Winter is upon us. Is your garage door ready? The last thing you want is to be unable to park your car in your garage on a frigid winter day because the overhead garage door refuses to open – or worse, be unable to get your car out of the garage when you need to go to work!
We don’t want you to be left out in the cold this winter. Here are some residential overhead garage door winter garage door maintenance tips to ensure your garage door works well all winter, so you don’t have any surprises.
Look And Listen As It Moves
When is the last time you took a minute to watch your overhead garage door open? The next time you’re ready to hop in your car and leave, take a second to look and listen as the door opens. Does it open smoothly, or is it jerky? Does it make rattling or grinding noises? Do both sides move at the same time, or does one side seem to be pulling the other?
If anything seems “off” about your garage door, be sure to call an experienced technician to check it out before something goes wrong. The best time to fix your garage door is before it gets stuck open or closed. After all, something as simple as a loose screw could keep your car trapped in your garage until you can get an emergency technician out to your home.
Inspect, Tighten, And Lubricate All Parts On Your Overhead Garage Door
How many times per year do you suppose your garage door goes up or down? Several hundred times? A thousand? More?
All that movement can cause parts to come loose, get stuck, or refuse to move properly. In addition, cold winter temperatures can cause oil and grease lubricants to harden up, so a fresh coat of lubricant may be necessary on parts like chains, springs, and other moving parts. Don’t forget to wipe away extra lubricant, so it doesn’t drip on your garage floor or car.
After disconnecting your garage door from the electrical supply, inspect, tighten, or lubricate all the parts as you deem appropriate to keep everything running smoothly. Make sure you check the rollers, tracks, springs, hinges, and bushings, as each part plays a crucial role in the overall functioning of the system.
All this maintenance should be done about once a month to keep your garage door functioning at its peak level for years to come and prevent any unexpected problems.
Check The Door Itself
You’ll want to periodically check your overhead garage door to see what kind of shape it’s in. Wooden garage doors can splinter, chip, warp, or suffer from water damage, while steel doors can develop rust spots. Since these types of issues can become exponentially worse with time, it’s better to spot and fix them sooner rather than later.
Snow, ice, and salt can be especially harsh on your garage door, so it’s more important than ever to check the condition of the outside of your garage door from time to time through the cold months.
Organize Your Garage
This is the perfect time to make sure your shovel, snowblower, sidewalk salt, and other winter tools are easily accessible in your garage, so you don’t have to go hunting for them. Ice and snow buildup can also make it harder for your overhead garage door to open properly, so you may want to keep a shovel or other tools near the door to your home if you need to clear away ice and snow before you can open your garage door.
Now is also a good time to make sure there’s nothing too near the door that could block the tracks. Sometimes your home and garage seem to be bursting at the seams, but having junk too close to the garage door can cause a world of problems.
Check Your External Keypad
Freezing temperatures, ice, and snow can drain the battery of your external keypad more quickly, so you’ll want to check and replace the battery more frequently during the winter. That way, you and your kids can always get into your garage when necessary.
Fix Or Replace Weather Stripping On Your Overhead Garage Door
The weather stripping along the bottom of your garage door can freeze to the pavement in cold weather, then rip when you open the door. Damaged weather stripping can let warm air out of your home, allow mold to grow in your garage, and give mice an invitation into your warm garage or home. Periodically check the weather stripping and replace it when it becomes damaged.
Luckily, weather stripping is fairly cheap and easy to replace yourself. It’s sold by the foot at home improvement stores and can be inserted into the grooves at the bottom of your garage door. The wide angle of the flange should be inside the door.
Test The Auto-Reverse Safety Function
Any garage door manufactured in the last twenty years or so should have an auto-reverse safety function to prevent squashing people or items that get caught underneath a closing garage door. If your garage door is more than twenty years old, it may be time to replace it so that you can have this important safety feature.
Testing the auto-reverse safety feature depends on whether you have a mechanical or photocell mechanism. To test the mechanical feature, place an object like a brick or a board under the garage door. It should reverse after it touches the object. To test the photocell mechanism, just stick your leg in the way as the door comes down. It should reverse before it ever touches your leg.
If Your Automatic Opener Won’t Work
There’s no need to panic if the automatic garage door opener won’t work no matter how many times you hit the switch. Simply disconnect the door opener, open the door by hand, then shut it and try the opener again. If doing this two or three times doesn’t work, it may be time to replace the opener.
Preventative Maintenance Or Inspection
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of performing maintenance on your garage door yourself, you can schedule an appointment with Authority Dock & Door for a free service estimate to get and keep your overhead garage door running smoothly this winter. Can you really put a price on having peace of mind that your garage door will function properly all winter long? Let our trusted technicians take a look and make sure your garage door is prepared to last all winter.
Time For A New Garage Door?
Authority Dock & Door has a wide variety of overhead garage door styles to choose from. Whether you’re looking for something simple or fancy, we have the garage door you want to enhance the look of your home. After all, your garage door takes up an average of a third of the front view of your home.
Give us a call today at 503-594-8968 or 877-764-0511. We serve the Greater Portland, Salem, and Vancouver areas for your convenience.