Is Your Garage Door Frozen Shut?

House in winter It’s -30 ºC outside, it’s been snowing nonstop for 6 hours, and you’re sitting on your couch in your warm house. How badly do you not want to get up and shovel? Pretty badly, right? We get it, during winter we start moving a little slower and it becomes much more difficult to find the motivation to get up and go outside.

What we often forget is that, during these cold temperatures, your garage door suffers too. Its metal components can contract, resulting in the motor to work a little harder than usual in order to open and shut the door after every use. It’s important to give your garage door system special attention during the cold season and this is why we came up with a few prevention tips to avoid bigger problems. We also provided you with steps to take if your garage door is ever frozen shut and you can’t open it.

Prevention Tips

  • Use your door at least once a day during cold temperatures. Even if you don’t intend to go anywhere, making sure you open and shut your garage door once in a while can prevent your door from sticking to the icy ground. It also allow components that are stuck together from the frost to detach themselves.
  • Make sure to give your garage door the proper maintenance it deserves all through the year, this includes lubrication of important parts and making sure no components are worn out or damaged. This way, when winter comes, its operating system will be less likely to get damaged or perform poorly.
  • Clear your garage door of snow and ice as much as possible, with shovels or snow blowers.
  • You can apply a silicone spray to the rubber bottom seal. This will prevent it from sticking to the snow or ice. You can find this type of sprays in your local hardware store for around $20 a can.

Steps to take if your garage door is frozen shut:

Trying to open your garage door with the automatic garage door opener can burn out the motor of the device or strip its gears when it can’t release the door from the ice.

Step 1: Check to see if the door hasn’t been locked. Check the interior side lock and the lock button on the wall console.

Step 2: Inspect the entire operating system and make sure there is no obstruction to the door or any broken components.

Step 3: Turn off the motor and pull the emergency release cord to allow you to manually open your door in order to free up any sections or weather seal that may have frozen up. This usually has a red plastic handle and hangs in the center of the door assembly near the door.

Options to get rid of the ice:

  • Use your hairdryer to melt the ice fast. Be careful not to hold the hairdryer in the same position for too long and to not set it at the highest heat setting.
  • Chipping away at the ice with a small knife, a hammer, or a screwdriver. Be careful not to tear into the bottom seal and be sure to wear safety glasses.
  • Use boiling water to melt the ice. Be sure someone can help you open the door as soon as the ice is melted, because the warm water will eventually get cold again, risking to freeze again.

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