How to Manually Open and Close Your Garage Door
One of modern life’s luxuries is a garage door that works on command. Thanks to the motorized garage door opener, your overhead door closes at the touch of a button. Some advanced openers — like LiftMaster models with Wi-Fi connectivity through myQ — can even close your door with an app on your phone.
When the door doesn’t open or close on its own, you may be wondering what to do. In a power outage, you might ask, “How do you open a garage door without power?” If you have a broken overhead door, you could be questioning whether it’s safe to close it by hand. We have your answers right here.
When You May Need to Manually Open Your Garage Door
Perhaps you just pulled in your driveway or are about to leave the house. You hit the garage door opener remote, and nothing happens. Now you’re asking yourself, “How do I leave the house?” or “How can I park my car?”
If you have an automatic garage opener, a power outage is one of the primary reasons your door may be stuck. Another cause might be that the opener remote has a dead battery or is otherwise malfunctioning. In either of those cases, you probably won’t hear any noise from the opener itself.
If your garage door’s mechanical components are intact and functioning correctly, it’s safe to manually open your garage door from the inside or outside. However, if the opener won’t work because the cables are loose, the door has become dislodged from the track or you have a broken spring, it’s not safe to open it manually. When mechanical issues are at play, you’ll probably hear your automatic opener come to life as it attempts to move your door.
If you suspect any damage or have ruled out a power outage or broken remote, it’s time to call a professional like Central Ohio Garage Door. We can get your overhead door moving smoothly, so you can get back to your other priorities.
How to Manually Open and Close a Garage Door From the Outside
Many homeowners rely on their garage as the primary way to access their homes. So if the overhead door gets stuck while you’re in the driveway, or you have a detached garage, you’re probably wondering how to open your garage door from the outside. Can you manually open a garage door from the outside? Yes. However, if you have a house key and access to the garage from the inside, you might prefer to do it that way, especially if you’re unsure where the key to your emergency release cord is.
If the outside is your best bet, here’s how to manually open your garage door from the outside.
- Unlock the emergency release: Your garage door should have a small keyhole somewhere near the top. This lock stores the emergency release cable. Use the associated key to unlock it and reveal the cable. Pulling on the cord will activate the release, allowing you to safely open the door by hand.
- Unlock the door: Toward the bottom of your door, you should have another lock right next to a handle. This lock keeps the door closed, and you’ll need the key to unlock it before you can lift it by hand.
- Lift the door: Grab the handle at the bottom of the door and lift it. Make sure you pull it all the way up so the springs will hold it in place before you let your car or anyone pass under the threshold. Do not try to force the door open. If it’s not moving relatively smoothly along the track, it could be damaged, and you should not try to open it.
- Close the door: Once you and your car are safely inside, close the door by pulling it back down from the inside. The garage door is heavy, so move slowly to keep the door steady. Don’t forget to re-lock it. Once the power comes back on, you can also reset the automatic opener.
How to Manually Open and Close a Garage Door From the Inside
If you must leave your home during a power outage or while the opener is malfunctioning, you need a way to open and close it from the inside. Here’s how to open the garage door manually.
- Unplug the opener: Unless the power is out, unplug the opener first. This safety measure will prevent someone from getting hurt if the motor activates while you’re near the door.
- Disconnect the opener: The red emergency release cord hanging from the automatic opener disconnects the garage door from the opener. Pull the cable away from the door, and you should feel and hear it disconnect. The trolley, or the moving component that connects your door to the track, should have an extended spring when the opener disconnects successfully.
- Lift the door: With the opener safely disconnected, you should be able to lift the door relatively easily. Though the door itself weighs hundreds of pounds, if the springs are working correctly, they should make it easy enough to lift with one arm. Do not try to force it open. Instead, contact a professional who can service the door if you encounter any resistance.
