Monthly Archives: September 2010

Shut Up Garage Door!

If there were one thing that can annoy you the most about a garage, it would have to be a noisy garage door.

Not only can it cause disruption to sleep, work, or concentration, it can also be stressful especially if the living room or bedroom is located near or above the garage. If your door makes annoying squeaking noises and you can no longer endure it, do not worry, you don’t have to suffer any much longer. With these practical tips, you can finally make the garage door shut up and you can have the peace and quiet you’ve always wanted.

1. Check for loose nuts

One possible cause for a noisy garage door would be loose nuts. Using a socket wrench or an adjustable wrench, tighten all the nuts on the door and track. Just make sure that you do not over tighten it. If you are not confident about your handy skills, have someone who is to do this job.

2. Buy new rollers

Metal rollers begin to make noise when they get old and worn out. To determine if this is the cause of the problem, open your garage door and identify if the rollers are making noise while they roll and up and down. If yes, consider replacing them.

3. Opt for nylon rollers

Nylon rollers are much quieter than metal rollers. Not only that, they also don’t have to be lubricated all the time. This is a good choice if you don’t mind the extra cost, as this type of rollers is more expensive.

4. Install new hinges

The hole in the hinge that holds the roller stem eventually becomes worn out. Check each of the hinges on both sides and replace them if the hole has become more oblong than round.

5. Buy a new garage door.

If all else fails, maybe you need an entirely new garage door. But before you go to the nearest home improvement store to do this, think carefully first if you really need one. If your garage door is already old and worn out, you may want to replace with a newer model. New garage doors have updated safety features for maximum protection.

Most of the new models of sectional, up and over, and roller garage doors have a safety emergency reverse feature that reverts the door to its original opened position when an object blocks its door path. This is important for the safety of your family, pets, and possessions.

If you are feeling so stressed out lately and it is not about work or chores, it is probably because of the noisy garage door that has been keeping you wide awake for last few days or weeks. You don’t have to endure this for long, as there are many things you can do to solve this problem.

You can either fix the cause of the noise or replace your old worn out garage door with a new one. If you decide to go for the latter, see to it that you only rely on trusted brands and high quality products that will give utmost protection for you and your whole family.

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

A door that opens at the touch of a button

At the end of a long day of work, you want to get home as quickly as possible. Imagine how much easier it would be to come home to a door that opens at the touch of a button.

An automatic garage door opener also enhances your home’s safety, providing secure access and lighting to your garage. Lowe’s can help you find the right garage door opener for your unique needs.

When deciding on a garage door opener, there are several factors to take into consideration.

A belt-drive system is the fastest-growing drive type because it’s very quiet in its operation and is the smoothest drive type available. A belt-drive system is as strong as a steel-belted tire and can lift the heaviest garage doors. It’s the perfect choice for replacing a noisy garage door opener and for homes with living space above or adjacent to the garage.

A screw-drive system uses a lifting mechanism that moves along a threaded steel rod. These units are powerful, and they require the least maintenance because they have few moving parts.

A chain-drive system uses a metal chain to lift the door up and down along its tracks. Chain-drive systems are the most common and usually the least expensive, but they sometimes make more noise than screw-drive or belt-drive units.

At least one manufacturer now offers a computer-controlled drive mechanism that uses no chain or screw. Unlike the other three drive systems, the body of this unit sits directly above the door, rather than in the middle of the ceiling. This is particularly helpful in garages that have limited headroom, and it leaves more garage ceiling space open for storage.

Choose a motor with power adequate to lift your door. If you have double doors, look for at least a half horsepower motor. Even on a single door, a larger motor is likely to last longer.

Also look for a unit with soft starting and stopping that operates more quietly, with less wear and tear on the door.

Higher-end openers operate more quickly, reducing the time you have to wait in the driveway. For safety’s sake, the faster-opening models still close at a standard, slower speed.

Federal law mandates that all garage door openers include features that prevent the doors from crushing objects in their paths. In most cases, this is controlled by an electronic beam. When the beam is broken by a person or object, it triggers the safety mechanism, causing the doors to reverse direction.

A computer-controlled system monitors the operating speed of the door and can compensate for changing conditions — such as a door closing too quickly or making contact with an obstruction.

All garage door openers produced today use rolling codes for the greatest security. Each time the door is opened, a new, random code is generated. This prevents code theft and ensures that a neighbor’s remote control will not open your garage.

