That familiar old adage known as Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. So, it stands to reason that if you have a garage, the door will get stuck on the busiest day of your life when your alarm didn’t go off and you’re already late for work. Rather than wasting time cursing at your garage door, here’s what you should do.
Figure Out The Problem
First of all, you need to diagnose the issue and discover what’s stopping the door from opening all the way. To determine if the root cause is the automatic opener or the garage door itself, follow these three simple steps:
- Close the door completely.
- Pull the emergency release cord to disengage the opener trolley from the door.
- Manually lift the door by hand. If the door opens without a hitch, the fault lies with the automatic opener, but if you can only open the door halfway, the problem is the door itself.
Once you’ve discovered the culprit, it’s time to find out the exact nature of the door’s malfunction. It is possible one or more mechanisms are in need of repair. Although it may seem like the door is purposely tormenting you, there are a few perfectly reasonable explanations.
Weather Conditions Affecting the Hardware
The simplest explanation may be the effects of the current weather conditions. The extreme cold of winter and heat in the summer can wreak havoc on your garage door, causing the rails to expand or contract. To compensate, the opener needs a little extra pressure to get the job done and may require some alterations to the force-adjustment mechanism. This screw controls the amount of force needed to start or stop the door from opening, so it is best left to a professional to prevent any tragic mishaps.
Springs and Drums
When the garage door is opening and closing, the spring system supports most of the door’s weight and helps to turn the metal drums that lift the door through vertical cables on each side. A broken spring will throw off the whole system and requires professional assistance to replace. The drums can also get blocked by an off-kilter or hung-up cable or obstruction. Check springs and drums for signs of damage, but go no further without contacting a technician. Since springs and drums are full of tension, it is very dangerous to try attempting a fix on your own.
Because the garage door opens and closes almost every day throughout the year, loose debris such as leaves or dirt can accumulate in the rails and other hardware. As the debris builds up over time, it can form a blockage that may require a thorough cleaning. If there are children in the home who play in the garage or use the door, it can be something as small as a ball or toy that gets lodged in just the right spot to prevent the door from opening fully. Examine the door rollers, hinges, tracks, and belts for any signs of damage or debris.
A warped panel or support beam can get in the way and block the garage door from performing its duties. Check the photo safety eye to ensure that there are no obstructions. If any objects protrude into the path of the sensor, the door may stop or reverse.
Regardless of the cause, it is always recommended to call a professional when your garage door isn’t functioning properly. As an added bonus, a technician will inspect the entire system and offer any necessary recommendations to keep the door in working order. If you are in need of service please call (306) 477-5400 to reach a qualified technician.