Ways to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter

Ways to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter

Winter weather in Illinois can be tough on many aspects of your property, including your garage doors. Ice, snow, blowing winds and cold temperatures can directly impact the outer surface of your garage door and cause hardware to shrink. Springs are also more likely to break in winter. Knowing how to prepare your garage door for winter can minimize its damage and extend your garage door’s life.

Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter

Preparing a garage door for winter takes just a few steps:

  • Do a quick inspection: Open and close your garage door a few times, listening for any strange sounds. Check to make sure the door opens and closes smoothly with an even, consistent motion. If you notice any problems, get them fixed before winter.
  • Check the seal and weatherstripping: Stand inside your garage with the door closed on a sunny day. If you can see any light coming in around the edges or if your weatherstripping has any cracks, warping or crumbling, get it replaced. Any gaps around your garage door that let in light can also let in cold and snow, which can cause further damage to the inside of your garage door and make your garage less energy-efficient.
  • Lubricate: Check your garage door owner’s manual to determine which type of lubricant is safe to use on your installation. Apply a few drops of the recommended oil to hinges, springs, bearings and other moving parts. Correctly lubricating your door can protect its active components.
  • Ensure your garage door is properly insulated: Your garage door is your first line of defense against Illinois winters. A properly insulated garage door can protect items stored in your garage, safeguard any interior water pipes and save you money on energy bills. 
  • Organize your garage: Get rid of extra items and clean the space inside your garage. Make sure you pull out shovels and road salt and place them somewhere accessible. If large snowdrifts block your garage door, you will want to be able to remove them quickly before the weight causes severe damage.
  • Get preventive maintenance: If it has been more than two years since your last upkeep appointment, contact the team at Consolidated Garage Doors for maintenance. The technicians on our team can perform a thorough inspection and any necessary repairs to ensure your garage door is ready for winter.

Contact Consolidated Garage Doors to Prepare for Winter

Winter prep for your garage door starts with Consolidated Garage Doors. If you notice your garage door is showing signs of wear, have it fixed before the harsh winter months. Contact Consolidated Garage Doors for repairs before the snow comes, or schedule seasonal maintenance to make winter a little easier on your garage doors.

For more than 42 years, Consolidated Garage Doors has helped customers in St. Charles, Batavia and other nearby areas of Illinois get the most from their garage doors with SOLID SERVICE, SOLID SALES and SOLID PRODUCTS. When you need reliable garage door repair and maintenance, contact us for service.

The Most Common Garage Door Problems

A reliable garage door can ensure you have access to your garage whenever you need it. Regular maintenance can increase your garage door’s reliability, extend its life and give you valuable peace of mind. 

Understanding the most common garage door problems and what you can do about them can help you keep your garage doors functioning soundly.

Problems That Occur With Garage Doors

Common garage door issues include:

  • The garage door won’t open: If you activate your garage door opener and nothing happens, first check to make sure the opener itself is working and has functional batteries for the remote. Also, double-check to make sure your garage door is unlocked. If the garage door opener is fine, the issue could be a broken spring. Springs balance and lift your garage door, and they can last up to 10,000 to 20,000 cycles. At the end of their life, a professional can safely replace them.
  • The garage door gets stuck: It may be a sensor issue if your garage door partially opens or closes before getting stuck. Make sure the sensor lens on your garage door is clean. If it’s not the sensor, it could be a problem with the track, springs or the door’s balance, which will require a service call from a technician. 
  • Your garage door slams shut: If a garage door is slamming shut, a spring may have snapped, meaning there is nothing gently lowering your garage door. You will want to contact a service professional immediately to safeguard your door’s structure and fix the problem.
  • Your garage door starts making strange sounds: A popping sound when you open or close your garage door could indicate that your rollers are worn down. Squeaking can be caused by worn rollers or poor lubrication on the rollers or bearings.
  • The garage door starts to close and then goes back up: This common garage door issue may be caused by a problem with the sensor. In some cases, there may be debris on the sensor lens or track causing the issue. Check if the sensor lens is loose or damaged and wipe down the tracks to see if that fixes the problem.

Preventing the Most Common Garage Door Issues

Regular maintenance can prevent some garage door problems. By properly lubricating your garage doors and having a professional regularly inspect and service them, you can catch small problems before they cause a performance issue. Consistent, professional maintenance every two years can help prevent breakdowns.

Contact Consolidated Garage Doors

If you’ve run into garage door problems that require maintenance or service, contact the technicians at Consolidated Garage Doors. Our team delivers SOLID SERVICE, SOLID SALES and SOLID PRODUCTS to St. Charles, Batavia, Geneva and the surrounding communities in Illinois. Our family-run business has been offering garage door services, installations, maintenance and repairs for more than 42 years.

Request service today to have our team come out to diagnose and address your garage door problem.

How to Wash Your Garage Door

How to Wash Your Garage Door

Your garage door is an important part of your home. Keeping it in the best condition possible helps ensure it stays fully operational for years to come.

