Your garage doors are likely a highly visible part of your home's façade, in addition to being functional protection for your vehicles. Although most garage doors don't require significant maintenance, there are a few tasks you'll want to start thinking about during the colder parts of the year. Although winter has already arrived for most of the country, it's never too late to handle deferred maintenance.
If you've been ignoring your garage's cold weather needs, then these four steps are for you. Keep reading to learn what you should do to prepare your garage door for the cold days ahead.
1. Perform An Inspection
Start by closely inspecting several parts of your door and the surrounding area. Pay special attention to damaged, worn, or frayed weather seals. Heavy winds can push snow past seals, allowing moisture into your home and even potentially causing the metal parts of your door track to rust. Clean any weather stripping that appears to be especially dirty — cracks can be hard to spot under caked-on dirt.
You'll also want to check a few mechanical parts inside the garage. Confirm that your cables appear to be in good shape without any signs of fraying. Check your rollers for smooth motion, paying particular attention to any signs that they may be scraping, dragging, or wearing down. Cold weather can cause moisture to freeze in the tracks, ultimately exacerbating any existing issues you may have.
2. Replace Worn Parts
Once you finish your inspection, it's time to replace any parts that are approaching the end of their lifespan. Replacing weather stripping and rollers is relatively straightforward, so you can attempt to tackle these on your own. Avoid working on anything involving your door's springs, however. Since replacing your cables involves loosening the springs, this is a job that you should also trust to a professional.
3. Break Out the Lube
Lubrication helps keep your garage door quiet, but the noises you hear are also signs of excess wear. Proper lubrication prevents parts from wearing out prematurely while also keeping your door operating smoothly. It's especially crucial to check and add lubrication before winter since cold weather can reduce the effectiveness of some lubricants.
4. Consider Upgrades
Once you've taken care of essential maintenance, consider some winterization upgrades. Excellent options include upgraded weather stripping and garage door insulation. These relatively cost-effective upgrades will help to keep your garage warmer while keeping snow out. Protecting your garage's interior is the best way to protect the mechanical elements of your garage door.
Although most homeowners should be able to complete these routine winter maintenance steps on their own, it's also a good idea to occasionally schedule a professional inspection. An experienced contractor can help you spot potential winterization issues and recommend a plan of action to keep your garage safe all season long.