How to Spot and Troubleshoot Common Garage Door Problems

How to Spot and Troubleshoot Common Garage Door Problems

Your garage door opens and closes approximately 1,500 times a year. With a weight exceeding 150 pounds, it can put a lot of pressure on the underlying mechanism. In this article, you’ll find tips on how to troubleshoot and fix your garage door.

Your Garage Door Won’t Open or Close

When the garage door does not open or close, troubleshoot the opener first. You can start by checking the condition of the batteries and replace them if they are dead. You can locate the batteries at the back of the transmitter.

It may also not be a fault from your transmitter but simply that you are merely out of range. The range for most transmitters is about four or five car lengths, or 50 feet, from the opener. Moving closer should get the door to open.

There could be barriers preventing the transmitter on the garage door from receiving the signal. When looking for obstructions, also make a point of checking for any signs of damage and schedule repairs if necessary.

It is also possible that the motor is defective. In that case, you should consult a repair technician to diagnose the garage door. Consider talking to Garage Door Doctor’s team for prompt garage door repairs in anywhere in or around Indianapolis.

Garage Door Opens but Does Not Close

If the garage door opens but does not close completely, the most probable cause is a faulty safety sensor. The photo eye sensors are usually on either side of the door. These devices prevent it from closing when there is an obstruction.

Start by examining the photo-eye sensors and ensure their alignment is correct. The easiest way to check for problems is to measure the height of the sensors. The distance from the floor should be the same for both if the alignment is correct.

Besides misalignment, another issue is dust on the lens. You can use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the grime and dust while taking care not to scratch the surface.

After cleaning and aligning the photo-eye sensors, test the door. If the door does not close, it may be a fault in another part of your system. You can call a garage door technician to troubleshoot and fix the opener.

Door Closes but Immediately Opens

If the door closes and then opens, it is probably an issue with the limit switch settings. It can happen when you have a new garage door installation or an old model that needs a reboot to work correctly.

The limit switch settings signal the door how far to move when closing. If the range is set too high, it will close and open again. The opener will conclude that something is obstructing the door and will initiate the safety mechanism.

The dials for the limit switch settings can vary depending on the model of your opener. You can adjust the limit switch gradually by turning the dial in small increments. Keep turning the dial until the door stops after it closes. You can consult the opener’s manual for the location of the switch for your model.

Garage Door Opens Partially

If there is a problem with the limit switch adjustment, your garage door may fail to open completely. The door may rise before stopping halfway. Incorrect limit switch settings may signal the opener to stop before the door ascends to the top.

If adjusting the limit switch does not solve the problem, the rollers could be a cause. The rollers might need lubrication, or they may be defective and require a replacement.

Another source of the problem might be a warped metal track. For the door to open and close properly, the alignment must be precise. Otherwise, it will open and close unevenly. With time, the problem will become worse as the heavy garage door moves along the defective tracks.

You will need a level to check if the alignment is correct. Typically, there will be rubbing sounds as the door moves past the point where the tracks have warped. You can unscrew the tracks and use a rubber mallet to push them back into position gently.

If it gets to the point where the door does not open at all, the damage may be too severe to fix. In such situations, you should consult a garage door professional. Garage Door Doctor has the knowledge and expertise to repair your garage door for you.

The Motor Is Running, but the Door Does Not Move

Sometimes, the motor will continue running, but the door does not move at all. In such instances, it could either be an issue with the limit switch or the belt.

If the issue is with the limit settings, the door may close while the motor keeps running. Most often, this is an installation problem. An adjustment of the switch should fix it.

If the motor is still running, it could also be an issue with the trolley. It often happens when someone pulls the emergency release rope. Pulling it upwards and towards the opener should re-engage the motor. You can consult the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions for your model.

If none of the solutions work, it could be a fault with the system. It is possible that the gears are worn out and cannot engage the motor properly. The emergency release rope may have gotten stuck. In either case, a professional should diagnose and repair your system.