- Secure the door: Once the door is open, it should stay there. If it doesn’t, you might have an issue with broken springs or pulleys. If the door doesn’t stay open on its own and you need access to the garage before the technician comes, you can prop it open with a ladder or clamp while you wait for emergency repair service. Or, you can close the door manually by guiding it downward by its handle.
How to Lock Your Garage Door After Opening It Manually
When the power is working, and your garage door connects to an automatic opener, a locking mechanism built into the motor keeps your garage door shut. However, when you operate it manually and it gets disconnected from the opener, the door will slide up and down if someone attempts to move it.
If the power is out for an extended period, and you need to continue using the door manually during that time, you’ll need to lock it through other means. To close your door and keep it secure during these situations, you can place a clamp, such as a C-clamp, on the track just above one of the rollers. This solution will keep the door closed and secure until you’re ready to use it again. You can also use a clamp to keep the door open if necessary.
After your power comes back on or the opener gets fixed, you’ll need to re-engage the automatic opener, which will also let your door lock automatically whenever it closes. Here’s how to do this.
- Shut the door: After you’ve manually opened the garage door, move it back to the closed position so you can safely re-engage the motor.
- Pull the emergency cord: Pull the cable toward the door. Doing so brings the trolley into the connected position, which compresses the spring.
- Reconnect the trolley: You have two options for reconnecting the door to the trolley. One method is to manually move the door along the track until it slides into position with the automatic opener’s track. If the opener is working correctly, you can also hit the opener remote. The trolley will automatically reconnect with the attachment point. No matter how you do it, you should hear a clicking noise when the trolley reconnects with the opener track.
Contact Us About Our Garage Repair Services
If your opener isn’t working or the door won’t budge, the safest thing to do is call a professional overhead door technician. We offer timely automatic door opener repairs and fix other common issues such as broken cables, springs or hinges that may affect your door’s operation. We can get your garage back to opening and closing automatically and make the whole repair process feel effortless with our friendly, helpful technicians. To request repair service, fill out our online form today.
Common Garage Door Issues
Garage doors are an essential part of many Newark and Columbus, Ohio homes. You might use your garage door several times per day, putting plenty of wear and tear on it as the months and years go by. With too much wear, your trusted garage door could break down, bringing your morning or evening routine to a screeching halt.
No homeowner wants to experience garage door issues. By watching for certain signs, you can find problems before they get any worse and save money by calling a professional for repairs. Learn more about garage door problems and when you should call a garage door repair technician.
Common Garage Door Problems
Here are some of the most common garage door problems you might experience:
- Your garage door won’t open: This may be a sign that your opener is malfunctioning. Make sure the opener is plugged in and receiving power. If it’s plugged in, check the breaker to see if you have to make any adjustments. If all is in order, you might need to lubricate some of the moving components of the opener. You may need a professional inspection in case there is a more serious issue within your opener.
- You hear loud noises: Loud noises are a telltale sign that your garage door is having difficulty opening and closing. Various pieces of hardware like nuts and bolts may have come loose, causing creaking and squeaking noises. You may also have damaged rollers, which can create a grinding sound as they roll through the tracks. Lubricating garage door tracks and hardware can help reduce the noise, but your garage door may need a full inspection to tighten and straighten everything up.
- You can see signs of damage: Visible damage is a sure sign that your garage door is in need of some care and maintenance. Holes and cracks in your wooden garage door could allow cold air, moisture and even insects into your garage. Dented metal garage doors may close unevenly or cause damage to the opening system. And if your metal garage door has rust, it could be at risk of more problems later on. Your best bet may be to get a new garage door if your current door is damaged.
- The weatherstripping has deteriorated: The weatherstripping attached to the bottom of your garage door helps keep water and cold drafts outside where they belong. Over time, it can become cracked and brittle and begin falling apart. Find a reliable garage door repair shop to get some quality weatherstripping that can replace your current one. You may need to take some measurements to make sure you get the right length to cover the bottom of your garage door.
