Below are some of the most common garage door questions we receive. Don’t see your question below? Give us a call!
How do I know who to call for a garage door repair in Louisville, KY?
There is an enormous amount of garage door companies in the Louisville, KY area that do garage door repair. There are several factors to consider when deciding on who to call when you need a garage door repair or even a replacement garage door:
- Has the garage door company been in business for more than 5 years?
- Is the company a local garage door company specializing in garage door repair?
- Does the garage door company have excellent reviews?
- Does the garage door company have a professional presentation?
Want to learn more about choosing a professional? See the video on choosing a garage door repair company in Louisville below.
What are garage door torsion springs and how do torsion springs work?
Garage Door torsion springs are the primary part that moves any overhead door. A garage door without torsion springs or with a broken spring is next to worthless and is basically a wall. Torsion springs’ primary job is to offset the actual weight of your overhead door. When the spring is not there, or you have a broken spring now you or your garage door opener must pick up the entire weight of the door. I get told a lot that “well that door is just a lightweight metal door, it doesn’t need springs”. It is true that many of the builder-grade doors that are installed in new homes are lighter than the old wood doors. The new doors for an average 2-car garage door will weigh 180-220 lbs without springs. The average person is not going to be able to pick up a garage door with no torsion springs. Most of the 2-car garage doors will have two springs bolted together in the center of the door. When one spring is broken, the door will weigh 90-110 lbs, which is still more than most people can lift. None of the garage door openers for residential garage doors are designed to pick up more than 20-30 lbs on a regular basis. On top of that, the door is definitely not designed to be pulled on by more than 20-30 lbs. I see homeowners trying it all the time and they are doing nothing but damaging either the door or the opener and unfortunately sometimes both.
To learn more about garage door springs, please see our dedicated page to torsion springs.
Can I replace panels on a wood garage door?
This is a common question that we receive from homeowners with older wood doors. Wood doors have not been produced on a mass scale since the 1980s. Due to the construction of the wood garage doors and in many cases, the lack of maintenance to the wood garage doors, the bottom section will receive water damage. If the door was not painted on a regular basis and the seal on the bottom of the garage door replaced periodically, water will easily get in the door and cause severe damage. The short answer is yes, the door section can be replaced, but this comes with a very large disclaimer. The door section will likely have to be built by a custom woodworker, so it is cost prohibited to do this. With the cost of the current mass-produced steel garage doors being what they are, an entirely new steel garage door will cost far less than replacing the entire door with a steel garage door that will never have to be painted. There are many custom designs available and colors available including doors that appear to be stained wood. With these new options that are available, you can have the look of a wood garage door with the low maintenance qualities of a new steel garage door.
Absolute Overhead Door will come to your home free of charge, show all of the options available, measure the opening and clearances, and give you an installed price for replacing your garage door panels or door.
Can I replace panels or door sections on my garage door?
In some cases, individual door sections can be replaced on an existing garage door. There are two things to consider when making this decision. First is how old and what brand is your existing garage door. Some manufacturers change the designs every few years to prevent customers from being able to change individual sections. In other cases, when a door is more than 3-4 years old if the sections are still made you can change the sections, and mechanically the door will work fine. The downside is what the finished product will look like. The new section that does not have faded paint or dirt on it will stand out forever. The only remedy to this issue to replace all of the door sections so they look the same.
Most manufacturers will put a sticker on the end of the door (the 2” thick part by the track). This sticker usually will give the manufacturer’s name and model. Sometimes it will tell the company that installed the door as well. The company name is one the door if it was direct shipped from the manufacturer to the dealer. The dealer that installed the door should have a sticker on the inside face of the door with a name and number.
Absolute Overhead Door sells several brands of new Garage doors and has access to almost every brand that is still made. Call us today to get a free quote on replacing your door sections or door.
How do I install a new garage door opener?
If you’re not trained in garage door opener installation, we recommend calling someone who is, like Absolute Overhead Door!
How do I install a new garage door?
We highly recommend calling a professional for garage door installation in Louisville and the surrounding area, as it is a very involved process that requires precise knowledge, training, and experience. It can also be a very dangerous project.
How do I know when it is time to replace my garage door?
There are several reasons that you would need or want to replace your garage door.
If your existing door is a wood garage door, most of them we see are ready to be replaced. Wood garage doors have not been mass-produced since the 1980’s so all of the wood doors left are over 30 years old. If the door was not painted every few years, there is most likely severe water damage.
