Did you know the average garage door has a lifespan of roughly 15 to 30 years? Your garage door opener is intended to remain functional for anywhere from 10 to 15 years. The constant opening, and closing, accidental taps from your lawn mower or car, and exposure to the elements can wear down the door and its components. This can leave you stranded when your garage door won’t open or close.
As a homeowner, there are several simple garage door troubleshooting tips and tricks you can follow that will often temporarily solve the problem. If the issue persists, hire a five-star company to fix your garage door – including the pros at Ben’s Garage Door!
Understanding Your Garage Door: An Overview
The modern overhead garage door was invented in 1921 by C.G. Johnson. The original door was manually opened and closed until the invention of the garage door opener in the 1930s – although its use was not in widespread use until several years later. The modern garage door system is comprised of several key components, including:
- Spring system
- The emergency release cord
- The garage door opener and remote controls
- Photo eye sensors
All these components must be working perfectly in sync for your garage door to function correctly. Any one issue can cause a domino effect, as all these parts work in conjunction with each other, leaving you with a door that doesn’t work correctly.
Common Garage Door Issues: What Can Go Wrong?
Unfortunately, the components that make up your garage door are constantly moving, and the friction created, in combination with constant exposure to the elements, means that, eventually, one or several parts of your garage door system will fail.
What causes a garage door to malfunction?
When it comes to your garage door, several things can fail. For example, the garage door might make a strange grinding noise when it opens and closes. The door might only open partially, or you might have a garage door remote control issue. In addition to normal, everyday wear and tear, there are several causes for a malfunctioning garage door, including:
- Exposure to heat and rain.
- Damaged tracks and rollers.
- Electrical issues.
- Improper installation.
One of the most common causes of a garage door breakdown is improper maintenance. In addition to hiring a professional Sherman Oaks garage repair company or an Irvine garage door repair provider, there are several simple things you, as a homeowner, can easily do to maintain your garage door’s moving parts.
Why is my garage door not opening and closing properly?
The most common issue homeowners have with their garage door is that it simply won’t open and close properly. As with any other problem in life, start with the simplest solution: Dead batteries in your garage door remote. If you can open and close the door by the wall switch, swapping out the batteries in your garage door remote is the simplest solution.
If the batteries are new, try walking closer to your garage door before pushing the button on your remote. The average range for a garage door remote is 50 feet, so if you are more than five car lengths away from the garage, you are at too great a distance from the opener, and the remote won’t work. A problem with the keypad’s signal is another easy fix you can perform on your own.
The opener features an antenna that must be pointing straight downward for the remote and keypad to work properly. Refer to your manufacturer’s website or owner’s manual to find the antenna. If you have tried these simple fixes but still have issues or want to learn more about other common reasons your garage door isn’t closing and you might require a garage door replacement, contact a professional for further assistance.
How do you fix a garage door mechanism?
The mechanism of your electric garage door consists of the components that allow your garage door to open and close efficiently. Unless the problem is obvious, such as rusted rollers or if the metal tracks are noticeably bent, troubleshooting the entire mechanism can be tricky. If the issue is not apparent and the door is not working properly, your best bet is to leave the diagnosis and repair to the professionals.
If you live in the Fullerton, Van Nuys, or Santa Monica area, trust your garage door service to Ben’s Garage Door professionals. With several years of experience repairing garage doors throughout California, our team can quickly diagnose and repair your broken garage door.
How do you troubleshoot a garage door sensor?
The photo eye sensor is a critical safety feature on all modern garage doors. There are at least two photo eyes – one on each side of the garage door opening and the eyes work by sending an invisible beam of light back and forth between them. If any obstruction interrupts the light beam, the door will not completely close. Luckily, the fix is simple and straightforward when there is a problem with one or both photo eyes.
