How to Prevent Garage Door Sticking Problems

We all know prevention is the best course of action to take to stop problems in the home.  It’s certainly true when it comes to your garage door sticking.  Once they get stuck, you may find yourself in a real bind.  It’s certainly better to take action at the first sign of garage door sticking lest you get stuck out, literally.

garage door sticking

A sticking garage door is not just obnoxious and inconvenient, they’re dangerous.  If you attempt to get them dislodged, you could apply too much force and cause the door to collapse.  Also, the door could stick and prevent you from being able to get your vehicle out of the garage in the event of an emergency.

There are many issues a sticking garage door could cause that would be unsafe. So, why not take matters into your own hands and solve the problem before it turns into a larger one?

What Makes a Garage Door Stick?

There are a number of factors that can cause your garage door to stick.  Much depends upon what type of garage door you have.  If you don’t have a carriage door, your door has rails allowing it to open.

Reasons for garage door sticking:

  • Weather – ice and snow can wreak havoc on the hardware as well as the doors themselves.
  • Wear and tear – parts wear out over time and need to be replaced.
  • Debris – dirt, leaves, grease and a number of things can get caught in the railings
  • Damage – bumping into the door, especially with something heavy (like your car) can cause it to stick
  • Garage door opener – sometimes the problem lies within the opener
  • Automatic garage door system – one of the first things to check for is if your garage door still has the issue when operating it manually

How to Take Preventive Measures

When you’re checking an automatic garage door, use the red pull down cord to pull it down manually rather than automatically.  This will allow you to determine if it might be a garage door opening issue.

If the problem doesn’t exist when you pull the door up and down manually, you can troubleshoot the garage door opener (check out the article on ways to fix your garage door opener), instead of the actual door and its parts within your garage door system.

Lubrication – If your door needs a little lubrication, make sure you use the appropriate kind that’s designed for railings and such.  Don’t skimp when it comes to getting  good, high quality brand of lubricant.  Lubricate the wheels and rails as directed.  Wipe off any excess.  It’s good to lubricate them once every six months or so.

Freezing – When water accumulates and turns to ice, a garage door can easily get stuck.  One way to prevent your garage door from sticking due to ice is to spray a little silicone on a clean cloth and wipe the rubber gasket with it.  The gasket can be found at the base of the door.  This will also keep water from harboring on it which can cause corrosion.  While you’re at it, might as well put a little on your car door gasket.

You’ll also want to replace the weather seal occasionally as well.  The weather seal is what forms a seal between the opening and the garage door itself.  The seal can wear out over time.  Then, air can enter and water can freeze when it accumulates in it.  Remove the weather seal and replace it with a brand new one using a sharp knife.

Salt can help keep your garage door from sticking too.  It’s a simple solution.  Just sprinkle a good bit of salt, even table salt, along the line where the driveway and garage door meet.  Salt will actually lower the freezing point of the water so that freezing isn’t as likely to occur.

beautiful garage door on a large home

Another thing to consider is if you live where it gets very cold, you may want to put a portable heater in your garage so that the door doesn’t stick.  That’s only after doing all the other preventative measures for sticking due to freezing.

Check out our article about the best ways to heat your garage here.

Imbalance- You can use a level in order to accurately check the alignment of the tracks on your garage door.  In the event that they’re not completely straight, simply loosen their screws or bolts with a screwdriver or an adjustable wrench.  You can also tap the tracks back into place with a hammer so they’re properly aligned and then re-tighten the screws and bolts.

Debris – Clean your railings regularly.  Just go along the insides of them with a cloth or even a small sweeper broom.  The object is to wipe out dirt, grime and anything else that might be accumulating in the rails.  It’s a good idea to sweep and then go over it with a cloth afterwards.

You’ll need to get a ladder to reach all the nooks and crannies.  While there’s a risk of slipping, it’s the only way to properly and thoroughly check the tracks.

Parts – Garage door parts wear out over time.  It’s good to check them on a regular basis to see how they’re holding up.  You’ll want to look at the hinges, springs and any other parts.  Take a look at the railing too to make sure it’s not bent or dented.  If you see any parts that are wearing out, even if it’s premature, replace them immediately.

If the railing has any dents or bumps, you can hold a wooden block over the area and hammer the block so it straightens the track itself.  Be careful not to strike or hit it too hard causing a dent or ding.

Sticky Stuff – If your garage door is sticking to the actual floor, check for anything sticky on it.  If there’s anything, clean it up.  There are cleaners that are designed especially for sticky substances.  Be sure to use as directed.

How Not to Take Preventive Measures

It’s not advised to grease your garage door because it’ll affect how it works.  It could also be dangerous if it slides too quickly and freely over the greased area. You can, however, use it on areas other than the track, such as to the gasket, to keep the garage door from freezing up in extremely cold weather.

Stop Garage Door Sticking Once and For All

It’s better to be proactive when it comes to garage door sticking.  It’s highly unlikely that the problem will fix itself – it will only get worse.  A little upkeep and forethought will go a long way.

If a new garage is something you need, Danley’s is here to help. We’ve been building custom garages in Chicago since 1959 and have served over 100,000 homeowners. It’s no wonder why we’re Chicago’s best garage builders. Get a free quote and start your garage building project today.

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