As a Michigan or Ohio local, you’re more than a little familiar with snow and ice. It’s common to take extra precautions to care for sidewalks, driveways, vehicles and lawns through the winter precipitation, but do you put the same effort into protecting our garage doors?
In addition to performing routine seasonal maintenance, removing snow and ice from your garage door right away can help minimize potential damage.
The Importance of Garage Door Snow Removal
Letting snow and ice pile up in front of your garage door can cost you more than you might expect. Snow piles often contain leaves, branches and other debris that can damage the integrity of your garage door’s threshold, which can reduce energy efficiency and cause harm to your garage door.
Additionally, if you try to close your garage in the snow, the door may be unable to reach the threshold. The reversing mechanism will then engage, making it impossible to close. Closing the door on a snow pile can also cause damage that will make raising the door impossible.
Ice is perhaps the most serious problem for garage doors. When it forms at your garage door’s threshold, the opener must work overtime to pull the door away from the ice. This extra effort can pull your door out of alignment or even prematurely age your door opener. In extreme cases, ice can completely prevent your garage door from raising, which can cause the door opening mechanisms to overheat.
The solution is simple — take measures to remove ice from your garage door’s threshold before opening or lowering it. This will prevent ice formations from damaging your garage door, which will save you money in the long run.
How To Protect Your Garage Door From Snow
If you haven’t considered it before, snow removal and snow plow damage are serious possibilities for your garage door. Here are a few tips for protecting your garage in the snow.
Talk to Your Snow Removal Service
Many homeowners hire a snow removal service to do the hard work of clearing the snow for them. If you choose to go this route, carefully consider what areas need to be plowed and which service you’ll work with.
Make sure your plowing service knows to leave some space in front of your garage door. While plowing services do their best to do a good job, reminding them to be careful around the garage door can help prevent damage.
Once the team has left, you can shovel the remaining snow from around the garage door.
Lubricate and Inspect Moving Parts
When the weather gets cold, moving garage door parts can get stuck and stall. Metal parts also contract in the cold, which can lead to door malfunctions and loud or unpleasant noises.
Make sure to grease and inspect the following parts before the snow hits:
Inspect the same parts after the storm to make sure everything is still in good condition. Keep your eyes peeled for any loose hardware, including brackets, nuts, bolts and screws — loose pieces can cause additional strain on your door and opener, causing further damage.
Remove Snow Melt
When snow gets in your garage and melts on your floor, you can run into issues caused by standing water. There are several ways you can combat snow melt:
- Garage mats: You can prevent puddles from forming in your garage using absorbent mats. They come in a variety of sizes and materials and can serve as temporary replacements for floor drains when needed.
- Sump pump: If water suddenly builds up in your garage, you can get rid of it away using a sump pump connected to flexible plastic hoses.
- Auxiliary heat sources: Accelerate melting and evaporation using space heaters and other any other safe heat sources you may have. When combined with mats, a heater can quickly remove small quantities of water from your garage floor.
Shovel During the Snow
If you can, go out and shovel away the snow from in front of your garage door once every hour or so to prevent it from building up. When snow rests against your garage door, it adds weight and pressure to the door, which can lead to damage. It can also affect your paint job and dent your door, requiring costly repairs to fix.
Get as close to the ground as you can while shoveling — the sun’s warmth will prevent later snow from freezing in that area and save your garage door from potential damage.
Installing weatherstripping is a great way to keep snow and sludge from getting inside your garage. Weatherstripping also protects your garage door from scraping against the ground, extending its life.
Check to make sure your weatherstripping is in good condition before a snowstorm. While the garage door is open, examine your weatherstripping for cracks and other signs of damage. Then, close the door and check for drafts.
You can easily replace your weatherstripping yourself with minimal equipment. You might also want to add insulation to your garage door for extra protection. However, this may not be sufficient for older garage doors.
Get a Weather-Resistant Garage Door
It’s always a good idea to get a garage door that’s suited to your climate. Here in the Toledo area, we know we can expect heavy snow and other winter precipitation. Aging, uninsulated garage doors are significantly less effective at keeping the winter weather out than new weather-resistant ones.
To prepare for the cold weather, homeowners should consider upgrading to weather-resistant garage doors. While these garage doors may cost a little bit more upfront, you’ll get a better return on investment as the door performs better over the long term and helps you avoid expensive repairs that come with cheaper alternatives.
Find a garage door with a high R-value, which is a measure of its thermal resistance. Doors with high R-values are significantly more effective at keeping the cold out than doors with lower R-values.
We’re Your Source for Everything Garage Door
When you need help repairing or maintaining an existing garage door or choosing a new garage door that can withstand the harsh Toledo winter, get in touch with us at Quality Overhead Door.
Since 1982, we’ve been serving Toledo area homeowners with the best in garage door products and services. We know this area, and we know how to support our customers who are looking for products that are best suited to this part of the country. When you need garage door products, service and support in the Greater Toledo area, count on the experienced and knowledgeable team at Quality Overhead Door.
Contact us today about garage door products and services for your Toledo-area home.
Additional Resources on Seasonal Garage Door Tips:
- 3 Ways to Have a Warm Garage This Winter
- How Does Winter Affect Your Garage Door?
- How Does Summer Weather Affect Your Garage Door?
- Best Practices for Keeping a Cool Garage in the Summer