Monthly Archives: August 2010

Rub-A-Dub-Dub Your Garage Door

Your garage door is the largest door in your home, and is constantly exposed to all kinds of weather.

Set up a regular annual cleaning schedule for your garage door. Remember that garage doors are often the largest visible part of your house. A clean and well maintained Garage Door will help keep the ‘curb appeal’ of your house, as well as its value!

It’s simple. To clean steel garage doors wash both the exterior and interior twice a year using water mixed with a half cup of mild laundry detergent. If your garage door is a pre-painted steel door,

you can apply a car wax to the exterior to help protect it from the elements. Avoid using abrasive cleaners since they can damage the paint. When using the brush to remove debris, use gentle action to avoid removing paint. Never use bleach full strength, and do not use acid-based products, such as vinegar.

Clean the weather stripping with an all-purpose cleaner, such as Formula 409, and lubricate the weather stripping with a silicone-based lubricant. Check the weather stripping between the door panels for cracks and replace, if needed.

Once you’ve washed your door and allowed it to dry, take the time to perform preventative maintenance to the inside of the door to ensure that it works properly and safely. Lubricate the hinges, tracks, and rollers with lubricating oil. Spray the lubricating oil on a clean cloth and wipe down the garage door springs.

Download a Qwik-Start Garage Door Maintenance Guide (pdf file)

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Installing a Garage Door Lock

Most homes built in or after the 1980s have garages attached to them. Before then, the garage was often a freestanding building. With the arrival of the attached garage, many new conveniences were introduced. The homeowner could park his car close the door and not have to step foot into the sweltering heat of a summer day or the frigid cold of a winter evening. In addition, a connected garage door was mildly climate controlled receiving some of the heat or air conditioning that escaped through the house walls. In return, it provided better insulation for much of the house. However, these garages also introduced a few new problems, the greatest being the security risk.

Because most people viewed a closed garage door as a barrier between their home and the outside world, few worried about locking the interior door that led to the garage. Unfortunately, burglars took advantage of this oversight by breaking and entering through the exterior garage door. Few people understand the ease of breaking into a garage door that does not have a protective locking mechanism. For anyone who has had his home broken into through the garage, the need for a lock is apparent. Luckily, it is an easy do it yourself project, at a minimum cost.

There are two styles of garage door lock that can be installed. The first is a manual system with key and latch prevention. This style of garage door locking requires a manual entry garage door and will not be effective with mechanical garage door openers. It is also the simpler of the two styles to install.

Most hardware stores will carry a manual lock. The most popular style is the Plain T Handle set. To install this a person will need a screwdriver, measuring tape, drill and drill bit of the appropriate diameter. The instructions for the kit will be in the packaging. The first step is to measure out where to drill the holes in the garage door. You will need to find the center of the door and mark it with an “x”. Place the handle over the “x” and pilot two holes through the screw settings where the screws will fasten the handle in place. At this point make sure the lock handle is open parallel to the ground.

Set the screws on the outside and put the washers in place. Two metal arms should be included in the packaging. Place the arms on the screws after the washers, being sure to set the smaller diameter holes facing away from the handle. Place a second washer over those arms and place a nut tightly over the assembly, then place the locking rollers in the garage track and screw the arms into the rollers.

At this point lock the garage handle by twisting it perpendicular to the ground. The rollers should set and be unable to slide. Many door locks have different set ups, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. Still, most garages today incorporate a mechanical garage door security lock. These garage door locks take more time to install but have a few additional benefits.

A full garage door lock kit for mechanical systems will be significantly more work to install, however they can also provide a significantly higher level of security. It is not uncommon to have alarm systems in place with a garage door lock of this style as well as a secondary lockdown mechanism. Some are included in the mechanical opener itself and have manual release systems for when you go on longer vacations, making the door as impregnable as a brick wall.

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The garage door: The new ways thieves are getting into homes

The idea of someone breaking into your home and stealing your possessions, or worse, threatening your family, is a terrifying notion.

