Winter Weather and Your Garage Door

garage door repair during winter

Garage door repair may be needed during any season, but winter presents the greatest hazards. Your garage door can get frozen to the floor or even water damage can occur; however, Aero Garage Door is here to help! Click here to learn about protecting your garage door during the winter weather.

Exposure to cold and ice is exacerbated by the door’s location and the fact garages are typically less insulated than most other areas of a home. Even a slight draft from the garage door itself, or a window left slightly open, can bring on conditions that lead to damage.

Weather Hazards and Garage Door Problems

Cold, snow, ice, and water are the main culprits. Water will freeze anywhere the temperature falls below 32°F. Even if the sun melts the snow during the day, it will likely refreeze at night when the temperatures plummet. Snow can wreak havoc on even a new garage door. Accumulation during snowfall can affect it, especially if the ground near the concrete floor is cold enough for moisture to freeze. However, blowing snow can drift up near a garage door as well.

The most common problems in the winter can leave your garage unusable, but can often be prevented:

Door Is Frozen to the Floor: Freezing temperatures and blowing snow can cause the door to freeze to the floor. You need to leave for work, and this couldn’t happen at a worse time. Accumulating snow can freeze, or melted snow refreezes into ice that sticks to the rubber edge of the door and the concrete floor. There are ways to resolve this, but forcing the panel open can burn out the motor or break the component connecting the motor to the door. Manually opening the garage door may cause serious damage or injury.

Garage repair will be needed if you’re not careful, but the following methods may save you from sudden expenses:

  • Clear the snow that is against the door.
  • Break up patches of ice along its length.
  • Pour very hot water to melt the ice; try to open the door before it refreezes.
  • Use a portable heater to melt ice from the inside of the garage.

A Spring Has Broken: Strain on the door and wear and tear in general can lead to spring breakage. The chill may leave the metal spring more fragile than it normally is. Safety cables can act as counterweights if a spring does break, so installing one may avoid danger. Regular maintenance can keep your springs in better shape or can find problems, so they can be replaced in advance of the winter season.

To check the springs, lift the door manually, let go, and see how it responds. Any downward movement means the springs are worn and you need garage door spring replacement, but the door will stay in position if they’re in good shape.

garage door spring repairThe Garage Door Opener Fails: In winter, cold temperatures can affect the consistency of lubricant. Moving parts require lubrication to run smoothly and reliably. If the lubricant thickens, it can not only make the opener stiff; it can register as an obstacle. The automatic stop/reverse function may activate, so the door may stop dead in its tracks, even though nothing is in the way.

Water Damage Has Occurred: In some cases, water can damage the door itself. Wooden garage doors, along with their frames, can swell if moisture has penetrated the material. Swelling can cause the door to get stuck, possibly in an open position where you don’t want it (creating a security risk for the entire home). The swelling may also occur between the door and frame, causing parts to rub together and increasing wear and tear—overhead garage door repair will then be needed sooner rather than later.

A garage leak can occur as ice melts, and it may result because of:

  • Cracks: Porous concrete is prone to developing holes. Where there’s water, there’s leakage, and if ice within expands, the holes get bigger. Even if you don’t see puddles in the garage, the wall and the door are still at risk. Moisture can damage the door structure or electrical components that control it or quickly create an environment for mold to grow. Therefore, any tiny holes or drafts found must be fixed right away.
  • Missing Roof Insulation: An insulated roof keeps heat inside. If there’s not enough or none at all, the heat from in your house and garage will rise through the ceiling and to the roof. Escaping thermal energy melts snow on top of the roof. Ice damming, or ice that previously melted and refroze before it could drain, can occur. The water will slowly work its way under the shingles, into the walls, and, ultimately, your garage.

Damaged Equipment: The damage need not directly involve the door for it to fail. Radio transmitters can succumb to the cold or humidity can leave condensation on battery contacts. The risk is especially high if the device is left inside the vehicle, and the garage isn’t insulated. Condensation can also affect infrared security components, including photoelectric sensors on the sides of the garage door. Frost may even form, preventing the system from working properly.


