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Clunk, Squeak, Grind, Creak – Your Garage Door Language

Today was the day for the regular Safety meeting here at the Albany OHD mother ship. We have these meetings regularly to keep everyone, office staff included, continually thinking of safety. Part of this meeting included a segment on what your body is telling you and why you should listen. After a long day of servicing or installing you can get pretty tired and the rigors of the day can cause some fatigue or even some body soreness. Paying attention and listening to your body is important so you can make changes in your behavior or actions to avoid being sore or injury altogether.

After the meeting a spirited debate began about how garage doors talk to us all the time. The keen staff here broke it down into 4 major categories.

Category 1 – The Clunk

Your garage doors shouldn’t make this sound. The clunk usually indicates something is not stopping at its appropriate point. If the Clunk happens when the door reaches the floor (nice use of rhyming there on my part) it could mean a few things. If your door has an electric operator chances are it’s allowing the door to travel too far down and we’d bet that sometimes your door will actually go back up on its own if its equipped with the latest safety technology. Now, if you don’t have an opener installed and you’re clunking your door is probably telling you that it’s out of balance or the springs need adjusting or replacement.

Category 2 – The Squeak

This is the least offensive thing your door can tell you. Some squeaking can be normal as a door ages and parts begin to show their age. Fortunately for you this can probably be rectified the same way you stop a crying baby with a pacifier. First thing you need to do is identify where the squeaking is coming from. Run the door up and down a few times and see if you can locate the squeak. You’re gonna be looking for/at the hinges that hold each section together, the pulleys on the extension springs/cables, and most likely the rollers. Once you locate the squeak simply lubricate the little bugger and you should be good to go. If it’s not one of these three items have a trained professional come out and inspect.

Category 3- The Grind

Oh the grind, you rascal, why have you chosen to yell at your owner like this. The grind is not good, virtually always bad. If you see metal shavings anywhere you’ve got to take care of this. Potential sources of the grind could be a bad roller, bent track, unbalanced door, broken hinge, or bad bearing somewhere. If your door is saying this to you please call your local professional (we recommend Overhead Door™ J) and schedule a service call. We know there are some DIY’ers out there capable of such a repair but without a complete understanding of how each part affects the other you should not attempt this.

Category 4 – The Creak

This is a sneaky little problem that may not be a problem at all. You see the creak is what we would call somewhat normal especially in older doors. Brand new doors should not creak. Unless your garage is built on structural stainless steel pilings utilizing 48” blue stone concrete monitored by a government agency buried somewhere in the heart of a mountain your garage is going to settle just like your house. When this happens the door no longer fits perfectly in the opening it was installed in. It may get a little “off kilter”. When this happens the hinges, struts, and tracks try to maintain the doors original position, fighting feverishly against the movement of your garage settling. You may be able to quell the creak with some lubrication but a door adjustment is what is ultimately needed. Contact your friendly OHD technician and they’ll be happy to help identify the creak and make it stop.

So yes, your garage door has its own language. We hope our version of Rosetta Stone for Garage Doors helps you understand what it is telling you. And please, please, please never let you door talk to your car, when they argue one, or both of them, get their feelings hurt.

Your Overhead Door of Albany™ Team

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