What Should I Do If I Have a Frozen Garage Door?

As winter starts up in full force again, homeowners across the country—in the cold regions, at least—gear up for another cold season. Salt ready for the driveway, emergency blankets in the car, and boxes of winter gear by the door. Another common wintertime problem is freezing garage doors. If you are facing this problem, don’t worry. Here are some of the easiest solutions to a frozen garage door.

Make sure that before you start any of these, you check to make sure your garage door is not locked. Please exercise caution when working with hot materials.

Force

One of your first techniques to free your door involve force. You can use an ice scraper to try to clear the ice like you would on a car. This is most successful if there is only a thin layer of ice holding your garage door down. This may take longer than the other methods, and you may need to chip at the ice from both the inside and the outside of the garage door.

An important thing to remember when opening your frozen garage door is to not try to manually open it. While this may seem like the simplest fix, you can wear out the door with excessive pulling, and the ice on the ground can make it too slippery to be a safe place to plant your feet while pulling. Plus, garage doors are heavy, and you could injure yourself in the process.

Heat

If the ice is too thick to be chipped away at or is taking too long, you can try to melt it. The quickest way to do this is pouring hot water directly on the ice. While this is fast, it can be dangerous, so you need to be cautious. You’re working with boiling or near boiling water, which is a risk, and if it is too cold out the water may freeze on the ground, leaving you with more ice than you started with.

Another heating option to free your frozen garage door is using a heat gun. This is slower work than using hot water, but since it doesn’t add more liquid it is safer. It is also useful to have a dry towel on hand when using this method, as the towel absorbs the melted ice and stops it from refreezing.

Both of these methods are easiest to accomplish when you have another person to help you. They can wait for things to be melted just enough and open the garage door when its ready while you work on melting the ice. Once the door is open, you should scrape and shovel away all of the rest of the snow and ice, so your door doesn’t freeze shut again when you close it. When you’re facing a frozen garage door, you don’t need to panic—there are a few easy ways to solve it. After your door has thawed, if you notice it’s making loud noises or moving slowly, call for a free inspection and estimate on any needed repairs. We look forward to hearing from you.