- The garage door closes and then opens: If your garage door starts to close and then opens by itself, you could have a problem with your photo eye sensors. These sensors are part of a safety feature of your garage door that causes it to reverse its direction if something passes underneath. If the sensors are out of alignment or have something blocking the lenses, your garage door might think something is in its path and reverse its direction when you try to close it.
- There are gaps under the door when it closes: Gaps under your garage door could be the result of bad weatherstripping, but they could also reveal a more serious issue. Your garage door could be out of alignment, and this may only get worse if left unfixed. Your garage door’s limit settings can also be malfunctioning, making the garage door think it closed completely when it still has a few inches to go.
- You have a broken garage door remote: This may be one of the easiest problems to fix, but it’s important to mention it because it’s one of the most common reasons people have trouble with their garage doors. This could be as simple as replacing the batteries or getting a new remote to replace your broken one.
How to Troubleshoot a Garage Door
Garage doors are complex pieces of machinery with large springs, cables and intricate components. There are a few actions you can take to keep your garage door running for years and even fix some minor issues before calling a professional. Here are some garage door troubleshooting tips:
- Keep things lubricated: Proper lubrication goes a long way toward having a healthy, functioning garage door. Make sure you use lithium grease or silicone-based lubricant. WD-40 is good for cleaning rust, but it won’t do much good for lubricating your garage door components. Lubricate chains, springs, metal hinges and metal wheel bearings. Wipe away any excess to limit drips onto your car and garage floor.
- Test safety features: Test your garage door’s safety features every few months. This can give you peace of mind, especially if you have small children or pets. It can also help you know when your garage is developing problems. Pass your foot through the beam to test the photo eye sensor. If the door doesn’t reverse, try aligning the sensors and wiping the lenses with a soft cloth.
- Observe your garage door: Get into the habit of watching your garage door open and close from different angles. Inspect the cables and springs, listening for unusual sounds. This can help you get familiar with your garage door so you can spot malfunctions before they develop into costly issues. Noticing issues early in the process can save you a lot of money and aggravation.
When to Call a Professional to Fix Your Garage Door
You can perform minor maintenance tasks yourself, but you should consider leaving the bigger issues to residential garage door service professionals. Garage doors are under a lot of tension from torsion springs, extension springs and lift cables. One wrong move can cause serious injury to you or someone nearby if you’re not careful. Plus, tinkering with your garage door could void your warranty, leaving you with more expensive repair costs than if you had left things to a pro.
If your garage door is crooked or has dangling cables or broken springs, you should seek professional help. Garage door technicians have the training to fix these issues safely and professionally. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of a repaired garage door without dealing with the risks of working on it yourself. You’ll also know they’re getting the job done right. Skip costly mistakes and let the professionals handle your garage door maintenance and issues.
Call Central Ohio Garage Door to Repair Your Garage Door
Trust the professionals at Central Ohio Garage Door for all your garage door repair and maintenance needs. At Central Ohio Garage Door, we serve locally, which allows us to treat our customers as the family and friends that they are. If you live in the areas of Columbus or Newark, Ohio, you can experience our top-tier customer service and quality repair services. Contact us to request garage door repair service today!
Garage Door Maintenance 101
As a homeowner, you might use your garage door several times a day, in all types of weather. Your garage door is likely the largest appliance of your home, exposed to the elements and subject to heavy use. These factors are bound to result in wear and tear, which can accumulate into larger issues if left untouched. You can save time and money by catching potential problems early, addressing them before they can worsen.
To keep your garage door running smoothly, it’s important to plan regular preventive maintenance. Even if you have yet to see or hear any issues, preventative upkeep will ensure optimized performance and a longer life span. Learn all about preventive garage door maintenance below — why it’s important, how often to schedule it and what its primary benefits are, plus the best professional services.
Garage Door Maintenance: Is It Important?
