Integrity Garage Door Repair

The Most Trusted and Experienced Name for Garage Door Repair and Replacement in Chesapeake!

Integrity Garage Door Repair is an independently owned garage door repair company that specializes in repairing and replacing garage door. The company has been serving the residents of Chesapeake, VA for many years. Integrity Garage Door Repair is well-known for its top-notch customer service.

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Tips for Opening Your Garage Door During a Power Outage

As a garage door company serving the Chesapeake area, we understand how frustrating it can be when a power outage prevents you from accessing your garage. Whether you need extra supplies or just want peace of mind knowing you can get inside, not being able to open your garage door when the power’s out isn’t ideal. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips for using your garage door’s emergency release during an electricity blackout.

Garage Door

Identifying Your Emergency Release

The first step is locating your garage door’s emergency release. This mechanism allows you to disengage the opener and manually move the door up or down if power is interrupted. All garage doors manufactured after 1993 are required by law to have an emergency release, so chances are yours has one too.

The release is typically a pulldown rope, red handle, or inside/outside yellow tabs. Look for it hanging from the rail area near the header at the top of the garage door. On some models it may be in the center rather than off to one side. Taking note of where it is beforehand will save time finding it in the dark during an outage.

Using the Pulldown Rope or Handle

If your emergency release uses a pulldown rope or handle, pull it all the way down in a single steady motion until it is fully disengaged. This separates the door from the opener so it can now be operated manually. Just be sure the door is unlocked prior to pulling the release as a locked door won’t budge even when disconnected from the opener.

Once disengaged, you should be able to lift or lower the door using its manual side panels or tracks. Lift carefully as the door may be heavier than expected without the opener’s assistance. Simply re-engage the release by pushing it all the way back up firmly once the power returns.

Operating the Yellow Tabs

Some garage doors have yellow tab releases inside and outside the garage. If so, pull inward on the tab closest to you until it is fully disengaged in the same direction of the door’s travel. For example, pull down on the outside tab to release and lower the door, or pull up to release and raise it. Like with other types, unlock the door first before using the tabs and re-engage fully when finished.

Exercising Caution

Whether using a pulldown, handle, or tabs, be extremely cautious when operating your garage door manually during a power outage. Without the opener’s safeguards, things like finger pinching and falling objects become risks. For that reason, only work with small electric outages under a few hours if possible. Seek alternate arrangements if you’ll be without power for longer.

Also beware of leaving the door open unless absolutely necessary, as this opens up security issues in your absence. Try to get in and out quickly versus storing or staging through the open garage door. Lighting the interior and exterior with flashlights is also advised for visibility and safety at night.

Store An Extra Battery Backup

For long-term or especially worrisome outages, consider investing in a battery backup for your garage door opener. Models are available that can keep a standard opener running for hours on a portable self-contained power source. This allows normal operation from inside using the wall-mounted controller.

Quality battery backups start around $100 and may give you peace of mind, especially if a storm is approaching. Be sure to keep the backup charged and handy just in case the power goes out when you need access. Most function automatically without any wiring required.

Staying Prepared For Outages

By keeping these emergency release use and safety tips in mind, you’ll feel more in control the next time a power outage disrupts your garage access. Don’t wait until an outage occurs to find and familiarize yourself with your door’s release mechanism. Taking proactive steps now like keeping extra batteries on hand can better prepare you whenever trouble strikes.

If you have any other garage door issues or concerns, feel free to give us a call. We’re always happy to help Chesapeake homeowners keep their garages in good working order. Stay safe out there!


If you’ve looked carefully and are still unable to locate the release mechanism on your garage door, don’t force or pry anything. Consulting the owner’s manual for your garage door model is a good next step, as the manual will specify where the release is located. You can also contact the garage door manufacturer or a professional garage door installation/repair company for assistance identifying and accessing your release. Their technicians have experience with various door models and should be able to help.

Manually operating a garage door during a power outage can be done safely if practiced cautiously. However, there are some things to keep in mind. Garage doors tend to be heavy and may be difficult to lift without the assistance of an opener, so only attempt it if you feel capable. Children and pets should stand clear for safety. It’s also wise to disengage the door from the opener using the appropriate emergency release mechanism rather than forcing/prying anything. Go slowly and carefully. If in doubt about manually lifting a heavy door, it may be best to refrain and find an alternative entry until power is restored.