A garage door is composed of panels with their left and right edges connected to metal tracks by wheel-shaped rollers. These rollers, like all moving parts, will inevitably wear out. After years of service, they will jam or lose their shape, making replacement necessary.
When a roller fails, it is important to leave the door motionless. Trying to force a roller to turn can bend the track in which it is set, compounding the difficulty and expense of the repair.
The untrained homeowner should not attempt to replace garage door rollers. The job involves bending the track, removing the old roller, inserting a new one and carefully bending the track back to its proper shape. If more than one roller needs replacement at the same time, as is often the case, the job can become a sizable undertaking involving some safety risk.
The homeowner can often spot problems before they become significant. Several signs can indicate that roller replacement may be in the near future:
- Visible wear– Many homeowners use their garage door opener over and over without looking at the mechanism. Worn rollers usually look that way, and there’s no reason to wait until one breaks to do something about it.
- Excessive noise– No opener is completely quiet, but if one starts making a loud squeaking or groaning sound, it may be because a roller isn’t turning properly.
- Failure to move correctly– When rollers lose their shape or start to bind, the correct movement of the door is impeded. It may move slowly or stop moving entirely.
- Age of the rollers– A good way to avoid problems is simply to have a periodic inspection by a professional garage door service. The frequency of these inspections should be determined by the amount of wear placed on the door. A consultation with the installer can usually establish a schedule of maintenance that will get the maximum amount of use from each roller without completely wearing them out.