A garage door that slams will not only damage the door itself but can also be hazardous to people’s lives. If you have noticed your garage door slamming when you close it, you have to get it fixed immediately.
A slamming garage door is a sign that the garage door spring is weak, and to prevent it, you have to replace the spring with a new one. Another way to fix a garage door slamming is to reduce the garage door opener’s close force settings. However, this is a temporary fix.
I’ll walk you through the step by step process of adjusting the close force settings on your garage door opener, and how to safely replace the garage door spring and some useful information. Now let’s take a look at why this problem occurs in the first place.
Why a Garage Door Slams
The way a garage door works requires all of the parts and components assembled to be in good working condition. When parts begin to deteriorate, that’s when problems occur, and a slamming garage door is no exception. Let’s take a look at the two major reasons why a garage door might slam.
1. Worn-out or broken garage door spring
This is the main reason why your garage door slams. Why do I say this?
The garage door spring is responsible for carrying the entire weight of your garage door. The tension in the springs keeps the door open when it is fully opened and holds it when it is being dropped. Without the springs, the garage door opener cannot lift the garage door’s full weight by itself. The opener merely gives it a push or a pull. Come to think of it, garage doors existed way before openers were manufactured, and we could lift it manually with ease.
The downside, however, is garage door springs have a limited number of cycles. Depending on how quality the spring installed on your door is, the door can run for a minimum of 5000 cycles to a maximum of 20000 cycles. Think of one cycle as when the door moves up and comes back down.
After these cycles, the garage door spring becomes weak, they lose their tensile strength, and problems begin to occur. In this case, the garage door will begin to slam.
When you continue using the springs after seeing signs of weakness exceeding its number of cycles, they eventually break. It can’t get any worse than that.
2. High Close Force Adjustment Settings on Garage Door Opener
The force settings on any garage door opener is an essential feature. For those of you who are not familiar with the force of a garage door opener, please let me explain.
The force settings on a garage door opener give the user the ability to increase or decrease the energy required to lift and drop a garage door opener properly.
Primarily, the force is usually adjusted based on how heavy the garage door is, the changes in weather conditions which affect the garage door tracks, and then changes in some components of the garage door due to wear and tear.
Depending on the weight of the garage door and the condition of the garage door tracks, if the force setting is too low, the garage door opener will have a difficult time lifting or dropping the garage door safely.
However, if the force setting is too high, it can cause some major problems. Firstly, the garage door will slam. That’s because the garage door opener will move the door with so much force; it will hit the floor instead of slowly stopping. Make sense, right?
Also, high force settings will deactivate the safety reversal feature on the garage door opener. We will talk about this later in the article
Usually, this may not be the primary reason why your garage door is slamming. Because the force setting is usually set correctly by the garage door technician that will install the garage door opener.
Ways to Prevent Garage Door from Slamming
Now that you have a solid knowledge of why a garage door might begin to slam, let’s look at how to fix this problem. Essentially, there are two ways to fix this. The first and most effective way is to replace the garage door spring. And the second way, which is more of a temporal fix, is to adjust the force settings on your garage door.
2. Replace the Garage Door Spring
There is no way to repair a bad spring. You have only one option, and that is to replace it. That is, by far, the best way to keep the garage door from slamming.
If you are the average homeowner who doesn’t love to get his hands dirty with a DIY project, I recommend hiring a garage door technician to replace the springs for you. That’s because finding the right spring for your door and replacing the old ones with the newly purchased version can be a daunting task to many.
However, if you are the hands-on kind of person, I have a complete guide taking you through the step by step process on how to measure the size of your spring, and how to safely replace a worn-out or broken garage door. You can read it here.
If you own a Wayne Dalton garage door, the process of replacing the TorqueMaster spring is different from most garage doors. Check out our guide on how to replace the Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster spring here.
Also, you want to buy a replacement garage door spring that will work with your garage door. Many manufacturers make garage door springs, making it quite difficult for the average homeowner to pick the right one.
To make it easy for you, just go with a Dura-Lift if you have garage door torsion spring. They make some of the best torsion springs in the market right now. And you can get their springs in any size that will work for your door. Check out their Amazon page here.
2. Adjust Close Force Settings
As I mentioned earlier, this is a temporary fix for slamming garage doors. Why do I say this? You can only use this method if your garage door spring is weak, but not totally.
Adjusting the close force will reduce the energy the garage door opener uses to push the door downwards.
So how do you adjust the force settings on your garage door opener?
You’ll need these two tools.
- Step ladder, and
- Flat screwdriver
- Place the step ladder beneath your garage door opener and climb it
- Locate the force adjustment dials on the garage door opener. They are either at the back panel or the sides of the opener. They are usually identified by round arrows, one pointing upwards, and the other pointing downwards. The arrow pointing down is the close force dial.
