Fargo-Moorhead Winter Survival: Fixing Common Winter-Related Garage Door Issues

Fargo-Moorhead Winter Survival: Fixing Common Winter-Related Garage Door Issues

“Cold out there, eh?!”. For the next 6 months, 90% of Midwestern small-talk will revolve around the weather. It’s also during this period that cuss words reach their yearly high within our humble communities. Ear muffs won’t function solely as barriers to the cold.

This genetically-programmed small talk is enough to drive anyone insane.

Other insanity-inducing products of winter are garage door issues. Winterizing is a key part of any home’s annual maintenance, but if your garage door is overlooked, the results can be inconvenient and even dangerous. As temperatures plummet during the winter months, without proper garage door maintenance, you or your family could be stuck in your garage, or even worse — stuck outside.

Let’s explore the fixing common winter-related garage door issues.

Garage Door Opener

If your garage door is not working properly, and you have an automatic garage door opener, cold temperatures may be guilty of causing garage door opener issues.

To self-diagnose, simply attempt to opener your garage door manually. If it opens fine, it is likely a garage door opener issue. Check the batteries for your opener’s remote, reconnect the opener, and try again. If the door still doesn’t work, call one of our technicians, as they can further diagnose issues related to your opener and power supply.

Garage Door Spring

If your garage door won’t open manually, or it feels like it weighs a ton, you may have a broken garage door spring. This happens more often in the winter/colder months because spring wire weakens in colder temperatures and, therefore, become more brittle.

Another sign of brittle spring wire is a popping noise when opening or closing your garage door. This popping noise is often the sound of your spring breaking. If your spring is broken, you may be able to see the long coil above your garage door split into two pieces.

As mentioned in many of our other articles, garage door springs are usually rated for 10,000 cycles, with each cycle being an open and close of the door. If you have lived in your home for 7 years or longer, use your garage door daily, and have never replaced your springs, we recommend having them replaced.

If you suspect your spring is broken, call us right away. This repair must be handled by a professional, as attempting to repair this on your own could result in serious injury.

Frozen Garage Door

If your garage door is stuck and you see ice or snow around the bottom of the door, your door could be frozen to the concrete. This happens when your bottom weatherseal sits in water or wet snow that eventually freezes.

To prevent this from ever happening, check out our 5 Ways To Prevent A Frozen Garage Door blog.

To fix a frozen garage door, use warm water to melt the ice and/or chip it away. Once you have freed your garage door, clean and dry the area to prevent the door from refreezing.

With a frozen garage door, it is equally important to know what NOT to do.

Do not try to force your door open. This is an easy way to rip your weatherseal, which will allow water, snow, and cold air into your garage. At that point you’ve simply traded one garage door problem for another more permanent one.

Do not use salt-based ice melt on your door, especially if it is a metal door. Salt is corrosive. Because many homeowners use ice melt during the winter months, if it gets on your door be sure to clean the door as soon as you can. Waxing your door can be a great way to prevent ice melt from sticking to your door.

Lack Of Lubrication

If your door opens, but doesn’t roll smoothly or gets stuck at a certain spot in the track, it is likely a lubrication issue. With moving parts, proper lubrication is essential to proper function. As the temperature drops, lubricant can harden and become less fluid, causing issues when you try to open or close your door.

Applying a grease solvent to the moving parts of your door can remove any hardened lubricant. After this, clean and apply a silicone-based lubricant to the metal parts of your door.

Do not use WD-40 on your garage door. WD-40 is not a true lubricant and can actually cause more problems for your door. Also, do not lubricate your nylon garage door rollers, which are typically black or white.

If you have any further questions on how to fix common Winter-Related Garage Door Issues

Do I Need An Insulated Garage Door?

Why Do I Need To Prepare My Garage Door For Winter?

With Fargo comes extreme weather. And with extreme weather comes a battle with energy efficiency and comfort. Discovering the proper insulation for your home can make a world of difference in both the degree of comfort and the amount of money you fork out each month on energy.

However, for many homeowners, they fail to give an ounce of thought to how much their garage door factors into this battle. With that in mind, let’s explore the answers to a question all homeowners need to start asking themselves: do I need an insulated garage door?


