Garage Door Maintenance

Common Garage Door Problems – Parts Breakdown

Common Garage Door Problems – Parts Breakdown

Your garage door is actually a complex system of moving parts. Like any piece of machinery or major part of your Houston area home, there will come a time when one piece or another of that system is going to break down.  Now, there are countless other blogs and resources that describe the different common garage door problems you could have by scenarios, such as your garage door not closing correctly. Now many in Spectrum Overhead Door are not just field technicians with years of field experience, but also homeowners and home renters. So taking that into account, we wanted to give you a quick breakdown of each of the garage door parts and what could go wrong with them. This way you are a little more prepared when, not if, that particular garage door part breakdown.

Garage Door Springs.

Your garage door springs create the tension to hold the weight of your garage door when it opens and closes. Most garage door springs are rated to last about 10,000 cycles. With using your garage about 4 times a day, comes out to about 7 years.  Now, that is not taking into account Houston’s humidity. That is why keeping your garage door springs lubricated twice a year is important. If this is not kept up with this Houston humidity and storms, that lifespan can be shortened.

If your garage door spring breaks, you may encounter several problems such as:

  • Difficulty in Opening/Closing: A broken spring can make it difficult or impossible to open or close the garage door. The door may become very heavy or may not move at all.
  • Damage to the Garage Door Opener: The garage door opener is responsible for lifting the weight of the garage door, and a broken spring can cause it to work harder than it should. This increased workload can damage the garage door opener, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
  • Safety Risks: A garage door that is difficult to open or close can be a safety hazard, especially for children or pets who may try to play around it. Additionally, if the spring breaks while the garage door is in motion, it can cause the door to slam shut, potentially injuring someone or damaging property.
  • Inability to Use the Garage: A broken garage door spring may render your garage unusable until it is fixed. This can be an inconvenience if you use your garage for storage or as a workspace.
  • Damage to the Garage Door Panels: When a spring breaks, it can cause the garage door to come down quickly and unevenly, causing damage to the door panels, especially if they are made of lightweight materials like aluminum.

If your garage door spring has rusted and is about to break or has broken, you CAN replace the spring yourself, but we do not necessarily recommend that. That is because it can be dangerous to replace the springs yourself. You can read more about that in Risks of DIY Garage Door Spring Repair. Instead, it’s best to call a professional to get your garage door springs repaired or replaced.

Garage Door Panels.

Garage door panels can easily become dented from a vehicle bumping into the garage, or other objects hitting the door. This can cause the garage door to buckle depending on the extent of the damage and how long it was left untreated. If caught early, you can get away with replacing the garage door panel instead of having to replace the entire garage door.

Garage Door Hinges.

Garage door hinges connect the panels together and are made from metal and can and will rust if not properly maintained.  It is important to inspect and lubricate them twice a year. Replace the ones that look too rusted or have broken. This will prevent worse issues in the long run.If the hinges on your garage door break, it can cause a range of problems including:

  • Inability to open or close the garage door: A broken hinge can prevent the garage door from opening or closing properly. This can be a major inconvenience and can make it difficult to use the garage for its intended purpose.
  • Misaligned garage door: When the hinge is broken, the garage door may become misaligned, which means it may not fit properly in the opening. This can cause gaps around the door, which can allow heat, cold, and pests to enter the garage.
  • Safety concerns: A broken hinge can make it unsafe to use the garage door. If the door is not securely attached to the tracks, it can fall suddenly and cause injury or damage to property.
  • Additional damage to the door: If the hinges are not replaced promptly, the extra weight and stress on the remaining hinges can cause additional damage to the garage door.
  • Noise and vibration: A broken hinge can cause noise and vibration when the garage door is opened or closed. This can be annoying for you and your neighbors.
  • Energy inefficiency: A misaligned garage door with gaps can cause energy inefficiency, as it allows outside air to seep in and disrupt the temperature inside the garage. This can result in higher energy bills.

Garage Door Rollers.

Metal garage door rollers can rust. Any rollers you find in any of these conditions need to be replaced. If your garage door rollers rust and break, you may experience a range of problems that can impact the performance and safety of your garage door. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Difficulty Opening or Closing: Rusty and broken garage door rollers can make it challenging to open or close your garage door smoothly. This can lead to frustration and inconvenience, as well as potential safety hazards if the door becomes stuck or difficult to operate.
  • Increased Noise: As garage door rollers rust and break, they may produce more noise when the door is opening or closing. This can be a nuisance for homeowners and their neighbors, especially if the garage is located close to living spaces.
  • Damaged Tracks: If rusted and broken garage door rollers are not addressed promptly, they may cause damage to the tracks that guide the door’s movement. This can lead to costly repairs or even require a complete replacement of the garage door system.
  • Safety Hazards: A garage door that is difficult to operate or has damaged rollers can pose a safety hazard. The door may become unbalanced, potentially causing it to fall unexpectedly and injure someone or damage property.

