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Common Garage Door Problems During the Winter

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winter garage doorWhen temperatures start dropping, your garage becomes more than a place to simply store your vehicle; it becomes your first respite from the chill. When a garage door is malfunctioning due to the cold, it is going to keep you from safely pulling your vehicle inside. Unfortunately, cold weather garage door problems are very common. By knowing what problems you may be encountering and how to approach them, you can be back by the fireplace in no time.

Common Garage Door Problems:

Excess Grease

Excess grease on your garage door tracks is a problem that can occur any time of the year, but it can really start causing issues in the winter. Too much lubrication can throw your rollers out of alignment, making it difficult for the door to open and close smoothly. Finding the balance between enough lubrication and too much is one of the most important parts of garage door maintenance.

Contracting Metal

Certain materials contract when temperatures dip below a certain threshold. Metal is one of these materials, meaning that it’s not uncommon for a garage door’s springs, screws and other metallic components to shrink and seize up in the winter months. You can’t keep this phenomenon from happening, but you can mitigate its effects by adding more lubricant. Apply plenty of garage door oil to the springs, the torsion ball bearings and the screw drive. Keep oil away from the tracks to avoid the first problem mentioned.

Thickening Grease

Most lubricating greases are designed to operate under extremely hot conditions. This is what makes them so effective in the high-power conditions found in engines. Unfortunately, lubricants don’t necessarily work as well when subjected to the cold. Low temperatures can harden grease, thickening it to the point where it makes a very poor lubricant. Make sure this hasn’t happened in your garage door. Remove old, hardened grease with an applicable solvent, and replace it with a silicone-based oil for better winter results.

The best approach to preventing garage door problems in the winter is to stay on top of regular maintenance. Regular lubrication, consistent cleaning and careful usage should keep your garage door functioning until spring arrives.