Begin by checking for any obstructions on your garage floor. Even something as simple as a pile of leaves at the door opening is enough to trip the photo eye sensors. Gently wipe the photo eyes with a damp rag, as any dirt, grime, or dust can also cause issues. Adjust the photo eye sensors to ensure they are at the same angle or in the position recommended by the manufacturer.
The Role of the Garage Door Opener: More Than Just a Remote
The garage door opener is one of the most overlooked appliances on your property. Imagine how exacerbating it would be to manually lift your door each time you needed to leave the garage! In addition to effortlessly opening and closing your garage door, the opener has several safety features to ensure you and your family can safely enter and exit the garage, including the photo eye sensors.
There are three basic types of garage door openers:
- Chain–driven opener. The most inexpensive variety of garage door openers, chain-driven openers operate by a chain attached to tension springs. Many older model openers are chain driven, and while they cost less, they are very noisy and don’t have as long of a lifespan as other varieties of garage door openers.
- Belt-driven opener. Instead of being driven by a chain, a belt-driven opener uses belts to close and open the garage door. This variety of openers is more expensive, but there are several benefits. For example, there is less friction because there are fewer metal parts. Belt-driven operators are far less noisy, as well. If you live in dry climates, a belt-driven variety is a better option.
- Screw drive garage door opener. One of the most popular options, a screw drive opener, uses a trolley attached to a threaded rod to create enough tension to open and close the doors. The biggest downside is that these are noisier than a belt-driven opener, and the door typically opens and closes more slowly.
Are you in the market for a new garage door opener and need help determining the best model for your budget? Do you require garage door opener repair around Los Angeles? Contact the pros at Ben’s Garage door for assistance.
Troubleshooting Garage Door Openers: A Step-by-Step Guide
Are you struggling with your garage door opener and want to try to diagnose and fix the issue yourself before calling in a seasoned professional? Here are a few garage door opener troubleshooting steps you can try that will, in many cases, solve the problem:
- Check the power supply and circuit breaker. First and foremost, is there power to the garage, or is the circuit breaker tripped? These are two common problems that many homeowners overlook.
- Check for obstructions in the door’s path. If the photo eye sensors are knocked out of alignment, or obstacles are blocking the transmitter between both eyes, the door will not completely go into the closed position as a safety measure.
- Are there batteries in the remote? Another common issue that many homeowners fall victim to is dead batteries in the remote!
- Issues with the garage door limit switch. The opener does a lot of heavy lifting, and manufacturers install a limit switch to ensure that the door doesn’t accidentally fall. If the limit switch is damaged or needs to be reset, the door will not fully close or open. Refer to your owner’s manual to learn how to reset the limit switch.
Finally, check the keypad, which is typically located on the inner wall of the garage. Older keypads can fail, and if the keypad is several decades old, consider upgrading your current version to a newer model.
When Your Garage Door Opens Unexpectedly: Causes and Solutions
If your garage door closes by itself, that would make sense because of gravity or faulty components. However, what if your garage door opens all by itself? Before you get too nervous, ghosts or ghouls probably aren’t the issue, and instead, there are several common reasons for this common occurrence, including:
- Faulty logic board. The logic board is the brains of your garage door motor, and if there is an issue, such as an electric surge or even damage to the electrical components caused by heavy rains, the door can open and close by itself.
- The neighbor is on the same garage door frequency. Your garage door remote is programmed to a unique frequency. However unlikely, it is possible that if your neighbor installs a new opener, their remote could be on the same frequency!
- Jammed remote or keypad buttons. The door will randomly open if the button is jammed or stuck on the keypad or remote.
Issues with the limit switch can also cause the garage door to randomly and unexpectedly open. Whatever the cause, if the door refuses to cooperate and you cannot determine the cause with these simple troubleshooting tips, it’s time to contact a professional.
