Garage doors are an essential part of everyday life. Most people expect them to open on cue at the start of the day and welcome the car home in the evening without fuss. A malfunctioning garage door can disrupt your entire day, making you late for work or school as your car is held hostage.

There are many possible reasons why your garage door may not be opening when it should or as smoothly as it usually does. The good news is that there are a few simple and effective things you can do yourself to troubleshoot your garage door issues. The next time your garage door is on the fritz, follow these steps to make your garage door as good as new.

  1. Ensure the photo-eye is aligned

If the garage door isn’t opening, there is a good chance that a misaligned photo-eye is the culprit. The photo-eye detects a person or object in the way of the door and must be kept free of dirt and dust to ensure proper function. The photo-eye is sensitive enough to pick up even the smallest speck of dust, inhibiting the door from its proper operation. The LED laser beams of the photo-eye should be aligned, the wiring should be plugged in, and large obstructions should be kept clear of the eye to ensure it can do its job.

  1. Check the power source

It may seem obvious, but make sure your door is both plugged in and turned on at the wall. Bumping the plug from the wall or disconnecting the power source is a simple mistake that people make not knowing their function. It is possible that the outlet has broken or damaged without warning, so check its function by plugging in another device before assuming the entire door is busted.

  1. Make sure it’s not locked

It is often the best and smartest practice to lock the garage door when away for long periods or even overnight for peace of mind. Some modern doors have locks that can activate inadvertently. Before investing time and money into exploring why your garage door isn’t opening – check that it isn’t simply locked.

  1. Turn it off and on again

The timeless advice to turn technology off and on again – a ’forced system reboot’ – is relevant to both garage doors and their controllers. Alternatively, the easiest way to determine if the problem is with the door or the remote is to attempt controlling the door with the wall-mounted keypad. If the door works, the remote may need resetting or new batteries. If this isn’t the issue, try resetting the door at the power source by turning it off, waiting 10 seconds and turning it on again. Sometimes the system just needs a reboot after being on day and night.

  1. Check the alignment

There are many essential moving parts to an automatic garage door, and it is the important role of the cables to manoeuvre the door on demand. The metal tracks keep the garage door aligned so the operating system can function efficiently, and the tracks need to be straight to allow the door to open and close. When looking over the tracks, make sure the door is rolling smoothly along, that there are no bumps or gaps in the track, or that there aren’t any strange sounds coming from the door when it’s moving.

  1. Check the springs

One of the worst sounds you can hear as a homeowner is the ‘snap bang crash’ of a garage door torsion spring snapping. It can be as loud as a firework and can be the reason why your garage door isn’t operating as it should. Snapping springs are one of the most common reasons why professionals are called to repair garage doors, and they are often the first thing to break in the door system.

  1. Look over the cables

Like the wheels and sprockets of a bike, the cables of a garage door system can often slip or pop off, disengaging them. This can lead to the cables snapping causing damage to the wall, a vehicle or injury to people in the garage. A snapped or misaligned cable will require a professional to repair it.

  1. There may be something in the way

One of the safety features of modern automatic garage doors is an auto-reverse feature that will stop the door when it encounters objects, vehicles, animals or people. If the door closes halfway before reversing back up again, there may be an object in the way of the sensor preventing it from closing all the way. It can be as simple as dirt on the tracks or a tennis ball on the garage floor. Wipe the tracks down and sweep the floor to ensure this isn’t the case.

  1. Issues with the remote control

When your garage door isn’t working, the problem isn’t always to do with the door. Often, the problem begins with the remote. The remote may not be working for a few reasons, including being out of range of the sensor, the antenna may be blocked, the remote needs new batteries or new programming.

Once you know what the problem is with the door, it is simpler for a professional to quote the repair or for you to complete the repair yourself. Issues with garage doors aren’t necessarily common when they are expertly installed but they can be expensive and annoying when they do occur. If your garage door is misbehaving and you urgently need to get out of the garage, there is a safety mechanism that will allow you to pull the door up with a levee. This will keep your door up so you can use your garage while you wait for help to come and fix the issue.

Garage Door Maintenance Goes a Long Way…

Prevention is always better than a cure and some simple garage door maintenance steps will go a long way in preventing issues from occurring in the future. On our blog, How to maintain your garage door, we list some essential steps for proper garage door maintenance, these include:

  • Maintaining proper lubrication
  • Cleaning the tracks
  • Realigning the sensors
  • Checking the rollers aren’t chipped or worn
  • Ensuring the cables and pulleys are properly attached to the door
  • Ensuring the auto-reverse function isn’t damaged or faulty

Garage door maintenance is an often overlooked but important part of homeownership. By knowing how your door functions and what is needed for its proper maintenance, you will be saving yourself time, money and effort.

When in Doubt, Call the Experts…

Our team of experts can help the next time your garage door isn’t behaving as it should. With over 40 years of experience, we have never met a garage door we couldn’t fix or create a maintenance plan that didn’t ensure a long-lasting and well-functioning door. An automatic garage door can keep your valuables and your loved ones safe while adding value to your home and making your front façade look great.

Whether you require a new residential or commercial garage door, if you’re searching for the peace of mind that proper maintenance can bring, or if you require a system upgrade, we can help. Our extensive product selection guide allows you to select the perfect garage door for your home, whether you like a natural look, industrial vibe or classic appeal.

To claim your free quote or discuss your garage doors contact us today. From the simple repair of your existing door to the complete overhaul of your garage, we can help Australia wide.

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