The Home Organization and Garage Talk Blog

How Freezing Weather Affects Your Garage Door Opener

Posted by Mary Johnson on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:27 AM

Garage door problems are a bummer at any time of the year, but they’re even worse in the winter. When you wake up on a snowy morning and have to rush out to get the kids to school or make it to work on time, the last thing that you need is to have to stop and figure out why your garage door won’t open.

But the fact is, there are a few common reasons why you might have more problems with your garage door opener when the weather is freezing. Take a look at why this happens and what you can do about it. 

Condensation in the Battery Compartment

White house with tan trim and garage door.

If your garage door isn’t even trying to open when you push the button, it may be that the problem isn’t with the opener itself, but with the remote that controls the opener. If you leave your opener in the garage overnight, and if your garage is not insulated, condensation can build up inside the battery compartment of your remote, causing it not to work. Opening the compartment and wiping the battery contacts with a dry cloth should fix the problem.

You can prevent this problem easily enough by just bringing the remote inside with you instead of leaving it in your car. Or, if you’re looking into a garage door opener upgrade, you could choose one that can be controlled by an app on your smartphone, eliminating the need for a remote control. 

Condensation on Your Opener’s Security System.

Condensation inside of your garage can also be a problem if you have an opener that comes with a photo‑electric sensor. If the infrared sensor is obscured by condensation or frost, then the door won’t operate. You can look for the two glass boxes installed on either side of the garage door. Just wipe them down with a dry cloth, and you’ll be on your way. 

If this is a frequent problem that you’re tired of dealing with, you may want to consider insulating your garage so that the humidity levels will be lower and you won’t be dealing with as much condensation on the inside of your garage. If it’s affecting your garage door opener, it may be affecting other things inside of your garage as well.

Frozen Threshold

Man shoveling in front of a garage.

One more thing that might prevent your garage door from opening is when the threshold of the door is frozen shut. This can happen when it rains and then the temperature then drops below freezing. If you realize that your garage door is frozen shut, don’t try to use the garage door opener right away – you could damage the motor.

Instead, use a hammer and a piece of wood to on the bottom of the door from the inside. This will free the door from the ice so that you can use your garage door opener. Installing new weatherstripping to the bottom of your garage door and applying silicone lubricant to the door’s tracks, rollers, and hinges can help prevent your garage door from freezing shut as often during the winter. 

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Tags: garage