Reasons Why Your Garage Door Won’t Close

Top Reasons Your Garage Door Won't Close (And How to Fix Them)

A garage door that refuses to close can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially when you're in a hurry or need to secure your home. Here are some common reasons why your garage door might be acting up, along with practical solutions to get it working smoothly again.

1. Obstructed Photo Sensors

  • Symptoms: The garage door starts closing but then immediately reverses.
  • Cause: Photo sensors at the bottom of the garage door tracks detect obstructions in the path of the closing door, such as debris or misaligned sensors.
  • Solution: Check for any objects blocking the sensors and properly align them. Clean the sensors with a soft cloth and adjust them until the indicator lights are steady (not blinking).

2. Misaligned Tracks

  • Symptoms: The garage door jerks or gets stuck while closing.
  • Cause: Tracks that are out of alignment can prevent smooth movement of the door rollers.
  • Solution: Inspect the tracks for gaps between the rollers and the track walls. Use a level to ensure the tracks are plumb and adjust them if necessary. Tighten any loose bolts and clean debris from the tracks.

3. Broken Torsion Springs

  • Symptoms: The garage door won't move at all or only moves a few inches before stopping.
  • Cause: Torsion springs balance the garage door's weight, and if one breaks, the door won't function properly.
  • Solution: Torsion springs are under high tension and should only be replaced by a professional garage door technician. Contact a reputable service provider to inspect and replace the broken spring.

4. Blocked or Broken Rollers

  • Symptoms: The garage door makes grinding noises or struggles to move smoothly.
  • Cause: Worn-out, damaged, or blocked rollers can prevent the door from closing properly.
  • Solution: Inspect the rollers for signs of wear and tear. Replace any damaged rollers and lubricate them with garage door lubricant to ensure smooth operation.

5. Limit Switch Needs Adjustment

  • Symptoms: The garage door closes partially and then reverses or doesn't close all the way.
  • Cause: The limit switch determines how far the garage door travels before stopping. If it's incorrectly set, the door won't close properly.
  • Solution: Consult your garage door opener manual to locate the limit switch adjustment screws. Carefully adjust the screws to set the appropriate travel limits for the door.

6. Power Interruptions or Malfunctioning Opener

  • Symptoms: The garage door doesn't respond to the remote or wall switch commands.
  • Cause: Power surges, electrical outages, or issues with the garage door opener unit itself can prevent the door from closing.
  • Solution: Check the power source to the opener unit. Ensure the motor unit is plugged in securely, and inspect the circuit breaker or fuse box for tripped breakers or blown fuses. If necessary, reset the opener unit according to the manufacturer's instructions.

7. Dirty or Worn Weather Stripping

  • Symptoms: The garage door closes but leaves gaps at the sides or bottom.
  • Cause: Dirty, worn, or damaged weather stripping can affect the door's seal and alignment.
  • Solution: Clean the weather stripping with a mild detergent and replace any worn-out or damaged sections. Ensure the weather stripping is properly aligned to create a tight seal when the door closes.

Dealing with a garage door that won't close can be daunting, but many issues have straightforward solutions. By identifying the cause and applying these troubleshooting tips, you can often resolve the problem and restore your garage door's functionality. Remember, safety is paramount when working with garage door components, especially springs and electrical systems. When in doubt, it's always best to consult a professional garage door technician for assistance.