Monthly Archives: May 2010

Memorial Day Reminds Us: Freedom Isn’t Free

Let’s all keep those servicemen and women currently serving and those who have gone before in our thoughts. They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy.

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A Good Time for Cleaning and Preventative Garage Door Maintenance

On a busy day your garage door may open and close 20 times, so routine maintenance is a must to keep it in good working order.

After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular garage door cleaning and maintenance will guarantee a great look and longer life of your door.

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap (like dishwashing detergent) and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results. If there’s exposed wood, be sure to paint it.

Exterior Weather-Stripping

Clean the weather stripping around the frame and bottom edge with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a Silicone-based lubricant to keep the stripping pliable. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather-stripping as it will dry up and crack. Don’t forget the weather-strip between your door panels. It is important to let your weather-strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather-stripping. If the weather-stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather-stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

Final Advice

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will door will provide carefree convenience for many years to come. Ask a qualified garage door installer, to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. In a 10 step check-up, he will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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I Left the Garage Door Open Again?


A new garage door security product has been created specifically to address the problem of inadvertently leaving a garage door open. 

Innovative Home Systems, LLC. of Colorado has launched its new product, GarageHawk®, which allows you to remotely monitor and close your garage door from anywhere in your home.

On any given day or night people can drive around their neighborhood and find open garage doors where it is obvious that no one is home or everyone is sleeping peacefully unaware. Burglars know this too! “We’ve all seen it, and most of us are guilty of it ourselves — leaving the garage door wide open — sometimes for hours and all too frequently overnight”, says Bill Dierking of Innovative Home Systems. GarageHawk® can increase a homeowner’s peace of mind by knowing when their garage door is open as well as providing the ability to close it remotely from anywhere in the home. GarageHawk® is also expandable to allow additional capabilities such as internet-enabled monitoring and control, path lighting, and audible alerts.

GarageHawk® is unique in that it not only lets the owner know that the garage door is open, it also allows easy closure by pushing a button without going to the garage to hit the garage door opener button. And unlike some garage door closers it doesn’t operate on a timer to close the garage door (risking being locked out of the garage!). Instead, it allows the owner to close the garage door whenever they decide to close it and from wherever they choose in the home.

GarageHawk® was designed as an affordable and easily installed system specifically for people who, like most, occasionally forget to close their garage door. When properly installed, the device will never open a door that is already closed and does not interfere with normal garage door opener operation or safety features. It requires no batteries and can be easily installed by anyone using only a screwdriver. Additional modules can also be purchased to allow remote closure of any number of additional garage doors.

For more information visit their web site,

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Open Your Garage Door with a Cell Phone

How does the idea of opening your garage door with your cell phone sound? One of fancy gizmos introduced at the recent CES (Consumer Electronics Show) promises to do just that.

Garage|Shadow, from Unify4Life, turns a BlackBerry or any other Bluetooth enabled cell phone into a remote control for garage door openers. It even has an “automatic open” feature that senses when you have returned home and opens the door automatically. Pretty slick idea.

One thing that you might want to consider is that cell phone batteries run down much, much faster than the batteries in a standard remote, so you’d want to make sure that your phone’s battery is charged.

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Common Garage Door Repairs

Everyone tends to forget things more mechanical until they break. And you probably keep your garage door for granted, assuming it opens and closes when necessary and without complications.

However, garage doors often begin to fail or break all the necessary repairs, ranging from simple and cheap to incredibly complex and expensive. If you’ve noticed that it became difficult to climb and descend, you may need one of these types of ordinary repairs:


The springs are a major concern because it is how the lifting mechanism capable of such a large amount of weight with a small amount of energy to negotiate. When the garage door seems heavy while lifting or requires a large expense when you try to close it, then the springs are probably needed to be repaired.

Working with high tension springs, it is best to let professionals do not do this, the incentive to try to make this repair yourself. High voltage sources may cause serious injury and system damage, call a professional if you see a need for this repair.


