It’s easy to become frustrated when your garage door does not work properly. On the other hand, garage door troubleshooting need not be stressful. Problems with custom garage doors, automatic garage doors, and commercial garage doors are typically one of the most common garage door problems. And, in many cases, the remedy is obvious. Understanding what you’re looking at will put your mind at ease and assist you in selecting a company you can trust to remedy the issue and avoid safety hazards quickly.
Although each door is unique, most homeowners worldwide face numerous common garage door problems. This section summarizes each main issue and discusses each potential source and quick fixes. Bear in mind that you may be experiencing multiple issues simultaneously, in which case the same reason will almost certainly apply to both.
What Causes a Garage Door to Operate Inadequately?
NOISY GARAGE DOOR
If a clamor comes from your garage door, there is probably an underlying problem. Here are some particular sounds to watch out for and their probable cause.
- Squeaking. The chances are that your rollers are insufficiently lubricated or worn. Applied lithium- or silicone-based grease will resolve the situation if it is the former. Get them replaced by a professional, if it’s the latter.
- Rattling. Often, when the garage door starts to rattle, it is a sign that some of the screws, bolts, and nuts have become loose. You can usually fix the issue by tightening the hardware with a wrench and socket set.
- Popping. A lubricated or adjusted torsion spring is often the cause of popping sounds. It would help if you always left the work of repairing torsion springs to a professional.
YOUR GARAGE DOOR IS MOVING UNEVENLY
Something could block the metal tracks when your door shimmies while opening or closing. Make sure nothing is blocking the tracks. Clean the tracks, too, while you’re at it.
When this doesn’t work, the spring system (the torsion springs or extension springs) might provide too little or too much tension. To resolve this problem, you’ll need to contact a professional.
YOUR GARAGE DOOR WON’T OPEN OR CLOSE
To fix a stubborn garage door, check the new batteries in the opener remote and inspect the keypad for damage. Are there no problems? Next, check your garage door opener unit. During an outage of the power supply, the lights might not be working properly, or a fuse or circuit breaker has blown.
YOUR GARAGE DOOR OPENS — JUST NOT ALL THE WAY!
The photo eye sensors are usually to blame for this errant behavior. Ensure that they’re clean and properly aligned. Another possible obstruction is a branch or the end of a broom or hockey stick (or some other type of object).
If your garage door opens slightly but immediately closes, you will likely need to replace the spring system.
SNAIL’S PACE IS YOUR GARAGE DOOR OPENING
Lubrication is necessary for your door’s rollers and tracks if it is dithering as it performs its duties- as sand and salt often build upon the tracks over time, so garage doors tend to stick in dryer climates.
YOUR GARAGE DOOR CLOSES WAY TOO FAST
The torsion spring or cable has broken if your door slams shut when you hit the remote button. In this case, you need a professional to fix the spring system or cables so that the door will work again. If the garage door is malfunctioning, resist parking your car there. While the door is malfunctioning, it would be wise to refrain from opening or closing it. A spring or cable with that force could potentially damage your vehicle or injure you or your family.
YOUR GARAGE DOOR IS POSSESSED
Does your garage door open and close on its own? As far as I can tell, there is nothing spooky about this – there are several potential causes, including the following:
- The button is stuck on one of your transmitters (the wall control, keypad, or remote controls).
- Most openers’ limit setting needs adjustment.
- Either the control wiring or electrical circuit is malfunctioning.
YOUR PHOTO-EYE IS OUT OF ALIGNMENT
As a kid, you might remember closing the garage door with your siblings and running underneath it to get out before it closed. It uses two tiny photo eyes on either side of the garage entrance to operate any garage door installed after 1993. These photo eyes transmit an invisible beam when the garage door closes to detect anything in its path. The safety measure prevents an automatic garage door from closing on someone or something and injuring them or causing property damage.
If a garage door opens normally but does not attempt to close when you press the remote, the first thing you need to inspect is the photo eyes. These eyes can become dirty over time, blocking the beam’s light. They can also misalign, resulting in the eyes not matching on both sides.
Please avoid scratching the photo eye because it consists of glass, similar to a camera lens. The photo-eye itself is pretty small, only a few centimeters in diameter, but it can get dirty rather easily. Using a mild, streak-free cleaner and a soft cloth should suffice to clean it. Gently wipe away any dirt or residue built upon the eye, and make sure that you don’t oversaturate, as too much moisture can cause dirt to stick more easily.
