Utah weather can be quite bipolar. All in one day you can be laying out to catch a few sunny rays in the morning, and scrape ice and snow off your car by that night. Understanding how the Utah weather affects your garage door will give you the information you need to fix problems as the arise — without the unnecessary headache.
Garage Will Not Shut
At the bottom of your garage, you probably have two little sensors, sometimes referred to as photo eyes or safety sensors. If your garage starts to shut normally, but before it touches the ground, opens back up, you probably have a sensor problem. The first thing to do is check for obstructions, such as a bike, debris, shovels, etc. If there is nothing there, check for misalignment. One sensor may have gotten bumped, causing the infrared light to no longer create a path. Sunshine can confuse your garage sensors, making it think that something is in it’s path. If this is the case, you will have to block the rays of the sun with something (such as polarized lenses or a toilet paper roll) without blocking the sensor itself.
Broken springs are the most common garage door problem. The weight of your garage door slowly wears out your springs, and after about 10,000 cycles (a cycle being each time you open and then close the garage door), they stop working the way they should. Harsh winters also take a toll on garage springs, causing them to wear out much quicker. This is a repair that you should not attempt to do yourself.
An unresponsive garage can be caused by a number of reasons. Make sure that the batteries on your remote or opener are new, and replace them if necessary. If you live with roommates, maybe someone programmed a remote and reset the transmitter in the process. If neither of these solutions work, make sure that the garage door is not locked. If none of these solutions work, it may be the springs.
Dried Out Lubricant
The intense summers here in Salt Lake can cause your garage lubricant to dry out. If this happens, your garage may make loud screeching noises during operation. Make sure that you have high-temperature lithium grease and keep your door well lubricated. Just be careful not to over-lubricate it, as it can cause your garage door to slip off its track.
While you may not think debris like sticks and leaves would be problematic for your garage, they can be quite a nuisance. If leaves blow in front of your sensors, they could block the infrared light, stopping your garage door from closing. If debris get caught in your garage door track, it can cause your door to move unevenly or shimmy on one side. Make sure that your tracks are clear and that debris do not cover the sensors.
Garage Shuts Too Quickly
Sometimes your garage door will shut too quickly, dangerously slamming to the ground. Most often, you are experiencing broken cables or loose springs. The fluctuating fall temperatures cause the breakdown, or they can just wear down over time. This is another repair that you should not attempt to do on your own, instead, call a garage door repairman as soon as possible.
Winter chills can cause your garage’s weather stripping to freeze right to the ground. This normally happens if your weather stripping is worn or dirty, or from the accumulated snow and ice along your garage. Don’t force your garage door open, as it can ruin the motor or your weather stripping. Instead, remove the snow and ice blocking your door and use a heater or hot water to melt the ice.
Because Utah weather fluctuates so often, your high-temperature lithium grease may harden and thicken in the cold, and not work as well as it would other months of the year. Some people try to use too much grease to compensate for the thickening grease, but this is actually worse. Remove any old, hardened grease with a solvent and use silicone-based oil in the cold winter months.