a Car
The number one cause of garage doors coming off their tracks is hitting the door with a car. It can happen in a matter of seconds, you are temporarily distracted, are in a hurry and move before the door is completely up or you forget to remote open the door and back into it. It happens, quite often actually. A car does not have to be moving fast, it only takes about 5-8 km/h to cause some serious damage to your garage door. The lower two sections of the door normally are damaged when this occurs, but it can also damage the entire garage door system including throwing the door off its tracks.
Broken Lift Cables
Broken cables are relatively rare but is certainly possible especially if your garage door is older and/or has never had regular maintenance. There are cables on either side of the door and if one side was to break the weight of the door is unevenly distributed. One side of the door will remain down while the other side is up. This lack of balance can lead to the rollers being thrown off the tracks.
The springs of your garage door will wear out over time. Just like the lift cables, if a spring breaks it will lead the weight of the door to be unbalanced causing the door to appear lopsided. This can cause the garage door to come off the track.
Rollers Wearing Out/Breaking
If one or two rollers wear out more stress is placed on the remaining rollers. This can cause the other rollers to break and/or come off the track. The additional weight that the remaining rollers need to carry can also cause the tracks to bend which can throw the door off.
If the tracks were never properly aligned to begin with, this is a major concern that could cause your door to come off its tracks. The bolts and brackets can become loose over time which can further worsen the problem. Eventually they will become so misaligned that the rollers will come off. Another problem with poor installation is when the wrong materials are used. If the tracks are not made of strong enough steel for the weight of the door, this can cause the tracks to bend, resulting in the rollers coming off the tracks.
If any of the above have occurred with your garage door, it is best to consult a professional. Repairing your garage door can be difficult if you do not know exactly what you are doing, in fact it can be dangerous, especially when dealing with springs and cables. It is never recommended to touch these parts if you are not a trained garage door specialist. ONC Garage Door Services can quickly and easily repair or replace broken or damaged springs, cables, and realign tracks to get your garage door back on track!