You can replace your metal rollers with high-quality nylon garage door rollers.

Garage Door Tracks.

The garage door tracks are where the rollers go in order to open and close the door smoothly. If your garage door tracks are bent, it can cause a number of problems that can make it difficult or impossible to use your garage door. Some of the most common problems include:

  • Difficulty opening or closing the door: Bent tracks can cause the door to get stuck or move unevenly, making it difficult to open or close the door smoothly.
  • Uneven wear and tear on the door: If the door is moving unevenly due to the bent tracks, it can cause uneven wear and tear on the door and its components, which can lead to further damage.
  • Damage to the door rollers: Bent tracks can cause the rollers that guide the door along the tracks to wear out faster or even become dislodged from the track entirely.
  • Damage to the door opener: If the door is not moving smoothly along the tracks, it can put extra strain on the door opener, which can cause it to malfunction or break down.
  • Safety risks: A door that is not moving smoothly along the tracks can be a safety hazard, particularly if it falls unexpectedly or gets stuck partway open or closed.

There are some instances where you can bend the track back in place. Yet, if the bend is pretty severe, or if the track is damaged, then it’s just best to replace your garage door track.

Garage Door Openers.

We could not go into commonly replaced garage door parts without mentioning garage door openers. Garage door openers are usually built for 10-15 years of use. If your garage door opener is that old and causing your problems, then it is probably best to replace the garage door opener. However, there can be other reasons as well, such and getting an opener that is quieter or one that has newer features like lights and a built-in camera. LiftMaster is the gold standard of garage door openers and the ones we here at Spectrum Overhead Door recommend.

Whatever your Houston garage door repair needs are, Spectrum Overhead Door LLC can take care of it, often within the same day. We provide fast, friendly, and affordable garage door repair service in Houston that has satisfied hundreds of customers. Call 281-748-9542 or if you are on the East side of Houston 713-557-3407 to schedule your appointment

Contact Us About Your Garage Door Issues and Get a FREE Quote Today :

Differences Between Torsion Springs and Wayne Dalton Springs

Differences Between Torsion Springs and Wayne Dalton Springs

Garage doors are heavy and need something to counterbalance and control that weight as it opens and closes by the garage door motor. The garage door spring system is what controls that weight and helps keeps it open. Two major types of garage door spring systems that do this are torsion springs and Wayne Dalton Torquemaster springs. Both garage door spring systems will need repair at some point and plenty of houses here in the Houston area have both, so we want to dive into what are the differences between torsion springs and Wayne Dalton springs.

The Torsion Tube

First let’s discuss the most visible difference between the two systems, the torsion tube. Now the torsion spring and Wayne Dalton spring are both horizontally mounted in the center of the door opening above the door. The most visible difference is that you actually don’t see the Wayne Dalton Torquemaster spring. Wayne Dalton’s Torquemaster springs are stored in a hollow tube known as a torsion tube, so you can’t actually see them when looking at your garage.

The Springs

One of the next biggest differences between a Wayne Dalton spring and a torsion spring is the size. The springs in a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster system are of a very small diameter and wire size and thus require more winds to provide the strength to counterbalance the weight of the garage door. The internal springs provide the force to counterbalance the weight of the garage door while the cables and drums do the lifting. Winding these springs to the proper tension involves using an electric drill, in older models, or a socket and socket wrench in newer models. The spring(s) are then wound a set number of times depending on the weight of the garage door. In the Wayne Dalton Torquemaster system if only one spring is used the spring winder will always be on the right side and on a two spring system there will be a spring winder on each end. Winding a torsion spring consists of using a winding bar that fits into the slots at the end of the spring and turning them.

Drums and Cables

The drums and cables on a Wayne Dalton spring are different than what you see on a torsion spring system. Wayne Dalton’s Torquemaster spring system has small plastic drums that are attached to the tube on each side. A torsion spring system uses metal drums. The cables that are used with the Wayne Dalton spring are thinner than its torsion spring system counterpart. These thinner cables wrap around these plastic drums and then attach to the bottom bracket located on the bottom of the bottom garage door panel on each side.

Which Garage Door Spring System is Better?

Of course, if you ask Wayne Dalton, they will tell you theirs is better. However, most garage door pros, including ourselves, would disagree. Here are a few reasons why we favor the torsion spring system over the Wayne Dalton spring system.

