Have you ever had a day when everything goes wrong? You overslept, your kids are late for school, you are in a rush to get to an important meeting, and your garage door gets stuck. 

Mornings are tough, as is it, so a door breaking down will certainly add extra stress to your day. Garage doors are complex mechanisms that can malfunction for no obvious reason or even stop working altogether. It might be due to its age and somewhat outdated technology, or it could be something minor that you can immediately fix.

What are the most common issues, and how to open a jammed garage door? Discover the most common issues and troubleshooting tips below!

If your garage door got stuck and won’t open while you are still inside, don’t panic. There is an easy guide on how to get it open manually.

  • Unlock any locks and latches to make sure the mechanism will let you open the door manually;
  • Unplug the motor to disconnect the door opener from electricity;
  • Find the emergency release cord and pull it down. The emergency release handle is a red handle located in the middle of the door track. Do not pull it down before making sure the garage door is fully closed;
  • Lift the garage door until the door stops moving. Make sure it did stop before letting go. If it hasn’t reached the top yet, it will rapidly close, leading to an accident.

The garage door is stuck open If your garage door is stuck open, follow the guidelines above. However, first, make sure that springs aren’t broken before triggering the emergency release. 

Second, once you pull the handle down, the door will rapidly fall, damaging the door itself and anything underneath it. To avoid any damage and injuries, put a log underneath the door to stop it from falling to the ground.

The garage door is stuck on one side. There are several reasons for the door getting stuck on one side. It could be due to broken strings, insufficient lubrication, or even the door going off track. Call the professionals to detect the exact problem and fix it for you.

The garage door is stuck halfway, or the garage door gets stuck going up. If the door only opens halfway or doesn’t operate smoothly, the first thing you should do is fully close it. Then pull down the emergency release handle and try to open the door again. If you succeed in opening it up, there must be something wrong with the door opener.

Is the garage door stuck halfway open again? The problem is the door itself, so don’t hesitate to call the professionals to repair a stuck garage door .

FAQs About Garage Renovation

Why Does My Garage Door Get Stuck Halfway?

If your garage door gets stuck halfway, this could mean that something is blocking it. It may be that it is being obstructed by a protruding nut, misaligned cable or any other thing. Check the roller’s tracks and hinges for anything that may cause the door to get jammed.

Why Would A Garage Door Not Open All The Way?

Perhaps the greatest cause of a garage door that will not open up is a lack of balance. Test your door’s balance by disconnecting it from the automatic opener. The door should raise and lower easily by hand. Pull your garage door, so it’s about halfway open.

Why Does The Garage Door Get Stuck?

Jammed or Obstructed Track. Your garage door works because the door opener unwinds or winds the torsion springs, pulling or pushing the garage door with rollers along a track. If there is something in one of the tracks obstructing the free movement of the rollers, the garage door can stick open.

Can You Use Wd40 On The Garage Door?

WD-40 can be used effectively for this purpose. The fact that makes WD-40 a good garage door lubricant is the fact that it gets rid of the rusted components and areas as well. One can of WD-40 is enough to take care of most of your garage door lubricating needs.

How Often Should You Lubricate Your Garage Door?

You may be wondering where you should be lubricating your garage doors. The tracks, springs, hinges and rollers of your garage doors face significant stress and will need the most frequent lubrication. These will need lubrication every three months or possibly more often with heavy use or in some climates.

Should I Do If My Detached Garage Door Is Stuck Closed 2

10 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won’t Open Or Closed

As the most frequently used entrance and exit in the average residential home, the garage door is subject to daily wear and tear. Consequently, a garage door is bound to have functional issues now and then. Problems are most common in the winter when power outages occur. 

When a garage door doesn’t function properly, the source of the problem could be in any number of given areas. Whether you have a garage door that won’t open all the way or a garage door that won’t open manually, it is best to know the most common causes of each problem and whether it is necessary to call a professional. 

Below are the ten most common reasons why overhead doors won’t open or close:

The Photo-Eye Is Blocked, Dirty Or Misaligned

If your garage door keeps stopping and won’t close, the problem could be due to a blocked photo-eye. The majority of garage doors manufactured since the early-1990s are equipped with this safety feature. 

