5 Winter Garage Door Problems & Solutions

Winter Garage Door – Plano, TX – Plano Overhead Garage Door

Now that winter has arrived, you need to learn how cold temperatures and general winter weather conditions can affect your garage door. Even garage doors that are in great shape can develop problems during the winter. 

Read on to learn about five common garage door problems that typically occur during the winter and their solutions.

1. Garage Door Will Not Open

If you ever attempt to open your garage door and find that it simply will not open manually or with your garage door opener, then realize that this is a common problem in winter weather. There are many reasons that a garage door may not open on a cold winter day. 

Sometimes, the weatherstripping on the bottom of a garage door freezes to the ground. This occurs when water seeps underneath the weatherstripping and freezes or you close the door on top of water that then freezes. To reduce the risk of weatherstripping damage, don’t attempt to open the door without melting the ice.

Instead, melt the ice with a heat gun set on a “low” setting or pour hot water on the ice to melt it, then open the door. 

If your garage door will not open, yet is not frozen shut, then the problem may instead stem from garage door grease that has hardened on the door tracks. Garage door track grease can thicken in cold weather, leading to difficulty opening the garage door or lack of ability to open it altogether.

To see if the grease on your garage door track has hardened, rub it with your hand to see if it has lost its slippery nature. If so, remove it completely with a grease solvent and replace it with a garage door lubricant made to withstand cold weather. 

2. Metal Contraction

When outdoor temperatures drop suddenly, it can cause the metal components of your garage door to contract. This can lead to several garage door problems.

This metal contraction can lead to difficulty opening your garage door. When garage door metal components contract, these components may no longer align with each other properly, leading to a door that simply will not glide open.

One solution to this problem is to bring a space heater into your garage to warm the garage up, including the garage door metal components. Do not try to pry the door open in its cold state, or you risk damaging the metal door components.

Garage door metal contraction can also lead to a misalignment of the garage door opener safety sensors. This misalignment will cause the garage door to refuse to close due to the sensors’ inability to detect whether an obstruction under the door. To fix this issue, simply realign the safety sensors and realign them again once metal warms up, if needed. 

3. Condensation on Garage Door Opener Safety Sensors

Garage door opener safety sensors can be affected by winter weather in several other ways, leading to difficulty closing your garage door.

Fluctuations in garage temperatures can lead to condensation build-up on the sensors. This condensation can obstruct the infrared beams that radiate out of the sensors, leading to your door sensing an obstruction in its path, even if no obstruction exists. This problem can be easily fixed by simply wiping the condensation off the sensors on a regular basis.

4. Water Leaks Under Garage Door

If water tends to leak under your garage door in the winter, you may think that this is a minor problem. However, damp concrete can become a breeding ground for mildew, which is a health hazard.

While a leaky garage door can be a problem year-round, it can be extra troublesome in the winter, especially if water underneath the door frequently freezes the door shut.

To help keep water from leaking under your garage door, install weatherstripping underneath your door or replace existing worn-out weatherstripping. In addition, consider installing a gutter system on top of your garage. As snow melts, the gutter system and downspouts can direct water from melted snow away from your garage door to keep it from leaking underneath it. 

5. Broken Garage Door Spring 

Your garage door springs helps support the weight of your garage door as it is opened and closed. Garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds, and these springs help keep stress off your garage door opener motor and/or help you open your garage door manually with little effort.

No garage door spring last forever, and many break during the winter due to the cold temperatures making the metal more brittle and more likely to snap.

The most common sign that you have a broken garage door spring is difficulty opening your garage door.

Unfortunately, you cannot prevent broken garage door springs altogether, since no spring is made to last forever. Once a spring breaks, you must have it replaced by a garage door repair expert, since replacing a spring on your own is very unsafe.

Now that the cold winter has arrived, be aware of common garage door problems, so you know what to do if they occur. Contact the garage repair experts at Plano Overhead Garage Door to schedule a garage door repair today. 

Plano Overhead Garage Door

1100 N. Central Expy Suite #A
Plano, Texas 75074

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