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Winterizing Your Garage Door

As we approach another icy winter season here in Western New York, there's much to be done in preparation for the cold. Once you've taken all the necessary precautions inside your home, it's time to step into your garage and winterize your garage door. Here are a few easy steps you can take to make sure your garage door runs smoothly all season.

Check Your Batteries

The last thing you need after a snowy commute home is to find your garage door won't open because of a dead battery. Be sure to check the batteries in both your garage door remote, and in your external keypad if you have one. Garage door remote batteries generally last quite a while. In fact, depending on your remote type, these batteries can last anywhere from one to five years. However, you should always keep a spare on hand in case of emergencies. Garage door keypads are often powered by a nine volt battery. You may need to use a screwdriver to remove the keypad cover and access it. Because of its outdoor location, this battery is subjected to extreme temperatures year-round. Since this can affect the life and performance of the battery, it's best to replace it yearly.

Check Your Weather Stripping

Weather stripping, (also known as the astragal as it pertains to the bottom of the door), is the material that is found on the edge of the garage door, sealing out drafts, dirt, and debris. If your weather stripping becomes cracked or damaged, the seal can become ineffective. In the winter, this means cold air and snow can easily find their way inside your garage. 

Check around all edges of your door and look for over compression, gaps, sun damage, or signs of cracking. On cold days you may be able to detect damaged weather stripping just by feeling for cold air seeping into your garage. If you discover any of these problems, take the time to replace it. New weather stripping can be purchased at most large hardware stores.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Regularly lubricating your garage door's moving parts will help ensure that they last for many years. During the colder months, lubricant can provide an extra layer of protection against the elements and can help prevent rusting

All garage doors will have a slightly different process when it comes to proper lubrication. Be sure to consult your owner's manual for instructions specific to your door.  But the general lubrication process starts with a closed garage door. Clean off any dirt or buildup that has accumulated on any of the garage door's moving parts, which can include springs, hinges, and tracks. Then apply lubricant to each of these parts. You can use a standard oil based lubricant or purchase a product specifically for garage doors. Then open and close your garage door once or twice to allow the lubricant to flow, and wipe away any excess. 

Check Your Automatic Reversal System 

During the winter, people and animals can be all too eager to get inside and out of the cold. Make sure your garage door's reversal system is functioning properly to avoid causing harm if someone tries to sneak under a closing garage door. 

There are two types of automatic reversal systems. The first causes the garage door to reverse direction when it comes into contact with an object while closing. To test this function, find a piece of lumber or other sturdy object and place it beneath your open garage door. Then close the door. When the door reaches the object, it should make contact with it and immediately begin moving in the opposite direction. If this does not occur, contact a professional for repair right away.

The second type of automatic reversal deals with an object crossing underneath the garage door while closing. Garage doors with this feature are equipped with photoelectric sensors that are positioned across from each other just above ground level. A beam of infrared light is sent from one sensor to the other. When something interrupts this beam, a closing garage door should change direction. To test this, roll a ball or other small object through the path of the sensors while the garage door is closing. This should cause the door to reverse. If this does not occur, check to be sure the sensors are properly aligned or consult a professional for repair. 

Hamburg Overhead Door Can Help

Winterizing your garage door is usually not a difficult or lengthy task. But if you can't find the time during the hustle and bustle of the end of the year, you can call us instead! Hamburg Overhead Door 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.