Modern-day garage doors are equipped with safety sensors at the base of the track. These sensors will notice if anything gets underneath the closing door’s path, and automatically stop it or reverse its direction. An adequately maintained sensor can prevent serious injury, death, or extensive property damage by ensuring the door never closes on anything or anyone. Keep yours in good shape by adhering to the following maintenance tips.

Garage Door Safety Sensor Maintenance

1. Clean Them

The accumulation of dirt and other debris is one of the most common causes of sensor trouble. Use a damp cloth to wipe them down once a month, but avoid using soap or an excess amount of water, as this can cause them to shortcircuit. They are located about six inches off the floor on both sides of the opening, but if you have trouble finding them, you can reference a manual or guide that you received during installation. Take care that you don’t move the sensors when cleaning them, as this will knock them out of alignment. Misalignment can lead to the door not closing correctly or not sensing an obstruction in its path.

2. Maintain the Door

garage doorsGarage doors will only work in conjunction with their sensors if they are in good condition, too. Once a year, conduct some simple maintenance. Use dish soap and a hose to clean the door and its track. Lubricate all the moving parts, including along the rollers, hinges, and tracks that help the door open and close. Check that all the hardware is tight by securing the nuts, screws, and bolts. 

3. Block Sunlight

Sunlight shining directly on the sensors will interfere with the photoelectric function. If you often deal with malfunctions from sunlight, set up shade to keep the sun away from that part of the garage doors. This might involve putting up an awning, planting a tree, or placing something above the sensor. The shade doesn’t have to be complete; it just needs to prevent constant, direct sunlight from shining on specific areas of the garage door.


Sensors may need to be replaced or repaired over time, at which point the job is best left to a garage door repair professional. PDQ Garage Door Service has been working on garage doors for over 20 years in St. Paul, MN, and the surrounding area. This family-owned and operated company offers same-day services for your convenience. Their highly trained technicians can handle anything from garage door installation to a sensor or spring replacement. See their full list of services online and call (651) 208-6335 to request a quote.