2 Surprise Garage Door Opener Villains (And The Illusive Problems They Create)

As a new homeowner, nothing is more frustrating than trying to tackle those first few home repairs. In addition to unpacking and meeting the neighbors, you might find yourself taking apart your garage door opener to figure out why it won't open or close properly. Although you might mistakenly assume that your entire system needs to be replaced, the issue might be simpler than you think. Here are two surprise garage door opener villains, and the illusive problems they can create:

1: Your Sprinkler System

If your home sprinkler system runs in the wee hours of the morning, it might be difficult to spot areas where water is running free. However, if you have a broken or misaligned sprinkler head near your garage door, you might be watering delicate garage door sensors, metal hinges, and roller tracks each time your grass gets a dose of moisture.

If water makes its way around the wiring supporting your sensors, it can interfere with currents, overpowering existing lines and frying circuitry. Since irrigation water typically contains small amounts of minerals and sand, sprayed water can leave garage door tracks dirty—wearing down rollers. Over time, a little water might leave your garage door squeaky, unresponsive, or rusted. To track down trouble early, look for these signs of incoming water:  

  • Signs of Standing Water: Look carefully at the area right inside of your garage door. Do you see signs of previously standing water, such as evaporation marks or mold growth? If so, it could be a sign that water pools inside of your garage on a regular basis.
  • Mud Movement: Inspect the sprinkler heads near your garage door to look for mud movement. If there are water trails leading from downspouts, sprinkler heads, or nearby landscaping, it could be a sign that water gravitates towards your garage door.  
  • Gaps in Weather Stripping: Inspect your garage door weather stripping for gaps, cracks, or missing patches. To do this quickly, close your garage door in the middle of the day, and look for signs of incoming sunlight. Replace any missing weather stripping so that rogue water, dirt, and wind stays outside where it belongs. 

If your garage door shows signs of corrosion, contact a professional garage door technician. Experts can quickly switch out damaged electrical sensors or rusty panels, so that you can fend off future damage.

2: Your Small Appliances

You might not think twice before you plug in your appliances and set up your office, but those small electronic gadgets might be interfering with your garage door opener. Since garage door openers rely on a very specific radio frequency, any device that transmits similar frequencies could cause RFI, or Radio Frequency Interference. Here are a few devices that could cause trouble:

  • Baby Monitors: If you need to check in on your little one, you might have a high-tech video monitor installed in their room. Unfortunately, if these devices interfere with your garage door opener, you might struggle with your garage door anytime the device is on.
  • Router: These days, people use the Internet for everything from working from home to taking care of online banking. Unfortunately, older routers, which use standard frequencies, can create a lot of radio noise, making it harder for your garage door remote to communicate with delicate sensors.

Believe it or not, these are just a few of the appliances that can interfere with your system. Smart thermostats, computers, cordless telephones, and even wireless doorbells can cause problems too. Fortunately, you might be able to reduce radio frequency interference by having a professional install an electronic radio filter. These filters can reduce or eliminate noise, making your garage door opener a little more functional. 

By understanding the small things that can interfere with your garage door opener, you might be able to troubleshoot issues a little quicker, so that you can focus on other things. If fixing these problems doesn't fix your door, get more info here.