Regardless of whether you open your garage door manually or with an automatic opener, if it is not working properly you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Of course, if your car is inside and you can't get the door to go up, you won't wait. Don't wait if your car is already outside either, you don't want someone else to try to open it and have it start and then come crashing down. Even if it crashes without anyone or anything under it, the door could be damaged enough to need to be replaced and that will cost much more than a simple repair. Before calling a professional, there are a few things you should check out that could save you money.
Power to the Automatic Opener
The first thing to check when you have an automatic garage door opener is that the unit is plugged in, turned on, and that the breaker hasn't been tripped. Once you are sure the unit is getting power, try using the button on the control unit to see if it works. If it does but you still can't get the remote to work, check the battery in the remote. It is surprising how many people call a professional for something this simple.
Check the Tracks
Whether you have a manual or automatic door, if the tracks are out of alignment or there is something in them, the door is not going to go up and down. It is a common issue to have a screw come loose and lodge itself in the track. Look over the entire track and make sure nothing is loose or blocking it. Keep in mind that if a screw came loose, the track could be out of alignment. If you are not sure, contact a professional to put things back in place.
Inspect the Springs and Chains
Large, taut springs are what helps pull the heavy garage door up when you have a manual one. If you notice that one of the springs is damaged, contact a professional. Replacing these springs is beyond the average do-it-yourselfer. You could be seriously injured if the spring flies out and hits you. In an automatic system, if the chain is broken you will need a professional too. You do not want to have the door come crashing down as you try to fix the chain.
If you still are not sure what is wrong with the door, contact a professional for reliable garage door repair services. It is not worth damage or injury to attempt to troubleshoot the problem any further.