Visible Inspection and Repair

With a torsion spring system, you can visually inspect your garage door spring and see if it’s rusting or about to break or has broken. With a Wayne Dalton Torquemaster system, the spring is hidden, so you don’t know what’s going on up there until your garage door stops working properly. This means you have to wait until something goes wrong and have it taken apart to see if the spring as broken. An unbalanced garage door is the best sign of spring failure in this system. An unbalanced garage door will be heavy and difficult to open manually.

Easier for Spring to Fail

As we mentioned before, both the wire size and spring size of the Wayne Dalton spring is much smaller than a torsion spring. This makes them require more winds to provide the strength to counter-balance the garage door. These extra winds add more stress to the springs causing them to fail sooner than their torsion spring counterparts.


We mentioned that the Wayne Dalton system has thinner cables. This makes them prone to fraying and breaking faster than the ones used for a torsion spring.

Though Wayne Dalton had a good thought to have the spring not exposed so it would be protected from things like dust and dirt, there are many disadvantages to their system that just make it hard for us to ever recommend it to a homeowner. However, if a homeowner here in the Houston area has a Wayne Dalton Spring that has broken, we recommend converting it over to a torsion spring system. We have been converting Wayne Dalton springs since 2006, and can do it for you, oftentimes on the same day! Call us at 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment!



Why Your Garage Door Needs to be Maintained

Why Your Garage Door Needs to be Maintained

Your garage door is an important part of your home. In fact, many use their garage door as the front door into their home. However, it can be easy to forget that your garage door is a system made up of moving parts, as well as parts that can rust or break. That is why your garage door needs to be maintained. However, if that single fact is not enough, here are a few more reasons your garage door should be maintained twice a year.

Catch the Small Stuff.

Many vehicle owners will take their cars and trucks for a tune-up, to look over all the smaller issues so they don’t become bigger ones. A garage door is also one of those pieces of equipment you want to check out and catch all the small issues so they don’t turn into bigger ones. This means going out and taking your time to inspect the different parts of your garage door. Frequently, homeowners wait until they notice the problem. In many cases, by then it is way too late, and more damage has already been done.

Save Money.

If you catch small issues in your inspection, it can save you time and money later down the road. For example, if you notice a roller that looks like it’s catching or about to break, it can save you from your garage door lifting crookedly and putting more stress on your springs, causing them to wear and fail faster. Lubricating your garage door opener chain keeps the chain running nice and smooth, and not get caught up in the garage door opener motor. If that happens, depending on the damage you may need to install a new garage door opener. 

Increase the Life of Your Garage Door.

Maintaining your garage door and garage door system will help you extend the life of your garage door. For example, wiping down and lubricating your garage door hinges will help ensure your garage door panel stays in place, and to not disconnect and cause damage to your door. If you take care of your springs as mentioned above, it will help your garage door motor work smoothly and increase its life expectancy.

Another example is catching small paint chips in your garage door. If you catch these early enough and repaint that part of your garage door, you could keep from rust chewing up your door. Once your door starts to rust, it would be only a matter of time before you have to replace your garage door.

Small Maintenance Can Prevent Issues from Ever Occurring.

Small things, like wiping down your garage door photosensor lens, can prevent issues from ever happening in the first place. Your photosensor lens is the sensors that help keep a garage door from closing on an object it’s not supposed to, like a child. However, if the sensor is dirty, it may prevent the door from closing all the way in the first place.

Helps Ensure the Value of Your Home.

We have talked before about how a garage door can increase the value of your home. Yet, if your garage door is visibly damaged or does not work properly, it can hit you where you don’t expect, devaluing your home. A home is a big investment, so you want to do everything your can to ensure the value of your property. One of those ways is to make sure your garage door does not become an issue. This is especially true if you are looking to sell your home.

Doing a little bit of work, bi-annually, on your garage door is important for your home. And, hopefully, now you know why it is important to take the time and do routine maintenance on your garage door more than just when you notice the problems.

Spectrum Overhead Garage Door has been servicing Houston garage doors since 2006. You can call 281-748-9542 to schedule an appointment or get a free quote. Same-day service appointments are available!

Prevent Rust on Garage Doors and Garage Door Springs

Prevent Rust on Garage Doors and Garage Door Springs

Houston is a humid place, and it can rain a lot here. That rain and humidity can cause rust to form on both your garage door springs and the garage door itself. Once rust starts, it’s hard to contain the corrosion. Corrosion on the garage door springs can cause the garage door springs to break. Corrosion and rust on a garage door can cause weak spots on the garage door, cause the garage door to either break, get off track, leak water into the garage, or be a security issue where someone to breaks in just to name a few issues. There are things you can do to prevent rust on garage doors and garage door springs.

