Prepare Your Garage Door for a Midwest Winter | BlackHawk Garage Door

How to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter in the Midwest

How to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter in the Midwest

As the winter season approaches, you might be getting ready to prep your home for the cold. One thing you need on your to-do list is winterizing your garage door. It could be costly if you overlook this task or put it off until it’s too late. 

Your garage door is exposed to rain, sleet, snow and other adverse weather. Without the proper winter garage door maintenance, cold temperatures can cause your door to wear out faster and not operate as it should. 

How Can Cold Weather Affect Your Garage Door? 

During the winter in Wisconsin and Minnesota, temperatures can drop well below zero. These extreme temperatures can cause the door’s metal parts — especially screws, tracks and springs — to contract. This can make it difficult to open and close your garage door when you need to and make these metal parts more susceptible to warping and breaking. 

Without a winterized garage door, you might not be able to close or open it during a snowstorm or deep freeze. If you can’t close your garage door properly, the cold can seep into your home’s living area. Additionally, you may not be able to open your door when you need to leave your home. 

How to Winterize Your Garage Door

There are plenty of proactive steps you can take now that will help prevent garage door damage that can occur in cold temperatures. Some of these steps can be done year-round, but they are most effective if you complete them just before winter arrives. It is much easier to take these actions now than it is to get your garage door fixed in the middle of a snowstorm. 

Here are seven ways to winterize your garage door and help protect it from sustaining damage this winter. 

1. Check the Door and Tracks

Stand outside and watch your door open and close a few times, listening closely to how it sounds and moves. If you hear the door catch or if it doesn’t move smoothly, it can be an indication that something is not working correctly. 

Checking the tracks and the door is something you can do on your own, but you can also ask a professional to inspect your door. Then, if there’s an issue, they can repair it right away.

2. Lubricate the Moving Parts of the Door

This is another step that you can easily do on your own. Lubricate any of the moving parts, like bearings, hinges and springs.

Spray lubricant is a convenient option, but if you don’t have access to any, a few drops of standard engine oil is a good substitute. This will help your door open and close smoothly. Be sure to avoid using grease, though. It can make the tracks sticky and more prone to collecting dust and other debris. 

3. Ensure the Weather Stripping Creates a Proper Seal

If you stand in front of your closed garage door and see light coming through the weather stripping, that means your weather stripping doesn’t have a proper seal. It won’t be able to keep the cold air from entering your home — or keep the warm air from escaping to the outside. To ensure maximum comfort during the winter, you might consider replacing your weather stripping. 

Use a standard household all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the weather stripping.

Even if the weather stripping seems to be in good shape, you still might want to give it a thorough cleaning. Dirt and grime can build up throughout the year and create a poor seal as well. Use a standard household all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the weather stripping. 

4. Organize Your Garage

After the warmer weather, your winter items are probably buried and not easily accessible. Ensure items like snow shovels and snow blowers are shifted to the front of the garage so that you can easily access them when the snow sets in. You won’t want to get everything out of the back of your garage when you already have to dig your car and driveway out of the snow.

5. Test the Door’s Balance

If the garage door isn’t balanced, it can make your garage door opener work harder. When this happens, your door may not function correctly or last as long as it normally would — and the effects of being unbalanced can be exacerbated by colder temperatures.

To see if your door is balanced, disconnect it from the opener and manually move it up and down two or three times to ensure nothing is obstructing the track. Then, push the door halfway up. If it stays put with only slight back and forth movement, then it’s most likely balanced. However, if it rolls up or falls down quickly, then it’s not balanced.

You’ll want to get this fixed since unbalanced doors often have a loss of tension in the springs. If the springs break entirely, they can cause even more damage, both to your garage door and potentially even to items you have in your garage.

The best option is to let a professional repair your door since working with torsion springs can be dangerous if you don’t know how to do it correctly. An unbalanced door can also be a sign of an underlying problem that a skilled technician would be able to identify.

6. Inspect and Clean the Surface of the Door 

Dirt build-up can damage the surface of your garage door, leading to problems with it opening and closing properly. It can also decrease the lifespan of your door. 

