Troubleshooting a Garage Door: Cold Weather Problems
Troubleshooting your garage door is something you should do before the weather goes bad. When the temperatures dip, the snow piles up on your driveway and the sidewalk becomes slick with ice, the last thing you want to deal with is trouble getting into your own garage after a long, blustery day at work. Unfortunately, the cold weather season is precisely the time of year that most homeowners start to have problems with their garage doors. It’s best to be prepared for these types of situations, so as not to waste too much time hopping from foot to foot in desperation if you can’t get the door to lift in the middle of a blizzard. Below are the two most common issues and how to fix them.
1. Garage Door Won’t Open
The most common problem by far is garage doors that either won’t open completely or won’t close all the way. This can have a variety of causes, so try each of the following steps to address the issue. First, lubricate all hinges and joints with an appropriate lubricant, like Genie lubricant, to make sure that all the parts are sliding smoothly.
If you’re still having problems, then the cold temperatures may have caused the brackets that hold the runners for the garage door in place to become misaligned, due to contraction of the metal in the cold weather. Check them to make sure they’re correctly in place, and if not, adjust them so that they are.
Still having problems? Then do a thorough check of all the electrical fittings for your garage door. The cold weather may have caused cracks or other damage to parts that house electrical wires or sensors. If you don’t have much experience with electrical work, you may want to call in an expert to help address this problem, since a lot could go wrong if you try to fix it yourself without the proper background and know-how.
2. A Creaky, Complaining Garage Door
Another common wintertime complaint for homeowners is a garage door that just won’t shut up. As it opens or closes, it moans and groans as if it were being tortured. Again, the most likely cause is probably a lack of proper lubrication due to freezing temperatures. Get some lube (making sure to use one that’s specifically for things like garage doors, otherwise, you could end up sticking up the joints) and slick up all the necessary joints, hinges and other metal parts.
If after that procedure the door is still super noisy, it’s probably another case of metal contracting in the cold weather, causing the door and its runners to be slightly misaligned. Unfortunately, there may be nothing you can do to fix that until spring comes and thaws things out.