Extreme Weather and Conditioned Garage Spaces
A heated or air-conditioned garage is perfect for keeping your car at a comfortable temperature inside, no matter what kind of weather is waiting for you outside. Imagine a blustery winter day when the outside air temperature has dropped to 20 degrees. Inside your heated garage, however, it’s a comfortable 65 degrees. So how does your wood garage door withstand a 45-degree difference between the outdoor surface and the indoor surface? Not well. It is literally expanding on the inside and contracting on the outside which can cause bowing.
Several months later, the exact opposite occurs as high heat outside battles with cooler temperatures inside, and your garage door will bow the other way. This constant pressure on your door may lead to warping, splintering, or cracking.
If you have a heated or cooled garage space, you should explore alternative garage door materials, beyond wood, that deliver the classic look of a custom carriage garage door without the bowing issues brought on by extreme temperature differences on the door’s surfaces.
Vinyl and faux wood composite garage door materials offer the best and most consistent alternatives. Because they are manufactured with a rigid steel insulated base frame, their insulation value is higher than wood doors. The steel frame alleviates the risk of bowing or warping, making these alternatives the best solution for conditioned garage spaces.
In addition to the ways that high and low temperatures can affect a conditioned garage space, there are other garage door issues you should be on the lookout for during extreme summer and winter weather.
How Hot Weather Affects Your Garage
Hot weather heats everything up even if your garage doors don’t get direct sun.
Intense sunlight can cause havoc on your garage door sensors. The sun’s glare can trick your sensors into believing that something is blocking your garage door so they will reverse action when you attempt to close the door. You may need to “shade” your sensors to prevent inference from the sun.
Take hot weather and add in humid conditions, and your wooden doors will absorb excess moisture which can lead to accelerated deterioration of the wood, so applying a protective top coat is essential to summer care.
- Painted Doors: Apply a coat of Turtle Wax to provide a protective coating and a sheen to your door.
- Stained or Faux Stained Doors: Reapply at least one coat of a clear, marine-grade polyurethane finish (like Helmsman Spar) every two years.
How Cold Weather Affects Your Garage
- Be aware of any water or melting snow that pools near your garage door. As the water freezes, it can cause your door to freeze shut. Remove snow or pooling water from around the front of your garage door before it freezes.
- During prolonged wet weather, wooden garage doors, door frames, and jambs can absorb moisture and cause swelling which can affect garage door operation.
- Low temperatures can cause the lubricants in the garage door tracks to become thick and viscous, which can affect the opening and closing of your door. Make sure you are using an all-weather lubricant when doing maintenance on your garage door track.
- Cold temperatures can cause the springs in your garage door to become brittle, which will affect the motion of your door opening or closing. Additionally, under the weight of your door, a brittle spring will experience excessive pressure and can break or snap more easily. Contact a local garage door dealer for proper lubrication of your springs.