10 March 2018 Posted By : Edited by Peter Tremblay

Garage Door Problems? What to Do Next

Garage doors seem like simple pieces of equipment—you push a button, and the door lifts up—but in reality, they’re complex machines, and any complex machine has the potential to break and suffer wear and tear. If your door is no longer working, or if you notice an aberration in its movement or performance, you’ll need to repair it.

Taking Immediate Action

If you notice something wrong with your garage door, it’s important to seek garage door repair as soon as possible. If you continue using the door when there’s something wrong with it, you could end up doing more damage—or even putting yourself in harm’s way. If there’s a component out of alignment or one that’s suffered extensive damage, continuing to use it will only make the problem worse.

Diagnosing the Problem

Your first step in the process is determining what the problem is. If it’s an easy fix, you may be able to do it yourself. If not, you should at least develop the vocabulary necessary to describe your problem to a professional.

There are many common problems that plague garage doors, including:

        The wall switch and remote control can’t open the door. If your electronic devices aren’t able to open the door from a closed position, there’s likely something wrong with the communication between these devices. Check to make sure you have fresh batteries in your remote devices, and check your circuit breaker to see if electricity is running to the garage door motor. If the power’s running and complete, you may have a bigger problem on your hand.


        The door won’t close all the way. This problem happens when your garage door begins to close normally, but stops a few inches or a few feet away from the ground. Most of the time, this is due to a faulty close sensing mechanism, or misaligned sensors. You may be able to make tweaks and solve this problem on your own, but if it doesn’t work, you’ll need to call in a professional.


        The door reverses momentum before or after closing. If your garage door seems to stop, then reverse direction either just before it touches the ground or immediately after, it’s probably a sign that your motion detecting sensors are misaligned or something is blocking them. This is usually a simple adjustment, but if you can’t handle it on your own, you’ll need to call someone.


        The door won’t open all the way. If your garage door stops before it opens all the way, it’s an indication that the up-limit switch is faulty. It’s possible to adjust this switch to give your garage door more room to open, but you may need to find a replacement.

DIY vs. Professional Garage Door Repair

Once you have an idea what the problem might be, you have a significant choice to make; will you attempt to make the fix yourself, or pay a professional to handle it for you?

The only real advantage of doing the work yourself is saving money. A professional garage repair service will set you back a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, and attempting the repair yourself could help you save most of that money. However, you’ll still need to put hours of time into the project, and if you do something wrong, you could end up paying even more for the eventual repair.

Beyond that, you should consider your personal health and safety. Most garage doors have massive torsion springs driving the main mechanism; if you handle these springs improperly, they could cause lacerations or other severe injuries. Hiring a professional will prevent danger, so unless you’re already intimately familiar with the mechanics of a garage door, it’s best to outsource the work to a real professional.

If your issue is a simple one, you may be able to do it yourself, but if it’s something more complex, you may need to wait a few days for a professional to handle the problem. In the meantime, it’s best to avoid using your garage door altogether, and avoid making the problem any worse.

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