Des Moines has already seen some snow this season and that means winter might be here earlier than we’d like. With winter weather comes frigid cold and that’s not easy on garage doors when they’re not properly prepared. Now is a great time to prepare your door for the cold season!
Check Weather Stripping
Pay attention to the weather stripping at the bottom of your garage door. This is a rubber or vinyl trim that acts as a seal in place to protect the garage from the elements and the door from undue damage. Cold weather can quickly damage weather stripping, though. It can dry out, crack, and separate from the door. Not only is that unsightly, it means the weather strip isn’t able to do its job.
Clean the Garage Door Tracks
Dirt and debris can get trapped in your garage door tracks and cause damage. When there’s gunk in the tracks, moisture can get trapped and lead to rust. It can also lead to trouble with opening and closing your garage door, since your rollers have to make their way through buildup. To clean out the track, use a soft cloth to sweep the debris out. If you must use a damp cloth to get to harder-to-clean spots, remember to thoroughly dry the track before opening the door again.
Lubricate the Moving Parts of the Door
Your garage door will operate much more smoothly when its moving parts are kept well-lubricated. If you’ve noticed the garage door is noisy when opening or closing, the fix could be as simple as applying lubricant to the rollers. We offer garage door lubricant to our Des Moines area customers in spray form, which makes it super-easy to apply.
Tighten the Door Hardware
It’s easy to take a garage door for granted. We use it multiple times a day and rarely think of it unless a problem arises. In reality, that door is going up and down at least twice a day. With each use, hardware can get loose due to the vibration of the door rolling across the track. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a look at things like bolts and roller brackets to make sure they’re tight. A good rule of thumb is to check these things twice a year, but if you can only do it annually, make it in the fall, before winter weather rolls around.
Pay Attention to Garage Door Balance
A garage door requires balance to operate properly. When a garage door is balanced, the weight of it is evenly managed, making opening and closing easier and quieter. When your garage door balance is off, there are several signs.
Door Slower to Open and Close
Because the tension in your garage door springs and/or motor are working harder to keep up with its weight, you could notice that it’s taking longer for the door to open or close. This may be a bit harder to notice for a while, as it can sometimes happen gradually.
An Uneven Garage Door
If you’ve noticed that your garage door seems uneven or crooked, it’s unbalanced. Often, you’ll be able to see this when the door is closed, but you might also see it when it’s opened, going up, or coming down.
Loud Garage Door
An off-balance garage door is often a noisy one. When your springs and/or motor are having a hard time opening the door, they let you know. The garage door will also be loud when opening and closing, due to the struggle up and down the track.
Garage Door Won’t Open
Unfortunately, this is one of the bigger, most obvious signs of an unbalanced door or even a broken spring. Sometimes, leaning into the door while trying to lift it up or opening it with your remote can work until your garage door tech can get to you.
Test Safety Features
In recent years, garage door opener safety features have grown by leaps and bounds. For instance, LiftMaster has the Protector System®, which uses a series of safety sensors to detect anything or anyone that may cross the path of a garage door when it’s closing. If that happens, the door will automatically reverse. Hopefully you’ll never need to use this, but it’s a good idea to continue checking something so important. When testing this feature, always use an inanimate object. Roll a ball under the door when it’s closing or put a broom in its path.
Wash the Garage Door
Summer and fall rains have probably kicked some dirt onto your garage door. Dust and pollen can also accumulate over the warmer months. It’s a good idea to give your door a quick clean regularly to prevent any damage that could be caused by leaving caked-on gunk on the door. Our garage doors can be cleaned with mild soap and a soft cloth or sponge. If anything, it’s always nice to keep your door looking pristine through all seasons.
Garage Door Inspections in Des Moines
Unless you’re a trained garage door technician, you should never do any major maintenance on your door or its components. For instance, garage door spring repairs attempted by amateurs (yes, even with the help of YouTube videos) have resulted in serious injuries and even death. Our professionally trained techs can help with anything you may need when it comes to garage door maintenance, as well as inspection. In fact, our crew uses a thorough safety and operation checklist when inspecting your door. This includes checking all moving parts, hardware, door balance, panels, sensors, and signs of wear. Give us a call today to schedule your garage door inspection!