There are many reasons why sectional garage doors are one of the most popular types of garage door used today, and their simplicity and long-term reliability can be tremendously useful to homeowners who don't want to spend a long time on garage door maintenance. However, a poorly maintained sectional garage door can become unbalanced over time, and unless the problem is fixed swiftly by a professional garage door repair service, an unbalanced sectional garage door can quickly become irreparably damaged. 

What happens when a sectional garage door becomes unbalanced?

If you lift your sectional garage door manually or have done so when your automatic garage door opener was out of action, you probably noticed that it moved with a surprisingly light touch given how large and heavy it is. This lightness is maintained by springs, which are held under tension when the door is closed and release this tension when the door is opened, providing lifting force to make the garage door easier to open.

An unbalanced garage door is caused by door springs that are under either too much or too little tension. This can be caused by natural wear and tear over time, especially if you don't do much preventative maintenance on your door, but it can also be caused by improper spring adjustments or physical damage caused by car collisions.

How can I tell if my sectional garage door is unbalanced?

Improper garage door balance is a relatively complex mechanical problem, and you probably won't be able to tell if your door is imbalanced by looking at the springs themselves. However, there are a number of warning signs that make it relatively easy to tell when your sectional garage door has become unbalanced:

  • The door becomes harder and heavier to open and close
  • Your automatic garage door opener makes an unusually loud noise while it is functioning or takes longer to open/close your door than usual.
  • If you try to leave your garage door half-open, it slams shut under its own weight
  • The garage door looks uneven and slanted and does not sit flush with the ground when fully closed

What should I do if my sectional garage door has become unbalanced?

If your sectional garage door is displaying any of the symptoms of improper balance, you might be tempted to try and fix the problem yourself by tightening or loosening your door springs as needed. However, this can be exceptionally dangerous; most modern sectional garage doors are held under tension by torsion springs, which can explode with tremendous force if they become overtightened. Damaged torsion springs are especially dangerous and can fail without warning at almost any time.

As such, you should always call in a professional garage door service if you need to have your sectional garage door rebalanced. Professional garage door service personnel have the tools and experience to correct the tension in your springs and replace damaged ones without causing damage to people or property.