Garage Door Issues in Cold Weather
Here in Lilburn, GA we often get weather extremes. From hot, humid, summers to icy cold winters and everything in-between. Weather changes can be annoying enough when you are simply outside, but when your garage door is affected, it adds a whole new dimension to the problem. Imagine trying to leave for work or to take the kids to school when your home’s garage door refuses to open. We use our automatic garage doors so much that we expect them to operate at full capacity all year long. Here at Lilburn Garage Door Repair we tend to get higher call volume during cold weather as frigid temperatures can send garage door performance to plummeting lows. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do on your end to mitigate the problem and quite often, you can avoid a garage door repair service call altogether!
Step one – breathe deep!
That’s right; do whatever it takes to get and stay calm. Panicking or getting frustrated only makes the problem worse. Like we stated above, you can often avoid having to call a local Lilburn, GA garage door repair technician by simply checking a few things listed below. Often, problems can seem worse than they really are and this certainly includes garage door issues due to cold weather. When your door first fails to open or close, you might assume that you have a big repair bill ahead of you. You might even worry about possible injury to you or to a member of your family including pets. The fact is, cold weather CAN affect your garage door in many ways and more often than not, this can translate into a poor or shoddy performance.
It’s the simple things…
First of all, be sure to check the battery in your opener remote. It may be drained OR it might just be cold. Many times, the battery will work just fine when it warms up. In any case, be sure to have it tested. You can do this yourself at home if you have a tester. If you don’t; fear not; there’s a free and simple way to get it done. Just take your remote battery to the nearest Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s or Target store and they will be happy to test it for you. Sure, they want to sell you a new one but you are under no obligation to buy one. Also, if you have changed your remote battery several times or dropped your remote, the inside terminals may be a little loose. Sometimes, the cold weather can actually expand them a tiny bit especially if left overnight in a cold garage or in a car parked outside in the driveway. Simply squeeze the terminals a bit to get them to hold the battery more snugly and you should be good to go.
Another reason your garage door may not work as it should, is your photo electric safety sensors. This device was designed to prevent your garage door, which weighs several hundred pounds, from directly hitting anything beneath it. This can include car, pets, children or even you! Your sensors transmit a beam to each other, and when that beam gets interrupted by something that gets in the way, the garage door either goes back up or it won’t move at all. There’s a simple test to see if your sensors are working. Inside your garage is the wall switch. Hold it down and see if your garage door closes. This action overrides the safety component and if it still doesn’t close, then your safety eyes need alignment or a lens cleaning. In case you are wondering what sensor alignment has to do with cold weather, it is this. Frigid temperatures here in Lilburn, GA can make your metal sensor casings expand and contract and this small action is often enough to throw off the much needed alignment.
Check your garage door tracks
Colder weather can make the grease build-up inside your tracks harden and this action alone is often enough to stop the movement of your garage door as it needs smooth movement within your tracks for optimal performance. The grease can also combine with oil, dirt, pet hair, leaves and other debris to form a blockage that can stop your garage door from working as it should. A quick inspection of your tracks should tell you whether they are is blockage or not. If so, a simple and quick cleaning with an old toothbrush should be enough to clear the passage. Don’t lubricate though; just clean using a dry brush.
Cold garage door springs
Our Lilburn, GA cold weather can also affect extension and torsion springs as well as our garage door rollers. Off and on cold weather spells can shorten the life span of these much needed garage door components and cause them to perform poorly or not at all. You may have a damaged spring in which case, we highly recommend that you don’t attempt repair on your own! Working on springs, especially extension springs is very dangerous and you should definitely call a local garage door repair technician at first chance. What you CAN do, is to run a simple test to see how your springs are working. Simply pull the emergency release on your garage door (the red knob at the end of the cord) and try manually opening and closing your garage door. If movement is choppy or difficult, you have one or possibly two damaged springs.
Cold weather tips
You can apply basic lubrication service to your garage door springs and rollers. This will certainly help during cold spells. If your springs are already damaged, this won’t help, but if not, it should prolong their life cycle and promote better performance. Simply spray your springs, rollers, hinges and tracks with a silicone based lubricant or a lithium spray. No need to go overboard; just lightly spray every few days or so for maximum benefit.