Reasons Garage Door Hinges Break (What You Need To Know!)

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A sectional overhead garage door is made up of many parts. The smaller a part the less attention it gets. One of those small parts on which the performance of a garage door hinges are, well, the garage door hinges. But there are Reasons Garage Door Hinges Break. You need to know why and take preventive action.

The reasons garage door hinges break include poor quality of hinges, lack of regular maintenance, mismatched hinges or unbalanced garage doors and sometimes, unexpected accidents.

Regular checks & timely lubrication can help prolong the life of the hinges. Hinges do not cost much but bad or broken hinges can break your garage door. 

Remember the story of how the kingdom was lost for want of a nail?

So let me explain what garage door hinges are, the reasons garage door hinges break and how to spot a bad garage door hinge.

Reasons Garage Door Hinges Break
PHOTO CREDIT: GREEN HINGE

What is a Garage Door Hinge?

Garage door hinges connect two adjoining garage door sections. They allow the sections to move, relative to each other, when the sections change alignment over the curve in the garage door tracks.

Garage door hinges work on the same principle as any door or window hinge. It is just that garage door hinges connect two adjoining sections, instead of a section to a frame.

A sectional overhead garage door is made up of 4 sections. These sections move on a vertical track that curves into a horizontal track along the garage roof. When you press the open button on the Garage Door Opener (GDO) remote, the sections are pulled up. 

The sections go over the curve on the tracks to transition from a vertical position to a horizontal position. The garage door hinges come into play at the curve in the tracks.

GMS Intro
GMS Intro

What are the Reasons Garage Door Hinges Break?

The Reasons Garage Door Hinges Break are:

  • Poor Hinge Quality
  • Lack of Regular Maintenance
  • Mismatched Hinges & Unbalanced Doors
  • Accidents

Poor Hinge Quality

One of the main reasons garage door hinges break, earlier than expected, is due to inferior quality of the hardware. 

If you bought a new garage door from a reputed brand then the quality of the garage door hinges should be good.

However, if your garage door is old, the previous house owner may have replaced the hinges with cheap and low quality hinges.

Garage door hinges go through a number of cycles each day. They are subjected to considerable stress due to the garage door weight and motion. The quality of the garage door hinges is very important for the durability of both the hinges and the garage door!

The center garage door hinge is made up of two steel flanges, attached to each other by a roller pin. The end hinges have another pin that attaches it to the roller on the tracks. The quality of the garage door hinge depends on the quality & thickness of the steel used.

The lower the gauge of the steel the thicker and stronger it is!

The coating on the flanges will determine the durability of the hinge. For example a galvanized or powder coated hinge will be able to withstand rusting.

Lack of Regular Maintenance

You should always do a regular check up and preventive maintenance of your garage door. This should include the garage door hinges.

Check to see if the bolts attaching the hinge to the door have become loose. If so, tighten them. Also lubricate the pins. Loose bolts and dry roller pins increase the stress on the hinge.

Blaster Premium Garage Door Lubricant from Amazon is highly recommended. Blaster is a premium grade silicone lubricant spray incorporating Teflon formula. It works like a grease and is ideal for metal to metal contact and movement.

The quality, material and lubrication of the garage door rollers will affect the level of stress being put on the garage door hinges. Check out my post Nylon Garage Door Rollers Vs Steel (Why Nylon Is Better!).

Poor maintenance is another of the reasons a garage door hinge may break.

Mismatched Hinges & Unbalanced Doors

A single car sectional overhead garage door with 4 panels requires 3 pairs of garage door hinges. But the pairs are not alike. They differ from each other based on the load they are required to carry.

Garage door hinges have #’s stamped on them to indicate where they need to go. For example:

The Green Hinge Single Stall 4 Panel Residential System is perfect for doors up to 12′ wide and comes with 6 hinges. 3 different non-interchangeable numbered hinges System includes: 2 – position #1, 2 – position #2, 2 – position #3 hinges.

Source: Green Hinge

Mismatched hinges or unbalanced garage doors put additional stress on the hinge.

This is another of the reasons a garage door hinge may break before it’s time.

Choose Garage Door Hinge Set for Commercial 4 Panel Overhead Door manufactured by Green Hinge and available on Amazon, the next time you need to replace garage door hinges.

The key features of Green Garage Door Hinges are that they are:

  • Heavy Duty 12 Gauge Powder Coated Steel, 100% Made & Assembled In USA With Lifetime Warranty.
  • Spring-Loaded To Automatically Self-Adjust For A Tight Sealing Door Closing Up To ¼ in. Side Gap With Quick & Simple Install Instructions.

Accidents can Break Garage Door Hinges

Your car hitting the garage door by accident or a heavy tree branch falling on the door can be one of the reasons, garage door hinges break. 

There is not much you can do about it. Accidents happen! 

Have your garage door checked thoroughly. Just replacing the broken hinge may not be the solution. A professional will tell you if the door needs to be re-balanced. 

They will check the status of not just the garage door hinges but also the garage door panels, the rollers, the tracks and the torsion springs. They may need replacement too!

How do I know if my Garage Door Hinge is Bad?

There are a few tell-tale signs that your garage door hinge is bad, but you have to keep your ears and eyes open. I can not stress enough about regular check up & preventive maintenance of your entire garage door, including the hinges.

At the very least, you should do this once a quarter.

You will likely hear your garage hinge when it is on it’s way to going bad, even before you see it.

Squeaking Garage Door

Has your garage door started squeaking when you open it or close it. It could be due to the garage rollers, springs, GDO belt, etc. But it could be the Garage Door Hinges too!

A squeaking garage door is crying out for lubrication!

The garage door hinge has a steel roller pin connecting the two flanges. It may also have another roller pin if it connects to the garage door roller. These are metal parts moving on other metal parts.

The lubricant should never be allowed to run dry. Also make sure you are using the “correct” lubricant, and not just any grease.

Blaster Premium Garage Door Lubricant from Amazon is highly recommended. Blaster is a premium grade silicone lubricant spray incorporating Teflon formula. It works like a grease and is ideal for metal to metal contact and movement.

Wobbly Hinges

During your quarterly garage door check up, get close to each garage door hinge. Feel them with your hand. Are they firm or a bit wobbly? Are all the bolts & screws tight.

If they have gotten loose, tighten them.

Rusty Hinges

During the inspection you may also find that some of the hinges have started to rust. You can take preventive action to remove the rust and stop it from coming back.

Clean up the rusted area with a stiff wire brush or sandpaper before applying lubricant on it. A better alternative is to spray a “rust reformer or converter” carefully on the rusted area.

Check out Rust-Oleum 215215 Stops Rust Rust Reformer Rust Reformer 10.25-Ounce Spray-Color Black available on Amazon.

Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and useful.

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