April 22, 2016

Has Your Garage Door Slowed Over the Winter Season?

Eastman Winter

Your garage door is meant to be opened and closed at a leisurely pace, but it’s not supposed to take so long that your coffee gets cold as you wait for the panel to lift and fall.

As winter comes to an end, the cold weather conditions experienced over last season have made it more difficult for machinery to operate, especially considering the fact that everything shrinks a little bit in chilly weather. If your garage door system is old or hasn’t been well maintained, there’s more of a chance of the entire system may have been damaged over the winter.

Why’s My Garage Door Slow?

If you have an electric garage door opener, garage doors are made of a group of moving parts that include rollers, springs and pulleys which make it possible to open the door automatically. Over time, these pieces slowly degrade through repetitive use. Gears grind down, springs lose tension and pulleys become stiff, all of which become worse during exposure to the effects of winter weather.

Preventing a Slow Garage Door

Proper maintenance of your garage door will reduce the chance that it slows down when winter is over. At the very least, once every year before and after winter, you should lubricate the parts of the door that grind when they’re not properly oiled. Ideally, bearings, gears, rails, pulleys, springs and hinges should be cleaned and lubed up twice a year. Look for sprays that resist accumulation of dust and grime, which helps to keep the mechanisms clean.

Sometimes, when a garage door is imbalanced, one side of the panel might be rubbing against the rail causing the entire mechanism to slow down. The best way to test for this potential problem is to separate the door from the automatic system, opening and closing the door slowly under your own power. This will give you a pretty good idea as to whether the door is balanced or not.

Checking out the condition of all moving parts ensures that one faulty spring or pulley isn’t causing stress to other parts of the system. Anytime a single part stops performing the task it was meant to, the rest of the automatic opener has to work harder to compensate. Replace parts that show signs of rust or significant decay, preserving the rest of the system while ensuring the proper opening and closing speed for the panel.

Your Garage Might Have Been Too Cold

If you have an uninsulated garage, the space inside might have been so cold that the mechanisms couldn’t operate properly, even when the system was maintained and in working order. In this case, the answer is pretty simple – make sure you insulate the garage before the next winter season approaches.

Before you do so, you should decide what source of heat will be used for the space. Without a source of heat, there’s no point insulating the garage. Often, a small space heater or an oil heater will be enough to avoid a completely frozen garage.

The walls of your garage can be insulated at an inexpensive cost, using a fiberglass batt and a spray foam solution to fill in the gaps. Fiberglass batt is fairly easy to use for even for beginner DIYers, often pre‑cut to sizes that meet standard garage construction. If you have to cut it yourself, remember to measure twice and cut once. The batt should fit snugly inside the wall space, but not so tightly that it has to be jammed inside. Add a vapor barrier and the interior finish. Any spaces remaining can be filled with blow‑in foam.

Another big source of heat loss takes place when drafts are allowed to sneak in under a garage door that has faulty weatherstripping sealing the floor with the panel. Check to see if the material is dry or cracked. If so, you should scrape the old weatherstripping away and install a new seal between the garage floor and door. Though the winter season is over, a lot of these updates are best made over warmer months.

Contact a Garage Door Expert

Sometimes, the problem of a garage door opening and closing too slowly can’t be tackled with a do‑it‑yourself solution. In these situations, contacting Car‑Wal Garage Doors will help put you on the path to a fully‑functioning garage.

You can click here to get a free quote, or start by building your perfect garage door!

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