The 5 Most Common Reasons Why Garage Doors Malfunction

Wondering why your garage door has suddenly stopped working? Worried about those loud noises it makes, or the fact that it halts and stutters on its way up and down?

As America’s garage door specialists, we at NationServe have seen it all when it comes to garage door repairs. We know how frustrating it can be when your garage door starts to act up. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to the five most common reasons that garage doors malfunction—along with some tips on what you should do next in each of these situations.

lubricating the garage door hardware

1.       The metal hardware needs lubrication.

Garage doors often start to stick and make strange noises when their moving parts are not well lubricated. We recommend that once a year you take the time to apply a silicone-based lubricant to your door’s springs, pulleys, hinges, rollers, and other metal parts. If your garage door uses a chain or screw-drive opener, you should lubricate its metal parts as well.

If the door’s parts aren’t properly lubricated, they’ll gradually become worn and rusty, which negatively impacts your door’s performance and can shorten its  lifespan. Check out our maintenance tips for more information on what you can do to keep your garage door in top shape. If you’re not comfortable working on your garage door yourself or have questions about what to do, one of our technicians will be happy to help.

garage door opener malfunctioning

2.       There’s a problem with the remote control.

When you hit the button to open your garage door on your remote control and nothing happens, it’s often a problem with the transmitter rather than a problem with the door itself.  For instance, the batteries in the remote control might be dead, in which case all you need to do is replace them. (There’s a good way to test this if you have multiple remotes for different members of the family. If the other remotes work, then it’s almost certainly the batteries.)

If it’s not the batteries, you may need to reset the whole system. To reset the remote, take out the batteries and reinstall them. To reset the receiver, unplug it for 30 seconds and then plug it back in.

There also may be something obstructing the signal between the remote control and the receiver. Check to see if anything is blocking the receiver inside your garage and gently clean the eyes of the radio transmitters on both devices. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to have the system looked at by a garage door professional.

sensor garage door

3.       The photo-eyes are blocked or misaligned.

Photo-eyes, or safety sensor beams, are designed to recognize when something is blocking the pathway of the garage door. If a person, animal, or object gets under the door while it’s activated and in motion, the photo-eyes will recognize its presence and tell the door to automatically reverse.

If your garage door won’t open or close, and there are no obstacles in its way, there may be a problem with the photo-eyes. You can try gently cleaning them with a clean, damp cloth to remove dirt and debris that may be blocking their view. If this doesn’t work, book an appointment to have your door serviced by a NationServe technician.

garage door technician torsion spring

4.       The torsion springs are broken.

Torsion springs are mounted horizontally above your garage door and play a big role in letting your garage door open and close. Cables attached to the spring and the doorframe wind up when the door opens. The wound-up spring holds mechanical energy that is transferred to the door in order to pull it up. Your garage door will have one or more torsion spring depending on its size.

A broken torsion spring is one of the most serious garage door problems, and only an experienced technician should attempt to replace it. If you see (or hear) your torsion spring break, don’t attempt to open the door as it could come crashing down at any moment.

garage door track repair if misaligned

5.       The door track is misaligned.

Over time, the metal tracks that run along the sides of your garage door can become rusted, misaligned, or warped. If there’s a problem with the track, you may start to notice screeching noises or a gap emerging between the rollers and the rail. If the problem is left unaddressed, the rollers may even start to come right off the track.

 If you’re having problems with the garage door tracks, don’t attempt to fix them on your own. A door that’s not properly lined up with the tracks is very unstable and unsafe to work on. You’ll need a professional to get your door back on track.

At NationServe, our qualified technicians will help you get your garage door moving smoothly again. Whether you’re looking for a garage door repair or you’re ready to invest in a brand-new door, we’re committed to helping you get the garage door of your dreams. To learn more about our garage doors, contact us to get in touch with our teams in Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Cincinnati, Spokane Valley, or any of our 14 other locations.