Winter brings with it images of keeping yourself warm around fireplace with your family sipping hot chocolate, frolicking in a pristine white park building snowmen with the kids and adrenaline-filled snowboarding trips. But to Calgary homeowners, winters can be a stressful time of dealing with frigid cold temperatures, burst pipes and frozen over driveways. But it doesn’t have to be so bad, We at B&W Garage Specialist are here to help ease your transition into the winter season by providing a few tips to keep your garage door and garage in general in perfect shape for the cold months ahead.
Table Of Contents
- Beat the Cold Calgary Winter Before Even it Comes
- What Do You Do Once the Cold Comes?
Beat the Cold Calgary Winter Before Even it Comes
The best way to deal with the freezing temperatures and the snow is to prepare for it before it even arrives. Your garage door is the largest mechanical object in your home, and it is also one of the places that can be most affected by the cold. The work your garage door does in the warmer months already leads to wear and tear as time progresses. This only gets worse during the colder days as your mechanisms have to work harder in order to open and close your garage. You need to make sure that your garage door and all its parts are ready for the winter.
1. Garage Door Repair and Maintenance
The garage door itself is what takes the brunt of the assault from the outside world. Check the garage door for flaked and peeling paint. If your garage door is made of wood, check for water damage and warped areas. Water damage usually happens at the bottom panels of your garage door, where it makes the most contact with rain or snow. While smaller patches of water damage can be fixed, if you suspect your garage door has significant water damage, make sure to call professionals to handle the garage door repair for you.
For steel garage doors, check the same bottom panels for spots of ruse as well. These sections can be sanded to remove the rust and clean it up, then apply a new coat of paint that matches your current color. When choosing a paint for your garage door, make sure you choose one that is weatherproof.
2. Weather stripping your Garage Door
Your garage door may be prepared for the elements but the frigid winter weather can still seep through the bottoms and sides of your garage door. This is where your weather stripping comes in. Weather stripping protects your garage floor by creating a seal around your garage door opening from snow and rain as well as serve to stop cold air from blowing into your garage.
You’ll need to check your weather stripping as these can deteriorate from the summer heat, leading it to become dry and cracked. It’s best to replace it whenever you find these issues as they usually lead to leaks in the weatherproofing of your garage door if left ignored. Weather stripping needs to be applied to the bottom of your garage door to seal it from snow and water seeping at ground level, as well as the sides of your garage along the door jamb. The latter is to prevent gusts of cold wind from entering your garage.
You can also optionally install a threshold seal. This is a seal you apply on the ground itself parallel to the bottom of your garage door. This adds a more secure seal at the bottom of your garage door.
Weather stripping is also readily available at Canadian Tire and other home hardware stores so installation is something you can do yourself for a relatively cheap cost.
3. Check the Moving Parts of your Garage Door
The mechanisms that move your garage door take the most strain throughout the years. A typical garage door goes through hundreds of open/close cycles a month. In the winter, the metal components of your garage door, primarily the mechanisms used to move the garage door itself, contract in low temperatures. This contraction, especially on the springs leads to the garage door opener and the cables having to use more force in order to perform their functions. The same low temperature also causes metal to become more brittle, so any existing damage already in the metal is liable to worsen or even completely cause the metal to break.
It’s important that you check your springs and cables before the winter comes. If you notice your cables fraying or your springs unraveled or damaged, make a note of it but DO NOT attempt to fix these issues yourself if you are even the least bit unsure. These components store a great amount of energy and mishandling their removal can lead to serious injury. Call professional garage door specialists to perform the installation for you instead.
4. Protect the Moving Parts of Your Garage Door
After inspecting the mechanics of your garage door, it’s a good idea to protect them as well from the cold. Lubrication will help the moving parts like the rollers, chains, and the springs by easing their movement as they open and close the garage door. When choosing the lubricant to use however, make sure to pick up a lithium-based lubricant rather than using your typical oil or grease. This is because the latter two can pick up dirt and debris that can lead to issues with your rollers as well. Lithium-based lubricants are also fairly temperature-stable and can withstand colder days. When applying your lubricant, make sure you first clean the tracks on which the rollers will travel on. This can also help ease the movement of your garage door during the winter months.
5. Insulate Your Garage Door
If you’re finding in the winter months that your garage is a bit too cold, it may be a good idea to add insulation to your Garage Door to keep the temperature in your garage a bit more tolerable. There are several insulation varieties to choose from: fiberglass, foam or a reflective board. Insulation is also relatively cheap and readily available in most hardware stores. Putting them up is also fairly simple as well. However, if you aren’t confident in your skills as a handyman, you can always call a garage door company to do the installation for you.
What Do You Do Once the Cold Comes?
So you’ve prepared as much as you can for the coming winter; that doesn’t mean you’re completely safe once Jack Frost comes rolling into Calgary. Sometimes, the winter will get the better of you. But don’t worry! Here’s some tips that should help you weather the cold and keep your garage safe from damage.
1. Keep the Area around your Garage Door Clear
It’s important that you keep the area around your garage door clear of snow to prevent it from packing down and becoming ice as the days go by. Take your shovel and clear up any snowfall, no matter how thin, just to be safe. You might as well clear your entire driveway while you’re at it to prevent it from icing over. It’s also a good idea to open and close your garage door at least once a day to ensure that frost doesn’t accumulate at the bottom of your garage door.
2. But what if My Garage Door Gets Frozen Shut?
If, for any reason your garage door gets frozen shut, the first thing to remember is that your should not use your automatic garage opener to attempt to open it. Forcing the motor of your garage door opener like this can lead to the chain or band that pulls your garage door up to break, making things even worse. Instead, release the opener from your garage door by pulling the emergency release down and try to open the garage door by hand.
3. Removing Ice from the Bottom of your Garage Door
If your garage door is still stuck to the ground because of the ice built up, you can take a hammer and a piece of wood to try and very carefully chisel the door loose from the ground. Once you’re able to lift the door up, scrape the remaining ice off the ground and clean it up. For particularly tough patches, you can use some hot water to melt the ice before cleaning the area up with a dry washcloth to prevent the water from freezing over again. Do the same for the bottom of the garage door if you have to but be very careful. The rapid difference in temperature between hot and cold can easily damage your weather stripping.
We’re hoping these tips will help you get your garage ready for the coming winter.
If you’re in the market for a new garage door in Calgary in preparation for the snow and frost, we have created a buyer’s guide here to help you with your decision. B&W Garage Specialist offers garage door installation and repair services throughout the Calgary area. We also offer same-day repairs anywhere citywide for those emergency situations.
Don’t hesitate to Contact Us at (403) 275-6048 for a Free Estimate.