Most energy saving tips focus on the inside of the home: insulation, windows, and HVAC. And because garages aren’t considered living space, the construction standards are different. As a result, more gaps and air leakage is allowed.

And insulated garage door help dramatically in regulating the temperature exchange between your garage and the extreme temperatures lurking outside. While you are likely thinking about how this affects your energy bill and temperature regulation during the winter months, insulation isn’t temperature biased.

An insulated garage door works its magic during all seasons and temperatures. It’s talent resides in simply regulating the current and desired temperature of your home.


As we mentioned above, Winter isn’t the only season that provides undesirable weather conditions. The extreme heat emitted during a scorching summer day has the ability to quickly crank up the temperatures inside your home. Whether you want to remain cozy and toasty or fresh and cool, the right garage doors can help maintain the temperature you desire.

Weather Stripping

A worn, dry, and faulty weather seal is one of the quickest ways to present yourself with a drafty, snow-filled garage.

Check to see if your weather seal needs to be replaced. If it is old, tattered, and/or falling off, it is time to replace. If not, we recommend adding silicon oil along the strip. Silicon oil will keep the weather strip from freezing and sticking. Additionally, add this oil to the tracks, hinges, and rollers. Tip: Don’t use WD-40. WD-40 is not a true lubricant.


In addition to added comfort and better energy efficiency, insulated garage doors are more durable than their uninsulated brothers and sisters.

Why? Firstly, today’s insulated garage doors are designed with steel or aluminum frames. These frames are filled with solid-core insulation, which is then sandwiched between single, or dual, steel panels. This style of construction creates a lightweight, energy efficient door that’s less likely to dent than older, uninsulated doors.

By contrast, older garage doors tend to be designed with thin steel sheets wrapped over the panel frames. With no insulation, these panels are far more susceptible to dents, breakage, and scratches.

Additionally, cold weather has the ability to warp metal components, and heat can drastically stress vinyl and acrylic door panels. These extreme temperatures can also affect negatively effect lubrication, springs, and the drive mechanism of your garage door. That being said, uninsulated garage doors significantly lower the lifespan of your garage door


I’m sure we have all experienced the ‘garage door heard around the world’. While noise reduction isn’t the most important factor in choosing your garage door, an insulated garage door tends to be much quieter than an uninsulated garage door.

When it comes to a noisy garage door, more common factors, such as broken springs, lack of lubrication, crooked components, and worn weather stripping, are the first culprits to look for, lightweight, uninsulated doors tend to make more noise than heavier, insulted doors.

Types of Insulation Available


  • Provides the best thermal resistance per inch of thickness, twice that of polystyrene
  • In addition, because it adheres to the walls of the door, it adds strength and sturdiness to its structure. Based on bending resistance tests, it is two times better than polystyrene.
  • As a reference, polyurethane is the insulation injected into house entry doors.


  • In a 3 layer type door, the insulation is slipped between the two steel walls of sandwich-type doors.
  • In a 2 layer type door, the insulation is placed on the interior side of the door.
  • As a reference, polystyrene is used to make disposable coffee cups and protective packaging material.

If you have any questions regarding the energy efficiency of your current garage door and/or are asking yourself, ‘do I need an insulated garage door?

Why Do I Need To Prepare My Garage Door For Winter?

Why Do I Need To Prepare My Garage Door For Winter?

Here we go again. As winter approaches and temperatures continue to drop, keeping your home, its inhabitants, and its belongings warm becomes a central thought in your everyday life.

With your garage door as your home’s largest moving part and one of the cold air’s primary routes into your home, preparing your garage door for winter is an essential fall project for homeowners.

Not only does proper fall maintenance prepare your garage door for the large toll it takes during the winter months, but it also ensures your home and belongings stay warm and your energy bills stay low.

Let’s take a look at what goes into preparing your garage door for winter.

Eyes & Ears

First things first, simply look and listen for any glaring issues with your door. Any breaks, misalignments, unsavory noises, etc. will only worsen throughout the winter months, so make sure to not view these as trivial issues.

