A Guide to Why Your Garage Door Is Opening Slowly

Garage doors operate with many parts, including springs, hinges, tracks, rollers and pulleys. Many also rely on an assist from an opener. With daily use, these components can lose their ability to open and close as quickly as they did when new. Your residential garage door should fully raise or lower in an average of 12 to 15 seconds. There are any number of reasons that your garage door is opening slowly. Reasons range from changing settings to needing servicing. Depending on the age and state of your parts, you may even need to replace your opener.

In this guide, we’ll outline some of the most common reasons that cause garage doors to open slowly.

Why Does My Garage Door Open Slowly Then Stop?

There are several possible reasons why your garage door opens slowly and then stops. These include:

  • Faulty technology: Modern systems contain computerized technology like circuit boards that can require professional attention from our team.
  • Blocked sensors: Something could be interfering with your door’s safety mechanisms, so clear obstacles and clean the sensors.
  • Broken springs: A broken spring can block the door’s path, creating the need for a service call from our highly skilled technicians.

You’ll need to thoroughly inspect your system to find the root of the problem. If your door continues opening but moves slowly, common sources of the issue include worn or damaged system components, incorrect motor settings and poor lubrication. You can read about typical issues in more detail below.

Three possible reasons your garage door opener is operating slowly

5 Reasons Why Your Garage Door May Be Opening Slowly

Here are five causes of a garage door moving slowly that we frequently see.

1. Aged Parts

One common issue of slow-moving doors is parts nearing the end of their useful life. Over time, springs can easily lose tension or pulleys may start to wear out. An aged opening system can also contribute to reduced cycling speeds. 

An expert in garage door service like TF Draper will help you determine if repair or replacement is the best option for you. If it’s time for an opening system upgrade, we proudly offer and install LiftMaster® systems. Modern openers typically offer higher horsepower than older ones, which can boost cycling time. These models also deliver extended life spans since the extra power means less stress on the system.

2. Incorrect Speed Setting

Some garage door openers come with speed-control settings. These can be a screw or a simple switch inside the housing. For safety reasons, manufacturers often preset the speed at the lowest level.

You can check your system’s owner’s manual to see if your opener has one and learn how to adjust it safely. The TF Draper team can also help you select and set the best speed if you want an expert to do it for you instead.

3. Inadequate Lubrication

If your garage door operates smoothly, investing in regular lubrication can help keep it that way. This upkeep measure is essential for friction-free opening and closing. Maintaining lubrication also helps extend parts’ life spans and prevents unnecessary repairs to save you money.

You can undertake the project on your own with a silicone or lithium grease spray. We don’t recommend using WD-40 for the job. The substance can cause unintentional part damage or attract excess dirt and debris that impacts operation.

Another option is to request preventive maintenance from a local professional like the TF Draper team. In addition to lubricating your door, our tech will inspect the entire garage door system during their visit. Doing so can help prevent small issues you may not have noticed from becoming larger ones, saving you money. Many homeowners prefer our annual or semiannual planned maintenance for the extra peace of mind it gives them.

4. Damaged Tracks

Your garage door’s tracks see lots of daily wear and tear as your door cycles. Their position in the garage also exposes them to extra risk of damage from the elements and vehicles. A malfunctioning cable may also cause unsupported weight. Any of these situations can lead to bent or damaged tracks.

When tracks have bends, dents or other issues, the wheels can “snag” or experience a tighter channel, resulting in slower movement. A knowledgeable garage door repair technician can provide track replacements or repairs to keep things running smoothly.

5. A Worn Opener

The pieces and parts that make your garage door perform at its best go beyond springs, hinges and tracks. The opener may also feel the effects of its age.

Common issues with aging openers include worn drive gears or motor issues. Your battery backup might kick in as the power company practices load shedding during peak power demand. That excess use can lead to slower door operation if the battery is draining or at the end of its life span.

If you suspect your opener needs an upgrade or battery replacement, contacting TF Draper is the best solution.

Trust the Local Experts for the Right Answer

Correctly diagnosing a slow-moving door often takes the trained eye of an experienced professional like a member of the TF Draper team. With almost 40 years of industry knowledge and experience, we have the skills to meet your Portland-area garage door needs. Our team provides expert door maintenance services, new opener sales and installations, and repairs to existing systems.

Call us at 503-357-1103 for responsive service, or request an appointment online.

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