Frequently Asked Questions
O’Brien Garage Doors sells and installs top quality garage doors in Seattle, WA and the surrounding areas. We sell and repair all brands and models of garage doors, including Amarr, C.H.I., doorLink, and MidAmerica.
How long does it take to fix a broken garage door spring?
Replacing a garage door spring can take anywhere from about 20 minutes to an hour and a half, most commonly taking 30-45 minutes by a trained professional. This will all depend on the size and weight of the garage door, whether your system has one, two, or more springs, the size and weight of the door, and if there are other mechanisms that need to be repaired or replaced as well.
Should I repair or replace my garage door spring?
While tension can be added to a garage door torsion spring to extend its life, it is important to note that it is not uncommon for a spring to break shortly after it has been tensioned. Because of this, it is common that professionals will recommend changing the spring versus adding tension if the spring appears to be at the end of its lifecycle.
Should I change both of my garage door springs or only one?
It is important to note that on a dual spring system, the springs will generally have the same lifecycle if they were originally installed at the same time. If one spring has broken, the second spring will more than likely break shortly after. We generally recommend changing both springs so an additional trip and labor fee are not needed in the near future.
Should I change my garage door spring on my own or hire a professional?
We always recommend that a trained professional change the springs on the garage door. Whether it is a torsion spring system or an extension spring system, the springs carry quite a bit of torque and pressure that can be dangerous to work with unless trained properly.
What is the difference between a torsion spring and an extension spring and which is better?
A torsion spring system will be located at the top of the garage door, and an extension spring system will have a spring on each side of the garage door alongside the top track. Unless a safety cable is installed through the middle of an extension spring, it can be very dangerous. When they break, they are more likely to fly through the garage and can damage property or injure an individual. Torsion springs are installed with a torsion tube running through them, and when they break, they will stay in place.
How do I know if my garage door spring is broken?
When a garage door spring breaks, it will generally make a loud pop noise. Many times, however, you will not be in the vicinity to hear these initial noises. A key sign to a broken spring is that the door will only raise a few inches, or not at all. If it does raise, it will more than likely be very heavy and difficult to lift because the spring is generally what does the lifting of the door. We recommend not operating the door until a trained professional comes out to replace the broken spring.
Can I use my garage door with a broken spring?
We do not recommend operating a garage door with a broken spring. Because the spring is what does the lifting of the door, when one or more springs are broken, the door will be very heavy. If you have an automatic garage door opener, this will more than likely cause damage to the opener, as its function is to assist the door in raising with minimum capacity for weight. Operating the door with a broken spring can also cause further damage to the door such as throwing it off its cables and tracking.
How do I know if my garage door needs a tune-up?
The most common signs that the garage door is in need of a tune-up is if it is noisy such as screeching sounds, or if it is jerky during operation. Our technicians will come and provide lubrication, any needed tightening of hinges/bolts, check the safety reversal system, and check the door for proper balancing. They will provide their expertise on ways to keep the door operating at its maximum potential and answer any questions you may have. We recommend a tune-up once yearly, and many times our customers talk about how a simple tune-up made such an improvement to the operation of their system.
How often should I lubricate my garage door?
It is recommended to lubricate the rollers, track, hinges, and all other moving parts on your garage door at least once per year. Please note that garage door lubricants are different than those used on your garage door opener.
How much does a garage door opener installation cost?
If you hire a professional to install a garage door opener that you have already purchased, installation charges will be on average between 175-250 depending on the manufacturer of the opener. We, however, carry professional-grade openers at an affordable cost and are not generally available at most retail stores. If you purchase an opener with installation, the openers will, on average, range from about 350-700 depending on the model, drive mechanism, and size and weight of the garage door. We often have promotions for free installation with the purchase of one of our garage door openers, so there would not be a charge on top in this case.
What is the warranty on a new garage door opener?
Most of our professional-grade garage door openers will come with a one-year warranty on parts and installation. Depending on the model of the opener, there may be an extended warranty on certain parts on the opener such as the belt (on a belt drive), or a limited lifetime warranty on the motor itself. If an opener is purchased elsewhere and we install it, the warranty on installation through our company will generally be 30 days.
Who makes the most reliable garage door openers?
The most durable garage door openers are the professional-grade models such as LiftMaster Professional because they come with many upgrades as well as a solid steel rail that goes from the opener to the door for maximum durability and longevity versus contractor models that consist of a pieced-together rail comprised of plastic connectors. Today, most professional openers now come with significant upgrades such as battery backup, motion sensor light activation, and built-in Wi-Fi which allows for smartphone control with the myQ® app as well.
