Is Your Garage Door Stuck: Reasons and Quick Solutions (2022)



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Have you ever had a day where everything goes wrong? You overslept, your kids are late for school, you are in a rush to get to an important meeting, and the garage door stops halfway up. Mornings are tough as is, so a door breaking down will certainly add extra stress to your day.

Garage doors are complex mechanisms that can malfunction for no obvious reason or even stop working altogether. It might be due to its age and somewhat outdated technology, or it could be something minor that you can immediately fix. Yet, sometimes you can’t fix it on your own and will require emergency garage door repair services.

What are the most common issues, and how does one open a jammed garage door? Discover the most common issues and troubleshooting tips below!

(Video) What Causes a Garage Door to Get Stuck?

How to Open a Jammed Garage Door: Common Issues & Best Solutions

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The garage door is stuck closed

If your garage door got stuck and won’t open while you are still inside, don’t panic. There is an easy guide on how to open it manually.

  1. Unlock any locks and latches to make sure the mechanism will let you open the door manually;
  2. Unplug the motor to disconnect the door opener from electricity;
  3. Find the emergency release cord and pull it down. The emergency release handle is a red handle located in the middle of the door track. Do not pull it down before making sure the garage door is fully closed;
  4. Lift the garage door until the door stops moving. Make sure it does stop before letting go. In case it hasn’t reached the top yet, it will rapidly close, leading to an accident.

In addition, if your garage door is not opening, you can check our article to find the 13 most frequent reasons for this happening.

The garage door is stuck open

If your garage door opener is stuck in the up position, follow the aforementioned guidelines. However, first, make sure that springs aren’t broken before triggering the emergency release. Second, once you pull the handle down, the door will rapidly fall, damaging the door itself and anything underneath it. To avoid any damage and injuries, put a log underneath the door to stop it from falling to the ground.

The garage door stuck on one side

There are several reasons for the door getting stuck on one side. It could be due to broken strings, insufficient lubrication, or even the door going off track. This may also be due to a garage door emergency release getting stuck or various other problems. Either way, call the professionals for expert garage door opener repair.

The garage door is stuck halfway, or the garage door gets stuck going up

If the door only opens halfway or doesn’t operate smoothly, the first thing you should do is fully close it. Then pull down the emergency release handle and try to open the door again. If you don’t succeed in opening it all the way up, there must be some garage door opener problems.

Is the garage door stuck halfway open again? This means that the problem is the door itself, so don’t hesitate to call the professionals to repair a stuck garage door in your region.

Is Your Garage Door Stuck: Reasons and Quick Solutions (1)

(Video) What To Check If Your Garage Door Won't Open - Ace Hardware

Probable Reasons for a Garage Door Getting Stuck

Weather Conditions

Abnormally extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can negatively affect the garage door. Fluctuating temperatures lead to rails expanding and contracting, which inevitably causes damage. For example, it can result in your garage door getting stuck in cold weather. In this case, an adjustment of the door opener is required. Refer to a technician to adjust the door opening mechanism’s pressure to add extra force and get the job done.

Springs and Drums

Your garage door is not performing any tasks—it’s only there to protect your property. The heavy-duty is carried out by the springs that are prone to breaking at some point. Metal drums lift the door by interacting with cables on every side, which can also be blocked or damaged. We strongly don’t recommend fixing either on your own and advise you to call a professional team to avoid any possible injuries resulting from a DIY approach. Also, you may need a garage door track replacement.


Blockages can be caused by leaves, small stones, and dirt stored in the rails. They are the reason preventing the door from closing and opening properly. A small ball or a toy can cause a garage door to get stuck. To detect a foreign object and stop the door from operating poorly, examine the rollers, tracks, and hinges for debris.

Sensor Obstructions

Both sides of the garage are fitted with sensors. When something is blocking the sensors, it can lead to a door getting jammed. It doesn’t even have to be an object per se; for instance, it could be a spider web blocking the sensor. Take a look at the sensors on each side and sweep away the webs.

