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

Signs You Need To Invest In A New Garage Door

Signs You Need To Invest In A New Garage Door

When it comes to home improvement, most homeowners are looking for something they can fix easily, quickly, and that will add value to their home. What most of these homeowners don’t realize, is that investing in a new garage door meets all these criteria. Your garage door is one of the first things people see when they look at your home. It’s also the one thing allowing you in and out of your home each day and protecting your precious belongings. Unfortunately, most homeowners completely overlook their garage door. When they do finally pay attention, usually it’s because something catastrophic has happened. Don’t wait for catastrophe. Prevent it. Let’s explore the undeniable signs that you need a new garage door.


While your garage door isn’t going to open and close at the speed of light, it should move without hesitation and with some gumption. If your garage door isn’t moving like it used to, it’s time to consider investing in a new garage door opener. Has your garage door always been too slow or obnoxiously fast/aggressive? Call us today. An installation mishap is a likely culprit.


“Dad’s home!” I’m sure we have all been, or lived, in a home where a garage door opening could be heard, and sometimes even felt, from any room in the house. It becomes your home’s alert system for incoming parents, siblings, and children. That noise that you view as part of your home’s character may be potentially dangerous. Sudden sounds, such as grinding, crunching, grating, squeaking or banging, can be a warning sign that it’s time for a replacement.


First impressions are everything. It’s extremely important for homeowners to remember that styles change over time and curb appeal has the potential to add significant marketability to your home. New garage doors can make a big impact when it comes to how your home looks from the outside. Want to know what a new garage door would like on your garage? Use our DoorView app and see for yourself.


Most of us never think about the dangers of our garage door. They seem innocent and unassuming enough. What harm could possibly be done? Each year, over 30,000 people are injured in garage door related incidents. Nearly all these cases could have been prevented if necessary maintenance was conducted or they had invested in a new door. What Safety Issues Should I Be Aware Of? Broken Spring.  Powerful, essential, and extremely dangerous. Garage door springs are under an extreme amount of pressure and have the potential to cause life-threatening injury. If you suspect your garage door spring may be broken, contact a technician immediately. In some cases, an entire garage door replacement may be needed, as multiple factors may be the root cause of the breaking springs. Faulty Tracks. Faulty or outdated tracks are a common culprit to a wide variety of garage door safety issues. The issues eventually become unfixable and require complete replacement. Broken Panels. While one or two panels can easily be replaced, when multiple panels are compromised, it is time for a replacement. Ultimately, all these issues leave your loved ones and belongings vulnerable to intruders and severe weather. With safety as our number one concern, if you feel your garage door is no longer safe, contact us and we will find a necessary solution.

Water & Wind

While newer garage doors likely just require new weather stripping, water leakage and drafts, in older garage doors, are typically symptoms of structural issues. If water and wind are coming through the sides and underneath your garage door, you may need to consider a replacement.

High Electric Bills

Older models of garage doors use more power, so a replacement could save you money. Whatever the reason may be, if you detect any of these issues with your garage door, it is likely time to invest in a new garage door.

The Garage Door Questions We Are Asked The Most

Our Most Frequently Asked Garage Door Questions

When it comes to your garage door, there’s no such thing as a bad question. Often, the answers to these questions aren’t simple. It’s those who assume they know the answers who put themselves on the fast track to safety issues, potential damage, and value-diminishing curb appeal. Let’s shed light on our most frequently asked garage door questions and their respective answers.

Should I Have An Insulated or Non-Insulated Garage Door?

While insulated garage doors aren’t a necessity, they do have their major benefits – especially in our climate.
  • Saves energy
    • By moderating the temperature in the garage, you’re reducing the amount of energy required to heat the rest of your home.
  • More durable
    • Insulated garage doors are uniquely constructed to make them stronger than single layer garage doors.
  • Quieter
    • Insulation adds noise dampening
  • Better protects cars and belongings
    • Cars and belongings stored in a garage with an insulated door is less likely to be subjected to freezing conditions.
  • More convenient
    • Keeping your garage warmer makes it easier to conduct other activities in it.

Should We Replace With A Metal Garage Door or Wood Garage Door?

The battle of materials. For most homeowners, wood and steel garage doors the two most popular options, and there are pros and cons for each. Garage doors are an investment and you want to be sure you are happy with your choice for years to come.


  • Timeless aesthetic and focus on craftsmanship
  • In most cases, significantly increases marketability of a home
  • More energy-efficient
  • Resistant to dents
  • More expensive than steel
  • Requires maintenance and occasional repainting/restaining
  • Affected by the elements


  • More durable
  • Less expensive
  • Longer lasting
  • Can imitate the look of wood
  • Less maintenance
  • May dent
  • May rust
  • Less choices
  • Typically not as aesthetically pleasing
Curious to see what each type of door would look like on your home? Explore our DoorView app , which allows you to upload a picture of your garage and see what all our options would look like on your home.

How Long Should My Garage Door Last?

The typical lifespan of your garage door, uninfluenced by outside factors, is 30 years. However, your garage door is only one piece of an entire garage door system. Your garage door spring, one of the most important elements of your system, has a typical lifecycle of 10,000 cycles. To put this into a relevant perspective:
  • 2 daily cycles = 14 year lifespan
  • 4 daily cycles = 7 year lifespan
  • 6 daily cycles = 3.5 years
With this in mind, you can expect to replace your garage door spring, at least twice, before replacing the actual door itself. If not properly maintained, expect to replace it at least once more. Additionally, your garage door opener should last anywhere from 10 – 15 years. Failure to replace your opener when required could lead to issues down the road and dramatically shorten your garage doors lifespan.

Why is My Garage Door So Loud?

