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5 Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Close and What to Do

reasons a garage door won't close and what to do

Struggling with a garage door that won’t close can quickly bring a productive day to a halt. Beyond the inconvenience, it can leave your home vulnerable and even pose safety risks, depending on the malfunction. But don’t worry—once you know what’s going on, you’ll be back up and running in no time.

This post will cover five common reasons a garage door won’t close, offer straightforward troubleshooting tips to get you back on schedule, and make sure you know when the case calls for a professional.

1) Something is in the Door’s Path

One of the most common reasons your garage door won’t close is an obstruction in its path. Garage doors are equipped with sensors that detect objects in the way to prevent accidents. Even a small item like a toy or a pile of leaves can trigger these sensors and keep the door from closing.

Try This

  • Inspect the Path: Check the garage door’s path for any objects or debris. Look closely along the tracks and the area where the door meets the ground.
  • Clear the Obstruction: Then, remove any items that could be blocking the sensors. Ensure the path is completely clear before attempting to close the door again.
  • Check the Sensors: Make sure the sensors are clear and unobstructed. If your garage door still won’t close after clearing the path, there may be another issue at play.
Garage door sensor – your door may not open or close if it's blocked, dirty, or misaligned.

Garage door sensor – your door may not open or close if it’s blocked, dirty, or misaligned.

2) Misaligned or Dirty Sensors

Safety sensors are important for the safe operation of your garage door. They’re located near the bottom of the door tracks and must align correctly to function. If they’re misaligned or have dirt on them, the door may not close properly or at all.

Try This

  • Inspect Alignment: To do this, see if the sensors are facing each other directly. Misaligned sensors can cause the door to reverse or stop.
  • Adjust the Sensors: If the sensors don’t align, gently adjust them until they do. Most sensors have indicator lights that show if they are aligned correctly.
  • Clean the Sensors: Sometimes, dirt and grime can interfere with the sensors’ operation. Use a soft cloth to clean both sensors thoroughly.

After ensuring the sensors are clean and aligned, try closing the door again. If it still won’t close, the issue might be with the springs.

3) Broken or Worn-Out Springs

Next, garage door springs are essential for lifting and lowering the door smoothly. Over time, these springs can wear out or break, making it difficult or impossible for the door to close.

Try This

  • Check the Springs: Look for signs of wear and tear on the springs. If you notice gaps, rust, or a broken spring, this could be the cause of the problem.
  • Avoid DIY Fixes: Garage door springs are under high tension and can be dangerous to replace without proper tools and knowledge.
  • Get a Helping Hand: Contact a qualified garage door technician to inspect and replace the springs if necessary.

4) Issues with the Remote Control or Wall Switch

Then, in some cases, the problem isn’t with the door itself! The devices used to operate it can also malfunction. A remote control or wall switch that’s not working can prevent your garage door from opening or closing.

Try This

  • Check the Batteries: If you’re using a remote control, the batteries might be dead or low. Replace them with fresh ones and see if that resolves the issue.
  • Test the Wall Switch: Press the wall switch to see if the door responds. If the door closes using the wall switch but not the remote, the issue is likely with the remote.
  • Reprogram the Remote: Sometimes, the remote control can lose its connection to the garage door opener. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to reprogram the remote.
  • Inspect the Antenna: Ensure the garage door opener’s antenna is hanging down and is not damaged. A bent or broken antenna can affect the signal.

5) Manual Lock Engaged or Disconnected Door

Finally, your garage door might not close if the manual lock is engaged or the door is disconnected from the opener.

Try This

  • Check the Lock: Many garage doors have a manual lock feature. Ensure the lock is not engaged. If it is, disengage it and try closing the door again.
  • Reconnect the Door: Sometimes, the door can become disconnected from the opener. Look for a release cord or lever (usually red) hanging from the garage door opener rail. Reattach the door to the opener by pulling the cord or lever and then manually moving the door until it reconnects.
Common reasons your garage door won't close

When to Call a Professional

  • Persistent Issues: If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps and your garage door still won’t close, there may be an underlying issue that only a professional can diagnose.
  • Complex Repairs: Problems with the garage door opener, wiring, or significant mechanical components are best handled by a professional to ensure safety and proper functioning.
  • Safety Concerns: If there are any safety concerns, such as broken springs or cables, it’s crucial to seek professional help immediately. These components are under high tension and can be dangerous to repair without the proper tools and knowledge.

Other Recommended Maintenance

A low-maintenance care routine can help keep your garage door from acting up. Start by lubricating all moving parts, including the rollers, tracks, hinges, and springs, with a high-quality garage door lubricant to reduce friction and wear.

Next, inspect all the hardware, such as bolts and screws, and tighten any that have become loose due to the vibrations from normal operation.

It’s also important to test the balance of the door – disconnect the opener and manually lift the door halfway. If it stays in place, it’s in balance. If it falls or rises, the springs may need professional adjustment.

Additionally, closely examine the cables and pulleys for signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or damage, and contact a professional if replacements are necessary. Keep the tracks clean by wiping them down with a damp cloth to remove debris, ensuring they align clearly and have no obstacles.

Wrapping Up

From checking for obstructions to inspecting moving parts, certain troubleshooting steps can save you time and hassle. However, some issues—like broken springs or complex electrical problems—are best left to professionals who can handle them safely and efficiently.

If you have questions about the safety or function of any home component, don’t hesitate to reach out to Waypoint Property Inspections in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Orlando, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.