Free Your Garage Door With These Ice-Busting Methods

A garage door that's frozen shut due to ice buildup is a rather common wintertime sight. Most of the buildup occurs along the bottom of the door, effectively creating an icy seal that sometimes proves impossible for your garage door opener to dislodge. The following shows how you can free your garage door from winter's cold grasp.

Ice Scraper

Using an ice scraper isn't a glamorous way to free your ice-bound garage door, but it gets the job done. Ice scrapers can easily break up thin ice keeping your door firmly stuck to the concrete, but thicker sheets of ice can prove challenging to remove.

Start by scraping and chipping away along the bottom of the garage door at one corner and work your way towards the opposite corner. Avoid bringing the ice scraper in direct contact with the weatherstripping along the bottom of the door, as there's a big risk of tearing the rubber seal.

Heat Gun

A heat gun offers a faster and less-painstaking way of freeing your garage door. Heat guns are also quite powerful, so you'll want to keep it on the lowest possible setting. Use a slow, steady back-and-forth motion to keep the heat gun from lingering over a spot for too long. Keep the heat gun several inches away from the weatherstripping so it isn't melted by accident.

If you don't have heat gun on hand, you can always use a hair dryer as a substitute. However, you may need to run the hair dryer on its highest setting to get the same effect as a dedicated heat gun.

Space Heater

Compared to the other two methods, this one may seem a bit unorthodox and it's also the slowest method you can possibly use. However, it's the one to choose if you want to unthaw your garage door without risking any damage whatsoever.

Instead of directly heating the frozen areas and risk damaging the weatherstripping, the space heater method evenly heats the door itself. With this method, the surrounding ice melts more gradually, making it easier to open your garage door without any risk of the ice refreezing or the weatherstripping being damaged in the process.

All you need to do is position your space heater close enough to the garage door to warm it, but far enough that your weatherstripping isn't melted in the process. You'll need to keep a close eye on your space heater, mainly to keep melted water away from the unit. Contact a garage door service for more help.