Your garage door should open and close smoothly, with the edge meeting the ground evenly. So it can be a surprise to one day try to open the door only to find it rises a few inches and either stops or falls back down. Or maybe you've noticed that one side of the door is starting to rise more quickly than the other. In either case, you need to have the door repaired as soon as possible. These problems are usually caused by the door and opener being out of balance, and the heavy garage door ends up opening strangely or not at all because the usual counterweight measures have malfunctioned.
Spring Tension Acts as a Counterbalance
The door to the garage is heavy, so the springs that help raise and lower the door need to have the correct tension to be able to lift that weight. Spring tension that is too loose results in the door not opening or opening only a little and then dropping back down because the tension just isn't strong enough to counter the weight of the door. If the spring tension is too tight, then the door may not lower properly, or the door might rise too quickly, creating a major risk for damage. Springs that have the proper tension will raise and lower the door at a reasonable pace without stopping in the middle.
Symptoms of Bad Balance
In addition to the door not opening all the way and dropping back down, a door that rises too quickly and one that has one side rising more than the other all indicate bad balance. The next step for you is to call in a repair company. Do not attempt to fix the spring tension yourself because the springs could also be going bad and becoming looser as a result (as opposed to the springs just having the wrong tension to begin with). A bad spring can break and injure you severely.
Have the Cable Checked While You're At It
Sometimes the cable that helps pull up the door starts to fail, and that can contribute to the unbalanced conditions. If you're having the springs checked out, you should also have the cable inspected and replaced at that time, if it turns out that something is wrong with that, too.
You don't want to ignore an unbalanced door, even if the symptoms are minor. The lack of balance creates extra wear on parts and nullifies any insulation you have for the garage if the corner of the door won't close all the way and stays a few inches above the ground. Contact a garage door repair company to have the work completed correctly.
For more information on garage door repair, contact a professional near you.