How Winter Affects Your Garage Door

Winter in Buffalo can be a challenge, but for many homeowners, they're veterans to tough weather. The same should go for your garage door, too. Winter weather can cause stress on the operation of a garage door. Many homeowners use their garage door multiple times a day, so when winter hits and things aren't functioning properly, it becomes a problem. Fortunately, winter damage can be avoided by becoming aware of potential situations and how to avoid them. 

What winter weather can do to your garage door

Broken springs

Winter is tough on multiple parts of your garage door system, but broken springs are probably the most common issue homeowners face! Quality garage door springs should last about 10,000 cycles, but it can be difficult to remember checking their performance before winter. You can test your garage door springs by lifting the door halfway up and letting go--if it stays in place with no movement, the springs are fine. To protect against broken springs in the winter, make sure you have a safety cable installed to prevent any accidents or damage. 

Frozen garage door

If water from snow accumulates and freezes at the bottom of your garage door, it can seal the door shut with ice. Not only is this annoying when you're trying to leave, but you can also damage your garage door without careful operation. First, try to open the door manually. If that doesn't work, you can scrape and chip away at the ice or try to melt it with hot water. Avoid winter worry by sweeping snow and water out from the base of your garage door.

Water damage

Homeowners with old garage doors, typically made of wood, often have problems in winter with their door frames swelling. This type of damage leads to friction between the door and frame during operation which can cause the door to get stuck. While wooden garage doors may look beautiful, they can be pretty high maintenance. If your gutters run along your garage, keep them clear of debris to avoid splashes of water onto your garage door. 

How to prevent winter damage to your garage door 

Regular inspection and maintenance 

The best way to keep your garage door running smoothly all year-round is to properly inspect and maintain its operation! It's recommended to check your garage door every three months by disconnecting the door opener and operating the door manually a few times. You'll want to keep the base of the garage door clear of water, snow and ice to ensure a safe operation. Garage door sensors are very sensitive and a buildup of snow will affect its function, in addition to freezing it shut!


Typical garage door openers require lubrication throughout the year to keep each moving part running smoothly. During a cold winter in Buffalo, these products may change consistency from the severe temperatures. This can make it difficult for the garage door system to function properly, often causing a more stressed operation each time it's used. Too much lubrication can be a problem, though! If your sensitivity level is programmed to "light", the motor may interpret a new lubricant consistency as the door being blocked by an object, which will cause it to stop mid-use. If you run into problems with maintenance, lubrication or don't want to bother--call in a professional!

Get a garage door that will outlast the cold

Garage door inspection and repairs can be dangerous--leave that stuff to a professional. Hamburg Overhead Door has the expertise to figure out your winter garage door woes and provide you with an affordable solution. If your garage door is struggling to make it through fall, you'll definitely want it replaced before the snow hits. We can provide you with preventative maintenance at any time of the year to ensure your door stays in great shape for many winter seasons to come!