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Tips For Winterizing Your Garage Door

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Winter is coming, and you are probably busy preparing your home for the coming cold season. While you are checking the HVAC system, sealing the windows and adding insulation, don’t neglect to winterize your garage door. The ice, snow and freezing temperatures can cause problems with the garage door just as they can with your roof, plumbing and other systems. A little bit of prep now in the fall will help prevent costly repairs if, in the spring, your garage door is no longer functioning properly. Here are some tips to winterize your garage door.

winterizing your garage door

Consider Proper Insulation

Does your garage door have proper insulation? If not, then your home’s heated air can escape through the garage, increasing your energy costs. Consider adding insulation to the attic above the garage and the walls around it. Also, add insulation to the door itself. Choose insulation with a high R-value, and cut it to size to fit between the frames of your garage door. You can add two layers, if you wish, for additional insulation protection. Foam board is a great choice, or you can opt for batt insulation if you have a steel garage door. For best results, consider replacing your non-insulated garage door with a new factory insulated garage door.

Inspect and Replace the Weather Stripping

Have you checked the weather stripping around your garage door? When these doors are used regularly, the weather stripping takes a beating. It needs to be replaced regularly to prevent drafts.

First, inspect the weather stripping to see if there are any gaps or worn areas. If you find these, replace the weather stripping to ensure that the garage is as energy-efficient as possible. Also, replacing the weather stripping will prevent problems when water freezes near the garage door. Worn weather stripping can stick to this water and the ground, and then peel off when you open the garage door.

As you are sealing off these spaces, consider PVC stop molding. This option seals gaps and is a durable choice that will stand up well over the winter weather and ongoing use.

Perform Routine Maintenance

Fall is a great time to address routine maintenance needs in your garage, before the temperatures get too cold to make time in the garage enjoyable. First, make sure everything is properly lubricated. All moving metal parts of the garage door need to have a quality lubricant applied before the weather starts to get cold. The cold weather and winter moisture make problems with moving parts and stuck doors even more common, so add some lubrication as you winterize your door.

Choose a lubricant designed for garage doors. While you are lubricating the door, remember to inspect for problems. Inspect the springs for rust or other signs of wear and tear. If you notice a problem, have a professional garage door repair technician inspect the door.

Before winter hits, remove grit and grime that has accumulated in the tracks of the garage door. Leaves, cobwebs and dirt can impact the function of the door. Start the winter with clean tracks and a clean garage door opening system.

Consider Installing a Unit Heater

If you live in a cold climate where winter weather is extreme, the garage is not going to stay warm, no matter what insulation you add. Unit heaters can keep the space warm. Choose a unit heater that is designed to heat a space the size of your garage, and install it before winter hits. This will protect the door from the damage caused by extreme weather and also give you a warm, toasty space to get in your car every morning.

Winterizing your garage door is not difficult. It just takes a little bit of time and attention. Doing this task now will save you money and stress during the winter as you avoid garage door failure when the cold weather hits.

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Justin White
More about Justin White

Justin White currently serves as Marketing Director for Mid-Atlantic Door Group, the leading distributor for Overhead Door Corporation. Justin is also a regular contributor to which proudly serves the Maryland area and helps with Bethesda garage door repair.

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9 responses to “Tips For Winterizing Your Garage Door”

  1. I had no idea that garage doors had to be winterized. I’m really glad that I could find an article to let me know that. I live in an area that gets freezing cold in the winters. Hopefully the damage isn’t irreversible.

  2. I have noticed my heat escaping through my garage and it is frustrating. Also, I have an entertainment room above the garage and it is always freezing up there in the winter. I think that if I fortify the insulation I might be able to save money as well as make my home more cozy for the winter. Your instructions look like something I can easily follow, so I will be using this article as a reference. Thank you!

  3. I really liked the tip you gave to consider installing a unit heater. You talk about if you live in a cold climate (which I do), the garage isn’t going to stay cold, so adding this additional insulation will keep the space warm and will protect the door from any damage caused by the weather. I think that this is a really helpful and beneficial installation, and I will definitely look more into getting one for my garage door. Overall, this will help me to make sure that it is being well maintained during the winter season so that I can minimize future maintenance costs down the road. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This is an extremely well written and informative article.And I really like the way you have explained each and everything so well. Very well done with the article!

  5. I like your tip on checking the weather stripping around the garage door. If anything is going to let out a lot of hot air, it will be gaps here. It is also probably best to do all of this work well before it gets cold out. Who is really going to do the needed maintenance on their garage door when it is below freezing. I know I won’t unless I absolutely need to. I do have one question though. How do you keep snow melt from freezing the garage door shut? It happens to me at least once a week no matter what I try.

  6. I like the idea of installing a garage heater. However, I will probably wait until after I winterize the door. I don’t want to waste too much energy heating the garage. I also think it is a good idea to use something to absorb water from snow melting from your car. If you don’t then it will probably find its way to your door and freeze it shut.

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  9. Marcus Coons says:

    Thank you for mentioning how you need to consider the type of insulation your garage door has. It is important to understand that this can affect your energy bills. we need to replace our garage and need to find the best professionals.

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