Common Broken Garage Door Problems and Repairs (2022)

The garage door on your home is not something you might think much about so long as it is working. The only time you truly notice the door and all its parts and components is when something goes wrong. This is when you call a garage door repair technician to have them come fix your door .

It is not uncommon for many people to be unfamiliar with garage door terminology. Before we discuss some of the more common garage door problems you can experience, let’s do a review of garage door basics. This will help you have a better understanding of what can go wrong.

Common Broken Garage Door Problems and Repairs (1)

Garage Door Basics

There are several working parts and components which make up the entire garage door system. These can be broken down into three specific categories: the door itself, hardware components, and weather-stripping.

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Doors

There is some general information you need to know in regards to the door itself, which can affect how it functions.

  • Garage doors can open either vertically (up and down) or horizontally (left and right).
  • Garage doors can be insulated or uninsulated.
  • Insulated doors are ideal for the warmer Florida climates, as well as in colder northern climates.
  • Insulated doors have an R-value, which tells you how effective they are at insulating your garage.
  • Doors with higher R-values have more insulation to keep out the hot and cold.
  • Certain types of doors are better at standing up to tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Garage doors can be made from aluminum, vinyl, wood, steel, fiberglass, and PVC materials.
  • Some styles of doors will feature windows as part of their design.
  • The most common types of door used on homes in Florida are vertically opening, sectional doors.

Hardware Components

When it comes to the garage door’s hardware, this is where things can start to become a bit confusing for most people. If you look on the backside of the door, you will see a variety of components. These work together in perfect harmony to open and close the door when everything is working correctly.

Common Broken Garage Door Problems and Repairs (2)

  • Lifting Cables: Your door could have lifting cables, which are attached to the door’s springs and aid in opening and closing it.
  • Springs: Springs are an essential part of the counterweight system used in garage doors. This system is what makes it possible to open and close the door with one hand. Springs are typically one huge coil at the top of the door. Some designs also have secondary springs located over the door tracks. Secondary springs are more common on heavier styles of doors.
  • Hinges: The hinges are located in between each sectional piece of the door. They help to keep the door in place and allow each section to bend as the door is opened or closed. You can tell the quality of the door by looking at the hinges. Better-quality doors use double hinges, which better support the weight of each door section.
  • Door Rollers: On the side of garage doors are small rollers or wheels. As the door is opened and closed, the wheels should turn freely inside the door tracks. If you want a quieter opening door, consider upgrading from galvanized steel to nylon door rollers.

Common Broken Garage Door Problems and Repairs (3)

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  • Door Tracks: The tracks are those metal pieces attached to the sides of the doors to allow it to open and close easily. In most homes, the tracks are suspended and secured to the garage’s ceiling.
  • Garage Door Opener: The opener is a motorized device attached to the garage door to automate opening and closing. The opener has its own specific parts and components, including a lifting arm, manual disconnect, and chains.

Many of the door’s components will be made from galvanized steel since it resists corrosion better than regular steel. The key thing you need to remember with steel is its gauge rating. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel will be. For example, 12-gauge steel is thicker than 16-gauge steel. If you want superior quality, you will want to use components with a lower gauge rating.

Weather-Stripping

An important feature your door should have is weather-stripping. The stripping is what keeps rain and water from getting into the garage. It also blocks out wind when it is sealed correctly. On the bottom of the door, there should be some sort of rubberized weather-stripping to stop water from running under the door and into the garage.

You should also notice weather-stripping around the exterior of the garage door’s framing. Depending on the quality of the door and who installed it originally, there could be weather-stripping on the exterior and interior sides of the door. In addition, higher-quality sectional garage doors normally include weather-stripping in between each section.

Common Broken Garage Door Problems and Repairs (4)

Common Garage Door Repairs

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Now that you have a better understanding of garage door basics, let’s talk about some of the more common problems and repairs.

  1. Broken Springs: The springs on your garage door are designed to open and close the door a set number of times. Eventually, they will break, and you will know it if you are at home. When a garage door spring breaks, it makes a loud noise, almost like a firework going off in your garage.

At this point, attempting to open or close the door can be very dangerous. There can still be tension left in the spring, and it could knock the door off its tracks, as well as cause personal injuries if it snaps off.

If the spring breaks on your garage door, do not try to open it. Instead, call and schedule garage door repair service immediately . You should also stay out of your garage until after the door has been fixed.

  1. Broken Cables: Cables can break on their own from normal wear and tear or from the stresses placed on them when springs break. If a cable is broken, one side of the door may appear to be “sagging” compared to the other. That side of the door may also seem heavier.

You may also notice the door is slightly angled and lower on one side as it opens. If all the cables are broken, the door may not stay in place when it is opened. Instead, it will fall down as soon as you lift it up, which can be a serious safety risk.

