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How Cold Weather Affects Your Garage Door
How Cold Weather Affects Your Garage Door

Cold weather can impact your garage door but being proactive can help in more ways than you may realize.

Winter is almost here! And as you begin to stock up on gas for the snowblower, ice melt for the driveway, and triple check your hot cocoa stash, you should also spend some time prepping your garage door for the pending weather. From snow and ice to sleet and harsh winds, garage doors often take the brunt of cold weather conditions. Knowing how the weather can affect your garage door can ensure that you take the necessary precautions before the blizzard of the century!

Thickened Grease

Lubrication on different parts of the garage door system will start to thicken as the temperatures drop. This can make it harder for different parts of the garage door to operate smoothly, such as the rollers on the track of the pulleys in the spring system.

Brittle Steel

If your springs were already pretty worn, the cold weather may be their final stretch. The cold weather will cause the steel to become brittle and can cause them to break. This also applies to other steel components of the garage door system, such as the cables, bearings, and pulleys. Adjusting the force of your motor can help deal with some of the added friction on the steel parts that are working hard in the cold weather.

If the cold conditions cause your springs to break, your door will not open and the springs will have to be replaced. Be sure to call a professional to come assess your door and replace any needed parts.

Issues with Garage Door Opener

The garage door opener helps open and close the garage door, but it’s really the spring system that does all of the heavy lifting (no pun intended). For an extension system, which consists of cables, pulleys, and extension springs, the thickened grease in the pulleys can make it harder for them to work correctly, thus putting more strain on the garage door opener. It’s now being forced to lift more of the weight of the door than intended, and while it can do it, it adds to the wear and tear of the opener.

Ground Freeze

As water pools and freezes at the bottom of your door, it could cause the bottom rubber to freeze to the ground. This could rip the bottom rubber which can result in heat loss, water entering your garage, and pests making themselves welcome in your garage during the winter months.

Issues with Safety Eyes

Safety eyes send a signal to the opener to stop closing the door if they detect an object, pet, or person in the way of the garage door frame. During the winter months, the lenses of the safety eyes can become foggy from the snow or condensation. The safety eyes can be accidentally knocked off the track by a shovel or snow blower while you’re clearing off your driveway. If they are unable to communicate or are knocked off the track, your garage door opener will not operate the door.

Water Damage

As snow from the roof melts and runs down the front of your garage door, it can affect your garage door material. Wood garage doors can absorb the water, as will other wood sections of your garage such as the frame.

Salt Damage

The salt you use to melt the snow and ice on your driveway can result in rust on your garage door. Moderate salt application by a homeowner near the garage door shouldn’t cause a problem. Be wary of salt distributing trucks which may throw salt on your door and activate the corrosion with water runoff from your roof.

How to Prevent Damage from the Cold Weather

  • Apply a silicone based lubricant. You should lubricate the hinges and the motor rail, and steel rollers if they’re part of your garage door system. Be sure not to add too much, as that will result in more of the buildup during the winter months, but a small amount to keep things rolling can be helpful.
  • Inspect your garage door regularly. Routine maintenance can help you identify any garage door issues before the weather hits, so you can be prepared.
  • Keep the gutters clear. To prevent water damage, it’s recommended that you keep your rain gutters clear so water runoff doesn’t splash onto the door and cause or add to swelling.
  • Be aware of salt damage. Knowing about salt damage can help you be mindful when de-icing your driveway and sidewalks.
  • Call for a repair. Calling for a repair when you notice any garage door issues can ensure the problem is fixed immediately and correctly.

Routine maintenance will help your garage door function properly for years, but is especially important during the cold winter months when the weather can speed up any pending garage door issues.

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Preventative Maintenance

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