There are many reasons why your automatic garage door may begin to stick. These range from simple fixes, like dirt on the tracks, to more involved problems such as an unbalanced door. The following guide can help you pinpoint the trouble so you can get it repaired quickly.
#1: Clean the Tracks
Sticking often happens because of dirt or gummy lubrication in the tracks. Begin with the garage door fully closed. Wrap a broom with an old towel or rag. Use the broom to sweep out all loose debris, like leaves and dirt, from the inside of the tracks. Press the towel-covered broom firmly into the tracks so that it also picks up all the old gummy grease. It's a good idea to repeat this procedure once or twice yearly, typically in fall and spring.
#2: Lubricate Wisely
A small amount of lubrication goes a long way. Apply a small amount of silicon lubricant to the wheels of the garage door. Then, open the door so the wheels roll around the track. This ensures that the lubrication works its way into the wheel. This is also a good time to apply a small amount of lubrication to each of the hinges between the door panels, which further ensures the door moves smoothly without sticking.
#3: Check the Springs
For doors that continue to stick after cleaning and lubrication, the springs may be the culprit. Pull the emergency cord on the garage door opener to disconnect the opener from the door. This makes the door operate manually. Open the door to about knee height and let go (make sure to keep your feet out from under it!). The door should stay in place, or at least only slide down a small amount. If it slams shut, the springs are about to give out, and this is causing the automatic opener unnecessary stress when it is attempting to open or close the door. This gives the impression that the door is hitching or sticking. Springs are under high pressure and can be deadly to work on, so it's best to call in a professional for any spring servicing.
#4: Stay in Balance
If your tracks are clean, the door is lubricated, and the springs are working right, then the balance of your garage door may be the root cause. With the door still on manual, open it until the the seam of one panel is lined up with the top of the door opening. Now, check that the other side of the seam is also lined up. If they are, then your door is likely level. You can further verify this by placing a level along the top of the garage door opening, and then along the rim of the bottom door panel. If the level readings match up, the door is level. If they don't, you will need to contact a professional, like one from AAA Garage Door, Inc., to adjust the springs and the door.