Which is better belt or chain garage door opener?
Both chain drive and belt drive garage door openers are wonderful options. The belt drive openers are known for being exceptionally quiet, especially the higher-end professional grade belt drive openers, such as the Liftmaster Professional model 8550. However, a high-end professional-grade chain drive opener may offer a little more longevity on a very heavy garage door.
How much does it cost to service a garage door?
The cost of repairing a garage door and/or opener system will vary depending on what needs to be done. Factors will include repair vs replace, and what all parts need to be considered.
How often do garage doors need to be serviced?
We recommend doing a general tune-up on a garage door once per year at the minimum. We also recommend that as soon as you are aware you are having a problem, that you give our professionals a call to make an assessment because if the problem is not remedied quickly it can lead to additional needed repairs in the near future.
What company makes the best garage doors?
We install garage doors from manufacturers that produce high-quality, commercial-grade products. Many of these doors will come with a dual torsion spring system, steel ball-bearing rollers with a nylon coating for smooth operation, steel oversized hinges that hold the panels together, heavy-duty tracking, and high-quality paint finishes. A few of the manufacturers that we install the most of will be C.H.I., Door Link, and Amarr.
What should I look for when buying a new garage door?
When looking for a new garage door, there are many factors to consider. Are you interested in insulated or non-insulated? Windows or no windows? What type of design? (traditional raised panel/carriage house style/specialty design) What color works best? (traditional colors such as white, almond, sandstone, chocolate brown; or faux wood color). What is the size of the opening for the door? Should you purchase an automatic garage door opener to go with the door?
Can you install a new garage door on old tracks?
Many times a garage door can be installed on existing tracks if it is the same type of door being installed (ie: metal vs wood door) and the existing garage door tracks are still in great shape. However, our garage doors will generally come with all new tracking unless specified otherwise by our customers.
What is included in a garage door tune up?
Our garage door tune-up is considered preventive maintenance and will include services such as lubrication of moving parts, tightening any loose bolts and screws, checking the door for proper balance, and checking the safety reversal system for proper functioning. Our technicians will take a look at your entire system as well and offer any education/tips, let you know if there are any potential hazards they see that need immediate attention, or if they have any suggestions as to how the system may operate at its fullest potential.
How long should garage door last?
The longevity of a garage door will depend on many factors such as the quality of the product originally installed if maintenance is routinely performed, how often the system is used. The material of the garage door is also a factor. If a wood garage door is in place, it may require re-staining/sealing every few years, whereas a steel door is mostly maintenance-free in this regard, aside from the mechanical parts that provide its functionality. At O’Brien, we install very high-quality garage doors that should last decades if maintained properly.
Should I use wd40 on my garage door?
The brand WD-40 may be used on garage door tracking and the moving parts, HOWEVER, it will need to be the specific type that is silicone-based instead of water-based. If the incorrect lubricant is used, it will most likely cause problems with smooth operation in the near future. Lubrication on a garage door opener will vary, depending on what type of drive mechanism it has. Some may require a silicone lubricant, and some may require a low temp grease.
What should I lubricate my garage door with?
Garage door tracking and its moving parts (ie: tracking/rollers/hinges/spring) will need to be lubricated with a silicone-based lubricant instead of water-based. If the incorrect lubricant is used, it will most likely cause problems with smooth operation in the near future. Lubrication on a garage door opener will vary, depending on what type of drive mechanism it has. Some may require a silicone lubricant, and some may require a low temp grease.
How much horsepower do I need for garage door opener?
In general, the springs that are on the door will be what do the lifting of the door, and the opener is in place to assist. We generally recommend at least a 1/2 Horse Power, and this is what most of our professional-grade openers are. If you have an oversized or exceptionally heavy door, you may want to consider a DC motor (not rated by horsepower but often compared to 3/4-1 HP) and consider the drive mechanism as well (chain drive/belt drive).
Do garage doors need regular maintenance?
We generally recommend a garage door tune-up once a year. It is important to make sure that the system is running smoothly and is properly balanced so that it does not run into larger problems such as coming off of its track. Routine maintenance will also help keep the door running optimally and quietly.
Should I repair or replace my garage door?
The need to repair vs replace a garage door or automatic door opener will vary depending on the condition of the system. Our professionally trained technicians will always come to the home prepared to repair, and this is the result of most of our service calls unless our customers prefer to replace the door from the start. Rare cases when a new door or opener will be recommended is if it is impossible for us to do the repair because of reasons such as the parts to the opener/door are not manufactured anymore, or if the cost of the repair exceeds the cost of a comparable door/opener that is currently in place.