- Now with your flat screwdriver, turn the dial in the anticlockwise direction, but not too much.
- Try closing the door to see if it reaches the floor without slamming
- If it slams, reduce it a bit more. If it doesn’t reach the floor, increase it a bit, until it reaches
It’s all about adjusting the close force settings until the garage door fully closes without slamming.
Your garage door should stop slamming for a while once you apply this fix. Just a reminder: keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix, and once your garage door spring gets weaker, the garage door might begin to slam again.
How to Know a Garage Door Spring has gone bad.
As I mentioned before, these springs have a limited number of cycles before they start going bad. Besides the garage door slamming, several other symptoms can tell you the garage door spring is deteriorating gradually.
Some are seen earlier, and as the springs keep getting weaker, other symptoms occur. When you notice any of these signs, it means it’s time to replace the garage door spring.
Garage Door Gets Heavy
It is the responsibility of the spring to make your garage door as easy as possible to lift. The tension in the springs balances the garage door’s weight, making it easy for the homeowner or the garage door opener to raise and drop the door.
Once the spring begins to go bad, the tensile strength begins to reduce. Hence you’ll notice your garage door becoming heavier to lift. It’s a sign that you need to replace the spring.
Garage Door Doesn’t Open Fully.
This is a symptom that develops when the spring becomes much weaker, and you need to replace it as soon as you notice
It becomes relatively harder for the garage door opener to pull the garage door up completely. That’s because it is now bearing extra weight. The garage door opener is not made to lift the weight of the door; the spring is responsible. So when it becomes, you’ll notice your garage doesn’t open all the way.
Increase the Open Force may solve the problem temporarily, but this may be the best time to call the garage door technician or replace it yourself.
Gaps develop in the spring.
Many homeowners don’t notice any issues that may be developing with their garage doors. Many people don’t bother to inspect their garage door, and a lot actually don’t care.
However, if you cared a little, you may notice gaps developing in the torsion spring. This is a big signal that you need to replace the spring.
Initially, when a new garage door spring is installed, you’ll notice how the coils are tightened together. As they get weaker, the spring starts stretching, and it begins to lose its elasticity.
This symptom simply tells you, the garage door spring isn’t as effective as it was, and you need to have it replaced.
Do you really need to fix a slamming garage door?
Short answer, yes. You have to fix your slamming garage door as fast as you can. Here’s why.
A slamming garage door is just a symptom of a major problem with your garage door, which is a weak garage door spring. And this can lead to a lot of problems if you don’t fix it soon.
For starters, when your garage door continuously slams, the garage door itself will get damaged. As the door hits the floor consistently, you may notice the garage door panels getting wrecked over time.
That can lead to a more expensive repair than how much it will cost you to fix the spring, and in the worst-case scenario, you may have to purchase a new garage door. You definitely don’t want that to happen.
A slamming garage door is also not just a hazard for people, but your property too.
A door coming down with such force can injure who is underneath or close to the door. And the safety reversal feature in garage door openers will not save you in this situation. You may have already sustained an injury from the door dropping by the time garage door reverses.
This is mainly a concern if you have kids, or live with pets.
Any item in the way of the door might get squashed as well. Personally, this is a solid enough reason for me to get this problem fixed as soon as I can.
Another factor to consider – Replace the Garage Door Seal
If you left the slamming garage door unattended to for a long time, chances are the garage door seal is damaged as well. You don’t have to do this if you noticed the problem earlier and fixed it.
Now, what is the garage door seal? This is a tube made of rubber that is installed at the bottom of your garage door. This component on the garage door seals any gap between the floor and the door, making it impossible for bugs, water, air from outside, and pests from sneaking under the garage door.
They absorb as much impact as they can when the garage door slams. If they are damaged, you’ll notice bugs and insects creeping into your garage anytime soon, which is why you want to replace it when they are damaged.
Inspect the seal for any signs of damage. This can be done in quite a few ways.
- Turn on the lights in your garage, move outside and then close the garage door. If you can see the lights from the garage door’s bottom, then the seal is not functioning properly
- Check for stiffness. This is a rubber material, which is supposed to bend when the door is on the ground. If the door seal is fixed, it is likely to start cracking any moment from now
- Another smart way is to splash water to the seal from outside to see if the water gets inside the garage.
- Perform a visual inspection by looking for signs of wear and tear, cracking, or any form of discoloration.
If you notice a problem with the seal, then you need to replace it as well. Read our guide on the different types of garage door seals available and how to pick the right one for your door. See here.
We have covered a lot on this topic. Following these guidelines will stop your garage door from slamming. I recommend you replace the garage door spring, which is the most effective solution for the problem. If you like this article, share it with friends. If you any questions or recommendations, drop it in the comments below.