Winter isn't the time when you want to be worrying about your garage door. A broken door can leave you parking in the drive, which means frosty mornings scraping ice off your car. With a little foresight, you can avoid some of the more common winter garage door issues. The following guide will help.
#1: Check the weatherstripping
Torn and frayed weatherstripping is more likely to freeze to the ground. If your door doesn't have a threshold strip, this is even more likely to occur since the bottom of the door may sit in melting water that later freezes it to the ground. Replace damaged weatherstripping, as well as a damaged or missing threshold, in fall before freezing temperatures become problematic.
#2: Stock up on batteries
A common reason for a door failing to operate in winter is that the batteries are dead in the remote. Cold temperatures can reduce battery life, so stock up on extras and keep them in the house where the temperatures are warmer. It's also a good idea to bring your garage door opener inside the house instead of leaving it in your car for long periods. You may also want to replace the backup batteries in the main opener, if your opener has battery backup. This way you can be sure it will work even during a power outage.
#3: Clean out the tracks
Frozen leaves, spiderwebs, and dirt can gum up the tracks and lead to a stuck garage door. To avoid this problem, take a small hand broom and sweep them out periodically. A bit of debris usually isn't a problem in summer, but it can freeze into a solid obstruction in winter. For this reason, frequent cleaning may be necessary in the autumn months when leaves and dirt builds up while temperatures sometimes dip below freezing.
#4: Have an emergency backup
Have a plan in case your door won't open automatically in winter. This may simply mean knowing how to operate the cord or switch that changes the opener to manual mode so you can open and close the door by hand. If you have no way to access your garage except via the overhead door, you will need to have an exterior manual bypass installed. This is usually done via a key, which when turned disengages the automatic opener inside the garage.
Lubrication is another vital component of a smoothly operating garage door in winter. Use a silicon based lubricant on the tracks, wheels, and door hinges. Silicon provides smooth operation and you don't have to worry about it freezing.
Talk to local garage door services for more help.