Garage Door Maintenance For Winter

Winter in Manitoba is notoriously chilly. We’re all ready for it, of course - we have parkas, heavy-duty mitts, and spare blankets in our cars. We take every precaution we can so that we don’t just have to endure the cold - we can go out and enjoy it.

One precaution many Manitobans don’t take, however, is ensuring that their garage doors are properly prepped for the coldest months of the year. So whether you’re reading this in Winnipeg or somewhere warmer, we at Wallace Doors are here to help with this simple guide to garage door maintenance in the winter.

Don’t let yourself get caught outside in the cold with a garage door that won’t open - follow these tips! 

Before you begin

Anytime you’re working on your garage, there are a few important steps you need to take before you get started. First, park your car outside your garage. Next, close your garage door, then turn the power off. Anytime you need to move your garage door, open or close it manually. 

Taking these steps will ensure you have enough space to work in - and it will limit your chances of damaging your garage door or hurting yourself. 

Remove build up on track

With a little toothbrush and a bit of elbow grease, you can get rid of - well, actual grease (as well as dirt and other gunk). You don’t need any special cleaning products - all you have to do is get into the tracks with the toothbrush and start scrubbing.

This job can be made a bit easier with a little dish soap and water. For tougher jobs, some brake pad cleaner can help get everything dislodged. Once you’re done, be sure to wipe the inside of the tracks with a clean rag - and to never brush your teeth with that toothbrush.

You may be wondering why it’s so important to remove that build up - it’s because dirt and grease can stop your garage door from opening and closing properly. What’s worse, in the winter time, moisture absorbed by the dirt will expand as it freezes - and that can create blockages and damage your tracks. 

Lubricate all moving parts

A quick disclaimer: there are some garage owners who think it’s a good idea to take WD-40 and run it all along their tracks and all of the moving parts of their garage door. This is not a good idea. Do not, under any circumstances, do this.

Instead, only lubricate the moving parts of your garage door - and lubricate them using a lithium-based grease.  These parts include:

The door hinges The rollers The bearing plates and springs The lock and arm bar

You’ll also want to lubricate the top of the rail, which the chain rides along - you don’t need to lubricate the entire rail.

It’s always important to keep your garage door lubricated - you should lubricate it every season (or about every three months). It’s especially important in the winter, though, because cold moving parts are already more prone to problems than their warmer counterparts. 

Check weatherstripping for cracks

Weatherstripping is designed to keep cold, snow, and other winter weather woes out of your garage. You’ll want to clean your weatherstripping - a wipe down with a clean rag should do. Once that’s done, check your weatherstripping for cracks or other wear.

If your weatherstripping is damaged, you’ll need to replace it, lest you end up with a cold, snow-filled garage in the winter. Some garage owners are handy enough to do the replacement themselves, but if you’re not, we can help - give us a call. 

Check the cables

Garage door cables should be checked regularly for any signs of damage or misalignment. It’s particularly important in the winter because the cold can affect the tension of the cable - and because it’s the worst time of the year to be shut out of your garage.

Unlike most of the maintenance tips we’ve discussed here, you should not attempt to fix garage door cables (or springs) on your own - it’s very dangerous work. If you notice signs of damage, call a pro. 

Contact us today

If you’d rather have the professionals handle all of your garage door maintenance, or you need any repairs, give us a call. Whether you have a Winnipeg overhead door or you’re looking to get a new garage door, we can help.

Stay warm out there!