When your automatic garage door doesn't work, it could be any number of simple fixes that you can address on your own. However, there are some repair jobs that are better left to a professional, either because they're typically outside the scope of expertise of most homeowners or because it may not be safe for you to try this fix on your own. Note a few troubleshooting tips for your garage door, including when it's best to call for garage door service and repairs.
1. The remote doesn't work but the switch on the wall does
People often forget that remotes need batteries, not just for the remote you hold but also for the receiver in the garage. Test all the batteries and change them as needed. If this doesn't fix the problem, it may be the wiring in the garage door that connects the receiver to the housing unit, telling the garage door to open and close when a signal is received. A professional repair person can test the wiring and note if it's frayed or bare or otherwise needs replacing or upgrading.
2. Grinding noise while struggling to open or close
If it seems that the door struggles to open or close all the way and you hear a grinding or scraping noise coming from the wall itself, this often means the track is out of alignment or bent. The door will scrape and grind as it tries to close properly. If you notice an obvious bend in the track or loose screw that you can fix with a pair of pliers or a screwdriver, you might try that. However, major damage to the track is best left to a professional. This is because the tracks on both sides of the door need to be perfectly aligned so that the door can open and close in a straight line; otherwise, it will continue to put pressure on the track and cause more damage over time.
3. Door won't open but you hear the motor humming
If the motor is working but the door won't open, this might be a blockage in the track of the door. The torsion springs that actually lift the door could also be broken. If you don't see an obvious blockage in the track of the door, it's good to call a professional. He or she can note if there is some type of buildup of debris in the tracks that is keeping the door from moving, or if the springs need replacing. Both are best done by a technician because they can stay safe when working with a heavy garage door that may not be properly supported by a broken spring or damaged track.