Troubleshooting: One Side Of Garage Door Higher Than Other


These instructions are for a standard sectional garage door using torsion springs. Not for an old fashion flipper door with holmes hinge hardware on the side. Or for the transitional extension spring doors.

Typical causes for this are:

  1. The hardware is falling off the wall.
  2. The cement is uneven.
  3. The door is damaged.
  4. The cables are not even.
  5. Something is interfering with door closing properly.

Hardware Is Falling Off The Wall

Often times garage doors are mounted into drywall. It's hard to verify the garage door lags were sunk soundly into the foundation. They may look tight but if they are simply stuck into drywall they may pull out. Often times these doors are installed all at once in mass for an entire housing track by anybody who would work for minimum wage. They don't care if it will last since they will be long gone by then. So check the mountings every few months. Check if the lags are secure and that the track is solid. If they are not then you need to look into it while being safe. Remember many parts of the door are under extreme pressure so look from a safe distance and angle. If there is a problem you probably want to call a garage door expert.

Cement is uneven

Often times, especially here in California, the cement is poured badly. Or the cement buckles because of earthquakes or roots creating a rise in the middle. Short of grinding the cement floor even there is very little that can be done. You can call a garage door guy and they can attempt to set the door into the uneven cement so both sides are even. The bottom weather seal can often be replaced with longer weather seal that will drape down to those areas that don't close evenly. When it rains the water will more than likely make it through. Another solution is to glue in a rubber stopper on the cement. If done artfully it can glued on top of a structure created to level the floor. This would allow for a secure closure though you would have to drive over this ridge. Most of these solutions require somebody other than a garage door expert. Like a cement person or a very good handyman.

The door is damaged

Often times the door becomes damaged. Examples of this are your spouse hitting the door on the way out. (It's always the spouse isn't it.) Usually a garage door expert can repair the door so closes and makes a snug fit. Other times it's the weather stripping on the side of the door that is pressing too tightly against one side. A very simple and cheap "fix" for this is to simply WD40 the weather stripping while the door is up so the door slides smoothly against the weather stripping. This is especially helpful after a door has been painted.

Cables Are Not Even

This typically happens after torsion springs are put in. Often the garage door company does not get the tension on both cables exact. Or one of the cables resettles. Or the set screws are not tightened properly. (As in the case the resident played with repairing things and told the garage door guy he didn't. So the garage door guy never thinks to check everything he did not touch thinking all is good.) The springs add so much tension to the cables you are best off not touching anything and calling the garage door company back to fix it.

Something is interfering with door closing properly

Disconnect the opener from the door by pulling the red cord. Now open and close the door slowly by hand and carefully feel for any obstructions as the door closes. Also add WD40 to all the hinges so the door rolls smoothly. Otherwise it may be hard to tell what's the door and what's the obstruction. You may have to move the door back and forth many many times over the course of ten minutes. Take the time to be thorough.

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