Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Best Things About Garage Doors

One of the best things about owning a home is having a garage to park your car in at night. Having a place that you can store extra items in is a convenience that you become accustomed to.

With the ability to shut the garage doors homeowners can keep their automobile safe and secure. Too many people have been victimized by thieves the break into their parked car when it is on the street. With the convenience of a private garage however, a car can be tucked away out of sight and away from would be thieves.

Being able to your garage as a workshop where you can do some mechanical work or build some furniture for the house is an added blessing to being able to safely keep your car protected from the elements and other threats. With an automatic garage door opener you don’t have to exit your vehicle to open and close the garage. Making sure that when you push the button the springs and motor gently lower the door to the ground you can leave your house locked up, as you come and go through the garage entrance to your home.

Of course, there are occasions when the gears inside the automatic opener wear out and the unit needs to be replaced. When checking the chain that pulls up the door and fixing it in place around the new gear mechanism, it is a good idea to inspect the springs and look for signs that they may need to be replaced also. With well maintained garage doors homeowners can keep their house secure and know that as they need to leave their house in the morning that it will be safe as the doors close with the touch of a button.

Because many people leave their house empty during the day, it is important to make sure that all of the exterior doors are closed tightly and locked from the inside. By leaving through the garage homeowners can have the peace of mind in knowing that their house will be safe as they go off to work. Probably the most utilized entryway of any house, the garage doors are always being pushed and pulled by the automatic openers. When repairs to the system or the doors themselves are needed, it is up to the residents to keep their equipment repaired and running. Homeowners can find everything that they need to keep their equipment maintained by hiring professional licensed installers that can keep their house easily accessible and very safe.

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Energy Saved with Insulated Garage Doors

Insulated garage doors are the perfect method to lower your electrical bill.

An insulated door comes in different dimensions, types and kits so there is no issue when it comes to matching the door to your home’s architectural style.

When seeking out insulated doors, make sure to do the necessary research as well as the R-value of each door. The R-value is the measurement of the resistance of the door’s material to changes in temperatures.

To understand how R-value and heat flow are related, think of your garage not as a single entity but as a part of a system with the external environment. As with most everything in nature, heat will want to redistribute itself in an effort to reach a state of equilibrium, or equal temperatures, on the inside and the outside of your garage. To do this, heat must pass through the garage door to reach the other part of the system.

Door insulation quality impacts your utility bills because your garage door is typically the largest opening in your home. Many people also like to spend time in their garages working or even entertaining guests. For those reasons, a well insulated garage door is important even if the garage is not connected to the house.

In the summer, it is naturally hotter outside of your garage than inside most of the time and heat will try to “get in” to even out the system. If a garage door has an R-value of 3, 1/3 of the heat will get through the door and into your garage. This does not mean though that the internal temperature will be 1/3 of the external temperature. It just means that as more heat is produced externally, 1/3 of it will enter your garage. Insulating your garage door can help keep the heat out.

The opposite is true in winter. Heat is produced inside your garage in winter, either by direct heating, connection to your house, or by effects of the sun. As it is cooler on the outside of the door, heat will try to escape through the door to even out the system. If keeping your garage warm in winter is a priority, or even to just lessen the overall effects of cold temperatures, then choose a door with a higher R-value.

Every year people everywhere lose thousands of dollars because they don’t have garage door insulation. This is very important. Especially as energy prices climb higher, it is important to seal up every possible interface with the outside cold and heat.

One reason to insulate garage doors is simply because if you don’t then untold amounts of extra energy will be expended in both heating and cooling your house. Think about it: the garage is the single biggest area in most anyone’s home which is not insulated. This presents a major problem. What happens, in effect, is that during the winter this “room” will take on all the cold that swirls outside, and it will effectively act like a refrigerator or even freezer butting right up against your kitchen or your living room, etc. In the summer the same thing will happen with heat.

Meanwhile, you’ve got your heating and cooling systems, such as your air conditioning, working overtime to make up for this vulnerability. Where you could’ve just done the right thing and installed garage door insulation, now you’re noticing a greater rise in energy and electric bills than you should otherwise have to be paying. It’s not a good situation. In fact, it could’ve been prevented quite readily with just a little forethought. But don’t kick yourself too hard. Instead, it would be a better use of your time if you’d just patch up the “hole” now.

