Why Did My Garage Door Fall off the Tracks?

Written by Automated Garage Door Systems on . Posted in Blog

There are a number of different reasons a garage door will fall off the tracks. We will discuss some of those reasons in this article. Some people may say, “why do I need to know why my garage door may fall off of it’s tracks?” Understanding what causes garage doors to come off the tracks can allow you to keep an eye on potential problems. Garage doors that fall of the tracks are extremely dangerous. They can cause serious injury. Becoming more educated about preventative measures can keep you and your loved ones safer around garage doors. This article will help you understand some of the reasons your garage door may fall or have fallen off the tracks.

Garage Door Rollers

If one of your garage door rollers breaks, it can cause extra tension to be put on the other rollers. The extra tension can cause other rollers to break or even fall of the track. Additional weight placed on other rollers can also cause the track to bend. (This is particularly true with older-heavier wooden garage doors) When the track twists it decreases the depth of the lip that holds the rollers in place. That makes rollers one of the most common reasons garage doors fall off the track.

Garage door rollers are one of the most critical elements of a garage door. You can find garage door rollers attached to both sides of a garage door. Garage door rollers keep extend from the garage door on a metal stem that is housed inside of a hollow shaft. The metal stem extends out to the roller which rests inside of the metal garage door track. There are different types of garage door rollers and each one has a different lifespan. There are plastic, nylon and steel wheels. Plastic wheels will break over time due to environmental factors and repetitive mechanical motion. Plastic wheels are not recommended. Steel rollers last a long period of time but they tend to be quite noisy. New garage doors most commonly have steel rollers. Most people like to have nylon rollers because they can a long lifespan and are very quiet as well. We recommend using nylon rollers on your garage doors.

Furthermore, some garage door rollers have bearings and some do not. Rollers with bearings will last much longer and are recommended. However, rollers with bearings should be lubricated once every 6 months.

Broken Cable

There are cables attached to each side of a garage door. When the garage door closes the cable unwinds from the “drums”. When one of the cables breaks it puts the entire weight of the garage door on one side. The garage door cannot hold it’s entire weight on one side. This normally results in one side of a garage door closing entirely while another is still left in the air. The unbalanced weight can cause rollers to come off the track in addition to the broken cable. Regular inspection of the garage door cables can help avoid breakage.

Bent Tracks

Bent garage door tracks can happen in a number of different ways. Most times it is a sign of other problems with a garage door system. Garage door tracks can even get bent through improper garage door repair. We have seen many garage door tracks that have been bent by other garage door companies during roller replacement. One of the most common techniques for roller replacement involves bending the track and then having it reset into place. Inexperienced garage door repair companies sometimes forget to put the track back in place. While the garage door may work smoothly for a short time it will inevitably fall off the track.

User Error

More often than not a garage door falls off it’s tracks due to what we like to call user error. Almost everyone has done it, we get into our vehicle that is still inside the garage and forget that we have not opened the garage door yet. We put the vehicle in reverse and begin backing up before we realize we forgot to open the garage door. When a garage door is hit by a vehicle it causes damage to the door panels as well as the system itself. Several rollers usually come off the track which leaves the garage door hanging in a precarious position. The best thing you can do is to put the car in park and exit the vehicle carefully and move out of the way quickly. Do not attempt to move the vehicle. It can cause more damage to the vehicle and the garage door as well. The best thing you can do is call a local garage door company.

We hope this article helps you avoid problems with your garage door in the future.