Garage Door

Garage doors are made to last 10-15 years or more, but rust and corrosion can really shorten the lifespan of your garage door. If you have a metal garage door, you have the possibility of rust or corrosion. There are two main types of metal garage doors, steel and aluminum. Now, even though aluminum does not rust, it does corrode. The best way to keep ahead of any rust or corrosion is to keep the garage door painted. That means inspecting the door twice a year to make sure the whole garage door is covered, and that there are no chips or cracks in the paint. If something impacts the garage door like a branch from a storm or vehicle, make sure to inspect the area as soon as you can. You want to make sure there is not any exposed metal on the garage door. If you find an area where your paint on your garage door has chipped, pealed or been scratched away, we have a great how to called How to Fix Chipped Paint on a Garage Door.

Garage Door Parts

Now in keeping with the garage door, you also have to give consideration to the garage door hardware and parts. Sectional garage doors, which are the most common, will have hinges between each section. You will want to inspect each hinge and replace any that are already rusted. For the others you want to apply a garage door, or all-weather lubricate to the hinges. Never use WD40! Inspect your garage door tracks and wipe them down if there is any dust or debris on them. Do not lubricate your garage door tracks.  If you are using metal garage door rollers, you are going to need to lubricate them too. We suggest switching to nylon garage door rollers, as they are quieter and do not rust. You are also going to want to check your garage door cables and make sure they are not rusting to the point of about to break. If they are, it is best to replace your cables before they break.

Garage Door Springs

The standard cycle life for a torsion spring on a garage door is 10,000 cycles. That equals to about 3 to 5 years. Your garage door spring is just one big metal coil. That means they are easy to rust. Rust can greatly reduce how long the garage door spring (also known as a torsion spring) will last. Like the garage door, you need to inspect your garage door springs twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Springtime. Also, upon inspection it, it is best to also lubricate your garage door springs with garage door lubricant. This lubricant will help prevent rust and corrosion.

Garage doors, their parts, and garage door springs all are vulnerable to the elements, and that can cause rust and corrosion. However, with a little diligence and prevention, you can keep rust from being a problem. If you are in the Houston area, and rust has already gotten to your garage door or garage door springs, call Spectrum Overhead Door LLC for award-winning garage door repair service.


Garage Door Maintenance for Fall Season

Garage Door Maintenance for Fall Season

The fall season is one out of two times a year you should be doing your garage door maintenance. The reason you should do your garage door maintenance in the fall is that temperature drops combined with rain and humidity can damage parts of your garage door. Yet, with a little garage door maintenance and tune-up, you will be good to go. Let’s look at what garage door maintenance you should be doing for the fall season.

Your Garage Door

We are going to start off with the garage door first.  You are going to want to inspect these parts and replace and or fix any damages.

Garage Door Hinges

If you have a paneled garage door, these panels are held together with metal hinges. The moist, humid Houston air can play havoc on metal parts and make them rust. If the hinges get too rusty they can make the garage door malfunction. Check your garage door hinges for any rust and spay them down with garage door lubrication. If any of your hinges are covered with rust, it would be best to replace those hinges with new ones.

Garage Door Weather Seal.

Your garage door weather seal is your defense against fall rain getting into your garage, let alone any bugs or critters looking for warmer places during those first few cooldowns.  heck to make sure your garage seals nice and tight with the ground. As the weather gets colder during the fall and winter, older the rubber is, the more chance it has to crack. If the weather seal looks old and worn, you can easily change out the weather seal yourself.  Read our post on How To Prevent Your Garage From Flooding to find out how.

Clean and Repair Your Garage Door.

You will want to catch any paint damage or rust spots early. If you have any paint damage or rust spots, See our post on how to clean and fixed chipped garage door paint for instructions on how to take care of that issue.  If a panel on your garage door has been dented, it might be a good idea to go ahead and replace that panel. Depending on the severity of the dent, it can affect the henges and how the garage door operates as a whole, putting undue stress and strain on the spring and opener motor.

Garage Door Hardware.

Garage Door Track.

You will want to make sure there isn’t any dust or debris that could get in the way of the garage door rollers. Wipe away any dust or debris with a damp cloth, then spray down with garage door lubrication.  You are also going to want to make sure your garage door track is nice and tight to the wall. The vibrations can loosen the bolts securing the track. If the garage door track gets out of place, it can impede your garage door opening and closing and could even get it stuck in a crooked position.

Garage Door Rollers.

If your garage door rollers are nylon (like we recommend) you are going to want to check to ensure they’re not worn, cracked, or chipped. If any of them are, you will need to replace them. You can order garage door rollers here.