Troubleshooting Unusual Sounds

If you have a noisy garage door, it is often an indication of a fault in the system. A vibrating sound when opening or closing indicates the nuts and bolts are loose. A high-pitched squealing noise is a sign of defective hinges. Squeaking can also indicate friction due to a lack of lubrication.

Banging and rattling noises are usually an issue with the door’s balance. You may also notice that it takes time for the door to open and close or that the movement is irregular. Ignoring the problem may damage the spring and cable assembly.

One of the sounds you should never overlook is a loud banging noise. You may hear this when the torsion springs break while you are at home. The springs have a lifespan of 10,000 cycles and may give in when they exceed their limit.

A broken spring can be dangerous to occupants of your home. Torsion springs also support the door’s cables. If you don’t address the issue in a timely fashion, these will also break. That’s why a prompt repair is crucial to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Tips for Preventing Garage Door Problems

Whenever you detect a technical problem, you should schedule repairs as soon as possible. You can troubleshoot and fix issues with the settings or alignment of the sensors. If components of the system are defective, however, you risk serious injury.

Approximately 30,000 people each year report sustaining injuries when trying to fix a garage door. You can prevent faults in the future by scheduling maintenance services at least every 18 months. Maintenance helps you save on repair costs while reducing the risk of accidents in your home.

For trusted and prompt garage door solutions in Indianapolis, you can rely on Garage Door Doctor. We have the experience to handle projects of any size or scope, and we’re accredited by the BBB. Our crew has earned top ratings on Google Reviews and Yelp thanks to our outstanding customer service. Contact us today for more information or an appointment.

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The Benefits of Steel Garage Doors

Steel Garage Doors

Steel garage doors are the most common of all garage doors. It is easier to make a custom steel garage door versus any other garage door material. There are several overall benefits to steel garage doors, which bring a higher return on your investment versus that of other garage doors such as value, safety, durability, and the level of maintenance steel garage doors require versus that of other higher-end garage doors.

Value of Steel Garage Doors

Steel garage doors are the most cost-effective of all garage door replacement options. Steel garage doors last longer than garage doors made of synthetic materials. Steel requires less annual maintenance, compared to doors like wooden garage doors, to continue to look attractive throughout the years. 

Barn style garage doors in Utah

Safety and Durability

Steel garage doors are strong and do not warp from weather compared to other garage doors like wooden ones. It is highly recommended that they should be bought insulated with a steel backing. Steel back insulated garage doors are the highest level of insulation a garage door can have. 

Insulated garage doors paired with weather trim help to prevent air leaks and provide a comfortable environment inside of the garage. The combination helps with energy bills during extreme weather months, helping to acclimatize the garage and the home from the outside weather. Steel back insulated garage doors are better resistant to dents, which helps the steel garage doors last longer. There are different levels of insulation, the highest being the steel back insulated, providing more durability. Steel back insulated garage doors reduce outside noise and are also quieter while operating. 

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Less Maintenance

Steel garage doors are lighter, taking less toll on the garage door opener, helping the opener to last longer. To ensure your garage door lasts for as long as possible, we recommend an annual cleaning to spray off any dirt making sure it is cleaned out of any cracks or crevices in the garage door.

Looking for a new garage door? Set up a free estimate with one of our door designers!

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How to Choose a Custom Garage Door

Custom garage doors bring you the type of garage door that you and your home need, with durability, style, insulation options, and adding value to your home. Getting a new garage door brings a 98% return on investment, increasing the value of your home. With increased aesthetic appeal to your home, and improved durability and strength, these factors will add to the resale value of your home in the long run. 


Selecting a custom garage door allows you to choose the materials for your door. You can choose great quality materials like wood, glass, and aluminum. On top of choosing the main materials for your door, we provide options for high-quality parts such as high-cycle springs, heavy-duty hinges, and sealed rollers to ensure that your door lasts as long as possible and runs smoothly. 

Finding a Perfect Match for Your Home

Whether you are trying to create a more modern feel or preserve the historic or rustic look of your home, finding the perfect door to fit your home is our top priority. With hundreds of options from several different vendors, we are able to provide you with the perfect garage door for your home. 

custom garage doors utah


If you live here in Utah, your home is exposed to just about every extreme in weather. Being able to choose the amount of insulation offer your door the ability to help maintain an even temperature in your garage during the extreme months of winter and summer. You might be able to save money on heating and cooling bills during those months while also protecting your possessions in your garage from the dramatic changes in weather each year.

