Garage Doors in the Winter: How to Prevent Damage From Ice, Freezing Rain and Snow

18 December 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Winter in the Northern half of the U.S. can be particularly brutal, like the Great Blizzard of 1978. Not only do houses and businesses take a beating, but also garages. Extreme winter weather can cause some severe damages to your garage door. Here is how you can prevent those damages so that you will not need to repair the door anytime soon.

What Ice Does and How to Prevent It

The rubber gaskets along the bottoms of most garage doors seal out water and insects while providing a halfway decent barrier against mice and rodents. When ice forms along the gasket, it freezes it to the cement floor of your garage. Then, when you attempt to force the garage open without checking the bottom for ice, it rips the gasket apart, removing its ability to do the job it was intended to do. While you can go without the rubber gasket on the bottom of the garage door, you run the risk of flooding your garage every time you get heavy rains. Termites and other pests will also have a clear path into your garage where they can take up residence and cause more headaches.

To prevent this type of garage door damage, sprinkle salt along the total length of the cement underneath the area where the gasket connects to the cement floor. A thick layer of salt helps keep the ice from forming. It also prevents the gasket from becoming shredded bits of rubber.

What Freezing Rain Does and How to Prevent It

Freezing rain slides in between the garage door panels. It freezes solid and disallows the door's panels to move freely. With a thick enough layer of freezing rain and ice between the cracks and over the tops of the panels, you really have to strain to pull the door up, even with the help of a garage door opener. This could be enough to cause dents in the door or pop the door off its tracks when you finally get the door to go up. Before you hit the button on the door opener, or before you try to open the door with force, bang along the garage door's seams to break up the ice (or at least loosen some of it). Now the door should move freely and the effects of the freezing rain will not damage it.

What Snow Does and How to Prevent It

As mountains of snow pile up during a winter storm, the garage door is blocked. The irony here is, your snowblower may be just behind the door and it can clear away the mountain of snow in minutes. Your garage door cannot be accessed or lifted in this case, and the weight of the snow could dent it, even if you could reach the handle. The best prevention here is to go out and clear the snow away every few hours, if you can, or hire a snow shoveling service to keep the garage door free and clear.

If you have any other questions about preventive measures for garage doors, consider looking into the websites of local specialists, such as, to learn more.