Why Do Garage Doors Get Stuck: Guide for a Stuck Garage Door

Have you ever had a day when everything goes wrong? You overslept, your kids are late for school, you are in a rush to get to an important meeting, and your garage door gets stuck. Mornings are tough, as is it, so a door breaking down will certainly add extra stress to your day. Garage doors are complex mechanisms that can malfunction for no obvious reason or even stop working altogether. It might be due to its age and somewhat outdated technology, or it could be something minor that you can immediately fix.

What are the most common issues and how to open a jammed garage door? Discover the most common issues and troubleshooting tips below!

How to Open a Jammed Garage Door: Common Issues & Best Solutions

The garage door is stuck closed

If your garage door got stuck and won’t open while you are still inside, don’t panic. There is an easy guide on how to get it open manually.

  1. Unlock any locks and latches to make sure the mechanism will let you open the door manually;
  2. Unplug the motor to disconnect the door opener from electricity;
  3. Find the emergency release cord and pull it down. The emergency release handle is a red handle located in the middle of the door track. Do not pull it down before making sure the garage door is fully closed;
  4. Lift the garage door until the door stops moving. Make sure it did stop before letting go. In case it hasn’t reached the top yet, it will rapidly close, leading to an accident.

The garage door is stuck open

If your garage door is stuck open, follow the aforementioned guidelines. However, at first, make sure that springs aren’t broken before triggering the emergency release. Second, once you pull the handle down, the door will rapidly fall, damaging the door itself and anything underneath it. To avoid any damage and injuries, put a log underneath the door to stop it from falling to the ground.

The garage door stuck on one side

There are several reasons for the door getting stuck on one side. It could be due to broken strings, insufficient lubrication, or even the door going off track. Either way, call the professionals to detect the exact problem and fix it for you.

The garage door stuck halfway, or the garage door gets stuck going up

If the door only opens halfway or doesn’t operate smoothly, the first thing you should do is fully close it. Then pull down the emergency release handle and try to open the door again. If you succeed in opening it all the way up, there must be something wrong with the door opener.

Is the garage door stuck halfway open again? This means that the problem is the door itself, so don’t hesitate to call the professionals.

Why Do Garage Doors Get Stuck: Guide for a Stuck Garage Door

Probable Reasons for a Garage Door Getting Stuck

Weather conditions

Abnormally extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can negatively affect the garage door. Fluctuating temperatures lead to rails expanding and contracting, which inevitably causes damage. For example, it can result in your garage door getting stuck in cold weather. In this case, an adjustment of the door opener is required. Refer to a technician to adjust the door opening mechanism’s pressure to add extra force and get the job done.

Springs and drums

Your garage door is not performing any tasks, it’s only there to protect your property. The heavy duty is carried out by the springs that are prone to breaking at some point. Metal drums lift the door by interacting with cables on every side, which can also be blocked or damaged. We strongly don’t recommend fixing either on your own and advise to call a professional team to avoid any possible injuries resulting from a DIY approach.


Blockages can be caused by leaves, small stones, and dirt stored in the rails. They are the reason preventing the door from closing and opening properly. A small ball or a toy can be a cause for a garage door getting stuck. To detect a foreign object and stop the door from operating poorly, examine the rollers, tracks, and hinges for debris.

Sensor obstructions

Both sides of the garage are fitted with sensors. When something is blocking the sensors, it can lead to a door getting jammed. It doesn’t even have to be an object per se; for instance,  it could be a spider web blocking the sensor. Take a look at the sensors at each side and sweep away the webs.

Chain issues

Garage door chains are a viable part of the door opening mechanism. Being used every day, they eventually get weaker because of the vibrations coming from the motor and the weight of the heavy garage door. Are your garage door chains stuck or worn out? This can affect the entire process of opening and closing the door by slowing down the mechanism significantly.

Trolley issues

After checking the door opener and making sure it’s working, take a look at the trolley carriage. Is your garage door trolley stuck and needs replacement? Fortunately, it is quite an easy and affordable fix, and we will cover it in the next part.

Why Do Garage Doors Get Stuck: Guide for a Stuck Garage Door

How to Fix a Garage Door that Gets Stuck: Best Practices

Replace the trolley carriage

First, disconnect the motor unit from electricity or turn off the breaker. Pull the aforementioned release handle and manually close the door. Place the ladder underneath the trolley and remove it.

Put the new carriage onto the rail and attach the rail to the wall bracket. Connect the motor back to the power outlet and check if the new trolley works properly.

Check for an obstruction

If you have detected an obstruction that prevents your door from functioning and gets the garage door jammed, inspect every part of the mechanism. Rollers, hinges, tracks, tracks, other hardware — all of these can lead to a malfunction when blocked by a foreign object. It could also be due to poor lubrication — in this case, simply lubricate the tracks and hardware with silicone-based grease or oil.

Broken spring

Nothing yet found? Check the springs. But first, determine which type of springs you have. The torsion spring is placed horizontally at the top of the door. To figure out whether it is broken or not, look for a gap between the springs. The extension springs are located vertically alongside the door. Check their condition to see if they are broken and hanging loose. In case you find a broken spring, both torsion and extension, call professional help. Do not perform the replacement on your own because it is a dangerous task that requires expertise and caution.

Check the track

Check the tracks for any signs of damage. They can be severely bent or a little uneven, both of which are fixable. If you are handy enough, you can even do it yourself: take a hammer, put a layer of thick fabric or a wood plank in between, and straighten the track. If you don’t feel confident and don’t trust yourself with a hammer, contact experts.

The rollers are off the track

Is the garage door stuck even after you have inspected all the issues above? Then maybe your rollers jumped off the track, which means you should definitely use a professional service to fix the problem.

Poor installation

Finally, door malfunctioning might be due to unprofessional and sloppy door installation. Call the company that has installed your garage door, and they will re-install it or adjust the settings accordingly.

Our Experience

STIGarageDoor is a reliable and trusted expert that specializes in the installation and repairs of different types of garage doors. We operate in the states of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Having worked with a multitude of commercial and residential garages, we guarantee efficiency, expertise, and quality. With a great focus on customer experience, we will accompany you at every step.

We repair broken strings, replace trolley carriages, and fix malfunctioning door openers. We will put your door back on track and give you helpful tips on how to monitor the possible issues in the future. For example, what to do when the garage door gets stuck going up when cold or how to open a stuck garage door from the outside in case of emergency.

Final Thoughts

A garage is a very important part of your house and your morning routine. A broken garage door can cause your entire day to go off the rails. Moreover, by trying to fix a dangerous problem, you can harm yourself and your family members. Contact STIGarageDoor to get first-hand information about garage doors and receive the best customer experience.