Anything mechanical can and will wear out or suffer broken components. Solid maintenance will stave off the inevitable, but eventually any mechanical group of multiple parts will suffer failure. The primary culprits when considering garage rollup doors are the springs, cables and the roller/track system.
Broken Garage Door Springs & Failed Cables
Door weight is counter-balanced by coil springs generally mounted above the door and connecting the springs and door via steel cables. This makes the door easier for the opener to work or in case of manual opening makes it easier for you to open and close the door. Springs are progressive in that the maximum assist is when the door is closed, progressively less on opening as the springs unwind, but effort remains the same, as on opening the springs though relaxed support less weight. Broken springs and worn and failed cables are the major failure points of a rollup door. These mechanical failures are addressed through replacement.
Neglected Track & Roller System
Another area of failure is the track and roller system. As the rollers move they are in contact with the hollow track, supporting the entire weight of the door throughout its movement. As the door opens the load born by the wheel-rollers increases, and at full open they support the door almost in its entirety. Neglected rollers create metal screeching noise and the friction is increased dramatically causing accelerated wear. It is possible for the roller’s bearing to fail locking the roller and dragging it through the rail. Roller bearing failure and excessive rail wear is both dangerous, and can only be tackled through replacement of the components. Regular lubrication, annually or bi-annually will prolong the life of these door parts. Doors are hung with the supporting elements usually being a pre-perforated angle iron. These are screwed directly into the rafters or lower truss beams. As wood ages it shrinks, this means that holes, created by screws, open and the screws loosen. Tracks can get out of alignment causing the rollers to jump and pop out of the tracks. This adds stress to the other components and may lead to failure and collapse of the door. Misalignment of the tracks can cause the door to stick not opening or closing.
Troubleshooting Garage Door Opener Problems
One of the most vulnerable parts of a rollup door, and the most frustrating is the opener. Openers fail for a variety of reasons. Consider the most common and simplest and move to the complex: Remotes with drained batteries. Make sure you change your batteries regularly, perhaps annually. The closing safety system usually includes an electrically powered infrared beam to make sure that nothing is under the door. If the eye or reflector are out of alignment the door will not operate.
Garage Door Opener Frequency
There is a limited number of transmitter frequencies available for garage door openers. If a neighbor shares your frequency your door may open and close in sync with your neighbors. Most doors opener transmitter and receiver frequencies can be changed. A damaged antenna on the opener may prohibit operation. The door disconnect may have been enabled. It you hear the motor running the disconnect may have been activated. The disconnect releases the door from the opener allowing manual opening and closing of the door. Any obstructions in the path of the light beam will disable the door.