The Anatomy of Garage Doors: A Closer Look
As a homeowner, you might be so focused on the importance of choosing a quality garage door opener that you might be overlooking an equally important decision: the garage door. Selecting the right garage door isn’t only about aesthetics; it is also just as critical to choose the suitable material for your needs, budget, and climate. Here are the five most common types of garage door materials:
- Wood. The original garage doors were manufactured from wood, and it continues to be a popular choice. Wood has a uniquely elegant look and is highly customizable. The most significant downsides to wood doors are the price and the upkeep. You will need to stain or paint your wood doors every few years.
- Wood composite. Unlike wood panel or solid wood doors, which are prone to rot and damage, wood composite doors, made from wood fibers, are more robust and require less maintenance. These doors mimic the look of solid wood at a fraction of the price.
- Fiberglass. If you live in the coastal regions of Southern California, a fiberglass garage door is an option worth considering. The doors are less prone to moisture damage, but fiberglass has several downsides. For example, fiberglass isn’t well-insulated, and the colors can fade quickly.
- Steel. Most residential garage doors are steel because the product is relatively inexpensive and versatile. Many steel doors mimic the look of natural wood with less hassle and upkeep. Choose an insulated steel door to protect your car and other items stored in your garage from the elements.
- Aluminum. Aluminum doors are very similar to steel and are available in various colors and finishes. They are cheaper than steel but are more prone to damage.
Most homeowners understand the importance of comparison shopping, so if you are in the market for a replacement garage door, make sure you understand the pros and cons of each and how to choose the right door for you.
The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Garage Door Openers
Regular maintenance of your garage door and the opener is essential for several reasons. In addition to helping prevent avoidable and potentially costly major repairs, scheduling a yearly inspection and performing regular maintenance can ensure the garage door is safe, extend the life of the components, and improve the door’s energy efficiency.
The easiest thing you as a homeowner can do to maintain your garage door is lubricate any moving parts – from the tracks and the rollers to the spring system and the hinges. Apply a silicone spray or a white lithium grease according to the package directions, or refer to your owner’s manual for additional specific instructions and recommendations.
Dealing with a Noisy Garage Door: Tips and Tricks
Your garage door will never be whisper quiet, especially if you have a chain-driven opener. However, if your door makes new and unusual noises, several common culprits and quick fixes exist. For example, if the door is shaking, tighten all the bolts and nuts along the tracks and apply a lubricant to the rollers and springs.
If you hear sudden screeching, squeaking, or unsettling vibrating noise, the door’s rollers are more than likely worn or rusted. A popping sound is typically caused by damaged springs. A scraping noise occurs when the door falls off the tracks. If the tracks are bent, you can also hear loud metal scraping noise caused by the door moving along the warped tracks.
Ultimately, the strange noises could have several different causes, and diagnosing the issue yourself can be difficult. Instead, leave the repairs to garage door repair professionals to ensure they are done quickly, efficiently, and for less.
The Heart of the Operation: Understanding the Garage Door Motor
Your garage door’s motor is an integral component that must be working correctly for your garage door to open and close. There are two main types of garage door motors: AC motors and DC motors. AC motors are popular in most residential homes because this type of motor allows the door to shut and open at a relatively equal speed.
The horsepower of your garage door motor is another critical component. The weight and material of the door dictate the motor’s HP. For example, a one-half HP motor will suffice if you have a one-car garage with a steel door. Wood doors are typically much heavier, so you will require a three-quarter to one HP opener motor.
The higher the horsepower, the more expensive the motor. If you are swapping out your garage door and opener system, keep this in mind if you are on a tight budget.
Inside the Garage Door Opener Unit: What You Need to Know
No matter what brand or model of garage door opener, the central unit will house the microcontroller module and the electric motor. The motor powers all the moving components, and the microcontroller module’s job is to turn off the motor when the garage door is fully closed or open. Unfortunately, if there is a problem with the microcontroller module, it can be a complicated repair to diagnose and should always be left to the pros.
Why Won’t My Garage Door Close? Common Problems and Fixes
What happens if your garage door opens, but when you try to close the door, it won’t touch the ground and starts creeping opening instead? This is a very common problem with several solutions. For example, start by either adjusting or cleaning the photo eye sensors and ensuring they are properly aligned. Next, look for broken springs or cables.