If you have a steel garage door, the most common reason to replace your garage door is there is damage to the door sections. Most of the “builder grade” doors will last 8-12 years and then will develop tears in the structure of sections. When this happens, the door will sag in the up position and the problem gets worse every time that you raise and lower the door. Eventually, the door will not close at all without assistance pushing up in the middle of the door. This situation can be very dangerous because if you continue to do this the sections will eventually collapse completely and not feel good if you or someone happens to be under it when it happens.
The second reason to replace a steel garage door is that it was hit by a vehicle. Most people that have not done this think it rarely happens. We go to more than one house every day that vehicles have come in contact with the garage door and caused damage to varying degrees. Depending on the age, model, and design you can sometimes replace individual sections, and in some cases, you will have to replace the entire door.
The last reason to replace a steel garage door is simply you do not like what your door looks like. Replacing an old door is one of the best investments you can make to improve the overall look of your house.
Absolute Overhead Door will come to your house free of charge to give you a consultation on options available to make an educated decision on replacing your garage door.
How do I replace my garage door weather seal?
Replacing the weather seal on a garage door can be done by most with some mechanical ability. There are two major types of seals that are used and are dictated by what your door is made of.
Wood garage doors have a flat rubber strip that is nailed to the bottom of the garage door. To remove the old seal just simply rip off the old seal and then remove any nails that did not come off while pulling off the weather stripping. Once all of these are removed, roll out the new seal and cut it the same length as the width of the garage door. Then using roofing type nails, nail the new weather-stripping to the bottom of the garage door.
Steel garage doors use a completely different type of weather seal. It is commonly referred to as a loop seal. When not installed it is flat and most have a small “T” on each end. The T’s slide on to a retainer that is located on the bottom of the door. To replace this seal, pull off a small piece of the old seal and make sure your seal has a T on each side. If it does not, you will likely have to replace the retainer as well because most of the new weatherstripping is considered a universal seal and almost all manufacturers use this type of seal on their new garage doors. At one time about half of the garage door manufacturers produced their own seal so there are many different types of seals on some of the older steel garage doors. Once you have determined that you have the universal type seal, raise your door about ¾ of the way up. Then simply slide the old seal out of the retainer. Sometimes this is not an easy process depending on the condition of the old seal, dirt, or damaged retainer. As long as the old seal comes out easy, the new seal should be lined up in the two tracks and slide the seal all the way across the width of the door. This process is far easier with two people. One person pulls on the rubber while the other person guides the seal into the retainer. Leave the seal about 3 inches long on each end of the door. Tuck the “extra” seal back into itself which will prevent the new seal from falling out of the door.
If this seems too complicated or it is more than you want to attempt, call Absolute Overhead Door and we will send a technician with a fully stocked truck to perform this service for you.
How much is a new replacement garage door?
This is a popular question that we get. Unfortunately, it is a difficult one to answer without a salesperson taking measurements of your garage door opening in the field. There are several key measurements that a garage door company must have to determine the proper size garage door to quote.
To learn more about the process of quoting a garage door and how to choose a door, please see our Residential Garage Door page.
What do I do when I have water running under my garage door?
This issue can be a result of one or more issues. The first thing to check is that your bottom weather seal is flexible and there are no missing areas of the seal. Second, check to see that the concrete floor is flat with no cracks that make the concrete unlevel. Third, make sure that the concrete is sloped away from the garage door so when water hits the concrete it drains away from the garage door.
If the weather stripping is not flexible, this is the first thing that needs to be addressed by replacing the weather stripping. If you have either concrete issues, the only way to truly repair it is to replace the concrete. There is another product called a storm shield that glues to the concrete and looks like a rubber version of an exterior door threshold. It has an approximate ¾” tall dam to prevent water from coming under the door. This product will only work when the floor is flat. We recommend that after replacing the weather seal and the door still leaks, call Absolute Overhead Door to evaluate what should be done to fix the situation.
What is the warranty on my new replacement garage door opener?
If your garage door opener has been replaced by Absolute Overhead Door or another reputable garage door company, you will have between a 1-year and up to a lifetime warranty. If Absolute Overhead Door installed the garage door opener, there will be a label on the opener with our company name and phone number on it. Feel free to contact our office and we will have a record of the installation and be able to give you warranty information.
