Unexpected garage door repair expenses become a pretty common thing as temperatures plummet during the coldest months of the year. Overhead doors become the most vulnerable part of the house. It often gets overlooked by homeowners while preparing their homes for the winter.
Severe temperatures, especially the kind we had in February 2019, affect not only our vehicles, which can barely start if parked outside but also major garage door components. If you and your family are not planning on getting stuck outside or inside your garage, there are a few tips you might need to know.
Your garage door spring acts as a balancing mechanism that takes the weight off the door. It allows the opener to operate smoothly and easily. However, during the wintertime, the spring wire becomes brittle and often breaks.
Typical garage door spring is rated for ten thousand cycles, so if you live in a house for around 6-7 years and have never changed the springs, you should get ready for an unexpected garage door repair. It might be a good idea to replace the springs in preparation for the winter. Especially if you know, it has been a while since those have been changed.
Some residential garage doors operate using one or two springs. It usually depends on the size and the weight of the door itself. If your door has two springs and only one of them broke, you might still be able to open and close it. But keep in mind, it is incredibly unsafe and unhealthy. Your opener will have to work much harder, and you’ll damage the gears.
While some homeowners can try to replace the springs by themselves, we strongly suggest calling your local contractors. The springs are under a great deal of tension, and improper handling of the garage springs can be dangerous.
One of our recent clients called us requesting an urgent garage door repair. After an initial examination by our technician, it was clear that the issue isn’t as serious as it seems. The customer was convinced his opener is to blame. It was making sounds as it was trying to lift the door, but nothing was happening. But in reality, the weather seal was frozen to the concrete and wouldn’t allow the door to operate.
It usually happens when there’s water underneath the weather seal. Once the temperatures drop, the seal can get frozen to the concrete, preventing the door from opening. There are two ways to deal with this issue. You can gently chip away the ice from underneath the door and make sure the weather seal isn’t frozen. Another way to deal with it is to use hot water to melt the ice. Make sure to clean all ice and water residue to prevent it from happening again.
It is critical not to try and force your door open while the weather seal froze to the ground. You may damage it, and then you’ll have another issue to deal with.
As the temperatures drop, the grease inside garage door tracks and rollers can harden and create a lubrication issue. In this case, you should first remove the old lubricant. First, apply a grease solvent to all rollers and tracks. It’ll remove all gunky grease residue. Now, you can use a silicone-based lubricant to help your door run easier. Please note, nylon rollers don’t need lubrication. Follow the above steps only with metal rollers. Do NOT use WD-40 on your garage door. It may cause issues in freezing weather conditions.
As you can see, there are a few steps you can take if your door doesn’t perform the way you expect. Most homeowners can do simple things like lubrication and melting the ice. However, more complicated garage door repairs should be performed by licensed professionals.