When temperatures start to fall as the coldest part of the winter approaches, you might notice that your garage door is not as reliable as usual. Cold weather makes garage door malfunctions especially likely because it negatively impacts several different parts of a mechanical garage door opening system.
The following factors are the most common causes of winter weather garage door problems:
A garage door opener system includes many moving parts that are made of metal. Metal will contract in cold weather, and this could put stress on many of the metallic components of a garage door.
Hopefully, contracting metal won't cause any more serious garage door problems than a little extra creaking when the door opens and closes. Lubrication can be applied to parts like the torsion ball bearings or the screw drive if the noise becomes too loud or if the garage door stops functioning properly.
Thickened or hardened grease
When lubrication greases are fabricated, they are typically formulated for very hot operating temperatures as opposed to cold conditions. When temperatures drop, grease will harden and lose its effectiveness as a lubricant.
Ideally, homeowners should apply some fresh lubrication to garage door parts in the beginning of the winter to prevent hardened grease from causing problems. Old grease can be removed before the cold weather arrives and new grease can be worked into cracks to avoid winter malfunctions.
Warping or misalignment
Temperature extremes can cause a garage door's rollers to wear down or become misaligned. If tracks become severely warped or misaligned, new parts might be necessary to get a garage door functioning properly again. This issue will require the knowledge and experience of trained professionals for adequate repairs.
Most garage door systems include springs that balance the weight of the garage door. Eventually, these springs will wear out and break, and it's much more likely that they will break during the winter.
Cold weather can make the springs brittle and prone to breaking, so a spring issue is a likely cause of garage door malfunctions during the wintertime.
Failed weather stripping
Weather stripping is important for keeping cold air outside. If water freezes around the garage door when it's closed, weather stripping could be ripped away when the garage door is opened. This will detract from your home's insulation and could lead to an increase in your energy bills.
It's a good idea to brush snow and water away from your garage door before closing it when temperatures are low enough that frost is a possibility. Call professionals, like those at Kim's Garage, if you are in need of any repairs.