It’s difficult enough to get moving on a cold, blustery winter morning in Iowa without anything going wrong. A garage door that becomes sluggish or stops running when you need to leave the house can be downright annoying. Before you run into a serious problem, beware of what could go wrong (and often does during the winter). Knowing how to prevent certain problems and avoid common issues can make your winter a bit less turbulent.
Your garage door gets stuck to the ground.
If you determine that your garage door is stuck to the ground, don’t attempt to open it by force or by repeatedly pressing the remote button. You could seriously damage both the weather stripping at the bottom of your door and your garage door motor.
The reason your garage door is stuck is likely because moisture made its way between the bottom of your door and the ground and froze. You’ll need to melt the ice that’s holding your garage door hostage. Try using salt or salt water to melt it, and then, once your door is free, wipe off the salt to prevent corrosion. If you find the weather stripping has ripped or become damaged, replace it so it can effectively keep the cold air, ice, and snow out of your garage.
The sensors become dirty.
With the extra snow and mud in the winter, you need to pay careful attention to your garage door system’s photo eye sensors to ensure they stay clean and continue working properly. If they become dirty, they’ll view the dirt as an obstacle, and your door won’t open or close properly. Clean them carefully with a soft cloth.
Your garage door isn't running smoothly.
Old lubricant can harden and thicken when the weather turns cold, making it difficult for your garage door to run smoothly along its tracks. Remove old lubricant using a solvent, and then apply fresh, silicone-based oil to the moving components of your garage door system. To keep your garage door system clean and to prevent buildup, wipe down the lifting mechanism regularly with a rag dipped in solvent.
A spring breaks.
You’ll be able to tell if a spring has broken if you attempt to lift the door manually (after pulling the red emergency handle and releasing if from the lift mechanism). Your door should lift fairly easily if it's in proper working order. If it feels very heavy, you likely have a worn or broken spring. If this is the case, call a professional to fix the problem for you as soon as possible. Garage door springs should never be repaired or replaced by anyone but a trained professional.
The metal begins to contract.
Cold temperatures naturally cause metal to contract. Your garage door system may become tight and have more trouble moving during the winter because of this. The best way to keep the problem at bay and prevent it from causing serious damage is to keep your system well maintained by cleaning and lubing it regularly. Even if your system does tighten as the metal contracts, the lube will help decrease friction as the door moves.
Have you experienced any of these problems? If you’re having trouble identifying what's wrong, contact WD Door. We service residential and commercial garage door systems in and around Des Moines, IA. Email or call us today for help!