The photo-eye components consist of two pieces that align face-to-face across each side of the garage door, roughly four feet above the ground. Upon activation, a pea-sized laser beam is sent from one end to the other.

A miscellaneous object or dirt is most likely the culprit for your blocked photo-eye’s safety sensors. Your sensors could also be misaligned. You can easily fix the problem by removing the obstruction or calling a service to have your photo-eye realigned properly. 

Each time the door is prompted to close, the beam activates to scan the underlying clearance for obstructions. If any object or body part is detected, the door either halts its closure or reverses in full. The purpose of the photo-eye is to ensure the door does not close down on objects, pets or people.

As a safety mechanism, the photo-eye is programmed to respond instantly to any obstruction. Consequently, the slightest bit of anything — such as a pencil or a wad of paper — can trigger the photo-eye to halt the door’s movement.

In some cases where a garage door won’t close, the photo-eye will be dusty or dirty, and the dirt will be misinterpreted by the laser as a physical obstruction. There is also the possibility that the circuitry of the photo-eye has been damaged or saturated with moisture or rain.

With some non-closing garage doors, the problem is due to a misalignment issue between the two photo-eyes. When the two sides interact, LED lights activate on both ends. 

On most garage door systems, the corresponding photo-eyes will consist of one red light and one green light. If either light becomes misaligned, the beam is rendered incapable of scanning the clearance. Photo-eyes can become misaligned by fatigue, physical pressure, etc.

The Operator Receives No Power

Sometimes, a garage door won’t open or close for one reason only — the garage door operator has no power connection. In the funniest of scenarios, the problem will be due to an unplugged power cord. 

You might have absentmindedly unplugged the operator as you were exiting the garage through your internal door to the house. People sometimes do such things and forget to have done so.

Often, a more serious issue will prevent an operator from receiving power, such as a blown a fuse or circuit breaker. Problems with the circuit breaker should only be handled by a professional.

If you’re having trouble with your garage operator, it’s probably either unplugged, or it may have blown a fuse. You can plug the cord back in or have a professional service reset your fuses. 

The issue could even be due to a faulty outlet. If you plug an electric tool or lamp into the socket, and that also fails to power, the outlet is likely the culprit — in which case the operator needs to be plugged in elsewhere until the faulty outlet is repaired.

Expired Transmitter Batteries

When it comes to activating a garage door, power access is required at both ends. The operator is not the only component that could be robbed of a power source. If your garage door doesn’t open with remote activation, the problem could result from a dead battery in your remote transmitter.

The first thing to check is the transmission receiver on the inside wall of your garage. When you manually push the button on the receiver, does the door activate? If yes, the problem is the remote and not the receiver.

A dead transmitter remote is a minor problem but a common reason your garage door might not open — often, the batteries have died. If your garage door remote doesn’t work, you can replace the batteries, and it should return to working normally. 

In cases like these, you are basically in luck because the remedy involves a simple change of batteries. 

If the batteries in your remote came pre-installed and you have never changed them before, slide off the back cover on the remote, remove the old batteries and take them to the store to purchase replacements of the same size. 

On some remotes, removal may require a screwdriver if a locking component is used to hold the batteries in place.

Before you install the new batteries, check the battery tips to ensure the ends align properly inside. If the remote were to malfunction due to a backward battery installation, you might mistake this for a more serious problem with your garage door opener.

Broken Garage Door Torsion Or Extension Springs

If your motor is still running but the garage door refuses to open, you may have an issue with the springs in your garage door assembly. Broken springs are the most common issue whenever a service person is called to a residence to repair a garage door.

Broken springs are one of the most dangerous yet inevitable problems that can occur with a garage door opening system, too. Each assembly is usually guided by torsion or extension springs. 

Torsion springs are located horizontally along the width of the garage door, whereas extension springs are located on either side and raise and lower the door along its tracks.

Each spring is rated according to its maximum number of cycles. Once spring has exhausted its cycles, it needs to be replaced. Springs used beyond their cycles are prone to snap abruptly during a door activation.

In some cases, a spring will break before its expiration date. Either way, spring ruptures are loud and dangerous.

