5 Most Frustrating Garage Door Problems

garage door problems

Garages are a family home convenience most of us can’t do without, from storing our personal belongings to providing a safe haven for our vehicles. And living in the Pacific Northwest, a garage door opener during the rainy fall, winter, and spring seasons saves us from getting soaked.

While they are a much-appreciated addition to any home, there are common issues experienced by most homeowners. These common garage door problems can make your garage a place of unneeded stress and frustration. Here are some of the most frustrating:

The Ghost Garage Door

If you have experienced the mystery ghost garage door opener, you know how frustrating this problem can be. The garage door mysteriously opens on its own. This can be a problem for many reasons, including a mechanical failure that may be affecting the opener as a whole.

Additionally, if the garage door opens when you are away it can expose the items in your garage to the thieves and bad weather. A wet garage floor is one thing. Missing tools is something else entirely. And if your garage connects to your home and you don’t lock your door, an open garage can also make your home more accessible.

Why does it happen?

There are a number of reasons for the ghost garage door. The most common reason is another opener in the neighborhood has similar codes in their transmitter. So while they are opening your door, you may be opening theirs! Consult your owners manual to find out how to reprogram the remote control and your opener.

Other issues could be a short in the wiring, dead batteries in your remote control or a remote button that sticks. Exchanging batteries is pretty easy to do and being careful to make sure the button isn’t sticking after use is a simple solution. If bad wiring is involved, it’s best to get in touch with a professional.

The Half Door

This is that instance when the door only goes up or down halfway. Unless your lowrider is riding very very low, this means your car is stuck in the garage or unable to enter the garage. But it’s also a pain if you need to make a bunch of trips inside, like having to duck or even crawl to bring groceries into the house or retrieving garden tools.

Like a door that opens on its own, this is also a security risk. Even more so if the house is attached to the garage. Changing batteries in the remote probably isn’t going to solve this problem, however.

Why does it happen?

While there could be an issue with the opener, chances are the door itself is getting hung up somewhere. To rule out the opener, disengage the opener from the door by pulling the red handle dangling from the opener. If the garage opens and closes, there isn’t an issue with the opener.

To reengage the opener, make sure to line the trolley up with the pulley and pull the red handle to the side until you hear a click. Now check all of the tracks, cables, and wheels to see if there is anything impeding their movement. 

If a cable is hung up on something or the wheels need to be lubricated, you can probably take care of that. But if the torsion spring or tracks have been damaged, you will probably want to call in an expert. Because the door is so heavy, it is dangerous to attempt fixes for these more involved garage door repairs.

A Loud Garage Door

We have all probably experienced a noisy garage door at one point or another. Those shrieks or metal-on-metal sounds that radiate from the garage every time it is open or closed. It’s hard on the ears, and face it, a little embarrassing. But it can also point to problems within the garage door system. 

Why does it happen?

We’ve talked about this before: there are a LOT of moving parts when it comes to a garage door. The door itself is usually made up of five or six panels and each panel has a number of hinges and rollers that keep the panels in place. Then there is the torsion spring, the tracks, cables, and pulleys. 

And any one of those parts could be making your door squeaky and screechy. So it comes down to inspecting each part and checking for loose nuts and bolts, making sure the hinges are held securely, and the tracks aren’t loose. After several years of use, the vibration of the door could loosen some of these items.

If the noise is coming from the torsion spring, we recommend calling a professional to address that issue. The tension of the spring makes for a potentially dangerous situation. The same with the tracks – if they need to be replaced, it’s best to leave that to a garage door company that has the experience and the tools to do it properly.

The final bit of service you can perform is applying lubrication to the rollers to make sure they turning as they should. Once all of those issues have been addressed, the last area you can check is the opener. There could be a problem with the chain or the motor unit itself. Again, consult with a garage door professional for possible fixes.

The Tease

Maybe it will open, maybe it won’t. This is the door that opens about six inches then the door reverses. This back and forth motion is enough to make even the sanest individual lose their mind. You may be able to help it up all the way, but what’s the point of having an opener if it doesn’t open the door?

Why does it happen?

The most likely cause for this is a faulty or broken torsion spring. This spring is under high tension and acts as a counterbalance to the weight of the door. That’s what makes the garage door open almost effortlessly.

If there is something wrong with the spring, the opener is now having to lift all of the weight of the door. This could be hundreds of pounds and the opener isn’t built to handle that much weight. So it tries to open the door, but when the weight is too much, the opener gives up and lowers it again.

If you are considering replacing torsion, we recommend calling a garage door company. They’ll have the knowledge, the equipment, and the replacement parts to replace the spring safely. Your garage door will be fully operational in no time.

Manual Operation

Some garage doors, while rare, are meant to be manually operated. But if you aren’t too keen on lifting the garage open or pulling the door shut, you most likely have an opener. It can be a real pain (quite literally) having to open and close the door in all sorts of weather.

Why does it happen?

Because you don’t have a garage door opener! Of course, not every single garage door is made for an opener. Our guess is that your garage door – whether it’s a single piece door, carriage door, or traditional panel door – can be operated with an opener. 

Unsure what kind of opener is best? Give Ponderosa Garage Doors and Repair a call. We can discuss what kind of door you have and the opener options we have. We’ll also install the opener for you if you’d like, including safety sensors, photos eyes, and other safety features.

These are just a few of the more common problems for garage doors. If any of these problems, or one that’s not covered, happen to you, give us a call.