Having Problems With a Frozen Garage Door? Here's How to Fix 3 Major Issues

You might often expect your garage door to operate flawlessly year-round. However, plunging temperatures and the ice buildup that often comes with it can make it surprisingly difficult to open and close your garage door. If you want to avoid these problems this winter, then you'll want to take a look at more information for preventing a frozen garage door.

Dealing with Ice Formation

Cold weather combined with moisture often equals ice formation on a variety of surfaces, especially those that happen to be cold and metallic. So it's no wonder that your garage door can get stuck thanks to ice buildup. In most cases, nature's icy grip can be broken with just a push of your garage door opener button or with a little old-fashioned elbow grease.

If the door refuses to budge, however, you'll need to liberate it with the help of a heat gun or hair dryer. Carefully aim the heat gun at the frozen air until the ice thaws. Be careful not to overheat the door surface, as this could leave behind burn marks.

If you don't want to use a heat gun, you can use a small bottle of de-icing solution. Spray the solution on the frozen area and wait until the ice thaws. Don't forget to clear any leftover water or ice that happens to fall on to the garage floor. Leaving any water or ice behind could create a slip-and-fall hazard for yourself and others.

Dealing with Hardened Lubricant

It's not just ice formation that can give your garage door a hard time. Cold temperatures can also cause old lubricant to harden, making it more likely for your garage door to jam up due to a lack of proper lubrication. It can also leave your garage door's moving parts exposed to rust and corrosion.

To tackle this issue, you'll need to remove the old, hardened lubricant. Use paint thinner and a few old rags to dissolve and wipe off the old lubricant. Use an old toothbrush to scrub old lubricant out of hard-to-reach areas. Wipe away any leftover grease with a clean cloth.

Next, replace your old lubricant with one that's capable of surviving cold temperatures relatively intact. Silicone-based spray lubricants are ideal for this task, thanks to its water resistance and durability under low-temperature situations. Make sure to lubricate all of your garage door's metal moving parts, including hinges, metal rollers and tracks. Overall, you should lubricate your garage door's moving components at least twice a year to prevent corrosion and other problems

Dealing With a Broken Seal

Moisture can collect on the weatherstripping seal along the bottom of your garage door and freeze, leaving the door stuck to the ground until the ice thaws. You could try to chip away at the ice with a flat shovel or ice scraper, but you'll risk damaging the seal, which may have become fragile due to age and cold weather. Using a heat gun might melt the seal.

Your best bet is to use de-icing solution to slowly melt away ice buildup along the bottom of the door. To prevent the seal from getting stuck again, you can sprinkle a small amount of table salt along the area where the garage door meets the ground. Keep in mind you'll need to apply the table salt treatment periodically, so it's a good idea to have a small container of it nearby for this purpose.

Don't forget to check your weatherstripping seal for cracks, tears and other signs of wear or damage. If the seal is damaged, then you'll need to have it replaced as soon as possible.