  1. Sticking Rollers: The rollers on the sides of the door should spin and turn. If they are stuck and sliding, this can cause the door to come off its tracks. Stuck rollers can also make opening and closing the door noisier.

If the door has come off its tracks in either the open or closed position, leave it in place. Attempting to close or open the door could result in the cables and springs also breaking. If the door is just being noisy, you need to have the rollers replaced and the tracks cleaned. Often, stuck rollers are due to insufficient lubrication and excess humidity.

Common Broken Garage Door Problems and Repairs (5)

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  1. Door Closes and Reopens: This type of problem occurs when the automatic garage door opener needs to be adjusted. Openers have door limit settings which control the open and close functions. Periodically, from normal usage, these can require slight adjustments and resynching.

Essentially, the limit settings let the door know how far it should move to be fully closed or opened. If these are off, when it touches the ground the sensors on the opener translate this as hitting an object, not the ground, so the door reopens.

Another cause for this type of problem is if something is in front of the door sensors. Toward the bottom of the door, about four to six inches off the ground will be sensors on each side of the door or on the interior wall of the garage. These sensors detect if something is in the way and will cause the door to reopen.

  1. The Opener Runs but the Door Doesn’t Move: Check to make sure the automatic door disconnect cord has not been pulled by attempting to open and close the door manually. If you can, then you will need to reattach the door to the automatic opener’s lift arm. Another common cause of this problem is if you have locked your garage door. Check to make sure the door is not locked.

Common Broken Garage Door Problems and Repairs (6)

  1. Door Opens But Won’t Close: This problem is often related to the sensors. If the lenses get dirty, or there is something directly in front of them, they will prevent the door from closing. Clean the lenses and verify nothing is in the way of the sensors. If the door still won’t close, then it is time to call a garage door repair technician.
  2. The Door Sticks or Stops: A sticking door can be quite common from changes in humidity levels to a lack of proper lubrication on moving parts and components. It could also be caused if the door is no longer level and needs to be realigned.
  3. The Remote Opener Doesn’t Work: If the garage door opener remote is not working, see if you can open the door using the switch inside the garage. If the door opens, then it could indicate the batteries in the remote need to be replaced. After replacing the batteries, if the remote still doesn’t work, it may need to be resynched with the opener or replaced.

If the door doesn’t open and you have power, verify the opener is plugged in and the breaker has not blown. Once verifying these things, if the door isn’t working, it could mean an electrical problem or that the opener needs to be replaced.

As you can see, there can be all sorts of reasons for a broken garage door . If your garage door is not working correctly, please feel free to contact the A1A Overhead Door Company at (904) 821-8463 today! Our technicians are skilled at new garage door installations, garage door repairs, spring replacement, installing and repairing garage door openers, and more.

FAQs

How do you troubleshoot a garage door? ›

If the garage door won't open or close, begin with these garage door troubleshooting steps: Make sure the opener is plugged in and the garage circuit breaker is in the correct place. Make sure your door has not been manually locked by mistake. Replace the batteries of the keypad or remote control.

What causes garage doors to break? ›

By far the biggest reason for garage door spring failure is simple wear and tear. Most springs are engineered and rated for about 10,000 cycles – one cycle being the garage door going up and coming back down to close.

How do you fix a broken electric garage door? ›

3 try unplugging the garage door opener and then plugging it in again this. Sometimes does the trick

How do I know if my garage door motor is bad? ›

Mechanical meltdowns
  1. Vibrating. An opener that tends to vibrate might seem harmless in the beginning, but keep an eye on it. ...
  2. Opening then reversing. ...
  3. New noises. ...
  4. Intermittent or unresponsive opening. ...
  5. Rolling codes. ...
  6. Battery back up. ...
  7. Outside keypad. ...
  8. Safety features.
29 Jul 2018

How do you test a garage door motor? ›

How to test Garage Door Opener - YouTube

How do you know if your garage door sensors are bad? ›

Light indicators: An easy way to tell if your garage door sensors are out of alignment is by checking if the exterior LED light blinks when you attempt to close the door. Green lights mean the sensors are working, while red lights indicate the sensors are not aligned.

How much does it cost to replace a garage door opener? ›

Garage Door Opener Costs

If you have a pro install a garage door opener, expect to pay between $220 and $550. The opener itself will typically run between $150 and $500 with another $65 to $85 an hour for labor, which can run between two to six hours.

Why is the garage door not closing properly? ›

Check the Tracks and Rollers

If your sensors are functional but the garage door still won't close past a certain point, check the tracks to ensure there aren't any obstructions blocking progress. A bent track or damaged roller can have the same effect. Inspect both tracks to ensure there aren't any signs of damage.

