3-Step Guide To Making Your Jerky Garage Door Open And Close More Smoothly

Posted on: 28 March 2016


If you have noticed that your garage door is jerking every time you open or close it, you may decide to take action to make it open more smoothly. After ruling out a problem with your garage door opener, use the three-step guide below to take steps towards removing possible causes.

Step 1:  Check The Tracks For Debris And Loose Screws

The first step involves checking the tracks for any signs of debris, as well as loose screws that could be snagging the rollers. For this step, you will need a flashlight, a flathead or Phillips screwdriver, depending on the type of screws your tracks have, a bucket of soapy dish water and a lint-free cloth, such as a cloth diaper or mechanic's rag.

Shine the flashlight inside the tracks, and look for any screw heads that are sticking up. Use the screwdriver to tighten any loose ones that you see. If you are unsure of any screws, hand tighten them a turn to make sure they are flush with the tracks.

While you are looking at the screws, also look for any dirt clods, sticks or even old wasp nests that could be blocking the tracks. When you come across any of these obstacles, use your screwdriver to scrape them away. Then, wipe the inside of the tracks with the rag and soapy water to ensure all small debris is removed. Rinse with clean water, then go on to the second step.

Step 2:  Wipe The Rollers And Check For Rips And Tears

After you have cleaned the tracks, turn your attention to the rollers. Debris and dirt on the rollers can also make the door jump a little while opening or closing. Also, look for any rips or tears that may indicate the rollers are worn and need replacing.

To wipe the rollers, you will need a bucket of two cups of water and one cup of white distilled vinegar. The vinegar cleans away the dirt and cuts through any oil or grease, giving you a better visualization of the rollers' surfaces. You will also need a clean lint-free rag.

Wet the rag with the vinegar water, and wring out the excess. Wipe the surface of the rollers you can see. Then, slide the garage door until the other sides of the rollers are exposed. Wipe this side, then look carefully for any rips or tears.

If you see any signs of deterioration, this is the most likely cause of the jerkiness of your garage doors. The rollers will need to be replaced by a professional garage door repair service.

If you do not see any tears, go on to the next step.

Step 3:  Inspect The Springs For Signs Of Rust

Once you have cleaned the rollers, inspect the springs for signs of rust. If there is a layer of rust, this could be preventing the springs from pulling the door smoothly while it is in use. To remove the rust, you will need a wire brush, straight vinegar and two clean rags.

Use a sawing motion with the wire brush to scrape away the top layer of rust. This motion helps get the bristles inside the coils to reach any rust caught between them. Wet one rag with clean water, and wipe away the loose oxidation.

With the other rag, apply vinegar straight to the springs' coils. Wait about a half an hour to give it time to penetrate the rust, then wipe it clean with the second rag. Then, carefully look at the springs to see if there are any cracks in the coils. If so, they will need to be replaced by a garage door specialist.

After going through the above guide, you may find that there is no improvement to how your garage door opens. Or, you may come across a problem that needs professional attention, such as a roller or spring that needs replacing. If so, you may want to contact a company that specializes in garage doors, such as Jayton Door Corporation, to discuss your options.