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What to Do When Your Manual Garage Door Won’t Open

Your garage door is likely to be one of the most used features of your property, housing your belongings and often expensive assets like cars and bikes. But it can be a huge inconvenience if your garage door won’t open manually or stops working efficiently, making it difficult to access vehicles, gym equipment or DIY tools. We’ve highlighted some of the most common causes of a damaged garage door and how to resolve the issue.

Repairing a Garage Door

Broken Torsion Springs

A key aspect of the garage opening system are the torsion springs – it’s a strong part of the mechanism that is capable of lifting the heavy door. But when they fail or break, you’ll notice that it’s much harder to lift the door. In some cases, it might not even open at all.

How to Fix Failed Torsion Springs

To fix the problem, you’ll need to have the broken spring replaced – however, this isn’t a DIY task. You’re much better off having a trained professional tackle this task as it can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Damaged Tracks or Rollers

If the garage door tracks are misaligned or blocked, which can happen with the likes of sectional or roller garage doors, this can cause a serious problem when you come to open the garage door. You can spot the signs of a blocked or broken track from gaps between rollers and the rail, any misshapen elements or rubbing noises when the door is being opened and closed. It may also be stiff and difficult to operate.

How to Fix Damage Tracks or Rollers

If you continue to use the garage door when the tracks or rollers are broken, it could make the problem worse, so it’s important to fix it when you spot the issue. Depending on how bad the damaged area is, you can use a hammer to straighten the track into the correct position or shape, although only tap gently to avoid causing more damage. You can also clean the track with a cloth to remove any blockages or build-up of dirt that might be affecting the smoothness of the door opening.

Broken Tension Spring

Tension springs control the speed and smoothness of the door movement, so if they become damaged it can be difficult to slowly or carefully open the door – it will just slam shut. And if the cables or springs snap, the loose ends could be a hazard to those standing near the door.

How to Fix Broken Tension Springs

To reduce the risk of an injury, both to you and others as well as your property, try to avoid using the door until a professional has assessed it and fixed the springs.


Is your up and over garage door stuck in the closed position? The tracks or rollers of your garage door, such as on up and over doors, can become lodged with stones or just a build-up of debris which can make it difficult for the door to open and close.

How to Remove Garage Door Obstructions

If you suspect this is what has stopped your door from working properly, you can inspect the tracks to see if they are clear and remove any objects that you notice if you can do so safely. It can be helpful to enlist help from someone else when you’re doing this to make sure the door doesn’t cause an injury.

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The Door isn’t Parallel

You may not realise that the evenness of the door can actually impact how well it functions, so if it’s not parallel to the floor, this could pose a problem when it comes to open it.

How to Check if a Garage Door is Parallel

Ask someone to help you deliberately block the path of the door by putting an item at the bottom and watch the door to see if it seems parallel. If it’s not, you’ll need to contact a professional to fix it and get it running smoothly again

Release System is Jammed

You might find that the handle on the outside of your garage door is stuck, which would indicate that it’s jammed – if it moves, but the door won’t open, it might be the door itself which has jammed. Make sure that there are no items that have fallen against the door from the inside, and if that’s not the problem, the mechanism itself is probably to blame.

What to Do if Your Release System Is Jammed

You may find it beneficial to get in contact with a professional, like our trained team of engineers, who can help you diagnose the problem and help you gain access to your garage once again.

Side Hinged Door


Over time, your door might become stiff or stuck which makes it difficult to open. Check the components of your garage door are lubricated properly, simply by applying the lubricant as outlined on the package instructions, and this can help your door open and close smoothly. There are many products on the market that can help with this, and they’re quick to apply.

If your garage door doesn’t close, there could be a few potential causes, but it poses a security risk, so it needs to be dealt with quickly. First thing’s first, make sure the springs aren’t broken before you trigger the emergency release. When you do this, the door will rapidly fall and can cause serious injuries and damage to anything below it, so place a log underneath the door to prevent it falling all the way to the ground, and make sure there are no pets or children running around.

Sometimes a door might stop moving just because there are obstructions in the tracks, or because the sensors have been knocked. Inspect the area and adjust the safety sensors to make sure they’re in the right place, and make sure there’s nothing that could be stopping the door from moving. You can also try lubricating the tracks to make sure they’re not sticking. If you spot any damage, we highly recommend calling in a professional to have the door inspected and any damage repaired, because it could cause a security or safety issue if any elements aren’t working properly, or at all.

How to Fix Your Manual Garage Door

There’s nothing more infuriating than struggling to open your manual garage door or having difficulty closing it. Not only does it make accessing your belongings inside difficult, but if it doesn’t close properly, it also poses a security risk. With these tips, you can identify some common problems that cause issues with manual garage doors and how to fix them. If you need further advice on how to operate your garage door, get in touch with our friendly team and we’ll be happy to help.

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