How to Fix a Garage Door That Gets Stuck Halfway

by Eric Jonas
Keep your garage door working properly to make arriving home simple.

Keep your garage door working properly to make arriving home simple.

Garage doors make life easier, particularly when you’re arriving home in the middle of a rainstorm. It’s easy to take the convenience a garage door provides for granted -- until it stops working properly. The door loses its visual appeal instantly, stuck there half-open. This type of situation also raises security concerns as a simple trip to the store can become a headache. Simple fixes when a garage door gets stuck halfway may prevent it from happening again.

The garage door opens and closes many times throughout the year, and something may blow inside. While it is usually something such as loose leaves or small amounts of dirt, the rails that the door travel along can collect this loose debris. Over time, the buildup of debris creates a blockage on the rails. Note where on the rails the door is stuck and clean that area. If children use the garage to leave the house, it's sometimes something as simple as a small, bouncing ball that happens to land in just the right -- or wrong -- spot.

The spring system opens and supports the garage door. These springs are under heavy force, which allows the door to bounce back open and avoids overburdening the garage door opener with the entire weight load. If these springs are stuck or broken, the whole system is affected. Start by lubricating the springs with non-silicon-based lubricant. If this fails, disconnect the garage door opener from the garage door to manually open the door. If you experience significant resistance, the springs might need to be replaced; a job that requires a professional.

Weather conditions can make rails expand or contract slightly, which requires a little extra pressure from the opener to compensate. Turning the force-adjustment screw increases or decreases the force. However, adjusting the force is not something to play around with unless you are confident you know what you’re doing. The force adjustment signals the opener to stop and reverse when objects are detected in the closing path. Too little force and just about anything will trigger it to stop, but too much force and the garage door might not respond to resistance from something or someone in the path when the door is trying to close.

Garage door and their openers require basic maintenance. If an emergency occurs, you need to know that your door will open and close. Especially if you have children at home, check the sensors once a month to prevent potential injury. The force setting test lets you know that the door will stop if a child or object is in the way. The photo eye sensors will detect if a child or object is moving under the door and prevent the door from closing. In addition, a complete visual inspection of the system will help to show if something looks out of place or there is obvious damage. Lubricate your springs semi-annually. Investing a few minutes to keep your garage door in tip-top shape may prevent it from getting stuck halfway open or closed.

About the Author

Eric Jonas has been writing in small-business advertising and local community newsletters since 1998. Prior to his writing career, he became a licensed level II gas technician and continues to work in the field, also authoring educational newsletters for others in the business. Jonas is currently a graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in English and rhetoric from McMaster University.

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