Can garage door openers freeze?

Being a company that offers garage door repair in Calgary, AB., we’re well qualified to answer the question, ” Can garage door openers freeze in winter?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes, residential garage door openers can freeze in extreme cold. A garage door opener is a complex mechanism with dozens of components and moving parts, which can be affected by extreme weather conditions. However, before jumping to conclusions and assuming your garage door opener is frozen, let us show you five possible issues that look like a frozen garage door opener in Calgary.

Can garage door openers freeze and how to prevent them from freeing

Main reasons for the garage door to refuse to open in winter.

  • Broken garage door spring.
  • Rubber seal is frozen to the ground.
  • Low-quality lubricant that freezes in extreme cold.
  • Frozen battery in remote or keypad.
  • Frost or ice on garage door tracks.

Broken garage door spring prevents the door from going up.

First, we need to rule out other issues with your garage door by carefully analyzing the symptoms. Does your garage door move at all when you hit the button on your remote or wall station? If the answer is yes, and your garage door only opens up about a foot or so, there is a chance you have a broken spring. Broken garage door spring is a widespread issue in Calgary as the metal becomes more brittle in extreme cold, leading to older garage door springs snapping. Look at your springs and visually confirm they aren’t broken. If you have a torquemaster spring system, which is very common in the Calgary area, you won’t be able to see them as they are enclosed inside the metal tube.
You will need to pull on the emergency release cord and disconnect your garage door from the opener. Now try to lift your garage door by hand. If it feels heavy, you have a broken torquemaster spring. Call your local garage door repair company and tell them what you discovered. Make sure you take a quote for the repair before hiring. Any garage door company should be able to provide at least an approximate quote for garage door springs replacement. Calgary Garage Door Fix is always ready to offer a fast garage door repair service if you live in the area.

The Rubber garage door seal froze to the ground.

If you see your garage door opener trying to pull the door up, but the door won’t move at all, there’s a chance your bottom rubber seal froze to the ground. It can happen due to melting snow and ice that drains down from your vehicles and finding its way to the rubber seal. There it freezes again and prevents the door from opening. In order to verify that this is indeed the issue, follow the instructions below:


  1. Pull the red emergency release cord down to disengage the garage door opener locking mechanism. 
  2. Try to lift the door by hand. 
  3. If it doesn’t go up easily, get a large flat-head screwdriver and stick it between the concrete floor and the rubber seal. 
  4. Start pulling it up while working your way from side to side. You will hear the ice cracking, and your garage door will be operational in no time.


To prevent your garage door seal from freezing to the floor, we instruct our Calgary clients to keep their garage floor as dry as possible during the winter and clear all the water out daily.

Low-quality lubricant can affect your garage door opener operation.

Some homeowners use grease or thick lubricants on their garage doors and openers. As a garage door repair company based in Calgary, we do not recommend using this type of lubricant for our clients. All such lubricants will accumulate dirt and dust over time, further decreasing the smoothness of your garage door. However, some of them turn into a sticky glue-like substance when the temperatures drop below 20C, which is very common during the winter in Calgary. Having too much of such sticky lube on the tracks, rollers, hinges, and chain or belt will inevitably cause too much resistance for your garage door opener. If you disconnect your garage door from the opener and feel that the door doesn’t want to open up smoothly, most likely, you’ll need to remove the sticky lubricant. The screw-drive garage door openers are the most susceptible to this issue as a sticky lubricant will create too much friction for it to operate correctly.
In order to do so, you’ll need to use a strong de-greaser like WD-40 or similar. Make sure to lubricate your garage door properly once you clean it from the old grease.

Frozen Battery in Garage Door Remote or Keypad.

When the temperatures drop below 20c, your outside keypad or opener remotes left in the car may stop working—another common garage door issue in Calgary. If your garage door is the only way back home while it’s freezing outside and the keypad won’t respond, there’s a trick we’ll teach you. Any garage door keypad has a battery in it that is accessible without any tools. Take the battery out and heat it up with your hands. After a few minutes, you can put the battery back, and your keypad should “wake up” and open your garage door.

Frost and ice on the garage door tracks.

Cold outside temperatures combined with warm, humid air inside the garage can accumulate excess ice and frost on garage door tracks and rollers. This will may prevent your rollers from spinning, and the garage door may jam within the tracks. You may use a regular heat gun to unfreeze the door and melt all the access ice deposited on the tracks. However, the issue is likely to reappear. Installing better weatherstripping and having a heater inside the garage will mitigate this problem. You can read this article for more tips on freezing garage doors.