Winter can be hard on a garage door. Snow, damp weather, and freezing temperatures can affect both the operation and the appearance of your door. If your garage is attached to your home, you can even suffer from higher energy bills because of your garage door. The following guide can help you prepare the garage door for winter so you can avoid issues.
Tip #1: Lubricate and clean
The wheels, bearings, and tracks of the garage door system can attract leaves, dirt, and spider webs. These then trap moisture, which can freeze and inhibit the functioning of the door in the winter months. Use a shop vacuum or a handheld broom to clean out the debris. Then, spray a garage door lubricant into the bearing housing on the wheels of the door. Next, use a clean rag to coat the inside of the tracks with a thin coating of lubricant to further ensure smooth operation. Finish up by lubricating the hinges between the door panels, if you have a paneled-style garage door system.
Tip #2: Replace weatherstripping
Most garage doors have weatherstripping along the bottom edge, or threshold, of the door. There may also be weatherstripping along the sides. These strips can be rubber gaskets or a brush seal. Check that the stripping is in good condition—which means it is attached properly and there are no damaged or missing sections. You can easily remove threshold stripping and replace it by removing the screws that hold the old stripping in place. Side strips may be screwed into place or attached with an adhesive. If you don't have weatherstripping, consider installing it before winter comes. Not only does it protect your door for moisture, but it can also improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Tip #3: Seal and protect
Check your door over thoroughly for damaged paint or finish. Metal doors can rust if the paint is damaged, which can be a particular threat during the wet winter months. Wood doors are more prone to splitting or rotting if the finish is damaged going into winter. A fresh coat of paint or refinishing the wood can prevent these issues. Don't just check the front of the door. Verify that all surfaces, including the sides, the rear of the door, and the spaces between panels, have a full coat of undamaged paint or finish.
For more help or to have a full maintenance inspection, contact a garage door repair service.