If you’re like most homeowners, your garage is something you use daily. It can be super frustrating when your garage door won’t open, especially when you are in a hurry and need to get your car out of the garage. Knowing what is wrong with your garage door may help you to determine if it is a problem that you can handle on your own or if it is time to call a professional for assistance. To help you troubleshoot your garage door issues, keep reading to learn about some of the top reasons why your garage door may not be opening.
5 Common Causes for Why You’re Garage Door Isn’t Opening
1. Track is Out of Alignment
The metal tracks help to keep a garage door in line and help the operating system to function more efficiently. In order for the garage door to open and close, the tracks must be straight and even at all times. A garage door that jerks around or makes grinding noises may have fallen out of alignment.
To assess whether the garage door track is misaligned:
- Be Gentle with the Door: Make sure that you do not try to force your garage door open or closed, as this could cause damage to the door. Forcefully operating your garage door could bend the tracks and cause the door to pop out.
- Use Your Eyes and Ears: Check the track carefully for any bends, gaps or obstacles. If you hear any friction or see any jams along the track, a misaligned track could be the issue.
- Adjust the Track: Before you try to make any adjustments to the garage door track, ensure that the garage door is completely closed. You may also want to turn off the automatic feature on your garage as an additional safety measure. Begin by loosening the screws that hold the track to its frame. Gently tap the track back into its proper place and tighten the screws.
- Call Your Local Garage Door Professionals: If your garage door track is out of alignment, it is recommended that you contact a professional garage door inspector to examine your garage door and put it back on track.
2. Photo Eye is Out of Alignment
Every garage door has a safety sensor, known as the photo eye. The purpose of the photo eye is to detect any objects or people in the way of the door. If you hear a clicking noise and see a light flash from the garage door opener, there may be a problem with the photo eye. There are several reasons why your garage door’s photo may be out of alignment. Try these helpful tips for realigning photo eyes:
- Clean the Photo Eye: Occasionally, dirt and dust can accumulate and clog the safety sensor, causing the garage door to freeze in place. Use a cloth or a tissue to clean the photo eye and then test the garage door.
- Remove Any Large Obstructions: The photo eye works by having two pieces that align face-to-face across each side of the garage door. A pea-sized LED laser beam is sent from one end of the garage door to the other, detecting if any objects or people are in the path of the garage door.
- Check the Wiring of the Photo Eyes: The safety sensors on garage doors are typically about 4 to 6 inches off of the ground. Occasionally, these cords can become damaged due to harsh rainstorms, hungry pests, or excessive use. Check the cords for any rips or damages. If the wires are broken, you will need to replace the photo eye sensor.
3. Broken Tension Springs
One of the most common reasons for why a garage door will not open is a broken tension spring. Garage tension springs help to control the movement on the garage door. When the tension springs are weakened, it could lead to your garage door not working. Tension springs are found in both manual and automatic garage door systems. Two torsion springs run horizontally over the width of the door, while two extension springs help to lift and lower the door along the track.
Some of the most common reasons that your garage door’s tension springs may be broken include:
- Wear and Tear: Tension springs are rated according to their number of cycles. After a tension spring has used up all of its cycles, it stops working. Springs that are used in excess have been known to snap abruptly while the garage door is in motion.
- Improper Maintenance: It is recommended that you inspect your garage door’s tension springs at least once per year. If you notice that your tension springs have become weaker, replace them before they break to prevent any further damage.
- Rust: Another common reason for tension springs to break is rust. As rust develops on the tension springs, it increases friction on the coil as it moves. Make sure to spray your springs with a silicone-based lubricant at least once a season to help prevent any rust damage.
4. The Transmitter Batteries are Dead
Although it may seem fairly obvious, if the batteries in your garage door transmitter are dead, the transmitter will not be able to send a signal to your garage door to open. Begin by checking to see if the transmitter inside your garage still opens your garage when pressed. If so, then the transmitter in your car likely just needs a battery replacement.
If the transmitter in your garage is dead, open the door on the back of the transmitter to remove the old batteries and replace them with new batteries. Once the battery is in place, test the transmitter. If it works, replace the transmitter door.
5. The Door was Manually Locked
If you have already checked the other issues and those things appear to be fine, check to see if the lock on your garage door is engaged. Many garage doors come with manual locks, especially older models. Typically, these look like a handle or knob in the middle of the garage door with two bars running horizontally from each side. To manually unlock your garage door, simply turn the handle or knob until you hear a clicking sound. This will cause the horizontal bars to move away from the edges and secure the handle in the open position.
Let The Garage Door Guy Corp Lend a Hand
While you can perform preventative maintenance to reduce the risk of your garage door rollers coming off-track, if you notice that any of the rollers are already off-track it is highly advised that you call a garage door professional to assess the situation and complete the right repairs. Whether your rollers are off track, you need a spring replacement, or you are in need of a new garage door, call our team at The Garage Door Guy Corp today. We are here and happy to help!