Chain Issues

Garage door chains are a viable part of the door opening mechanism. Being used every day, they eventually get weaker because of the vibrations coming from the motor and the weight of the heavy garage door. Is your garage door opener stuck? This can affect the entire process of opening and closing the door by slowing down the mechanism significantly.

Trolley Issues

After checking the door opener and making sure it’s working, take a look at the trolley carriage. Is your garage door trolley stuck and needs replacement? Fortunately, it is quite an easy and affordable fix, and we will cover it in the next part.

Is Your Garage Door Stuck: Reasons and Quick Solutions (2)

How to Fix a Stuck Garage Door: Best Practices

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Replace the trolley carriage

First, disconnect the motor unit from electricity or turn off the breaker. Pull the aforementioned release handle and manually close the door. Place the ladder underneath the trolley and remove it.

Put the new carriage onto the rail and attach the rail to the wall bracket. Connect the motor back to the power outlet and check if the new trolley works properly.

Check for an obstruction

If you have detected an obstruction that prevents your door from functioning and gets the garage door jammed, inspect every part of the mechanism. Rollers, hinges, tracks, and other hardware can lead to a malfunction when blocked by a foreign object. It could also be due to poor lubrication—in this case, simply lubricate the tracks and hardware with silicone-based grease or oil.

Broken spring

Nothing yet found? Check the springs. But first, determine which type of springs you have. The torsion spring is placed horizontally at the top of the door. To figure out whether it is broken or not, look for a gap between the springs.

The extension springs are located vertically alongside the door. Check their condition to see if they are broken and hanging loose. In case you find a broken spring, both torsion and extension, call professional help. Do not perform the replacement on your own because it is a dangerous task that requires expertise and caution.

Check the track

Check the tracks for any signs of damage. They can be severely bent or a little uneven, both of which are fixable. If you are handy enough, you can even do it yourself: take a hammer, put a layer of thick fabric or a wood plank in between, and straighten the track. If you don’t feel confident and don’t trust yourself with a hammer, contact experts.

The rollers are off the track

Is the garage door stuck even after you have inspected all the issues above? Then maybe your rollers jumped off the track, which means you should definitely use a professional service to fix the problem. Experts from STI Garage Door can diagnose the issue quickly. We work in a relatively big area in the US and can easily repair a stuck garage door in Alexandria, VA, or other regions in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, DC.

Poor installation

Finally, door malfunctioning might be due to unprofessional and sloppy door installation. Call the company that has installed your garage door, and they will re-install it or adjust the settings accordingly.

Our Experience

STI Garage Door is a reliable and trusted expert that specializes in garage door replacement and installation of different types of garage doors. We operate in the states of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Having worked with a multitude of commercial and residential garages, we guarantee efficiency, expertise, and quality. With a great focus on customer experience, we will accompany you at every step.

We conduct replacement of stuck garage doors in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, repair broken strings, replace trolley carriages, and fix malfunctioning door openers. We will put your door back on track and give you helpful tips on how to monitor the possible issues in the future. For example, what to do when the garage door gets stuck going up when it’s cold or how to open a stuck garage door from the outside in case of emergency.

(Video) How To Fix Garage Doors That Won't Go Up All The Way

Final Thoughts

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Garage Door Service

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A garage is a very important part of your house and your morning routine. A broken garage door can cause your entire day to go off the rails. Moreover, by trying to fix a dangerous problem, you can harm yourself and your family members. Contact STI Garage Door to get first-hand information about garage doors and receive the best customer experience.

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What causes garage door to stick? ›

Check the Alignment

Perhaps the most common problem associated with a sticking garage door is when it's misaligned and not level. This causes your garage door to shimmy up the tracks which is why it's sticking on the way up and down. Check the springs to make sure they have the same amount of tension.

How do you open a stuck garage door manually? ›

Here are the steps to get your door opened without a problem:
  1. Door Must Be in Down Position. ...
  2. Pull the Emergency Release Cord. ...
  3. Manually Move the Garage Door and Return to Down Position. ...
  4. Pull the Emergency Release Cord Toward the Door. ...
  5. Re-connect the Trolley to the Opener Carriage.

