Solutions to Common Garage Door Problems

When your garage door doesn’t work the way it should, it’s usually pretty obvious. Your garage door is built to open and close. What’s less obvious, however, is what the problem may be and how you can fix it. Because it’s easy to take our garage doors for granted, any problem with your garage door can seem like a disaster that requires professional intervention. However, that’s not always the case. Many garage door problems can be dealt with yourself — as long as you know what to look for and how to handle it.

With that in mind, here are a few solutions to common garage door problems.

PROBLEM: YOUR GARAGE DOOR WON’T OPEN OR CLOSE ALL THE WAY.

If your garage door won’t open or close all the way, the first thing you should do is to check and make sure there isn’t anything in the way of the door or blocking the electric eye sensor. If the space underneath your garage door is clear, look for whether or not the tracks are clear. Sometimes, a buildup of dirt or grime anywhere along the tracks can provide enough resistance to the rollers that the door will behave as if something is in the way. Cleaning your door’s tracks on a regular basis can help prevent this.

PROBLEM: YOUR GARAGE DOOR DROPS SUDDENLY INSTEAD OF CLOSING GRADUALLY.

This is a potentially dangerous situation for a couple of reasons — not the least of which is the fact that the door could drop onto your car or anyone else underneath it without warning. This is most likely because the cables or springs that raise and lower your garage door are broken. This means you probably will need to bring in a professional to fix your spring or cable. The extreme tension of the spring or cable can make it extremely dangerous for anyone without experience to try to fix.

PROBLEM: YOUR GARAGE DOOR WON’T OPEN, EVEN THOUGH THE MOTOR ON THE OPENER RUNS FOR A MOMENT.

If you activate your garage door opener and it runs for a moment but then shuts off without the door opening, it could be a sign that your garage door has become locked. Many older garage door models have manual locks that prevent them from opening. Typically, these locks are activated by handles in the center of the door. If you have this problem and your door doesn’t feature one of these locks, you should double-check the tracks to make sure there isn’t anything obstructing them.

PROBLEM: YOUR GARAGE DOOR’S TRANSMITTER DOESN’T WORK, OR YOUR GARAGE DOOR OPENER SEEMS TO OPEN AND CLOSE BY ITSELF.

If you’ve followed the instructions for installing your garage door opener and the transmitter won’t work, check to make sure there isn’t anything blocking the antenna on the opener itself, and that you have fresh batteries in the transmitter. If there’s anything blocking the antenna, it could limit the range of your transmitter or block the signal entirely. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to have a professional service your opener to fix the antenna. If your garage door is opening and closing seemingly at random, it’s possible that your neighbor’s garage door operates on a similar frequency. In that case, you’ll need to reprogram your opener according to the instruction manual.

PROBLEM: THERE’S A SCRAPING SOUND WHENEVER YOU OPEN OR CLOSE YOUR GARAGE DOOR.

Some garage doors are louder than others, but if yours is making a scraping sound whenever it opens or closes, that could be a sign of problems with the alignment. This could be caused by the rail being out of alignment or a gap between the rollers and the rail. In any case, you should get this fixed right away before repeated stress will push the door further out of shape. If you’re confident in your abilities, you may be able to fix this yourself. Find the track that’s causing the problem, then loosen the screws that hold it to the frame. After you bump the track back into alignment with a rubber mallet, tighten the screws again.

PROBLEM: THE DOOR WON’T OPEN, EVEN THOUGH THERE’S NO TROUBLE WITH THE MOTOR OR TRACKS.

If your garage door won’t open and you’ve eliminated the motor, tracks and transmitter as culprits, that could mean there’s a problem with the torsion spring that lifts and lowers your door. When these springs break, you’ll need to call in a professional to replace them.

You may not be aware of them, but many of these garage door problems are fixable. Follow the tips in this guide, and you’ll be able to keep your garage door in service for a long time to come.

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