DIY: How to Balance Garage Doors

Garage doors are made to move smoothly when in perfect balance. Regular maintenance on your garage door is a must. This ensures that the garage door opens and closes properly. When not regularly maintained, the door might become unbalanced.

A garage door that is out-of-balance can cause serious problems at home. This can be a hazard for small kids and pets.

The Possible Scenarios

Here are the common scenarios that happen when your door doesn’t balance.

garage door springWith correct springs. If you have the correct springs and you’re sure you wound it with the right number of turns, the door will stay in place no matter what the position is. It will be easy for you to open and close the door. If it is not wound up correctly, the door will be heavy and will not stay halfway for long without any support. On the other hand, if the springs are over-wound, the door will not stay halfway or closed. It will stay open and will be difficult to close. To balance the garage door, you will need to adjust the winding of the springs.

Springs that are too strong. If you have properly turned your springs and it will not stay in up halfway but stay up when fully opened, then your springs might be too strong. If you also remove ¾ of a turn to the spring, the cables might come off once you reopen the door. To solve this problem, you need to replace the springs or add weight to the door to balance it.

Springs that are too weak. If the spring has been properly wound up but it is hard to open yet stays flat on the floor when closed, the springs are too weak. When this happens, the door will not stay in the middle but will stay up fully. You need to replace the springs to fix this problem.

Remember that if you do not have experience with fixing your garage doors on your own, avoid attempting balancing it. This can be a dangerous project to do. Consult a qualified technician first to check what directions you need to take. Only those with experience in home improvement should attempt this project.

The Fix

For an extension spring door, you need to remove all the tension before starting. Do this by opening the door all the way up and propping it with a ladder. Open it as wide as you can without hitting the stop bolt. Clamp both sides of the track to keep it in place.

photo garages.about.com
photo garages.about.com

Remove the safety cables before loosening the springs. Check if the springs need to be replaced. Otherwise, slip the spring off the garage door bracket to the next hole. Do this on both sides.

After, lose the clamps and rest the door on the ladder. Once you are away from the springs, move the door up and down to test its balance. This is how you will know if the springs need to be adjusted. Just make small adjustments to the S-hooks on either side of the door and tighten the cable for more tension.
The torsion spring door is a harder to DIY and might require your full attention and effort. To fix this type of door, you need to disconnect the garage door and check its balance. You have to work with the door in closed position the entire time.

To ensure safety, put c-clamps on the tracks above the bottom rollers to prevent the door from lifting while you’re adjusting. Climb up a ladder with winding bars and a wrench to adjust the spring. Push the winding bar to the vertical hole on the bottom until it snaps into place. This will hold the tension of the spring while you remove the screws. Loosen the screws while holding the winding bar. You can feel tension as the screws are being removed. Do the same thing to the second winding bar. You might need to do testing ever so often to see if this made any change in your garage door.

2 thoughts on “DIY: How to Balance Garage Doors

  1. Great to see more articles on the importance of maintaining springs for garage doors. I recently read a similar garage door article which talks about general maintenance. It draws parallels to other appliances in our daily lives and how we tend to neglect them, leading to our investments going on such doors going to waste.

Leave a Reply