Four Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Stay Closed

amarr lincoln garage doors


One of the most common requests is to repair a garage door that won’t stay closed. Whether you have a remote on your visor, an app, or a wall button, your garage door looks like it will close, but it goes up as it nears the ground. If you’re asking yourself, “Why won’t my garage door stay closed?” you’re in the right place.

If we haven’t met before, let us introduce ourselves: we are Doorvana, a full-service garage door company and wood garage door manufacturer that distributes custom wood garage doors nationwide. We like to educate those interested in or needing garage doors, operators, or services. Being in the garage door industry for years, we’ve picked up some bits of knowledge about all things garage doors. Our goal is to help you make a more informed decision so you spend wisely.

Now, let’s dive into why your garage door won’t stay closed. We break this down by how far your garage door travels before returning.


The garage door starts to close, then reverses after a few seconds

If you start to close your garage door and one to two sections come down into the opening before reversing, you probably have a garage door sensor issue. Garage door operators installed after 1993 must be paired with sensors installed at the bottom of each garage door rail. These sensors create a solid pairing across the entire doorway to ensure nothing gets in the way of the door coming down. If obstructed, the sensors signal the operator to reverse so you can safely remove the object(s).

LiftMaster operators used to flash their lights several times to identify that the sensors picked up an object. However, the latest operators, like the LiftMaster 87504, do not have that capability, so you’ll want to check for stray objects as the first and only DIY garage door diagnostic.

If there aren’t any objects in the way, look at the sensors to see if the LED lights are on. Depending on the operator and sensors, you may see a green and yellow light or another combination. If you don’t see lights, the sensor or wiring may need to be replaced.


The garage door closes completely and then opens

Garage door operators are the brains that send instructions to your garage door. The safety sensors also paint a clear picture of how your door should open and close.

If your garage door closes all the way and then opens up a second or two later, your operator settings must be adjusted. Your operator tells the door how far it has to travel and at what speed before closing. When your garage door completely closes and then comes back up it’s because the garage door operator thinks your door has further to travel when it’s closed. That signals to the operator that an obstruction (the concrete floor) keeps your garage door from traveling further. The operator reads this as a sign that something is in the way and it needs to reverse course.


The garage door almost closes and then reverses

If your garage door isn’t returning right away or waiting until it’s completely closed, your door could be binding against the jambs or traveling down a bent track.

How does a bent track impact your garage door?

Garage door operators are intelligent and good at recognizing tension. If your garage door is rolling down the track and it senses a bend where one shouldn’t be, the operator will identify that more force is required to travel down one side of the track. That difference in force will signal to the operator that it needs to bring the door back.

Garage doors are meant to operate efficiently on an unobstructed, straight, consistent path.

How can you bend garage door tracks?

My wife likes to tuck the recycling bin against the wall at home, nearly always touching the track. If either of us parks a little too tight, we could rub against the can, causing it to press into the track. The force from our car to the bin can twist the garage door track. While it seems innocent, a slight bend will cause problems for your garage door rollers. Once the first set of garage door rollers encounters the bent track, the operator will try to bring the door back.

Your garage door could exit the track if the operator doesn’t respond quickly enough.

How does binding keep your garage door from closing?

If your garage door is uneven, one side of your door will be closer to the jamb than the other. When that happens, the door can contact the casing or sheetrock, causing friction and tension on the door and operator. Over time, the garage door continues to lean to one side, eventually causing too much friction, signaling to the opener that there’s an obstruction.


How do you repair a garage door that won’t stay closed?

Our full-service garage door lube and tune covers all the operable parts of your door and operator. During the service, we adjust your sensors, test and reset limits, make force adjustments, and lubricate your rail and sprockets. This service will likely solve your problem so your garage door will stay closed.

However, depending on the age or lack of maintenance, you may need to replace your garage door operator or other parts.


In summary

We recommend contacting a local garage door repair company for any service request. Garage doors are usually the most prominent movable element of your home and can be fatal to someone without experience or the proper tools and equipment.

When your garage door doesn’t stay closed, it’s a nuisance. If it happens once and you notice a rake or trash can in front of your sensors, that’s one thing. But, if your garage door goes all the way down and won’t stay closed or almost all the way, please call a service company to inspect it. Garage door repairs are a bit like dental work. They should be fine if you maintain them regularly and quickly address any problems.

If you have questions or want a free on-site inspection and diagnostic, call us at 817-500-5988 or submit a garage door service request. We’d love to be your garage door company for life. After all, we deliver peace of mind regarding your garage door.

Cover image sourced from Amarr.
Doorvana Blog Four Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Stay Closed