Your garage door is likely your home’s largest moving appliance. Like any moving appliance, it can malfunction from time to time. When this happens, it can be a major inconvenience or even a safety hazard. A malfunctioning garage door might leave you stuck, decrease your home’s security or result in damaged property. It might also present a safety concern or cause injury.
If you’re experiencing issues with your garage door, it’s important to determine the cause. Use this guide to help you differentiate between common garage door problems. Once you know what’s going on, you can take steps to resolve the issue and prevent future problems.
My Garage Door Won’t Open or Close
The main garage door issue homeowners face is a door that won’t close or open. Being unable to operate your garage door could cause several issues. Your vehicle could be trapped inside, unusable, or it could be stuck outside, exposed to the elements. A door that’s stuck open will leave all your belongings exposed to the elements, wildlife and theft.
If your garage door won’t close or open, you’ll have to identify the underlying cause. Certain issues are noticeable at a glance, while others may be trickier to diagnose. Some of the most common garage door problems include:
–A broken garage opener: You may think your garage door itself is broken when, in reality, the opener is the issue. If your system’s opener malfunctions, the door may seem to have a mind of its own, refusing to close or opening and closing at random.
–Worn or snapped springs: Garage door springs operate under extreme tension, carrying the weight of the heavy door. If they wear too thin, they can snap, which will leave your door unable to open. Pay attention to the signs of wearing springs, including unusual sounds or movements. As soon as the springs start to wear thin, have them replaced before they snap, as they present a safety hazard.
–Damaged cables: Garage door cables are also important for operation, keeping the door suspended as it glides along its track. If your cables are damaged, you might notice shaky or rapid movement. That movement can be dangerous, so have a professional resolve the issue as soon as possible.
These garage door issues are common and fixable, as long as you can identify the source of the problem and contact a professional to replace or repair parts as needed. By scheduling preventive maintenance, you can reduce the odds of these issues occurring at inconvenient times. Waiting until a noticeable problem arises can end up creating a hassle in the long-run.
My Garage Door Opener Is Broken
Garage door openers provide convenience, allowing you to open or close your door from the comfort of your vehicle. With upgraded technology, you may even have an app paired with your garage, which lets you open it from anywhere in the world. But, like any piece of technology, a garage door opener can malfunction.
If your garage door opener breaks, the door will not be able to open or shut as it should. It might open partially then reverse. It might keep the motor running after the door is in place. Or it might send open or close signals at random. When one of these scenarios happens, a faulty opener may be to blame. Should you experience any of the following situations, you may need to have your garage door opener repaired.
Garage Door Opens Partially
A broken garage door opener might cause your door to open only part-way, then stop or reverse. If your garage door won’t shut, this might also be due to:
–Something blocking the safety sensor or the track
–A faulty logic control board
Be sure to check for any objects that might be blocking the door’s pathway or sensor. Your garage door has built-in safety sensors that keep it from closing if it detects an obstacle. This feature keeps you and your family safe, but a misaligned or blocked sensor will prevent the door from closing when nothing is in its path. Rake away leaves, shovel away snow and wipe off the sensor. You’ll also want to move any objects near where the door lands.
Once you’ve cleared the area under your door, test whether or not you can open it manually. If it’s an issue with the track or springs, you’ll have difficulty doing so. If the door opens by-hand without issue, then the opener or motor is the problem.
Garage Door Motor Keeps Running
If the garage door motor is running after the door is in place, this may also be the result of a broken opener. It might also be due to a faulty limit switch, which regulates when the motor should start and stop running. You might need a professional to readjust it.
Garage Door Opens and Closes at Random
You might also experience your garage door opening and closing without you operating your remote control. There are a few reasons this might happen, which include:
–Stuck buttons: If a button is stuck on your opener, it might send the signal to open or close the door on its own. Check that your opener button is clean and clear of any debris.
–An identical signal: Your opener remote uses a specific code and signal frequency to communicate with your garage door. There’s a chance your neighbor might have a remote that uses the same signal or frequency, which would cause your door to react when they use their buttons. Be sure to rule out this possibility before investing in a new opener.
–A circuit board short: Another possible explanation for random opening and closing is a circuit board or logic board short. A power surge or other electrical problem can cause this to happen.
My Garage Door Cable Is Broken
Garage door problems can also occur if you need to repair your cables. The cables keep the door lifted as it rolls into place, so strong cables are essential for safety — they can keep the door from falling if the springs snap. The cables work by transferring the stored energy in the springs to the door, allowing it to move along the track. Though they’re the most basic technology of the system, they have to be in good shape for the door to work.
Most garage doors with torsion springs use lift cables, while those with extension springs use retaining cables. Lift cables help pull the door along the track as it lifts, and retaining cables help contain extension springs if they break, keeping them from causing damage.