During the winter, there are many steps you can take to avoid garage door replacement. Your garage door is more likely to survive the season if you:

  • Remove snow and ice from around the door, preventing excessive accumulation and refreezing.
  • Apply table salt where the door contacts the driveway floor, reducing the freezing point of water.
  • Tread carefully when attempting to open a frozen door; if it won’t budge, try melting the ice or call a professional for help.

However, preventative measures done ahead of time can prepare your garage for the winter. If the garage is warm and well-insulated, there may be fewer problems even if there are prolonged cold spells. These strategies will protect not only your garage door, but your paint, equipment, and vehicle as well.

house and garage door covered with snowRegular Maintenance: An inspection should be completed before winter sets in. Check the garage door and all associated moving parts. Disconnect the door opener and check the function of mechanical parts on a regular basis, and continue basic maintenance tasks throughout the winter, including clearing away snow and ice. Cables, springs, pulleys, tracks, and sensors should be checked and repaired/replaced as needed. About once a year, consider hiring a garage door professional for a thorough inspection.

Replace Weather Stripping: The seal becomes less effective over time, as weather stripping tends to become brittle after a while. Small cracks can allow drafts of cold air inside. If you feel a chill when the garage door is closed, inspect the seal. Worn weather stripping can be removed with a putty knife or a pry bar and flat scraper; next, measure where the new sealant will go and apply the material, ensuring it’s aligned with the edge of the door.

Fix the Garage Door: You can insulate a garage door with a foam board, fiberglass, or reflective material. First, you’ll need to cut the insulating material to size, so it fits within the door panels, and secure it with adhesive. Garage door replacement is also an option. Newer, more modern units come with insulation options and are better equipped to tolerate the cold.

Add Wall Insulation: By insulating the walls, you keep the cold out from all sides, ensure heat doesn’t escape, and help keep outside conditions less ideal for ice damming.

Install a Heater: Put a heater in your garage in advance of extreme winter weather. If you install a gas unit, it will have to be connected to gas supply lines; plus, you’ll need an exhaust vent. Electric heaters are an option but can add to your electric bill. They’re more economical during a mild winter. However, mini-split heat pumps are more efficient and can even provide cooling during the summer.

Clear the Rain Gutters: Ice can block gutters and cause water to run off, or regular water runoff can expose doors to water and moisture. By clearing the gutters, you avoid exposure that can cause door material to swell or otherwise be damaged by liquid or frozen water.

Lubricate Parts: Apply the lubricant to the springs, rollers, hinges, and garage door tracks. It reduces friction between moving parts, reducing wear, and is also waterproof. Similar to salt, it can lower the freezing point of water, so it doesn’t freeze as easily.

Inspect the Springs: Check the garage door springs using the steps mentioned earlier. Do not wait until the spring season, as breakage can occur unexpectedly in the cold. The parts should be inspected periodically throughout the winter.

Contact Aero Garage Doors for Garage Door Repairs or Replacement

driveway and garage door covered in snowAero Garage Doors can help winterize your garage. For over 25 years, we have been providing maintenance services for all types of garage doors, spring repair, and new garage door openers to customers throughout Virginia and Maryland. For information on replacement doors, garage door replacement free estimates, and insights on the latest new models and options, send us a message online, chat with a specialist, or email us today at



Importance of Garage Door Maintenance

two new garage doors

Garage door maintenance is an important consideration for homeowners, for many reasons. A garage door is typically the largest moving object in a house. Like all moving parts, things wear out; garage door repair will be needed eventually. Maintenance helps spot any problems quickly, while a tuneup can provide adjustments, lubrication and tightening, not to mention avoid expensive repairs later.

In 2017, the average cost of a garage door replacement was $1,749; with a resale value of $1,345, you could, conceivably, recoup nearly 77% of the cost of the new product (for upscale projects, it can be as much as 85%).1

On the high end, a one-car door can cost as much as $4,500.2

The door will likely last longer if you maintain it. Over the long-term, the need for replacement can be reduced. That is unless you have an old, beaten unit that is unsightly and has no benefit in terms of sustaining your home’s resale value. Your best bet is to keep up with maintenance, whether on a schedule or by recognizing when you need it.

