garage door maintenance

Garage Door Maintenance for the Cold Weather

The leaves have collected on sidewalks, college football is on TV, and chili is in the crockpot. Fall is upon us, and it is time to enjoy this beautiful season. Along with the fun things about fall, it is also an important time of year for homeowners. It’s not only time to finish up your summer projects, but it’s also time to look ahead and prepare your home for winter.

You may cover your flower beds, clean out your gutters, or stack firewood by your back door. This list may be long, but have you thought about your garage door? This may be a task many homeowners overlook, but it could be costly to do so.

How the cold weather affects your garage door

You likely use your garage door multiple times a day, but you probably haven’t given much thought to how the cold weather can impact your garage door and your home. The truth is that your garage door — like other exterior features of your home — is subject to a lot of wear and tear because it’s exposed to the elements. Not only that, but most people raise and lower their garage doors several times a day, so it’s getting a lot of daily use.

While you don’t have to wait for cooler weather to start paying attention to your garage door, the pending arrival of winter is a good time for garage door maintenance.

You can have a variety of garage door problems during cold weather. Cold temperatures can cause the metal parts of your garage door to shrink, especially springs and screws. When they shrink, this can cause problems with your door’s ability to open and close, as well as impact its overall quality and durability. Tracks are more likely to warp and springs are more likely to break in cold weather. With either of these problems, you should call a professional garage door repair company to fix them.

Making sure the metal parts of your door are in good working order will go a long way in keeping your door functioning when the cold weather hits. If your door hasn’t been winterized, you might find yourself unable to open or close it during a snowstorm or deep freeze. And no one wants to leave their garage door hanging open when it’s below freezing outside.

Look and listen

The first step to stopping a problem before it occurs and gets out of hand is to look and listen for them. Observe your door every time that you use it. Does it move a little jerky when it opens and closes? Is it struggling to open? Is it scraping when it opens or making other unpleasant sounds? These are all signs that you have a larger issue going on.

Inspect and clean/replace your weather stripping

It is possible for your weatherstrip to get frozen to the pavement. If this happens, you’ll have more than a little trouble opening the door. This is especially true if there are any cracks in the stripping.

Take the time to dry your weather stripping to avoid this issue. If you notice it’s cracked, make a plan to get it fixed right away. If you don’t, you’ll leave your home vulnerable to the winter elements.

Weatherstripping is also something that is easy for you to replace. They sell it by the foot at the majority of garage stores. You just need to cut it to size and then insert it.

Inspect the doors and tracks

Start by simply standing outside and watching your door go up and down a few times. Listen for any sounds it makes. Watch its movement and note any places where the door seems to get caught. Watching for any unusual movement or listening for unusual sounds is important because it can be the first sign that something isn’t working as it should. Make note of the location where you see or hear anything unusual so you can investigate further.

It’s relatively simple for any homeowner to observe and inspect their garage door, however, this can also be a good time to call a professional to inspect your door. If your door is older or you suspect a problem, the team at Siefken Contracting can advise you on the best way to repair and take care of your door to keep it working as it should.

Lubricate the moving parts

This one is simple and can be done by just about any homeowner. Apply a spray lubricant to any of the garage door’s moving parts, including its springs, bearings, and hinges. A careful and thorough application can protect all your door’s moving parts and keep it going up and down with ease. Never use grease — it’s too thick and will only make the tracks sticky and collect dust and hair.

Tighten up hardware

Garage doors move up and down thousands of times a year. When you do the same thing day after day, you wear out after a while and the same thing can be said of your garage door. The parts will wear out and start to loosen up. If you don’t tighten these parts periodically, you’re faced with the problem of the parts falling off. Go in with a socket wrench whenever you get the chance and tighten up any brackets and bolts.

Sometimes maintaining your garage door is going to require more than a little bit of oil or a quick adjustment. When you need an experienced garage door service and repair company, give Siefken Contracting a call. The Siefken team strives to provide high-quality, knowledgeable service with every service — no matter how big or small the issue.