All models also include a manual release that will allow you to open the door if the power is out. Some higher-end models include a function that opens the door only high enough so the cat or dog can get out. Some garage door openers use a one-button remote, while other models include a remote with two or more buttons that can control multiple openers. Multiple buttons are useful if you have more than one garage bay, each with a separate door.

Some brands even offer mini-remotes that are small enough to fit on a keychain. Doorbell-like buttons or keypads can be mounted to the wall — interior or exterior — near the door to allow it to be opened without a remote. Look for this as an accessory if it does not come as part of the standard opener kit.

Some keypads allow you to lock the door electronically for a specific amount of time, such as when you are going to be away on vacation. Another popular function is delayed closing — a pause between the time the button is pushed and the door is closed. You have plenty of time to exit through the door on foot instead of running through, dodging the lowering door and the electronic beams.

Most openers include a security light that comes on as you activate the system and stays on long enough for you to get out of the car and go into the house. Many remotes include buttons that turn on the light without activating the door.

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

How to Choose the Perfect Steel Garage Door

A lot of people look into installing garage doors over other types into their houses. If you are one of those individuals, it would be good to first ponder and understand the merits of steel doors before making your buying decision.

Many people in the garage door market look at the array of door options available to them and base their decision on the quality of the material and what they perceive is the best. To a lot of people, steel comes out on top in the strength category compared to wood, fiberglass, and aluminum. With the technology available today, you can actually design a steel door to look like a beautiful classic wooden door.

Although real wooden doors inarguably have a very distinctive and striking appeal, they require regular maintenance which can put a dent in your budget. Though hardwood is known for their strength and durability the extra maintenance required can actually be a real inconvenience and may put off some people.

Steel doors normally does not crack or warp due to weathering. Today’s models and stylish and beautiful and be a good compliment to your home. The rule of thumb for steel doors is the thicker the door is, the better it can withstand normal ladies formal wear and tear. Most steel doors have foam inside them which improves insulation and provide added protection.

If you really have your sights set on getting a steel door the next step is deciding what style to match your house. There are models with additional designs, accents and innovative safety features. Do not hesitate to seek assistance from technicians and specialists to aid you in your decision making. They can also be helpful in providing you with competitive pricing. It is ideal to ask several technicians and then select the one that offers the best value for your money.

Majority of steel doors come with a warranty but nevertheless make sure that the one you’re buying is covered with one. Some even go as far as offering lifetime warranties which is not the case with wooden doors, making steel doors a far more attractive option.

It pays to weigh in the costs and benefits too. Make sure that the price is really worth it and shop around for bargains. Choose one that will last you a long time and that would enhance the aesthetics of your home and garage at the same time. Take time to go over your options since this is a long term investment on your part.

Visit manufacturer’s websites, read brochures and ask people knowledgeable in garage doors. As much as possible, do not base your buying decision on one factor alone but also take into consideration other qualities.  

Choose a technician that is credible, trustworthy, offers reasonable rates, and that you are comfortable working with.

For ease of use, a garage door opener is a perfect complement to your steel door. Today more than ever, finding the garage door opener that suits one’s needs and preference is relatively easy since there are a lot of models to choose from.

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

Recycling Garage Doors

A garage door is built to last a long time, but eventually it will need to be replaced.

If you plan to install a new garage door, don’t simply send your old garage door into the dumpster along with unusable trash. With a little bit of ingenuity, you can recycle your old garage door, giving it new life instead of sending it to a landfill.

Consider the garage door’s materials. Wooden doors can be broken into firewood or used for other projects where the wood’s appearance isn’t primary. Metal doors can be brought to junkyards or used as shed walls or shelters for tools and outdoor animals. Be creative and you can find lots of new uses for an old door.

Check with your contractor. Most companies will break down and recycle the parts of the garage door that can be recycled. Some may even refurbish and sell your old door as a “Used Garage Door”. But there is another option. You can re-purpose your old garage door.

Look up your local authorities on trash and recycling. Many larger items can be left at the curb with a special permit to be recycled by the same folks who pick up your regular tin cans and glass bottles.

List your door in online and newspaper classified ads. Perhaps you’re eager to get rid of your old garage door, but many sites offer recycling for people looking for used items. Just be sure to consider how you can transport the door and how long you’re willing to wait for someone else to snatch it up.

There are many ways to reuse your garage door. The possibilities are truly endless. Following are just a few of the many inventive and creative ways some people have reused their garage doors.

