A garage door is just supposed to open when you push the button on your remote. But what if it doesn't? While a malfunctioning garage door can be intimidating, you should try to troubleshoot your garage door on your own before you call for repairs. In many cases, you can repair the door on your own, and it is always okay to rule out the easy stuff before you call for reinforcements.
Check Your Remote
If nothing happens when you push the button on the remote and nothing happens, try pushing the wall button. If your door opens, you likely have a problem with your remote. Change the batteries on your remote and try again. If nothing happens, you can at least rule out dead batteries.
If your doors jam while opening, the problem will most likely be bent rails. Inspect your rails for signs of damage. If you find a bend, don't just start whaling on the rails with a hammer. Instead, place a block of wood against the rails and strike the wood with your hammer. This will distribute the force of the blow over a greater area and prevent you from causing more damage to your rails.
Check the Motion Sensors
A door that opens but will not close suggests a problem with the motion sensors. A child can easily bump a sensor and knock it out of alignment. These sensors are located near the bottom of your garage door rails and will be equipped with a light to show that they are in alignment. To repair this, all you have to do is gently move the sensor back and forth until the lights on the sensors start glowing.
Check the Motor
A door that does nothing when you try to open it is not the same as a door that sounds like it is working but doesn't. The gears responsible for transferring power from your motor to your door are typically made from plastic. This helps to keep the door quiet, but the gears can wear out. When they do, your motor will run just fine, but your door won't move. To confirm that you have a problem with your gears, remove the cover to your garage door motor. If you find plastic shavings on the inside of the cover, this is a good sign that your gears are worn out. If you are reasonably good with tools, you can attempt to replace your gears on your own, but turning them over to the professionals will ensure that the job is done right.