Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Benefits of Garage Door Seals

Garages are not merely a place for parking cars. They often have multiple functions like home-office, gym or hobby station, besides accommodating assorted storage for the house. Garage door seals help to maintain the internal garage environment preventing ingress of dirt and vermin and offering weather insulation.


Garage door seals act as a barrier by covering the small gaps and joints between the door body and its structural surrounds. These gaps allow water, dust, leaves and even pests into the house. Water can damage stored items and pose a slipping hazard. Pests cause damage and create unhealthy conditions.

Garage door bottom seals are pieces of vinyl or rubber which are attached to the door bottom. Floor door stops prevent leaves and litter from being blown in. Garage door threshold seals are fixed to the floor and are tougher. Garage door floor seals are fixed using industrial strength adhesive. Garage door weather stripping includes pieces of vinyl or plastic attached to the jambs and header, using nails and screws which act as door draught excluders. Seal kits are available and can be installed as DIY jobs.

These different door seals ensure that there is an effective barrier between the garage interiors and outdoor elements.


By sealing the gaps, garage door weather strips keep the weather out. Thus, they can control the internal conditions and bring down cooling or heating costs resulting in energy savings. This helps both the homeowner’s budget as well as the environment.

With garages being used for recreation or other uses for extended periods, internal conditions must be comfortable. Garage door weather seals play a significant role in improving these conditions.

Garage door insulation is inadequate without the use of seals. Garage door seals are critical to ensure that the results desired of insulated doors are achieved.


Garage door gaskets not only protect the interior and stored items; they can also prolong the life of the door and its surrounds. Garage doors are large and may often be handled roughly. This can cause wear and tear at the edges and may cause concrete, plaster or surrounding wall finishes to show signs of damage. Garage door seals act as cushions along the closing surface of the door. This helps to minimize the potential damage to doors and surrounding materials. By maintaining the good condition of doors, they reduce the possibility of frequent replacement or the need to refinish jambs and headers.

Garage door seals are an essential installation which bring many benefits to the garage interiors and prolong the door life.

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Making First Impressions

Walk down any street and you’ll notice how some houses catch your eye. That first impression is often created by the color scheme. Usually it’s because it’s so attractive — everything works in harmony. Occasionally it’s a discordant color clash.

Picking exterior colors for garage doors can be daunting, and expensive if you don’t like the results. How can you avoid mistakes?

The first step is to step back. Walk to the curb and look at your whole house. Take in the color and texture of the roof, cladding (brick, siding, wood, stucco), the architecture and amount of detail, and the streetscape. Take a stroll around the neighborhood to see what you like on similar houses. And don’t forget your immediate neighbors; you don’t want to clash or copy them.

Stick large paint chips on the garage door and look from the road to see if you can tell what colour they are. Do this on an overcast day or when the sun isn’t shining right on it and washing the colour out. Look at it in different lights.

Several major paint companies have photographs, colour charts and options on their sites where you scan in your house photo and see what it looks like with different choices. Such sites can inspire, educate and provide a virtual look at your new paint. Some include calculators to determine the amount of paint you need and how-to videos. You can also find historic colour charts.

Curb appeal makes a statement about you and your house, so let your personality show. Do you want your home to say elegant and stately or storybook cute for example? Express yourself so your house goes from average to ‘wow.’

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The Friday Funny

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Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

Did you ever think that a new garage door could almost pay for itself?

Garage door replacement ranked No. 2 in “cost recouped” on a list of 35 common home remodeling projects in Remodeling Magazine’s 24th annual Cost vs. Value Report.

The average midrange garage door replacement cost was estimated at $1,291. Resale value of the project averaged $1,083 – an 83.9 percent return on investment (ROI) at resale. In some cities, such as Charleston, W. Va., Honolulu, Providence, R.I., and San Francisco, the ROI for a new garage door was more than 100 percent.

Upscale garage door replacements were estimated to provide a 69.8 percent ROI – No. 4 among the upscale projects listed in the survey.

What does that mean to homeowners? You can have your cake and eat it, too. A new garage door can add to the beauty of your home as you live in it and enjoy it today, while also providing a high level of payback – nearly 84 cents of every dollar spent on the garage door replacement – when it’s time to sell.

What’s more, garage door replacement was one of the least expensive projects listed in the survey. That means a new garage door may be the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to enhance your home’s appearance and get a great return on your investment.

In addition to providing a great ROI, a stylish new garage door can add to the beauty of your home. If you have a front-facing attached garage, a new door adds instant curb appeal. An attached garage can make up a third or more of the front of the home. Replacing a garage door can be the difference between a “plain vanilla” home and a stylish, attractive home. After all, haven’t you ever drive down a street you’ve driven down hundreds of times before and notice something “different” about a house that has enhanced its look? Could it have been a new garage door?