In addition to professional routine maintenance, cleaning plays the most important role in keeping your garage door in excellent condition. Taking the time to properly and thoroughly clean your door will help keep it looking good and working as it should. In some cases, cleaning might be a condition of your door’s warranty, too.

However, the cleaning process can vary depending on the material of your garage door. To get started, take a look at our guide on the best ways to clean your garage door.

Video provided by Clopay®

How to Clean Different Types of Garage Doors 

One of the most common forms of damage you may see on a garage door that isn’t well maintained is rust. It can build up on the door when foreign materials such as salt stick to the door’s surface. Routine cleaning helps prevent rust before it ever becomes a problem.

There are a few different techniques to use if you are cleaning wood garage doors as opposed to steel garage doors, but this process performed twice a year works for almost all door types:

  1. Hose down the door with a light spray: Do not use a powerful spray since the water could strip the door’s protective coating along with the grime.
  2. Prepare your soap solution: Use one cup of a non-toxic and biodegradable cleaner mixed into five gallons of water or a gentle dish detergent. Do not use an abrasive, ammonia-based cleaner. You’ll strip away more than the dirt.
  3. Select a soft cleaning tool and wash the door: Use a new sponge or a soft cloth — soft microfiber will do the trick — to rub and lather the solution onto the door. Like the non-abrasive cleaner, you want something gentle, so you don’t remove the door’s finish.
  4. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom: Find a ladder if necessary to reach the top corners. You don’t want to miss a spot during cleaning. Use gentle, circular strokes to loosen up the grime. When the cloth gets dirty or dry, add more cleaning solution.
  5. Spray the door again to rinse: Once you have applied soap across the whole door, spray the door once again with a light stream of water. Allow it to dry naturally, or wipe it down with a chamois cloth.

Tips for Cleaning Your Garage Door 

While cleaning your doors is a simple process, paying attention to the fine details will make a world of difference in keeping your door looking great. Here are some of the dos and don’ts of garage door tips and tricks.

Special Areas for Detailing

Cleaning a garage door goes beyond just getting the grime off the surface. You also want to make sure you clean the parts of the door you can’t see, such as the following: 

  • Garage door tracks: A lot of different debris can get stuck here, and unless you take a closer look, you might miss it. Dust, pet hair and leaves are just a few of the objects that could accumulate and cause the door to stick or jerk when opening or closing.
  • Photo-eye sensors: These are especially important to clean. Without a clear visual path to each other, the photo-eye sensors will not allow the door to close all the way. Be sure they stay aligned as your are cleaning as well. 
  • Weatherstripping: This element of the door takes most of the responsibility for the garage’s climate control. Make sure you free the rubber from dirt and debris that would prevent it from doing its job.

Washing the Windows

The process of properly cleaning the windows does not vary too much from washing the surface of the door. The only extra step involves removing inserts as necessary.

As with the garage door surface, use a soft cloth and mild soap. Abrasive ammonia or solvent-based cleaners can cause damage. 

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to clean windows:

  1. Remove any window inserts. 
  2. Clean with warm water to remove layers of dirt, grime and salt.
  3. Use a solution of mild dishwashing soap to complete the cleaning process.
  4. Wait for the window surface to dry.
  5. Replace the window inserts in the opposite manner you removed them.

When cleaning a Clopay garage door, the inserts have four tabs you can snap in and out of place to carefully remove the insert.

Common Mistakes

When cleaning your garage door, there are a couple of common mistakes to avoid: 

  • Using too much water pressure: A powerwasher might get the cleaning job accomplished quickly, but the powerful spray could strip the pre-finish from steel doors or tear away the top layer of a softer wood on a garage door. Taking your time and using a regular hose along with gentle cleaners will give you the results you are after. 
  • Using abrasive cleaning methods for the weatherstripping: When cleaning the weatherstripping, continue using a soft, damp cloth like you used on the outside. An abrasive tool, such as a broom, could cause damage to the weatherstripping. Since the weatherstripping plays such an important role in the insulation of your door, small nicks in the material could make it less efficient.

For Tough Conditions

If you live somewhere near the coast or in an area that would expose your garage door to a lot of road salt, wash the doors quarterly. The high salinity puts more of a strain on the surface of the door, so paying special attention to the door’s surface will help it stay looking good and last longer.

To further protect the door, consider adding a wax sealant to it. This is easy to apply. You can buy spray-on wax, and you only need to add a light spray after washing the garage door. Then wipe the applied wax spray down with a cloth. This way, your door will benefit from an extra layer of protection to help it stay safer longer. It only takes a few minutes, but it could make a world of difference to the surface of your door.

A Final Walk-Through

Wiping Off Garage Door

Once you finished your cleaning and detailing, try opening and closing the garage door. Watch carefully to make sure it moves smoothly and safely.

If you’re unsure if you cleaned the door correctly or you need professional service to get your door back to excellent shape, contact Consolidated Garage Doors today. We’ll be happy to answer any maintenance questions you have and help make sure we meet all your garage door needs.