Is Your Garage Ready for Winter?

As Sean Bean once said, winter is coming. And while many are scrambling to buy their winter woolens and sports gear, others are prepping their homes for snow and frost and burst pipes. An often overlooked part of winter prep is the garage door, which can allow drafts to enter the house and drive up heating and energy bills if it is not properly maintained.

Once you ensure your garage door is ready and able to withstand the arctic blast that’s coming your way, you can be warm and toasty with a properly insulated house with every opening covered, while everyone else is pretending to have fun making snowmen in their living rooms.

Is Your Garage Ready for Winter?

Check the door itself

After the long, hot days of summer, you should inspect the surface of your garage door for any dirt or mud that may have found their way onto the door. Otherwise, you could be allowing rust to eat away at the door and create holes that will destroy the door. If necessary, you should also apply a coat of wood protector or antirust, depending on the material of the door, to prevent the upcoming winter moisture from destroying them, rather than have to deal with repairs throughout the winter or even into spring.

You should also check the sealants on the door and the frame. If the sealants are damaged, that’s a hole or a series of holes for heat to escape through, and that’s no good. Holes could also be used by small animals or vermin to escape the cold and take shelter in your house. The sealants and weather strips will eventually wear out over time, through wear and tear, exposure to the elements or animals trying to get into the garage for food or shelter. If there is damage to them, they need to be replaced.

Check the tracks, springs and rollers of the door

Now that you’ve taken care of the external, plainly visible parts of the garage, it’s time to look at the internal mechanics of the door, the tracks, the springs, the rollers, which are vital to keep the door running smoothly. If they fail, for any reason, your door may stop opening or closing, and ruin all the hard work you did to the door and garage.

Grab some oil and prepare to lubricate any moving parts. Chains, springs, and hinges all need to be able to move freely. Clean the tracks, and clear away any grime or build‑up from the past few months. Also be sure to check the tension of the springs. If it’s too much or not enough, you need to call a professional to adjust them. This isn’t just for winter, by the way, you should check the tension of the springs a few times a year to make sure they’re okay.

Final checks

So, after all that, there are some final checks you need to do to make sure your garage is ready for the ice and snow.

Check the batteries of the opener regularly, both in the door itself and in the controller. You don’t want it running out of juice before you can get in or out. Cold weather tends to drain power from batteries, approximately 33% when the temperature dips below freezing, and more than 50% below zero, so be alert for that. Finally, check any and all sensors that may be in your garage too, to ensure they’re all in working order.

With all that done, your garage is ready for winter!

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