Garage doors are strange things. They actually do a lot to help us out, but they have so many weak points that can jam up or break down. If your garage door suddenly becomes jammed, here are some tips for where to look, what to look for, and how to remove what is jamming your door without getting hurt. (It is essentially the same visual inspection a garage door repair technician would do.)
Check the "Tracks"
Most garage doors operate on "tracks." These are metal pathways for the casters on the sides of the garage door to roll so that the door rolls up and down freely. Usually, twigs, rocks, or landscaping tools might fall in the pathways of the casters, or there might be something jammed in the open areas in front of the tracks. Pull out everything you see and then run the garage door. If that does not work, move on to the next spot to check.
Check the Hitch
The hitch is the part of the door that connects to the top middle edge or midline of your garage door. It assists with the weight bearing when the door is being pushed up and pulled down. A lot of times, the hitch gets bent slightly because something has hit it. A bird flying into your garage and then attempting to fly out but smacks into the hitch instead could do it. Something falling from the loft space above can too. If the hitch is not straight, the door gets stuck. If the bend is not too bad, you can take a hammer and gently rap it back into a straight line.
Check the Run Line Overhead
Whether or not you have a garage door opener, you will have a chain and a run line along a beam overhead. The chain attaches to the hitch. The beam and the chain are the most common areas for silly birds to build nests. The birds use mud, sticks, twigs, grasses, and just about anything else they find to build the nests. The problem is that they build their nests so well that the materials prevent free movement of the garage door chain. Removing nests and anything else you see jammed in this area will help the door move freely again.
Most homeowners do not think of checking their garage doors for problems until there is a problem. If you check every couple of weeks and remove anything that could cause a problem, your garage door will need little attention. Consider it part of the home maintenance you already do.