With as much movement as your garage door does in a day, you might think that ice could never hold it shut—doesn’t that take weeks to form? Unfortunately, if you live in Minnesota, temperatures can and do drop quickly enough to actually prevent your garage door from opening, and snow can accomplish the same thing. Left without a major entrance and exit to your home, what are you to do?

Door Power, your Norwood providers of garage door repair and installation, are here to help. As Minnesotans ourselves, we know all about winter weather prep, post-storm cleanup—and, of course, we live and breathe garage doors. Below, you’ll find out all you need to know about garage doors and freezing shut, including what you can do to prevent it from happening.

What Happens When a Garage Door Freezes Shut?

Obviously, it’s got something to do with snow and ice, but what exactly happens when winter gets the best of your garage door? Understanding what goes on is key not only to fixing it, but to preventing it from happening in the first place.

Truth be told, not all frozen-garage-door situations are the same. There are a variety of ways that cold weather can stick it to the ground—first of many is snow accumulation. If snow is blown up against your garage door, or you push it there with a plow, the added weight can mean your garage door doesn’t open, or at the very least that it struggles to do so. What’s worse, snow can both compact and become icy if left alone, making even bigger of a problem for you and your family.

But it’s not just snow that can cause a stuck garage door; moisture problems can as well. If condensation accumulates on your garage door seal while the device is open, for example, and temperatures rapidly drop overnight, you can wake up to a frozen garage door and a call into work to explain the situation.

Finally, other mechanical problems can also cause wintertime garage door issues—though it can be said that this isn’t a true case of a frozen garage door, just one that needs maintenance. To learn more about winter maintenance, check out our garage door company blog “How to Prepare Your Garage Door for a Minnesotan Winter.”

How to Unfreeze a Garage Door

This is best left to a professional if you’re unsure what exactly caused your garage door to freeze! Never mess with a machine that you don’t fully understand the workings of. While we recommend contacting a garage door installation company for repair work that goes beyond the basics. To learn more about when to call a garage door repair pro, consult our blog “What to Do if you Can’t Open Your Garage Door.”

Luckily, though, quite a few cases of a stuck wintertime garage door can be fixed with simple maintenance tasks that you already know how to do.

Shovel, Shovel, Shovel!

If you walk outside to see a huge snowdrift piled up against your door, you know what to do! In this case, the problem is obvious and may not require more than a little elbow grease to solve. However, if the snow has been there a while, you may be dealing with significant ice buildup underneath it, which is another kettle of fish.

To prevent snow from hardening up and freezing, Door Power recommends a proactive shoveling approach. Don’t wait until things get deep and fluffy to begin your winter chores; all it takes is a smidgen of snow that freezes to make your life miserable. Whether you do the job manually or with the help of a machine, shovel with the storm to stay ahead of the danger.

Consider De-Icers

If you have some on-hand and your garage door really is frozen, you can sprinkle de-icers near the weatherstripping to safely dissolve the stuff without damaging your weatherstripping. Though you may be tempted in a fit of frustration to just pull the emergency cord on your garage door and open it manually in this case, such strain can rip the weatherstripping, as well as fail to fix the problem on its own.

If it’s too cold for de-icers, you can also try to carefully carve away the ice near the bottom of the seal with a snow shovel or similar tool. Just be careful not to nick the garage door itself!

Stay on Top of Maintenance to Prevent the Problem

Broken garage door tracks, snapped garage door cables—all sorts of things can mean that your garage door refuses to open, and these issues aren’t winter-season-exclusives. The best way to make sure your garage door keeps on trucking safely is always regular maintenance, as we touched on in our blog “Routine Garage Door Maintenance: 4 Things you Should Be Doing.” Door Power is happy to help with anything you may be unfamiliar with, and given that we often can offer same-day service, you can start learning now!

Door Power: Five-Star Garage Door Repair in a Jiffy

Feel out of your league fighting with a frozen garage door? Save yourself the stress and call the residential garage door installation pros at Door Power. Reach our Norwood office now at 952-467-3199.