Why Is My Garage Door Not Working? : 4 Troubleshooting Tips

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Why Is My Garage Door Not Working - Ohana Garage Door Repair

Most homeowners have garage doors that will operate trouble-free for years.  It’s never a thought that ever crosses a homeowner’s mind until your garage door stops working and leaves you hung up in a bind.  We’ve dealt with almost every possible garage door repair issue you could imagine when it comes to residential garage door systems.  From an accident that could involve a vehicle to garage door part failures from wear and tear, we’ve seen many different ways a garage door can fail.

While garage door problems are generally uncommon, there are over 700,000 households in the Houston area which means that is a lot of potential garage door systems with problems!

Garage door systems aren’t overly complicated for the average do-it-yourselfer to work on and repair but they can be very heavy and cumbersome to work on, which can pose a problem if you don’t have access to another good strong set of hands to help you.  There are also certain functional parts in a garage door system that can be very dangerous to mess with without having the proper tools and knowledge such as the garage door torsion springs for example because the springs are under really high tension.

If you don’t feel comfortable with your own garage door repair in Katy, TX, because you don’t have the tools or knowledge or the time, then don’t hesitate to contact the professionals like Ohana Garage Doors of Houston.

If you are the DIY type there is certainly nothing wrong with trying to troubleshoot the door so you have a better idea of what might be needed for the repair, and if it is something you could fix on your own. In the spirit of offering good, friendly service we’ll list a few of the most common reasons our client’s garage door systems fail to operate properly.


#1. Check the Transmitter Batteries And Your Remote Too!

We’ve got to rule out the obvious before we go any further. It’s not uncommon for a garage door opener to have batteries inside the actual keypad on your exterior wall and in the remote, you might have in your car. If the batteries in either are dead, then your garage door opener won’t be able to receive a signal telling it to cycle the door.


The batteries on the wall keypad are often 9-volt batteries and are very easy to change. The battery access door is usually pried open gently with a screwdriver exposing the battery. On your garage door remote, it’s usually on the back, you’ll find a section that slides out for the battery. If in doubt check your owner manual if you have it, or check online for your specific make/model of opener.


If your problem was as simple as a dead battery you might feel pretty foolish if we drove out to your place just to tell you that!


#2. Check Your Garage Door Sensors or “Safety Eyes”.

On either side of your garage door, close to the ground, you’ll see a sensor. These sensors became mandatory for garage door installation in homes after 1993, so if your garage door is older than that, you might not have them. These two safety sensors transmit an invisible beam between them that can detect any objects such as people, pets, or vehicles, that might be in the garage doors path. It’s a simple safety feature that has saved lives and property.


If your garage door appears to be opening normally but then won’t close when you try to close it then you’ll want to make sure there is nothing obstructing the safety sensors. If there is nothing blocking the safety sensors then make sure they haven’t been bumped out of alignment. The sensors should be pointing directly at each other, if they are misaligned it will cause an issue with your garage door not closing properly.


It’s not a bad idea to take a soft damp cloth and clean your garage door sensors every once in a while. Dust and dirt can build up on the sensor eyes which will also cause operation problems.


If the garage door sensors are unobstructed, the sensor eyes are free of dirt and debris and both sensors are in alignment your garage door should open and close normally. If after this troubleshooting, it’s still not working, then you might want to call a professional to diagnose and repair your problem.


#3. The Garage Door Track Is Out Of Alignment


off-track garage doorHeavy Duty Spring Replacements - Ohana Garage Door Repair

Your garage door relies on a metal track, usually fastened to your wall and ceiling so that the garage door rollers have something to roll “on” and the door moves up and down in a very precise manner. If your door tracks are out of alignment due to an accident, poor installation, or wear then it can be a serious issue.


