You and your family are leaving on a Monday morning to head out to school and work. You hit the remote control to close the garage and it isn’t moving. Why won’t my garage door close? There can be several reasons: the sensors, tracks and rollers may be out of alignment, tension springs are broken, or the disconnect switch is separated.
We will take a look below at each of these areas that can affect the garage door closing.
Background of Garage Doors
Have you ever thought about all of the parts and pieces that are involved with a garage door? Well, there are so many moving parts and pieces. If one of them breaks down, it could cause your entire door not to function properly. The working parts go beyond the simple big parts in front of your eye.
You will first take note of the garage door itself and determine if it is structurally sound. After a quick review of your garage door, the track and other parts, you will begin to notice what might be causing the problem. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons to cause your garage door to malfunction.
Check the Sensors
You will first want to determine if the sensors are working properly. You will find them on the bottom of your garage door track. The sensors are located about 6 inches from the ground and attach to the bottom of the garage door track. The purpose of these sensors is to provide you with a safety stop. This is in case something ends up underneath the door.
Check the Sensor Batteries – If It is Wireless
Making sure the sensor batteries are working properly is important. If the batteries are not good, your garage door sensors thinks an object is in the way and will not close.
The other part of the garage door sensors is the actual outside casing of the sensors themselves. It is important to clean the sensors from dirt and spider webbing. The sensors might think that an object is in the way and stop the garage door from closing. So, you will want to clean the sensors will a damp rag every so often to keep them clean.
Lastly, the sunlight can also hit the sensor and make the garage think there is something in the way and it will not close.
Check Your Tracks and Rollers If the Garage Door Won’t Close
Once you check the sensors and see that they are working properly, you will check the track and door rollers. If any part of the track becomes out of alignment, the garage door will stop functioning and will not close.
Once you have inspected the full track to ensure it has a proper alignment, you will next inspect the rollers. At this time, it is a good idea to grease the rollers with lithium-based silicone to ensure that the rollers will not get stuck in the track. If you see that the roller is worn or not moving very easily, it is recommended that you replace it.
Track Alignment is Off
When you discover that your garage door tracks are out of alignment, it is important to act. If the tracks are out of alignment, the door will not close properly. At this point, you should call a professional.
The Tension Springs or Cables Broke
Inside the garage at the top of the garage door, you will see a straight bar that holds tension springs or cables. These tension springs or cables are in place to ensure that the weight of the garage door doesn’t close too quickly. This is much like a hydraulic motor that will keep the basketball goals from slamming down too quickly when lowering them in a gymnasium. This is to protect anyone or any animal from getting crushed by the garage door as it closes.
If you have a broken tension spring or cable, your garage door will close very quickly and you will hear a loud banging noise. At this point, a professional needs to make the repair. It is not a safe situation and you should inspect your garage door parts and pieces on a semi-annual to annual basis. This is to make sure it is working properly.
Check the Disconnect Switch
Every system has a disconnect switch so that you can manually open or close the garage door when your power goes out. It is important to check that the disconnect switch has not separated from the track/chain. The disconnect switch is typically off the top metal arm that attaches to the garage door panels and the track with chain.
There is a rope with a handle that you can pull down to disconnect the switch from the track. If someone accidentally pulls on this handle and forgets to reattach the disconnect switch, then your garage door motor will run through its cycle and the garage door itself will not move. Annual maintenance is checking the disconnect switch to make sure it is attached to the track/chain.
Garage Door Sensitivity Settings
You could also check the garage door sensitivity settings. If the garage door starts going down but then shoots back up, it might be too sensitive. To adjust, there are adjustments on the opener just like the limit screws.
How Can I Fix The Garage Door On My Own
Once you have checked all of the visual areas of the garage door, it is time to check your limit screws. The limit screws are located in the main component box at the end of the middle track of your garage door chain suspension. You will need to get your ladder out and climb up to a safe level where you can reach the main component box.
You will remove the cover of the light bulbs. Once you remove the cover, you will see two screws. They are labeled up and down. You will take a flat head screwdriver and twist up or down a quarter of an inch at a time. This will adjust your garage door closing depth and allow you to determine if this is your simple fix.
Check The Remote If the Garage Door Won’t Close
Often times we forget that the remote to our system might need a battery replacement. We make assumptions that there are bigger issues with the system when it could be as simple as needing a new battery in your remote. You will also want to get your ladder out and remove the cover from the main unit of the garage door opener.
Once you remove the cover, you will see a button that says “learn.” Pushing the learn button and then pushing a button on your remote will allow the remote to identify with the system and should begin working at that time. Reinstall the cover and put your ladder away, if that is the solution to your garage door issues.
Here is a video that talks about the above reasons why a garage door won’t close:
Life of a Garage Door Opener and Signs It Needs Replacing
The garage door opener has a life of about 10-15 years with proper maintenance but it also depends on the climate, construction, and door quality.
Here are some signs that the garage door opener may need replacing:
Loud noises when it opens and closes
It may just need lubricating on the tracks and rollers so try that first.
Garage opens intermittently
This may be a sign that the batteries need changing in the remote. Try changing the batteries before calling a professional.
Garage door detaches and falls to the floor
This is an emergency situation and calling a professional right away is important.
The garage door doesn’t stop when something is in the way
A major hazard and every year, 20,000 injuries occur each year because of faulty garage doors.
Taking a look at your garage door every year is important to make sure it is working well. While you are checking out the garage door, take a look inside the home at the hollow core doors you may have inside the house. Remember, you cannot have a hollow core door that leads to the garage, instead, it must be fire-rated.
Check the landscaping in the yard. You want to be sure that plants are not getting too close to the garage door so that it has trouble opening. Also, you want to make sure that the landscaping helps keep water away from the house and not bring it in.
When Should I Call A Professional
Calling a professional is necessary when you simply have run out of solutions. If you have trouble-shot every possible scenario and you still cannot fix your garage door closing issue, then it is time to call a professional.
Unfortunately, fixing a garage door closing issue might not be the easiest thing for the regular homeowner. It also, might not be something that you even care to do. So, in this case, calling a professional to avoid further damage is highly recommended.
Fixing a garage door because it won’t close all the way, or close at all, is not the easiest task. However, if you follow the suggested steps on what to check first and go through the process of each one, you will quickly find a solution.
If a solution is not found then you will quickly realize a phone call to a professional is necessary. Either way, taking time to troubleshoot the issue could save you a lot of money in repairs down the road. Waypoint Property Inspections East will check your garage door and its mechanical parts during a home inspection in Boca Raton and surrounding areas.