Should You De-Ice Your Garage Door? FAQs About This Wintertime Issue

Snow Covered House — Northfield, IL — Raynor Door Company

Is your garage door stuck to the floor? As the temperature drops and the fall rains turn into winter snow, sleet, and ice, the frozen door risk increases. If you suspect an icing issue behind your door’s mysterious inability to open, take a look at what you need to know about this common wintertime problem.

Why Do Garage Doors Freeze to the Ground?

The obvious answer to this question is that ice forms under the door. However, it doesn’t always take a major icing event or a substantial snowfall to cause problems. Moisture trapped under the door can freeze when the temperature suddenly falls. This means melting snow, damp pavement, or snow that melts off your car and travels towards the door can result in this cold weather issue.

How Do You Know If a Frozen Door Is the Problem?

You press the opener or a button on your garage’s remote—and nothing happens. The door is stuck and you’re not sure why. While a frozen door is a common problem, it isn’t the only potential issue. It’s also possible that there is an electrical malfunction in the opener, you accidentally locked the garage opener, the power is out (if you have an automatic opener), or the door has a mechanical failure.

If you can see ice at the bottom of the door, it’s more likely that this is the culprit. However, if you’re not sure, contact a professional. A garage contractor can inspect the area and help you to understand why your door is stuck in place.

Should You Chip Away the Ice?

There’s a visible layer of ice connecting the bottom of the door with the floor. Your first instinct is to chip away the ice until the door is free. While in theory this may work, it can also cause more problems for your garage.

Whether you hack the ice with an ice scraper, a shovel, or anything else, it’s likely you’ll damage the weatherstripping or bottom panel of your door. You may also accidentally scratch the paint or the garage door itself. In other words, no — you shouldn’t chip away the ice.

Should You Try To Open the Door?

If you can’t chip away the ice, what should you do? Should you press the automatic opener button repeatedly or try to manually raise the door?

While pressing the opener button may seem like a good idea at the time, this method can burn out the appliance’s motor or strip the gears. Likewise, attempting to force the door open manually can also cause problems. This could damage the bottom of the door as it tears away from the ice or it could cause excess wear on the springs or other parts of the door’s opening mechanism.

How Can You Unstick a Frozen Garage Door?

The safest way to resolve this issue is to call a professional. Again, the garage door contractor can inspect the door and make sure ice is the actual problem. If something else is at fault, the technician can diagnose the issue and repair or replace the faulty part.

If ice is the real culprit, the tech can safely and effectively remedy the situation and make sure your door works correctly.

What Happens If You Tried a DIY Method—And It Failed?

You wanted to open the door as quickly as possible. Instead of waiting for the contractor, you took to the ice jam with a chisel and a hammer and persistently tried the automatic opener. Now your door has scratches, dents, or other damage and the opener won’t work. These issues require professional attention. The contractor may have the ability to repair the door or may recommend a replacement.

Do you need a repair service for your garage door? Contact Raynor Door Company for more information.

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