Why is my garage door hard to open and close? ›

Cause: Misalignment, damage or clogging of the garage door track can be a serious problem when attempting to open your garage door smoothly. Telltale signs of track issues are gaps between rollers and the rail, misshapen elements, a rubbing noise, or a stiff feel when opening.

Why is my garage door not opening? ›

A broken spring repair is one of the most common reasons why a garage door is not opening. Garage tension springs store mechanical energy that controls the movement of the garage door. Wear and tear could weaken the tension springs, which could lead to the garage door not working.

What can I use to lubricate my garage door? ›

While you might be tempted to reach for standard WD-40 to lubricate your garage door, you'll actually want to avoid using it for this task because it can attract dirt, which can create additional problems. Instead, use white lithium grease or silicone spray.

Can you use wd40 on garage door? ›

WD-40 is a top choice for lubricating garage doors and has been keeping them in top shape for over 60 years. It is widely used because it not just provides lubrication to the garage doors, but also helps in preventing rust and corrosion. It can also withstand heat and cold, making it ideal for garage door lubrication.

How do you lubricate a sticky garage door? ›

How To Lubricate Your Garage Door !! (QUICK & EASY) - YouTube

Why does my garage door not open smoothly? ›

The causes of your garage door sticking could be that its rollers and hinges simply become stuck or that the track is dirty or clogged. If your garage door's rollers and hinges are stuck, try applying some lubrication such as WD-40. This should get your garage door back to opening and closing smoothly.

Why cant I manually open my garage door? ›

Over time, your door might become stiff or stuck which makes it difficult to open. Check the components of your garage door are lubricated properly, simply by applying the lubricant as outlined on the package instructions, and this can help your door open and close smoothly.

Why is my garage door so heavy to open? ›

If your garage door is heavy to lift manually, something is wrong. Usually, garage door springs need to be adjusted or replaced. Garage door springs offset the weight of the door. A problem with the spring tension could cause the door to open or close unevenly, improperly, or at the wrong speed.

How do I reset my garage door? ›

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

Do garage door openers have a reset button? ›

Generally, newer garage openers have a button that will reset the system. If you own an older model, the garage opener uses a dual in-line package (DIP) to operate the system. The systems that use a DIP rely on radio frequencies and switches, while newer garage door openers use wireless signals.

Why does my garage door get stuck when it's cold? ›

The most common garage door issue in the winter is contracting metal. It's simple physics that cold temperatures cause metal to contract. As temperatures outside drop, the metal in your door will start to tighten, making movement more difficult.

How does cold weather affect garage door openers? ›

Your garage door opener may struggle to open the door in cold weather, which could lead to breakage or higher energy costs. In some cases, garage doors may stick in cold weather, meaning the opener may not be able to open the door at all.

Should garage door tracks be lubricated? ›

Learn more about the dangers of garage door spring repair. Finally, you shouldn't lubricate the tracks, or they'll start collecting all the dust and dirt that gets kicked up over time. This will impede the door's operation. Instead, you should wipe down the tracks with a wet cloth and, if necessary, a grease cleaner.

Is silicone or lithium grease better for garage doors? ›

Use a silicone or Teflon spray ONLY. DO NOT use grease, oil,lithium or WD 40. Grease and Lithium are thick type lubricants and are designed to be applied manually to flat or almost flat friction surfaces. Grease and Lithium can also attract dirt which can work its way into the mechanisms and cause wear.

Are you supposed to lubricate garage door springs? ›

The life of garage door springs can be maximized by properly and regularly lubricating the springs. Metal springs are susceptible to corrosion which causes friction and quickly wears down the springs. The right lubricant can reduce and combat rust and corrosion.

What do you spray on garage door rollers? ›

Oil lubricants are actually degreasers, and when your garage door is squeaking, they need grease! That's right, oil lubricants are actually the opposite of what you want. Unless you have steel rollers, always use a silicone-based lubricant for all maintenance.

