Why is one side of my garage door higher than the other?

Why is one side of my garage door higher than the other?

crooked garage door
Image by Dan Musick

Your garage door is the largest mechanical part of your home and so it’s important to pay close attention to it and make sure it’s running smoothly. Unfortunately garage door maintenance is not top of mind for many homeowners and even quality garage doors can fall into disrepair without ongoing care. 

It is common to notice that your garage door hangs crookedly with one side of the door sitting higher than the other while opening or closing. This is a sign that the weight of the door is unevenly distributed creating an unbalanced garage door.


How to tell if my door is unbalanced

Possible signs of an unbalanced garage door:

  • One side of the door rests higher than the other when opening or closing
  • The garage door is not able to close completely 
  • Opens or closes slower than normal
  • Creates loud noises when opening and closing 


Crooked garage doors are caused by wear and tear on the system’s springs over time. Homeowners can reduce this strain by performing garage door maintenance once or twice a year.

Manually open garage door

How to perform a balance check 

If you notice one or more of these signs from your garage door it is a good idea to check your garage door balance. To do so first detach the door from the opener so that you can move the door manually. Lift the door up about half way and then let go. A properly balanced and well maintained garage door will stay in place, perfectly level. If the door slams shut as you let go there is definitely an issue with the door springs and maintenance will be necessary. If you notice that one side of the door droops or rises you may still have an unbalanced door but do a more detailed search of the door to make sure it’s not another problem. 

  • Is the track bent and interfering with the rollers?
  • Is the track coming loose from the wall?
  • Is a hinge between door panels loose?
  • Are the rollers and tracks lubricated?
Safety Tip 

As your garage door may unexpectedly slam shut during a balance check. Make sure to remove any objects directly under the garage door beforehand, and make sure that children and pets are a safe distance away.

The problem with slanted garage doors

An unbalanced garage door is an issue you will want to resolve quickly. Since it occurs when the door’s weight is not evenly supported by the system’s springs, it causes added strain on the cables, springs and garage door opener. If left unchecked the added tension can lead to more serious and expensive repairs down the line. Additionally, if the door is not closing fully the opening can let in unwanted critters, or allow debris or rain to blow in. This can lead to damaged items and even a damaged foundation if water is able to come in.

Garage door technician

How to fix a crooked garage door

It’s best to call on a professional who will be able to fix your unbalanced door quickly and safely. Garage door springs are quite dangerous to those who are not properly trained and it is not advised that inexperienced home owners attempt to adjust them themselves. 

However homeowners are encouraged to inspect and maintain their garage door once or twice a year to keep it in the best condition. To help prevent unbalanced doors and other more costly repairs in the future, pay attention to rust on the door both inside and out, as well as the springs, hinges and cables. When caught early, minor rust can be simply treated with a rust remover and prevent further damage. Lubricating the springs and hinges of your garage door will also keep them running more smoothly and increase the longevity of your door. (For more information on garage door maintenance check out our comprehensive garage door guide)

With over 2000 5 star reviews, Dodds has been the Greater Toronto area’s largest and highest rated garage door company for over 60 years, and received the prestigious Consumer Choice Award as the best garage door installation and repair company in Toronto every year since 2001. Dodds Garage Doors services the entire Greater Toronto Area including TorontoNorth YorkOakvilleBurlingtonRichmond HillWhitbyOshawa and more. 

If you are looking to replace your old garage door or have questions about garage door repair and maintenance call the experts at Dodds Garage Doors