With temperatures hovering in the single digits lately, you may decide to just hibernate for the next few months until you can step outside without adding five layers of clothing. That may be fine and well for you, but your garage door doesn’t have the luxury of staying warm this winter. Snow squalls and deep freezes can have negative effects on your home’s garage door, which means you can’t neglect care and maintenance now!

The extreme temperatures we’ve been experiencing can cause many problems for your door, such as warping, sticking and even freezing of the opening mechanisms. If you neglect TLC for your door now, this can translate to expensive garage door repairs later on. Here are some tips to help get you through.

  1. Clear the ice and snow: Do this right after the snow falls or the ice accumulates. Waiting will only harden the mixture and make it even more difficult to remove. Also, the rubber seal at the door’s bottom can stick to the ground and make it impossible to open. If this happens, don’t force it. This can cause a tear of the seal, burn out your garage door opener, or strip the gears. Preventive maintenance is key, but if it’s too late and you already have a frozen door, use an ice scraper to chip away at the ice. If you have a portable heater, place it close by to help melting. You may think pouring hot water on the ice would help. While it does fix your immediate problem of clearing the ice, it will just re-freeze and you’ll be left with the same problem.
  2. Sprinkle kitty litter or salt at the base: Because salt decreases water’s freezing point, it can reduce the chance of ice buildup. Sprinkle either salt or kitty litter at the point where the door meets the ground to prevent it from freezing shut. Salt will melt the ice but kitty litter won’t; however, the kitty litter will provide traction for your car as you back in and out.
  3. Open and close the door frequently: Sunlight is the best thing to melt snow and ice naturally, so let in the light a few times during the day. This will also keep your door from freezing shut, as well as break up frost that may form on the garage door panels. If you don’t want to burn out your opener, switch to manual and do it by hand.

If these tactics don’t work, call M&M Garage Doors. You could have a more serious issue that must be addressed by trained professionals. Call us at 586-610-5434. We are available 24/7, even in the coldest weather!