Garage door maintenance, especially preventive upkeep, is important for several reasons. Neglecting routine upkeep can cause small issues to become larger ones, which are more expensive and time-consuming to repair. You may even have to replace the entire garage door, which you should only have to do after a decade or longer. A failing garage door can lead to safety concerns and major inconveniences. For safety, convenience and monetary savings, you should keep up with routine garage door maintenance.
Even if you have yet to notice any issues, taking proactive steps will ensure smooth operation. Preventing problems is better than repairing them after they’ve formed. Compare it to your yearly physical — you should go to the doctor at least once a year, with or without symptoms, to check your health. Annual visits matter because medical problems can go undetected in your everyday life.
The same is true for your garage door — emerging issues can be silent and invisible. It’s best to catch them before they grow into larger concerns.
How Often Should You Have Your Garage Door Serviced?
You should schedule preventive maintenance at least once a year, before the winter hits — and more often if you notice issues. You may want to plan biannual maintenance, once before winter and once before summer, for added assurance. If you live in an area with extreme seasonal weather, biannual checks are a good idea. Severe cold, heat or humidity can be taxing on any moving appliance.
You’ll also want to schedule maintenance any time a concern arises. Here are some signs of potential issues to look out for — you need not be a garage door expert to recognize these symptoms. If you notice any of the following, you should plan a garage door checkup as soon as possible:
- Strange noises: Any grinding, scraping or screeching noises can indicate a track or hardware problem. A quiet garage door lends itself to a more pleasant experience. You may need to oil metal hardware, tighten screws or realign the track. Some of these tasks you can do on your own, but you might want to hire a professional for the best results.
- Uneven movement: Watch your door as it runs. Does it operate in one smooth motion, or does it jerk, getting stuck in places? If the latter is true, the door will need servicing. Smooth, even movements indicate proper function. Anything else might be a sign of an issue.
- Light shining through: Wait for the sun to set and stand outside your garage door. Turn the lights on in your garage. If you see any light shining through, air can escape as well. This problem can mean poor insulation, which drives up your heating and cooling bills. To fix this issue, replace the weatherstripping and any worn parts or panels.
- Water damage: Your garage door is exposed to the elements, which include rain, snow and humidity. These things can cause water damage. On wood doors, keep your eyes open for warping or peeling from water damage. On steel doors, look for rust spots. Water damage can be an eye-sore, but it can also lead to more serious issues over time. You may need a fresh coat of water-resistant sealant.
Benefits of Preventative Garage Door Maintenance
Scheduling regular garage door maintenance is necessary for any homeowner. Proactive garage door care has many benefits for your safety, convenience and bank account. Some benefits of garage door maintenance include:
- A longer life span: With routine service, a garage door will last much longer. Small issues, which may go unnoticed, can become irreversible down the road, so it’s important to schedule upkeep whether you recognize any problems.
- Improved safety: Garage door issues can be dangerous. Doors are heavy, and the springs work under extreme tension. A faulty door may cause injury or leave your home vulnerable to intrusion. Preventive maintenance helps avoid unexpected issues, which means improved safety for your family.
- Convenience: Preventive maintenance keeps your door working, so you can dodge unfortunate situations. A door stuck open or closed can present a major inconvenience, if not a hazardous situation. You’ll have to wait for emergency maintenance service to arrive, which could take hours or days. In either case, you’ll be stuck either inside or outside the door. Preventive maintenance helps you avoid such predicaments.
- Money savings: While preventive maintenance is often inexpensive, extensive repairs and replacements are a different story. You can save a lot of money long term when you plan regular garage door maintenance.
- Energy efficiency: Improving your door’s insulation can reduce your energy bills and increase your energy efficiency. Reduced energy usage is better for both the environment and your wallet.
- Attractive appearance: Your garage door makes up a large part of your home’s facade. If it looks and operates like new, it’ll add to your home’s visual appeal. On the other hand, a rusting, sticking, screeching garage door can detract from your home’s beauty. Keep up with garage door maintenance for an attractive abode.