Frame a Compost Pile or Garden

Garage doors can provide the perfect frame for a raised garden or a compost pile. Separate the door into the individual panels to form the walls, and cut one in half to form the back. Use metal cutting shears if your door is made of aluminum or steel, or a circular saw if the door is wood. Next, dig a small trench to partially bury the panels, then place them standing up to create your frame.

Leave one side open if you are making a compost pile so you can easily roll a wheel barrow in. If you are making a raised garden close off all sides then fill with dirt.
Some garage doors are painted, so be sure to scrape down and sand to remove the paint to keep your garden or compost pile clean.

Create a Green House

If you have a garage door in Cleveland or another area that gets cold, this is a great idea. Turn your old garage door into a mini green house. There are some limitations to this idea, as a steel or vinyl garage door just is not going to help protect against the cold. But if you have a wood or wood composite garage door this really works great.

If you are somewhat handy you can easily do this with a table and jigsaw, some Plexiglas, and screws. On particularly cold nights you may want to consider adding some hay or straw around your plants for extra protection.

Garage Door Headboard

You might want to check with your significant other or roommate before doing this, and it probably won’t work if it’s a newer garage door that looks mass produced, but consider making a headboard out of your garage door.

Back in the day, before they started using vinyl and steel, garage doors were made of fine quality woods like cherry, chestnut, and mahogany. If you have one of these, sanding it down and placing it as your headboard can be a nice room accent. It just goes to show how a little creativity can go a long way when it comes to reusing our old stuff.

Going Green is not only the responsible thing to do but it’s a beautiful thing. Reuse and recycle.

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

Will It Bust: Garage Door vs Watermelon

Ah. Watermelon. The perfect treat. But how to best serve it? How about by crushing with a garage door!

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

Your Garage Door: A stiff, groaning monster?

The weather’s changing and winter will be here before you realize it. Don’t let yourself get stuck with a sluggish garage door.

Garage doors seem to work perfectly during the summer but then become stiff, groaning monsters when you have to open and close them during cold weather.

The only way to keep them moving smoothly is proper lubrication.

Whether they are manually operated or have a garage door opener attached, need to have periodic maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. One of the most common problems with a garage door is a lack of lubrication. This is usually what causes the squeaking you hear and it can lead to breakdowns requiring a garage door repair. Fortunately, door lubrication can easily be done by the average home owner. While you are lubricating the door, inspect the door for any loose screws and tighten them as you go. Also look for any frayed or damaged cables, broken springs, misaligned track, or loose chain if the opener is chain driven. Basically, inspect all of the doors moving parts whenever you lubricate the door and replace garage door parts as necessary.

Things You Will Need

Silicone or Teflon based penetrating spray lubricant. Garage door lubricant can be found at your local home improvement or hardware store.

Step 1

Garage doors should be closed prior to you lubricating and inspecting the door. The first step is to inspect the track to see in there is any grease or dirt buildup. If there is wipe or vacuum away any buildup in the tracks and on the rollers and roller pins before lubricating the door. Grease combines with sand and grit to form a sludge that acts as an abrasive and can interfere with the smooth operation of the door.

Step 2

You should never attempt to replace or adjust cables or springs. The doors springs are under a great deal of tension and this makes them dangerous to adjust. You should always call a professional if they break or you think they need adjustment. That being said, you should be able to safely lubricate them. Apply lubricant to where the cables connect to the bottom roller mount brackets. This is also a good time to check the cable for wear. Next run a line of oil along the top of the torsion spring. The oil will eventually work into the spring and help prevent corrosion and increase the life of the spring because it will reduce the rubbing of the spring against itself.

Step 3

Lubricate the roller bearings, door hinges and pulleys with the penetrating spray. In addition, tracks should be lubricated using the same lubricant spray.

Garage doors, whether they are manually operated or have a garage door opener attached, need to have periodic maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. Take a few minutes to lubricate and inspect your garage door and help prevent costly repairs.

Tips & Warnings

Contrary to popular belief, WD-40 is not a lubricant. It is great for a cleaner to remove rust, grease, and other substances but if used as a lubricant it will not last and you will have to the re-lubricate the door sooner. It is however a good “quick fix” until you can lubricate the door properly.

Always unplug an electric opener before servicing the door. The springs, cables and bottom brackets are under extreme tension and can break without notice.

Whenever working with tools or chemicals such as lubricants, safety glasses are recommended

If you are uncertain about what to do, or don’t have the time, most licensed garage door installers do tune ups. The service call should include a complete safety check, door adjustment, and lubrication.

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

garage door dic•tio•nary (Pl.)