If the door refuses to close, the next thing you should do is double-check the eyes’ alignment. Make sure both eyes are pointing in the same direction. In this case, the door will remain open because it won’t register the presence of the other door, so it will assume something else is blocking it. For alignment, you should measure the height of each photo-eye. A level will help you ensure that they point directly across at the same angle. It is easier to use a laser level for this step, but if you don’t have one, a normal level will work as well.
Be sure to open and close the door easily after cleaning and aligning the eyes. If the photo eyes are still malfunctioning, it may be time to contact a professional to come out and diagnose the problem.
THE GARAGE DOOR LIMIT SETTINGS ISN’T SET PROPERLY
You might notice that your garage door closes and immediately goes back up in unusual circumstances instead of staying closed. Typically, this problem occurs with newly installed garage doors or older models that need resetting. In this case, you should adjust the opener’s open and close limit settings.
Garage door openers rely on this limit range to determine the amount of movement the door should make before it is fully closed. When you set your door opener too high, the door will hit the ground before it should, which causes the opener to believe the door has hit something. It will then automatically reverse to prevent crushing whatever is underneath.
You can adjust the limit settings on your garage door motor by using knobs or dials. Garage door manufacturers and models will differ, so the specific location and resetting procedure will vary. You can learn more about adjusting your limits in your owner’s manual. It may take a few tries before you find the correct setting. Repair technicians can help if your door won’t close even after adjusting the limit setting.
THE DOOR IS LOCKED MANUALLY
When the opener motor runs for just a few seconds and closes, but the garage door doesn’t open, you may have manually locked the garage door. After checking the door springs and the track for obstructions, check to make sure the lock button on the door is engaged if those appear to be fine.
Older models of garage doors often come with manual locks to strengthen your house’s security. This handle normally looks like a knob in the middle of your door, with two bars from either side running horizontally. You may be able to click a small button located on the top or side of the handle to slide the bars across the doors, securing them from the inside. If you’re getting large items out of the trunk of your car near the door, it’s somewhat easy to hit that button accidentally.
Turn the handle to manually unlock your garage door until you hear a clicking sound. It will move the horizontal bars away from the edges and secure the handle in the open position.
How Often Should a Garage Door Be Serviced?
Consistent maintenance prevents the majority of common garage door problems. Homeowners should have their door serviced annually. The exact solutions you apply to address the issues may assist in preventing future occurrences. Here are some basic maintenance tips:
- Brush and lubricate the rollers and tracks to reduce wear and strain at least once a season.
- Tighten the hardware to eliminate noise and other issues caused by loose components.
- Inspect the door springs and pulleys for proper operation. These should be updated periodically by specialists.
If none of these solutions answers your garage door problems, or if you prefer to delegate the chore, consider hiring a door installer and repair specialist to handle the job. It is their responsibility to diagnose any issues with the door swiftly.
Do I Need a New Garage Door?
A properly maintained garage door can last 30 years- this means keeping it clean and free of dirt and checking for any scratches, dents, or cracks as soon as possible. Getting your garage door maintained by a professional garage door company can be beneficial if the door is approaching the 30-year mark. You can obtain notification from them if they discover any issues with your door and give you a heads up if they think you will need to replace it soon.
Occasionally, a door that seems to be in working order may contribute to higher energy costs than it needs. Such may be true if your door is not insulated. It may be more cost-effective, in the long run, to upgrade your older door with a newer, insulated model. An insulated garage door offers lower energy costs and a more comfortable home interior by incorporating other energy-saving measures throughout the year.
In some cases, garage doors don’t make it that long. The material of your door, the frequency of use, and the weather in your area all impact its lifespan. An old garage door might need an upgrade if:
- Your garage door worsens every year as you cannot perform major repairs to fix the cracks and dents.
- You put a garage door repair company on speed dial because your garage door malfunctions a lot.
- Your door’s appearance is outdated.
- Your garage door predates important safety features, such as photo eye sensors.
You can improve your home’s curb appeal on a budget by replacing the garage door. It is especially important to replace your garage door if you are planning to sell your home since, on average, replacements provide a return on investment of 98.3 percent or higher. Therefore, you get almost all of your invested money when you sell your house.
As you can see, automatic garage doors are quite complicated and can be quite dangerous if not maintained properly. If you’re fortunate, the problem you’re having is minor and something you can quickly resolve on your own. When you have exhausted all troubleshooting options, you know you need to bring in professional repair technicians with the necessary experience to complete the job.