One of the things you should pay special attention to when taking care of your garage door is the cold season. Some homeowners tend to downplay the dangers associated with leaving their garage doors unmaintained in the winter, but the truth is that this can end up very expensive for you. And in the end, a garage door doesn’t actually take that much work to keep it in a good condition during the winter anyway. As long as you know what the risks are and what you should be doing to mitigate them, the actual work required is relatively little.
Why You Need to Prepare Your Garage Door for the Winter
The mechanisms in a garage door can be sensitive to changes in the ambient temperature. Usually, small fluctuations won’t do much to change the way the door works. But when you get hit by a particularly cold winter, you might start seeing some issues with the operation of your garage door. In some extreme cases, it might even get stuck, or even worse, one or more parts might break down under the strain after the door hasn’t been used in a while.
Because of this, you need to keep the door in a good condition in advance to ensure that nothing happens to it when the winter hits. Keep in mind that any repairs that you have to perform on short notice can be made more difficult by the cold weather, giving you even more of an incentive to keep things running smoothly.
Perform an Initial Inspection
Before doing any maintenance on your garage door, you should evaluate its current condition to find out exactly what kind of work it’s going to need. Take a look around the tracks and rollers and note any build-ups of dirt, grease and debris. Open and close the door a few times. While it’s moving, pay attention to the finer motions of its mechanisms, and listen for anything that sounds out of the ordinary. Note any areas where you spot anything unusual and come back to them once the door has stopped moving.
Look for signs of cosmetic damage too. While not particularly relevant for winter maintenance, this can still go a long way towards saving you some money on the long-term care for your door, as you’ll know exactly what kinds of cosmetic repairs it needs once things warm up.
Clean and Lubricate
Once you’ve noted the areas that need work, start by carefully cleaning the relevant parts and removing any excess debris. Grease build-ups can be particularly bad, because they can attract dirt and can make a huge mess in the long run if not taken care of. Pay attention to any moving parts, and ensure there are no obstructions along their paths.
When you’re done cleaning, go around the whole door from one part of its mechanisms to another, and give everything a nice coat of lubricant to ensure that the door operates smoothly and without any unnecessary friction. This is not just about resolving any cosmetic concerns you might have, such as getting rid of annoying squeaks. Proper lubrication is essential for keeping your door protected against the cold weather.
How Often Should You Do This?
This is something you should do regularly, and the exact frequency will mainly depend on the weather in your area. If you live in a place with a colder climate, you should do this kind of evaluation at least a couple of times a year to ensure that things are always running smoothly. Additionally, don’t hesitate to look into things in more detail if you notice any signs that something might be wrong. It doesn’t cost you any extra effort to listen for warning signs when you’re opening and closing your door every day during its regular use, and this can save you a lot on maintenance costs.
Consult with an expert if you’re not sure about how often you should be doing this. There might be additional factors that you don’t see, and it’s a good idea to know that you’re doing everything within your power to keep your garage door operating smoothly and without issues. The cost of the initial consultation will most likely be offset by the savings you’ll be able to realize in maintenance costs afterwards.
This is something that requires a bit of experience to do properly, so don’t be disheartened if it feels too complicated at first. You’ll get the hang of it sooner or later and, with enough time, you’ll know exactly what your door needs in order to keep it running smoothly and without any long-term damage. Also, as we said above, never hesitate to contact a professional for some assistance if you’re feeling stuck or challenged. It’s a worthwhile investment in the long run!