Avoiding Garage Door Problems During Winter

By Lyle Weischwill | Dec. 22, 2023 4:24 am PST

Image of how to avoid garage door problems during winter.

Revised December 22, 2023.

Winter poses some unique problems for garage doors and openers. From frozen door panels to warped tracks, cold weather can usher in a host of issues. Of course, the best way to combat winter garage door problems is by having your garage door and opener professionally tuned up and maintained yearly.

Garage Door Maintenance

Like other pieces of complex machinery such as your home appliances, your garage door needs yearly maintenance to ensure it continues to operate as it should. Your garage door and its opener are comprised of over 300 moving parts that need to work in synchronization to raise and lower the door properly and safely. With a tune up from Sears Home Services, our garage door specialist will inspect your garage door mechanisms to ensure that everything is working as it should. That way, you’ll be more likely to avoid a garage door emergency during the winter or when you least expect it.

Our Sears Home Services garage door tune up and maintenance includes:

  • 20-point safety check. Our technician will carefully examine your garage door panels, springs, sensors, safety release, hardware, tracks, and more. Due to the intricacy of garage door systems, it’s best to have a garage door service professional adjust, repair, or service door and opener equipment.
  • Diagnostic inspection. The garage door expert carefully examines the door sections, track, counterbalance system, hinges, rollers, and weather seals.
  • Check door travel. The technician examines and adjusts garage door travel and safety settings where needed.
  • Examine door balance. The expert checks garage door balance and rebalances the door if necessary.
  • Inspects fasteners. The technician will check and tighten all screws, bolts and other fasteners on the garage door and opener.
  • Check and maintain the opener. The service provider will lubricate the garage door opener chain and sprocket. The tech will also check the safety sensors to make sure electronic eyes are aligned and working properly. Finally, the expert will test the downforce setting and adjust if necessary.

If the technician finds problems in your garage door or opener that need repair, you’ll receive an estimate for the parts and labor to complete the repair. Repair parts and labor aren’t included in the service charge for the garage door tune up and maintenance.

Shielding Garage Door Opener Sensors

In the winter, rays of sunlight reflecting off snow and ice can trick the garage door opener sensors into thinking there’s something in the door’s path, preventing the door from closing. Installing sun shields around the safety sensors is an inexpensive solution.

Figuring out how the sun shield folds around a garage door opener safety sensor can be somewhat tricky, so we made this video to show you how to install them.

Installing safety sensor sun shields can help prevent you from having to climb out of your vehicle and manually close the garage door during the cold winter.

If you need to have a Sears Home Services Garage Door Expert install the sensor shields for you, schedule garage door opener service and we’ll send a technician to your home right away.

Avoiding Radio Frequency Interference

Our technicians get more service calls for RF (radio frequency) interference on garage door openers than any other season. As noted above, the last thing that you want to do in winter is get out of your car and manually shut the garage door.

Radio interference from devices such as photoelectric sensors for security lights or electronic game consoles can prevent a garage door opener from responding to the signal from the remote control. The problem is often intermittent. To test, trigger the remote while standing close to the motor unit–if the door opens consistently from that close distance, interference is likely the problem. To solve the problem, identify the source of the radio interference and either move it or turn it off.

Sometimes, you’ll need to install an antenna extension kit on your garage door opener to overcome RF noise in your neighborhood. This kit contains an antenna, coaxial cable, adapter and an antenna bracket. Installing this antenna outside of the garage door opener motor unit will help your remote controls overcome RF interference.

If you need to have a service technician install the external antenna or help you resolve an issue with RF interference on your garage door opener, schedule service and we’ll send a Sears Home Services Technician to your home to fix the problem.

Image of smart garage door opener on Sears.com

Upgrading to a Smart Garage Door Opener

You can check the status of your garage door remotely when you have a smart garage door opener. You won’t have to wonder whether you left the door open. Instead of driving back to check, you can check the door and shut it remotely using your smart phone if you left it open.

Using your smart phone to open and close the garage door can also help you overcome problems with remote control RF interference. The smart phone communicates with the Wi-Fi in your home to open and close the door instead of using radio waves.

Upgrade to a smart garage door opener to take advantage of these problem-solving features.

Battery Back-Up

If your existing garage door opener doesn’t have a battery back-up, getting a smart garage door opener with a battery back-up will help you overcome even more potential problems during winter. Although power outages can happen any time, electric lines are more prone to failure during winter. A garage door opener with a battery back-up will work even when the power goes out in your home.

When you have a smart garage door opener with battery back-up, you’ll have practically all of the bases covered when it comes to potential problems during the winter.

We’re here to help you manage your home smarter and easier. Relax and enjoy your home all winter long by following these and other home management tips from Sears Home Services.

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