Garage doors get frozen all the time. If you live in an area that gets freezing temperatures you can expect to have a frozen unit at some point. Occasionally it may be due to a malfunctioning opener or due to the weather, but the fact remains that it is a hassle when it does happen. Rain and wind can freeze your door and it can be the worst thing that can happen because it will cause it to malfunction. You can try to use rock salt around the base of the door to melt the ice and prevent its accumulation, but if that fails; here are some tips to help you get it open when it freezes shut.

1. Pay attention to the release cord.

The emergency release cord allows you to manually manipulate the unit. Pull the emergency release cord which will allow you to open the door. Your emergency release cord is usually red and found inside hanging from the opener. When you try to open a frozen door with the automatic opener, it can put a strain on the motor and cause it to overheat, so pulling the emergency release cord is the best move in this situation. If the door is frozen with ice, you have to get the ice broken up before the door will open.

2. Break the Ice

Check to see if the leverage that you provide by opening the unit yourself is enough to break the ice that formed underneath the door; sometimes, the leverage is enough to break the ice. If the layer of ice is thin this should work. If this does not work due to thicker ice accumulations, you have other options.

3. Do it the manual way

Sometimes, all you need to do is employ the manual way and use an ice scraper or flat shovel to scrape the ice from underneath the door. This can break up the ice and unfreeze your door from underneath. Be careful, though, not to ruin the bottom where the weather stripping is located when doing so — too much ice scraping to the wrong areas can mess up the seal and you will have to replace it.

4. Use heat

Using a blow drier or a heat gun, gently melt the ice away from the bottom of the door. This should melt the ice and unstick it. However, be gentle or you might end up ruining your door. The ice should melt away quickly with enough gently-applied heat. The blow drier should be set on low heat, which should be enough to melt to ice away from the bottom of your unit. A leaf blower can also do the trick. This method can be time consuming. If you get tired of waiting for the ice to melt you can call a professional to come out to remedy the issue.