Monday, December 15, 2008

How to Unfreeze a Garage Door (House Projects, Tom)

If you read CaringBridge this morning, you will note that when I tried to leave home this morning, I was surprised to find our garage door was frozen shut. Yesterday, instead of snowing in the morning and early afternoon, it rained. Mix that with the snow that came later and the sub-zero temperatures we're "enjoying" today, and you have the described predicament.

After I came to grips with the state of affairs, I turned to the geek's best friend, Google. I was dismayed to find that if you Google "Garage Door Frozen Shut," 75% of the advice is about car doors being frozen shut, 95% of the advice being about how to prevent it (not much help now, thankyouverymuch), and only a couple of items about how to solve the problem in the immediate sense.

So, in the interest of helping the community, here is what I did.

  1. Push button again, in the hope that the door opener didn't understand your original intent.
  2. Blink.
  3. Pull the handle, trying to raise the door manually. Grunt loudly when the door, to your surprise, doesn't move. Making a whimpering sound is optional, but recommended.
  4. Push up on the door, using all of your manly strength. Try to ignore the fact that you are being defeated by a thin layer of ice.
  5. Kick the door, secretly hoping that you aren't going to dent it.
  6. Run a hair dryer along the inside bottom edge, knowing full well that you are attempting to warm the entire garage floor.
  7. Repeat the process on the outside bottom edge, knowing full well that you are now attempting to heat the garage floor and the state of Minnesota.
  8. Put ice melting salt on the outside bottom edge of the garage door, praying that some chemist was smarter than you currently feel.
  9. Go inside, eat three pancakes.
  10. Use Google to search for ways to un-freeze door. (see definition: "Insult to Injury").
  11. Pour windshield wiper fluid on outside bottom edge of door, add more ice-melting salt.
  12. Play Yahtzee with son.
  13. Use a putty knife to separate door gasket from concrete.
  14. Success!

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At December 15, 2008 5:20 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

Thank you so very much! Have the same problem. Just returned from the garage with space heater and hair dryer. No luck, no how. Only comfort is your hilarious post and you are right: Nothing on Google that is helpful. Except your post and a place to rant.


At January 2, 2009 12:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to know someone else understands my pain. Heading home to fight with the door again now--I refused to do so at 7 a.m. this morning and instead hopped a bus to work. Finger's crossed that I win this battle.

At January 12, 2009 6:46 PM , Blogger Mighty Mom said...

Well, at least you won in the end right? :)

At January 30, 2009 9:48 AM , Anonymous Ed B. said...

Happened to my wife this morning while I was off playing hockey. After several voice messages and a vow to never park in the garage again, I promised that I would fix it.......FAT CHANCE! It is comforting to know that other people have had this problem, it is not comforting to know that I must renege on my promise. Spring will be here soon and all will be forgotten ;^)

At February 20, 2009 12:45 PM , Anonymous Joan said...

Last night my hose leaked, alot of water, and it pooled near the garage door, fusing the door to the garage floor (Upstate NY, it was 15 degrees F last night). So, I boiled some water, and poured it at that base of the garage door. Wrong thing to do, now there even more ice build-up. Put some calcium chloride near the base of the door. Started to turn slushy. Poured some windshield washer fluid near the base of the door, into the slush. Did this both inside and outside of the garage. Ran a space heater inside of the garage, chipped at the ice for 2 hours with a screwdriver. Finally the door opened. Too late to go to work, co-workers laughed at me, saying "Right, that's a good story."

At February 20, 2009 1:10 PM , Anonymous Joan said...

Sir, After I posted my silly frozen garage door experience, I read your CaringBridge website. My extreme condolences on the passing of your son. My heart goes out to you and your family. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Joan (Rochester, NY)


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