What to Do When Your Garage Door Won’t Open or Close

  • Published on November 10, 2017

If your garage door decides to stop moving, either up or down, whether it is automatic or manual, it can be very frustrating. You find yourself not able to get in or out of your garage, but it is also a safety hazard if it is left open.

Don’t panic and try to force anything, or you may end up doing more damage. Instead, follow our handy guide on what to do if your garage door won’t open or close to help minimise damage and get it back going safely again.

What would cause my garage door to malfunction?

There are several reasons why your garage door can decide to quit moving. It is important to understand some of these reasons before trying to fix the problem. It can make sure you don’t cause further damage and help prevent it happening again.

  • The power source is cut – many times people don’t even realise they have turned this off!
  • Tensions springs have become loose or broken.
  • Cables have broken.
  • The garage door is off the track.
  • The limit setting is not set right.
  • If it is automatic, the malfunction may be in the motor.

Basic troubleshooting

First of all, if you have an automatic garage door opener, make sure it is connected to the power source. Look for anything that may be within the sensors that could be stopping the door. There is also the chance that the sensors may not be aligned properly.

If your motor is attached to a power source, then disconnect it before inspecting the motor. You don’t want to risk getting electrocuted! Inspect the motor to see if you can find any visual clues, but if you are not familiar with how it works, do not attempt to take it apart yourself.

If your remote works but the wall switch does not, then the problem may be the switch or the wires. Again, this should only be fixed by a professional. If the problem is the opposite, check that new battery in the remote doesn’t fix the problem. You may need a new remote or to sync it again.

If you hear your door attempting to move, but there’s a tough grinding sound, then the gear is more than likely broken. Don’t try to operate the door anymore or you can further damage the gear and motor. Have an expert replace it for you.

What do I do if I still can’t get it to work?

If you cannot get your automatic door to open, then follow these steps to open it manually.

  1. Get inside the garage (if you can) either through the house or side door.
  2. Grab a ladder if needed, and find the red cord that is attached to the mechanism. This is the emergency disconnect that will release the door.
  3. Pull the cord to release it.
  4. Try to lift the door with both hands. If it doesn’t budge, then try pulling on the red cord again.
  5. If you get it open, then you will have to prop it up with something since it is now released and won’t stay up on its own. Do not stand under the door.
  6. Do not attempt this if the door is wide open. It will come crashing down and could cause some damage. This is best for when the door won’t open or if it close to the ground anyways. If the door still does not budge, the problem may be with the tracks, rollers or springers.

If you cannot get into the garage, then ring a locksmith or Doors Direct to help.

How do I prevent issues in the future?

Having regular maintenance on your garage door can help prevent any malfunctions. If any minor issues are found, then they can be addressed before they turn into major ones. Doors Direct offer a regular garage door service that inspects all of the mechanical details to ensure they are running smoothly and will help correct any issues that come up now rather than be stuck with a garage door that won’t open later.

If you’re experiencing problems with your garage door, then there is no better company to call than Doors Direct. We’re experts in all things garage doors. This includes how they function, their motors (if automatic) and how to fix them. Doors Direct will assess any problem before getting started to ensure we tackle it the right way the first time. Give our team a call for some advice or to arrange for a service or repair.

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