Automatic garage doors are one of the most convenient features found on modern homes. However, like anything else with motors, springs, or hinges, your automatic garage door will start to wear down over time and require some basic maintenance. Here are the steps you should take to troubleshoot four common garage door problems.
Garage Door is Jammed
An automatic garage door that is jammed shut is about as useful as a brick wall on the front of your garage. If your door is jammed, the most common causes are a lodged garage door track, or the door being completely off the track. Check for obstructions in the track by using your hands or a screwdriver to scrape out leaves, dirt, and other grime that could be causing the door to jam.
If the garage door is off track, you will be able to see that the rollers have come out of their slots in the track. This is not a problem that the homeowner should attempt to repair, as garage doors can be very heavy and the torsion spring is under high strain that could potentially cause injury. Instead, call a garage door specialist to realign the door for you.
Garage Door Switch Isn't Working
If nothing happens when you use the switch on the inside of your garage, you are facing a problem with either the switch wiring or the breaker on the switch's circuit. Check the breaker to determine if it has flipped or burnt out, and turn it back on or replace it before accessing the switch wiring.
If the breaker is not off or burnt out, turn the breaker off yourself and remove the cover of the switch to inspect the wiring. If there is any loose or exposed wiring inside of the switch casing, you will need to contact an electrician to repair the switch or replace the switch yourself.
Garage Door Opens Again After Closing
A garage door that starts to close, hesitates half-way down, and reverses to open again can be a baffling problem, but it is also a solvable one. Your garage door has an adjustable limit setting that determines how far the door needs to lower when it closes. If the limit is set to lower the door past ground level, it will think it has hit an obstruction and reopen.
Most automatic garage doors have chain drive limits, with adjustment screws on the motor head. The screws are labeled with instructions that tell you which way to turn the screws to raise or lower the limit. Simply use a screwdriver to turn the screws and raise the limit until the garage door does not reopen when it is shut.
Garage Door Makes Excessive Noise
If your garage door is still opening and closing properly, but is making loud grinding noises when it moves, it is possible that the tracks of the garage door have become rusted. Cleaning the rust off the tracks will determine if it is the cause of the problem, or if the hinges or springs on your door need to be replaced.
To clean the tracks, open the garage door and use a rag dipped in paint thinner to wipe down the tracks. Then use a wire brush to scrape off as much of the rust as possible. Finally, spray the tracks with rust-bonding metal spray paint. After the paint has dried, you can test it by opening and closing it a few times to see if the noise persists. If there is still noise, you should contact a professional to inspect the hinges and springs and replace any that are worn out.
Garage door troubleshooting is always a useful skill to add to your DIY repertoire. Keep these tips in mind so that you know what to do when faced with common garage door problems. If you still need help with any garage door issues, don't hesitate to contact a local garage door repair company.