Signs You Need Garage Door Maintenance

You may be on your way to work, taking the kids to school, or going out to run errands. The door to your garage is probably the last thing on your mind. A sudden failure would cause you to be late to that meeting or appointment. Garage doors may be used several times a day; in fact, the average garage door is opened and closed 1,000 times per year. The door itself can weigh anywhere from 150 to 250 pounds.3

Safety is, therefore, an important concern, which will be explained later, but there are many opportunities to check for issues such as:

  • Noise: Scraping or grinding can mean a piece of hardware has come loose or debris is caught in the door tracks. Some creaking can be expected if the door is old, but worn openers, springs, and other parts can be the source of troublesome noise. Worn parts also reduce the stability and safety of the door.
  • Jerkiness/shuddering: An indication the tracks, hinges, and bolts need to be repaired or replaced. The door should move along its tracks smoothly; any shaking during opening or closing is a concern. Excess movement can put a strain on various parts, reducing their operating life and adding more costs to repairs.
  • Off tracks: Garage doors move along tracks on either side. Damage or excessive wear can cause it to come off the tracks, which can prevent movement or, sometimes, the unit can break free. That could cause property damage, injury, or worse.
  • Difficulty opening or closing: When in need of maintenance or garage door repair, Virginia residents may notice the door hesitates when opening or closing. It may take a couple of seconds from when you activate the opener for the door to respond. It may not open/close at all. Due to the potential for damage, contact a repair professional to inspect, diagnose, and fix the problem.
  • Worn parts: Inspect the system if there are any signs of trouble. Worn rollers may be cracked or chipped, but should be replaced promptly. Also address worn weather stripping, which could leave your door vulnerable to bad weather from below. A bent track warrants a tune-up, as do any broken parts, including door sections, cords, or wires. Springs undergo much strain every time the door opens/closes, so garage door spring replacement is something you will eventually need to consider.
  • The door has visible damage: Any damage should be repaired right away, but wood doors are especially vulnerable to cracks, holes, and rot. Peeling paint can accelerate wear. If not refinished and maintained, the door will continue to deteriorate, as UV rays penetrate the surface and moisture enters holes or cracks. Dents and dings should be fixed too, even to maintain your home’s curb appeal.
  • Sagging: A sagging wooden door is a sign of rot and deterioration. Even if the material is something other than wood, it should be professionally inspected. Sag is often evidence that the door hasn’t been properly maintained and should be replaced.
  • Higher energy bills: Older, less-efficient systems contribute to increased energy bills every month. If the utility company is charging you more, check how the door is working or have it inspected. Upgrading to a newer model can contribute to long-term savings.

car parking inside garageIf your garage door is old, consider inspecting it more often. The demand for maintenance on aging systems is typically higher. Also, periodically check for spring tension, worn/frayed cables, broken/dented hinges, or rollers that are noisy or not moving properly. Sometimes it just needs some lubrication, but always remember to check the system periodically in case more serious problems exist.

Importance of Garage Door Maintenance

Looking around and listening for unusual sounds have a purpose. Simple tasks such as tightening up hardware that can loosen due to movement and vibration do as well. From time to time, you may want to use a socket wrench to tighten up bolts and roller brackets or assess the balance of the door.

Lubricating parts takes only a few minutes. Also, inspect the high-tension cables for damage; just one broken strand can snap unexpectedly, possibly causing severe injury or worse. Check for debris on the tracks and test auto-reverse features by ensuring the door reverses direction if it contacts an object on the ground, demonstrating the most important aspect of garage door maintenance, which is safety.

In 1992, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission final rule established a requirement for the testing of automatic reversal systems, which went into effect on January 1, 1993. Between 1982 and that time, 54 children between 2 and 14 years old had been killed due to entrapment under doors, according to reports received by the Commission.4 The rule requires compliant products be certified and labeled.

Other important maintenance considerations include:

Function: Garage door replacement parts will ensure the system works as expected. One bad roller can slow down the door. Lubricant, powdered graphite or silicone spray can keep things moving smoothly and reduce wear. For the chain or screw, use a white lithium grease and, for overhead springs, a spray lubricant.

