My Garage Door won’t Close when it’s Cold – What do I Do?

A garage door surrounded by falling snow and snow on the ground with the words "Cold Weather and Garage Doors"If you’re having trouble closing your garage door, it could be due to a multitude of issues. However, if the problem only occurs when it’s cold outside, then it’s most likely caused by issues with your safety sensors or your lubricant. When you’re having problems closing your garage door in the winter, here are the steps you can take to check for and fix the most common issues:

Cold Weather Garage Door Safety Sensor Issues

Cold weather can affect safety sensors in a number of ways. When there is an issue with your safety sensors, the opener will interpret this as an obstruction and refuse to close the door. If the issue is with the sensors, you’ll likely find that you can use the garage door remote or wall-mounted switch to open the door but not to close it. Sometimes, you can override this issue by holding down the switch until the door closes completely; if this works, it’s another sign that the problem is due to a garage door safety sensor issue.

Here are the most common cold weather safety sensor issues and how to fix them:

Condensation has Formed on the Sensors

The most common and easily fixable issue with garage door safety sensors in the winter is condensation. If you look at the sensors and find that they’re clouded up, you’ll know that condensation is the culprit. All you need to do is wipe off the sensors, and your garage door should close just fine.

Expansion/Contraction of the Metal has Misaligned the Sensors

Metal expands in hot weather and contracts in cold weather. As the metal in your garage door system expands and contracts, it may shift the safety sensors. If the sensors are misaligned, they won’t be able to tell whether or not there is an obstruction in their path.

To detect this issue, you can look to see if the sensors are pointed directly at each other. If they appear to be, but you want to double check, you can use your phone’s camera. While our eyes cannot detect the infrared light that garage door safety sensors emit, phone cameras can. Put your phone in front of the receiver and see if the beam from the emitter part of the sensor system is reaching it. If not, realign the emitter until the infrared beam reaches the receiver and your garage door should close properly.

The Sensor Light has Dimmed

Your phone can also be used to detect if the infrared beam has dimmed. If your phone picks up little-to-no light from the emitter, it may be time to replace the LED in the emitter or simply replace the emitter altogether.

Try Resetting the Sensors

For intermittent issues with the sensors, you may just want to do a hard reset of the system. To do so, unplug your garage door opener and then plug it back in. It will cause the safety sensors to reset and may fix the problem.

Frozen Garage Door Lubricant

Sometimes, the lubricant that is used on garage doors is not suited for cold weather. The lubricant can also simply get old over time. In either case, you should try replacing the lubricant. Garage door lube or silicone-based spray lubricant are both good options that will work during both hot and cold seasons.

If you’ve tried the above steps and you’re still experiencing issues with your garage door, contact Action Garage Door. Their experts will determine the cause of your garage door problems and get them fixed for you.