My Garage Door Won’t Stay Closed – Why?

Garage doors are supposed to do one job: open and close. When they fail to do just that, they quickly become a frustrating nuisance for any homeowner. A common problem with garage doors is their refusal to stay shut, which can become a dangerous concern, even in the nicest of neighborhoods.

garage door won't stay closed

As a homeowner, you know that your garage door, when it works, should serve to protect your home from unwanted strangers. When it doesn’t work, it leaves your home completely vulnerable, much like a broken window or an entry door that’s been left wide open. Your garage door won’t stay closed, so now what do you do?

Trouble Shooting a Garage Door That Won’t Stay Closed

It’s time to investigate the problem. There can be a few reasons as to why your garage door won’t stay closed, and by doing some snooping and checking a few parts of the garage door system, you’ll be able to see what’s really going on.

Adjusting the Limit/Travel Setting

The most common reason as to why a garage door won’t stay closed is that the limit settings are off. This means that the limits are telling the garage door that it’s fully opened when the door is in reality, closed. The door is being told that even though it touched the ground, the system is telling that it hasn’t, or the system is communicating that the door has instead hit an obstruction, sending the door back to its opened position.

Fixing this problem will depend on what type of garage door opener you have. All openers have travel adjustments, and common brands like Chamberlain and Craftsman have two setscrews on their back or side of their housing unit.

Other brands like Genie will sometimes have trip levelers on their travel bars, enabling the user to reposition to adjust the setting. If you are unsure, you can always pull out the manufacturer’s manual for the limit setting instructions.

It may take some trial and error with adjusting the limit/travel setting on your garage door. For most models, a little adjustment is required, and the garage door should respond by shutting to completion.

All you’ll need to adjust the limit setting on most models is a screwdriver, but on new models, it may be even easier to do so. If you lost your manual to your opener, you can always search online to find the instructions as well.

Garage Door Sensors Misaligned

In connection with the limit setting, the sensor for your garage door could be misaligned. The sensors are located near the bottom of the garage door where it meets the floor, ensuring that the door does not collide with any possible obstructions along the way. Sensors are crucial to a modern garage door system, but for them to function properly, they must be aligned. Some sensors are extremely sensitive, so even the slightest bump can send them out of alignment.

If your garage door isn’t closing and is backtracking its way up to the open position, the sensors being bumped out of place could be the cause of the problem. You can resolve this problem by leveling the sensors.

garage door won t close all the way

Most modern sensors have a red indicator light that beams when they have been aligned correctly. If you’re certain that the sensors’ beams are meeting, but the garage door is still refusing to stay closed, the sensors could be dirty. Clean them off with a damp rag, then dry them.

An Obstruction Preventing Door Closure

Your garage door might not be making it all up after all—there could be an obstruction in its path. This can happen if your garage door is set to close, but begins to retract itself back up to its point of origin. Whatever is blocking your garage door doesn’t have to be a large object, necessarily; it can be something as small as a rock or the buildup of grime, dirt, and debris.

Garage door systems can be sensitive, and this includes their tracks as well. Not every homeowner decides to maintain the tracks by cleaning them every year and for most garage doors, their whole lifetime passes without being cleaned, or at least until a problem such as this arises.

The buildup can be the trigger, signaling to your garage door that something is in the way because technically, dirt and debris are in the way. Clean the buildup with the appropriate cleaning solution and a damp rag.

There are moments when something big is, in fact, in the way. With kids running around or a messy garage, an object could easily fall in the path of the sensor, which triggers the garage door to retreat to starting position. You might not notice it right away, but do some investigating and you may come to find a fallen object in the door’s path.

When It’s More Than a Common Problem

In some cases, a garage door refusing to close may be a bigger issue than just fixing the sensor, cleaning the tracks, or resetting the travel/limit setting. When it isn’t one of these common issues, it’s probably that time to call in the professionals. Your garage door system may require a professional analysis in order to diagnosis the problem.

Common Garage Door Problems

When your garage door won’t stay closed and you’ve done everything to repair it then it’s time for a replacement. At Feldco, we have everything from standard to carriage garage doors. All the garage doors are customized to fit into the opening and they come in a variety of different colors to bring out the curb appeal. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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