It can be extremely annoying and disruptive to have a garage door that bangs, squeaks, and shrieks. Moreover, these noises may be the sign of a serious issue. That noise that you view as part of your home’s character may be potentially dangerous. Let’s look at the most common reasons a garage door is noisy:
  1. Loose nuts and bolts
  2. Tracks are not properly aligned
  3. Lack of lubrication on moving parts
  4. Broken spring
  5. Worn out weather strip
  6. Dysfunctional garage door opener
Contact a technician to silence this noise.

Can I Make Repairs Myself?

While scheduled preventative maintenance is a DIY activity, necessary repairs should always be done by a specialist. Safety is our first priority at Overhead Door of Fargo. Most 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.

Can I Accessorize?

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. The most popular garage door accessories we see among our customers are:
  • OHD Anywhere App & Smart Wall Controller
    • 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)
  • Battery Backup
    • In the event that your home is victim to a power outage, a battery backup allows you to continue operating your garage door.
  • Conversion Kit
    • 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.

Why Your Garage Door Spring Breaks

Why Your Garage Door Spring Breaks

  As the heavy lifters of your garage door system, tension springs are powerful, essential, and dangerous. However, they are not invincible. Let’s explore why your garage door springs break, what indicators to look for, and what actions to take.  


Nothing lasts forever. Of all the reasons for a broken garage door spring, general wear and tear is the most common. Over time, the continual opening and closing weakens the springs, and eventually, this weakness reaches its breaking point. This breaking point not only renders your springs ineffective, it can also be extremely dangerous. Keep in mind, the average lifecycle of a garage door spring is 10,000 cycles. If taking into account average daily use (4 cycles), this equates to a 7 year lifecycle. After these 10,000 cycles, replacement is needed.

Rust & Cold Weather

Mother nature likes to win. As rust builds on your garage door springs, friction increases, material weakens, and breaks become inevitable. To add salt to the wound, cold weather does the same.

Improper Maintenance

Although wear and tear, rust, and weakening are inevitable, improper maintenance only snowballs these negative effects. And what is the typical reason for improper maintenance? Laziness. With some simple, bi-monthly maintenance, you can significantly increase the longevity of your springs and significantly decrease the chances of severe injury:
  • Lubricate springs with petroleum jelly (WD-40 is not a true lubricant)
  • Apply WD-40 to springs (rust prevention)
  • Check balance of garage door (improper balance can add unwanted tension on springs)
  • Manually open door halfway and let go
  • If door sags to one side, a realignment is needed

What To Look For

With the extreme danger surrounding garage door springs, It is crucial to make yourself aware of any issues and to have them repaired immediately. During your bi-monthly lubrication and balance checks, check for rust, cracks, and obvious breaks. On a daily basis, listen for squeaking and a loud thud when the garage door closes. For rust, cracks, breaks, and loud thuds, call a technician as soon as possible. For squeaking, apply lubrication. If door continues to squeak, it is time for a replacement.

Now that you know why your garage door springs break and the danger that comes with it, make sure to conduct continual maintenance and make sure to call us in the event of a break.

Why Your Garage Door Is Noisy & How To Silence It

Why Your Garage Door Is Noisy & How To Silence It

  “Dad’s home!” I’m sure we have all been, or lived, in a home where a garage door opening could be heard, and sometimes even felt, from any room in the house. It becomes your home’s alert system for incoming parents, siblings, and children.   However, if you are anything like us, it can be extremely annoying and disruptive to have a garage door that bangs, squeaks, and shrieks. Moreover, these noises may be the sign of a serious issue. That noise that you view as part of your home’s character may be potentially dangerous.   Let’s explore the most common causes of noisy garage doors and how to quiet them – all while preventing damage or injury.

Loose Nuts and Bolts

While loose nuts and bolts seems innocent, ignoring them can lead to future failures in your system. Luckily, the fix is easy, quick, and simple. Check all nuts and bolts throughout your garage door system, especially on door and tracks, and tighten any you deem loose. Tip – avoid overtightening.

Dry Moving Parts

It’s not news that garage doors are made up of many moving parts. And what do moving parts need? Lubricant.   When most people think of lubricant, they instantly think of WD-40. While WD-40 helps parts move more freely, it isn’t true lubricant. Get yourself some silicone spray or white lithium grease when lubricating your garage door parts.   Once you have your lubricant in hand, here’s what you need to do with it:  
  • Spray the top of the springs and let the lubricant run down to the base of the springs.
  • Spray the inside of each track and around the rollers.
  • Spray any metal chains.
  • Spray all panel hinges.
  Be liberal with the lubricant and make sure to apply every 6 months (or when you feel it needs it).

Worn Out Insulation Strip

While the primary issue of a worn out insulation strip is the free flow of cold air and water, a loud bang on the closing of your door is a close second.   Lucky for you, these insulation strips can easily be replaced yourself. Simply remove the worn out insulation, slide the new roll of rubber insulations through the tracks, and relish in the silence.   Tip: make sure to purchase a strip long enough to extend at least an inch off each side of the door. Insulation strips shrink over time.

Broken Spring

Not only is this one of the most common causes for a noisy garage door, it is also the most dangerous. If your garage door is hitting the ground harder than normal, and your insulation strip is in good condition, it is likely that your spring is broken or failing.   Whether this is your first time reading one of our blogs or not, we can’t stress enough how important it is to contact us immediately if dealing with a broken spring.

Garage Door Opener

Not as common as the others, but we see plenty of garage door openers causing raucous. If you determine that the noise is coming from your opener, contact a technician to come check it out. We will be able to determine whether or not the garage door opener is truly faulty, or if some other issue with your garage door is leading to an issue with the opener.  

Now that we have explored the causes of your garage door’s “character building” exercises, it’s time to silence them.


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.