Use a brush and soap to scrub the door’s surface. If you see chips or cracks, consider giving it a coat of stain or paint. Fresh stain or paint is also more effective in protecting the door against winter weather.

7. Ensure the Photo Eye Sensors Are Clean and Free of Debris

The photo eye sensors on your garage door are designed to keep the door from closing with something underneath, like a person or a car. If you don’t maintain the sensors, though, they won’t operate effectively. Even dust can keep them from working right. 

Keep the senors clean and items away from them so that they can work as best as they can. If you have an older garage door that doesn’t have photo eye sensors, consider upgrading to a new garage door that does. This added safety feature could protect you and your loved ones from potentially being injured or experiencing property damage should your garage door malfunction.

Contact the Professionals at BlackHawk Garage Door

With these tips, you can check certain functions of your garage door to see if they’re working as they should be — but there’s only so much you can do on your own.

BlackHawk Garage Door is a locally owned company providing efficient services and high-quality products. We serve over counties in western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities. 

Contact us today, and schedule the service you need to get your garage door ready for this upcoming winter season.

Contact the Professionals at BlackHawk Garage Door


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Jarrod Beach
Jarrod Beach
23:15 16 Aug 22
You will love your concrete coatings from Blackhawk. They install fantastic floors.
Michael Simkins
Michael Simkins
21:38 22 Jul 22
We had polyurea floor coating installed in a portion of our basement and also in our garage. The end result is amazing! We could not be any happier. The team of Davis, Colten, Kevin and Kip were prompt, courteous, treated our home with respect and... did a great job. We love the product so much we're considering applying it to our concrete patio. I would certainly recommend Blackhawk Garage Door. Thank you!read more
gdshack25
gdshack25
21:01 28 Jun 22
Blackhawk Garage Door transformed my garage floor. Davis and Kevin did a great job. They were on time, professional and gave instructions after they were finished. I will tell all my friends who need a new garage floor. Thank you and God bless... you.read more
Wade Labecki
Wade Labecki
00:12 08 Jun 22
I am extremely happy with the manner that my garage door needs were met. From the very beginning with ordering the door through the installing. Awesome job. I highly recommend Blackhawk Garage Door.
Loren Zillmann
Loren Zillmann
09:44 05 Jun 22
We had Blackhawk replace our garage door and resurrect our 40 year old cracked concrete floor with the Polyurea Floor Coating. 4 words to describe the experience. Excellent workers, excellent products. Thanks.
Emily Lindus
Emily Lindus
19:29 25 May 22
Just had Blackhawk Garage Door install a new opener with the app for my phone to open and close remotely! If I am in Zimbabwe, I can open my door in Luck for the Schwans delivery:) John was awesome, patient, fixed a loose wire that was causing us... trouble, programed the opener, programed my vehicle. All with a smile!read more
Dorothy Marty
Dorothy Marty
15:11 08 Mar 22
Bryton Gunderson and his co-worker replace both garage doors. Showed up on time and finished in the time they said they would. Did a great job at installing and clean up was good. Highly recommend them!!
Deborah Lind
Deborah Lind
01:03 12 Feb 22
Jeremy was sent out to fix my garage door after the wheel came off the runner. and made it impossible to close. He assessed the situation and saw more issues causing problems. He was quick, knowledgeable, efficient, and polite. In this winter... weather, it was essential get this garage door fixed quickly and Blackhawk Garage Door sent a repairman as fast as they could. Thank you, Deborah Lind .read more
Ben Graf
Ben Graf
17:47 24 Jan 22
We hired BlackHawk to replace both of our garage doors. Anticipated start date for install was spot on and install went very smooth. Also had them install jackscrew openers a few months later and they installed them less than a week from my... initial phone call. Would highly recommend.read more
Craig Zuelke
Craig Zuelke
21:41 14 Jan 22
Jeremy arrived on-time even though the weather made driving difficult. He did a great job installing the new springs and keypad and explaining the functioning of the door. He was also very helpful in going over preventive maintenance and repair of... the weather seals. Excellent job!read more
john quest
john quest
05:09 02 Dec 21
Great installer. Ask for Bryton Gunderson to do your work He does great work.
Lois Peper
Lois Peper
20:14 20 Oct 21
