In winter, there are some typical garage door issues we have to deal with. Sub-zero temperatures can lead to stuck automatic garage doors, but how, and why? We’ve put together this guide to common winter garage door problems for all of you who are livid with a door that won’t open or close.
Some issues are small and we can take care of them ourselves. Others require intervention from a professional. Read on to see which type yours is. Before you begin, check your remote. Save yourself the service call cost in calling a contractor just to determine your remote batteries died.
Metal Contracts in Winter
And with that, we have a host of issues on our hands. Even if your door is not made out of metal, many of its components will be, such as rails, springs, and screws. These can break or lead to jamming. Broken springs are the most common garage door issue when it gets cold.
They are critical to a fully functioning system because they keep your door weight balanced. The springs help support the door’s weight when it opens and closes. They help keep stress off the motor of the door, which can weigh hundreds of pounds. They can also help you open the door manually with ease. Low temperature makes metal more brittle and less likely to endure. Eventually, the spring will snap. Difficulty opening the door is the most common sign that it has.
It is not safe to attempt to replace a spring on your own. If the door feels very heavy when you try to open it manually, one or more springs are broken. Get in touch with a professional to help you.
Swelling Door Frame
If your door is made out of wood, it will swell in winter. This kind of damage is due to friction between the frame and the door, leading the latter to get stuck. Unfortunately, wooden garage doors are very high maintenance. They do have very high aesthetic appeal, so if you can’t bear to part with yours, keep any gutters running along the garage free of debris. This will help avoid water splashing onto the door and damaging it.
It’s very often the case that water leaks under garage doors. This becomes a problem because mildew will grow on damp concrete, potentially causing health problems. In winter, this water will freeze and you won’t be able to open the door.
To avoid this issue, have a gutter system installed over the garage. Downspouts and the gutter system will direct the water away from the door as the ice melts, keeping it from leaking underneath.
Install or Replace Weather Stripping
Get weather stripping installed under the door or replace worn stripping. Worn stripping might get trapped between the ground and the ice as water freezes around the door’s base. Then, the strip will be torn off when you try to raise the door. With time, the aged stripping will harden and crack, ruining the seal and reducing warmth. This will incur higher heating costs as well.
If your stripping on the bottom of the door has frozen, melt the ice before you try to open the door. You could pour hot water on the ice or use a heat gun set on “low”.
There is an easy way to avoid this common issue. Before water gets the chance to freeze, sweep it away from the base. Remove any snow that piles up there.
Weather stripping saves homeowners up to a third on energy bills by keeping cold air out. Check your stripping twice a year and replace it upon signs of wear and tear.
Sometimes the garage door is not frozen shut, but it won’t open despite that. If this is the case, it may be that garage door grease on the door tracks has accumulated and hardened. In cold weather, door track grease can get thicker, making it very hard (to impossible) to open the garage door.
To check, rub the grease on the door track with your hand. Normally, it should feel slippery. If it doesn’t, use a grease solvent to remove it. Get a garage door lubricant specifically made for winter conditions and use that instead.
Ice Between Door Panels
Moisture can get between garage door panels when there are multiple ones and freeze, causing problems when you try to open the door. This is an easy fix because you can see the ice. Just don’t use extreme heat to melt it because it will damage the door’s metal parts. Use a hair dryer or another gentle source of heat. Use a cloth or towel to wipe as much moisture away as you can to prevent the water from freezing again.
Damage to the Sensors
There are many ways, in which cold weather affects garage door sensors. Temperature fluctuations can cause condensation to build up on them, blocking the infrared beams they emit. The sensor perceives this as an obstruction although there is none. This is also an easy fix: just wipe the condensation off regularly.
If temperatures are very low, remote sensors can crack. This does not happen often, but if it has, don’t attempt to fix the sensor yourself. You need to contact a professional, who will replace or repair it. In case you suspect some kind of sensor damage, check if the batteries work or if there’s something in the sensor’s path. It’s important to eliminate simple issues before calling a contractor.
Tips on Lubrication
To guarantee that all the moving parts of your garage door opener run smoothly, you need to lubricate them all year round. Applying high-quality lubricant like a 30-weight oil is a good way to keep metal from contracting in winter. Excessive lubrication can be just as bad as inadequate lubrication. This depends on the programming of your door’s sensitivity level. If sensitivity has been set to “high”, the motor may perceive high lubricant consistency as an obstruction and stop working.
The complexities of garage door lubrication can be challenging to navigate. Getting in touch with a professional is a failsafe option.
A Door to Outlast the Cold
Garage door repair is not without risk. We at Allied Garage Door possess the expertise to troubleshoot any garage door issue and offer a customized solution. We will repair or install a new garage door on your home. We have been serving the Chicago area for over three decades and are rated #1 in customer service.
Contact Allied Door
Contact Allied Door for professional service to ensure your garage door functions properly and increase the lifespan of your overhead door. Call us or fill out the form below: