A slowgarage door is a common problem that can test your patience. It is often due to normal wear and tear. Garage doors are controlled by hard-working springs, tracks, pulleys, and other components. The garage door opener itself may be the cause of the slowdown. A quick fix can usually resolve the problem, but a more significant repair may be required if other signs are present.
Common Causes of Slow-Opening Garage Doors
Residential garage doors are designed to move at about seven inches per second. It shouldn’t take more than 12 to 15 seconds for the door to fully open or close. Commercial doors can have a much higher operating speed, which can put homeowners, children, and pets at risk of injury, and limit the response time of safetysensors. They are also much more expensive and don’t have the aesthetic qualities of residential models.
When your garage door moves slower than it should, the reasons may be:
Improper/poor lubrication of components: Each hinge, bracket, and roller must be lubricated to reduce friction and function normally. Use a penetrating oil or grease to lubricate parts, such as a silicone or lithium grease spray.
Worn parts: Daily use can lead to worn-down pulleys, torsion springs that lose tension, or a track becoming bent or blocked. A variety of other parts can wear and affect the function of your garage door, so it won’t lift as efficiently.
Old age: Proper maintenance can prolong operating life, but the age of your garage door and garage door opener will eventually become a factor. Replacing components as they wear out can reduce the strain on the system. If you’re due for an upgrade, you may want to replace the entire system.
How to Fix a Slow Garage Door
Quick and effective methods to fix a slow garage door include lubricating tracks, brackets, and hinges, but it’s important to do so properly. Never use WD-40, as it can destroy the grease already in the system. Do not use a spray for plastic parts. Nylon rollers only need lubricant on bearings; don’t apply it to the wheels. For tracks, run a wet sponge up and down to keep them clean and free of debris.
You can also adjust speed settings and controls. The garage door opener’s speed setting is often preset at the lowest speed by the manufacturer. Oftentimes, there is a screw to adjust with a flat-head screwdriver. The owner’s manual should explain exactly how to adjust the speed, although a garage door mechanic is well-equipped to help you if necessary.
If lubrication or a simple adjustment doesn’t improve function, call a garage door professional who can troubleshoot the system. There may be hidden problems that could lead to further damage or safety issues. A technician can also look into why the door is less quiet than it used to be, or why the garage door opener, despite its horsepower rating, doesn’t seem to be running as well. Garage door repairs, when done by a professional, are usually completed quickly with little disruption.