Is Your Garage Door Not Closing? These 7 Reasons Are to Blame
Garage doors have one main job, but they only work properly if their internal moving parts are in order, and the door is free to move as intended. Occasionally, you’ll encounter a problem that’s easily noticed and fixed; for example, if your garage door closes all the way, but will not open, it might have accidentally slipped into manual mode. If it’s open, but will not close, there may be something stuck on the tracks.
More difficult problems tend to have more complicated symptoms. For example, you might notice your garage door starting to close, but never finishing, stopping halfway and retracting back up, or simply stopping halfway.
What could be the cause for this?
Why Your Garage Door Isn’t Closing Completely
One or more of these reasons is likely responsible for your garage door closing partially, but not all the way:
Something blocking the door
Though this problem should be obvious, it shouldn’t be overlooked. If there’s something blocking the door from closing all the way, a full close will be impossible. Check your garage floor and the area surrounding it for any objects or debris that might be causing the improper close. You may also want to check the tracks, and the garage door itself, for the culprit.
Safety sensor problems
First, and perhaps most commonly, your safety sensors could be working improperly. These twin sensors usually sit near the bottom of your garage door, about an inch above the ground. They face each other, sending a signal across the length of the doorway to determine whether there is anything in the way of the closing garage door. If one or both of these sensors are not receiving power, or are not emitting the signal properly, your garage door will respond by failing to close all the way. This is a safety feature, but it can be annoying when there isn’t anything actually blocking the door. If the root cause is a sensor failure, you can purchase a new pair of sensors and replace the faulty ones.
It may not be the case that your sensors aren’t working properly, however; they may be in perfect working condition, but sending a perpetual signal to your garage door that something is in the way. This often happens when the twin sensors are somehow out of alignment, which can happen if one is struck or moved out of place. Conveniently, most sensors are equipped with a light that informs you whether they’re in alignment or not; when the light is on and stable, both sensors are aligned and functioning properly. When the light is blinking, they’re out of alignment. This problem can usually be corrected by returning the sensors to their proper orientation.
Garage doors rely heavily on multiple sets of springs to open and close; there are overhead torsion springs, which drive the main action, and a secondary set of door springs. If any of these springs are broken or damaged, it could lead to the door becoming unable to complete its closing function. If one spring has suffered more wear than the other, it could also lead to balancing issues that prevent the door from being closed. Fortunately, it’s easy to tell when one of these springs has been damaged; a brief visual inspection, even from a non-expert, will be able to diagnose the problem almost immediately.
Depending on what type of garage door opener you have, there may be cables necessary to complete the lowering action. If any of these cables are worn or damaged, they may not be able to complete their full cycle. For example, if a cable is frayed at a particular point, it could catch on the system, and prevent the cable from moving any further. In some cases, a visual inspection can diagnose this problem as well; in others, the damage may be harder to notice.
Door travel limits
You may also have a problem with the travel distance setting on your door. In most garage door openers, there’s a default setting to tell the garage door how far to close. This can be improperly set upon installation, or slowly drift away from the original setting over time. If the setting is too high, the garage door will stop short of the actual ground. If the setting is too low, the garage door will “think” it’s hit an object when it’s actually hit the floor. Either way, you’ll need to adjust the door travel limit setting. Different models of opener have different means of achieving this, but it’s usually done with knobs on the machine itself.
Damage to the tracks
Finally, if the tracks responsible for carrying the garage door down have been bent, warped, or otherwise damaged, it may prevent the door from closing properly. If the tracks are blocked, a simple removal of the blockage should be enough to restore working order. Otherwise, you may need a track replacement.
Fixing Problems on your Own
As you’ve read, some of these problems can be easily fixed on your own. For example, if there’s something blocking the door, you can move the object and hopefully, the door will return to its normal movement.
However, there are some issues that are better left to the professionals—especially if it involves parts of your garage door that you don’t fully understand. Overhead torsion springs, for example, are tightly wound and carry high loads of tension. If improperly handled, they can cause severe lacerations or damage to your house. Plus, if you attempt to fix something on your own without fully understanding your actions, you may end up damaging the garage door even further.
Your best bet is probably to call in a professional, who will be able to diagnose your problem faster, and handle it more safely. If you’re looking for a garage door maintenance and repair specialist in your area, use Garage Door Repair to search by zip code in the footer below. Chances are, you can have a professional out to your home within a day or two, and your door will be working properly in no time.