Most property owners understand how to winterize their home before the first big chill sets in. But did you know that taking measures to protect your garage door is equally important? Harsh winters can take a toll on your property, causing a host of problems you may not be aware of. Not only that, freezing temperatures can lead to costly repairs. Here's how to keep your garage warmer in the winter and make sure your garage door functions great throughout the colder months.
Why Winterize Your Garage Door?
The importance of keeping your garage door in good working order during the winter cannot be understated. If anything should happen--like losing power and your source of heat--you will need to be able to leave your home so you can get someplace warm. If your garage door won't open, you're trapped--not a good thing to have happen. Additionally, an improperly winterized garage door can allow cold air into your home, increasing your fuel costs.
Protect The Track From Freezing Temperatures
Planning ahead can go a long way towards preventing major issues. Common problems with garage doors in the winter start with the metal drive track the door runs along. Quite often, moisture and condensation can form during the day then refreeze in the late afternoon and early evening when the temperatures drop. The result? Your garage door won't open or it gets stuck on the way up or down. The solution is keeping the metal track well lubricated to prevent the metal parts from sticking together when exposed to freezing temps. Most hardware stores carry garage door lubricant, and it's recommended that you spray all the tracks, hinges, springs, and rollers.
Solar Garage Heaters
While keeping your garage warm from the inside will not allow you to ignore other measures to protect your doors in the winter, it will help reduce the chance of them freezing and getting stuck. Plus, it can help lower utility bills and make your car start more easily in those sub-zero temperatures. A solar garage heater is an awesome way to use renewable energy to keep your garage, on average, ten degrees warmer while Jack Frost is around. For a space that's around 400-500 square feet, all you need is a few 2x4s, some soda cans, a couple of other DIY items, and you have all you need to make your own environmentally-friendly heater.
Protect The Weather Stripping
You may not be aware of this, but there is weather stripping on all four sides of your garage door, not just along the bottom. Weather stripping that seals properly and prevents drafts will go a long way towards keeping your garage and the doors winterized.
The first thing to do is inspect all four edges and make sure you have a good seal. If the stripping is old and cracked or allows drafts, you should have it replaced, or you can do it yourself if you're handy around the house. As an added bonus, if you have a room above the garage, you should notice that it stays warmer, and you might even see a reduction in winter critters when the garage doors are properly sealed with weather stripping.
Another important tip regarding weather stripping is to prevent it from getting stuck to the ground in freezing temperatures. This is something that many homeowners don't think about because you're usually in your car when opening and closing the door and won't necessarily see it if it happens. To prevent this, keep snow clear from the garage doors, and consider putting down a small layer of salt to make sure snow and ice stays melted around the perimeter.
Troubleshooting an Electric Garage Door
If it's the middle of winter and your electric garage door won't open, first check the batteries in the remote. Freezing temperatures can drain them quickly, which is exactly why it's so common to need to replace your car battery in the winter. If the batteries are fresh and new and the garage door still won't open, and you have taken all of the above measures to winterize your garage door, it may be time to call in professionals like http://oandldoorsystems.com.