Yes, it happens – garage doors that won’t stay open! It is not only surprising, but it gets annoying after a while. Let’s say you open up your garage door to load some groceries into the house. You just made it to the kitchen when you hear it close! Or, you are working at your tool bench inside the garage. You are totally engrossed in your project when you notice the garage door closing, seemingly on its own. Enough of our McDonough Garage Door Repair customers have contacted us about this problem to let us know that it is more common than first thought.
The main culprit – your springs!
Your torsion or extension springs can cause a lot of confusion at times. People know that they have them and that these powerful metal coils do the heavy lifting of your garage door when needed. What they don’t know is when they are acting up. Sometimes our McDonough, GA garage door repair customers assume that the problem is the opener system or maybe a snapped cable. Often, the photo electric safety eyes are blamed. Usually though, when garage doors won’t stay open, the problem is with the springs.
Sometimes your faithful and trusty garage door springs act up. These tireless workers can lift and lower garage doors for up to 10 years with no problem. In the garage door industry, springs last for life cycles. One open and one close equals one cycle. If you come and go through your garage door 4 times a day, you use 4 cycles. Obviously you will use up your cycles faster than someone that only opens and closes their garage door once a day. Springs can break, snap, become damaged and need adjusting. If your garage door won’t stay open, it is usually because the springs can hold its weight.
Don’t adjust on your own!
Please refrain from trying spring repair on your own. Torsion springs (the ones horizontally above your garage door) are safer than extension springs (vertically installed on either side) but both can still be volatile when damaged. Every year folks become injured and property is damaged when an innocent attempt is made to repair or replace garage door springs. We recommend that you call a full service McDonough garage door repair shop and have your springs repaired or adjusted by the pros. Many locations including ours are affordable and offer same day appointments.
Do this test
You can test the overall quality of your springs by doing this simple test. With your garage door closed, pull on the emergency release cord. That is the one with the red knob at the end of it. This will disconnect your garage door from the opener system and allow you to manually open your garage door. Ok, try lifting your garage door and pay attention to its movement. Does it lift easily and smoothly? Or, is it hard to lift and choppy? Now open your garage door all the way (up) and see if it stays. If it comes right back down you have spring damage and will need to call for help. Tell your garage door repair professional about the test that you did and see if he recommends that your springs be re-tensioned.
If your garage door opens and then reverses itself soon after, there may be another culprit – the close limit switch! It may need adjusting and here’s how you tell. When your garage door rises, its limit switch stops the garage door once it has reached the correct height. If the switch needs adjusting, your door will open too much or not enough and start making its way back down. It is possible to adjust the limit switch on the motor to restore it to normal usage. Do you still have your owner’s manual? Refer to it for directions on how to do this. If not, you can find one online by searching for the PDF or you can view any of dozens of online videos that show you in detail how to do this.
Dealing with a garage door that closes on its own can be confusing; especially if it is not your property! Are you renting or leasing to own? If so, contact the property manager, owner or seller. Check your lease-to-own agreement to see what repairs you have responsibility for and which ones the seller should claim. If you are straight leasing, your lease agreement should spell out how any repairs should be handled and paid for. It’s standard to put in a dollar amount (like $30) that should be the tenant’s responsibility and anything over that should be the responsibility of the owner or manager.
Did you recently buy the property? If so, the garage door and any repairs to it might be covered by warranty or service guarantee. Check with your realtor and the builder or contractor to see. Always be sure to save contracts, leases, receipts and other important documents in a folder or drawer for fast and handy reference when needed. Why pay for a repair bill if you really don’t have to?
Call in the pros!
Each person has different circumstances and priorities. You may be busy with your career or vacation plans. You may be limited to what you can do due to health issues or age. Each person has to calculate what their time is worth, and decide whether to attempt garage door repair on their own or to call a professional. As stated earlier, our McDonough Garage Door Repair crew recommends that you do NOT try to service your own springs. Some things are just not worth the risk involved and spring repair or replacements are included in that. Whether you call our technicians or another local shop, we urge you to use the best service that your budget allows for. Your garage door springs and accessories are built to last for many years with the proper care. Even after all is fixed, you should consider basic and regular maintenance for them.
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