Problems to Look for When Your Garage Door Won't Open or Close


If your garage door is stuck shut or won't close properly, there are a few problems that could be causing this. Some are minor and won't require any repairs while others are a bit more serious. When you go out to investigate, figuring out the type of problem you are having can help you find the source; your garage door and opener have many components, but analyzing the problem can actually be a quick process.

When Your Door Opener Doesn't Move

If you press your garage door opener's remote or wall switch and nothing happens (e.g., it makes no sounds and makes no attempt to move), the best place to start is by looking at your garage door opener itself. There are a few components here that could be causing the problem:

  • The motor: If the motor makes no noise, it may not be receiving power. Check the power cables to make sure it is plugged in, then check your circuit panel to make sure the breaker for that circuit hasn't tripped. Reset it if necessary, then try again.
  • The remote: Your remote could be out of battery or the channel switches could have been moved out of place. Check your remote channel settings against what is currently displayed on the motor to make sure they match.
  • The sensors: Two sensors on either side of the door face each other and prevent the door from moving if anything interrupts the signal. If the sensors aren't aligned properly, the door will not close. You may also have an obstacle in the way; if everything looks clear, make sure there is no light glaring into the sensors. Strong sunlight, for example, can fool the sensor into thinking there is an obstacle.

When Your Door Moves Partially

A door that won't open or close all the way could be physically blocked from doing so. This is often the case if your door tries to move but you hear clunking or grinding sounds. Garage doors and their tracks need to be aligned carefully to make sure they can open and close smoothly.

  • Warped doors: Doors of certain materials, like wood, can warp over time if they aren't properly maintained. As the door warps, it puts pressure on the door tracks because its shape has changed. Though a warped door is not impossible to fix, consider the cost of repairs versus a new set of doors, perhaps made of material that is more resistant to moisture.
  • Track alignment problems: Sometimes the tracks themselves can come out of alignment. As you try to open and close the doors, watch the tracks closely. If they shake or rattle, or if the wheels inside press against the sides, the tracks themselves may need to be realigned.
  • Blockage in the tracks: Dirt and debris buildup in the tracks can prevent the wheels from moving properly, which will stop the door from moving past the blockage. Take a flashlight and look up and down the tracks on both sides to make sure the wheels have a clear path.

When Your Door Falls Closed

If you've tried closing your garage door and it seems to fall to the ground rather than being set down gently, you could have a broken or worn tension spring. These are designed to bear most of the weight of the door, but if it's not working, your door may slam shut or have difficulty opening all the way.

When the Motor Runs but the Door Doesn't Move

If you use an automatic garage door opener, it has a disconnect switch that disconnects the door from the motor chain and lets you open and close it manually. If this has been disconnected for any reason, the motor will run, but nothing will happen. With the door fully closed, look at the disconnect switch (usually located near the end of the chain farthest from the motor) and make sure it's connected properly. For assistance, contact a professional like Duncan Door Service Inc.


27 August 2015

Finding the Right Garage Door

When my husband and I first built our home, we had no idea which kind of garage door would blend in with the exterior facade of our place. However, after we mulled over a bunch of different options, we decided to go with a few fancy, carriage door styled garage doors. In addition to adding an old-world feel to our place, they also worked incredibly well. I know that it sounds silly, but our garage doors are one of my favorite things about our new place. I want you to love your garage doors as much as I love mine, which is why I built this website.