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Old 07-03-2012, 08:23 PM
 
847 posts, read 597,432 times
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Default Front door unlocked but won't open.

I have a detached garage with some finished space and today when I tired to get in I couldn't. The metal door (normal, hinged door) is unlocked and I can bounce the door open about 1/4 inch with my shoulder. The lock is clearing the catch and it really feels like the door is jimmied shut at the bottom somehow. I've tried to force it open with a pick, but this is NOT budging, instead the door is flexing/deforming. Any more force and I will have to replace the door and frame and even then I don't know if I will be able to make enough space to get in. And or course that really long crowbar & sledge hammer I own is inside.

Only other option is smashing a (double glazed) window or calling a professional, but who?

Probably makes the most sense to smash the window after the 4th when I have an appointment to have the window replaced.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,321 posts, read 18,881,290 times
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Garage have an overhead door with an opener?
Does the opener have a quick release cord on it?
The rest you can find here on C-D or You Tube.

Anyway, it sounds as if something has fallen and jambed the door closed.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:55 PM
 
847 posts, read 597,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
Garage have an overhead door with an opener?
Does the opener have a quick release cord on it?
The rest you can find here on C-D or You Tube.

Anyway, it sounds as if something has fallen and jambed the door closed.

Unfortunately, there is no external access to this garage. We don't use it for cars and it has a manual door that has to be unlocked from the inside.

Something must have fallen, but I know what's on the other side of the door and there is nothing obvious. A bit of a mystery this one...
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,053 posts, read 1,013,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado^ View Post
Unfortunately, there is no external access to this garage. We don't use it for cars and it has a manual door that has to be unlocked from the inside.

Something must have fallen, but I know what's on the other side of the door and there is nothing obvious. A bit of a mystery this one...
Is there a keyed lock on the exterior of the garage door? If so, a locksmith could probably open it. Even if the lock had to be drilled, a new lock is probably cheaper than a new window or door. Even if there is not a keyed lock, a locksmith may have a few tricks in his bag to open a locked manual garage door.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:02 PM
 
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Get a bucket of ice and dump it on the part of the door that it seems like is catching after spraying that area with some lubricant like silicone spray. It may be that the door has swollen up from high heat and humidity.

That's all I got... I can't think of anything else other than man-handling it.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,100 posts, read 24,024,770 times
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I'm a little surprised that code allows a structure with only one method of ingress and egress. The cost of replacing the door would exceed the cost of replacing the window, so you have pretty much answered your own question. You could try taking a bit of sheet metal (old computer case side?) bending it in an arc, slipping it under the door, and trying to dislodge whatever is binding. You might also find a spot when a phone with a camera could slip in to give you a better view of what is happening. Me, I'd use a glass cutter to gain access through the window (no shards to sweep up), and on a temporary basis crazy glue the glass back into place after gaining access, until the glazier came.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,871 posts, read 8,534,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToucheGA View Post
Is there a keyed lock on the exterior of the garage door? If so, a locksmith could probably open it. Even if the lock had to be drilled, a new lock is probably cheaper than a new window or door. Even if there is not a keyed lock, a locksmith may have a few tricks in his bag to open a locked manual garage door.
I'd try this. Although if it is a keyed lock, it begs the question why you don't have keys for it somewhere in the house. Or to the last sentence, assuming there is at least a handle on the outside, I'll bet someone could figure out a way to make that work, with the worst case being you need to replace the handle and/or locking mechanism (still less than window/door I'm guessing). If there is no handle at all on the outside, then I guess that's not going to work.

The idea that the heat has swelled the regular door certainly makes sense to me. Just not sure you're going to cool it enough, but that may be worth a shot too. That only works with the assumption that nothing is blocking the door of course, although I'm going to figure that the chance of something falling in just such a way that would keep the door from moving even out of the jamb is pretty minute.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:03 PM
 
847 posts, read 597,432 times
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There is no external lock or handle to the garage door. It has a bolt on the inside that goes though the frame/rails of the garage.

The idea of sliding in an iphone and taking a picture is great - I will try that when it stops raining (yes despite appearances we do get some rain in Colorado).

I will try to open the door again when it cools off. It gets down to 40-50 at night so that should do the trick if the door is binding due to heat expansion.

Thanks for all the suggestions and I will let you know how it turns out.

Last edited by Colorado^; 07-04-2012 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:14 PM
 
847 posts, read 597,432 times
Reputation: 1094
Problem solved. I wedged the door open enough to take a pic with an iphone - nothing obstructing the door from the inside, so breaking a window to get to the inside wouldn't really gain us anything.

I decided to leverage the door open with a bit of wood. It took a ton of force and deformed the outside of the door about an inch or more. Then i took the door off the hinges and could see that the C channel that formed the bottom of the door was flaring out and binding the door. Beating it flat with the sledge hammer got it working again. It doesn't look pretty but it doesn't need to, at least in the short term.

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,100 posts, read 24,024,770 times
Reputation: 13156
Good job.
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