Also, check with the manufacturer or product manual for recommendations on maintenance and parts replacement. A garage door spring may last anywhere from five to 10 years, while rollers may not last more than four years.5 Actual times depend on the level of wear and frequency of use.

Cost: It can cost thousands of dollars to replace the entire system; an opener can cost several hundred. You could spend much less on annual inspections/tune-ups from a professional. On the other hand, neglecting maintenance may cost you not only for garage door repair in Fairfax, VA but for additional damage to your property, including the garage itself and your car. Fortunately, keeping up on maintenance can reduce your expenses in the long run and may also reduce heating and cooling costs for both the garage and the living space above it.

Safety: There’s more to the safety aspect than broken parts flying loose into cars or injuring people. A collapsed door can cause substantial property damage, but this is a possibility if you neglect maintenance for too long. Your garage door’s integrity also contributes to making your home burglar-proof. About 9% of burglars enter homes through the garage. That’s more than through basements, unlocked entrances, storage areas, or the second floor.6

remodeled garage doorsAesthetics: The garage door is a prominent feature on the front exterior of a home. If it is bent, chipped, or cracked, anyone passing by will see it. The fashion aspect of today’s doors is undeniable, whether you install a wood, vinyl, or aluminum one. It’s not only about energy efficiency, noise reduction, or weather-resistance.

Maintenance such as refinishing and painting can increase the curb appeal of your home. Another consideration is the type of home you have. If considering a new garage door, custom wood carriage house doors, or even steel types, will suit a Victorian or Colonial home. Details, right down to the decorative elements such as handles and hinges, add curb appeal. Other structures, like Craftsman or contemporary/modern homes, may incorporate glass into the doors, along with alternate materials and colors to stand out.

Garage Doors and Home Value

Garage door repair and installation can have a significant impact on home value. The door is one of the most noticeable aspects of the structure’s design and can take up to about a one-third of the front-facing exterior.7 Aside from recouping replacement costs, you can boost your home value by updating or completely replacing garage doors Gainesville homeowners depend on for reliability and safety. You could simply change the color or material, or add windows or decorative elements to boost curb appeal.

Proper maintenance contributes to a more secure home, where your property and belongings remain protected. However, curb appeal is most improved when the color scheme, panels, and windows complement one another and other design elements. The first step to attracting prospective buyers is to beautify the exterior since it’s what they see first and draws their interest.

Insulated garage doors also increase home value, as insulation saves on energy costs. This is especially so if the garage is heated and/or attached to the main structure. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is. Insulation can also protect cars, particularly in sub-zero temperature conditions that can make them hard to start. If your garage is not heated, insulate the floors above them to seal any potential air leakage sources and prevent car exhaust, solvents, and other contaminants from reaching the living space.

Updating your garage isn’t just about looks. Home value is also improved if you can maximize and better utilize storage/workspace, the garage is organized and is insulated, and the door is properly maintained and in good condition.

Seek Garage Door Repair and Replacement from a Pro

electric garage doorsAero Garage Doors has been serving homeowners for over 25 years. Numerous models of doors and garage door openers are available, and a team of experienced service technicians evaluates garage openings, parts, and function to recommend the best solutions and most modernized replacements.

From electric openers to remote control options, we support the most up-to-date improvements with leading-brand products. To maximize the convenience, function, and safety of your garage door and the value of your home, contact us online or email



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Spring Time Garage Door Maintainence

Spring Time Garage Door Maintainence

Take a few minutes to inspect and test your complete garage door system. Make monthly inspection and testing a part of your regular routine. Safety is everyone’s business. Make garage door and garage door opener safety automatic in your home. Consult owner’s manuals for additional recommended maintenance for your models of door and opener.
Garage Door Opener Tests: Reversal Test, Force Setting Test, Additional Safety Devices
Garage Door Visual Inspection: Springs, Rollers, Pulleys, Cables and Track Lubrication, Door Balance.

