5 Common Problems with Garage Doors

A garage door is a wonderful thing – if it is working correctly. When it is not working, garage doors are annoying at the least and potentially dangerous at worst. Here are solutions to 5 common problems people have with their garage door.

Battery and Electrical Problems

Garage door remote openers operate with battery power. The opener mechanism inside the garage is also connected to an AC power source, and most openers also have a backup battery inside the garage for use during a power failure.

Many problems with the operation of a garage door are resolved simply by replacing the batteries in the remote opener or checking that the mechanism inside the garage has not somehow become unplugged.

It is a good idea to have a replacement battery for your remote opener on hand before you need it. To check the backup battery in the garage, unplug the opener from the AC power source and see if the door works on the backup battery.

Problems with Photo Eye Sensors

The photo eye is a beam of light that travels from one side of the garage door frame to the other at about 12 inches above the ground. The photo eye senses if something is in the way of the door closing, and if it is, the door automatically reopens. This is an important garage door safety feature. It is also a common area for malfunctions.

The photo eye sensors can get out of alignment with each other and need adjustment. This can be done using a piece of string and a carpenter’s level to check if the light beam is level and that the sensors are in line with each other. If not, the sensors can be moved up or down by loosening the adjustment screw, moving them to the correct position, and re-tightening the screw.

Another common problem is dirt on the photo eye sensors. Just use a soft, clean cloth and a mild glass cleaner to wipe any dirt from the sensor eye on each sides of the door. This should be done several times a year, or whenever they are dirty. If the sensors are scratched, they probably need to be replaced.

Problems with Track Alignment

The metal tracks and rollers that guide the garage door smoothly up and down are another common area where problems happen. The tracks can get out of alignment, causing difficulty and strange sounds when opening or closing the door.

If the rollers do not make contact with the tracks at any point while the door is being opened or closed, this is a warning sign that the tracks are out of alignment. An an object or a build up of dirt on the tracks or rollers can also be the cause of the problem.

Tracks can become unaligned over time due to the weight of the door. Fasteners that hold the tracks in place can also come loose, or the tracks themselves can become bent or distorted if they are bumped or pulled on. Alignment and repair of garage door tracks is a job for an experienced repair person.

Problems When the Door is Opened or Closed

It can be pretty spooky when a garage door starts opening and closing on its own. This problem often happens when the remote opener gets stuck someplace where it gets activated accidentally, like if it drops behind the seat or is placed where someone can lean on it. Keep the opener in a location where it cannot get accidentally activated.

If you have an older model of garage door opener, it may not have a rolling activation code built-in. Rolling code openers make it impossible for your garage door opener to be activated by a neighbor or someone else with a remote that happens to have the same code as yours.

Problems with Springs and Hinges

Garage door springs and hinges are the heavy-duty hardware that actually does the work of opening and closing the garage door. Springs can become rusty, damaged, or worn out, causing a variety of potentially dangerous problems.

Garage doors that close with a loud thud often have a problem with the springs. Repair, replacement, and adjustment of garage door springs and hinges takes specialised tools and know-how. Call your garage door repair specialist for help.

While these are some of the most common garage door problems, they are not the only ones. The best way of keeping your garage door in perfect working order is by having it regularly serviced by a garage door specialist.