Unfortunately, over the years, criminals expand their repertoires of techniques to get inside homes. The good news is you can make your home more secure. Thieves are clever, but, armed with the right knowledge you can be smarter than they are.

Your garage is filled with valuable items, and for those who have attached garages it’s a gateway to the rest of your home, so it’s important to protect it as well. Garage doors are increasingly a target of burglars who have devised many ways of getting in. One technique involves inserting a wedge at the top of garage doors that have glass that allows them to see inside. Through the opening created by the wedge, a thief can use a wire (even something as rudimentary as a straightened coat hanger will work) to pull the emergency release on the door. It can take as little as a few seconds to disable the garage door and get in.

While it’s difficult to guard against every deviously creative thought that burglars have, putting a little time and energy into protecting your home will go a long way. You don’t need to spend much to get a big benefit, either. In addition to steps like installing motion-sensing lights around doors and putting locks on windows, it’s possible to have a home alarm system installed by one of the top alarm monitoring companies. Some security companies are even offering a free wireless security system, worth $850, with the purchase of an alarm monitoring package and a nominal installation fee.

Home security systems are one of the most effective tools you can have in your deterrence arsenal. If a burglar sees a sign outside your home that indicates that you have alarm system monitoring, he will be more likely to move on to an easier target. If he doesn’t see the sign and gets into your home, an alarm system will make him leave faster. After the system is in place, you’ll just need to pay for monitoring – a small cost when weighed against the damage that could be done by a burglar.

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Garage Doors – Worth the Investment

Garage doors can be a benefit to your home and they have the ability to enhance the style of your Residence.

With marketplace conditions in their present state, with people losing their properties, it is extremely hard to possess a clear vision of what we should look forward to in the future. In real estate, however, there is a saying, ‘what goes down should come back up’, and for this kind of business, those who are ready for the turn will capitalize substantially.

When remodeling entry doorways and or kitchen counter tops, people don’t seem to have a problem searching for the best, for this, as they know, will only add to their property value. Imagine, for example, a $400-$8,000 investment that has a custom made garage door covering more than 30% of the front of your residence.

In case you would like to go the extra mile and decide to invest $1000 or even $3000 more for a custom, handcrafted garage door, what comes to mind is the added worth that this modest investment will bring to your gorgeous household.

From an investor’s perspective, it appears a little juvenile – not to look at the first item individuals see when they drive up to your residence when they are considering a purchase. Just research what the professionals are saying about the relationship between home values and their curb appeal.

Some authorities say the garage door may not be the very first item you imagine dressing up when you’re putting your home up for sale, but it is certainly worth giving it some prerogative. If you genuinely think about it, the garage door could be the single largest moving object in a residence and if it faces the street, you know it plays a huge part in the overall look of your house. It is incredibly important to understand that curb appeal can be a critical factor in marketing a home. If a prospective buyer does not like the view of your house from your street, chances are, he or she won’t waste time coming inside, and that may be one thing you, as a seller, shouldn’t ask for.

In a new study field, realtors nationwide were asked to figure out if garage door visual appeal made a difference in the selling price they would assign to a house, nearly all of the agents interviewed agreed that a brand new garage door enhances curb attractiveness and 75 percent believes it adds importance to a residence. In reality, most have recommended that a homeowner replace their garage door when listing their home for sale, especially if the present look of the garage door was broken, in bad condition or rotted. Just about half stated visual appeal was a big reason, mainly because the age or design garage door detracted from the home’s curb appeal.

The regular selling price for a brand new garage door is based on the size of the garage door as well as the material it is made from. The most favorite look in garage doors is the ‘carriage-house’ model door. The doors look like old-fashioned swing-out doors but act like modern roll-up doors with an electric garage door opener. The selections for style, color and materials are virtually endless.

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Insulating Your Garage Door

Have you ever noticed how steaming hot your garage gets in the summer and how freezing cold the room above it gets in the winter?

