Garage Door Issues In Cold Weather
Garage doors can have all kinds of issues ranging from improper balance to garage door springs not operating as they should. However, sometimes, even with regular maintenance and servicing, there are other factors that can cause a surprising amount of issues for your door. Primarily, there are quite a few garage door issues in cold weather which don’t arise during regular climates.
The cold affects more than you may think within your home. Sure when you walk outside, you feel the frost on your face and bundle up, but your home is affected by the cold in a similar way. For instance, during winter, have you ever noticed how that one always sticky bathroom door is nice and loose but in the summer it just can’t seem to open fast enough? That has to do with the wood and metal of the door contracting and expanding respectively.
The garage door is a mechanism made of mostly metal and as such, it also has these similar effects although it isn’t to as much of an extreme degree. The main thing to remember is your garage door is out against the elements and does not have any heating or air conditioning (typically) to help alleviate the stress put on it by the climate. There are a few warning signs to look out for during cold weather when it comes to your garage door.
Garage Door Just Won’t Open
As Duluth Garage Door Repair in Duluth, GA will tell you, the number one complaint about garage doors during cold weather, is that they just won’t open or close all the way which is a major issue. This can happen to both hand operated and opener enabled doors and there are a variety of reasons why this may occur.
One of the more common issues of this particular problem has to do with the cold temperature warping the brackets and thus causing the runners to become slightly out of alignment. This is due, as mentioned before, to metal’s nature to begin contraction during cold weather. This can cause the issues above and are often hard to help on your own outside of applying some different anti frost elements to the frame which actually may cause debris to build up and make the problem worse.
Electric Opener Issues
Electronics for the most part, love the cold. In fact, if someone was wild enough, they could have their whole personal computer setup outside during winter temperatures and it would actually perform better than under normal home cooling temps. This is due to the machines getting hot and if they are capable of staying cooler for longer, they can hit higher performance caps.
However, your garage door equipment for opening and closing is not as friendly to the cold. Often, the wiring, sensors, and receiver are encased in plastic. Plastic suffers from the same issues as most other materials in the cold but can go further and actually crack or split depending on how severe and prolonged the chill is.
Sensors, in particular, will often incorrectly read if they have frost covering the lens or water dripping down the front. This is a hassle as even after cleaning them perfectly, it could very well be the housing of the receiver or switch that have been damaged and need immediate care.
The worst case scenario however is the cable housing is damaged and you now have exposed wire running from your switch box up to your receiver. Most units are not primarily insulated against severe cold and chill so if there are any gaps in your door, it’s possible that this could cause your whole system to malfunction and leave you stuck inside on a nice winter day.
If your door does open and close as it should, then you probably have heard the infamous creaking/door opening sound that sometimes occurs during winter. Chances are, it is damaging itself. Having a misaligned door is the first sign of a door getting ready to fail and, in addition to the springs having to work harder, you are actually heading closer and closer to having a door that refuses to open or is ready to collapse.
In addition, the garage door springs which support the door itself may be the items that are damaged by frost. The garage door springs are used to provide a “spring force” equal to the weight of the door and provide support for the door itself. If these are in a contracted state, it’s possible that the force provided could be affected which can and will cause an issue.
What Can You Do To Help Prevent Any Of These Situations?
The garage door, anytime of the year, is a tool to help protect your valuable objects and your family. If it is malfunctioning, then it decreases the security of your home and begins to increase in repair costs the longer it goes without service.
The best thing to do to help during cold weather however, is to speak with a local Garage door repair service that is equipped to not only effectively lubricate the right parts of the door to prevent too much contraction and extra wear and tear, but to also replace and properly insulate any wires that may have been exposed during the cold weather.
Sure, it would be easy to try and DIY as is common nowadays, but the thought of trying to repair a garage door in the cold and then finding out that it’s outside of your ability is the worst. To prevent being stranded inside and missing days of work, or worst yet, having the garage door collapse on you because of winter coming suddenly, hire an expert to inspect and service your door regularly.
The winter is a great time to frolic with friends and family as well as get cozy in your home, so don’t let cold weather affect your good time by being proactive with your garage door maintenance.