What to do When You’re Having Garage Door Troubles
Is your garage door not opening properly? After opening and closing hundreds of times over many months and years, it’s eventually bound to need some attention. There are a number of reasons you could be encountering difficulties with your garage door. Some are simple, and some are complicated, but there’s certainly no reason to panic. Let’s take a look at some of the most likely possibilities.
- If your door won’t close, it may be that the photo eye is simply out of alignment. Your garage door has a photo eye on either side. Between the two eyes is an invisible beam, which, when broken, stops the door from closing. Check to see if these photo eyes have become dirty or misaligned.
- Check your transmitter batteries. Maybe they just need to be replaced, and that’s all you have to do.
- Does your garage door opener run for a few seconds, but then it turns off? If your garage door still isn’t moving, this can happen when the door is closed and the door motor is trying to lift the door, yet it won’t move. First, check the springs. If that isn’t the problem, check the track for any obstacles. If neither of these is the problem, then see if your garage door may have a built-in lock that’s engaging by mistake. This commonly happens with older garage doors.
- Does the garage door opener run, but the garage door doesn’t move at all? In case the power fails, your garage door opener comes with a disconnect switch, which allows you to manually open or close the garage door. This switch is normally attached to a knob or rope, which can come unhooked inadvertently. Close or open the door all the way, and then securely reattach the hook. Then, using the transmitter, you can try opening or closing the garage door again, and it should work fine this time.
- What if your garage door opens and closes at random? If your garage door is opening or closing by itself, even when you aren’t home, of course this isn’t safe or practical. The solution may simply involve checking the transmitters. Make sure they’re not stuck under an object that might inadvertently depress the control mechanism. For example, the transmitters could be under some items you’ve left in your car, or somewhere else nearby. Also test the transmitters’ frequency. There’s a possibility that one of your neighbors may have the same frequency as yours.
- Does the door go down all the way, and then open up again? It’s probable that the open-and-close limit settings of your garage door opener are out of whack. These settings instruct the garage door opener on how far the garage door should move before it’s fully closed. If the settings are too high, the door will hit the ground before the opener thinks it should, assuming the door is hitting something in its path. It will then automatically reverse, to keep from crushing it. Check the operator’s manual for how to set the open-and-close limits.
MORE COMPLICATED ISSUES
- What if your garage door closes only part way, and then opens again? A garage door is designed with a reversing mechanism to prevent it from crushing an object in its path. The reversing instruction can be triggered by any objects on the ground that are blocking the garage door’s path, such as a garbage can, toy, or bicycle. But there could also be a buildup of debris on the garage door tracks ~ any small object, dirt, gum, etc. ~ which will prevent the rollers from moving forward. This can be a real problem, requiring expert attention.
- How about a garage door that closes quickly with a bang! First, you may have a broken tension spring, which should be countering the weight of the door. Or, the cables connected to the tension spring may have broken. Either way, this problem could be dangerous. It’s time for you to hire a garage door professional service.
- Your garage door track could be out of alignment. This can be serious. The metal track of your garage door must be properly aligned, or it won’t move. Look for any bends in the rails, or any gaps between the rollers and the rail. The weight of the garage door can compound these issues as time goes by, so don’t put it off, because the door could become dangerous to operate. It’s time to call a professional.
- If your garage door doesn’t go up, it’s highly likely that it’s the garage door spring that needs attention. Your garage door may come with one or two torsion springs. If either of these springs is broken, the door may act up, or not even open at all. If so, then it’s time to hire a professional.
- NEVER ATTEMPT to adjust your garage door, unless you’re an engineer! If not properly serviced, a garage door spring can actually cause serious injury, and perhaps even death. The garage door cables, drums, bottom brackets, may also need adjusting. Avoid serious injury! Hire a reliable local professional garage door repair company. If you reside anywhere in Newnan, Georgia, you may want to choose a trustworthy company such as Newnan Garage Repair.
- Keep a regular garage door maintenance schedule, which will prolong the life of your garage door. Since your garage door is the biggest operating appliance in your home, it’s wise to keep it in tiptop shape. Especially if you use your garage as a workshop or game room, keep it well-maintained overall.
Keep your garage door springs, rollers, and hinges lubricated ~ at least once per year, before winter comes. Some garage door experts say it’s best to lubricate them every three months. Use a reputable brand, so it won’t dry out, because without lubrication, the springs will eventually rust, and the coils will end up binding against each other. A light coating is all you need.
About once a month, inspect the components of your garage door system. As you find any worn parts, replace them. Tighten down any loose bolts. If you ever notice any strange noises as your garage door opens and closes, be sure to investigate.
Schedule an annual inspection with your local garage door repair service. Cables, springs, pulleys, and wires definitely require extra attention by a professional.
At least every other year, clean your garage door to make it last longer. Wash it on both sides with a sponge and some mild dish soap and water. Rinse it well with clean water. Don’t forget the garage door opener sensor eyes; wash them with a clean, dry cloth. Keep the area around the sensors free of cobwebs and dirt. If you have a steel garage door, apply car wax if you desire added cold-weather protection. If you have a wooden garage door, at any signs of chipping and peeling, give it a fresh coat of paint.
Garage door maintenance is relatively easy, and the little time required to keep your garage door in excellent shape is certainly worth it. You won’t have to spend too much repairing your garage door, nor are you likely to have to replace it for many years.