What is the warranty on my new replacement garage door?
The warranty on replacement garage doors that Absolute Overhead Door sells and installs varies depending on the model of the door. The minimum warranty that we give is one year on the parts and labor and the manufacturer warranties the door finish of the door sections for 15 or more years. If there is a question about the warranty, feel free to call our office at Absolute Overhead Door and we should have a record of your warranty.
What do I do when my garage door won't open?
When the wall button or remote control is pressed on the garage door opener and the door does not move or moves slightly there are a few things that need to be inspected. First, look at the torsion springs located over the top of the garage door. See pictures below
If the spring is broken, do not attempt to open the door again. If you do, it will cause damage to the garage door and the garage door opener. The garage door opener has safety systems built in it and designed to stop when a certain weight threshold is exceeded. This is to prevent damage and prevent a safety problem.
If the torsion springs are not broken and the opener did not attempt to open, the issue is most likely with the garage door opener. Once it is determined that the problem is with the garage door opener, you can simply pull down on the handle hanging from the trolley on the garage door opener and this will release the garage door from the opener. Now you can simply raise the garage door manually.
Absolute Overhead Door can repair either of these issues with same day service.
Why will my garage door not close when I hit the garage door opener button?
The most common cause for a door not to close is either a misaligned safety eye or something in front of a safety eye. There should be a safety eye at the bottom of the track on each side of the garage door. Inspect these eyes for misalignment. There is a lens on the inside face of each eye and they should be pointing directly at each other. Most of them will have a thumbscrew that you can loosen and align the safety eye and then retighten the thumbscrew. When successful there should be a solid light on each eye. The color of the light will vary depending on brand and model but all of them have an LED light on them when working properly.
The next thing to try is to hold the wall button until the door goes all the way to the ground. This will not work with remote controls, only the wall button because it is wired directly to the motor. Watch the door close to make sure there is not something wrong with the door itself. If the door closes with this method, there is something wrong with the safety eyes because holding the button simply overrides the safety eyes. Check your alignment again. If they are aligned, you could possibly have a bad eye. This is much harder to self-diagnose so we recommend calling our office to schedule an appointment to service your garage door.
The last thing that could be wrong is a mechanical failure of the torsion spring system. This is absolutely not something you want to repair on your own unless you have vast experience working on garage doors. When the door is up position and you do something wrong trying to repair it, the door can fall to the ground in multiple ways. If you happen to be under the garage door when it falls, let’s just say it will not be a good day for you. If you determine there is a mechanical failure, please don’t hesitate to call our office at Absolute Overhead Door to schedule a trained expert to repair your garage door.
Why will my garage door only open 1ft off the ground when I hit the Garage Door opener buttton?
The most likely cause for a garage door to only open a few inches when hitting the garage door opener remote control or the garage door opener wall button is that the door has a broken torsion spring. The picture below is an example of what a broken torsion spring looks like.
The garage door opener stopping after moving only a few inches is a result of safety mechanisms that are built into the garage door opener. The torsion springs are there to offset the weight of the garage door and your garage door opener is there to put the garage door in motion. When you develop a broken torsion spring the door goes from weighing only a few pounds to sometimes weighing as much as 200 pounds. The garage door opener should not pick up a door that weighs more than 30 pounds. The garage door opener must be mounted to pull on the door at the top and this is the weakest part of the door and there should also be a strut (reinforcement) on the door to help offset the weak part of the door. If the opener pulls on the door enough to raise a garage door with a broken spring, you will damage the top of your door. There is no residential door made by any manufacturer that can withstand this amount of pressure without damaging the door.
If you do have a broken spring, we highly recommend that you call a professional garage door repair company immediately. This repair is extremely dangerous to anyone who changes torsion springs. There are stories every day of trained technicians that have experienced extreme injuries up to and including death by making a minor mistake while changing broken torsion springs. The untrained person is in extreme danger of injury attempting this repair. Most two-car garage doors have two torsion springs and the spring that is not broke is storing an unbelievable amount of energy. The slightest mistake when relieving this tension will result in injury. Anybody part that is in the way of the spring unwinding will be cut or possibly removed. There is no second chance because you will not be able to stop the torsion spring from unwinding once it starts.
At Absolute Overhead Door, we offer same day and emergency service to get you out of your garage when you do experience a broken torsion spring. For more information about torsion springs see the other answered questions about broken springs.
