If you have recently purchased a new home and your residence has a garage door opener, then you may have some difficulties trying to open the door the first time. If so, this may mean that the door itself has an issue that needs to be resolved. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple problems that may be causing the issue. Keep reading to learn about a few and to find out how you can address the issue.
Manually Locked Door
If the previous homeowners were away for some time before selling it to you, then the garage door may have been locked in preparation of the house sale. Manual locking is a good way to keep the garage door safe and secure without the possibility of a malfunction or an accidental opening from keeping the door open for a long period of time.
If you hear the garage door motor working for a few seconds before turning off, then this may be the case. Garage doors have a few different types of manual locking systems. The most common is a handle lock or a flat bar lock. Both of these locking systems allow you to turn or push the lock so a wide bar is forced into one or several holes on the track. The bar works in the same way that a deadbolt does on your front door. It simply prevents the door from opening. If you find this sort of lock on the track, then simply twist, push, or pull to deactivate it.
If you do not see this sort of locking mechanism, then the owner may have activated the emergency release instead. This release allows for manual opening when the power goes out and it is sometimes used as a way to manually lock the door. There are two kinds of emergency releases you should look for. One sits high on the middle rail where it meets the garage door and the other is attached directly to the garage door opener motor itself. You will notice either a red pull cord or a locking mechanism with a key. If you see the key mechanism, then turn it. If you notice a handle and cord, then pull it towards the garage door to disengage it.
If all emergency releases and mechanisms are engaged, then your problem may simply be caused by dirt, debris, and rust on the track itself. This is especially true if the garage door has been sitting for some time without being opened. These obstructions can keep the garage door rollers from rotating and sliding easily up and down the track.
Use a flashlight to investigate the track. If you see debris, then use your hose to wet the tracks to dislodge some of it. Also, squeeze a bit of dish soap down each track to loosen the debris and rinse the soap away afterwards. When you are done, look at the garage door rollers to see if they are made from steel. Nylon rollers will be either white or translucent and steel ones will be a metallic color.
If you see nylon rollers, then use a silicon-based lubricant like WD-40 along the rollers. If steel rollers are noted, then apply motor oil to them instead. This should help to get the rollers moving if they are stuck or if they have not moved in some time.
If the garage door is a traditional type that uses a chain, then the chain may need lubrication as well. In this case, use a lithium-based grease along the chain.
If your simple fixes do not help to move the garage door, then speak with a garage door specialist for assistance. The motor itself may need to be adjusted or repaired. For more information, contact companies like Raynor Door Company.