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Living in the Midwest comes with a set of its own weather intricacies. We joke about wearing shorts one day and getting caught in a snowstorm the next! If it’s a snow storm, a wind storm, or even a rain storm, there are plenty of opportunities for possible damage to your garage door. It’s important to understand how to recognize signs of damage and a few tips and tricks to avoid causing more.

Signs a Storm Caused Damage to Your Garage

The best way to prevent further damage done to your garage door is to be able to recognize when something is already wrong. This way you’re able to abstain from any actions that may aggravate the problem even more. Keep an eye out for a malfunctioning opener, a non-working keypad or remote, slower than normal open-rate, erratic/lack of lighting from your garage opener unit lights, or build up of ice around your garage seal. These are all signs that the midwestern weather may have come for your garage.

Frozen Seal

If there is a lot of ice or snow during a winter storm, it is best to check and make sure your garage door is not frozen to the ground before you run the door.  This will keep you from tearing off the bottom seal and retainer or tearing out the opener arm from the door, thereby damaging the panel or even bending the top panel.  

You can use the side of your foot along the bottom of the door to break it loose.  You don’t need to kick hard.  Try to clear snow and ice out from under the garage door before you close it.  

If your bottom seal needs to be replaced, it is best to do it in warmer weather so the seal can form and fit to the floor.  The seal stays more rigid when it is cold outside and sits on top of the floor, rather than conforming to it.

Lightning Strikes

Are you having issues opening the garage after a big storm? Is your garage light acting erratic? In severe weather, it is best to have openers plugged into surge protectors to help keep them from blowing circuit boards due to lightning strikes.

If you do find that you’re in a pickle, openers have a pull-cord release you can use if no power is getting to the opener so you can open the door by hand.  Be sure to use inside lift handles to help you lift the door so you don’t pinch your fingers.

Newer openers offer the option of battery back-up, which can be used when you lose power.  As you use the opener, the battery will lose charge and start to run slower.  As soon as the power is restored, the battery will recharge.  

Water Damage

Most garage doors are not 100 percent waterproof.  When it is raining outside and you open the garage door and drive into your garage, you will both bring water in yourself  and let it in through the open door.  

There are also times, when due to an uneven garage floor, the door is unable to completely seal and seepage can occur.  It is also not uncommon to have some seepage during extremely bad storms.  

Extensive water on your garage door can lead to an increased weight to the door resulting in extra wear and tear on your opener, freezing in low temperatures preventing the door from opening, flooding inside the garage causing damage to your personal belongings, opportunity for rust on your hardware, and depending on the material- it can even lead to a warped door. 

While some things are out of our control, making sure your garage door has proper sealant over the paint and proper seals securing the door can limit the amount of opportunity for damage.

Can’t Figure Out What’s Wrong?

If you suspect that your garage door may have been affected by a storm, give us a call. Amega’s professional crew of technicians have been trusted since 1986 to identify the source of the problem and make any repairs or replacements necessary. Let us help with all of your garage door needs.