There are routine safety and maintenance steps that you should follow once a month. Review your owner’s manual for the door opener. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, look for the opener model number on the back of the power unit and request a manual from the manufacturer.
Garage Door Opener Reversal Test
Make sure your opener has a reversing feature. If a reversing feature is not present, it should be replaced. Garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993 are required by federAmarr.comal law to have advanced safety features which comply with the latest U.L. 325 standards. Contact your manufacturer or installer for additional information.
Test the reversing feature every month.
First, test the balance of the door (see “Testing and Maintaining The Garage Door”). If the door is properly balanced, then proceed.
With the door fully open, place a 1-1/2″ thick piece of wood (a 2″x 4″ laid flat) on the floor in the center of the door.
Push the transmitter or wall button to close the door. The door must reverse when it strikes the wood. (Note that the bottom part of “one piece doors” must be rigid so that the door will not close without reversing.)
If the door does not reverse, have it repaired or replaced. Have a qualified individual adjust, repair or replace the opener or door.
Garage Door Opener Force Setting Test
Test the force setting of your garage door opener by holding the bottom of the door as it closes. If the door does not reverse readily, the force may be excessive and need adjusting. See your owner’s manual for details on how to make the adjustment. Test the reversing feature after any adjustment.
Additional Safety Devices for Garage Door Openers
Many garage door openers can be equipped with additional safety devices. Consider adding a photo eye or edge sensor as an extra measure of safety to protect against entrapment. Keep in mind that adding more safety devices will not make an old opener meet the current U.L. standards.
Make sure the additional safety devices, such as photo eyes or edge sensors, are properly installed and adjusted (see owners’ manual).

Never remove, adjust or loosen the screws on the bottom brackets of the door. These brackets are connected to the spring by the lift cable and are under extreme tension.
Perform routine maintenance steps once a month. Review your owner’s manual for the garage door. If you don’t have a manual, look for the model number on the back of the door, or check the lock handle, hinges, or other hardware for the manufacturer’s name and request a manual from the manufacturer.
Visual Inspection
Look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys, and other door hardware for signs of wear. If you suspect problems, have a qualified person make repairs.
Lubrication: Regularly lubricate the moving parts of the door. However, do not lubricate plastic parts such as plastic rollers and plastic idler bearings. Consult the door owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.

WARNING – Springs are under high tension. Only qualified persons should adjust them.
Garage door springs, cables, brackets and other hardware attached to the springs, are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury. Only a qualified professional or a mechanically experienced person carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions should adjust them. The torsion springs (the springs above the door) should only be adjusted by a professional. Do not attempt to repair or adjust torsion springs yourself.
A restraining cable or other device should be installed on the extension spring (the spring along the side of the door) to help contain the spring if it breaks.
Door Balance
Periodically test the balance of your door. Start with the door closed. If you have a garage door opener, use the release mechanism so you can operate the door by hand when doing this test.
You should be able to lift the door smoothly and with little resistance. It should stay open around three to four feet above the floor. If it does not, it is out of adjustment. Have it adjusted by a qualified service person.

To learn more about garage door safety, visit the Door and Access System Manufacturers Association (DASMA) website. ~ article from Aero Garage Door Inc is an authorized dealer of Amarr products.

Automatic Garage Door Openers in Virginia

We service and install:

Amarr, Genie, Liftmaster, Cloplay LogosLiftMaster, Genie, Stanley, Overhead, Sears, Craftsman, Linear, Moor-o-matic, Chamberlain and Wayne Dalton automatic garage door openers.


Garage Door Replacement Springs

broken Spring

Broken Spring? Call now for a quote!

We Carry a full line of replacement springs and offer affordable solutions for all spring replacements and repairs. Our techs will make sure your door gets the right spring to balance your door properly! After your spring is repaired we will check all of the key operating components to make sure that your door is tuned up and operates safely!

  • 5 year warranty on all springs
  • 1 year warranty on labor

Amarr Garage Doors

Amarr garage doorsWe offer the complete line of high-quality Amarr residential for your home installation.

Amarr is one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of garage door access systems for residential homes and commercial applications. Since 1951, Amarr has been providing a wide selection of garage doors to meet the individual style and needs of consumers.

Built with unique SafeGuard pinch protection design, Amarr steel garage doors offer safety, durability, energy efficiency, low-maintenance, as well as design.