There's nothing more frustrating than pulling your car into a driveway and discovering that your garage door isn't working. When this happens, you'll be tempted to do the repairs yourself.
Before doing anything, however, identify the problem. It might be something simple that you can handle yourself. However, If the problem is any of the following, you'll be far better off by hiring a garage door repair service. Garage doors are complicated pieces of electro-mechanical machinery. Leave it to the experts.
1. Photo-Eye Malfunctions
Photo eyes tell the garage door opener when to stop, whether you're raising the door or lowering it. They also prevent the garage door from closing on objects, people, and pets that may be in the doorway. If the door won't operate, make sure there are no obstructions in the doorway.
If there are no obstructions, check for green lights on the sides of the sensors. This indicates that the sensors themselves haven't malfunctioned. However, they could be misaligned or have a host of other issues. Photo-eye problems can cause the door to start acting erratically, almost like it's opening and closing of its own volition.
2. Opens Unevenly
When the button is pressed to open the door, does one side of the door open faster than the other? If one side lags too far behind the other side, nasty kinks are created in the door. The most likely culprit is that the slow side needs to be lubricated to reduce the friction. Hopefully, this will allow it to keep up with the other side. However, the slow side could also have a warped rail or broken roller. This will destroy the door if it isn't repaired.
3. Opens Slowly
If the entire door opens slowly, it's most likely a problem within the actual garage door opener itself. Most likely, the chain or screw-drive inside needs to be lubricated or replaced.
4. Very Noisy
This problem often goes hand in hand with the one above it. An unusual amount of noise signifies that the parts within the garage door opener need to be replaced or lubricated by a qualified technician.
5. Nothing Happens
First off, if you're trying to open the door with a remote control garage door opener, change the batteries in the device before you do anything else. If changing the batteries didn't help, and the garage door won't open with the button on the wall, the electrical system is the likely culprit. Make sure the garage door opener is plugged in.
Also, check the circuit breaker. If it's tripped, you can try resetting it once. If it trips again, something is causing the circuit to overload. Contact a qualified repair service.
Garage doors contain many moving parts, and there's always a risk of injury if the system isn't functioning as it was designed. Professional garage door repairs are critical to preventing injury. A qualified repairman can quickly determine the nature of your problem, whether it's electrical, mechanical, or somewhere in between.