When looking at your garage door tracks the rollers should all be in contact with the track. There shouldn’t be any kinks or bends aside from the 90° transition from the ceiling to the wall. You don’t want to see kinks or bends in the track that could cause the rollers to move out of alignment. If your door opens slowly during a certain part of its cycle, makes loud rubbing noises, or seems to meet more resistance then it’s a very good indicator that the


If your door opens slowly during a certain part of its cycle, makes loud rubbing noises, or seems to meet more resistance during a certain part of the cycle then it’s a very good indicator that the track is out of alignment and it’s causing an excessive amount of friction. When it comes to mechanical parts, friction means wear! This needs to be addressed or you’ll face a bigger problem in the future.


Depending on what has happened to the track, you just might be able to fix this yourself. If the track has just come loose from the wall or ceiling it could be as simple as re-tightening the fasteners down to an almost tight position, then, using a rubber mallet or soft dead blow hammer you can tap the track back into alignment, then tighten it down once it’s back into position.


You should consider calling a professional like Ohana Garage Doors Houston if your garage door won’t open or close because of a bent or misaligned track. If the track has been damaged then it’s probably going to need garage door replacement and we do install new garage door tracks.


#4. Broken Garage Door Springs


Heavy Duty Spring Replacements - Ohana Garage Door Repair


If your garage door was operating normally and then all of a sudden will no longer go up, yet you still have power to the motor (garage door opener) and the transmitter is working, it could be a broken garage door torsion spring. When a garage door spring breaks it can often be quite loud as they are under a great amount of tension so you’ll know when it breaks.  If you weren’t around to hear it, the spring can be visibly inspected by looking just above your door, if you see one or both springs in pieces, it’s time to replace it.


Many people don’t realize it’s the tension stored within these springs that assists your garage door motor with lifting these big heavy doors. It’s not uncommon for homes built through the 80s 90’s the 2000s to have garage door spring failures as there were many builders just opting to use the cheapest garage door components possible when building homes and the garage door system was always a victim to this practice.


Inferior garage door springs were commonly used because they met a price point for the builder and would work for the homeowner for quite some time without issue. Here we are a few years later and an entire industry has been built around replacing these inferior springs.


The garage door springs break because they are made from metal, which might sound strange because you would think metal is really strong right?  Right!, But anytime metal is bent (or coiled up in the case of a garage door spring) it can cause a condition called work-hardening. This weakens the integrity of the metal over time.


If you’ve ever taken a small piece of tin or aluminum and bent it back and forth several times it will usually start to form a crease and then break, this was “work-hardening” in action. The same problem happens with garage door springs after they have opened and closed the garage door for so many cycles (usually hundreds or thousands of times).


Garage door springs are very dangerous to work with and without the special tools and experience, it’s not a recommended do-it-yourself repair. Serious injury to the face or hands or damage to your property could occur.


Ohana Garage Doors Houston specializes in replacing poor-quality garage door springs that have broken or are about to break with a much heavier duty set of springs that will perform better and last longer. If you suspect you need new garage door springs, give us a call!


Ohana Garage Doors Houston Offers Garage Door Repair Throughout Houston Texas

When you choose Ohana Garage Doors Houston you’re partnering with a small, local, family-run garage door repair company that specializes in all aspects of residential garage door repair, including springs, rollers, openers, door tracks, and more.


We are a company that’s large enough to serve all of your garage door needs but we’re still small enough to treat you as if you were our only customer and make sure you’re 110% satisfied with our garage door services. We’ll leave nothing behind but a smoothly operating garage door.


If you’d like to receive an estimate for garage door repairs in the Houston area please give us a call at 281-623-4335 or fill out our contact form and someone will be getting right back to you.

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Call for an estimate, or schedule one of our professional technicians – whether you’ve had a garage door spring break, your garage door opener quit working, your overhead doors need maintenance service, or you want new modern overhead doors for your new home. We can offer you cost-effective, trouble-free garage door solutions.

If you’d like to receive an estimate to repair or service the overhead garage door system in your home please give us a call 281-623-4335 or fill out our contact form and someone will be getting right back to you.