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Will You Stay or Will You Go Now?

Sometimes a garage door will require a replacement, but sometimes the problem can be fixed with garage door repair.

Knowing what garage door problems can be repaired while what other problems will require replacement can help a homeowner have an easier experience in their efforts to maintain the value of their home.

Some problems that can arise can be easily remedied with garage door repair. If the door is not moving well on its track, sometimes the fix can be simple. Though it is often best to call a professional service to address these repairs, working to diagnose the problem can save time and money for the homeowner. Looking to make sure the brackets that mount the track to the wall are not loose, and checking for dents in the track is a good place to start. Cleaning the tracks to remove dust and grease can also help the door run more smoothly. Loose bracket bolts can be tightened, and small dents can be fixed with a rubber mallet, but severely damaged tracks will require a garage door replacement service to replace the tracks.

With some garage door repair, the replacement or tightening of the hinges that hold the panels of the door together can be the necessary fix. If these fixes are made in time, it can prevent excessive stress on the panels, which can lead to warping, especially in older wooden doors, which have special maintenance needs. Though repair services can fix many of these things, if a wood door is too cracked or has begun to experience rot, garage door replacement might be the best way to go in the long run.

Though in the past many owners of older homes have felt it necessary to endlessly use garage door repair as their only option, the modern market with its wide range of door sizes, styles, and materials makes garage door replacement more feasible. Now, doors are manufactured and can be custom made to match almost any past architectural style, giving homeowners the ability to replace their existing door with one that will perform better, more safely, and in a more energy efficient manner than some of the past options. Garage door replacement can be considered a viable option for many owners of older homes to stop the cycle of repairs.

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Childproofing Your Garage Door

Most new parents make the effort to create a safe environment for their children in the house, but often they don’t extend that effort into the garage.

That’s a mistake, because it’s hard to keep kids away from the garage, and what they can find there could very dangerous indeed. Here are some tips to reduce any threats posed to children in your garage.

  • Check the sensitivity of the “contact reverse” feature of your electric garage door opener several times per year. Place a 2×4 (wood) flat in the doorway. Close the door with the wall control. If the door does not reverse (that is, start to open) after contacting the 2×4, decrease the “close” force on the opener and try again.
  • Make sure the wall control for the garage door opener is installed high enough that it can’t be reached by young children.
  • Put a lock on the door from the house to the garage to keep children from wandering into the garage without your knowledge.
  • Store toxic and flammable substances (including matches), power tools and sharp hand tools well out of a child’s reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.

Childproofing your home is not that easy. You need to consider countless of things and think of unexpected scenarios that are possible to happen. Since this is your children’s safety involved, you can never be too sure. You should go through extreme lengths to keep them secure and well protected against possible harms such as those found in your garage.

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Let the Sun Shine In!

Did you know that it’s easier than you think to transform your existing garage door from bland to beautiful?

Most homeowners don’t give their garage doors a second thought, but just adding a set of windows can change the whole look of the front of your house. If you’re looking for an exterior remodeling project that gives a real bang for a few investment, maybe it’s time to give your local garage door specialist a call.

Here’s a quick overview.

What installation involves:

You don’t have to get an all-new door to enjoy the many benefits of having windows. In most cases, your local garage door dealer simply removes the top section of your door and adds a set of decorative glass panels. There are several designs to choose from: one of which is just right for your house’s unique style.

Why adding windows is a great idea:

1. It greatly enhances the curb appeal of your house: instead of just having a large blank surface that looks like everyone else’s on your block, the door becomes part of your home’s exterior aesthetic. Doors with windows are a lot classier looking than their plain counterparts. If you are trying to sell your home in this tough housing market, every little improvement helps.

2. It adds natural light to your garage’s interior: If you keep a workshop in a corner of your garage, having extra windows is a real bonus. You don’t have to turn on lights during the day every time you enter the room.

