You may be used to garage doors making an assortment of noises whenever they open and close, but a loud banging sound can be alarming, especially if it starts to happen more and more frequently. Luckily, a loud banging sound doesn't usually indicate anything dangerous or horribly wrong with your garage door system, but it's still a sign you should look for the problem or call for help as soon as you're able.
Components Need Maintenance, Repair, or Replacement
The fundamental design of a garage door opening system is supposed to make your garage doors open smoothly and without much effort. The springs carry most of the weight, the tracks guide the door open and closed, and the wheels, bearings, and springs make the door glide along.
If any of these parts are starting to fail, they can start adding pressure to the door. This resistance will slow the garage door down when opening or closing, but when it's forced to continue on by the push or pull of the garage door opener, it can cause a banging sound when the tension builds up and is then released.
Regular maintenance can cut down on how frequently this occurs. Standard lubrication and alignment maintenance will keep things working smoothly for much longer, and it may be that some parts just need a little lubrication to get them moving smoothly again. Check all your springs, hinges, tracks, and wheels for any signs of rust or damage. Use a garage-safe lubricant -- generic oils and greases can build up and cause dirt and dust to stick, making issues worse in the long run.
If there's no immediately visible issue, you can still benefit from having a technician come out to look at your door system for you.
Tracks Need Realigning
If you use a garage door system where the door opens on tracks, you can run into issues if the tracks ever become misaligned. This can happen occasionally through the simple movement of your house over the years, but can also happen as a result of damage or pressure. A misalignment will cause the same issue as described above, where the door is put under much more pressure while moving, making it move unevenly and loudly.
If there's any obvious damage to the tracks, such as a dent or a loose part, you may be able to fix this on your own. For anything more serious you should call a technician, as they have equipment and training to make the precise adjustments your doors need to operate smoothly.
Spring(s) Are Failing
Regardless of what kind of springs you have in your system, the idea is the same: they absorb most of the weight of the door so opening and closing it is easy. This allows a garage door opener to open and close your door thousands of times over its life cycle, and to make it easier for you to move the door manually. If a spring is failing, your garage door opener may technically still be able to move the door, but it will take far more effort and it may make shuddering movements as it goes, which can cause the banging sounds you hear.
One quick way to test if the issue is spring-related is to unhook the door from the garage door opener and then try to open or close the door manually. If they suddenly feel much heavier than usual, the springs aren't taking on the weight of the doors like they should and they need repair or replacement. Spring work should always be done by a technician, as any spring designed to lift the weight of an entire garage door has tension capable of causing serious injury.
For more information about garage door maintenance and repair, contact companies like Wise Garage Doors.