Brian's House Building Blog

3 Reasons Your Garage Door Doesn't Work

by Peyton Sanders

A malfunctioning garage door is more than just an imposition; a broken garage door is downright dangerous! Garage doors are quite heavy, and their springs hold a tremendous amount of tension. Being in the way of a falling garage door or broken spring risks serious injury, which is why you want to ensure your home's garage door is in good working order at all times.

Only a professional contractor can pinpoint the reason your home's garage door is malfunctioning. In the meantime, note some common reasons for garage doors to stop working so you know what you might be facing by way of repairs.

Eyes Out of Alignment

Many garage doors have two photo eyes, one on each side of the doorway. These eyes transmit a beam of light between them; when the beam is interrupted, the door stops moving. This is a safety feature that stops the door from hitting someone or something in the way of those photo eyes.

However, dust and debris covering those eyes or the eyes being out of alignment trigger that feature, which causes the garage door to stop moving. You can check those eyes for dirt and debris and give them a quick wipe-down. If this doesn't get the door moving again, call a contractor to check their alignment.

Bent or Misaligned Track

The rollers of a garage door slide along a track above the garage. If this track is bent, misaligned, covered in rust, blocked by debris or otherwise damaged, the door typically stops moving. As with photo eyes, you might check that track for obvious debris, give it a quick spray with aerosol lubricant or sand down obvious spots of thick rust. For bent or broken tracks, however, call a contractor for needed repairs or replacement.

Broken or Worn Spring

Garage doors are not opened by your transmitter but rather by heavy-duty chains or springs! Springs have a certain lifespan; they're able to open a door only so many times before they wear out or outright break. If you hear a loud bang in your garage, similar to the sound of a firecracker, then there's a good chance that the door has a broken spring.

Never attempt to replace or even diagnose a broken spring on your own, as these springs are quite heavy and hold tremendous tension. A snapped or broken spring can cause serious injury and even death. Call a garage door repairs contractor as needed to replace that broken spring and get the door working again.