Diagnosing Cold Weather Garage Door Problems

Diagnosing Cold Weather Garage Door Problems

Winter can be tough on your home. If you don’t take the proper precautions to ensure your home is prepared for winter, the repercussions can costly and, in some cases, dangerous. Winterizing the parts of your home that are vulnerable to colder temperatures is an annual necessity, and your garage door is no exception. When the temperature begins to drop, if your garage door is not properly maintained, you may find yourself stuck out in the cold.

Here are few common garage door issues that can be caused by cold weather and how you can diagnose and resolve them.

Garage Door Won’t Open

This is a common issue in the winter months. The culprit can be one of three things. Either your opener has quit working, your garage door is frozen to the ground, or you have a broken spring.

Opener Won’t Work

The quickest way to find out if your opener is the cause of the issue, is to disconnect the door from the opener and attempt to lift the door manually. If you are able to lift the door once it is disconnected, the issue is most likely related to your opener. Check to make sure your opener remote has fresh batteries and nothing is tripping the sensors, reconnect the door and try again. If the issue persists, contact your local experts at RCS Garage Doors for help further diagnosing the issue. It is important to note to maintain the warranty on some openers, professional service is required, and if you choose to work on your opener yourself, always do so with the garage door in the closed position.

Garage Door Frozen Shut

So you disconnected your door from the opener, and it still won’t budge. If the weatherseal at the bottom of your door is resting in snow or ice, it is most likely frozen to the ground. To free the door, you can gently chip away at the ice or use warm water to speed up the melting process.

Do not try to force the door open. This could cause damage to the weatherseal, hampering your garage doors insulation efficiency. Also, do not use a chemical deicer, especially on metal doors. This can cause serious damage to your door, and lead to more costly repair bills down the road.

Broken Spring

If your garage door won’t open manually, or when trying to do so, feels like it weighs a ton, you most likely have a broken spring. This is a common occurrence in the colder months as the spring becomes weaker and more brittle when the temperature drops. On most garage doors, the spring runs horizontally across the top of the door frame. If it appears that there are two separate springs, then your spring is broken.

broken spring

Most garage door springs have a life span of 7-10 years depending on how the garage is used, so it is a good rule of thumb to have your spring inspected or replaced every 7-10 years. If you suspect your spring is broken, contact RCS Garage Doors. Spring repair can be dangerous and must be done by a professional.

Garage Door Won’t Open All the Way

If your door opens, but only partially, or is opening or closing much slower than normal, you may have a lubricant issue. Some lubricants lose their effectiveness when the temperature dips below freezing, causing them to harden and clump up, hindering your garage door’s ability to open smoothly. To fix the issue, clean the tracks and rollers with some kind of degrease. Once clean, opt for a silicone-based lubricant for better performance in colder temperatures. It is important to note that you should only use lubricant on metal garage door parts. Nylon rollers do not require lubrication and, if applied, may cause damage.

Peace of Mind

If you’re not sure you garage door is ready for winter, peace of mind is just a click away! Contact your local garage door professionals at RCS Garage Door to schedule an inspection.

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