Winter isn't just brutal on your car and your home's heating system — cold weather also targets garage door systems. If you notice issues with your door when the temperature drops, don't think that's it's just in your head. There is a connection between frigid temperatures and garage door issues.
If you were able to open the door with ease, but now you can't get the door to close, the weather could be at the source of the problem. If your garage door was installed in the last couple of decades, it came equipped with a safety feature known as a sensor.
To prevent an accident, your garage door will only close when the sensors transmit an unobstructed infrared signal between each other. Cold weather can cause frost to build upon the sensors that can block the transmission of the signal and ultimately prevent the door from closing. Gently wipe any frost from the sensor to see if this corrects the issue.
Another cold weather problem is a slow operating door, such as a door that takes longer to open or close than it typically does. You can blame this issue on a cold weather problem known as tightening. When it's cold outside, the metal that lines the door track can compress.
The tightened process, in turns, creates an increased amount of friction along the track that forces the door's rollers to squeeze along the path. The result of the process is reduced speed. If there is a minimal tightening of the track, the issue is more of a nuisance than a major concern. However, if you hear loud banging or buckling noises, don't use the door as you could cause long term damage.
If you press the opener remote and you don't get a response, first check the battery. If the battery isn't the issue and there was snow or freezing rain the forecast just prior, your door could literally be frozen. For example, if moisture builds up around the base of the door and then the temperature drops, the weather stripping and door could freeze together.
If it's frozen, don't try to pour hot water on the ice as it will only refreeze. You can, however, take the ice scraper you use for your car and gently tap on a piece of the thick ice. If you can create a large enough crack in the ice, it should be enough to loosen the connection between the stripping and the door.
If you experience an issue with your garage door, contact a door technician, such as at DOORS FIXED RIGHT, INC. While it's likely the issue is related to cold weather, many other factors could be at play. A technician will get to the bottom of the problem and provide you with the right, long-term repair solution.