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homeowner's garage door won't open

What to Do If Your Garage Door Won’t Open

As you pull in or back out of the driveway, you expect your garage door to open or close at the click of a button, and when it doesn’t, it can be mildly infuriating. However, more often than not, when your garage door won’t open, it does not necessarily mean costly replacement parts, a weekend of labor, or lengthy invoice from a repair team. While there are aspects of your garage door that you should never try to mess with on your own, other components are well within your wheelhouse. The key is to find out exactly what is causing the garage door to remain in place so that you can take the proper course to get it corrected.

Why Your Garage Door Isn’t Opening

If your garage door refuses to open or shut, a number of different reasons could be in play. And while some are simple fixes you can handle on your own for little to no money out of pocket, other garage door issues are more serious and will almost certainly require the assistance of a professional garage door repair company. Remember, complex garage door repair can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and consulting with a professional is always a safe bet. Below are just a few of the possible explanations for a garage door that won’t open.

Scenario #1: Door is detached from trolley

If the motor in your opener is still turning, but your garage door isn’t opening, the simplest solution could be that your garage door is not engaged with the opener. Perhaps the emergency cord was activated either intentionally or unintentionally. To fix this, simply pull the emergency release cord toward the opener motor head and activate the opener until the door locks back into place. Your door should operate normally once re-engaged.

Scenario #2: Remote signal blocked

If your garage door remote is only working in close range, there may be dirt or debris in the remote itself that is diminishing the signal. Or you might want to check for overgrown branches or other obstacles that would block the remote’s signal at long range. If your garage door remote is no longer working even at close range, chances are that the batteries are in need of replacing. However, if this doesn’t do the trick, you may have a broken antenna on the opening device. If this is the case, you’ll want to contact a garage door repair company or look at replacing the entire unit if that might be the more cost-effective route.

Scenario #3: Springs are broken

A more serious issue (and one that will definitely require professional assistance) involves broken garage door springs. As springs typically give out at around 10,000 revolutions give or take, broken torsion springs are perhaps the most common reason a garage door will not open. If you hear a loud snap or can see that one or more springs have snapped, it is time to call a repair company.

Scenario #4: Blocked or misaligned sensors

Garage doors installed in the past 30 years or so should feature safety sensors designed to stop a garage door from closing when something (or someone) is in its path. If these sensors become dirty or misaligned from one another, your garage door will not be operable until the problem is rectified. Cleaning the sensors, ensuring they are in line with one another, and clearing the space between them will usually do the trick.

Scenario #5: Tracks out of alignment

Occasionally, you may need to apply some garage door lubricant to the wheels and tracks of your garage door if there is some squeaking or rubbing. However, if your door’s tracks become bent to the point that your garage door can no longer raise and lower, it is time to call in a professional to repair or replace your tracks. Bending the tracks yourself is not only dangerous but it can cause unnecessary stress on the entire unit. Addressing the problem early on is going to be your best option.


Yes, in fact there are many reasons your garage door won’t open, but not all of them will require professional assistance or the risk of a hefty invoice. There are many issues that can be fixed on your own with a little Youtube help. However, for the more serious issues, we highly recommend contacting a reliable garage door repair service; one you can trust to get the job done right at a cost that is fair to you. At Anco Overhead Door, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to fix garage doors of all kinds. Contact us today for more information.

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