5 Common Garage Door Issues, Plus How to Fix Them

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Sixty-six percent of all houses in the United States have a garage or carport, according to a study by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Owning a garage is extremely convenient and can help protect your vehicles while also giving you extra storage space.

However, owning a garage comes with unavoidable maintenance. If you’ve ever gone to use your garage and your garage door doesn’t open, you’re not alone. Having garage door issues is expected, so read on to learn five of the most common issues and how to fix them. 

1. The Photo Eye Needs to be Realigned 

The photo-eye is the part of the garage door that prevents anything from getting squished underneath it as it closes. There are two photo-eyes, one on each side of the garage door, which transmits an invisible beam to see if there is anything below the garage door’s path as it closes.

This is a safety measure that is on all garage doors made after 1993. If your garage door opens correctly but does not attempt to close, take a look at the photo-eyes.

The first thing to check for is if the photo-eyes need cleaning. You can gently wipe them with a soft cloth and streak-free cleaner. Be careful not to scratch them, as they are glass, and do not alter their positions.

If they are clean, check to see if they are aligned properly. They need to be positioned in the exact same direction and at the same angle, or they will not register each other and assume something is in the way. Measure the height of each photo-eye from the ground, and use a level to make sure they are pointing the same way at the same angle. 

2. The Track Is Off Course

This is one of the most common garage door issues and should be taken seriously as it can be dangerous. First, look to see if you notice gaps between the rollers and the rail of your track, or bends in the rails. This is a sure sign that the track became misaligned.

If your garage door can still move, you might be able to fix it on your own. You will hear a rubbing sound when the door reaches a certain point, or you will see the door slow down or stop. 

To remedy this, unscrew the screws that whole the track to the frame, and tap the track to realign it. Use a level to make sure it’s straight, and then tighten the screws to ensure it won’t get misaligned again. You may have to do this with other tracks as well. 

If your garage door doesn’t move at all, don’t try to fix it yourself. Your garage door is heavy, and it can be dangerous. Consider calling a professional who has all the right tools and proper training.

3. The Tension Cables Need to be Replaced 

The tension springs and cables prevent your garage door from opening or closing too quickly and slamming itself on the ground. If you notice this is happening, this is a fix that needs to be prioritized, as nothing is stopping it from slamming onto you or your family. 

Generally, the springs will break first, followed quickly after by the cables. Whenever this occurs, you may be wishing for a quick guide on “how to fix my garage door.” It can seem impossible to do yourself, but that’s not necessarily true.

However, if you are going to attempt to do it yourself, it requires research on what cables you need and the safety protocols for doing so. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. 

4. The Disconnect Switch Was Enabled

The disconnect switch comes with every garage door so that you can manually open or close it if you lose power. You may hear the humming of your garage door for the full amount of time it would take to open or close, but nothing happens. This is a sure sign that the switch is enabled. 

The switch is usually attached to a rope that you can pull or a knob that you can turn on the ceiling of your garage. If this does become enabled, you’ll need to reattach it to your garage door motor. This requires the garage door to be opened entirely, and you’ll probably need a step ladder to reach it. 

5. The Transmitter Battery Is Dead

The transmitter being dead is very common in the garage door opener issues. Without any power, the transmitter won’t be able to send the signal to open the door. First, test the transmitter in your garage. If, when pressed, it still opens your garage door, it might be the transmitter in your car. This can be fixed simply by changing the batteries.

If the transmitter in your garage won’t open your garage door, try switching those batteries instead. Most can open by sliding the back off, but others are screwed on and require a screwdriver. 

When you are finished putting in new batteries, double-check they are placed correctly. If they aren’t, it could give you a false sense of what is wrong and make you waste time troubleshooting other aspects unnecessarily. 

Common Garage Door Issues

These are the five most common garage door issues, and you should check for these first if you are having trouble with your door. Most of these issues you can fix yourself, but if you’re ever uncomfortable or unsure, call the professionals. 

You don’t want to break your door more, and you don’t want to hurt yourself in the process! If you liked this article and want even more helpful advice, check out our catalog of articles today. 

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