Most Common Garage Door Problems and How to Solve Them

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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You know the rule. The more you use something, the higher the chances it breaks. And since you use your garage every day, it's likely your garage door will malfunction from time to time.

Fortunately, when it comes to garage door problems, they're usually relatively easy to solve. Of course, there are cases when professional garage door repair services are necessary, but as with everything, it depends on the issue you've come across.

With that in mind, before you make any call and spend money on repairs, it's best to learn a thing or two about the most common garage door issues. Knowing them will help you determine whether you need to call a professional or solve the problem yourself.

What are they? You'll find the answer in the guide below.

Garage Door Won’t Open or Close

Smooth opening and closing is the sole purpose of any door. Garage doors are no exception. That's why, if your door won't close or open as it should, it's high time to take a closer look at the issue.

Usually, problems with opening and closing happen when you don't use your door for an extended period and don't maintain it properly. Many people panic when such issues occur. However, they're usually relatively easy to repair.

The only problem is that a variety of things can cause the opening or closing system to malfunction. The case may be that:

As you can see, there are many reasons why you can't open or close the door properly. Some of them, like replacing a remote or adjusting a close-limit switch, are easy to do. However, when it comes to taking care of your door's opener motor, it's best to contact a professional. The same goes for cold weather-related problems.

Broken Garage Door Springs

Broken torsion springs are one of the most common garage door issues. How to determine whether they've broken, though? Well, if you're at home when a torsion spring breaks, you can be sure that you'll hear it.

If you weren't around when it happened, and you notice that your door isn't working correctly, then it's best to check if everything is in place. Look at the overhead assembly and make sure all springs are there.

Once you notice broken springs, the first thing to do is to call for professional help. Remember not to open or even close the garage door without them, as you will more severely damage the assembly.

The Photo-Eye Sensor Doesn’t Work

Newer models of garage doors come with so-called photo eyes. They're sensors that can detect if someone or something is blocking a door from closing entirely.

It's usually located about 4 to 6 inches from the ground, and the eye itself is no bigger than a pea. Every time your garage door opens and closes, it shoots a laser across the door's length to the other sensors.

Any disruption can cause issues, preventing your door from closing. That's why if you notice such a problem in your garage, the case may be that something is blocking the photo-eye.

If not, you should check the cord and see whether it's damaged. It may also require adjustments.

For more information, you can always call your garage door manufacturer or professional repair service.

The Door Won’t Respond to Keypad or Remote

The garage door opener can operate via a wall keypad or remote. It makes opening or closing the door much more comfortable. The only problem, though, is that wireless remotes tend to break or not respond.

That's why if you notice that your opener doesn't respond to your commands, don't panic. You can be out of range of the antenna inside the garage. If it's not that, take a closer look at the antenna itself, as it might also be damaged.

You can try to reprogram the remote or keypad, too. You can do it yourself, but make sure to contact the manufacturer for more information.

Also, before you start any more serious repairs, take a look at your batteries. Chances are that all you need to do is replace them.

A Motor Won’t Stop

Every time you close your garage door, the motor should stop right after it goes all the way up. If it keeps working, it's time to contact a garage door repair specialist before the problem becomes even more severe.

Usually, motor-related issues require up-limit switch adjustments. If you know a thing or two about such things, you can try and take care of it yourself. However, it's always best to consult with a professional first.

The Door Makes Odd Noises

If you hear your garage door make weird, scratching noises that it hasn't been making before, then it's a clear sign something is wrong. Don't panic, though. It's likely just debris or dirt in the tracks, and all you need to do is give your door a proper cleaning.

However, it can also mean that your springs, rollers, or fingers reach their lifespan limit. They may have also become rusty. You can apply lubricant to silence your door for a moment, but it's a temporary solution.

The sad truth is that it's high time to replace them. In an extreme case, you even may need to install a new garage door.

Bottom Line

Having a reliable and efficient garage door can increase your home's safety, design, and overall estate value. The problem is, though, the more you use them, the more vulnerable to malfunctions they become.

Fortunately, as you can see, some problems you can repair yourself, without spending too much on professional services. That won't always be the case, though.

However, even when you can't deal with the problem yourself, it's best to know exactly what the problem with your garage door is. It will allow you to give more specific information to the repair company, ensuring they take care of the right thing faster and more effectively.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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