Whether it be a computer mouse or a light switch, every piece of mechanical equipment is designed to withstand a certain amount of uses before it starts falling apart. Your garage door is not an exception. After a couple of years of usage, you might start noticing it getting clunkier and more difficult to open or close.
One day, you might wake up to find your garage door completely jammed and unable to be opened, no matter how hard you try. Many people don’t respond too well to these kinds of surprises and try to force the door open by any means necessary, which might just make their problem worse.
These reactions are understandable. Try to put yourself in a similar situation. It’s early in the morning, and you’re in a rush to get out of your house and go to work. You hurry to the garage only to find out that you can’t drive out because the door just won’t budge. That’s enough stress to drive the Dalai lama crazy! No wonder a lot of people end up breaking their garage doors in frustration.
If you get stuck in the garage due to a door issue, the most important thing is to remain calm. Take a look at these most common reasons behind garage doors getting jammed to see if you can try and fix it yourself before calling a professional.
Even though it may seem extremely durable and hard to stop in its tracks, your garage door is actually much more vulnerable to outside interference than you think. A tiny piece of wood or a loose screw along the track can easily cause it to get jammed. Before you look into the more serious issues you may have with the automatic door opener or springs, check to see if nothing got stuck along the door’s track.
Most garage doors operate using some sort of spring mechanism. The industry-standard garage door springs are extension springs and torsion springs. To check if a broken torsion spring is the cause of your issue, you need to look for a gap between the two springs, which are located at the top of the door in a horizontal position. In the case of extension springs, you should check for hanging pieces of door springs at the side of your garage door.
If you find either one of these instances to be the case in your garage, it would be best to call a professional garage door repair service to take a look at them for you. If you try to fix it yourself, you’re running the risk of damaging the mechanism even further and having to replace the entire garage door instead of a (much cheaper) set of torsion springs.
Check the Opener Engine
If your garage door isn’t operated manually and you’re using a remote to get it open, the underlying cause of your issue may lay in the engine or your garage door opener. Sometimes, the gears fall out of place or they’re not lubricated properly, which can be easily identified by a grinding sound coming out of the garage door opener engine upon trying to open it with the remote. In most instances of a broken opener, the main gear usually turns out to be in need of replacement.
Just like any other garage door, yours too most likely slides across a metal track to open or close. If you check for all of the issues mentioned above without finding the culprit behind your door getting jammed, you should carefully examine your garage door tracks. Even the slightest bend of the track could cause a jam. More often than not, you can straighten it out by yourself, but some of the more difficult cases require the help of a garage door repair professional.
When it comes to a jammed garage door, another common track issue can be rollers that have fallen out of place. Just like with drawers, if the rollers are out of place, the entire mechanism gets brought to a halt. If that turns out to be the problem, call a pro immediately. A garage door is not a drawer, and mishandling rollers may lead to the entire mechanism falling apart.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many potential causes behind a jammed garage door. Aside from the ones mentioned in this article, there is a variety of other issues that may cause this problem. While extension springs and other garage door springs, in general, tend to be at fault most of the time, the sheer knowledge of the root of your problem doesn’t qualify you to try and fix it yourself. You’ll need a professional to take a look at the mechanism as a whole in order to confirm and fix the faulty parts if you don’t want to run the risk of damaging your garage door even more.