Troubleshooting a Garage Door: Doesn't Close Properly
Troubleshooting garage door problems isn’t anyone’s favorite weekend activity, but it’s a task that pretty much every homeowner has to deal with at one point or another. Probably the most common issue you're likely to encounter with your garage door is that it doesn't close correctly. Maybe it stops and starts, or goes all the way down only to bounce back up. Or, it might not close at all, and you have to tug with all your might to get it to close manually. No matter what the scenario, it is more than inconvenient! Fortunately, in the majority of cases, there’s a relatively easy answer to be found, with an associated quick fix.
Problem 1 – Blocked Sensors
If you have an electric garage door and it’s simply not responding to the door opener, either for opening or closing, then check for the simplest problem first: blocked sensors. On the roof of your garage, usually in the middle of the tracks that the garage door runs on, is an electric sensor that receives the waves from your garage door opener, and that also senses potential obstructions in the path of the garage door, in which case it will keep the door from closing to prevent possible harm or injury. That’s a great safety mechanism, but it’s also relatively easily disturbed. Check to make sure that there isn’t any debris or some obstruction that has worked its way in front of the sensor, either keeping it from receiving the door opener waves or making it think that something is in the path of the door. Remove anything that could potentially be blocking the sensor and, while you’re at it, give it a wipe down with a rag to make sure that an accumulation of dust and dirt isn’t the issue.
Problem 2 – Lack of Lubrication
If you find that your garage door is indeed correctly responding to your garage door opener, but is simply refusing to shut properly (maybe it’s descending very slowly, getting stuck or making a terrible noise every time it opens or closes), it may be in adequately lubricated. Especially during cold weather times, or if you live in an older home that hasn’t been receiving the tender loving care that it needs, the joints, gears and mechanisms that operate the garage door can get dry and rusty, causing them to stick, jam, moan and complain. Simply purchase some lubrication specifically formulated for these situations (be careful not to choose a product that could make the problem worse by gumming up the joints; try Genie lubricant, or if in doubt, ask the salesperson at your hardware store) and apply it generously to the affected areas.
Problem 3 – Misalignment
If you’ve unblocked the sensor and lubed up the garage door, but it still isn’t behaving, then you may want to check and see if you have some misalignment problems. If you live in a climate that is subjected to extremes of hot and cold, then it’s more than possible that the metal brackets and tracks that hold the door in place and allow it to open and close have expanded and contracted in accordance with the climate, which can eventually cause misalignment. If these elements get misaligned, you’ll have a hard time getting that door to close. Check and repair as needed, which may involve replacing certain parts.