Garage Door Maintenance Care Guide

Why Won'T Your Garage Door Stay Closed?

Residential garage doors are surprisingly heavy and rely on springs under extreme tension to open and close smoothly. As a result, anything that affects their operation can be potentially dangerous. While a door that won't stay shut isn't as unsafe as one that refuses to remain up, it's still important to address any issues to ensure your door operates as safely as possible.

As with any relatively complex system in your home, there are multiple potential causes for any symptom you may experience. While you should always work with a qualified garage door repair service to diagnose and repair any problems, these three questions will help you better understand why your door may refuse to close.

1. Does the Door Close Partially and Return?

If the door begins to close, nearly reaches the ground, and then returns, there's a reasonable chance the problem may lie with your garage door sensors. Garage door sensors help protect you and your family by ensuring the door can't fully close if there's an obstruction. If someone stands below the door, the sensor will stop the door from lowering and raise it back up.

A door that closes partially, stops, and returns to the raised position may be receiving incorrect data from one of its sensors. If the sensor is loose or misaligned, the door's movement can cause it to move out of position. Since the sensor must be able to "see" the sensor on the opposite side, this will cause the door to return to the raised position.

2. Is There An Error Code?

Like many other modern appliances, your garage door's motor can likely display error codes. It will most likely display these codes by flashing a light on the motor. If you still have your owner's manual available, you can use it to check the meaning of the flash codes. If not, you can typically check your garage door opener's model number and find the diagnostic codes online.

For a door that won't stay shut, any error code will typically relate to the door safety sensors. However, other possibilities include issues with the garage door logic board and wiring faults. Another potential safety error may arise from the tension monitor, which will stop and reverse the garage door if there's an unacceptable amount of slack on the door opener's cable.

3. Are Your Sensors Properly Aligned?

Your garage door's safety sensors must point directly at one another, and most sensors will include a visual indication of any problems. Check both sensors and look for one with an LED or another indicator. In most cases, the receiver will have a light that glows steady green when it has an unobstructed view of the transmitter sensor.

If you don't see a steady green light (and there's no obstruction between the sensors), try cleaning the receiver's lens. You can also adjust the receiver and transmitter until they're properly aligned. If these steps don't resolve the issue and the light continues to blink or doesn't light at all, you'll need a professional to check the sensors for proper operation.

For more information, contact a garage door repair service near you.