FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Garage Doors

View Some of Our Frequently Asked Questions Below

WHY WON'T MY GARAGE DOOR OPEN ALL THE WAY?

Sometimes, when it gets stopped halfway shut or open, it might be that the springs are broken (see #3) or the limit setting needs an adjustment (see #7). If all else fails, you might try spraying the track with lubricant.

THE GARAGE DOOR MOTOR IS RUNNING, BUT THE DOOR ISN'T OPENING. WHAT'S WRONG?

Check the photo sensors' alignment (tip #1 above) or the cables to see if they're broken or if the tension is off (#4).

WHY ISN'T MY GARAGE DOOR WALL SWITCH WORKING?

Check the LED light to see if it's giving you any malfunction information, and check the outlet for power. It could be a problem with wiring or with the logic board. See the video below for more information.

WHY WON'T THE GARAGE DOOR CLOSE OR OPEN WITH THE REMOTE?

Your remote is probably malfunctioning. See tip #6 above for a list of possible issues to troubleshoot.

WHAT IF I CAN'T GET INTO MY GARAGE?

Maybe the battery died, or a spring broke, but you can't get into the garage to even see what the problem is. If the garage door is the only way in or out, or if you can't find the key to the door, you'll have to either find a way to break in or call a locksmith. As a preventative measure, it's smart to keep a spare key or install an emergency key release that would allow you to release the emergency disconnect to the operator so you can manually raise the door.

HOW TO OPEN YOUR GARAGE DOOR MANUALLY

  1. Get a ladder.
  2. Find the red cord on the mechanism that's hooked to a lever. This is the emergency disconnect, and it should release the door and enable you to move it.
  3. Yank the cord, then get down off the ladder.
  4. Lift the door with both hands. If it won't move, go back up to pull the red cord again.
  5. Once you have it open, you'll have to prop it up with something to prevent it from sliding down again.

If you're outside and can't get into a closed garage, you don't have many options. You may have to call a locksmith or find a way to break in. As a preventative measure, it's smart to install an emergency key release that allows you to release the emergency disconnect remotely so you can manually raise the door.

HOW IMPORTANT IS INSULATION IN A GARAGE DOOR?

Insulation is important in a garage door for many reasons. Insulated doors help control the temperature of the garage allowing less heat to escape in the winter and less heat to get in in the summer. This reduces the amount of energy required to cool or heat your home which saves you money! Insulated doors also provide noise reduction from the exterior of your home. In addition to helping control the temperature and managing noise, insulation adds strength to your door while reducing exterior noise.

The amount of insulation a garage door provides is represented in its R-value, which represents its resistance to heat flow. It is important to select a garage door with an R-value that is consistent with your local climate and lifestyle. Ask yourself these questions when deciding the R-value that best fits your needs:

  • Is my garage climate controlled? If you heat or cool your garage, insulation is very important. Having a well-insulated garage door will keep your heating or cooling costs down by reducing the heat flow through the door?
  • What climate do I live in? Someone living in an extreme hot or cold climate would likely require a garage door with a high insulation value. Even in milder climates, having an insulated door can still affect the temperature in your garage by a noticeable amount, as well as provide additional benefits.
  • Is my garage attached to my house? If your garage is attached to your house, the insulation value of your garage door affects the insulation of your whole house. The R-value of your walls affects how much heat escapes from your house into your garage, and the R-value of your garage door affects how much heat then escapes into the environment. Insulating your garage well will help keep down the heating and cooling costs of your home. In addition, Insulation helps reduce the noise of your garage door as it opens and closes.
  • Do I spend a great deal of time in my garage? People who like to work on their cars or who have workshops in their garages may want their garage to be more insulated, especially if in a colder climate.
  • Is there a bedroom or other interior room above my garage? Many houses are built with rooms over the garage. Whether this room is a part of the house or is a separate apartment-style room above an unattached garage, the insulation value of the garage can greatly affect the insulation of the room. And, again, a higher insulation R-value can equal lower heating and cooling bills. In addition, insulation helps reduce noise.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I SERVICE MY OVERHEAD GARAGE DOOR?

Your overhead garage door is the largest piece of moving equipment in your home. Often families use their garage door more frequently then their front door. In order to ensure a properly working door and operator, and confirm that there are no issues not plainly visible to the naked eye, you should have your overhead garage door and operator serviced every year.