How does a garage door spring break? ›

When the garage door is lowered, the springs gain tension. When raising the garage door, tension is released and the spring assists with the lifting. It's important to note, your garage door springs have the most tension when the garage door is closed. As a result, most garage door springs break when the door is down.

What happens if torsion spring is broken? ›

If your garage door's torsion spring is broken you will likely notice the following: Usually the automatic garage door opener will not open the door. When you disconnect the opener and raise the door manually, the door won't stay in the up position. You will see the split in the spring when viewing it.

How much does it cost to replace a garage door torsion spring? ›

Torsion Spring and Bar

Replacement torsion springs cost $30 to $100 each, and replacing them will cost $75 to $150 per spring, including labor and materials. Top-rated garage door repair experts are here to help.

How do you fix a broken garage door hinge? ›

How To Repair A Broken Garage Door Hinge or Replace a Roller - YouTube

How much is a spring for a garage door? ›

Garage Door Spring Replacement Cost

Replacing garage door springs costs $150 to $350 on average. The springs alone typically run $30 to $75 each, but you may find them as low as $15 and up to $100 each. Commercial grade springs can run $300 or more.

Do electric garage doors need servicing? ›

Homeowners with automatic garage doors do not need to get their doors serviced as frequently as their commercial counterparts. Homeowners don't use their door as often as businesses do. However, homeowners with automated garage doors should still have their garage door serviced at least once every 18 months.

How much is a motor for a garage door? ›

Garage-door openers themselves typically cost between $120 and $300, depending on how sophisticated the device is. Labor costs can vary depending on where you live. According to HomeGuide, the average total cost to install a garage-door opener is about $250 to $500.

How long do garage door motors last? ›

Like most things mechanical, garage door openers aren't designed to last forever. Even if they last longer than you expect, they're not going to deliver the same performance after 10 years, even with routine maintenance. Typically, electric garage door openers have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

Is it better to repair or replace a garage door opener? ›

Regardless of any issues you're having with your garage door opener, if it's at least a decade old, you should replace it. Garage door opener repair can also be more expensive than replacement.

Can you just replace garage door opener motor? ›

Can I reuse the old rails and parts when installing a new garage door opener? Although your new garage door opener may appear similar in design to your old opener, our recommendation is that you replace the entire opener. This includes mounting hardware, rails, wired door controls and wireless remote devices.

How do I reset my garage door motor? ›

Home Repair and Maintenance - How To Reset A Garage Door Opener

How do I know if I need a new garage door opener? ›

5 Signs Your Garage Door Opener Needs To Be Replaced
  • Garage Door Opener Won't Open Or Close The Door. ...
  • Garage Door Reverses When Opening Or Closing. ...
  • Intermittent And Random Function. ...
  • Noisy Garage Door Opener. ...
  • Garage Door Stalls Or Gets Stuck.
13 Mar 2019

How do you reset garage door sensors? ›

Garage Door Safety Sensors Troubleshooting - Complete 3 Step ...

How do you check garage door sensors? ›

How To Test Your Garage Door Sensor Properly! "Mike's ... - YouTube

What does it mean when one garage door sensor is red and one is green? ›

One will have a green light, used to show that the units are powered up, and the other will have a red light to show that there's no obstruction between the sensors and that they're 'seeing' each other.

How hard is it to replace a garage door opener? ›

Installing a garage door opener is a moderately challenging task that can be accomplished in an afternoon using essential tools you probably already have in your home collection.

How often should a garage door be repaired? ›

You should have your garage door serviced at least once a year if no other issues arise. Service technicians prolong the life of your garage door with preventative maintenance: lubricating areas of the door, tightening bolts and screws and adjusting spring tension.

How long does it take to replace a garage door opener? ›

How long it takes to install a garage door opener depends on a few factors, but you should count on at least half a day, or about 4–6 hours.

Why does my garage door close and then open back up? ›

Your garage door is programmed to travel a certain distance before it closes. If it closes before that distance has been traveled, it thinks something is wrong — and it reopens to help prevent any damage. Changes in weather conditions can causes your garage door components to shift or contract.

How do you manually close garage door that won't close? ›

How do I close the garage door manually? If you can't get your garage door to close with the opener you still have a few options. Make sure nothing is in the path of the opener or stuck in the track. Then press and hold the wall button until the door closes completely then release the button.

Why does my garage door stop halfway? ›

Improper Limit Setting

Your automatic garage door comes with a limit setting that limits the amount of force it is allowed to exert in either opening or closing. If this setting is improper, it can cause your door to stop midway, thinking its job is done.

How do I know if my torsion spring is broken? ›

Springs Have Gaps

If you suspect that you have a broken torsion spring, close your garage door and locate the spring. If you see any gaps in the spring, it has snapped and will need to be replaced.

