Most people don’t think about their garage doors until something goes wrong. When they work well, they protect your vehicle and belongings from intruders and the weather. If you’re experiencing issues with your garage door, check out these troubleshooting steps before calling a professional. Sometimes a faulty garage door has a simple fix.
If Your Garage Door Won’t Close
When a garage door opens fine but won’t close, the issue is typical with the sensors, which are located on either side of the door near the floor. Your door won’t close if these sensors cannot complete the path of the beam that runs between them.
Fortunately, this can be a quick fix. First, ensure that nothing in your garage blocks the sensors, including your vehicle. After ruling that out, check that the sensors are clean as dirt can block the beam. If your sensors are clear and clean, they may have become out of alignment, which can happen due to the vibration of the garage door. You may be able to align the door or enlist a professional to do the job.
If Your Door Reopens As Soon As It Closes
Just like the sensors prevent the garage door from closing if something blocks the beam, your garage door has a safety mechanism that reverses the door as soon as it makes contact with something. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that garage doors without this safety feature are a hazard.
Removing any objects that might be in your door’s way is the first troubleshooting step. However, if you do not see anything touching the door itself, check the track for rocks or other debris that block the rollers and cause the reversal. Occasionally, you may need to reset the opening and closing limits following the instructions in your garage door’s manual.
If Your Garage Door Makes A Large Noise
A sound like a thunderstorm or similarly booms, it could be the springs snapping. Although the springs of a garage door can last for years — up to seven commonly — they will eventually wear out and need to be replaced after lifting hundreds of pounds of weight every time they’ve activated. This is absolutely a door for a professional.
Some doors have two springs, which allows them to remain operational even if one spring breaks. However, this causes the garage door motor to work harder than it should.
If Your Garage Door Does Nothing
The easiest fix to a garage that does not activate is to change or charge the batteries in your remote. Before changing the batteries, you can test if your garage door is functional by activating the transmitter-receiver on the wall. If your door responds, the remote is the issue.
The remote could still be faulty, even if batteries are not the issue, however. Make sure that your remote is as well as the antenna are clean. Since these things are both stored in your garage, which is much dirtier than the typical home, they can easily become dirty, and that dirt blocks the signal.
Occasionally, the antenna can become physically damaged, preventing it from receiving the signal from your remote and opening or closing your garage door.
Finally, check the disconnect switch, which often has a rope activator or another type of knob. This switch disconnects the garage door from the motor to prevent it from moving. While this is sometimes useful, it can be frustrating if someone or something hits the switch by accident.
If Your Door Opens and Closes On Its Own
There are urban legends of phantom garage door activity that are actually true! A garage door that seems to have a mind of its own may be responding to a nearby remote that uses the same frequency. Pay attention if your garage door acts up at the same time every day. It just might be your neighbor leaving for or returning from work.
Check the manual for your garage door to see if you can change the frequency of your garage door opener.
If these troubleshooting steps haven’t corrected the issue with your garage door, it’s time to call in a professional who can safely diagnose and repair the issue.