When leaving for work this morning, was your garage door refusing to either open or close? While an uncooperative garage door is inconvenient for homeowners, it’s common for them to experience problems opening and closing due to the constant strain, pressure and weight they’re under.
The most typical reasons your garage door won’t open or close are related to mechanical issues or a garage door opener motor malfunction. Some of these garage door issues can be easily repaired with a few adjustments, while others are more complicated or hazardous for homeowners to replace themselves and require the assistance of a local garage door repair company.
Garage Door Won’t Open With the Remote Control
Garages see lots of use and with that comes wear and tear. Problems with opening are one of the most common garage door problems homeowners see. Sometimes your remote garage door opener is experiencing issues, preventing your door from opening. Most problems with the remote can be solved with a few quick fixes, although some may require additional help.
Try fixing your remote opener issues with these troubleshooting tips:
- Dead batteries: Dead batteries may be the culprit if your garage door won’t open. Try the wall-mounted door control — if it works, your remote has dead batteries. Garage door batteries last approximately two years before they need replacement. Homeowners can quickly and easily switch their remote batteries by removing the back panel and inserting fresh batteries. If the remote still won’t operate the door, make sure you’re within range of the opener. If the door opens with the remote when you’re within 20 feet of it but won’t raise when you’re down the street, you’re likely out of the opener’s range.
- Lock mode engaged: Your lock button may be engaged. Pressing this button for too long will activate the opener’s lock mode, stopping the door from opening. Press the lock button to easily switch this setting off. Check the garage’s wall-mounted panel and press the lock button to unlock the door.
- Signal disruption: If you’ve replaced the batteries and checked lock mode, there could be a remote signal disruption. Try your remote within 20 feet of the garage door. If that doesn’t work, it could be the opener receiving antennae. Look for debris buildup or damage on the antennae. If you don’t see buildup or problems with the antennae, contact a professional for further assistance.
- Reprogram remote: Resetting the remote is another fix to try before getting professional help. To do this, find and press the remote’s learn button. Then, hold the open button for three seconds or until the garage opener lights flash. If the remote was successfully reprogrammed, the garage should open.
- Reset GFI: Your garage might have a Ground Fault Interpreter (GFI) issue. The GFI guards your home against electrical problems like overheating. A blown or malfunctioning GFI may prevent the door from working. Locate the wall outlet for the garage door — it may be in the laundry room, main bathroom or garage — and press the reset button to fix the GFI.
If you try these quick fixes and your garage still won’t open, it could be time to call a professional. Technicians will inspect your system, diagnose the issue and recommend the action you should take.
The Garage Door Will Not Open at All
If your garage door doesn’t open manually, you have a serious problem. To determine the cause of your garage door malfunction, you should attempt several safe troubleshooting methods to try to solve the issue.
The most common causes of why a garage door won’t open include:
- Broken springs: Having broken torsion or extension springs is one of the most common reasons a garage door won’t properly open. This could be the culprit if you experienced any signs of a broken spring before the door stopped working, like balance issues and excessive squeaking. Springs are designed to last a determined number of cycles before finally wearing and breaking. Torsion springs will last up to 20,000 cycles, while extension springs should reliably function up to 10,000 cycles. Once a spring breaks, the door is too heavy to be lifted by the motor alone and requires replacing to restore movement.
- Worn cables: Like the garage door torsion or extension springs, cables are also responsible for controlling smooth, safe and reliable garage door movement. Typically, when the garage door springs break, the cables will also need to be replaced. Due to the dangerous nature of replacing springs and cables, a professional should perform replacement efforts.
- Stripped garage door opener gear: A stripped garage door opener gear typically occurs when the door is too heavy for the opener to lift and there’s too much strain. If this is the case, you’ll hear a humming or grinding noise from the opener as it struggles to raise and lower the door. Either replace the damaged gear or consider upgrading your opener to a more suitable model to solve this issue.
- Misaligned track: Along with checking the cables, ensure the track is not misaligned and that the door is not crooked or sitting incorrectly. There are many ways track problems can occur, so look at your door to ensure it’s seated properly. Try not to force the garage door open — this could cause more damage to the system. To examine the track, turn off any automatic garage systems and check to see that the door is completely closed. Track issues can be dangerous, so call a technician to correct the alignment.
- Door sensor issue: The door sensor acts as a safety measure for the door. It detects objects and people that are blocking the door from opening safely. Problems with the garage door sensor may stop the garage from opening. Try cleaning the eye and clearing obstructions in front of it. If this doesn’t work, use a level to ensure the sensors are level with each other. Also, look for any damage to the wiring, as broken or chewed wires mean the whole system needs replacing.
If your garage door doesn’t open manually, don’t try to force it. If none of the above solutions work, you’ll need to contact an expert who can safely check your door and help with any garage door repair.
Garage Door Stuck Halfway
A garage door that is stuck halfway can expose your garage to harsh weather, animals and insects, so getting it back in working order is essential to keeping your home secure. Many of the troubleshooting tips for a garage door that won’t open work for halfway-stuck doors, so check the list above for possible solutions. If these don’t work, it might be one of these issues:
- Poor lubrication: A lack of lubrication can stop the garage door from working correctly. Use a silicone-based lube on the track, chains and springs every few months to prevent opening issues from occurring.
- Blocked rail: With the garage door opening and closing often, debris buildup is inevitable. Dirt and leaves can collect on the rails and cause problems with the door. Ensure the rails are clean and clear of any debris that would stop the door from fully opening.
- Pulley or spring damage: Along with broken springs, pulley damage can prevent a garage door from working. If your pulleys and springs are adequately lubricated, and the door still won’t open, call a professional. Leave springs and pulleys to trained technicians, as they hold a lot of tension and can be dangerous to work with.
When checking for issues with your garage door, only do what you’re comfortable with. Garage doors can be dangerous and professionals should handle malfunctioning doors whenever possible. If a simple solution isn’t correcting the problem, schedule an appointment to diagnose your garage’s issue without risking your safety.
Garage doors can stop opening for many reasons — there could be mechanical or technical errors or it might be time to replace your garage door opener.
For Quality Garage Door Repairs, Contact RCS Carolina Garage Doors
For the best, most knowledgeable and reliable garage door repair and maintenance services throughout North and South Carolina, contact your local, skilled experts at RCS Carolina Garage Doors. We have over 20 years of experience serving homeowners throughout the Charlotte area and beyond. We believe in offering our customers affordable, quality garage door services using only the best products and materials available to guarantee lasting, dependable repairs.