As commercial and residential garage door service professionals, we’ve pretty much dealt with every issue you can think of when it comes to garage door repair.
Even still, there are sometimes issues that continue to surprise us, like the tiny insect nest growing on the photo eye sensor or the tennis ball that somehow managed to knock the door entirely off its track. Even though these issues are uncommon, it’s nothing that garage door service professionals like us can’t handle!
While there are times you may be able to fix the problem yourself, there are many reasons it may be best to leave the garage door repair up to the professionals.
Knowing what’s wrong with your garage door may help you to determine if it is a problem you can tackle or if it’s time to call someone for assistance. To help you troubleshoot your garage door issues, here are some of the most common, simple reasons your garage door won’t work.
Check Your Batteries
This may sound obvious, but your garage door transmitters need power to work. If the batteries in your transmitter are dead, the transmitter won’t be able to send a signal to your garage door to open.
First, check to see if the transmitter on the wall inside your garage still opens your garage door when pressed. If it does, then the transmitter in your car likely just needs a simple battery replacement. If you have more than one car transmitter for your garage door, then your other transmitters will likely need new batteries soon as well, since they were probably installed around the same time.
Inspect Your Photo Eyes
If you notice that the garage door opens normally but doesn’t make any attempt to close when the remote is pressed, the first thing you’ll want to do is visually inspect the photo eyes. Over time, these eyes can get dirty, causing the light from the beam to be blocked. They also can eventually become misaligned, causing the eyes to not match up on both sides.
When cleaning the photo eye, you should take care not to scratch or damage the eye since it’s made of glass, similar to that of a camera lens. The photo eye itself is pretty small, only a few centimeters in diameter, but it can get dirty rather easily. To clean it, you’ll need a soft cloth and a mild, streak-free cleaner. Gently wipe away any dirt or residue that has built up on the eye and be careful not to oversaturate as excessive wetness can cause dirt to stick to the eye more quickly.
If your photo eyes are clean and the door still isn’t closing, the next thing you’ll need to do is check the alignment of the eyes. The eyes should be pointing in exactly the same direction and at the same angle. If they’re off, they won’t register that the other one is there, and it’ll assume something is in its path, causing the door to stay in the open position. When checking the alignment, measure the height of each photo eye from the ground. Use a level to make sure they’re pointing directly across at each other at the same angle. A laser level will make this part a little easier, but if you don’t have one, a regular level will work as well.
Once you have the eyes cleaned and aligned, test your door to make sure it opens and closes normally. If you’re still experiencing issues with the photo eyes, it may be time to call the professionals to come out and diagnose the problem.
If your garage door track is out of alignment, it can be a serious issue. The metal track your door runs on needs to be aligned properly in order for your door to move. If you see gaps between the rollers and rail, or bends in the rails themselves, you have a problem. The heavy weight of the door can compound these issues and make them worse until it becomes dangerous to operate your door.
If the track is misaligned, but the door still moves, there are a few things you can do to attempt to remedy the issue on your own. You’ll know that it’s misaligned if you hear a rubbing noise when the garage door reaches a certain spot on the tracks each time it opens and closes. Sometimes the door may even slow down slightly when it hits this spot.
To realign the track, first loosen the screws that hold the track to the frame. Then, gently tap the track with a rubber mallet to move it back into the proper position. Use a level to ensure it’s perfectly straight. Once you have the alignment correct, tighten the screws securely to ensure the track won’t move and cause more issues when opening your garage door. You’ll need to repeat this same process on the other tracks as well, as these may also be out of alignment.
If the door won’t move at all because of an alignment issue, then this problem isn’t one that you should try to tackle yourself. A garage door professional will have the necessary equipment needed to safely realign and repair your garage door. Additionally, if the track misalignment is beyond repair, a professional can install a new garage door track for you.
No matter the reason why your garage door is giving you issues, we’ve probably seen it before, and we can definitely help you make it right again. Give our friendly professionals at Midlothian Garage Doors a call today! We are here to help.