Broken garage door cables present a safety hazard as well as an inconvenience. Since they work as a failsafe for broken springs, they need to be in sturdy, stable condition. They’re subject to a great deal of friction every time you operate your garage, so they’re bound to wear, snap or pop out of place over time. If you suspect an issue with your garage door’s cables, check for any of these signs:
–Fraying cables: You may need new cables if yours are fraying. Fraying is a normal sign of regular wear and tear, but it does weaken these components.
–Hanging cables: If your cables are hanging out of place, call a professional to realign or replace them.
–Worn or snapped cables: Over time, your garage door’s cables will wear with regular use. If they wear too thin, they might snap.
Have a professional check your garage door cables as part of regular preventive maintenance to promote safety. If you notice any frayed, worn or hanging cables, contact a professional to replace them as soon as possible. You might also encounter either of the following issues.
Garage Door Is Shaky When Opening
You might notice a shakiness as your garage door opens. Faulty cables can cause this unsteady movement. Be sure to address this issue right away, even if your door is still usable at the moment. There may also be a concern with the track itself, which could become bent or misaligned. The door’s wheels might snag along the tracks, causing a shaky opening. A professional can replace the tracks or address other issues causing an unsteady opening.
Garage Door Is Shutting Too Fast
If the cables are broken, the door may not close in a safe, slow manner. Instead, it might fall to the ground, posing a safety risk. Strong, secure cables are necessary for supported, controlled movement. If you notice your door closing faster than it should, contact a professional.
My Garage Door Spring Is Broken
Your garage door’s springs serve a necessary purpose, and it’s important to understand how they work. They operate under extreme pressure, required for lifting such a heavy piece of equipment. Your door uses one of two kinds of springs — extension or torsion. Extension springs, on both sides of the garage, extend to help open the door. Torsion springs twist to help lift the door and sit mounted above it in a tight coil.
The springs provide the force needed to move the door. Depending on your garage door’s weight, it may have a system of multiple springs. A lightweight single-car door may need only one spring, while a heavier, multi-car garage door may need three or four. Some experts recommend torsion springs over extension springs. Since they’re connected to a tube or bar, they’re less likely to come off with force if they break, improving safety.
Please keep in mind, trying to replace one of these springs on your own is hazardous given the extreme tension these springs are under. You might injure yourself or damage your property by trying to fix a broken garage door spring. Always call a professional to repair your garage door springs. If you experience any of the following issues, the springs may be the cause.
Garage Door Is Jammed
As a safety feature, a garage door will jam if the springs are broken. If your door opens a few inches then stops, it might be due to a broken spring. You should not be able to open the door with your remote or by hand in this case. A jammed garage door can also result from other issues — something might be blocking the track, for instance. An object obstructing the rollers will keep the door from opening or closing.
Garage Door Is Squeaking or Popping
Any unusual sounds as your garage door operates are signs of an issue. As soon as you notice any abnormal sounds, you’ll want to schedule maintenance. Screeching sounds, for example, might mean your door’s metal elements need a new coat of lubrication. The sounds associated with garage door malfunction are more than just irritating — they also signal problems. Squeaking or popping sounds are often related to the door’s springs.
If you hear a popping sound, this might indicate a spring breaking. The sudden release of tension from a broken spring can make a loud “pop.” Modern systems have fail-safes in place to keep broken springs from coming off and causing injury or property damage. In any case, these highly pressurized springs can present a serious safety hazard, so you should always call an expert rather than try to repair them on your own.
If you hear a pop that could indicate a broken spring, be sure to contact a professional before using the door again. You may also hear a squeaking or squealing noise, which could mean your springs are wearing thin. Have someone replace them before they snap.
Garage Door Looks Uneven
If you have a multiple-spring system, one spring might snap while the other or others remain intact. If one component is worn or broken, the door might sit higher on the opposite side, appearing uneven. It’s important to fix this as soon as possible since it’s putting extra strain on the side with the working spring.
This strain can lead to rapid wear on that side’s parts, decreasing their working lifespans. Even the smallest garage door is a heavy piece of equipment. It can cause a lot of stress and strain when a broken spring puts an uneven burden on other elements. If you notice this, use the door as little as possible until a professional service can repair the broken spring.
Contact the Professionals at BlackHawk Garage Door
You rely on your garage door every day. Keeping it in top shape saves you from stress and inconvenience and keeps you and your family safe. Even if you keep up with preventive maintenance, unexpected issues can arise on occasion. If you’re having issues with your door or opener, you’ll need a professional garage door repair company to help.
Trust BlackHawk Garage Door with your garage door repair needs. At BlackHawk Garage Door, we provide honest, expert repair services at the hands of our experienced technicians. Learn more about our residential garage door service and repair, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.