Troubleshooting a Garage Door That Will Not Close

Posted on: 30 March 2016


Garage doors offer security by keeping your garage closed off while you are away. This is incredibly important if you keep expensive tools, recreation vehicles, and other items in the space or if your garage has an access door that opens up to your home. However, if you have a garage door that will not seem to close or stay closed when you activate it, then the door is not keeping any of your belongings safe. To troubleshoot the issue, keep reading.

Investigate Your Extension Springs

Your garage door opens and closes with the assistance of springs. There are two types of springs that are likely attached to the door: extension and torsion springs. The torsion springs attached to the door helps to lift it by twisting and applying pressure to the door. The stored energy in the springs helps with the heavy lifting so the opener belts or chains do not need to be stressed. The springs are located on the parallel bar that sits just above the garage door. The extension springs are located above the garage door as well, but they are attached to the part of the track that attaches to the ceiling. The springs run perpendicular to the door, and they act as a counterweight as the garage door closes. Specifically, the springs help to keep the door from slamming to the ground as it is lowered.

Both types of garage door springs will cause issues with the functionality of the garage door if they are not working correctly. Torsion springs will cause issues with opening and extension springs cause closing problems. Extension springs that are broken or loose will cause the door to close too quickly. If you have recently had this problem and your garage door specialist has been contacted to fix the problem or if the individual has recently conducted routine maintenance, then your extension springs are likely too tight now. This causes the door to open abruptly as it closes, because the counterweight is too strong.

Contact your garage door specialist again so that extension springs can be examined and replaced with more loose varieties if a repair or maintenance service has been completed recently.

Check Safety Sensors

Your garage door may also be opening up on its own if the safety sensors are telling the door that there is an object directly in the path of the door. If the door closes to the ground or very close to it and then opens up again, then this is likely your problem. If the sensor is overly sensitive, then a piece of gravel or a stick might be causing the problem. Sweep across the threshold of the door to clear away debris. If the door still opens afterwards, then you probably need to readjust the sensitivity of the sensor, because the slight pressure against the edge of the door when it closes is causing it to open. You can do this by turning the reverse sensor knob on the garage door opener. Over time, vibrations from the opener turn the knob, and this causes the need for a readjustment. 

There may be more than one knob on the garage door opener, so look in the owner's manual to see which one is the reverse sensor adjustment knob. Turn the sensor knob counterclockwise a small amount and press the button to activate the door. Stop adjusting once the door stays shut when you close it. You will also need to make sure that the reverse function works properly after the adjustment is made. Place a stick, log, or piece of lumber along the threshold of the door. Activate the door. If the door opens as soon as it hits the object, then the sensor has been adjusted correctly. 

If your garage door does not stay closed, then this can be a serious problem. Troubleshooting the problem yourself is possible by looking at the extension springs and by readjusting the safety sensor. If adjusting the sensor doesn't work to fix the door or if you think the springs need adjusting, then make sure to contact a garage door specialist, like one from America's Garage Doors LLC, for assistance.