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Garage Door Won’t Open: DIY Garage Door Repair Tricks

It happens to all of us, one morning the garage randomly won't open. Learn some basic DIY garage door repair tricks in the event that this happened to you.

Garage door won’t open? Is it clattering, banging, or rattling more than usual? Is water leaking in under the door? All of these are signs that your garage door needs repair. 

If you know how to fix a garage door, you can save some time and money over calling a service professional. But, when it comes to garage door repair, you really need to know when it’s okay to tackle the problem yourself and when you really need to bring in a repairperson. That’s because attempting the wrong garage door fix, when you’re not qualified to handle, could result in serious injury. Namely, you should leave the springs and cables alone. Garage door springs and cables are under a high degree of tension, and if mishandled, they could release that tension in such a way that you could really get hurt.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other garage door repairs you can perform yourself. Follow these tips to conduct safe and sensible garage door repairs that will save you money. 

1

Wipe Off the Garage Door Sensors and Change the Remote Batteries

If your garage door won’t close (or open), try changing the batteries in your garage door opener remote. Then check the electric eye sensors near the bottom of your door. If the lenses look dirty, wipe them off with a microfiber cloth. If they seem to be out of alignment, straighten them. 

2

Tighten Nuts, Bolts and Hinges to Fix Clattering and Rattling

If your garage door is rattling, clattering and just plain making more noise than usual, you probably need to tighten the door hardware. Temperature fluctuations indoors and out can cause the metal in nuts, bolts, and hinges to expand and contract, loosening door hardware over time. Tighten all the bolts that fasten your rails to the support brackets. Check the roller brackets for signs of wear. Do not remove the lower roller bracket -- it’s attached to a high-tension cable. For safety’s sake, you need a professional to replace it for you.  

3

Lubricate the Moving Parts

If your garage door is making loud squealing, squeaking, or shrieking noises, you need to lubricate the moving parts. Use a lithium-based garage door lubricant, which usually comes in a spray can. Apply it to the hinges, spritzing one or two sprays on each hinge right where it meets the bend of the track. 

You shouldn’t lubricate nylon rollers, but if you have metal rollers, use the thin hose attachment to spray lubricate inside the rollers. There are ball bearings in there, and they need some grease once in a while. If you see any exposed ball bearings, lubricate them thoroughly.

Locate the springs at the top of your garage door and lubricate these thoroughly, too. Find the bearing plates, the moving circular parts on each side of the spring, and spray lubricant in the center of these as well as greasing the outside of the spring. Spread the grease around by opening and closing the door a couple of times.

If you’re having trouble locking and unlocking your garage door, you need to lubricate the lock. Spray lubricant directly into the keyhole.  

4

Clean the Tracks

If your garage door still won’t open, check the tracks for debris and wipe them clean with a rag.  You can use automotive brake cleaner to clean the tracks. Do this with your garage door closed so you can’t accidentally send it crashing down. If you have to have your garage door open, lock it in place with a C-clamp first. 

5

Repair the Weather Seal

If you’re getting water leaking under your garage door, you need to change the weather seal. Most garage doors are sealed with a U-shaped astragal, and these are susceptible to damage from rodents as well as normal wear and tear. They’re sized according to how wide they are when the door is closed and the astragal is squeezed flat. The wider the gap under your door, the larger an astragal you need. 

There are a lot of things on a garage door you can fix yourself, but for those things you can’t -- like the cable or springs -- Candu is here to help. We have solutions for home problems, and we can always put you in touch with the right Candu Pro for your job. Book your appointment now and get access to our nationwide network of service professionals.

DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Learn more.

If this didn’t help, Candu can. Book a Candu Pro online today.