Why will my garage door opener remote control not open my door?
There are several reasons that remote control will not open a garage door. First is that the batteries could be dead in the remote control. Second, is on some of the older models there can be electrical interference that is preventing the radio signal from hitting the motor. If this is your issue there is a very good chance that the only way to eliminate the issue is to replace the entire opener. The new openers run on a different and much stronger radio frequency that has little interference issues. Third, is the remote control itself could be bad. If you have tried the first options and it does not work, try using the wall button. If the wall button is wired to the motor works then you likely have a bad remote control. Lastly, sometimes we will have customers that think the remote control is not working but in reality, the opener is trying to raise the garage door but there is an issue with the garage door that is preventing the garage door opener from being able to lift the door.
After checking these items and can not figure out a simple repair, please call our office at Absolute Overhead Door to schedule one of our experts to repair your garage door or garage door opener.
Garage Door Spring FAQ’s
What Do Torsion Springs Do?
The springs ultimately lift your door but there are several parts that are between the torsion springs and the door moving. The torsion springs are located on the torsion tube which also holds the drums. The torsion springs turn the torsion tube which turns the drums. There is a cable attached to the bottom of the door on each side. The other end of this cable wraps around the drum which ultimately lifts the doors. There is a series of bearings that hold the torsion tube in place. These bearings are just as important as the rest of the moving parts.
Why does my garage door need torsion springs when I have a garage door opener?
All residential garage door openers regardless of make, model, or design are designed to pick up a balanced garage door. When a garage door is balanced, it will weigh no more than 10 lbs off the floor, hold itself up at half open and hold itself up in the completely open position all while not being attached to a garage door opener. The torsion springs are responsible for offsetting the dead weight of the door. The opener is designed to pick up no more than 20-30 lbs and the door is not designed to be pulled on by more than 20-30 lbs. If the garage door exceeds these weight limits, you will do damage to the garage door and the garage door opener every time that you open the door. If you continue to use the opener to open a heavy door, you will eventually tear the top section of the garage door in half and destroy the garage door opener. On top of that, you will void any warranty on the garage door and the garage door opener. We do not recommend that anyone attempt to open a garage door whether by an opener or manually for safety concerns.
What does a broken garage door spring look like?
When looking at a broken torsion spring, you will see a roughly 3-4 in gap in the spring. If the spring is not broken, the springs will be in a continuous piece. See pictures below for normal torsion springs and what broken springs look like.
How do I open my garage door when I have a broken spring?
The torsion springs on your garage door are designed to offset the weight of the actual door. When the torsion springs are working correctly your garage door should not weigh more than 10-15 lbs of the floor and the door should hold itself up at half way and all the way open. When a torsion spring is broken, the actual weight of the door must be lifted. All residential garage door openers are designed to stop when they sense that the garage door is over a predetermined weight. This weight will vary by garage door opener manufacturer and some have manual settings. The opener should not pick up more than 30 lbs of the Garage Door or it will very likely do damage to the door.
If it is not a dire emergency to get the garage door open, I would highly recommend calling a garage door repair company such as Absolute Overhead Door to repair the broken spring. In cases of a dire emergency to get a vehicle out of the garage, the door can be lifted manually. To lift the garage door manually you must first release the garage door opener from the garage door. This is done by pulling the handle hanging down from the trolley on the garage door opener. DO NOT pull this handle if your garage door is more than a few inches off the floor because, when you pull the handle the door is going to fall to the floor. If the garage door is more than a few inches off the floor and free falls to the ground, you will do damage to the garage door. In the case of the door being higher than a few inches off the floor, you must have a second person to hold the door to offset the weight and let the garage door down gently so that you do not damage your garage door.
Now that the garage door is on the ground, the hard work begins. Before you do anything else you must be prepared for something to hold the door in the up position because it will fall to the floor once lifted and WILL do extreme damage to the door and possibly injure the people around it. There is no easy way to do the next step. Using two people, one on each side of the garage door, simply lift straight up on the door. It will get easier as the Garage door goes up because the top part of the garage door is laying flat in the upper part of the track. It may take as much as 200 lbs of force depending on the size of the door to lift it. Once the garage door is up and secured in the up position, pull the vehicle out of the garage and then slowly let the garage door back to the ground. The opening of the Garage Door in this way is extremely dangerous and should only be done for dire emergency so not to cause any injury or damage to the garage door.