Like we’ve stated in many of our blogs, it is crucial to make sure any issues with your spring are taken care of by one of our technicians. While a broken spring is extremely dangerous now, winter will heighten this danger. Moreover, dealing with a broken garage door in the cold winter months is the last thing you want to deal with.

Keep It Tight

Whether you observed any issues in your ‘eyes and ears’ walkthrough or not, grab that wrench and tighten all bolts throughout your garage door system.

Your garage door lives under increased duress during the winter months, so making sure everything is tight and solid is just one factor ensuring it enters the winter fully prepared.

Weather Stripping

A worn, dry, and faulty weather seal is one of the quickest ways to present yourself with a drafty, snow-filled garage.

Check to see if your weather seal needs to be replaced. If it is old, tattered, and/or falling off, it is time to replace. If not, we recommend adding silicon oil along the strip. Silicon oil will keep the weather strip from freezing and sticking. Additionally, add this oil to the tracks, hinges, and rollers. Tip: Don’t use WD-40. WD-40 is not a true lubricant.

Check Batteries

Batteries are not big fans of cold weather. Have your batteries, in both opener and remote opener, checked to make sure they have their full power. If the batteries are weak or dying, you should have them replaced in order to prevent breakdowns.


Our winters are host to extremely dry air. Keeping your garage door parts lubricated will add seamless operation to your system and prevent excess frictional wear-and-tear. As mentioned above, use a silicone lubricant, to coat all of the moving parts, including the overhead springs.


While this extends beyond simple maintenance, an insulated garage door is something all homeowners should give consideration to. As insulation technology continues to improve, the cost of these doors continue to become increasingly affordable and increasingly efficient. An insulated garage door keeps energy bills low and makes it easier to keep your garage a work/living space during the winter months.

Winter Tips

  • Sprinkle a substantial amount of table salt along the garage floor where the weather seal meets the concrete. Table salt not only significantly lowers the freezing temperature of water, it is also far less corrosive than other forms of salt.
  • Heat your car up outside. The heat generated by your warming car is likely to melt the ice and snow present in your garage door tracks and where the garage door meets concrete. After leaving your home, this ice refreezes and leaves you with a frozen door.

If you feel your garage door requires attention and care beyond the DIY realm, schedule an inspection and maintenance job today.

Your Must-Have Garage Door Accessories

While your garage door itself serves as a barrier between the inside of your home and the unpredictable nature of the outside environment, it’s the garage door accessories that really shine when it comes to protecting you and your family from unforeseen events.

At Overhead Garage, safety is our first priority. If we aren’t protecting you and our technicians from harm and inconvenience, we aren’t serving you properly. In order to make on our promise, let’s explore some must-have garage door accessories.

OHD Anywhere App and Smart Wall Controller

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​With the OHD Anywhere™ App and Smart Wall Controller, you are given the ability to control, and monitor, your garage door from anywhere. Available for all iPhone and Android users, this anywhere app allows you to:
  • Monitor the current position of your door
  • Instantly know whether or not someone is operating your garage door
  • Operate your door from anywhere
  • Access the history of your garage door use (including dates and times)
With this amount of information, you can rest easy and enjoy peace-of-mind.

Where do we really see this app shine? For those with children, knowing whether or not your child made it home safely, from school or a friends house, is extremely important – especially in the dead of winter. We have countless OHD customers who now make their children enter the home through the garage. With the Anywhere App, they know if and when their child made it home safely.

Battery Backup

Whether due to severe weather or a random fluke event, a power outage means a paralyzed garage door.

Yes, if you have access to your garage, you have the option to pull the emergency release cord, manually lift the door, and reconnect the release mechanism. However, this can become qutie the task, and we often hear of customers failing to properly reconnect the mechanism. If not properly reconnected, anyone is able to open your door manually.

Do yourself a favor and have a backup battery installed. In the event that your home is victim to a power outage, a battery backup allows you to continue operating your garage door. Easy to install and designed to be unobstructive (charged and powered via a connector cable running between the opener and unit), a backup battery is a no brainer. Installation is easy enough for you to do yourself, but if you have any questions or need any assistance, feel free to give us a call.

