Ever had to deal with a garage door that was frozen shut? It’s more common than you think, especially here in Salt Lake City where temperatures regularly hit the 20s and below at night during the winter. When rainwater trickles into your garage and settles around your garage door seal as temperatures drop, it can cause your garage door to become frozen in place. So rather than having to deal with a frozen garage door when you’re trying to get on your way to work in the morning, here are some preventative measures you can take to keep your garage door functioning properly all winter.

Clear any snow and ice.

Of course, one first step you’ll want to take is to ensure that the areas surrounding your garage door remain clear of snow and ice. Be sure to check every morning, as snow and ice can easily accumulate around your garage door overnight.

Lubricate the garage door seal.

Many have found success with applying a lubricant like WD-40 or silicone oil along the bottom weather seal of the garage door. To do this, you’ll want to first ensure that you clean the weather seal of any dirt and grime with a damp (but not wet) washcloth and some soap. The seal should be dry to the touch when you’re finished. Then, once it’s clean, apply a light coat of the lubricant. It’s also a good idea to spray your door’s tracks, rollers, and hinges with lubricant while you’re at it. Repeat as necessary to keep your garage door ice-free.

Try table salt.

Some, alternatively, recommend sprinkling a substantial amount of sea salt along the garage floor where the weather seal meets the concrete, as salt makes it harder for water to freeze. Keep in mind, however, that does does have the potential to cause corrosive damage to concrete. This is why most will recommend table salt (sodium chloride)—it is known to cause the least amount of corrosive damage.

Warm your car up outside.

It isn’t a good idea to warm your car up inside the garage anyhow, as you’re inviting toxic concentrations of carbon monoxide into your garage when you do this (even when your garage door is open). But in addition, did you know that warming up your car inside your garage could cause ice to melt and eventually accumulate at the bottom of your garage door? Pull your garage into your driveway and warm it up there if you’re going to warm it up before your morning commute.

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