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4 Common Garage Door Problems

Common Garage Door ProblemsA malfunctioning garage door can be incredibly frustrating.

In addition to adding visual appeal to your property, your garage door also provides an important function that includes everything from security to insulation.

As one of the leading garage door service providers in the area, we hear from a lot of people in need of garage door repair. Today, we thought we would share four of the most common garage door problems we see so you know what to look for if your garage door fails to operate properly.

Let’s take a look …

Common Garage Door Problems

Your garage door is not only a functional aspect of the front of your home, but it also can add (or take away) visually to the overall curb appeal. A malfunctioning garage door can be both frustrating and inconvenient, especially when you’ve got places to go and things to do.

Unfortunately, garage door problems are quite common because garage doors receive so much use each day, and because there are many moving parts that go into moving such a heavy door so frequently. Luckily, it’s usually not impossible to diagnose what the problem is and then be on your way to implementing a solution.

That said, consider these common garage door problems; whether your garage door is experiencing any of these issues, or simply become well-versed in common problems so you’re prepared for when an issue does (inevitably) arise with your garage door.

1. Broken Springs

Garage doors are moved by a complex series of pulleys, tracks, and springs. Oftentimes the door will cease to open and close–or won’t do so properly–because of a problem with one of the springs.

These problems are easy to detect; you just need to visually inspect the springs on the inside of the door to see if there are any broken or weakening areas. Springs hold and move the entire weight of the door, so if there are any structural issues, the door likely won’t open or it will not stay open.

Springs can break for a number of reasons, including constant wear and tear, or cold weather. It is wise to consult a professional when it comes to repairing this sort of malfunction because springs can be potentially dangerous and can injure you if not handled and installed properly.

Related: How to Open A Garage Door With A Broken Spring

2. Your Track Is Off-Track

Another common issue often arises with the garage door tracks. These are metal tracks that guide your door up and down – without them your garage door, which can weight several hundred pounds, wouldn’t be able to move.

There are issues ranging in degree and severity when it comes to garage door tracks. Some issues with tracks allow the door to continue moving; if you have a track problem your garage door can still open and close, but it may slow down or generate an unusual noise in an area where the track is slightly misaligned or out of place.

Other issues like this will result in the door not being able to move at all. When this happens, you should consult with a garage door professional because the tracks will likely need some serious adjustment. Consulting with a professional when garage door problems are particularly serious is wise because it will save you time, money, and convenience in the long run.

3. Malfunctioning Reverse Mechanism (Photo-Eye)

Modern garage doors are made to keep homeowners and their children, pets, and belongings safe. So when you hit the button to send your garage door closing, it won’t do so if sensors detect anything in its path – either that or as soon as it meets any resistance, the door will begin moving back upwards again.

This is a great way to keep everyone safe; but it can also pose problems if the reverse mechanism or sensors (“photo eye”) are not working properly. These are pretty easy fixes, however. First and foremost, make sure there is nothing in the way of the photo eyes. You can also clean them off–gently–with a window cleaner and non-abrasive cloth.

You also may want to make sure that the sun isn’t hitting one of the photo eyes directly; sometimes strong sunbeams can interfere with properly working sensors. Having someone stand between the sunbeam and the sensor can help the door close even when the sun is at an inconvenience height.

Another common problem with photo eyes is that they may not be perfectly aligned; if they aren’t directly in light with one another, one or both of them may perceive this to mean that something is in the way of the door, so it won’t shut. This is a rather minor problem with, luckily, several easy fixes.

4. Problematic Battery or Wire

Sometimes garage door remotes will work but wall switches won’t–and vice versa. In both cases, you may want to first check the batteries in your remote switch. Similarly, you may want to make sure that all the wiring is correct and functioning in your wall switch. If the remote works but the wall switch doesn’t, you can probably guess that there is a problem with the wiring that needs fixing. If you’re not well-versed in electrical pursuits, you’ll want to consult with someone who is or with a professional; sometimes this malfunction will require jumping various wires or installing new ones.


Garage doors are essential parts of a home, and though they are large their operation can also be rather complex. There are many moving parts that go into moving such a big door up and down safely, several times a day. If you’re having trouble, it could be a problem at any stage of the garage door moving process–from the springs and tracks to cables and wall switch wiring. Most of these have relatively simple fixes like changing batteries or making sure the photo eyes are aligned properly.

Other problems may require a bit more intensive work, such as if it’s faulty wiring in the wall switch or a track that is bent or out of line. Other more complicated issues such as the bowing of the door (which will likely require entire replacement) or a broken spring may be a bit more complicated than the average DIY homeowner is prepared to deal with. In both cases, consulting a professional and having them come to assess the damage and implement repairs is a wise decision that has the potential to save you money, time, and inconvenience. Doing so will ensure your garage door is functioning smoothly and safely.

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