Conversion Kit

Just as credit card skimmers steal credit card information, code-grabbers have the ability to steal your garage code. As these thieves get smarter, code grabbing becomes easier. With a conversion kit, your garage door opener features a CodeDodger security system. This system continually roles your code among billions of combinations, making it impossible to grab your code.

Located near a military base? Conversion kits also serve to alleviate frequency issues near these Land Mobile Radio communication systems.

Safe-T Beams

Protect yourself, your children, and your belongings from the potentially destructive force of your garage door.

With our self-diagnostic Safe-T Beams, your garage not only reverses in the event that your sensors detect a obstruction, but they also possess the ability to:
  • Alert you of improper installation or malfunctions
  • Send you a self-diagnostic code – each code represents a unique problem and solution
  • Adjust sensitivity
  • Automatically reverse door if any component malfunctions
These safety beams have the potential to prevent severe bodily harm and high repair costs.

Stay safe and enjoy peace-of-mind by fitting your garage with these must-have safety accessories.

5 Most Common Garage Door Issues

Although used by most homeowners on a daily basis, garage doors often become an afterthought. It’s not until something breaks that attention is finally paid. However, we understand that even with proper and continual maintenance, issues do arise.

In order to avoid inconvenience, frustration, and potential harm, we are here to shed light on the 5 most common door issues and necessary solutions.

Garage Door Doesn’t Always Open

No, your garage door isn’t trying to be funny by playing tricks on you. And yes, it’s very unlikely that your garage door has any major issue.

For a garage door that sometimes chooses to let you out, and other times chooses to be lazy, there is a common culprit we encounter most often – dying battery.

Whether in your remote, external opener, or actual opener itself, a dying battery can lead to an undependable garage door.


Replace your batteries. We suggest starting with your remote. This is the cheapest and easiest of the replacements, as well as the most likely culprit. If your remote wasn’t the issue, move to external opener, then actual opener.

If you have any questions or need a technician to come out and help with battery replacement, make sure to give us a call.

Off The Tracks

Whether the tracks have fallen out of alignment, brackets at the end of the track are coming loose, or the brackets’ bolts are coming loose, a garage door coming off the tracks has the potential to be very dangerous. It also has the potential to lead to unwanted and unnecessary damage.


  1. If your garage door has fallen out of its tracks and won’t move, call us immediately. Attempting to do resolve this situation on your own could lead to injury and additional damage.
  2. If the garage door still moves but you detect misalignment in the tracks, you have a few options:
    • If you are DIYer, slightly loosen the bolts securing the misaligned track(s) to the frame. Use a rubber mallet to bump tracks back into alignment. Secure bolts.
    • If you feel any doubt or confusion, call a technician.

Loud Thud During Opening and/or Closing

Depending on the type of garage door you have, you either have a torsion spring system or extension spring system. These springs operate under a great deal of stress and can be extremely dangerous.

Additionally your garage door is likely fitted with lifting cables. A loud thud is commonly caused by a broken spring(s) and/or broken lifting cable(s).


Call a technician immediately. Garage door springs are not to be taken lightly, and have the potential to cause severe injury to you and those in close proximity.

Door Opens Perfectly But Won’t Close

In 1993, a law was passed that required all garage doors to possess a photoelectric backup system (those two things you have to step over when closing the door and stepping out). These sensors transmit an invisible beam, between each other, that detects anything its path when the garage door is closing.

Over time, these sensors get become misaligned and/or dirty. In either case, your garage door won’t shut.


Realign the sensors and give them a thorough cleaning. If your garage door still doesn’t close, contact us.

Safety Reversal System Isn’t Working Properly

Similar to the photoelectric backup systems, mandatory safety reversal systems cause garage doors to automatically reverse when coming into contact with an object or obstruction. The failure of these systems leave people, and belonging, vulnerable to the force of a closed garage door. .


More of a preventive measure than solution, it is important to do a monthly check on your safety reversal system. Simply place a piece of wood where your garage door meets the ground and close your door. If your garage door contacts the piece of wood and retracts, your sensor is working properly. If not, call a technician immediately.

Safety is our first priority at Overhead Door of Fargo. These common garage door issues have the potential to cause bodily harm and extensive damage to your garage door system. If you have any questions regarding these issues, or require a repair, call us today.