Garage doors have so many parts, and it’s easy to overlook one or the other, especially for busy homeowners. Among these that you may not consider urgent is garage door hinge replacement. For those who don’t know, the garage door hinge is the metal fastening tool that keeps separate panels together. The hinges allow the panels to move in a unified motion during the door’s cycle.
Garage door hinges have a number engraved on them (e.g., #1 to #9), which serves as guides for placing them on the garage doors. For example, the bottom leftmost and rightmost panels will be connected by #1 hinge, and the next one upwards will use #2, and so forth. Hinges also differ in thickness (e.g., 11 gauge or 18 gauge) and type (e.g.,wide body, narrow). The center part of the panels is the exception, which also use #1 labeled hinges.
Why You Need Garage Door Hinge Replacement
Garage door hinges may be small, but they are important to the entire operation of your overhead garage doors. Like with typical doors, garage doors constantly open and close throughout the day. Without the hinges, these cycles won’t be possible – there’s no way to connect the adjoining panels together in a fluid way!
In a sectional garage door, once you push the button, the sections move along the curve on the tracks to go from a vertical position to a horizontal one atop the headway. Garage door hinges come into play every time this happens.
But like other garage door parts, garage door hinges can wear out over time. As they are made of metal, hinges are prone to rust. They also support the heavy panels in every cycle of your doors, and so they will eventually crack, misalign, or break off.
Here are some signs you may need to change your garage door hinges:
Strange, Squeaking Sounds
If you suddenly hear noise when the doors are in a cycle, maybe it’s time to call a garage door maintenance team. They have a 25-point checkup process that will include the garage door hinges.
You could check on your own the condition of these hinges. Some bolts attaching the hinge to the door may have gotten loose. These can be tightened easily. You could also lubricate the pins and bolts.
Mismatched or Improper Placement of Hinges
Garage door hinges are generally durable, but if the number guide and specs aren’t followed according to where they should go, this could make the hinges break before its time.
In this case, it’s best to get a professional garage door repair team to ensure that garage door hinge replacement is done right. They could also replace rollers that are too worn out. Take note that rollers also affect the stress on the hinges, so these have to be in good condition as well.
Hitting the Garage Doors by Accident
Whether it’s a motorbike, a car, or anything heavy falling on the garage doors could cause the panels to crack, and the adjoining hinges to break as well.
When this happens, and you notice that the garage doors are no longer balanced when closing down, call a garage door maintenance team to get it fixed. This is not something to be DIY-ing because it needs special tools and replacement panels, rollers, or tracks to get done.
Garage Door Hinge Replacement Tips
While attempting to replace garage door hinges may be risky, you still need to know the mechanics of what professionals can do. This way, you won’t be uninformed about the repairs. And if there’s no available professional service, you could fix it yourself knowing the proper measures.
Get the specs right
Garage doors come in all shapes and sizes, and so garage door hinges will also vary in specifications. Most residential garage doors come with 18-gauge hinges. The higher the gauge, the thinner the hinge.
So check with your garage door technician if a thicker hinge could fit your panels. Commercial garage doors will require more robust types, like the 11 gauge ones. Some wider garage doors need double stiles attached to long-stem rollers. With these doors, you’ll need two hinges to secure the larger-sized panels.
And as mentioned, hinges are engraved with their number code to ensure proper placement, so use that info to know where to connect the hinge.
Move the garage doors in the open position
If the replacement hinges are ready, the garage door technician will usually move the garage door up. Yes, it’s going to be harder to dismantle the old hinges, but this is a safer position to work on them because the spring tension isn’t loaded.
A repairman will have clamps to secure the bottom rollers, and he will also turn the opener off and unplug it just as a caution.
Remove the old hinges, and replace with new ones
The technician will then remove and replace the garage door hinges, preferably one hinge at a time. He’ll then place two Tek screws both above and below the roller carrier. That way, the panels stay adjoined and won’t tilt or move around while changing the hinges. The best tool for this is a cordless impact driver to remove the self-drilling screws fast.
Depending on the garage door type, the new hinges should have the appropriate gauge, stile, and size – some doors require narrow hinges, but most door types can work well with 14-gauge hinges.
If the roller don’t need to be changed, remove it from the old hinge and attach to the new one. Then the roller should be placed back into the right hinge carrier to insert into the vertical track nice and secure. The new hinge will then be reattached to the garage door panel, and secured with top and bottom fasteners.
Test the garage doors
Your technician will then remove the safety clamps and test the doors manually using the emergency release cord. This is a safer way to check if everything’s aligned and tightly screwed in place. If anything’s problematic, he can easily stop the motion and avoid any untoward accident.
Call Us for Garage Door Repairs
Want hassle-free garage door hinge replacement? Call our team. We have 24-hour garage door services that can come to your location right away.
Now that you know how important it is to keep garage door hinges in good condition, you can keep tabs on which ones need to be replaced and which ones to apply lubrication to prevent rusting. If you need any help with garage door maintenance or emergency garage door repair, we are here to supply the replacement parts and install them correctly on your doors. Don’t hesitate to reach out!