Troubleshooting Common Winter Garage Door Issues

Lead Image

The winter brings with it a range of issues, whether it be with pipes, in your yard, or surrounding your heating system. Another common place that experiences issues during the cold weather months is the garage. Specifically, your garage door may give you trouble during this time.

Ice Between Garage Door Panels

The first common issue is that moisture may get between the panels of your garage door, then freezing in cold temperatures. In turn, the door will lock up and have issues opening. Thankfully, it doesn’t take anything fancy to fix this issue. If this happens at your home, use a heating source that will safely melt the ice without posing a risk to the garage door. For instance, a hair dryer. As the ice melts, wipe away moisture so that it doesn’t soon refreeze and cause the same problem to occur again.

garage door with ice and snow on it

Thickening Grease

Many garage doors use lubricating greases to successfully operate. However, this grease is known to thicken in an unwanted way during cold temperatures. This is because they are specifically designed to operate in hot conditions. Low temperatures, on the other hand, cause the substance to thicken and harden. This can cause adverse operations of your garage door. If this happens in your home during the winter months, remove hardened grease by mixing four ounces of mild dish soap with five gallons of warm water. Use a sponge to wash the grease off of the door and then rinse the solution off with a garden hose. Instead of the grease for lubrication during cold weather, instead opt for a silicone-based oil, which won’t harden and thicken in the same manner as grease.

garage doors on brick building in snow

Remote Sensor Issues

It’s not uncommon for remote sensors to crack when under extremely cold conditions. If you find that your sensors are not working to help move the garage doors up and down, first check the batteries to see if that’s the reason behind it. If that’s not it, double check that nothing is in the way of the sensors that is causing the malfunction. If neither of those troubleshooting efforts work, call in a professional to figure out what the root of the problem is and to fix it.

Door Spring Problems

Garage door springs commonly crack and break when faced with cold conditions. This results in a garage door that won’t open and shut properly. Unfortunately, this is another problem that demands the help of a professional to fix it. This is because the parts to fix or replace the springs are difficult to find and the process of replacing them is very complicated.

garage door spring

Weather Stripping Issues

The bottom of most garage doors features airtight rubber weather stripping that assists in regulating the internal temperature of your garage. This helps to keep warm air in and cold air out. However, cold air and moisture can commonly cause a freeze around the base of your garage, which results in the weather stripping becoming trapped between the ice and the ground. Thus, once you open your garage door, it leads to the weather stripping being torn or cracked. From there, the seal is diminished and your garage will not be properly protected from cold air.

Prevent this from happening by ridding the area around your garage door of snow, ice, and water prior to it freezing. Throughout the winter, check the weather stripping along the bottom of your garage door and replace as needed to keep your garage temperature regulated.

Contracting Metal

The cold air commonly leads to the metal components in garages contracting. Whether or not you have a completely metal garage door, there are many components to all garage doors that are metal. These include screws, springs, rails, and other parts that prevent jams. To prevent the issue of contracting metal garage door components in your home, apply a 30-weight oil or other oil-based lubricant to the metal parts of your system. This is a measure that should be taken all year, but it’s particularly helpful in the cold weather months to prevent door malfunctions and broken components.