This happens if your garage doesn’t have any insulation. What you probably didn’t realize is that had your garage been insulated your heating bills probably wouldn’t be that high.

To insulate or not to insulate? Here are some points to consider if you’re thinking of doing so.

Insulation helps to lower your electricity and heating bills. If your home has a room above or next to the garage, that room can – just like the garage – get extremely hot during the summer and ultra cold during winter. Insulating the garage, or at the very least the garage door, will help to make that area and the room above or adjacent to it more bearable during these times of extreme weather. This translates to lower electricity and heating bills whatever the season.

You can DIY it with a kit. Yes, you can insulate your garage door yourself. There are DIY garage door insulation kits that you can buy from Home Depot or the hardware store. Insulation materials vary from polystyrene, fiberglass (not to be used on wooden doors), to polyethylene. Among the better known brands are Owen Corning, Falcon Foam, Anco, and Astro-Foil. A kit (for one door) will cost you anywhere from about $75 to $90. If you’ve got a 2-door garage, buy two kits.

You can also do a non-kit DIY. Ready made kit too expensive? Other people have reported success with styrofoam (polystyrene), reflective foil insulation, or fiberglass batting. This may be a cheaper option – you can buy the materials yourself and attach the insulation to your garage door with double sided mounting tape.

Rebalance the garage door and adjust tension springs afterwards. Remember to have your door rebalanced after you install the insulation. When you put in an insulation panel on your garage door, you’re adding to the weight that the springs the door opener has to carry. The door will need to be rebalanced and the spring tensions adjusted in order to prevent breakdown.

Seal the bottom of the garage door. Don’t forget to seal the bottom of your garage door as well, in order to prevent wind from going through the door bottom. For this, use a garage door threshold kit. This will keep out the wind, dust, water, leaves, and pollen from your garage. Garage door threshold kits can cost anywhere from $25 to $100 depending on the size.

You can replace your door with a new pre-insulated garage door. This is the most expensive option, but if you’re looking for a long-term solution, this would be the best. With an insulated garage door, you can expect to spend many productive hours in your garage for many years, come summer or winter, and see your HVAC bills go down.

Still not sure? Contact a local licensed and insured garage door dealer. You can find one thru the International Door Association at

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Garage Door Service: Finding Help!

You don’t realize how much you need and love that garage door opener until the day you hit the button and nothing happens, and you almost smash right into it!

The automatic opener is one of the great conveniences of today, and you don’t realize it until it’s broken. And then it’s time for a little repair.

Unless you know a thing or two about garage door repair, it’s probably best to call a professional. Before you make the call, clean the track and rollers. Sometimes if the door is not moving properly, it’s just because it needs a little cleaning. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to call a specialist.

What’s the best way to find the right service company? Just like most things, word of mouth is the best way to find what you need. Everybody’s got an automatic door opener. Ask your neighbors, friends and family. Most of them have probably had some sort of problem with their garage doors.

If the service was lacking, they’ll tell you.

The next best way is to use the Internet. Type in “garage door repair” and your local area into a search engine and see what you find. You can also check reviews. Do an Internet search on the company’s name and “reviews.” You can also try the company’s name and “terrible” or “awful” and sometimes turn up something informational!

There are a few things to tell them first. Tell them the specific problem. Also, let them know what kind of opener you have, and about how old it is. Most openers these days are steel, but there are also doors made of wood and other materials. The more they know about it beforehand, the easier it will be for them to fix it when they get there. They’ll probably ask you whether you have an opener with one or two tracks. Some have one track going down the middle, while others have two tracks along the walls.

After looking at your problem, they will fix it and they may try to sell you parts and extra features. It may seem like a scam, but listen to what they offer you. They’re experts, and most times they are not trying to rip you off, but just offering you something they think you can use.

Once you find a service you like, remember them and use them next time you need repairs. It is simple and cheap. Get that door fixed as soon as possible so you can get on with your life!

