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How Cold Weather Affects Your Garage Door

Winter is approaching! While you prepare your home for the season by stocking up on gas for the snowblower, ice melt for the driveway, and plenty of hot cocoa, don’t forget to get your garage door ready for the cold weather. Snow, ice, sleet, and harsh winds can take a toll on your garage door. Understanding how cold weather affects your garage door can help you take the necessary precautions to keep it functioning smoothly.

1. Thickened Grease #

As temperatures drop, the lubrication on various parts of your garage door system thickens. This can impede the smooth operation of components such as rollers on the track and pulleys in the spring system.

Preventive Measure: Apply a silicone-based lubricant to hinges, the motor rail, and steel rollers. Use it sparingly to avoid buildup that could exacerbate the problem during winter.

2. Brittle Steel #

Cold weather can make steel components like springs, cables, bearings, and pulleys brittle, increasing the risk of breakage. Worn springs are particularly susceptible to breaking in cold weather, which would prevent the door from opening.

Preventive Measure: Have a professional inspect and adjust the force of your motor to handle added friction on the steel parts. Replace worn parts before winter sets in.

3. Issues with Garage Door Opener #

The thickened grease in the pulleys and increased strain on the garage door opener can cause operational issues. The opener might have to bear more weight than intended, accelerating wear and tear.

Preventive Measure: Regular maintenance and lubrication can reduce the strain on the opener. Ensure your spring system is in good condition to minimize the load on the opener.

4. Ground Freeze #

Water pooling at the bottom of your door can freeze, causing the bottom rubber to stick to the ground. This can rip the rubber seal, leading to heat loss, water ingress, and pest problems.

Preventive Measure: Keep the area around your garage door clear of snow and ice. Use a garage door sealant or de-icing products to prevent the rubber from freezing to the ground.

5. Issues with Safety Eyes #

Snow, condensation, or physical displacement can fog or misalign the safety eyes. When safety eyes can’t communicate properly, the garage door opener won’t operate.

Preventive Measure: Regularly clean the safety eye lenses and ensure they are correctly aligned. Be cautious when shoveling snow or using a snowblower near the garage door.

6. Water Damage #

Melting snow can cause water damage to wood garage doors and other wooden parts of your garage. Continuous exposure to moisture can lead to swelling, warping, and rot.

Preventive Measure: Ensure proper drainage around your garage and keep gutters clear to prevent water from running down your garage door. Apply a weather-resistant sealant to your wooden door and frame.

7. Salt Damage #

Salt used to melt ice can corrode your garage door, especially if applied excessively or if salt trucks throw it onto your door. Corrosion can weaken the door and affect its appearance.

Preventive Measure: Use salt sparingly near the garage door and rinse off any salt deposits that land on the door. Protect your door with a weather-resistant finish to mitigate salt damage.

How to Prevent Damage from Cold Weather #

  1. Apply a Silicone-Based Lubricant: Lubricate hinges, the motor rail, and steel rollers sparingly to keep them moving smoothly.
  2. Inspect Your Garage Door Regularly: Routine checks can help identify issues before they worsen in the cold.
  3. Keep Gutters Clear: Prevent water damage by ensuring that rain gutters are clean and water is directed away from the garage.
  4. Be Mindful of Salt Damage: When de-icing, avoid excessive use of salt near the garage door and rinse off any salt deposits.
  5. Call for Repairs: Addressing issues promptly with professional repairs can prevent small problems from becoming major headaches.

Routine maintenance is crucial for keeping your garage door in good shape, especially during the winter months when cold weather can exacerbate existing issues. Taking these proactive steps will help ensure your garage door operates smoothly all winter long.