Nothing sours someone’s mood more than having to weather frigid temps in the A.M. hours before a long workday. When winter rears its frosty face, having a garage can be a lifesaver and make your mornings tolerable. But what if you go to leave for work or the store, and your garage door doesn’t want to open?
When temperatures start to plummet, your garage turns into an icebox. The cold weather can do a number on garage doors and make them temperamental, or even worse, render them inoperable. Before you panic and call a garage door technician to fix an unknown issue, you may want to troubleshoot some common problems that happen to garage doors in the winter.
Most Common Garage Door Problems in the Winter
Even if your garage door seems to be in perfect working order, it may still malfunction during the winter months. Here are some common garage door problems that can occur when the temperature drops. Run through these possibilities before calling a professional garage door technician.
Garage Door Is Frozen Shut & Will Not Open – This is more common than most people realize. If you are attempting to open your garage door and it simply won’t budge, it may not be the opener or the remote. Your garage door could be frozen shut. Check to see if the weatherstripping at the bottom of your garage door is frosted over. If it looks as if it is, don’t try to pry it open without melting the ice first. You can easily accomplish this by using a hairdryer to melt the ice. An even easier fix is to pour hot water across the length of where the garage door meets the pavement. The weatherstripping should separate from the ground almost instantaneously. The only side effect of the latter method is that now you have even more water on the ground that can eventually freeze. Here are some tips to prevent your garage door from freezing shut in the long-term.
How do you prevent the weatherstripping on your garage door from freezing in the wintertime?
- Lubricant: Apply a silicone lubricant to the weatherstripping. This will act as a lubricant and prevent frost and ice from latching on to the weatherstripping.
- Table Salt: You don’t even have to leave the house for this easy fix. Pour a generous amount of salt along the length of where the driveway meets your garage door. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, so it will discourage ice from forming.
- Install a garage heater: This is more of a luxury than anything, but will remedy your garage door glitches during the winter by keeping your entire garage toastier.
Garage Door Track Seems Jammed – If you have already eliminated the possibility that the weatherstripping is frozen, then the next thing to troubleshoot is the garage door track. The garage door track is lubricated with grease. Normally, this would allow your garage door to go up and down with ease. But when the temperature drops below a certain degree, that grease can thicken and make it nearly impossible for the garage door to open. A simple way to check to see if the grease has thickened is to rub it with your finger to see if it’s still slippery. If it isn’t slick to the touch, you will need to remove it with some solvent and replace the existing grease with a cold-resistant garage door grease.
The Garage Door Components Contract – When the temperature drops outdoors, hardware, wood, and other materials naturally contract. This is especially so with garage doors and it leads to multiple garage door problems. Your garage door has many moving parts that all need to be aligned to work properly. When one or more parts contract due to colder temperatures, it throws everything off. Whatever you do, do NOT try to pry the garage door open by force. Instead, bring a space heater into the garage and warm the garage slowly. This will make the parts expand a slight bit and they will fall back into their original alignment.
Condensation or Frost Is Covering Safety Sensors – Winter weather can fog up your safety sensors and make it hard for the infrared beams that trigger the sensors to connect. The garage door just thinks there is an obstruction and will refuse to open. This is a really easy problem to fix. Simply take a clean, dry cloth and wipe the frost or condensation off of the sensors and you should be good to go.
If you have gone down this list of easy fixes and your garage door still isn’t budging, then you may have a more complicated problem on your hands and it’s time to call a professional. Whatever you do, don’t try to force your garage door open, as you may do further damage to the door and parts. Help is but a phone call away.
If you want to upgrade your current garage door opener, repair broken garage door springs, or repair your existing garage door, you can always count on Precision Garage Door Las Vegas. Our highly trained technicians can be there in under 2 hours, with a fully stocked truck, ready and able to fix the most difficult of garage door problems. Call today: 866.265.4824