If your garage door is making noise, these are your initial warning signs that something is wrong. If you delay service to your door, there is potential for significantly more damage to your door. Performing regular maintenance can prolong the life of your garage door and garage door opener and prevent costly issues down the road.

HOW LONG WILL MY GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS LAST?

The most common torsion springs have an expected life of about 10,000 “cycles”. A cycle is one opening and one closing of the garage door. The steel spring experiences tremendous force each time the door opens or closes. Gradually, the steel fatigues with each flex, and eventually cracks and breaks, usually releasing its stored energy in an instant with a loud noise or bang. In garage door repairs, most accidents occur during the replacement of the springs. While many door companies quote a flat fee for spring replacement, we prefer to quote a range and charge our customers for the actual cost of the spring that is on their own door. (Springs can vary in price by more than $30/spring.) Also, if one spring breaks and they were installed at the same time, it is likely that the other will not be far behind since they both have the same wear and tear. For this reason, we suggest changing both springs at once (we always replace both if they are extension type) to save you the expense of a second service trip.

WHY IS IT SUGGESTED THAT I REPLACE BOTH OF MY GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS IF ONLY ONE IS BROKEN?

The life of a garage door spring is based on cycles and the minimum specification is 10,000 cycles. That means the garage door will go up and down on average 10,000 times before the spring breaks. When one spring breaks, it means that likely, both springs have reached their life cycle. Replacing both springs helps to balance the door so that it opens smoothly with equal force being applied to each side of the door. The more you use your garage door, the sooner the spring will need to be replaced. Springs last anywhere between 4 years and 15 years depending on how often you use your garage door.

WHAT DIFFERENT TYPES OF GARAGE DOORS ARE THERE?

Garage doors come in many different compositions. Garage doors have been made from wood, steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. Each material has its own set of benefits though wood and steel doors are by far the most popular homeowner choices.

Steel doors are much stronger and more secure than wood, aluminum, or fiberglass models. Steel doors have many design options ranging from standard raised panel to unique carriage style designs. Today's steel doors can rival the look of wood doors without the need for regular maintenance.

WHY WON'T MY GARAGE DOOR OPEN?

Often when a garage door will not open, it is due to a dysfunctional counterbalance mechanism. For example, a broken extension or torsion/tension spring. If you have an electric garage door opener installed, but no noise is noticed when activated, you should attempt to disconnect the opener by pulling the emergency release cord (often a bright red cord) and manually lifting the door. If the door is able to move, the problem is likely the opener, however, if the door is not able to move, it is likely the result of the counterbalance mechanisms in which case the repair should be made by a qualified door mechanic.

DO I HAVE TO REPLACE THE WHOLE GARAGE DOOR IF A SECTION BECOMES DAMAGED?

In many cases, replacing a section is a cost effective alternative to replacing the whole garage door. Obviously, caveats exist that make a section replacement impossible (for example, if the door is no longer manufactured and we are unable to reproduce a duplicate panel, or the remainder of the door is no longer structurally sound) however, in many cases a replacement section is a better economic solution.

IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO REPAIR MY OWN GARAGE DOOR SPRING?

Unless you have experience in changing a garage door spring and have the necessary tools needed to safely replace your spring, you should have them changed by a qualified door professional. Keep in mind that the spring / counterbalance system is engineered to lift doors weighing in excess of three hundred pounds! A tremendous amount of torque is generated by a torsion/tension spring and should be avoided at all cost by an inexperienced person. Extension springs carry a great deal of potential energy and many people have been injured un-necessarily when making a wrong move.

WHY IS MY GARAGE DOOR OPENING SLOWLY?

There are a number of reasons that could be causing your garage door opener to move slowly. The torsion / tension springs could be problem or fractured, the door may need some lubrication, or the garage door itself may be out of balance. Also, different manufacturers produce doors of varying speeds.

CAN I PAINT MY GARAGE DOOR?

Steel garage doors can be painted with any high-quality exterior latex paint. We recommend wood doors be painted or stained prior to installation and sealed. Most models are available to be primed at the factory. Garage Door Medics recommends that wooden garage doors be repainted everyone to two years and only by a professional.