Can you raise a garage door with a broken spring? ›

A garage door can still open if the spring is broken, but it will take some manual effort. Using your garage door opener could burn out the motor since the broken spring makes the garage door heavier. We recommend not attempting to open your garage door if it has a broken spring.

What happens when a garage door torsion spring breaks? ›

These springs are primarily responsible for lifting your garage door. If the torsion spring is broken, the door will not go up. Attempting to lift your garage door at this point is extremely dangerous and doing so can cause your garage door opener to break.

What is the average life of a garage door spring? ›

What's the average lifespan of a garage door spring? Most garage door springs are designed to open and close a garage door 10,000 times. If you use your garage door four times a day, this equates to a seven year lifespan for the average spring.

What does broken spring on garage door look like? ›

Learn how to identify a broken garage door spring - YouTube

Can I replace garage door spring myself? ›

You can definitely replace garage door springs on your own, but it can be a bit tricky and dangerous, and the skill required depends a lot on the type of springs that you have.

Do you have to replace both springs on garage door? ›

Yes. You may be tempted to save money on parts and labor by replacing just one spring, but you'll likely need to replace both when one spring breaks. Garage doors have two springs, one on either side of the door.

How do I raise my garage door with a broken torsion spring? ›

How To Open A Broken Garage Door, Broken Spring - YouTube

How do I reset my garage door rollers? ›

How to reset the Hormann Rollmatic BiSecur roller door operator

Why does my garage door not closing evenly? ›

If your door has a gap on one side or the other when it's closed, the problem is most likely due to a break or other issue with one of the extension springs. Repairing your garage door springs can be a dangerous job due to the weight of the door.

Why is my garage door not shutting all the way? ›

Check the Sensors

If your garage door won't close all the way, it's probably an issue with your sensors. Garage door openers have safety lasers mounted near the floor by the tracks. These sensors detect when small children, pets, or obstructions block the garage door's path, helping to keep everyone safe.

Do electric garage doors need servicing? ›

Homeowners with automatic garage doors do not need to get their doors serviced as frequently as their commercial counterparts. Homeowners don't use their door as often as businesses do. However, homeowners with automated garage doors should still have their garage door serviced at least once every 18 months.

How do you fix a stuck roller door? ›

What Causes a Garage Door to Get Stuck? - YouTube

Why does my garage door stop halfway down? ›

Improper Limit Setting. Your automatic garage door comes with a limit setting that limits the amount of force it is allowed to exert in either opening or closing. If this setting is improper, it can cause your door to stop midway, thinking its job is done.

What happens when you pull the red string on a garage door? ›

The emergency release cord is the red rope that hangs from the door trolley that moves with the door along the rail. The trolley sits on the opener carriage. which moves the door. When the release cord is pulled, it disconnects the trolley from the carriage allowing you to manually move the door.

Why is one side of my garage door higher than other? ›

When a garage door is unbalanced, it's because the springs are providing too little or too much tension and, therefore, not properly counterbalancing the weight of the door.

Why does my garage door close then open back up? ›

Your garage door is programmed to travel a certain distance before it closes. If it closes before that distance has been traveled, it thinks something is wrong — and it reopens to help prevent any damage. Changes in weather conditions can causes your garage door components to shift or contract.

How much does it cost to fix a crooked garage door? ›

To fix the springs in a tilt-up door expect to pay $150 to $200, whereas a roll-up door will cost $200 to $250 to repair for a 2 car garage door. It's probably the springs that need to be replaced if the door won't open evenly on both sides, won't stay up, or won't open all the way.

Why does my garage door only open a foot and then stop? ›

An blockage is the most likely cause. Garage doors contain sensors that prevent them from shutting on top of something, so be sure nothing is in the way before closing them.

Why is my garage door not closing and blinking? ›

When you see your garage door opener lights flashing and the garage door will not close, it could be the safety reversing sensors or the LOCK button. If there is a safety reversing sensor issue, the main light(s) flash 10 times. Start with aligning the safety sensors.

How do you manually close garage door that won't close? ›

How do I close the garage door manually? If you can't get your garage door to close with the opener you still have a few options. Make sure nothing is in the path of the opener or stuck in the track. Then press and hold the wall button until the door closes completely then release the button.

How long do electric garage doors last? ›

Estimates of longevity are based on usage, but most experts believe the average garage door should last between 15 and 30 years, depending on construction quality, maintenance and local climate conditions. Automatic garage door openers typically provide 10–15 years of reliable service.

What maintenance does a garage door need? ›

How To Maintain a Garage Door - YouTube

How often should a garage door be serviced? ›

How Often Should I Have My Garage Door Serviced? You should have your garage door serviced at least once a year if no other issues arise. Service technicians prolong the life of your garage door with preventative maintenance: lubricating areas of the door, tightening bolts and screws and adjusting spring tension.

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