3. Plenty of styles to choose from. There are lots of different styles to suit everyone’s tastes.

Concerned about privacy or security? There are various types of glass that are available that can obscure the ability to look thru the glass including tinted or seedie glass. There’s also the options of using double-strength glass or clear Lexan® for strength and durability. Solar and insulated glass are great options for improved protection against solar heat gain.

If you’re ready to add a touch of class to the front of your home, adding door windows is a simple and cost-effective way to make a real difference. Contact your local licensed and insured dealer and see how easy it is to transform you door from dull to dramatic.

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Garage Door Check-Ups Save You Money

At least once a year you should examine the garage door(s) on your property. To insure for proper operation and the longevity of your investment, we recommend that you pay-attention to your garage during daily use. When you find time to do a relatively simple walkthrough, follow these steps:

1. Disengage your opener by means of the emergency release and manually open and close the door. During this time, the garage should operate smoothly without making loud noises. If you can open your garage door with one hand, make sure that it’s not flying up or slamming shut.

2. Check the cables and chain, torsion springs, rollers, and track. As you look at those, also go over the hinges and mounting brackets because sometimes screws come loose.

3. Perform preventative maintenance by having a good lubricant that is made for garage doors. Remember that WD-40 is not a lubricant. With your garage door closed, place a tiny amount at each point on the door where there’s a moving part. When you’re finished, manually open and close the door to work the lubricant in. Don’t forget the bearings on a torsion spring (which is located above the door when closed).

Garage door systems will last about 10-20 years. Like anything else that you use, if there’s high usage and poor maintenance, you can’t expect that your investment will last long. Appropriate care will help to increase the lifespan of your garage door and opener system. If something is wrong when you are performing a walkthrough it is important to repair it promptly. Garage door maintenance is a good way to prevent costlier future repairs. If you have a demanding schedule or cannot perform the maintenance yourself, hire professionals to do it.

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Carriage House Garage Door to Compliment Your Buggy

While you might not own a carriage, would you use your garage to create the sense that you do?

When choosing a plan for your garage access, the number of options that you have is nearly limitless. One of the most interesting and elegant styles is one that resembles the door of a carriage house. While a lot of us have taken relaxing carriage rides, we might be less familiar with a carriage house. What exactly is the style of these storage areas for carriages, and why have they inspired carriage house doors?

These houses were the place where carriages that horses pulled, were stored. As you undoubtedly have noticed, carriages aren’t as common today as they were in the past. But there’s that old saying that what’s old is new again. Many people choose garage doors that resemble the door of a carriage house, to add a touch of elegance and style to their homes.

How do they work? They open overhead like the majority of today’s garage doors. This differs from the authentic doors, which opened outward. But that is not to say that this style of door doesn’t look authentic. In fact, they often are adorned with ornamental pieces such as handles and doorknobs, to give them an authentic look.

When choosing between the various options of garage doors that resemble the entrance of a carriage house, here are some of the options that you have:

1. Materials

The original doors of were made of wood, so elect that material if you want your garage door to be as authentic as possible. However if you are searching for a more durable material that’ll call for less maintenance, then you can also find such garage doors made from steel.

2. Operation

If you fancy the experience of opening the door of the real thing, then choose a door that opens manually. But if you want to have modern convenience, you can also find models with an automatic garage door opener that gives you the dependability of today’s overhead garage door.

3. Styles

Carriage house garage doors are obtainable in a wide array of styles. This will ease the ability to complement the design of your house. Even if you don’t have a house and carriage, it can make a wonderful addition to your garage!

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“Take my car, not my garage door!”

Theft statistics are ever present, and no matter how strongly someone feels that it would never happen to them, car theft happens all the time.

It is important that you have your vehicle safely guarded so that it cannot be stolen. Most comprehensive motor insurance policies will stipulate that your vehicle needs to be kept in a locked garage at night in order for the premium to be cheaper.

People may not consider the importance of garage doors, but the fact is that your door will be the number one barrier between your vehicle and a thief. Garage doors can be locked, which is an excellent deterrent for thieves, and is far superior in protecting your vehicle than if you keep it in a covered parking overnight without any walls or doors. Automation is a key component in garage door security. An automatic garage door opener not only adds convenience to your life, but it also increases your safety.

