Few things are more frustrating than when your garage door gets jammed. Whether it gets stuck midway or just won’t open or close, it’s one of the most common problems we hear about from customers. Beyond trapping your car in or out of your garage, a jammed door can let in the elements, such as rain, leaves, and wildlife. While you won’t be able to fix every issue yourself, having a basic understanding of how garage doors work and their common problems can help you determine whether something is a simple DIY fix or the sort of problem you need to call in the pros.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most common garage door problems and the troubleshooting steps you should take when that door just doesn’t want to budge.

Common Causes for a Garage Door That Won't Move

Though there is a wide range of garage doors on the market, they all share similarities when it comes to basic mechanics. Therefore, there are some common causes and reasons why a garage door might not move. These include:

  • Sensor problems
  • Remote issues
  • Mechanical wear and tear
  • Obstructions
  • Broken parts
  • Issues with torsion springs/cables
  • Malfunctioning garage door openers
  • Lack of lubrication
  • Power problems.

Troubleshooting Steps

1. Checking the Power Source
If your garage door is not working at all, we always recommend investigating the simplest explanations first. Have a look to see whether everything is plugged in and turned on. It’s also worth checking any safety switches.

2. Inspecting the Remote Control
This is one of the most common but usually easy-to-fix problems. Check if the antenna is bent and that your batteries aren’t flat. If neither of these steps solves the problem, try re-programming the remote by following the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual. If you’re still having problems, it’s time to call a professional.

3. Examining the Safety Sensors
Try cleaning and properly aligning your sensors to give them the best chance of proper function.

4. Lubricating the Moving Parts
Lubricate springs, hinges, rollers, rails, and axles to ensure your door continues to operate smoothly. Do not lubricate the tracks.

5. Adjusting the Limit Settings
Sometimes, the settings of your garage door will need to be adjusted so your door runs at its best. Consult your owner’s manual to find out how to program your specific garage door model.

6. Fixing Broken or Loose Cables
Broken or loose cables are serious issues that need to be addressed by a professional. You should NOT attempt to fix this mechanism yourself.

7. Replacing Worn-out Rollers or Tracks
Sometimes, parts will break due to wear and tear and will need replacing. Rollers or tracks should be replaced by professionals.

8. Troubleshooting the Garage Door Opener Motor
If your remote appears to be working, try disconnecting your garage door opener motor from its power source. Connect a separate appliance (for example, a fan) to the power source and see if it operates. If it doesn’t, the power source is the issue. If it does, it may be time to have your motor checked.

9. Dealing with Obstructions or Blockages
Double-check that nothing is obstructing the path of your door or that nothing might be alerting the sensors.

10. Calling a Professional Garage Door Repair Service
While some issues are easy fixes, any major problems need to be addressed by professionals. Our team is experienced in servicing and repairing a wide range of garage doors.

DIY Fixes

Garage doors are heavy and potentially dangerous, so there are some repairs that homeowners shouldn’t try themselves. However, here are a few things you can try, such as:

  • Lubricating springs, hinges, rollers, rails, and axles to ensure everything is running smoothly.
  • Check the settings on your garage door opener.
  • Cleaning sensors and removing potential obstructions.
  • Make sure your remote batteries aren’t dead and that your power source is connected/running properly.
  • If you have a smart home setup that includes your garage door, check to make sure there aren’t any issues with network connectivity or your smart device.

When to Call a Professional

Beyond simple troubleshooting, it’s always best to call a professional when you need to fix your garage. The key reasons are that garage doors are heavy and can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Anything that involves replacing major parts (springs, cables, the door itself) is always best left to professionals. Along with safety issues, there’s also a chance you might make the issue worse and then have to call out the professional anyway (except that it’ll cost more with the additional damage)! Hiring a pro also lets you rest easy, knowing the job will be done right and that your warranty will remain valid.

The positive side is that Steel-Line Garage Doors’ professional team knows garage doors inside and out, and there isn’t much we haven’t seen before. Whether your door isn’t properly aligned, it’s due for a service, or the stubborn thing just won’t open, we’re here to help you. We offer a range of services, including repairs, routine servicing, and replacement.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

While it’s highly recommended you regularly have your garage door serviced by professionals, there are a few things you can do yourself to keep your garage door in good nick, such as:

  • Keep the tracks and rollers clean: Even a small amount of debris, dirt, or grit can obstruct your door. Keeping these tracks clean and rollers lubricated will help with better operation.
  • Check springs and cables for wear and tear: While actually fixing cables and springs is best left to the pros, you can monitor these parts of your garage, keeping an eye out for any fraying or concerning signs. If in doubt, it’s best to give us a call.
  • Watch your door open and close: Simply observing your door complete the entire opening or closing process gives you a chance to notice anything unusual. For example, is there a specific spot where the door catches or is having some trouble? This could be valuable information to supply your repairman.
  • Opener and remote checks: It never hurts to regularly check your garage door opener and remote to make sure they’re in working order. Few things are as frustrating as running late for an appointment only for the garage door not to let you out!
  • Check your garage lock: You need to be able to lock up and unlock your garage. Checking the locking mechanisms and lubricating them when necessary can keep your lock in good working condition.
  • Keep any obstructions away from your garage door: This may sound obvious, but it only takes one hit from a box or car bonnet to throw out your garage door, and it’s a common mistake anyone can make.

Steel-Line Garage Doors are Your Garage Door Experts!

Good maintenance and regular services are the best ways to get the most out of your garage door for years to come! Knowing which jobs are best left to the professionals is as important as knowing how to look after your door. At Steel-Line, we’re the one name you need to remember for all your garage door needs. We service and repair existing doors and sell, measure and install new doors if you’re looking for an upgrade. Get in touch with our friendly, expert team today!

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