Troubleshooting Common Problems with Your Garage Door

Your garage door can last for decades if you care for it properly. Ongoing maintenance is key to the health of your garage, and it can prevent some common repairs. However, exposure to moisture, damage from the elements and the aging process can all cause problems for your garage door even with proper maintenance.

Understanding some of the common problems can help you to troubleshoot issues and repair them quickly. Here are a few of the most common problems you might experience with your garage door, including tips for troubleshooting the issue or repairing it:

Squeaky Door

One of the most common problems you may experience is a garage door that squeaks or creaks when it opens or closes. This one is easy to troubleshoot: You’ll hear the noise when you use your door. Often, squeaky doors are the result of aging or rusty springs, rollers or hinges. You may be able to solve the problem by spraying WD-40 or another lubricant on all your hardware and in your tracks. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll need to call a garage technician. Some hardware may need to be replaced.

Door that Won’t Close All the Way

If your garage door won’t close all the way, the first thing to look at is whether there is something blocking the door, the springs or the rollers in the track. Solving the issue may be as simple as removing the item that is causing the blockage, such as a rock or a piece of twine that has gotten wrapped around a spring. Another issue that could prevent a garage door from closing all the way is a glitch with the close limit switch. This is another repair that requires the assistance of a garage technician.

Door Won’t Open Immediately

Even if your door does open, it may take a minute or so to do so. If you are noticing a delay on your garage door opening, there may be an issue with your garage door opener or your motor. If the door won’t open all the way, the limit switch may need to be adjusted.

Door Makes Jerky Motions and Loud Noises When Opening

You may notice this problem frequently in older garage doors. When you open or close the door, it may jerk in the track or make loud noises. The problem may be caused by a lack of maintenance, and a little lubrication may be enough to get the door opening smoothly again. However, the issue could indicate a larger problem with the mechanics of your garage door, such as loose tracks or an aging motor that needs to be replaced.

Door Reverses before Hitting Floor

When you hit the button to close your garage door, you may see it begin to lower, only to reverse just before it hits the floor and start to raise again. No matter how many times you hit the button, it does the same thing. Something may be blocking the door, so check all around to make sure no boxes or garden tools are standing in the way. If it continues to happen, the close force in your motor likely needs to be adjusted.

Door Reverses after Hitting Floor

Sometimes, the door may close all the way, only to reverse immediately. It won’t stay closed. If this is the case, the close limit switch may need to be adjusted.

Door Won’t Open

Nothing is more frustrating than hitting the button on your garage door opener and seeing nothing happen. If your garage door won’t open, there could be a number of reasons why. Something could be blocking the tracks, preventing the rollers from pulling up the door. Thoroughly check the tracks and add lubricant. Also look for signs of broken springs. Another common cause for the problem is the garage door opener itself. Check to see if it needs new batteries. If that’s not the problem, you’ll need to get a technician to inspect the remote and the motor.

Door Has Rust Spots

You may notice rust on your garage door, particularly along the bottom edge of the door. Water is likely to accumulate there during storms or when there is snow during the winter. Salt that is used to treat your driveway during the winter can also contribute to corrosion, which can open the door for rust. You can prevent rust from forming by keeping your garage door clean and dry. Give it a good wipe down and dry after storms and snow.

If you see that rust has already formed, you can treat it with a rust remover or converter, then touch up the area with some matching paint. Allowing rust to go untreated can threaten the integrity of the whole door.

Door Has Black Residue

A common issue for garage doors is the development of black residue on the exterior of the door. This can be caused by oil from your car’s engine or from the springs on the garage door itself. You can remove these marks with a good washing of soap and water. If a more powerful cleaning is required, you can use a pressure washer to remove these and other marks.

Proper maintenance of your garage door can prevent many of the most common problems. However, if you notice these issues, you can diagnose many of them yourself or can work with a qualified garage door technician to have them repaired. Doing so will add years to the life of your garage.


About Neb Aleksic

Neb grew up in the garage door business. Since joining Doorcare he has moved up in the ranks, and now oversees a team, in addition to Doorcare's marketing efforts. He is passionate about what he does, and enjoys the small things in life.
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