The harsh winter weather has negative effects on just about everything. One thing you may not even think about is your garage door. Finding that your garage door isn't working properly while you are freezing outside is inconvenient and irritating. Unfortunately, it happens quite often. Here are some common garage door problems caused by winter weather, and tips to keep your garage door working properly.
You may have noticed your garage door squeaking halfway through the winter. This is caused by garage door lubricants freezing. The squeaking is mostly caused by thick, heavier lubricants. You can fix the squeaking with a light, yet heavy duty, spray lubricant. Spray all of the moving parts on your garage door. These include:
- Opener rail
Damaged weather stripping
If you salt your driveway to keep the ice and snow at bay, you are probably damaging the weather stripping on your garage door. To prevent this, wipe down your weather stripping after you salt. While the salt will probably still blow onto it from time to time, it will minimize the exposure and prolong the life of your stripping.
Unfortunately, the weather stripping can also become damaged by the snow. While your garage door is closed, the snow and water that becomes trapped around the bottom of the door will freeze to it and cause it to tear. Make sure you replace your weather stripping once it is damaged to keep out the cold and the wild animals looking for shelter.
Frozen garage door
If you garage door is frozen shut, this can also be an issue caused by your damaged weather stripping. If it is full of cracks and holes, the snow will not only freeze under it, but become trapped inside it. Once it is inside your stripping, it will freeze from the plummeting night temperatures. By morning, your garage door may be frozen to the ground. If you cant get your garage door to open, soak a towel in hot water. Wipe down your weather stripping and allow all of the ice to melt before trying to open your garage door again.
Hardened grease, mentioned earlier in the article, can also cause your garage door to not open. If wiping down your weather stripping doesn't work, go inside your garage and scrub down your moving parts with a toothbrush and spray on a silicon lubricant.
If neither of those remedies work to get your garage door open, you may have a broken spring on your hands. Springs are a part of your garage door system, which assist in balancing the weight of the door as it opens and closes. Eventually, the springs break from continuous use and need to be repaired. Call a local garage door repair service if you find that you have a broken spring or broken garage door cable.
Another common issue with broken springs is rust. Rust is most common in states that have heavy rain and snow. The texture of the rust will keep the smooth friction from occurring and your garage door will not open properly. Rust is also extremely corrosive. It will continue to eat at the spring until it puts a hole in it or just causes it to snap. If you notice rust on your garage door springs, have them repaired before they break. It will save you the trouble of a non-working door, or from the door dropping and breaking if the springs break while the door is in the air.
Harsh, cold climates are hard on everyone and everything, including your garage door. Check on your moving parts and weather stripping periodically throughout the winter time. It will let you know if something is wrong before your vehicle becomes trapped inside or outside of your door.