With the enormous wear and tear of opening and closing during a period of several years, it is not surprising that the title can be easily damaged. Damage may occur through a number of things such as calculators or shovel still on the trail or something (insert as cars), they discover by chance.

A number of important things to know about your songs:

– Tracks should be screwed flat on another

– Loose screws can disturb the alignment and rollers break

– Tracks should be level and parallel to the opening of the door of garage

If you have any problems with your title, reference is again is a good idea to have a professional to make sure you discuss and solve the whole problem rather than masking the symptoms of a larger one.


To determine if the drum is the source of your need repair garage door is relatively easy to determine. If it seems that the door does not slide easily, check to see if the roller is broken, and if it should be replaced. If he will not need breaks, the length of the roll and can be used in lubrication.

Although these basic repairs is a good overview of the garage door parts, which is most often the repair, the only way to know for sure what is wrong with your garage is to consult a trusted expert. They will be able to tell you whether your problem requires a simple servicing and help you solve your problem.

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Looking At Garage Door Windows

Many garage doors are equipped with windows. This added feature not only allows for a structural design to be implemented into the garage door but also has the added flexibility of enhancing a garage.

Garage door windows allow for light to come into the garage, making a dark and gloomy space bright and cheerful. This in essence also brings the benefit of making the garage space a more workable and desirable area to use for everything from crafts to handyman type hobbies.

Since, for many houses, the garage is a large space that is viewed from the street, garage door windows can also accent the home. The windows on the garage door can really make a statement and many homeowners have realized this and when looking at garage door window replacement consider changing the windows.

When a consumer begins evaluating the decision to look at garage door window, there are some things to consider. The garage door window is a way to spice up the garage door. When looking at garage door window consider a tinted glass for the windows. Many homes have garages that face the sun, by tinting the windows the heat in the garage will go down and help keep the part of the house that is connected to the garage a little cooler.

Many companies offer this simple option or you may consider adding an opaque or seedie glass to the garage door. For homes that have a garage as the largest focal point of their home, this can be a way to emphasis the originality of their home and give their garage a quick face lift to improve the overall appearance of the garage door.

If the entire style of the garage door is something that you are choosing to change, keep in mind the garage door windows. Many homeowners find that the price is worth the new look their home receives.

Garage door windows can be a great way to enhance or change the look of the outside of a home while having a lasting effect on your homes appearance.

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Your Garage Door: An Invaluable First Impression

With warm weather months here, it’s the perfect season for the annual ritual of performing a spruce up around your home.

Planting gardens, improving the look of your lawn and maybe applying a fresh coat of paint to the window trims are on your to-do list. An appealing exterior offers an invaluable first impression to neighbors, friends, and – if you’re trying to sell, which many do prior to the beginning of school in the fall – perspective buyers.

In fact, small-scale exterior projects are the most profitable during resale, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). One exterior feature that greatly contributes to this first impression is the garage door, and updating it can drastically improve your home’s “curb appeal.” If you’ve looked into replacing a garage door, you know that it can be an overwhelming task with so many styles and materials from which to choose. It’s important that your choice complements the architecture of your home as well as your lifestyle. In other words, you don’t want a door that sticks out like a sore thumb or one that requires more maintenance than you’d prefer.

So how do you make sure that you pick the right garage door? Follow these simple steps: pick a material, choose a style and find a good dealer.

When selecting a material, decide what material best fits your home and lifestyle, whether it be the natural beauty of wood or the durability and low maintenance of steel. Wood doors offer a classic, handcrafted look that won’t go out of style but will require more frequent upkeep. Steel doors need the least amount of maintenance.

Once you’ve selected the material, it’s time to choose a style. Doors are available to match any architectural style and there are plenty of easy-to-use online tools to assist in picking a style to help find the perfect door to match the style of your home.