Garage Door Springs.

One of the biggest metal parts of your garage door system can be affected the most by the change in temperature, your garage door springs.  The moist air can cause your springs to rust. When the air gets colder, metal contracts and can cause your garage door spring to break. You will want to check for rust on your springs and lubricate them down with garage door lubrication.

Your Garage Door Opener.

Chain Driven Garage Door Openers.

If your garage door opener is chain driven, you will want to look for rust and lubricate the chain according to your openers operational manual.

Older Garage Door Openers.

Garage door opener models that are upwards of 15 to 20 years old can be affected by the changing weather. The cold weather can make your garage door opener lag in it’s timing while the newer models are built to withstand the outside temperatures better.

In order to help you better prepare your garage door and garage door opener for the fall and winter, we have put together this handy one-page Garage Door Maintenance Checklist PDF.

Spectrum Overhead Door LLC has been serving Houston area garages for over 14 years with award-winning garage door repair service. Call either 281-748-9542 or if you are closer to East Houston 713-557-3407 for a free quote today with no trip charge!



Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Safety Sensors

Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Safety Sensors

Garage door sensors are an important part of the garage door system. Because garage doors can be heavy and the springs loaded with torque, it would be easy for the garage door to crush something or someone important. It is the garage door sensor’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen. In short, it is the safety mechanism that keeps people, animals, and vehicles safe. That means it’s extremely important that the safety sensors work properly. If you suspect your safety sensors are not working properly, here is a quick guide to troubleshooting your garage door safety sensors.

Why Do We Have Garage Door Safety Sensors?

First, let’s go into why we have garage door sensors at all. This safety feature, like many safety features, was created out a need. Prior to the garage door sensors, some garage doors had a type of pressure-sensitive mechanism such that if the garage door was impeded from closing in some way (such as it was pushing against an object, a person, a car) then the door would stop and open up again. Because this was not a standardized feature and did not always work, tragic incidences would happen with garage doors.  This led to legislation in the 1990’s that federally mandated that automatic garage doors be controlled by these photosensors. They have since likely saved lives AND property damage as they perform their job with each and every push of the button to close the door.

How do Garage Door Sensors Work?

Garage door sensors are 2 small little devices with lenses on the front that are positioned about 6 inches off the ground on either side of the garage door track. Garage door photosensors are constantly firing a tiny laser beam from one to the other and their job is to ensure that nothing is in the path of this beam. If the laser beam is broken (because someone is standing there, or a car is in the way etc.) then the garage door will not close.

Testing Your Garage Door Safety Sensor

To test your garage door sensor, you will need an object like a cardboard box. Place the box in the line of the sensors and try to close the garage door. If the door reverses after sensing an obstruction, your door is functioning correctly. If the door closes on the box, you will want to troubleshoot your garage door safety sensor

Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Safety Sensors

If you find your door not wanting to close, it is possible that these photosensors think something is in the way and are performing their duty. Here are a few tips to help get your door working as needed once again.

Make sure that anything stored near these sensors is moved well away from them. An errant broomstick or misplaced box can block the laser OR knock the sensors out of alignment if they hit one.

Clean the sensor lens so it is free of dirt and debris. Dirt and even spiderwebs can block the lens from sensing correctly and prevent the door from shutting.

Measure from the ground to the garage door safety sensor on both sides and make sure they are at the same height. Also, measure from the wall the track connects to, and make sure the distance away from the wall is the same.

Check to see if the sensors have been bumped. It is possible they are simply out of alignment and need to be adjusted slightly so they’re again “looking” directly at each other. You can try adjusting the photosensors slightly, but if any real force is needed, you might want to call a professional who has experience working with these sensors as they are very fragile and if damaged, they will cease working altogether.

Check your garage door track to make sure it is stable and not loose. If the track is even slightly loose, it could vibrate the garage door sensor, causing it to malfunction.

Also, check to see if the sun at any pot of the day is hitting the sensor. If it is, it can confuse or blind the sensor. If this happens, consider putting a paper tube around the sensor to block the sun.

One allusive issue could also be that there is a fault in the circuit board or sensors as a result of a power surge, water damage, or another failure. If you are still having an issue after following the steps above, then complete failure is a possibility. This could call for the replacement of both safety sensors, and/or the replacement of the circuit board from the head unit.

Faulty garage door sensors can become a pain. If you suspect your garage door sensors have become faulty or your garage door does not close all the way and need help with your garage door repair,   Spectrum Overhead Door LLC of Houston offers same-day garage door repair in Houston and surrounding areas. Call us at 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment.

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Garage Door Maintenance