- Increased home value: A beautiful, working garage door contributes to your home’s curb appeal and can increase its resale value. To get maximum value from the real estate market, keep your garage door in top shape.
Schedule Garage Door Maintenance With Central Ohio Garage Door
Keeping your garage door in the best possible shape is an important investment for any homeowner. You’ll need a knowledgeable, professional service to help you, which is exactly what we offer at Central Ohio Garage Door. We provide expert garage door maintenance and repair services. We’ll make sure your door is well-lubricated, tighten any loose screws and address any other emerging issues. Get in touch with us and request service to maintain your garage door’s longevity and appearance.
If you have any questions about garage door maintenance, feel free to contact Central Ohio Garage Door today.
How to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter
Homeowners have plenty of work to do to make sure their homes are ready for the harsh winter months. From insulating windows to checking that heaters are functioning properly, there is a sizeable checklist of things to inspect and repair to ensure the cold temperatures stay outside and the warm comforts of the home remain inside.
How Your Garage Door Can Be Affected by Cold Weather
Steps to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter
When to Call a Garage Door Expert if Your Garage Door Freezes
Choose Central Ohio Garage Door to Prepare for Winter
Signs You Need To Replace Your Residential Garage Door
Residential Garage Door Replacement
Of all of the appliances in your home, your garage door is one of the most important. While garage doors can withstand heavy use for decades, it’s likely that most homeowners will have to repair or replace their garage door at least once during their homeownership. If your garage door is nearing the 15- to 30-year mark, you may start noticing some indications that it’s time for a new garage door.
At Central Ohio Garage Door, we understand that some homeowners may not immediately notice the signs you need to replace your garage door. We’ve created this helpful guide to assist you in highlighting the signs your garage door is broken and the benefits of new garage door installation services.
5 Common Signs You Need a New Garage Door
No one wants to walk into their garage only to discover that it won’t open. Unfortunately, this happens to many homeowners, especially if you neglect the signs you need to replace your garage door. If you spot any of these problems in your home, they may be signs your garage door is broken and needs to be replaced.
1. Your Garage Door Is Very Noisy
One of the most obvious broken garage door signs is increased noise during operation. Virtually all garage door mechanisms will emit some type of sound while opening and closing the door, but they shouldn’t cause a ruckus. If you hear any strange noises that continue to occur during garage door operation, it may signal a problem.
Squeaking or grinding noises could mean a problem with the rollers or a broken spring. Although some noises can be due to hinges that need to be lubricated or nuts and bolts that need to be tightened, many of them either indicate a problem with the door or will lead to problems in the future.
2. You’ve Had Your Garage Door Repaired Multiple Times
When you make any investment in your home, you want your upfront cost to be the only major expense you have to pay. Unfortunately, garage doors can experience mechanical breakdowns due to faulty parts or old age. Some garage doors are also damaged over the years due to accidents or severe weather.
If you’ve already paid to have your garage door repaired or serviced multiple times, it’s highly likely that you’ll continue to need more repairs down the line. These expenses can add up quickly, sometimes reaching a sizeable amount that could have helped you purchase a brand-new garage door with a warranty.
3. Your Garage Door Is Showing Its Age
Ideally, a garage door is an investment that you make once and then refrain from worrying about for at least a decade, if not longer. Many homeowners purchase their house with a garage door already in place, and although it may continue to operate without fail, you should still be wary of a garage door that is more than 10 years old.
Whether you purchased the garage door or bought your home with a garage door, you should have the system assessed when it nears 15 years of age. If nothing else, an old door is likely showing its age in appearance and could be lowering your curb appeal and your property value.
4. Your Garage Door Isn’t Opening or Closing Smoothly
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that as long as their garage door is opening and closing when needed, it’s operating just fine. That isn’t always the case. Your garage door should continue to perform nearly as well as it did when it was first installed. Any instances of the garage door opening or closing unevenly could be signs your garage door is broken.