Choosing Your Custom Garage Door

Selecting a custom garage door allows you to choose exactly what you would like your garage door to look like, upgrading the look of your home making the overall look of your home nicer. In some cases, a custom garage door is much more affordable than you might think. You can choose a higher quality material for your garage door, making your door more durable, and find the perfect look to match your own home.

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Fall Maintenance Tasks to Keep Your Garage Door Safe and Efficient

Your garage door acts as a barrier between weather elements and the interior. In the colder months, it will be subject to moisture, rain, and fluctuating temperatures. Regular maintenance is essential to keep you and your home safe. Here are the top maintenance tasks to do in the fall.

Inspect Garage Door Mechanisms

You may start maintenance with an inspection of the door’s track mechanism. Inspect the tracks on either side of the door and ensure that there is no debris blocking its movement. You can test it by switching to manual mode. Try opening and closing the door. It should open smoothly without glitches.

Also, check that the photosensors are working. The photosensors are installed on either side of the door at no more than six inches above the ground. The safety device prevents the door from closing when there is an obstacle in between. You should ensure the sensor is secure on the side of the door.

You can check if the sensors are working by placing an object at its height. If you press the close button, the door should not close. If it does, it could be a safety hazard. In such instances, you can consult Garage Door Doctor, a top-rated service provider in Indianapolis.

Test the Garage Door Spring

Your garage door spring can continue to function efficiently for up to 10,000 cycles of closing and opening. During the summer months, the door can take a beating from all the activity in your home. Therefore, you should test the spring to ensure that it has not sustained any damage during this time.

You can start the evaluation by visually examining the condition of the spring. However, sometimes a faulty spring stretches instead of snapping. In either case, you may notice the door has an imbalance. The top half may appear to be out of alignment with the rest of the frame.

Another sign of a broken spring is when the motor is working and the door is not moving. You may also hear a sharp screeching sound as it struggles to open. It indicates that the spring is not moving with the motor, and therefore, it is faulty.

If the spring is faulty, using the opener may lead to further damage. At Garage Door Doctor, we recommend calling a technician immediately. Otherwise, the rails may bend, or gears may strip off from the opener’s mechanism.

The cables and pulley system should also be in good condition to support the weight. Look out for cords with worn-out or fraying strands. Consult a professional if you suspect an issue with the pulley mechanism. Such complications can lead to higher repair costs in the future.

Observe a Regular Cleaning and Lubrication Routine

By autumn, your garage door may have accumulated debris and dust. Before cleaning it, visually inspect the exterior of a metallic door for rusting. Wood is prone to warping because it is exposed to excess moisture. If the surface has rust or peeling paint, you should sand it and repaint it for maximum protection.

You can clean a wooden garage door with a dry cloth. For plastic, metal, or other synthetic surfaces, use a soft cloth and an appropriate cleaner.

When cleaning, make a point of lubricating every moving part. Friction on rollers and the tracks can cut down the lifespan of your garage opener. You can apply a high-quality lubricant twice a year to keep it efficient.

You can apply oil on rusty parts of the torsion springs to stop further corrosion. If the opener has a drive chain, you can also spray lubricant on it. However, you should not lubricate the belt drive.

Garage door professionals recommend lubricating with silicone or lithium-based grease. Oil products like WD-40 are degreasers, which can increase friction. Use a grease spray for an accurate application. After lubricating parts, wipe up any spills to prevent staining the opener or the garage floor.

Inspect the Weather Stripping

In the winter, the garage door’s surface will be subject to extreme cold, snow, and ice. Therefore, the door must have adequate weather-stripping at the bottom. Replace the entire stripping if it has broken down.

For wooden openers, the weather-stripping is secured in place by a nail. Metal doors will have an aluminum stripping holding up a u-shaped rubber gasket. The rubber gasket is much easier to replace than other types of weather-stripping.

