Many things can cause overhead garage doors not to operate correctly, and when that happens, it causes inconvenience and headaches. As a homeowner, you and the members of your household rely on your home’s garage door to store vehicles and tools, and for many of us, it is also the primary way we access our homes. For commercial garage operators, a broken garage door can put a halt to daily productivity.
We’ve identified eight specific issues that point to a need for immediate attention or garage door systems repair. Damage that affects a garage door’s operation can be a potentially dangerous problem and is not something you should attempt to repair yourself.
Look for these eight signs as you diagnose your garage door and decide whether it’s time for a repair.
1. Overhead Garage Door Will Not Open or Close
While it sounds simple on the surface, a stuck garage door can be more complicated when it comes to finding the root cause. It’s possible to diagnose and solve some overhead garage door problems on your own, while others signal a more severe issue that requires expertise and the proper tools to resolve. When you go down the list of the problems that can cause a door not to open or close, you’ll see many variables and potential issues:
- The power source is not active or functioning
- Something is blocking the door sensor eye
- The extension springs or torsion springs are broken
- The overhead garage door is off its track
- Your garage door opener remote needs a new battery
- Something has blocked the door’s operation
- The door’s reverser sensitivity needs adjustment
- Cables are loose or have snapped
- Critical settings, such as the limit settings, are not correct
- The door is “locked”
While some issues that stop your door from opening or closing may be a quick fix, others are more severe. If the door stops working and you cannot figure out why, it’s probably time for a repair.
2. Garage Door Stalls or Provides Delayed Response When Opening
Garage doors operate on a system of springs, sensors, pulleys and tracks. Any of these mechanisms can be at fault when the door opens very slowly or stalls in the up or down position. Sometimes, simple lubrication and adjustment of speed settings can solve the problem. Often, the issue is more severe and requires professional repair. Broken hinges, a door that is misaligned or off track, snapped cables or tension springs can also cause stalling or delays. In those cases, repairs are usually too complicated to handle yourself.
3. You Cannot Manually Lift the Garage Door When the Release Is Disengaged
If your door is already having an issue, you might try disengaging the opener to open the door manually. If the door still won’t open, it can be a particularly annoying problem, especially if your vehicle is in the garage. Most garage door openers today have a bypass switch for when the power goes out, the overhead lift motor stops working or you need to operate your door manually.
Typically, the manual release is a rope with a handle on the end that, when pulled, disengages the automated trolley to allow manual lifting. The door should open without much effort if the moving metal parts of your door are working correctly. If you’ve disengaged the emergency release and cannot lift the door manually, there is something wrong, such as broken springs or cables.
4. Garage Door Won’t Close Completely
When your garage door won’t close all the way, it can be just as frustrating as when it won’t open. Depending on how far down it goes, it can leave your garage unsecured. When it leaves even the slightest crack, the weatherstripping cannot seal tightly against the floor, allowing conditioned air to escape and extreme temperatures and moisture to seep indoors.
You can sometimes resolve this issue on your own. For example, your garage door opener’s distance setting could be off. If its setting is too high, the garage door will stop short of hitting the floor. Misaligned photo eye safety sensors near the bottom of your door can cause it to reverse directions while closing or stop short of the ground. If you exhaust these quick fixes and the issue doesn’t resolve, it can be a sign you need to call a professional. Damage to the springs, tracks or cables can all be the culprit.
5. Garage Door Is Off Its Track
A garage door that has come off its track can be very dangerous. Risk of severe injury to you or your family can result if the door should suddenly fall or become dislodged from the garage door tracks or framework designed to hold it in place. A door can come off its track if the overall alignment is not correct, if a cable has broken or if the rollers are damaged. Should you hit the garage door with your vehicle or another moving object, this can also cause an overhead door to come off its track. It’s time to call in the garage door services experts to resolve the problem safely.
6. Automatic Opener Won’t Raise or Lower the Door
Automatic garage door openers are convenient inventions, until, for some reason, they stop working. You can resolve the issue quickly if a power outage or exhausted batteries are at the root of this problem. If it’s not a dead battery, often, it is a worn-out gear or the motor in the opener unit itself that has finally given out, and it is time for a full replacement. We recommend hiring a garage door services professional to complete the installation because of the dangers involved and the specialized tools required to do this properly. Also, most opener manufacturers will not honor warranties for DIY installations.
7. Garage Door Panels Are Broken or Damaged
Broken overhead garage doors and door panels are unsightly, and can also pose security concerns. They allow heating and cooling to escape, leading to increased costs for businesses and homeowners. Once a door becomes torn, dented or broken, the damage can get worse. The functionality of the door will become compromised if you don’t address the problem. Deciding between a repair or replacement can be tough. Either way, having a broken panel repaired is a must if you want your garage door to function correctly.
8. Garage Door Torsion or Extension Springs Are Broken
One of the most severe issues a garage door can have is a problem with the springs. All garage doors open and close using either torsion or extension springs. A torsion spring will sit centered above the garage door, and extension springs are on either side of the door, along the tracks. Both are under a high level of tension when the door is closed, which creates the strength needed to lift the door. If the coils are worn or the spring snaps, it can leave you unable to open the door.
Springs are a crucial component of the door’s mechanical movement, and you should have them repaired by a professional as soon as possible. Any problems can cause the door to come crashing down at the wrong moment. Fixing springs is also no DIY project. Garage door springs, especially torsion springs, are tightly wound, and if one snaps during installation, it can cause serious injury. Call the pros at AAA Garage Door, Inc., to assist you.
Call a Garage Door Expert for Assistance
These are eight telltale signs that your garage door needs attention. Omaha area residents who experience any of these typical garage door problems should call a garage door repair company like AAA Garage Door at 402-727-0789. We’ll handle it so you can get back to having a safe, reliable overhead door when you need it. Learn how to make your garage door last longer.
Last Reviewed By Felipe Pinales on October 21, 2020