If a spring breaks while you are at home, you will likely hear a loud pop resembling a firecracker or gunshot. Springs often break as homeowners head to work and close their garage doors remotely from their departing cars. If that is the case, count yourself lucky, as you will have missed the alarming sound.

Do not attempt to manually open or activate your garage door if one of the springs has broken. Furthermore, do not attempt to fix or even handle a broken torsion or extension spring. Contact a service specialist immediately to handle any issues that involve faulty or broken garage door springs.

Snapped Cables

If there is one problem even more dangerous than broken springs on a garage door assembly, it would be a broken cable. While the extension springs provide tension as the door is raised and lowered, the cables that align with each tension spring are responsible for the physical act of bringing the door up and down.

Cables, like springs, are fundamental parts of your garage door. Without a cable, your door is unsupported and can fall back. Always rely on a professional service to repair and replace your cables. 

Once the springs have snapped, the cables are the only things preventing the door from slamming to the ground with all of its weight. Aside from the thunderous noise, this would cause, the door could sustain tremendous damage if it plunged to the ground. 

Moreover, anything in the door’s path — a bicycle, the hood of an automobile, a child or a pet — could be crushed or severely damaged or injured by the door’s weight.

Most scary, cables generally do not last long once the springs have snapped. Therefore, if you know your extension springs have already failed, close the door and do not open it — not even manually — until you have those springs replaced. 

If you raise it just once, the cables could fail. Without the support of garage door cables, none of the opener’s protective mechanisms will stop the door from its plunge.

Misadjusted Sensitivity

A garage door stuck closed often the result of misadjusted sensitivity settings. This is a common problem on newly installed garage doors, where the opener might be set to an arbitrary factory setting that doesn’t suit the door in question.

Bad setting inputs can create misadjusted sensitivity on your garage door. For this issue, it’s smart to call a service to get your settings right and avoid future problems. 

Sensitivity settings allow the opener to know how much force will be required to raise and lower a particular door. If the settings are off, the opener will be tricked into thinking that the door is either too lightweight to require force or too heavy for the weight-allowance of the opener. 

Consequently, the opener will not react to activation prompts if the settings are off and the garage door won’t close.

The Remote Signal Is Blocked

A dead battery is not the only issue that can prevent a remote from doing its job. If you press the button and the door fails to activate, something might be blocking the signal. Alternately, you might be out of range. There is also the possibility that the remote antenna on the opening device has been obstructed or damaged.

Tree growths, obstructions or dirt can affect your garage’s remote signal. In minor cases, you can trim a branch or clean off the antennae, and it should work fine. For broken antennas, you’ll have to call a service. 

If your garage door doesn’t open when you press the remote, there could be a branch or some other intervening object obstructing the signal. Sometimes, a remote will cease to work from a particular angle because of tree growth. If your remote no longer works from the same angles you have always used it and changing the batteries doesn’t help, it could be time to trim back some branches.

Then again, the obstruction could be directly on the remote antenna. You can often remedy this situation by inspecting the antenna for traces of dirt or foreign matter. Also, make sure the antenna is pointed toward the door. Now and then, an antenna will somehow get misdirected. If the antenna is, in fact, broken, call a service person.

Misadjusted Limit Setting

One of the wackier malfunctions that occurs with some doors is the shut-reverse, where the door closes as prompted only to rise back up the moment it touches the ground. Though confusing and frustrating, problems like this are often the fault of a misadjusted limit setting on the opener.

What is the limit set? It’s a programming mechanism that lets the opener know how much movement is required to close or open a garage door fully. The amount of movement is timed in seconds — the settings programmed on a scale of high or low. Limit settings are programmed into opening systems to accommodate the size and height variables of different garage doors.

Bad inputs often create faulty garage door limit switches. You can call a service to come and get those inputs realigned. 

If the settings are too high, the opener will think that a door has closed prematurely when it touches the ground and, therefore, mistake the ground for an obstruction. Since openers are programmed not to close on foreign objects, the door will automatically reverse itself. 

If your door behaves in this way, have a maintenance specialist inspect the limit settings on your garage door opener and make adjustments if needed. 