The door may also have vinyl and rubber on its sides to stop rain or wind. Vinyl can warp when exposed to moisture, rain, or snow. If old or worn out, replace it and ensure that the flange is firm against the door for a perfect seal.

Test Your Garage Door Balance

During your inspection, you should also be sure that the garage door is level. When the weight balances evenly across the springs and pulleys, it exerts less stress on the system. If you continue opening an unbalanced door, it will eventually cause the spring to break prematurely.

A visual examination can tell you if it is level. A slanting door indicates that the force is not being exerted equally on the springs. In such instances, you must call a garage door technician before the door breaks.

Another balancing test is to lift the door until it is halfway open. When you release it, it should remain in place. But if it slams shut, it means that the door is out of balance.

You may also notice that it takes longer than usual to shut or close the garage. Unbalanced doors are noisy, producing strange sounds when you open or close them. After lubricating moving parts, if it still makes noises, you may want to schedule repairs.

It is also worth noting that a professional should fix defective parts such as the spring. The internal components of the opener can be dangerous for an inexperienced person. Also, do not attempt to open the door if the spring breaks. According to statistics, more than 20,000 people sustain injuries annually from garage door accidents.

Organize Your Garage and Schedule Maintenance Service

Organizing your garage can help increase the lifespan of the door. In the cold season, ventilation is essential for preventing moisture accumulation that could cause water damage. Therefore, rearranging and clearing areas of your garage prevents rust and warping.

Your maintenance routine will depend on the type and number of layers on the door. A triple-layered door offers additional protection and is quieter than a single-layered one. However, the multiple layers make it heavier and more expensive.

Ideally, you should schedule maintenance service at least once every 18 months. For busy homes or commercial establishments, once a year or more is recommended. The garage door is one of the heaviest items in your home. Ensuring that it is in working condition will prevent accidents and keep your home safe.

As a family-owned and -operated company, Garage Door Doctor has been offering unbeatable solutions since 2009 for commercial and residential garage door sales, service, and installation. We provide customized services to meet your home or business’s needs. Our team has a reputation for our honesty and professionalism. Call the Garage Door Doctor’s help desk today for an estimate of our services in Indianapolis.

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The Benefits of Insulated Garage Doors

Here at A Plus Garage Door, we’re big fans of insulated garage doors. Not only do they help keep Utah’s extreme weather at bay during the hottest and coldest months, but they offer many other benefits as well.

Insulation is a key part of comfort in any home, starting with the foundation, walls, roof, windows, and other components of a home. Insulation determines how resistant the structure is to thermal transfer and external noise, so it’s important that the garage door is not a weak point in that system.

How Insulated Garage Doors Are Made

Insulated garage door panels are made by several manufacturers, either using a pre-made foam panel or by injecting expandable foam insulation into a hollow panel.

Insulated Garage Door Provided by Amarr
Image courtesy of Amarr

For example, Amarr’s garage doors, as shown in the image above, are available with no insulation (left), polystyrene insulation with vinyl backing (center), or polyurethane insulation with steel backing (right).

Insulated Garage Door Cost

Insulated garage doors cost more than their non-insulated counterparts due to the additional materials and labor required to manufacture them. Depending on the make, model, and other specifics, the cost for an insulated garage door would be anywhere from 20 to 60% higher than a non-insulated one.

While that may seem like a steep markup, there are many benefits of having an insulated garage door installed on your home.

Benefits of Insulated Garage Doors

1. Improved Energy Efficiency (Thermal Insulation)

Insulated materials help reduce heat transfer between two different environments. In this case, the space inside and outside your garage. Here in Utah, we can see temperatures range from 3 degrees in the winter to 110 degrees in the summer. A garage door with a higher insulation value will help to keep out the heat and the cold better.

Garage door manufacturers include details about their products, including the R-value, which refers to the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power and the more efficient the garage door is.

In addition to having an insulated garage door, we highly recommend using weather stripping (also referred to as perimeter seal) to bridge the gap between the door and the building frame. Since it can be difficult or impossible to have the garage door close snug right up against the frame, this flexible material will help keep extreme weather at bay.