Once you’ve chosen a design, you’ll need to select a color and any decorative hardware desired to enhance the door’s beauty. Steel doors often come in pre-painted colors, but they also can be customized with exterior latex paint. Wood doors generally come in their natural finish and can be easily stained or painted. Wood composite doors are sold painted or primed and ready to stain or paint. Depending on the style you choose, you may also have the option to add decorative hardware or decorative windows.

Finally, it’s important to find a reputable dealer who can provide pricing for the correct door size needed and installation and removal of the old door if you’re purchasing a replacement door. Garage doors are sold sized to specifically fit your garage door opening. An important, but often neglected step, is enlisting a professional dealer to measure your door to ensure that it will be correctly sized. Make sure that your local dealer is authorized, fully insured and has a good local reputation. Never try to repair or install a garage door yourself – it can be extremely dangerous.

Investing in a new garage door is a sure way to improve the look of your home’s exterior, as well as improve energy efficiency and protection. You can also take comfort in knowing that this purchase will add value to your home and will be an important asset should you decide to sell.

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Garage Door Trivia

IT goes up, it goes down. But a new garage door can do a lot more.

Bet you didn’t know that a new garage door …

… Can increase the value of your home.
An online survey says that 71% of homeowners who recently replaced their garage door believe it increased the value of their home. When real estate agents were shown “before” and “after” snaps of houses that upgraded with new, stylish garage doors, they increased the list price of the home anywhere from 1 to 4 percent. That means a $2,000+ investment in a garage door could increase the sale value of your home by as much as $7,000 if you’re selling a $175,000 home. See some dramatic “before & after” photos at, and you’ll see the difference a new garage door can make.

…Can be a chic fashion statement.

People are becoming more style conscious when replacing their garage door. On many American homes, the garage door claims a third of the façade, so it’s a snap to quickly makeover the look of your whole house. You can easily increase curb appeal when you choose from hundreds of different looks in elegant and stylish carriage house, contemporary or raised panel doors.

… Can protect against powerful winds.
Reinforced garage doors are now available to help your home stand up to brutal winds. Researchers studying the wind effects of devastating storms know that garage doors are often the entry point for severe damage. A new, strong garage door is an integral part of maintaining the structural integrity of your home.

… Can see you.
Photoelectric eyes – mounted about six inches above the floor – cast an invisible beam across the door opening and provide extra protection against entrapment. If a door is closing and a child or pet runs underneath the door, the beam would break, causing the door to automatically reverse.

… Can keep your house cleaner.
With a keyless entry pad mounted outside your garage door, why traipse dirt in through the front door when you can enter through the garage? You can leave muddy shoes or boots and drenched coats in the garage and keep your house cleaner.

… Can open even during power outages.
A popular accessory sold with new garage door openers is a battery back-up system that allows you to use your opener for several times, even after the loss of power to your home. It’s a wonderful feature that prevents you from being trapped outside in a storm.

… Can express your individuality.
Housing developments have their advantages, but individuality usually isn’t one of them. Choose a fashionable contemporary or carriage house garage door, and your house instantly stands out from the crowd in your neighborhood. Check ’em out for yourself by viewing the “Garage Door Styles” page at Wow!

… Can help accessorize your life.
Garage door opener accessories abound. Many new garage door openers switch on lights in your home as you’re pulling up the driveway. Some alert you if you left the garage door open. You can even make a fashion statement with your garage door remote by customizing it to match your car’s interior.

… Can go up in a snap when installed by a professional.

Don’t try to install the door yourself. It’s a complex and dangerous task. Be sure to have a professional install any garage door. They can do the job in just a few hours and haul the old door away. The cost of installation is well worth it. Find a professional near you at’s “Your Local Garage Door Professionals” page.

… Really IS the new front door.
A nationwide survey of consumers said that 71 percent of homeowners use their garage door openers to get into their homes every day. The key to the front door is now the garage door’s remote control and keypad. Latchkey kids? Today, they’re keypad kids.