A garage door should always move smoothly, which means moving too fast or too slow is unacceptable. If the door “stumbles” while it’s operating or opens or closes with a bang, there may be a serious issue with the pulley system which could harm you, your family or your possessions if not resolved.
5. You Notice Obvious Damages, Safety Hazards or Problems With Efficiency
Most garage doors will see various dings, scratches and discoloration over their lifetimes, but don’t ignore larger problems. Damages to the garage door could harm its integrity, while malfunctioning components of the garage door system could cause safety hazards. Older models can also be problematic, as their lack of insulation or energy-efficiency can make your garage feel sweltering hot or frigidly cold.
The safety, security and comfort of your family should always be a top priority. Be sure to address any damages, safety hazards or lapses in efficiency that may limit the comfort, safety or security of your family and possessions. A new, quality garage door installed by a trusted team is an excellent solution that will preserve all three of these priorities.
5 Benefits of a New Garage Door
A new garage door is an investment in your home and your lifestyle, but unlike other investments that may take time to pay off, you’ll immediately experience the benefits the moment your garage door installation is complete. Of the many advantages residential garage door replacement offers, these five benefits are perhaps the most impactful in the short-term and long-term.
1. Long-Term Savings
A new garage door installation is more than just swapping it out with a replacement. Today’s garage doors have substantially improved upon older models, offering a plethora of built-in advantages that save you money in the long run. Most new garage door installation services come with a warranty, immediately saving you money in case an unexpected breakdown occurs.
Thankfully, these new garage doors are also built with the latest technology, yielding them strength and performance that lasts for years. Many models resist damage from the weather and can withstand heavy usage without breaking down. This one-time investment on a new garage door can save you hundreds in repair and maintenance costs over time.
2. It’s Quieter, Smoother and More Attractive
When a home appliance works without issue, it’s sometimes easy not to notice. A new garage door will operate at peak efficiency, opening and closing smoothly without loud, distracting noises. The new garage door will also improve the appearance of your home’s exterior, allowing it to complement the aesthetic without standing out in a negative way.
3. Increased Security, Safety and Efficiency
One vital benefit a new garage door offers is peace of mind. New models are stronger, more durable and more energy-efficient, providing your home with the safety, security and efficiency you desire. A new garage door can help lower your energy bills and reinforce the security of your house.
4. Increased Resale Potential
Many renovations that you make are actually investments in your home’s future. Even if you’re not considering selling your house soon, a new garage door can instantly boost your home’s value. In fact, studies have shown that installing a quality garage door replacement has an average of a 98% return-on-investment.
In contrast, a damaged garage door can harm your home’s curb appeal and potentially lower its perceived value in the eyes of buyers. Issues like faded coloring, damages and poor performance can turn buyers away. Even the presence of an outdated garage door model could leave a bad taste in buyers’ mouths.
5. It Accommodates Other Home Renovations
Once you have a beautiful new garage door installed, you’ll be surprised how much of an impact it makes on your home. Depending on how the type of door you choose is installed and mounted, you may have more room in your garage for overhead lighting or storage. An energy-efficient garage door will also regulate the garage’s temperature, offering more opportunities to use the garage comfortably or store possessions that require a more temperature-controlled environment.
Looking at your exterior, you’ll see the potential to enhance other elements of your curb appeal. From landscaping and decor to exterior paint, window shutters and even a new front door, you’ll discover plenty of creative ways that you can transform your exterior into the home of your dreams.
Contact Central Ohio Garage Door About Our Garage Door Installation Services
Residential garage door replacement is one of the best investments you can make for your home. You’ll immediately enjoy benefits including a quieter and smoother operation, enhanced security and efficiency, and peace of mind knowing that you have a reliable, new garage door that won’t need expensive repairs.
When you spot the signs you need to replace your garage door, don’t wait until the damage gets worse. Contact Central Ohio Garage Door and learn about our garage door installation services. We provide the highest level of customer service as well as industry-leading new garage door models that will keep your family safe and secure while improving your home’s appearance.