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When my garage door has not been operated for 23-36 hours or more, it "sticks" in first second of being opened. It is much more pronounced in summer months, i.e. when temperature and humidity is worse, although today it is cooler and dryer...it's rarely an issue in the winter. The example in video is a moderate sticking...it can get way more pronounced/worse, sounding like a kablam! Notice that when it goes back down, and it then opened again in short term, no sticking occurs; I take this to indicate it is not a mechanical issue.

This is original door...about 25 years old now. This issue started back about 3 years ago? Maybe 4. Since then I have tried to de-rust the spring twice (in case that was the issue) with CLR and some other product, and I have maintenanced it every year for last ~15 years per this write-up ("Basic garage door maintenance checklist"):

https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-fix-a-noisy-garage-door/

I've also added a second lubrication in other half of the year, i.e. so now every 6 months. Still the problem persists. So has anyone had a similar experience or occurrence with their garage door? I can't seem to figure out the issue.

Garage Door Sticking

edit: Addressing questions:

-- "how come you have only one spring and not 2"?: This is original install...it's the way I bought it. Apparently two springs were not needed.

-- "when did you install the insulation"?: This is original install...it's the way I bought it.

-- "what is that gizmo on the door right side"? It is a security device like a "dead bolt" on a regular door, i.e. can be manually engaged to prevent the door from being operated. And it's not a "gizmo", it's a "doo-hickey"!

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  • how come you have only one spring and not 2
    – Traveler
    Apr 2, 2023 at 19:43
  • when did you install the insulation
    – Traveler
    Apr 2, 2023 at 19:44
  • what is that gizmo on the door right side
    – Traveler
    Apr 2, 2023 at 19:45
  • @Ruskes: I added responses to bottom of OP.
    – AA040371
    Apr 2, 2023 at 21:29
  • To me it looks like the door is large enough to warrant two springs. Contact a door installer company - most will service it, regardless of the brand. Or they might tell you who will. Apr 3, 2023 at 12:31

5 Answers 5

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When you think the conditions are when it will likely stick. Pull the cord to disconnect the garage door from the opener. Then try opening the door by hand. If it sticks when opening by hand you should be able to see or feel where it's binding.

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I have encountered this type of sticking when the rubber seal at the bottom of the door sticks to the garage floor. It only happens when the door is closed and the pressure helps the seal to "stick"

My solution was cleaning the seal and spraying it heavily with silicone lubricant. I let it soak in for a few minutes and wiped off the excess. I did have to wipe the floor a few times after opening and closing the door so there wasn't a slippery line across the garage opening.

It lasts about 3 to 4 months here in Fla, then I have to reapply the silicone.

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  • Good thought. In fact, you can see some plastic bags leftover from soil or mulch (polyethylene?) laid across the threshold to test this. Did not have an effect, i.e. still experience the sticking when they were there.
    – AA040371
    Apr 2, 2023 at 21:32
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As for sticking due to heat.

I live in Arizona and we beat Florida any time with temperatures. My garage door is fully exposed to Sun and it gets 120 here, door so hot you can not touch it. - No sticking.

I think it is stretching not sticking.

The rubber belt needs to be tighten. You probably know how, but if not, there is a adjustment mechanism somewhere in the middle of the belt where you can adjust the tension. It is possible that it stretches more when standing still for longer time due to the temperature.

Second observation. Adjust (shorten) the closing travel length. Again you probably know how, but in case, there are two traveling adjustment screws on the motor housing clearly marked. Shorten to where the door just touches the ground.

Third observation. You have only one counter balance spring, I have two off them, to verify function unlock the door (pull the rope) and now try to lift it with one hand (or one finger)

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  • "I think it is stretching, not sticking." Yes, it was a poor choice of words on my part, as it assumed preloaded response with a potential "root cause". It is not unreasonable to think that heat of summer is causing expansion/contraction, although it happens when somewhat cooler as well, but usually when relative humidity is above 50% or so (I am in Dallas, so that's a lot of the time). Also, former resident of Sierra Vista and Phioneix myself. "It's a dry heat!"
    – AA040371
    Apr 2, 2023 at 21:40
  • "The rubber belt needs to be tighten." Anything like that should be consistent across open operations...no? The issue only happens the first time I open in a 24-36 hour time period, then it's OK unless I wait a long time again. Put another way, I can open/close door once an hour and no problem. (Although that doesn't mean some of your suggestions might not be in order for general operation efficiency.)
    – AA040371
    Apr 2, 2023 at 21:43
  • @mblatz01 the reason I recommended to adjust the closing traveling length is to have the door stop about 1/4 inch off the ground, so sticking is possible
    – Traveler
    Apr 3, 2023 at 6:01
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Check your 90 degree section of track to make sure the horizontal and vertical tracks are securely fastened to it and lined up correctly. Those bolts can loosen a bit over time and the alignment can get shifted and the rollers can lock up a bit when the door is raised but can then straighten it out temporarily. It can then shift back to being misaligned.

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  • It's very possible this is some sort of alignment issue, but would this account for fact that issue only occurs on first open in a given 24-hour period or so?
    – AA040371
    Apr 2, 2023 at 21:44
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    @mblatz01 It is possible that the first operation knocks the track in place so the operation is then smooth. After a number of hours, the track settles back to the bad spot. This would only work if the bolts only allowed partial movement.
    – JACK
    Apr 2, 2023 at 22:23
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We had a door that stuck, but the sticking was actually between the horizontal slats. They were painted and I guess the paint and/or rubber can kind of stick to itself a bit, more than you think. The fix was to rub both sides of every slit/seam with a bar of soap. You can only apply it on the bend up top, so it's easiest to manual raise it or lower it a bit at a time since many modern doors won't stop part-way up. Once all the door's long compression points are soaped, the pops should be gone. Ivory is best I think, but they all seem to work. Re-apply annually.

Soap also does the trick for inside doors that pop loudly when first opened in while.

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  • Thanks, @dandavis. I don't mind applying a little bar soap and see if it helps. Because I already have teflon wheels in place, I suspect I won't see much difference but it can't hurt and is worth a shot.
    – AA040371
    Apr 4, 2023 at 12:44
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    Teflon's a good way to go for the wheels. Soap works to prevent large parallel surfaces from sticking together. This might not be your problem, but if it is, the other answers didn't address it, so I chimed in.
    – dandavis
    Apr 4, 2023 at 20:20

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