Winter Garage Door Problems
Having a garage to park your car in during the winter is the ultimate cold-weather convenience. No scraping snow off of your windshield at 6 a.m. in the blistering cold, no worrying about a cold car not starting, and no worrying about shoveling your tires free from the snow. Plus, you don’t have to worry about falling on ice and injuring yourself. Unfortunately, if your garage door starts malfunctioning, that’s anything but convenient. Let’s look at a few problems commonly encountered during the cold season and how you can prevent them.
Finding Out What’s Wrong
Some garage door problems can be fixed at home. Others require a professional (and can be dangerous to attempt). For instance, a misaligned track can be corrected at home, but a completely off-track track can be hazardous to deal with and should be left to the professionals. Always use caution when dealing with a malfunctioning garage door.
With that in mind, there are a few steps you can take to make a diagnosis of a malfunctioning garage door. For starters, lifting the garage door manually can give us valuable information. After you disconnect your door from the lift mechanism (usually done with the red-handled pull cord attached to the lift), feel for how the door opens. Is it heavier than usual? There may be a problem with the springs. Does it open easily? The problem may be the motor. If the door is sticking, it may be an issue with lubrication or the track.
One piece of advice that never fails to help a few people is to check the batteries in your remote. It seems so obvious that it’s easy to overlook. Before you call a professional or drive yourself crazy trying to pinpoint a problem, swap the batteries in your remote. Now let’s dig a little deeper.
Problem 1: Metal Contracts in the Cold
When mother nature kicks cold weather into overdrive, our garage doors feel the effects. As temperatures plummet, so does your garage door’s ability to function correctly. The metal on your door tightens and makes movement more difficult.
The best way to prevent this problem, aside from having a heated garage, is by keeping your garage door clean and well lubricated. A silicone spray or white lithium grease used on hinges, springs, bearing plates, and non-nylon rollers can help. Bent tracks are a more serious issue. If a quick freeze causes your tracks to bend, you should reach out to Hostetler & Askew Door for assistance.
Problem 2: Frozen Door Panels
Ice frequently forms between garage panels due to moisture. The result is a door that locks up and struggles to open. It’s relatively easy to pinpoint this problem and even easier to solve it. Just use a hairdryer or other source of heat to carefully and gradually melt the ice.
Problem 3: Broken Springs
Does your garage door feel as heavy as a ton of bricks when you try to open it? Chances are, the spring is broken. They’re one of the more fragile components in a garage door, and the cold can make them even more likely to break.
Problem 4: Condensation Build Up on Safety Sensors
This is a simple problem that is easy to overlook and easier to fix. Drastic temperature fluctuations can cause condensation to develop on the safety sensors. As a result, they will determine there is an obstruction and stop functioning. Keeping your sensors clean by wiping them down in the morning will solve this problem quickly.
Problem 5: Frozen Weatherseal
If water freezes under or near a closed garage door, the weather stripping can get stuck to the ground. When the door opens, the stripping is ripped away, and the seal no longer insulates your garage. To prevent this, brush away puddles and snow that forms under or around your garage door before opening or closing it.
Rubber weather stripping can also harden and crack as it ages. Damaged weather stripping prevents a proper seal from forming and can add substantially to your home’s heating bill.
How to Maintain Your Garage Door During the Winter
- Apply a solvent to hinges, track, and rollers.
- Keep all parts of your garage door clean, using a brush to clean in hard-to-reach areas.
- Keep water, snow, and ice clear from the ground underneath your garage door and clean from the body of the door.
- Keep your garage door adequately lubricated.
Contact Hostetler & Askew Door today for winter garage door repairs or maintenance.