If you can open your garage door without having to exit your vehicle, you are not leaving your vehicle open as an exposed target, and you are also able to ensure there are no suspicious persons lurking nearby. One of the main places where hijackings occur is in a person’s driveway. If you have an automated door, you will be able to ensure your safety.

Another important reason to have a garage door is for aesthetic appeal. This may seem to be a shallow thing to say but it must not be seen as such. A door will make your home look complete and greatly adds to the value of your house. There is something that looks wrong about a garage that does not have a door. Furthermore, the right kind of garage door can make your home look much better!

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It’s Check-Up Time for Your Garage Door Opener

Your garage door opener will give you many years of useful and safe service if you treat it with respect and observe a periodic maintenance and inspection schedule.

In order to properly care for or fix your automatic garage door opener, you need to know your type of system:

  • Chain-drive systems are the most common and least expensive type. An electric motor drives a metal chain (similar to a bicycle chain) that raises and lowers the door. These systems are reliable but can be noisy.
  • Belt-drive units use a rubber belt (rather than a chain) to lift the door. These systems typically offer the smoothest and quietest operation.
  • Screw-drive systems feature a threaded steel rod that turns to raise or lower the door. While these systems operate more slowly, they’re able to lift heavy, one-piece tilt-up doors.

Keeping your automatic garage door opener in top shape is easy. Your owner’s manual is the best source of maintenance information, but most openers require only three simple annual maintenance tasks:

 1. Test and adjust the auto-reverse system.

This system opens the door immediately if it comes in contact with anything while closing. Make sure the two electronic eyes align. You may need to clean or replace one or both eyes. Then try all the following:

  • Set an object that blocks the opener’s electronic eyes at your garage’s open threshold. (A roll of paper towels works well.) When you try to close the door, the door should immediately reopen.
  • Set an object in the threshold that doesn’t block the opener’s electronic eyes. (A folding chair or a sawhorse works well because the electronic eyes can still connect between the legs.) When you close the door, it should touch the object briefly and then immediately reverse. Adjust the tension in the motor housing mounted on the ceiling following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Start to close the garage door and then insert a broom or rake into the path of the electronic eyes. The door should immediately reverse.

 2. Lubricate the chain, screw, and rollers.

Ask a Lowe’s salesperson to help you locate a spray lithium lubricant. Apply lubricant to all moving parts and run the opener a few times.

 3. Test the manual release handles.

This feature allows you to open the door by hand when the power is off or the opener is malfunctioning. Review your opener’s manual for operation instructions. It’s best to know how your manual release works and practice a few times before you have a problem.

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Hurricane Proofing Garage Doors

The garage door is potentially the weakest point of your home during a hurricane.

The door has a large surface area and the attachments on most garage doors are minimal – namely the track and wheels. Hurricane force winds can blow your garage door in or suck it out. Once hurricane force winds have entered the house, you are much more likely to lead to a buildup of internal pressure resulting in a loss of the roof or walls. According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes about 80 percent of residential hurricane wind damage starts with wind entry through garage doors, so protecting the garage doors is important.

You can check your current garage door for a sticker that gives the Miami-Dade seal, wind speed rating or pressure rating. Some older doors are rated to 100 mph winds, newer doors that are Miami-Dade County approved are rated to 150-165 mph. Prior to 1993 many garage doors were rated only to 50 mph. After 1993, many may be rated only to 100 mph.

For an existing home there are several options available to improve the durability of your garage: strengthening your current garage door or replacing it with a new model.

Most solutions for securing an existing garage door to prevent hurricane damage involve supports and braces. There is a product, available in home improvement stores called Secure Door®. This is a product that is extremely effective, Florida Building Code approved (FL6420), highly affordable solution that provides wind protection for garage doors in the event of a major hurricane. The product is a vertical bracing system made from high quality aircraft-grade aluminum that attaches to the inside of the garage door. Secure Door® hurricane garage door protection strengthens the door and provides support for the door in addition to the garage door tracks. Secure Door® is a patented hurricane garage door brace that converts most existing garage doors to a hurricane-resistant garage door. While no garage door can be considered a hurricane proof garage door, Secure Door’s performance capabilities have been proven through independent laboratory tests and may be as close to that goal as possible.

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