How To Prepare a Garage Door For the Upcoming Winter
It’s autumn here in Vancouver, and everything seems to be in full swing. The school year (and football season) is well on its way, and the holidays are coming up, bringing with them rainy and cold weather. Though it’s busy, the fall is a critical time for homeowners in Washington. It’s time to finish up any projects started over the summer, especially any yard work or outdoor construction projects. But it’s also time to prepare the home for a comfortable, energy-efficient winter. While homeowners are busy weatherizing their homes, including tasks such as cleaning the gutters and trimming trees, they may overlook an important project: winterizing the garage door. Here are a few tips on how to prepare the garage door for the winter and keep the home as energy-efficient as possible.
Why Garage Doors Need Winterization
Homeowners use their garage doors several times a day, going to and from work and school. Cold weather impacts every entry point to the home, so don’t neglect the garage door. Garage doors are exposed to the elements, and, as a result, they go through a lot of wear and tear. Many people raise and lower their garage door multiple times in a day.
How Cold Weather Affects Garage Doors
Cold weather affects garage doors in a myriad of ways. Much of a garage door’s functionality depends on its metal parts. Cold weather shrinks metal parts such as springs and screws. When this happens, the garage door becomes difficult to open or close. The garage door’s metal tracks are more likely to warp during the winter, and homeowners may need to call a professional garage door repair company to evaluate the door’s condition if this happens.
Garage doors are part of the first line of defense for the home during the winter. The garage door needs to be correctly sealed and insulated, or when that cold weather hits, the winter air can reach inside of the home. By winterizing the garage door, homeowners can avoid discomfort and high heating bills during the holiday season.
Fall Maintenance for Garage Doors
Autumn is a great time to perform maintenance on the garage door. That way, when winter comes around, the family can stay comfortable. Additionally, no one wants to get stuck in or out of the garage if the door suddenly stops working due to ignored maintenance. Follow these tips or hire a professional garage door company to perform the maintenance.
Inspect the Garage Door and Its Tracks
The first step to evaluating the garage door is watching it operate a few times. Watch it go up and down at least three times. Listen for strange sounds or jerky movement, as these are usually some of the first indicators that the garage door needs maintenance or repair.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Make sure to properly lubricate the garage door’s moving parts, including springs, bearings, and hinges. A careful application of lubricant will protect the garage door’s moving parts and keep it operating normally. Never use grease or engine oil on the garage door. If homeowners are uncomfortable performing this maintenance, professional garage door installation and maintenance companies can do this.
Inspect the Garage Door’s Seal
The simplest way to see if there are any issues with the garage door’s seal is to turn the lights on inside the garage at night. Then, stand outside and look for any cracks of light. If there’s light, there’s enough space for heat to escape and the cold to come inside of the house. Any missing or damaged sections of the seal need replacing as soon as possible to preserve the energy-efficiency of the home. Watch out for any buildups of grime or dirt, as these buildups can prevent the garage door from sealing properly.
Organize the Garage
Now is the perfect time to organize the garage after the hustle and bustle of the summer and early fall. Make sure to put winter maintenance tools in a place they’re easily accessible, including de-icers and snow shovels.
Winter Garage Door Maintenance Tips
Homeowners should maintain their garage doors throughout the year, but to avoid a breakdown during the winter months, they should make sure to do the following:
Test the Garage Door’s Balance
If the garage door isn’t properly balanced, it can strain the garage door opener. To check the balance, either have a professional garage door maintenance person come to the house or disconnect the garage door from the opener. Then, push it up and see if it stays. If the garage door only moves back and forth a tiny bit, it’s appropriately balanced. If the garage door quickly rolls up or falls to the floor, it’s not balanced well. Make sure the springs still have tension. If not, call a repair person.
Clean the Garage Door’s Surface
Extensive dirt and grime buildup will damage garage doors. Make sure the door is clean throughout the winter. Otherwise, the door’s lifespan is compromised. For wooden garage doors, make sure no chips or cracks appear. Consider sanding and repainting the door for added protection throughout the winter.
Keep Garage Door Sensors Clean
Most modern garage doors include sensors as a safety feature. This safety feature prevents the garage door from closing on children or pets (or objects) underneath them. Make sure the area around the sensors are clear of fallen leaves and other debris.
How Can Legacy Garage Doors Help?
Legacy Garage Doors has been serving Vancouver homeowners with family-owned and operated garage door repair and installation services. The owner has over twenty years of experience in the garage door industry. Whether homeowners require garage door repair, maintenance, replacement, or installation, Legacy Garage Doors can handle the job. Call today for an appointment!