Cold weather can bring lots of snow, fun family memories, and a host of problems for your garage door.
Although you can’t prevent the weather from changing, you can anticipate many issues that develop with regular garage door inspections and practice maintenance.
Even then, some issues can still develop during the winter. Here are some of the common problems you’ll want to watch for throughout the season.
1. Warped or Contracted Metal Parts
As the weather turns cold, it’s more likely the metal components in a garage door start contracting and tightening. That includes the screws and springs. If there’s a hard freeze or extended below-freezing weather, the tracks can even bend. []Try using white lithium grease or a silicone spray to lubricate the hinges, springs, bearing plates, and metal rollers. Please don’t grease the track because that can make it harder for the rollers to move.
2. Track Lubrication Problems
Cold weather causes lubricant and grease to harden. Before the winter months arrive, you’ll want to switch to a product with a low-temperature rating. []
If the rollers and ball bearings experience frozen grease, they can misalign. That makes it nearly impossible for the garage door to operate as expected.
3. Frozen to the Ground
A garage door’s weatherstripping can crack or stiffen when the weather turns cold. That means it cannot form an airtight seal after you close and lock things up for the night.
Without that seal, moisture can get underneath the door. That’s a problem that can affect every entryway! []
If temperatures plummet, that means it can stick to the ground. Wet concrete encourages mildew formation, which is something else you don’t want in the garage.
It might be necessary to replace the weatherstripping if it looks old or worn out.
4. Frozen Door Panels
Moisture sometimes gets between the garage door panels. This issue happens more often when it rains right before a cold spell. If they get frozen, use some heat to melt the ice that prevents the door from operating correctly. []
You’ll want to heat the garage door slowly because rapid temperature changes can cause the metal components to expand rapidly and cause damage.
5. Broken Springs
Garage door springs are meant to be rigid, which means they tend to be one of the more fragile components of your installation. If the door feels heavy when lifting it, you might need to replace a broken component. []
The best way to counteract this problem is to keep the cold temperatures out of the garage. That isn’t always possible, but you can verify that your weatherstripping is in good condition.
6. Condensation on Internal Parts
If you have safety sensors installed for an automatic garage door, you’ll need to be aware of condensation formation. When enough moisture builds up, the equipment might sense an obstruction even though the path is clear. If you wipe away the offending water, you should be able to fix this issue quickly.
Understanding the typical garage door problems that happen in winter makes it easier to maintain safe operations. Try to review these issues at least monthly during the colder months for the best results.