Vocab-lesson time! There’s not a huge amount of terminology used in conjunction with garage doors, but that which is used it rather important. So, break out the exercise books and learn the following!

Backroom: Relating to garages, the backroom is NOT the room where you go to play cards with the boys. It actually refers to the amount of space required to install a garage door, and is measured from the door to the back of the horizontal track.

Balance: the door’s ability to be raised and lowered easily, but not too easily that it shoots up or crashes down. This is affected by the opening mechanism and torsion springs and, if unbalanced, a door should be altered by a trained professional. As a guide, you should be able to open and close the door easily with one hand.

Bottom bracket: There are two bottom brackets, or corner brackets, on a garage door – one on the right, and one on the left. The lifting cables are attached to the bottom brackets on most sectional doors.

Cable drums: Cable drums are an important part of a tension spring system. As the garage door opens, the lifting cable winds around the grooves in the cable drum. It keeps the lifting cable in line, so it doesn’t get tangled.

Cable: The cable, or lifting cable, connects the bottom bracket to the counterbalance mechanism.

Clearances: You need to know your clearances for your garage door installation. That refers to how much backroom, headroom and sideroom, or the distance around the walls of the garage, is needed to efficiently install the door.

Cycle: One cycle of a garage door goes from when it’s fully closed, to fully open, and then back again to fully closed. Torsion spring doors are rated by how many cycles they’re supposed to safely complete in their lifetime, for example 25,000, 50,000 or 100,000 cycles.

Door frame: The door frame holds the garage door with two vertical pieces and a horizontal header, or top piece.

Door size: When specifying a door size, you give the width first, then the height.

Extension springs: Extension springs are one of the two types of spring systems used to carry the weight of a garage door as it lifts. They stretch on either side of the door, running from a pulley attached to the door, to the rear track hanger.

Flush design: A garage door with a flush design is flat, with no indentations or grooves.

Garage door opener: Garage door openers consist of all the hardware that combines to open and close a garage door. A garage door opener can be operated automatically by remote control.

Gauge: Gauge refers to the thickness of steel. The higher the number, the thinner the steel.

Hinges: Hinges are used to connect the sections of a garage door, allowing the door to bend as it runs up the vertical track and onto the horizontal track.

Insulation: The insulation in a garage door can be made of polystyrene foam or polyurethane filler. Polyurethane insulates better than polystyrene, but polystyrene lasts longer.

Jamb seal: The jamb seal is the weather-stripping that runs around the door jamb, stopping drafts and rain from entering the garage.

Lift-handle: A life handle is sometimes installed on a garage door for use if manual operation is required.

Lites: Lites are the industry’s word for glass or clear plastic windows in a frame. Some lites are double-glazed for insulation.

Low headroom: If your garage ceiling is lower than normal, you may need special low-headroom track hardware accessories.

Opening size: The opening size refers to the distance between the walls and the doorjambs in a garage door opening.

Overhead garage door: An overhead garage door is one that’s built in hinged sections, allowing it to travel up and down tracks as it opens and closes.

R-value: the amount of insulation offered by a garage door. An average door might require an R-value of around 4 or 5; in colder climates 6 or 7 is also appropriate. If you use your garage for work, a higher R-value is always preferable.

Sectional doors: Sectional doors are just that – doors made up of sections hinged together, thus allowing it to bend around the track as it opens and closes.

Stop molding: The stop molding is the wooden or plastic piece that’s attached to the outside of the door jamb, to seal out weather and light.

Track: The track is the part that holds and guides the roller assembly. It runs vertically to the top of the garage door, then horizontally parallel to the ceiling.

Windload: Windload refers to the force of the wind as it hits a garage door in the closed position. In hurricane or high-wind areas, doors are required to carry up to 110mph windload resistance.

For more info see this FAQ

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

You want to buy a cheap garage door?

The garage. The area that is never to be neglected and so therefore, one must ensure that the garage door is of good quality and can provide durable protection.

Today’s economic recession has brought many people to go purchase cheaper (I could say less expensive but I think “cheap” is appropriate for this post) items. There are many cheap garage doors on sale around but we all know that we need to examine closely these items because they might be made of poor quality, poor materials, re-purposed or just plain junk. We cannot risk the loss of things and important items inside our garage just because it was easy for burglars to enter our cheap garage doors. On the other hand, having one is not a negative thing. Cheap garage doors might have been on sale for inventory purposes or discontinued style. To ensure that these are of good quality, it is important that the buyer knows the qualities of a good garage door.