The Door Track Is Misaligned

When it comes to the workings of a garage door system, the operating mechanisms activate the door, and the cables lift and lower it physically while the springs manage the tension. However, none of these actions could remain centred along the garage doorway and ceiling if not for the metal tracks that keep the door in line. Therefore, the tracks that guide the door must be straight and even on both sides.

If either track becomes slightly ajar, it can slow the door’s movement. As time goes on, the problem is liable to get worse. For instance, a bend at any point along one side is bound to pull on the door, which, in turn, will put pressure on the other side and effectively duplicate the problem on the mirroring track.

Pressure and natural wear and tear can cause misaligned door tracks. Always call a service to replace these tracks and get your garage door working again. 

If one or both tracks are bent, you might hear a squeaking sound as the rollers pass the affected area. The door’s movement might slow just slightly as it passes this spot. 

A problem like this can grow out of hand as the months wear on, and the door’s weight causes further stress. If you know or even sense that your door tracks have lost their alignment, call a service specialist immediately.

A Tiny Obstacle Is Present

If a door reverses upon closing, there could be something in the way that poses as an obstruction. This does not necessarily have to involve the photo-eyes, either. Various items that would fall below the photo-eye beam can cause a door to reverse itself, such as foliage, paper and even used gum.

After all, a door is programmed to only close on solid ground and reverse course if anything foreign is encountered.

If your garage door keeps reversing, a tiny object, dirt or foliage is likely obstructing the door. If you remove all the obstructions and the door still reverses, you should call a service. 

Obstructions that homeowners often overlook are not just found on the ground, as the tracks can also get lined with items that could halt and reverse the closing of a door. 

If gum, dirt or foliage get lodged into one of the tracks at any point, the door might automatically reverse on contact. To prevent this from happening, inspect the tracks about twice a year and clean them if necessary.

How To Fix A Garage Door That Gets Stuck: Best Practices

Replace The Trolley Carriage

First, disconnect the motor unit from electricity or turn off the breaker. Pull the release above the handle and manually close the door. Place the ladder underneath the trolley and remove it.

Put the new carriage onto the rail and attach the rail to the wall bracket. Connect the motor back to the power outlet and check if the new trolley works properly.

Should I Do If My Detached Garage Door Is Stuck Closed 3

Check For Obstruction.

If you have detected an obstruction that prevents your door from functioning and gets the garage door jammed, inspect every part of the mechanism. Rollers, hinges, tracks, tracks, other hardware — all of these can lead to a malfunction when blocked by a foreign object.

It could also be due to poor lubrication — in this case, lubricate the tracks and hardware with silicone-based grease or oil.

Broken Spring

Nothing yet found? Check the springs. But first, determine which type of springs you have. The torsion spring is placed horizontally at the top of the door. To figure out whether it is broken or not, look for a gap between the springs. 

The extension springs are located vertically alongside the door. Check their condition to see if they are broken and hanging loose. If you find a broken spring, both torsion and extension, call professional help. Do not perform the replacement yourself because it is a dangerous task that requires expertise and caution.

Check The Track

Check the tracks for any signs of damage. They can be severely bent or a little uneven, which are fixable. If you are handy enough, you can even do it yourself: take a hammer, put a layer of thick fabric or a wood plank, and straighten the track. If you don’t feel confident and don’t trust yourself with a hammer, contact experts.

The Rollers Are Off The Track.

Is the garage door stuck even after you have inspected all the issues above? Then maybe your rollers jumped off the track, which means you should use a professional service to fix the problem. Experts from the STI Garage Door company can diagnose the issue quickly and repair a stuck garage door in Alexandria, VA.

Poor Installation

Finally, door malfunctioning might be due to unprofessional and sloppy door installation. Call the company that has installed your garage door, and they will re-install it or adjust the settings accordingly.

Conclusion

The most common reasons a garage door won’t open include broken springs, stripped opener gears, snapped cables and remote signal malfunction. Overhead doors that are stuck closed are usually the result of broken parts. 

Having a door stuck shut can be one of the most frustrating situations a homeowner can encounter – especially when your vehicle is trapped in the garage and you are trying to go somewhere. Many people use the garage door as the main entrance to their home, further adding to the problem.

We created this troubleshooting guide to help you figure out why your door isn’t opening.

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