2. Durability

Steel-backed garage doors (ones made with steel on the back as well as the front) are much more sturdy than ones made with steel only on the front of the door. Under normal operating conditions, a steel-backed door will last many years longer than other doors due to the added structural strength.

3. Lower Noise Levels (Acoustic Insulation)

Insulated garage doors can help reduce noise levels. While the door is standing still, the insulation acts as a sound barrier, blocking loud noises from outside. While in operation, doors without insulation will often sound more hollow and clangy.

4. Protection

Garage doors are known for being heavy and strong, but their construction also makes them susceptible to damage in extreme cases. There have been reported instances of homes being broken into from top panels being pushed in to access the lever pull with a hanger and opening the garage door.

Garage door broken into using the level pull
Photos courtesy of SFPD Taravel Station

A steel-backed garage door will not be completely impervious to such an attack, but will definitely put up more of a fight than an uninsulated panel. Combine this with removing the cord or using a commercial product or the DIY approach, and your home will be that much more secure.

Insulated Garage Doors Are a Wise Investment

While it can be viewed as an upsell, we’re all-in on insulated garage doors given the extreme weather we face here in Utah and the many benefits they provide. Most of the garage doors we install are insulated (check out our new garage door photo gallery), and we have found that the advantages almost always outweigh the costs.

Are you looking for an insulated garage door and live in one of our service areas? Contact us today for a free estimate!

Insulated Garage Doors FAQ

Insulated garage doors are usually a wise investment. Insulated garage doors can help mitigate the effects of extreme temperatures and are more structurally sound due to their construction. If you have a garage where the temperature, noise levels, and longevity of the door are not important, then a non-insulated door will be fine.

The benefits of an insulated door almost always outweigh the extra cost.

A garage door with insulation will cost about 20 to 60% more than a non-insulated garage door.

Insulated garage doors generally cost around 30 to 60% more than an uninsulated garage door, depending on the manufacturer and other factors.

Yes, this is a do-it-yourself type of project that can add some of the benefits of insulation with less cost when you already have an uninsulated garage door. However, you won’t be getting the structural improvements along with the other benefits that come along with it. Also, adding weight to your door means you should at least adjust the springs to bear the added weight or replace them altogether.

There is no easy answer here, as the net effect of an insulated garage door heavily depends on all the parts involved. Modern buildings are complex structures, and the thermal efficiency of the system depends on all individual parts, the garage door usually being the largest entry point.

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Top 3 Things to Do with Custom Garage Doors

Designing custom garage doors gives you the flexibility to create the look and feel you want for your home. Get the most of your customization by ensuring that you understand all the options available to you. Ask your custom garage door company about all the options they offer and the recommendations they have.

What’s the Right Material?

The first decision to make is the material of your garage door. Depending on your needs, climate, and overall look, you’ll want to choose between wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel, or composite material. By working with your custom-made garage door company, you’ll be able to look at all the options available. Depending on the type of material you select, you’ll have various options to choose from to customize the garage door to meet your needs.

What’s Your Style?

The overall look of the garage door may be the most important decision to make. You want your custom garage door to match the overall look of your house, which will help boost your home’s curb appeal. You’ll want to consider the number of panels you want on your garage door. Do you want any windows or insulation? The style of the garage door defines the overall look and will help you as you select the other finishes in the process. Are you looking for a modern garage door or something a bit more traditional like a carriage door? 

White flush panel, smooth garage door with tinted windows along the right side

Finishes and Hardware

The final piece of the puzzle is the finish and the hardware of your new, custom garage door. Depending on the garage door material you select, you’ll have different stain and paint options to compliment your garage door. You will also be able to select various hardware combinations that will give your new garage door a fully customized look with incredible curb appeal.

Steel garage door with wood style finish, windows in top panel, decorative hardware on garage doors

A custom garage door is a great way to boost your curb appeal and make your house stand out. Customizing your door gives you the flexibility to make design decisions for a unique look. If you’re looking for a custom garage door, contact us for a complete guide to your options

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