Troubleshooting A Garage Door That Won't Close Properly

A garage door that won't close completely is both frustrating and a home security risk. Fortunately, the problem is usually simple to diagnose and repair.

Common Problems

Issues with closing fall into a couple of categories. The most common issue is a door that closes partially or even completely, and then it bounced back and reopens. In some cases the door may also bounce back and then stop, both failing to close completely as well as failing to open back up completely.

Uneven closing can also cause closing failure. The garage door may seem to be out of alignment, with one side closing more quickly than the other. Once closed, one side of the door may be askew so it is open for several inches on one side while closed completely on the other. The door may realign as it opens or it may remain askew even once it is fully opened again.


Failure to close properly is either caused by outside interference or from an internal malfunction. One of the most common causes is when something is blocking the track. Common culprits include garden tools or similar items that have fallen into the track, as well as leaves and other debris that builds up in the track. Items that block the safety sensor near the bottom of the track, as well as misalignment of this sensor, can also cause door closure failure.

Internal malfunction usually indicates that a spring or cable needs to be replaced or that the door is misaligned. When a spring or cable wears out, the side of the door controlled by the spring won't open or close properly, so one end will be doing all of the work. Misalignment can usually be spotted by a door that doesn't sit level when closed or even when open.

Repair Solutions

Outside interference is the easiest to repair. Any obstructions must be removed, and then the track is cleaned out and lubricated so that the door can open and close smoothly. If the safety sensor is misaligned or damaged, it can be readjusted or replaced completely with minimal cost and effort.

Broken springs and cables can be a hazard due to tension, so their replacement is best handled by a professional garage door repair service.  A misaligned door will also require adjustment, either to the door itself or to the tension of the springs or cables.

Check out sites like to learn more about garage door repair.

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