Absolute Overhead Door has same day and emergency service to repair broken garage door springs. In many cases we can be at your home within an hour and repair your broken torsion spring safely.
What is involved when changing a garage door torsion spring?
When you have a broken torsion spring the only way to make a repair is to completely replace the torsion spring. All torsion springs are designed to work for a certain amount of cycles. The most common cycle life is 10,000 cycles and is usually referred to as a standard cycle torsion spring. One cycle is your door opening and closing 1 time. The size of the spring is determined by several factors. First is the size of the drum that the cable wraps around as it is opening. Most all residential doors use a 4” drum so the spring size is based on two other factors, weight and height of the garage door. The average residential customer will use 10,000 cycles in 6-8 years. There are other cycle options to choose from when you must replace your broken torsion spring. This is where you as the buyer must investigate e a little further. A quality garage door repair company should let you know that there are options so that you can get the most value for your money. At Absolute Overhead Door for example, the high cycle springs that we use are rated at a minimum of 40,000 cycles. What this means to you is the new set of torsion springs should last the average user between 24-32 years. We want the new torsion springs to be the last ones that you ever have to replace.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the springs that are available, there are other factors that go into how your door preforms. The technician that comes to your house should perform a complete inspection of all the moving parts on the garage door when taking the spring system apart. The moving parts on most residential doors include torsion tube, end bearings, center bearing, drums, cables, hinges, and rollers. All of these parts work together for your garage door to open and close properly. Beware that there are a lot of garage door repair companies that will send inexperienced technicians to your home and will only want to replace your springs and not inspect the other parts. All of the garage door parts listed above are also designed for a certain number of cycles and the majority are also 10,000 cycles. So, there is a very good chance that the other parts on the door will have excessive wear while you experienced the broken torsion spring. The quality garage door repair companies that offer high cycle springs will also use high cycle replacement parts. There is no use to put a torsion spring that will last 30 years on your garage door if the other moving parts wear out in just a few years.
At Absolute Overhead Door we strive to give the customer the best value for your money. Our technicians will provide you with a 22-point inspection of your garage door and garage door opener at the time of service. We will give you several options on the quality of parts and warranties on these parts. Then you can make an educated decision on how you would like for your garage door to be repaired. We do not want you to have to call us every few years to make additional repairs that ends up costing you far more money than if you used high quality parts on the initial repair.
Can I change my torsion springs myself?
The short answer is yes you can, but it is VERY dangerous. We have technicians injured every year from winding or unwinding springs. Most of the injuries are preventable and caused by being careless and forgetting how dangerous the torsion springs are. We see stories of technicians that are mangled and sometimes even killed each year from torsion springs. Torsion Springs store an enormous amount of tension when they are fully wound. If you make a mistake and the spring unwinds, any body part that is in the way will be cut and possibly removed. You will not be able to stop the spring from unwinding once it starts and it happens very fast. There are very few companies that will even sell torsion springs not installed because of the danger level involved in installing them.
Why would I want High Cycle Torsion Springs?
As I mentioned above, the industry standard spring is rated for 10,000 cycles. A set of 10,000 cycle springs last most customers about 7-8 years. There is no one monitoring this so there are some manufacturers that will use springs as low a 5,000 cycle. One cycle is the garage door being lifted all the way up and all the way down one time. When you have a broken spring on your garage door, it can be a real inconvenience. There is a 50/50 chance that your vehicle will be in the garage when the spring breaks. If your vehicle is in the garage, the is a good chance that you are not going anywhere until the torsion spring has been replaced. Customers who choose to purchase the high cycle torsion springs have experienced this and never want it to happen again. A high cycle torsion spring is any spring rated at 15,000 or more cycles. This fact can make it confusing for the uneducated buyer and there are some unscrupulous repair companies that take advantage of this. At Absolute Overhead Door, we use at least 40,000 cycle springs when we sell high cycle springs and sometimes we go up to 80,000. No one in our area sells springs anywhere close to this cycle count.
How much should a garage door spring replacement cost?
The national average to replace two broken springs by a professional is between $200 and $300. Some websites will suggest a price of over $700 and that you will save over $500 by replacing the springs yourself. This is not true. To find the exact cost of replacing torsion springs in your area, look for a reputable company with credible reviews and responsive customer service.