During the winter months, especially in certain parts of the country, homeowners are tasked with winterizing their home in order to increase energy efficiency and maintain functionality. Typically, this includes checking the pipes, gutters, door and windows. In this article, we will provide a garage door maintenance checklist in order to help you prepare your home for harsh, cold winters.
Why is Winterizing Your garage Door Important?
Your garage door does a lot more than you realize. It gives you protection from the elements, provides easy access to your home, and provides a strong barrier from intruders. If you take your garage door for granted, you aren’t alone. Too often, residential garage doors get overlooked when it’s time to do winter maintenance to keep them working efficiently.
A winterized garage puts less of a burden on your heating and air conditioning systems. That means lower energy bills, a cozier living space, and less of an impact on the environment. For homeowners in areas with harsh winters, annual winterizing is essential. Without the right protection, icy cold air can enter the garage unimpeded. Freezing rain, snow, and ice can also seep in. Not only does this let cold air in, but the moisture can also cause damage to your floors.
Garage Door Maintenance Checklist
So how do you prepare garage doors for the winter months?
Check the Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is at the bottom of the garage door where it creates a seal to keep out the cold. It can get cracks or tears in it over time. If the weather stripping has signs of deterioration, it’s time to replace it. Any home or hardware store should have what you need. It’s important to note that all weather stripping isn’t the same. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) foam tape is recommended for garage door insulation in areas with extreme hot or cold climates. EPDM resists cracking from summer or winter weather.
Check for Leaks and Cracks
Sealing the bottom of the door isn’t enough. Check for leaks or cracks around the entire outer perimeter of the door. One way to detect a leak is when light creeps in. Turn off all lights in the garage and cover any windows. If light is coming in around the garage door, then you know the location of the crack. Use caulk to fill in cracks or holes around the garage door, along with any other doors and windows in the garage.
Insulate Your Garage Door
Most newer garage doors are insulated to perform an effective barrier against hot and cold weather. There are a few reasons that your garage door might not be insulated. For one, it might be an older garage door. If that’s the case, you should consider calling for a professional installation of a new garage door. Sometimes builders or homeowners install uninsulated garage doors in mild to moderate climates where harsh temperatures aren't always a threat. Even in those climates where temperatures don't normally reach extreme temperatures, an insulated door provides better security and durability. Another option is to insulate the garage door yourself. However, the DIY approach doesn’t ensure efficiency or safety.
Should You Winterize Your House or Call the Professionals?
Some of the steps on our garage door maintenance checklist are things you can do yourself. You can find everything you need at your local hardware or home store. Other tasks require the expertise of a professional. Any investment you make into your garage door will help it last longer and work better through a few more winters.
You can winterize your garage door yourself, but we understand that replacing garage door weather stripping isn’t everybody’s thing. No one understands how a garage door works better than the professionals at Door Systems. We are experts at finding the areas of concern, making the repairs, and checking off everything on your garage door maintenance checklist.
If you manage a facility with commercial garage doors, you may consider a maintenance program such as that provided by our team at Door Systems. As part of the planned maintenance program, you get full access to our team to keep your garage doors up and running efficiently throughout the year.
Door Systems Can Handle All Your Garage Door Preventative Maintenance Needs
Winterizing is something you do once a year before cold weather. Preventative maintenance requires regular care throughout the year. Too often, homeowners don’t think about garage door maintenance until a minor issue turns into a major repair. You can take care of some garage door preventative maintenance yourself, such as lubricating your door hardware or checking the door tracks for missing anchor screws.
Issues like broken springs or hardware require professional repairs. This ensures not only that the repair is made correctly but also that a faulty repair doesn’t threaten your and your family’s safety. Garage doors are very heavy and torsion springs have a lot of pressure. Without the proper training and tools, you are at risk of serious injury from attempting repairs yourself.
Whatever your garage door needs, we can help. Whether it’s how to seal a garage door for winter or what to do with a stuck door, give us a call. Find a location near you or contact us to speak with a door expert today.