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The Existence of Garage Doors

One prominent feature of most American homes is the existence of a garage which is used to store the family car or as a storage area for tools.

It has also become popular as the place where most famous bands have been born. In most of these homes, the garages also feature doors which keep those stored inside safe. The kind of garage doors homeowners should install in their garages would depend on the function, space and materials preferred by the homeowner.

There are different types of doors a homeowner may choose from. These types differ from each other according to their material composition and the manner in which they open and are stored. The most popular materials used to make them are wood, aluminum, vinyl, and steel. There are different types of garage doors: the sectional door, up-and-over door, round and corner door, swing hung door, and the roller door.

The sectional type opens up vertically then folds back horizontally to be stored parallel to the garage floor. The garage needs to have a roof for this type of door. Up-and-over ones are similar to the sectional types in that they also fold back towards the garage roof. The difference is that they need to be swung outwards to be opened before they are stored towards the roof.

The round and corner type is also similar to the sectional type except that it opens sideways, making it unnecessary for the garage to have a roof. Swing hung types open like normal doors do. This requires a large area for the door when it swings open and is not advisable for homes with short driveways. For garages with a smaller area, roller garage doors are best. These types of doors simply roll up instead of moving from the floor to the roof like the sectional types.

Garage doors may be opened manually or may be equipped with electric garage door openers. Garage door openers are most convenient especially during bad weather because the driver won’t need to get out of the car to open the garage door.

Because garages are not only used for storage but also serve as protection from bad weather, they need to be maintained regularly to ensure that they last long. For example, if the door is made of wood, the homeowner should regularly paint and stain it for protection against the weather. The moving parts of the door should be oiled at least once a year to ensure that the door opens and closes smoothly.

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Reduce your garage door noise

Every time the garage door opens and closes, a loud rumble comes right through your bedroom floor making things particularly unpleasant for you or friends, relatives occupying your guest bedroom that is probably just above the garage.

Can’t stand it? Here’s some advice to help you reduce noise generated by the up and down movement of your garage door.

1. An insulated garage door can significantly reduce the intrusion of street noise into the home – especially important when there are bedroom or other living areas above or adjacent to the garage. If your door isn’t already insulated, the insulation can be installed by professional installers for a minimal charge, but it is not difficult to mount the insulation yourself and kits are available at your local home improvement retailer. It is important to consider having your springs recalculated because of additional weight to the door.

2. Have the steel rollers on your garage door changed to nylon. With nylon rollers, you will obtain almost silent running on the tracks and there is no need for lubrication.

3. Another point to look at is your electric operator. Any belt-driven model is best because the motor of this model is insulated from the metal case and will cut vibrations. The rubber belt is also quieter than the steel chain.

4. A noise isolator system (semi-rigid rubber 6 mm) can be effective. The supports that hold up the horizontal tracks can be insulated with a piece of rubber to cut the vibrations. On a wood frame, do not fix directly under the beams, place a piece of wood perpendicular under which you will have installed a rubber insulator. If you have a bedroom or living space above your garage and intend to add hardwood flooring, it is recommended to sound proof it by installing carpet and under carpet.

5. A good lifting system (springs) can also contribute to noise reduction. ”Torsion” type springs (instead of ”Extension” springs) is ideal because they allow precise balancing of the door and avoid friction of cables and springs on the horizontal tracks.

6. Concerning the tracks, it is best to choose tracks with the largest radius possible. In fact, the larger the radius the smoother the door action will be. The standard radius is 10 inches (”extension” spring) and 12 or 15 inches (”torsion” spring). Opt for the largest radius possible if you have a big clear space above the door.

7. Finally, regular lubrication (twice a year) of rollers and track is important.

With the above advice, it should easier to reduce noise problems from your garage door. Do not hesitate to call a garage door dealer. They are trained to offer you top quality work and service and in the end, peace of mind.

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World’s Largest Garage Door

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This is the Hottest New Product of the Year!

This motorcycle garage door opener is the HOTTEST product of the year!

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