A good cheap garage door must be durable and of good quality. It must not easily dent or flex when pressure is placed on it. It must feel solid and must have good construction. There are some doors that are cheap that have poor construction (loose handles, loose screws, etc.) and these may lead to easy collapse or breaking. The risk of having the garage door fail is big and this can also lead to even bigger problems. It is therefore important to examine things closely.

A good one must also be made of good and durable material. It must be made from high quality steel or wood. The material used to make up the garage door must be able to withstand extreme weather, pressure and age. These external properties can easily affect the door since the garage is always situated outside the house. If a cheap one has the right qualities of a good garage door, then it is the perfect steal for every buyer. No doubt that one is assured that everything inside the door will be safe.

Don’t be scammed! In this time of our economy, not all cheap garage doors are quality and not all expensive are promising. Take time to learn all you can before purchasing. Find the best details from manufacturer’s websites.

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

Soldier With Garage Door Industry Ties Wounded In Afghanistan

A 23-year-old U.S. Army Airborne Ranger with family ties to the Garage Door Industry was wounded recently while fighting in Afghanistan.

Brent Grosman is stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington, and is due to be flown back to the U.S. from an Army hospital in Germany by this Friday, according to his father Jerry Grosman apparently suffering from a shattered bone in his right arm.

His father owns the Lake Havasu, Arizona (U.S.A.) based business, Just Garage Doors.

Brent has earned a purple heart while serving in the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Alpha Company. He graduated from Washougal High School in Washington State.

“I have spoken with him and he’s on his way back to the states, probably by this Friday,” Jerry Grosman said. He added that his son will either be going to Ft. Lewis or make a stop in Washington, D.C.; either way, he plans to see Brent immediately upon his return stateside.

“He is at the end of his deployment and he’s been over there numerous times. I’m just very proud of Brent and I’m proud to be in Lake Havasu City. I believe in what all of our soldiers have given in their service to this country.”

We are too! Thank you Brent for your service.

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door

“An ounce of prevention is worth more than pound of cure”*

Your garage door is most likely the largest moving piece of machinery in your home. Some of them weigh in at several hundred pounds. Replacement costs can be high, especially when coupled with a new opener. Take a look at the following things you can do to ensure yours lasts as long as possible. 

  1. Get Professional Service. Just once year, have a professional come to perform some simple maintenance on your system. It should cost less than $100 to have a company adjust both the opener and spring system if needed. In addition to any work done on the springs and opener, this type of service will typically include a check for wear and tear, as well. Some companies provide the option of a service plan, which can help reduce the cost. The springs are the heart of the counter balance system, and can relax over time. An improperly balanced spring system can damage the opener, and pose a safety hazard. 
  2. Lubricate Some aerosol type spray on the moving parts will do the trick. Not only will regular sprays reduce wear and tear, but it can make everything a little quieter, as well. Pay attention to the tracks, rollers, hinges, etc. While you’re there, give everything a quick once over to check for wear, making sure nothing is loose, no cables are frayed, etc.
  3. Know Your Opener They are fairly simple mechanisms and don’t require many tools for maintenance. Some may need to have the chain or belt tightened occasionally. Check your manual for these types of maintenance procedures, as well as how often to lubricate the moving parts. Other settings a homeowner should be familiar with are the sensitivity (sometimes called a force setting) settings. This feature of the motor controls how much force will be applied to open or close the door. The owner’s manual will have instructions on how to achieve a good setting. Close attention is needed, as this will affect how safely everything operates.
  4. Keep It Clean It may sound pretty basic, but keeping the area around the opening free of debris, and other items can solve major problems before they start. A rake, baseball bat, or other similar item can cause serious damage if caught in the path of the door or hardware. Spiders also love to build webs inside the lens openings of safety sensors. Make sure yours are free of any obstructions or debris.
  5. Keep It Painted If you’ve got wood on the exterior of your home you already know it needs to be painted or sealed against the elements in some way, but don’t forget about the garage door. Rot or insect related damage is a common cause for repairs. The bottom section is the most commonly afflicted part. In severe cases, this can cause a safety hazard since the bottom section is under pressure from the counter balance system. Make sure to keep yours properly sealed.

That may seem like quite a bit to follow through on, but in reality it can save you time and money. This is a case where an ounce of prevention is worth more than pound of cure. Maintaining your garage door and opener costs very little compared to the hundreds of dollars it would take to replace them. 

* Ben Franklin

Leave a comment

Filed under garage door