Why Does My Garage Door Get Stuck?

If your garage door gets stuck when opening or closing, it can feel like you are losing some of the enjoyment and convenience of owning a garage. Sometimes even with regular upkeep and maintenance, it can happen as your door ages.

Safety Precautions When Trying to Fix a Stuck Garage Door

Before we help you diagnose your stuck garage door, safety concerns can't be over stated. When trying to figure out how to fix a stuck garage door, it is important to take every safety precaution. Garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds and torsion springs hold a tremendous amount of energy waiting to be released, so without proper precaution it is possible to hurt yourself attempting to perform unauthorized repairs.

When attempting to fix a garage door that is stuck open, make sure to unplug the garage door opener. If you have a battery backup, ensure it is disconnected from power. If it is possible to safely pull the garage door manually to a closed position before attempting any repair, do so. However, if you encounter resistance, stop.

You can view this video on how to safely open your garage door with no power here:

Listed below are some very simple solutions to common problems that lead to a stuck garage door. If you cannot fix the problem easily by using these solutions, stop and call a professional immediately to prevent injury to yourself or the door. Do not attempt to replace any garage door part or do extensive repairs to the door on your own.

Here are some reasons you might find your garage door stuck open and how to fix it.

Bad Weather

If you experience a garage door sticking during a cold winter, ice may have built up and put pressure on your springs. Even if you clear the ice, the spring may be damaged and could need replacing. If you do find that your problem is a broken spring, call a professional immediately.

Trying to replace a garage door spring yourself is dangerous and you could void your garage door warranty. If your springs are not damaged or broken, try making sure your door and its system parts are free of snow and ice, and see if the problem resolves.

Jammed or Obstructed Track

Your garage door works because the garage door opener unwinds or winds the torsion springs, pulling or pushing the garage door with rollers along a track. If there is something in one of the tracks obstructing the free movement of the rollers, the garage door can stick open.

Check to see if there is an object blocking or obstructing any part of the track. Make sure to unplug the garage door opener and make sure your battery backup is disconnected (if you have one) before you attempt to remove any obstruction from the track as an important safety precaution.      

Jammed Pulley or Broken Spring

The pulley and spring system is critical to pulling your garage door back and forth along the track and opening the door. If you have a jammed pulley system or a broken spring, your garage door won't work, and if it happened while you were opening or closing the garage door, you may end up with a garage door stuck open.

All torsion springs have a limited shelf life. A quality torsion spring usually lasts about 10,000 cycles, or openings and closings of the door. If you have a broken spring or a problem with the pulley system, it's time to call in a professional.

Garage Door Is Off the Track

In some circumstances, it is possible for the rollers that move the garage door up and down to jump the track. If your garage door gets stuck when opening, this may be why. If the rollers are out of the track contact a Clopay Master or Authorized Dealer to professionally and safely get your door back on track.

If the door is off the track because something has damaged the panels, you will have to repair or replace the door.


Locked Garage Door

Before following any of these suggestions for how to fix a stuck garage door, make sure that the door is not simply locked. If your door has a locking system, make sure it is turned off and reattempt opening and closing the door before trying any other measures or calling in a professional.

Lack of Lubrication

Poor lubrication is a very common and easy to fix explanation for why you might find your garage door stuck. You should properly lubricate your garage door's track, the opener chain and the springs every few months as part of regular preventative maintenance. Be sure to use Clopay's Garage Door ProLube or sillicone based lubricants. Do not use WD-40.

Damaged Garage Door Track

Over time, your garage door track can be damaged, resulting in a garage door that gets stuck open. Weather damage and harsh impacts can also distort your garage door track. If you detect a small bend, you may be able to straighten it out yourself, but anything more extensive will require professional intervention.

Issues With the Garage Door Sensor

Your garage door may have photo eyes that stop it from closing if they sense an obstruction. Keep in mind the obstruction in question may be direct sunlight. If this is the case, you will need to come up with “eye shades” to block the sun from affecting your sensors.