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The Right Opener to Compliment Your Garage Door

Many people take special care when buying a garage door but are unable to pay heed to the essential door opener.

It is important to attend to the garage door opener too. There are a lot of things that you must know while buying these openers. Moreover, it is helpful to know ways of fixing it own your own, should a fault occur. Certainly, a major fault will require a new opener.

A garage door opener is a fascinating and useful invention. It is an electronic instrument that aids you to operate the garage door with the click of a switch. There are mainly two categories of openers. The first one is the conventional switch that is installed within or without the garage and is clicked to operate the door. These have manual options for operating during a power failure. For these switches, the security is slightly less. The second variety is a more sophisticated remote controlled version. Such types consist of a pair of receiver and transmitter each. A portable set is extremely convenient, as it can open the garage door without you having to step out of your car. Certainly, there are other older options like those operated with the help of screws, belts and chains.

Now that you know the basic types of openers that are on offer you need to decide on the one you want to buy for your garage door. There are a lot many variations that you will come across in the market like those that are soundless, openers that lubricate themselves automatically, etc. Ensure to buy only what suits your needs. The factors that influence your decision would be durability, expense and security. Therefore, you should first look at your local stores to see what they have to offer. You never know the finest products and services may be on offer for you just round the corner. However, this does not mean that you must not check the online stores too. More options will mean you have higher chances of striking a profitable bargain.  

If you are having trouble with your garage door opener, it may be causing you immense anxiety. Fortunately, you may find that only a minor problem exists. Therefore, prior to seeking professional help, you could attempt to fix it by yourself. Things that you can do on your own to fix problems are eliminating blocks from the opener’s track, tightening up all nuts and bolts, scrutinizing the alignment of the opener, and of course checking the motors. You must also check the remote, as that is a probable problem area, too. If all these fail, you know it is time to get a pro.

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Garage Door Replacement Can Add Increased Value, Beauty, Function and Energy Efficiency to a Home

With utility costs and concerns about the welfare of the environment on the rise, many homeowners are considering energy efficient products in their homes.

Whether building a new home or replacing products within an existing residence, moving to energy efficient products is helpful in saving long term money on utilities. To that end, as garages are often a sizable attachment to the residential space of a house, the use of an energy efficient garage door can help with utility costs and noise reduction. Determining the usefulness of an energy efficient garage door for a home can be a useful step when planning a garage door replacement.

Prime reasons for purchasing an energy efficient garage door replacement are directly related to how the garage will be used, as well as its location in relation to the house. Homes that share an interior wall with the garage will often benefit from such measures, as the warm or cool air from the garage can radiate into the home. In these cases, homeowners will choose energy efficient products in the hopes of lowering energy costs.

In determining how energy efficient a particular door may be, the important things to consider are how much air a door allows to leak through as well as what is known as the U-factor. The U-factor is typically used with windows as a measurement of how well the product insulates. Lower numbers, in this case, are better. Often, garage doors are marketed with an R-value, which is also a gauge of insulation capabilities, but this number should be higher rather than lower. Leakiness is also an important factor, as the warm or cool air coming through the small spaces between the door panels can affect how climate-controlled the space will be.

Some homeowners, however, will not see the need to further protect their garage from changes in climate. If the garage is detached from the home, or is used solely for storage, it is not as necessary to go with an energy efficient garage door. In these instances, the deciding factors can be left to the desired appearance and reliability for the home. Regardless of whether a home’s residents decide on a garage door based upon its energy efficiency or other factors, it is helpful to be aware of the attributes that make a door the best it can be.

Garage Door Replacement Can Add Increased Value, Beauty, Function and Energy Efficiency to a Home  and is a worthwhile consideration.

Replacing a garage door in 2010 won’t just add style and curb appeal to your home – it can also save you money off the bottom line (up to $1500) of your income taxes. Many of 1st United Door Technologies insulated garage doors qualify for the energy tax credit under section 25C of the International Energy Conservation Code.

Download information and manufacturers certificate here.

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