Winter is coming. The lower temperatures and strong winds can make any homeowner want to just stay inside their home and curled up in a blanket. During these days, the last thing you want happening to you is a sudden home emergency. That’s why you should take the due diligence before winter strikes and take care of any remaining problems in your home. To help you out, we at Smart Doors are here to provide a few tips to keep your Toronto garage door in top shape, ready to face the hazards of snow and ice.
Fall Preparation for your Toronto Garage Door
Your garage door is one of the most exposed areas of the home. It faces the street directly with almost nothing to stand in the way. Your garage door will take each and every gust of wind directly. Snow and ice are also just as damaging to your garage door. Most garage doors act as the primary shield for the items you keep in your garage so keeping it in working order is important to protecting your valuables from the elements.
Garage Door Damage & Misalignment
This is why it’s important that you inspect your garage door in the fall, before the cold comes. Here are the things you should look out for:
● Is your garage door aligned properly? A misaligned garage door can spell big trouble for you if you keep it that way. A gap can expose your valuables to the elements, and forcing a misaligned garage door to operate poses significant strain on the mechanism. If you notice that your garage door might need a realignment, immediately call a garage door service company to come over and realign it for you,
● Check the material of your garage door. Garage doors are meant to last for years, even decades. But eventually, their time will be up. If your garage door was made of wood, moisture will eventually cause it to begin to rot. Steel doors will rust when exposed to moisture for a long enough time. While it is possible to maintain and clean up these garage doors by patching wood or sanding rust, eventually these maintenance jobs will become too cumbersome and it becomes time to replace them. Take this time in the fall to really make sure your garage door can survive another winter.
Inspecting and Protecting the Mechanisms
The next area to check your Toronto garage door for in preparation for the winter months are the mechanical components that actually make your garage door open and close. These parts of your garage door do a lot of work and are in constant day-to-day strain. It’s important that you take note of the following tips:
● Check the rollers, rails springs, and cables. These make up the mechanical parts of your garage door and are your workhorses. Look for any rusting components as these will affect the performance of your garage door. Doubly so in cold weather where the low temperatures causes metal to contract, adding considerable strain to the operation of your garage door opener. Untreated, these issues can lead to significant damage. When you spot these issues, speak to a garage door service company and have them fix it up for you. These parts store significant amounts of force and can lead to injury if improperly handled.
● Lubrication is Important. If you have no need for repairs to the mechanisms of your garage door, then protect them from the elements and ease their operation by lubricating them properly. Using a Lithium based solution, lubricate the rollers to ease their travel along the rail and keep the springs lubricated to protect them from the cold and to ensure that they tighten and unwind smoothly.
Weatherproofing your Garage
Now that the structure and mechanism of your garage door is in top shape, you’ll need to completely seal your garage off from the elements in preparation for winter. Weatherproofing your garage comes in two ways:
● Replace worn out weatherstripping. Weatherstripping forms the seal around the edge of your garage door that keeps the cold out. The rubber makes up your weatherstripping doesn’t last forever though, eventually that material will deteriorate from transition between seasons. The moisture and temperature changes will lead to your weatherstripping losing suppleness and crumbling. Good thing replacing these is a simpler task than other garage door maintenance jobs. Weatherstripping is readily available in most hardware stores and installation is easy.
● Insulate your garage. Most modern garage doors come with insulation pre-installed with them. However, this might not be the case for older garage doors. For these, you may need to install insulation yourself. This is especially important if you like using your garage as a functional space during the winter. Keeping your garage in a relatively even temperature with the rest of your home will also save you on heating bills. Hardware stores sell a number of varieties of insulation for you to choose from and installing them isn’t particularly difficult either.
Tips During the Winter For Your Toronto Garage Door
Now that you’ve done all you can during the fall, your job isn’t over quite yet. During the winter, you’ll need to keep on top of a number of things as well in order to ensure that your garage door stays in shape throughout the season. Here are a few important things to remember:
1. Never let snow pile up.
It’s easy to get complacent or lazy when you see snow covering your driveway. But don’t let it get the better of you. The thicker the snow piling up, the more work you’ll have to do to clear it up. Not to mention that on certain days, the temperature may be warm enough to let some of the snow melt but will suddenly freeze the day after when the temperature goes back down. This will lead to ice forming. Ice on the ground isn’t only a chore to scrape off, but is also a safety hazard to you and your family. The ice can also freeze your garage door stuck to the ground, preventing you from opening it.
So be diligent in your shoveling and clear snow from your driveway whenever you can, or look into investing money towards a snow blower.
2. Use Your Garage Door at least once a Day
To prevent the mechanisms of your garage door opener from freezing and seizing up, open and close the garage door at least once a day. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a set schedule, but on the days when you are not leaving the house, it’s still a good idea to do it once just to ensure that everything is in working order. Doing this also lets you spot when it might be time to relubricate the mechanisms.
3. If your Garage Door Does Freeze Over…
It’s not a good idea to force the ice to break by using the automatic garage door opener. Instead, take the time to thaw out the ice using either hot water, a heat lamp, or a dryer. When you do this, make sure that the area of melted ice is dried properly. Otherwise, all your work would be for nothing as the water will just freeze once again and seal your garage door shut.
We at Smart Doors Toronto hope that these tips will help you brave the winter months in comfort and safety. If you need any repairs or are looking to upgrade your existing garage door in preparation for winter, don’t hesitate to call 905-532-9770 to ask for a free estimate on your garage door repair or replacement.