You don’t want to come home to frustration after a long day of work, errands, playdates, or any other to-do items. Unfortunately, your garage door could cause irritation before you even make it inside your house.
If your garage door acts up without a known explanation, look through our list of common garage door complications. Once you know the source of the problem, work with a professional to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and restore your home to the haven you and your family need.
- Photo Eye
You likely know that the garage door has a method to prevent the door from closing on children, pets, or any other obstruction. This system, called the photo eye, uses two sensors to keep your family and property safe. However, if the photo eye sensors become misaligned or dirty, the door could malfunction.
With this issue, your door will likely open but then close halfway and reopen. To resolve this issue, carefully wipe down the transmitters, check for accidental obstructions, or call a technician to inspect the system.
If your door opener’s transmitter doesn’t seem to work, check the batteries first. You don’t want to call a professional to find the issue has a quick fix.
However, a door that opens and closes randomly also indicates transmitter problems. Consider where you store your transmitter-under pile of mail or inside a purse could lead to inadvertent opening and closing. Or, if any neighbors have a transmitter with the same frequency, they could open and close your door at the same time they open theirs.
If the transmitter continues to fail or act abnormally, you might need to replace the sensors.
- Disconnect Switch
You may recognize that your transmitter works, but the garage door doesn’t move. The issue could rest in your door’s backup plan. Your system should have an emergency disconnect switch that allows you to use manual operation. This option becomes necessary if your power goes out.
However, you run into issues if the switch somehow flips without your knowing. This trigger typically looks like a red handle with a rope attached. Check to see if the switch was somehow flipped or unhooked to determine if someone accidentally set the door to its manual override.
Issues with your tracks can also cause the door to shimmy, stick, or halt. Look for bent tracks or gaps between rollers and tracks. If you find any of these deformities, call a garage door expert. Over time, the weight of the door can further pull down the tracks and present a safety hazard.
Buildup on the tracks also causes doors to close part way and then open. Look for small items, like hangers or dirt and grime. Remove any debris and wipe down the track with water and a cleaning solution free of harsh chemicals. Then, apply a lubricant like WD-40 to the track and hardware.
- Springs and Cables
Springs work hard to get your door off the ground. If a torsion spring breaks, your door will struggle to open or simply remain closed. Look above the door to inspect for visible wear and tear and broken pieces. However, don’t try to manipulate or repair them on your own. These springs contain stored force and can cause serious injury.
You can best prevent future repairs if you replace all springs at once. If you have only one broken spring but two total springs in your door, replace both at the same time. This tip allows you to avoid future malfunction and prevents damage if the other breaks.
You can recognize broken springs if your doors close quickly with aloud sound. But the issue could also stem from your cables. Look for frayed, worn, or broken wires-you can find them running along the door sides from top to bottom. Again, don’t try to repair these yourself since they control the springs and can lead to an injury or accident.
Additionally, an issue with spring and cable balance can cause the door to remain opened or closed. Work with a garage door repair person to ensure these mechanics have proper tension.
- Locking System
If your opener runs for a moment, stops, and the door doesn’t open, first check the track and springs. If both appear in good condition, the locking system could cause this scenario. Older models often have some sort of lock, and you could accidentally activate it. Check your owner’s manual to determine whether or not you have a locking system and find its location.
Your garage door opener has settings that tell the door how far to move before it closes completely. If the distance in your settings doesn’t accurately reflect your garage, the door might come down to the ground, assume it has hit a foreign object, and reverse to avoid damaging the object. Look in your owner’s manual to see how to change this setting, or call an expert if you don’t think you can’t handle the adjustment on your own.
Don’t let issues with your garage door disturb your home’s peace or safety. Look through these common problems and call a professional to remedy the situation and reestablish a happy dwelling.