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How does the Cold Affect My Garage Door?

In the Midwest, wintertime means extreme cold temperatures, frequent precipitation, and a buildup of snow and ice over many months. While routinely checking other parts of your home like heaters and rooftops may come naturally to homeowners, it’s just as important to ensure your garage door is operating safely before winter comes. Because your garage door is such a large surface, it is constantly being exposed to these harsh weather conditions which cause damage over time. Cold temperatures can put additional strain on your door’s moving parts, causing it to become misaligned or even break. However, performing a few easy maintenance tasks this fall will help ensure your garage door works smoothly all winter long.

How to Prepare your Garage Door for Cold Weather

1. Lubricate Your Door’s Moving Parts

Low temperatures and exposure to moisture can rust your door’s metal parts and prevent it from opening and closing properly. Before the weather gets cold, apply an oil-based lubricant to your door’s springs, hinges, tracks, rollers, and all other moving parts. This will help your door move with less friction even in cold conditions and decreases the chance of parts breaking.

2. Replace the Weather Stripping

If the weather stripping around your garage door is old or no longer sealing, it’s a good idea to replace it before the temperature drops. As it gets colder, new weather stripping can help keep your garage—and the rest of your home—insulated against frigid weather. It also helps to prevent moisture from getting in and mold from developing.To replace old weather stripping on your own, measure and cut the appropriate length of weather stripping from the roll and nail it in place with galvanized or stainless steel siding nails.

3. Replace Batteries in External Keypad and Clean Door Sensors

It’s important to double check that all features of your door are working properly, including the smaller features you might easily forget about. Replace the batteries in your door’s external keypad before the temperatures drop, as cold weather will drain the battery quickly and increase the chance that you’ll be unable to open your garage door. Additionally, ensure that your door sensors, which prevent your garage door from closing when something is in the way, are cleaned off. Things like dirt or snow can obstruct the sensors, and regular cleaning will help ensure your door is opening and closing safely.

4. Test Your Door’s Balance

Uneven garage doors can put unnecessary strain on your garage door opener, which increases the likelihood that it will break during winter months. To check your door’s balance, close the door and disconnect it from the opener. Then, open the door by hand, lifting it up a few feet. A balanced door will move freely and remain in place when you raise it manually. If your door shoots open or closes on its own, it is likely unbalanced and you will need to schedule a garage door repair to correct it.

5. Clean Your Door’s Surface

Regularly washing the surface of your garage door is another important part of prepping your garage for winter. Dirt, moisture, and road salt can damage the surface of your door over time if left unchecked. As winter approaches, it’s best to gently clean the surface to protect it from developing rust or becoming warped during wintertime. There are different ways to clean various types of garage doors, so make sure to follow instructions specific to your garage door’s material.

6. Schedule an Inspection

We also recommend scheduling regular inspections with a garage door professional to make sure your door is functioning properly. By annually having an expert inspect your door, you can catch potential damage and ensure everything is working safely before a more expensive repair is needed. Our technicians are skilled at repairing all kinds of garage door problems and can help ensure your home is ready for the winter months!

If you’d like one of our garage door experts to inspect your garage, contact us to schedule an inspection today!