You have likely invested a lot into your garage door, especially if you have recently had it replaced. In that case, it could feature a variety of different and expensive options, such as antitheft technology, energy-saving technology, and electronic remote access, not to mention the pricy finishes and materials used to construct the door. Naturally, you want the door to last you as long as it possibly can.
However, weather can present a threat to the vitality of your garage door. As winter hits, some parts of the world will experience sub-zero temperatures. If you live in an area where winter gets particularly chilling, then you should consider our garage door preservation tips. These tips can prevent any cold weather damage, which could necessitate very expensive repairs or, in the worst-case scenario, even a brand new door replacement.
Cold’s Ill Effects
Cold weather can affect your garage door in a variety of ways. For example, if you have always had issues with the door closing fully, then bitter, freezing air could easily infiltrate the garage. This could damage whatever you have in that space, especially vehicles. You may find that your electronic remote opener doesn’t work as well in the colder weather. If you have a garage that runs entirely on this kind of technology, don’t feel too surprised to see a lag in functionality. Some parts of the door can even freeze if the temperatures dip low enough, which could render your garage completely unable to work.
How to Prevent Cold Weather Damages
However, you don’t have to stand by helplessly during times of extreme cold and let the weather wreak havoc on your garage door. You can actually take a variety of steps to prevent this unwanted damage. You should employ some of these steps right before a cold snap occurs or even as autumn ends and the cold weather arrives with winter. You can also wait until after winter has passed and then begin making preparations for the next year of cold. Begin making a to-do list of what you can purchase to save your garage door in the cold. Set aside a budget so that you can afford all that you need to do. Hopefully this budget will go towards preservation rather than repairs or even replacements.
Provide Garage Door Lubrication
If you can do so before the cold arrives, purchase lubricant intended for garage doors and apply it to any parts of the door that move. If you’re already dealing with freezing weather, you can still take this step, but it will have a diminished effect. If you have a mostly high-tech garage that utilizes a lot of technology, you may want to call the brand or company that you purchased the door from. Ask them if you can apply lubricant to various parts of the door.
Once you get the go-ahead, generously apply the lubricant. Don’t forget any parts that may move any time that the door opens or closes. Some parts have less visibility than others, but don’t forget these either. After you have applied the lubricant, continue to repeat this process once every month that the cold weather season lasts. If you find that you missed a part and that the door has issues with opening or closing, you can potentially fix this issue yourself if it’s relatively minor. If you think that you have a bigger issue on your hand, then feel free to call a repair company to take care of it.
Insulate Your Garage
Insulation provides a great solution for those who use their garage as a workshop or a place of recreation. Even if your garage doesn’t serve those purposes, insulation can still provide plenty of value to your home. If you keep your car stowed in the garage, insulation can prevent damage from freezing. If you store tools, equipment, and other materials in the space instead, insulating the interior can prevent these from experiencing cold damage as well. For example, a power washer could freeze entirely and parts could expand and snap. Even certain types of fuel can freeze to the point where you can no longer use them. You may want to watch any paint canisters that you have in there as well.
Insulation cannot always prevent water from freezing (which could damage all of the above items). That said, insulation can severely reduce the amount of harm that items within the garage could experience. A somewhat warmer garage also reduces the risk of the electronic moving parts of the door experiencing cold weather-related failure. Insulation may prove an expensive venture, but it will certainly save you money in the future.
Check Your Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping involves applying sealant to garage doors and other similar structures. This process, as the name suggests, can keep the ill effects of weather out of your garage, such as snow or rain. Water in a garage could prove a catastrophic issue. You likely already have weatherstripping installed on your garage door, especially if you happen to own a newer model. If you have an older door though, check if it contains weatherstripping. If not, then your first step involves getting this installed on your door.
If you already have weatherstripping, figure out its age. You can tell that this strip has seen better days if it seems worn or has visible cracking throughout. If you can no longer use your weatherstripping, then remove it. Generally, you only need such common household tools as a putty knife, a pry bar, or a scraper to do so. It may take a bit of time, but ensure that you fully remove the weatherstripping. After that, perform measurements of your garage space to determine how much new weatherstripping that you will need, and then purchase it. To best apply, you should close your garage door entirely.
Add Heat to the Garage
Yet another measure you may want to consider involves adding extra heat to the garage. Sometimes, even with the combination of new weatherstripping and insulation, you still need more. Of course, this only applies in instances of very severe cold weather. If you find that you do need more heat, try using a unit heater. You can purchase these as large or small as your garage space permits. Electric heaters tend to cost more than gas heaters, but they require much less effort to maintain. Whichever type of heater that you choose, remember to never leave it on for longer than you need. This reduces your energy bill and also the risk of potential accidents.
Garage door damage caused by cold weather can cost the homeowner quite a lot of money. However, you don’t have to stand by idly as the temperatures lower. Instead, apply lubricant to all moving parts of the garage door to keep them moving all winter. Consider adding insulation to the garage. Look at your weatherstripping, which keeps water out, and remove and replace this if necessary. Lastly, you can buy a unit heater to keep you warm all winter long.