Can Garage Doors Freeze?

Garage doors, or more specifically some of their moving parts, can freeze, especially in chilly Utah winters.


Fortunately, it’s rare for a garage door to suddenly freeze. You’ll get warning signs, like doors that open increasingly more slowly. If your area has been hit by an icy cold December, it might be those plunging temperatures that are to blame for your slow doors and not a sluggish battery, track off course or dying remote.

Metal parts of garage doors, including the motor, are especially vulnerable to cold weather. The colder it is, the harder your garage door motor has to work.

Any time your garage door won’t open when you push a button, stop trying. You risk damaging the motor or door. Next, ensure the door isn’t locked by checking the lock button on your wall control and the interior slide lock. Before assuming frozen temps are the culprit, look for any clear blockages or broken components.

Garage Door Fixes

Depending on the severity of the freeze, as well as how long it’s been since you’ve opened the door, you may be able to unstick garage doors yourself. Try unplugging the operating system from the door via the manual release cord. It might help free up a frozen weather seal — a common trouble spot.

If that doesn’t work, look for any obvious frozen areas, and try thawing them a blow dryer or heat gun on a low setting for a fast fix.

In extreme cases, you or a professional may need to chip ice off garage door seals, but be careful. It’s easy to tear the seal. Pouring boiling water where the door meets the floor can also work, but you have to open and close the doors quickly, before this water freezes.

Subzero temperatures may call for rock salt, but this is another risky move, as it can corrode the seal.

A Better Approach and Prevention

Some homeowners swear by space heaters, although freeing your frozen door this way takes a while. Instead, call your local, professional garage door installation company. They have the skills and tools to thaw your doors and help teach you preventive measures, starting with clearing the garage doors daily of snow and ice before it can build up.

A silicone spray on the seal is also a great preventive action, and cooking spray can work, too. When weather is cold, regularly open and close the garage door. Home automation makes this much easier, as you can remotely open and close garage doors.

Proper lubrication in the winter is a must, and some homeowners swear that using cat litter (or a similar product) along the seal in the winter stops it from freezing.

If your garage doors are frozen, or if you’re worried about the impending winter, call the Garage Door Man for a maintenance check and tips.