After checking all these potential issues off your list, and the door still won’t close, the problem might be misaligned or damaged tracks. If the tracks are slightly out of alignment, you can gently tap the tracks back in place with a rubber mallet. A door that will not close is considered an emergency because it leaves your garage vulnerable. Contact a garage door opener repair company in Santa Clarita to make necessary repairs when you cannot close the door alone.
Broken Garage Door: Signs, Causes, and Next Steps
Unfortunately, there are times when you, as a homeowner, can try to troubleshoot your broken garage door and will be stumped. Other times, the problem will be too serious for you to repair alone. Here are a few repairs that should always be left to a professional garage door technician. For example, never try to replace broken or snapped garage door springs yourself. This is a delicate repair that requires the proper tools and experience. A seasoned pro should also handle a garage door that has fallen off the tracks. Remember, garage doors are cumbersome and heavy, and you can very easily injure yourself trying to put the door back on its tracks.
When to Call a Garage Door Technician: Recognizing the Signs
Garage doors are noisy and don’t always work the way you expect them to. However, how do you recognize the sign of a severe problem, or should you contact a pro for help? Here are a few telltale signs its time to call in a pro for assistance:
- Your garage door won’t open or close
- The garage is making unusual noises – such as scraping, banging, or screeching.
- There is noticeable damage to any of the major components
- The garage door and opener and several decades old, and it is time for an upgrade.
Understanding the signs that your garage doors need to be replaced rather than repaired can be tricky. Luckily, the team at Ben’s Garage Door provides a very wide variety of garage door services, including helping you decide if it is time to upgrade your current system to a newer, more energy-efficient model.
Garage Door Cables: Their Role and Common Issues
The role of your garage door cables is simple: The cables work in connection with the springs to open and close the doors. The cables also support the door’s weight and ensure the door remains closed. If the doors look crooked, if the door is stuck open and will not move to the closed position, or if the door completely crashes to the ground, chances are there is an issue with the cables.
Don’t worry; if your cables are worn or broken, our technicians can help easily swap out the broken cables.
The Critical Role of the Garage Door Spring: An In-depth Look
There are three main types of garage door springs: less common torsion springs and extension springs – both of which are visible, and torque master springs, which are not visible and not as common. A torsion spring is a loosely coiled spring that stores and releases energy to open and close the door. An extension spring is more tightly coiled and is stretched by two different components. When the spring stretches, it will return to its initial shape, and the energy created will lift and lower the door.
There are always two springs on your garage door; if there is an issue with either or both springs, they must be replaced as a set. It is never advisable to repair garage door springs, and a licensed professional should always handle the garage door spring replacement.
Garage Door Opener Problems: Identifying and Addressing Them
From damaged springs to rusted rollers or a faulty garage door remote, dozens of issues occur to even the most well-maintained garage door. The homeowner can handle many problems, such as purchasing a replacement remote or installing a new keypad. However, if you don’t feel comfortable or cannot troubleshoot the problem, it is best to contact a professional at the end of the day.
Hiring a Garage Door Professional: What to Expect and Why It’s Worth It
When your garage door stops working, you will inevitably ask yourself one simple question: Is this a DIY job, or should I call in the professionals? For minor problems, from lubricating the tracks and replacing weather-stripping to tightening the hardware or swapping out broken windows, you can handle these yourself. However, it is always best to leave these time-consuming chores to the pros for significant issues, such as a garage spring repair or replacing your garage door springs, tracks, rollers, the motor, or the door itself.
The professional squad at Ben’s Garage Door is ready to help you with any repair or answer any questions you might have about garage door maintenance. Our helpful staff of Orange County garage door repair technicians provides service across Southern California. When you search “garage door repair near me,” keep the professional, courteous staff at Ben’s Garage Door in mind!