Frozen Garage Door? How To Deal With (And Prevent) a Winter Nightmare!

How to Fix a Frozen Garage Door

Imagine, you’re heading out on a cold morning, bundled up and ready to go, but when you try to leave, you realize that your garage door is frozen shut! Or, perhaps, you arrive home after a long day of work, ready to just get inside, but when you try to open your garage door, it doesn’t move….doesn’t even pretend to move. If you have found yourself in this position (now or in the past) this is the resource for you!

Studies show that your garage door is the primary point of entry to most homes or businesses, so you need it to be functional, year round, without worrying whether it will freeze shut every time the temperature drops below freezing.

So let’s talk about what to do to open your frozen garage door, and how to prevent it in the future!

Steps to Take to Fix a Frozen Garage Door

If you’ve tried to open your garage door, but its being as stubborn as your teenager, don’t try to push the automatic opener again. By doing this you risk damaging the garage door system itself, creating both a dangerous situation (and a more expensive one!).

The first thing you SHOULD do if it’s cold and your garage door is refusing to open, is check to verify that your garage door is frozen to the ground. You don’t want to go through all of the steps of unsticking a garage door, that isn’t stuck to begin with. Look for a buildup of ice under and around the weather seal (that’s the seal around your garage door that helps to insulate the garage from the elements). If you see ice built up around the weather seal, then you should proceed with the following suggestions: 

  1. Try to chip away or remove the ice: Go to your car and grab an ice scraper, moving to the outside of your garage, chip away at the ice, being careful to avoid hitting or damaging the weatherstripping along the bottom. Remove as much ice as you can and then sweep it away from the door.
  2. Work to loosen the door from the frozen seal: With the excess ice removed, you will want to try to lift the door manually (do not force open the door, if it does not move easily, grab your ice scraper again and get to chippin’).
  3. Apply heat to the frozen area: You can either set a hair blow dryer, or a heat gun to a low temperature and remove any remaining ice buildup that you were not able to reach with the chipper. If you have a heater in your garage, point it toward the door, keeping the heat at a low temperature. Continue to remove any ice chips with the scraper that you encounter throughout this process.

When completing these steps, you will want to avoid using too much force. Disengage your automatic opener and try to lift the door manually. This will avoid putting strain on your garage door opener system. You can also consider using hot wwater to help melt the ice, but keep in mind that if temperatures are extremely low, and you use a lot of water, you could be creating more problems for yourself in the future so be mindful.

If you have ice melt or rock salt, you could throw it down for a solution that will take longer but won’t involve as much effort on your part but once the ice melts, you will want to sweep away the salt to avoid corroding the material at the bottom of your garage door.

If you find yourself in the opposite situation (your garage door wont close because of frozen parts or pieces) you will want to run your vision along each of the moving parts of the garage door, looking for areas that may have frozen. Once you find the area that is frozen, following the above suggestions (we find that using a hair dryer or heat gun is the most effective for garage door systems that are frozen open).

Not feeling confident on the process or just not wanting to mess with the garage door in such cold temperatures, give G Brothers Garage Doors a call at 720.421.6489 and we will take care of everything for you!


Taking some simply, preventative steps can help save you a lot of time and headache next time your find yourself in freezing conditions. If you know that cold weather and freezing conditions are on the way, take some steps to help maintain your garage’s functionality, especially when your find that this is happening to you frequently:


Whether you just chipped your way to garage door freedom, or your checking your garage door before cold weather, you will want to clear away any ice, snow or water from the ground below your garage door. The sooner that you can catch these concerns, the easier it can be to maintain your garage door. If your garage door operates as usual, try to keep it open as you scrape, sweep or shovel the ice or snow away to avoid the risk of packing any of these elements deeper under your garage door, increasing the likelihood of a frozen garage door.

If the temperature hasn’t yet dropped, but you find that your garage floor is wet, oepn the door and allow the floor to dry. Use hand towls or mops to remove any residual water from the ground. 

Clearing ice and snow away also involves keeping your driveway clear. Your vehicle or anyone walking into your garage can track in snow so monitor this as well. Disregarding the snow tracked into your garage by yourself, or your vehicle, is only asking for problems when the temperatures drop.


Preventative garage door maintenance is critical to maintaining the garage door (as well as your garage door opener). While you should be doing this throughout the year, it is absolutely critical to do it in the winter. This maintenance helps prevent your garage door from freezing to the floor, saving you from the chilly experience of chipping, sweeping, and melting your way out.

  • Lubricate the seal at the bottom of the door.
  • Lubricate other components, like rollers, springs and hinges.
  • Look for moisture buildup.
  • Check for damaged or worn down components or hardware.

If you notice a problem, or see something questionable, contact G Brothers Garage Doors for repairs or maintenance assistance. A garage door opener is a delicate system with parts under great tension and stress. Trying to maintain these yourself can result in injury. Unless you are skilled in garage door repair and maintenance, we strongly encourage you to give G Brothers Garage Doors a ring.


Opening and closing your garage door occassionally, can help prevent it from having the opportunity to freeze. As the garage door moves, thin layers of ice that had developed, can more easily break away. This can make it easier to break away later, avoiding a large buildup of ice that is harder for your garage door to penetrate.

If you’re able to open your garage door manually, then opening and closing your garage door is the best medicine to avoid a frozen garage door. If you don’t want to risk damaging the garage door opener system by automatically opening it when the garage door is stuck, then with your garage door in the closed position, pull the release cord in your garage door (this disengages the garage door opener and allows the door to move freely) and manually move the door open and closed. When done, pull the cord toward the door to reengage the garage door opener.


Throw salt down where the garage door touches the ground to prevent ice from forming in the first place. A light sprinkling of sand or rock salt is sufficient so do not spread too much. As mentioned before, too much salt can impact the weather stripping at the bottom of your garage door and potentially corrode the material.

Once the weather warms up, be sure to sweep away remaining salt or sand and clean the components at the bottom edge of the garage door. This helps to avoid causing damage while trying to prevent your garage door from freezing to the ground.


A garage heater can keep your garage at a comfortable temperature, making conditions more suitable year-round. A heated garage can also prevent your garage door from freezing as the floor is warmer and prevents ice buildup in the first place. ,


Running your car in a closed garage is dangerous because it releases carbon monoxide. Even with the door open to let the hazardous gas out, your car can melt ice and snow on the garage floor, creating puddles of water under the door. Unless your garage is heated, those puddles will refreeze once you leave and shut the door.


If your garage door sticks in cold weather, seek help from the experts G Brothers Garage Doors. We’ve been proudly offering our services to the Colorado area for decades. Those years of experience and our expert team of trained technicians give you the best residential and commercial garage door services in the state. Whether your garage door gets stuck in winter or you need services other times of year, call on us to help.

Contact us today to schedule garage door services, whether you need replacements, repairs or help with a frozen garage door.

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