A malfunctioning garage door can be an irritation, especially when it stops working when you're on your way to work or leaving the house for a few days. If you aren't sure what the problem is, you might consider some of the possibilities below.

Batteries are Dead

Before investigating any other issues, if your door isn't working, empty the remote and install new batteries. You may find that's the simple solution to your problem.

Sensors Aren't Aligned

When the door doesn't appear to be sliding down completely, there are a few things that could be the culprit. Sometimes the solution is simply to look at each sensor to ensure that nothing is blocking or occluding the surface. If that doesn't fix the issue, then you've got to be sure that each sensor is directly facing the other one and hasn't been knocked out of place. If the sensors are unable to communicate with each other, they won't allow your door to slide down all the way.

Dry or Dirty Track

If your door seems to stop and start on its way up and down the track, creating a "hiccuping" movement, the likely problem is that the door track needs attention. There could be some obstruction along the track somewhere for instance. To find it, take a hard-bristle brush and scrub the track, looking for signs of any gunk that could be causing the issue. It could also be that the track is in need of lubrication, which can be accomplished by spraying lubricant along both sides of the door track.

If the track doesn't seem dry or dirty, it could be that the track is bent in some places, which could require professional help to repair.

Weak Tension Spring

Spring problems can cause odd garage door activity. For instance, a weak tension spring can lead to ghostlike, drifting downward movements even when you're not operating the door. This can be dangerous if you've got pets or small children that go in and out of the garage without paying much attention to the door; that's because a weak tension spring could eventually allow the door to freefall. Professional attention is imperative if you suspect tension spring issues.

When you've got some idea of what is preventing the door from working, you can take action yourself or discuss the situation with a professional. A garage door repair service company, like Garage Door Pros, can get to you right away and resolve any problems so you can get on with your day.