Waking up to a stuck garage door on a winter morning can be EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING.
Though common on concrete floors, rubber linings on some openings can be just as bad at times especially if the garage isn’t insulated properly.
But, How Can You Keep a Garage Door from Sticking to A Concrete Floor?
Often, the door sticks as a result of the gluing effect of ice on the door-floor junction. Virtually anything capable of serving as a lubricant can be used to keep ice at bay although certain lubricants are better at the job. There are just so many routes you could take to keep the garage door functioning smoothly throughout the wintertime.
Let’s start with home remedies:
1. Home Remedies
You probably don’t need commercial chemicals and oils to keep your garage door working perfectly.
The solution may be on your kitchen counter or laundry room:
PAM Cooking Spray & Petroleum Jelly
While these two aren’t specifically engineered for this job, we’ll take advantage of their anti-freeze qualities.
- Start by cleaning the surface at the door-floor junction.
- Once the surface is clean and dry, add a thin coat of PAM cooking spray and petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on each surface (door and ground).
- You can accompany the two with light silicone granules.
The objective here is to establish a film of barriers between the concrete/rubber ground and the door.
You can be assured the door won’t stick on the ground next time it freezes.
What If The Door Got Stuck Before The Application?
- Head over to the emergency release cord inside the garage.
- Pull it to put the door in manual mode (meaning the door opener is no longer in control).
- Get a screwdriver and stick it in the bottom fixture on the corners of the door. This is to break the door loose from the ice.
- Don’t stick the screwdriver at the bottom of the door-ground junction, you could damage the door.
2. Silicone Based Lubricant & Warm Water
Most garages are equipped with a rubber lining at the door-ground junction.
If you force the door up while it’s frozen to the ground, the rubber may peel off and require costly repairs thereafter.
Fortunately, in less than 5 minutes, you can prevent this beforehand with a silicone-based lubricant, warm water, and 2 towels.
How To Go About It
- The door must be open before anything. Pour hot water on the floor at the junction.
- Use the first towel to wipe the debris off the surface.
- Use the same towel to wipe the base of the door if it’s rusty or dirty.
- Don’t use a shovel – it tends to damage the rubber lining and the concrete (you’ll be doing this quite frequently, probably every morning).
Some guides out there recommend salt as an accompaniment.
While salt is effective for preventing the formation of ice, it would be bad for the metallic parts of your door.
As you probably know already, salt speeds up rusting on metallic surfaces.
Once you’ve wiped the surfaces, use the second towel to dry them before applying a thin coat of your silicone-based lubricant.
Four Garage Door Proactive Measures
You can reduce the chances of this annoyance ever happening long before the winter sets in. Check out these tips:
1. Preventative Maintenance
When all is well with the lifting mechanism and the automatic opener, your garage door wouldn’t be too vulnerable to getting stuck.
That’s why you should inspect it regularly to ensure it’s in great working conditions.
Some of the preventive measures you should take are changing the backup batteries and testing the components.
Open your door both automatically and manually during these tests.
You may have noticed that virtually all the solutions we mentioned earlier come with lubricant properties.
Almost any type of lubricant can be used – albeit in combination with other substances – to keep this problem at bay.
Adding a fresh smear of lubrication in all the moving parts long before wintertime could help prevent the problem when the cold season arrives.
So get yourself a quality lubricant early enough and ensure the chain, tracks, and all moving parts are rolling smoothly.
3. Add A Unit Heater
The best thing about unit heaters is that they are small enough to fit even in a crowded garage.
Start by deciding between electric and gas options.
Gas powered unit heaters are low-cost but hard to work with because they must be serviced by a venting channel and constant supply of gas.
Electric options are easy to work with but costly to acquire and run.
Whichever heating option you choose, you will be guaranteed a warm garage with little or no ice accumulation on the door.
4. Insulation And Weather-stripping
These alone may not completely prevent the buildup of ice on the junction, so you might need to combine them with one of the above remedies.
Weather-stripping entails creating a seal between your garage door and the opening.
Insulation, on another hand, entails adding a poor conductor of heat at the door-ground junction and other parts where ice buildup could lead to a stuck door.
Four Garage Door Solutions TO NEVER Apply
Much as it may be a pain to unfreeze your garage door, never resort to these desperate measures:
1. Warm It With Your Car
Leaving your car running for some time to melt the ice may sound like a smart thing to do.
However, when cars are left to run for a long in closed spaces such as your garage, they release Carbon Monoxide – a poisonous gas – that may build up to dangerous levels.
2. Add Some Table Salt
We mentioned earlier and maybe we should repeat for emphasis reasons that salt speeds up rusting on metallic parts on your garage.
All edible salts are inappropriate for the task, including cattle salt.
3. Keep Forcing The Door Open With A Shovel
Don’t be too physical with it. This includes trying to clear the ice with screwdrivers and shovels.
If you keep forcing it open, any of these not-so-pretty things may happen on your garage door system:
- The automated opener may end up damaged and start to jam
- You will hurt the linings on the base of the door
- Body injury is likely
4. Heat Gun Method
Heat guns or hot air blowers are adored by DIYers and craftspeople for their ability to focus great heat on small areas to strip off even the most stubborn paints out there.
However, that’s not the only job these devices can do as they are renowned for removing ice just as easily.
This method isn’t a permanent solution.
Every time the door sticks, you’ll have to blow it hot to open.
To summarize everything, pretty every lubricant out there can help prevent ice buildup on the door-floor junction in your garage albeit in combination with other substances.
Salt is effective but may end up ruining the metallic parts of your garage with rust.