Our new garage floor is beautiful, the installers, Davis Marshall and Kevin Graham were very meticulous, professional and friendly individuals. The area was thoroughly cleaned up afterwards and the job was completed exactly as predicted. We are... very impressed!read more
Julie Noyes
Julie Noyes
19:53 03 Sep 21
Jeremy was on time and really helpful with a solution for achieving a tight fit on my uneven garage floor. He got in touch with another installer close by and was able to get the parts he needed. He was patient and informative with all my... questions. Thank you!! The doors look great.read more
Rey of Sunshine Rey
Rey of Sunshine Rey
18:43 12 Feb 21
I started having issues with my old garage door openers a few years ago, each winter their performance got worse and worse, until finally one just died. I called several companies to get a quote over the phone. Blackhawk came in less than any... other companies I spoke with by over $100. Tom was a blast to converse with, asking detailed questions regarding the garage door openers I had at the time. Nate called me to schedule an install in a timely manner and when Tom stated her would. A pleasure to speak with and set up an appointment. I was expecting to wait a week at least. When he booked a tentative appointment for 2 days later ......I was elated. It was the coldest week so far this winter and I was so sick of parking outside in the subzero weather! Kyle and Colten showed up on time and both had smiles on their faces and were here and gone within 3 hours. Understand, they had to replace springs and had to install overhead rails etc as the previous opener was a wall mount type opener. They completely cleaned up their mess, briefly went over programming the new openers and were on their way. Thanks guys! You all rock!!!read more
Brent Haglund
Brent Haglund
20:54 05 Feb 21
Great company and great experience. Our garage door spring broke and within hours after talking with Nate their crew had the springs fixed, adjusted and door works perfectly. Thanks Blackhawk Garage Door and Nate!
Laura McNiff
Laura McNiff
20:19 02 Feb 21
The staff and crew at Blackhawk Garage Door were awesome. I have had them out twice in the past two weeks fixing broken springs and helping me to fix my door opener. They were very professional, timely, and most of all honest and trust worthy,... fixing a problem while giving honest answers. I would recommend them full heartedly. Thanks so much, Manny Krugread more
Sam Webber
Sam Webber
22:48 07 Jan 21
Had these guys fix a broken spring on one door and install an opener on another. Very knowledgeable and efficient techs. I will definitely be using them in the future and will recommend to friends. Big thanks to Nate, John, Colten, and Jordan!
David Feyereisen
David Feyereisen
11:51 03 Jan 21
John and Kyle put my garage doors in and did a FANTASTIC job. Great workmanship and great customer service. I highly recommend these guys. Thanks!!!!
Randy Prescott
Randy Prescott
15:58 29 Dec 20
Truely Excellent Service! I called on Monday evening about a broken garage door spring and they had a tech out to fix it up Tuesday morning. John, the tech they sent out was quiet, curtious and fast. He had the job done in about 30 minutes, Awesome!
Robert Schmitz
Robert Schmitz
22:16 17 Dec 20
Great service! The cable broke on my garage door at work...called mid morning and it was fixed before noon. Very efficient in their work and very professional. The customer service person that I talked to was very helpful and the technicians did a... great job. Would highly recommend them!read more
Scott Lee
Scott Lee
16:17 28 Aug 20
Blackhawk Garage Door was fantastic to work with when my garage door spring broke. When I called, Nate answered. He took care to understand my problem, he gave a clear estimate of the investment involved, and promptly scheduled a time for their... service crew to come and fix my issue. The 2-man crew came at their scheduled time, and replaced, and upgraded my spring setup in a quick and professional manner. They were in and out within about 45 minutes!! I would definitely do business again with Blackhawk Garage Door, and would refer them to my friends and family. 5-Star Rating, for sure.read more
Jim Sommerville
Jim Sommerville
23:54 09 Jun 20
AAA Blackhawk Garage door has been great to work with every step of the way. We knew we wanted the look of a wood garage door without the maintenance of real wood, and they had exactly what we were looking for and at a lower price than anywhere... else. Ordering was simple, the installation went smoothly, and the customer service has been awesome! Fair and honest company. Our new garage door totally changed the look of our house...we receive many compliments. Highly recommend!read more
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