If your garage door refuses to close completely, it can be hard to secure your home. Fortunately, this frustrating problem is usually easy to fix. It likely means that a small part of your door is malfunctioning, so repairing it is fast and affordable. Explore our guide to see why your garage door will not close and learn how to solve the issue.

1. Obstructions Beneath the Door

Modern garage doors have several safety features to keep them from accidentally closing on anyone. Typically, they have safety lasers near the floor, and anything in the path of the laser will keep the door from closing. You have probably already checked for obvious obstructions, like a car parked beneath the door, but it’s also worthwhile to look for smaller things. Even a minor issue, like the corner of a box sticking off a shelf or a leaf blowing in the wrong spot, can keep your door from closing. Try to locate your sensor and ensure nothing is sitting in front of it.

2. Dirty Sensors

Even if the pathway in front of your sensors is clear, there is a chance your sensors might still have a blockage. Over time, dust and debris can build up on your sensors. Any grime on the lenses may keep them from functioning well. Dirty sensors create a false signal that something is obstructing the door. Cleaning them with a damp cloth can often be enough to get them working correctly again.

3. Misaligned Garage Door Sensors

The final sensor problem to be aware of is misalignment. Garage door sensors must be placed so they can “see” each other. Otherwise, it is impossible for the sensor to properly read the area and see whether or not there are any obstructions. On many models of garage doors, a blinking sensor light indicates an alignment issue. If a sensor was just lightly bumped out of place, getting it back in the right spot requires only a slight adjustment.

4. Damaged Tracks and Rollers

Your garage door moves up and down with the assistance of rollers that run along set tracks. These rollers are very small, so even little obstructions, like a piece of gravel in one of the tracks, can keep them from moving smoothly. They can also have trouble moving if a section of the track has bent. You can often identify if this is the problem by closely inspecting the tracks and rollers. Mark where the garage door stops, and then look in this area for damage. Maneuvering heavy doors onto tracks can be tricky, so if you find an issue with your tracks and rollers, it is usually a good idea to get professional help. Depending on the damage, you may need to replace certain parts of your garage door.

5. Your Trolley Is in the Wrong Mode

The garage door trolley is a small metal device with a rope that connects the door to the opener. If the trolley is accidentally set into bypass mode, the opener will work, but the trolley will not adjust the door. When this happens, the door is easy to open by hand, but it will not move when you use the garage door opener. Reconnecting the trolley to the opener can be a simple matter, but in some cases, it might require a trolley replacement. Damaged trolleys often end up repeatedly switching into the wrong mode.

6. Malfunctioning Remotes

In many garage door systems, a failure to open is simply due to a broken remote. Your remote pairs with your garage door opener, but electrical failures can wipe its memory. When this happens, the only way to get the remote working again is to replace the batteries and reprogram it to sync with your system. While this is a simple problem that is fixed in a few minutes, pay close attention to how often this issue occurs. Repeated memory wipes could mean your system is dealing with frequent power surges or other electrical problems.

7. Improperly Adjusted Limit Screws

The limit screws in a garage door opener tell the system how much to open or close the garage door. When they work as intended, they keep the door from slamming into the ground. However, if they get out of alignment, you might notice that your door consistently stops just a few inches before it contacts the ground. Repairing this problem requires an adjustment inside the garage door opener. These screws must be calibrated carefully to make sure that the door closes the perfect amount.

8. Broken Garage Door Springs

The tension springs on a garage door help your system move this heavy piece of equipment. Garage door springs slowly weaken over time, and this wear and tear can cause the springs to snap. If a spring breaks, your garage door will usually fall closed and refuse to open. However, in some systems, a broken spring can make your door stick in an open position. Any time a spring looks broken, call a professional for help. Replacing garage door springs is extremely hazardous, so it is not a simple DIY task.

9. Stripped Drive Gears

If your garage door is older and refuses to open, stripped gears might be the culprit. Inside the door opener is a set of nylon gears that rotate the sprocket. When you skip maintenance and forget to lubricate these gears, they can start to grind down. Eventually, the gear teeth become so worn down that they slip out of place when you use the opener. Usually, a stripped drive gear will result in an unpleasant grinding or buzzing noise when you try to use the opener. You might also notice small plastic shavings falling from the opener. The only way to solve this problem is to contact a professional for a garage gear kit replacement.

10. Snapped Cables

Throughout your garage door system, there are multiple cables attached to the door. These cables help to lift and lower the door, and they also stabilize it. If the cables are older or you hang heavy items on your door, they might break. When one cable snaps, the door might hang in a crooked position that keeps it from fully closing. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to detect since you will probably see the broken cable dangling inside your garage. Your garage repair technician can usually replace a broken cable very quickly and affordably.

As you can see, there are many ways your garage door can break. While cleaning a dusty sensor is probably something you can handle on your own, most repairs require professional assistance. Absolute Services is here to help Elizabethtown residents with all their garage door issues. We also provide HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance as well as electrical and plumbing services. To learn more about our team or schedule your garage door appointment, give Absolute Services a call today.