How often should I lubricate my garage door? ›

It's very important to lubricate all of the moving parts in your garage door every six months. This extends the lifespan of your door and also keeps it quiet.

How do you clean garage door tracks? ›

Clean the Tracks

Using a damp cloth, wipe any dirt away from inside the tracks. An old toothbrush can be used to dislodge thick dirt and a vacuum cleaner can also be used to remove debris from the hard-to-reach areas. For stubborn dirt and debris, you can use an automotive brake cleaner to wipe down the tracks.

Why is my garage door going up so slow? ›

The most common slow opening garage door fix is lubrication. Without proper lubrication, your garage door's many parts have to work overtime during opening and closing cycles, which makes those processes take longer than normal.

Can you use silicone lubricant on garage doors? ›

Silicone is an excellent spray lubricant for garage doors. It reduces friction, provides moisture protection, and resists extreme temperature changes.

How do you lubricate garage door tracks? ›

How to lubricate your GARAGE DOOR TRACKS - YouTube

How do I make my door open smoothly? ›

Fix a Sticky Door the Easy Way - YouTube

How do I make my garage door run smoothly? ›

3 Ways to Keep Your Garage Door Running Smoothly
  1. Remove Dirt From the Tracks. The tracks the guide garage doors as they open and close can accumulate dust, oil, and other debris, so you should take a few minutes to clean them from time to time. ...
  2. Lubricate Hardware. ...
  3. Check Door Balance.
20 Jul 2015

How can I make my garage door open easier? ›

How to Fix Garage-Door Tension - YouTube

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

Why is the garage door not closing properly? ›

Clutter or obstructions that block the sensor are the first problems to look for if your door won't close or, in extreme cases, open at all. First, check the sensor lights: Depending on the brand of garage door you have, one of the sensor lights may flash, dim, or go out completely when the beam is interrupted.

How do you test a garage door motor? ›

How to test Garage Door Opener - YouTube

How do you unstick a door? ›

Rubbing soap or wax on the sticking area will often help. Silicone spray lubricant, sold at most home centers and hardware stores, also can be used. Try shims. A thin filler or shim behind one of the hinges will often free a door that sticks near the top or bottom of the latch side.

Why is my door getting stuck? ›


How do you fix a jammed lock? ›

How To Fix a Sticky Lock | Mr. Locksmith™ Video - YouTube

Why cant I manually open my garage door? ›

Over time, your door might become stiff or stuck which makes it difficult to open. Check the components of your garage door are lubricated properly, simply by applying the lubricant as outlined on the package instructions, and this can help your door open and close smoothly.

How do I reset my garage door? ›

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

Why is the garage door not closing properly? ›

Clutter or obstructions that block the sensor are the first problems to look for if your door won't close or, in extreme cases, open at all. First, check the sensor lights: Depending on the brand of garage door you have, one of the sensor lights may flash, dim, or go out completely when the beam is interrupted.

What causes garage door to 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 unlock my garage door from the outside? ›

How to break into your OWN garage. - YouTube

Will unplugging a garage door opener reset it? ›

Reset Garage Door Opener

The first thing you will likely need to do in order to reset your garage door is to unplug it or shut off the breaker that it is connected to. This will shut off power to the door entirely. From there, you should wait at least ten seconds before turning the power to the door itself back on.

Where is the reset button on a garage door opener? ›

How to Reset a Garage Door Opener and Add Remotes - YouTube

Does a garage door opener have a reset button? ›

Generally, newer garage openers have a button that will reset the system. If you own an older model, the garage opener uses a dual in-line package (DIP) to operate the system. The systems that use a DIP rely on radio frequencies and switches, while newer garage door openers use wireless signals.

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.

Why is my garage door jamming? ›

Poor lubrication is a very common and easy to fix explanation for why you might find your garage door stuck. You should properly lubricate your garage door's track, the opener chain and the springs every few months as part of regular preventative maintenance.

How do you reset garage door sensors? ›

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

How do you know when a garage door sensor is 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.


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