Don’t Get Stuck Out in the Cold – Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter

Leaves begin to collect on the driveway and cool air is finding its way under the garage door. Signs of fall mean it’s time to prepare your home for winter – and make sure your garage door is on the list. As long as they work, you and your family give little thought to the convenience of your garage door and the opener. Let’s keep it that way.

Have You Winterized Your Garage Door?

Most people raise and lower their garage doors several times a day, especially with the kids home from school over the summer. Now think about the impact that cold weather can have on this vital entry and exit point on your home. Your garage door — like other exterior features of your home — is subject to a lot of wear and tear because it’s exposed to the elements.

The pending arrival of winter is a perfect time for garage door maintenance.

How Does the Cold Weather Affect Garage Doors?

Cold temperatures can cause the metal parts, screws and springs, to shrink. This can cause problems with your door’s ability to open and close, as well as impact its overall quality and durability. Tracks are more likely to warp and springs more likely to snap in cold weather. These two problems require a trained garage door technician for repair.

Making sure the metal parts of your door are in good working order will go a long way in keeping your door functioning when the cold weather hits. If your door hasn’t been winterized, you might find yourself unable to open or close it during a snowstorm or deep freeze. And no one wants to leave their garage door hanging open when it’s below freezing outside.

Garage doors also serve as the first line of defense for your home to block the cold air from getting into your living space. When your door isn’t sealed or insulated properly, it can allow cold air to get into other areas of your house, wreaking havoc with your energy bills and leaving you chilled over the winter months. Some people find that an insulated garage door can be one way to minimize this issue.

Preventing Damage to Your Garage Doors

There are plenty of ways that a homeowner can protect their doors from cold weather damage. Some of these are not unique to the winter season, but if you haven’t done them recently, the upcoming change of seasons can provide a good reminder to you.

Taking a proactive approach to maintaining your door and anticipating potential problems can save you a lot of hassle down the road.

  1. Inspect the Door and Tracks

Start by simply standing outside and watching your door go up and down a few times. Listen for any sounds it makes. Watch its movement and note any places where the door seems to get caught. Unusual movement or unusual sounds can be the first sign that something isn’t working as it should. Make note of the location where you see or hear anything unusual so you can investigate further.

If your door is older or you suspect a problem, schedule service with us and we advise you on the best way to repair and take care of your door to keep it working as it should.

  1. Lubricate the Door’s Moving Parts

This one is simple. Apply a spray lubricant to all of the garage door’s moving parts, including its springs, bearings and hinges.  A careful and thorough application can protect all of your door’s moving parts and keep it going up and down with ease. Never use grease — it’s too thick and will only make the tracks sticky and collect dust and hair.

  1. Make Sure the Door Seals Correctly

The easiest way to detect problems with your garage door seal is to stand in your driveway after dark and look directly at the closed door. If you see cracks of light coming through anywhere, then there’s enough space for heat to escape and for cold air to get into your house. You should replace any damaged or missing sections of the seal.

The seal around the door can also build up dirt and grime, which can prevent it from sealing correctly. Spending a few minutes cleaning the seal around your garage door can save you a headache later. Using a standard household all-purpose cleaner, wipe down the weather stripping and make sure it’s free from anything that could cause a problem once it gets cold.

Winter Garage Door Maintenance Tips

  1. Clean and Inspect the Surface of the Door Regularly

When dirt builds up on the surface of your garage door, it can damage the door. This could lead to problems with its ability to open and close as you need it to. Not only that but allowing dirt and grime to build up may decrease the lifespan of your door.

  1. Keep the Sensors Clean and Free From Debris

Today’s garage doors are designed with safety features to keep them from closing on objects underneath them. This prevents injuries to small children or damage to a car. However, these safety features don’t operate effectively if the sensors are dirty or blocked. Even things like piles of leaves can potentially prevent your sensors from functioning properly. Keep dust and dirt away from the lenses of the photocell sensors, as well as keeping leaves, snow and other debris away from the base of your door.

  1. Replace the Weather Stripping NOW!

We see it every year – people want the door sealed after temperatures have dropped below freezing.  Call us today for your annual garage door maintenance and we will replace the rubber seals on the same trip.

Schedule your garage door winter maintenance here.