If you’re seriously thinking about a new garage door, here’s something else to think about: once you’ve picked the model and style that’s right for you, sit back and leave the installation to the professionals. This isn’t a job for the weekend warrior. A garage door is the heaviest moving object in your home. It is actually a system that includes springs, cables, rollers, tracks and other hardware. Some of the elements of this system are under high tension. If improperly installed, this system can cause injury or even death.

Proper installation and even repair projects are best left to experienced professionals.

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A New Generation of LiftMaster Garage Door Openers and Accessories Enabled By MyQ™

1st United Door Technologies debuts a new generation of LiftMaster residential garage door opener models enabled by MyQ™ technology, a patented, two-way intelligent communication system embedded in the new units that will take homeowner freedom and convenience to an entirely new level.

LiftMaster, the number one brand of professionally installed garage door openers and access solutions, introduced the groundbreaking technology into two units of a new line, the LiftMaster Elite Series™ Belt Drive 8550 and the Premium Series Chain Drive 8360. They clearly demonstrate how wireless technology works alongside MyQ-enabled accessories.


Paving the way as the new intelligence in garage door openers, these models feature an enhanced logic board that functions as a new, smarter ‘brain’ inside. As one of two radios on the board, the patented MyQ technology, utilizes a two-way communication system that enables these advanced units to open and close the garage door as well as manage other household devices.

For the first time ever, the garage door opener can wirelessly send and receive messages and commands to other household devices that are plugged into LiftMaster accessories enabled by MyQ technology, expanding the garage door opener beyond only opening and closing door.

Through a cutting-edge, two-way communication system, the new lineup of LiftMaster openers enabled by MyQ technology has the ability to manage and activate other MyQ-enabled devices within the home. Outfitted with two separate radios, a “worker” radio (Security+2.0 which uses 310, 315 or 390 MHz) and a “communication” radio (MyQ technology, which uses 900 MHz), a homeowner can turn lights on or off in the home or operate the garage door with a remote or from anywhere in the world using a smartphone or personal computer, depending on the type of LiftMaster MyQ-enabled accessory plugged into the household device.

Working with the two-way communication system built into each new opener, LiftMaster developed an array of functional and innovative accessories ideal for any homeowner who wants more freedom and control while also elevating the security and convenience of their home.

Synced up with the same 900 MHz frequency, the LiftMaster Garage Door Monitor (Model 829LM) displays the status of the garage door from within any room of the house. This innovative base station receives an alert from the garage door opener, which has the sensor built in to the system. If the door is open, the garage door opener will alert the base station which will blink red and an audible noise will sound; if the door is closed, the garage door opener will inform the base station and the light on the monitor will illuminate green until the status of the door changes.

This feature offers the homeowner added convenience and peace-of-mind that their garage door is open or closed when it should be.

Homeowners will never have to enter a dark home with the LiftMaster Remote Light Control.

These adaptors, enabled by MyQ technology, plug into the wall outlet or socket. By plugging any household lamp or light fixture into the Remote Light Control adaptor, a homeowner can easily and conveniently manage that light; switch it on or off with a simple press of a remote button or brighten up their entranceway to the home, front hallway, mudroom, kitchen or living room as they pull into the driveway, providing added visibility and security.

 Taking home activation to a new level, LiftMaster is also unveiling the internet gateway (828LM).

By simply plugging the LiftMaster Internet Gateway into an existing router with a live internet connection, homeowners can now monitor and control their garage door opener and 15 additional devices enabled by MyQ technology from anywhere in the world using a smartphone or a computer.

Once a homeowner plugs in the LiftMaster Internet Gateway accessory to their existing internet connection they will be prompted to register their device on, which serves as the hub for managing all registered MyQ devices. In addition to this web site, homeowners can also obtain the LiftMaster app where all apps are sold, and control their MyQ registered devices from their own smart phones. The gateway allows access from anywhere, not just from within the home, providing a truly elevated level of freedom and control.

In addition to rich features and benefits, the new line of LiftMaster garage door openers enabled by MyQ technology consume just one watt of energy per hour when in standby mode, compared to older units, which use five to six watts per hour in standby mode. The efficient new units were crafted to be able to fit energy-saving CFL light bulbs.

LiftMaster is the number one brand of professionally installed residential garage door openers, as well as a major manufacturer of commercial door operators, residential and commercial gate operators, telephone entry systems and related access control products. Driven by the access and security needs of the marketplace, LiftMaster’s expansive line of state-of-the-art residential and commercial products are designed to fit any lifestyle or application, providing consumers with the latest technology and innovations in safety, security and convenience.

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Preparing Your Garage Door for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season officially is here.

It’s an opportune reminder to homeowners in hurricane prone regions to prepare in advance to make sure your home is secure if a storm hits.

The garage door is the largest moving part on your home and may pose a major threat to your property if you live in a hurricane prone region.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can cause an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in a blowout of the roof and supporting walls.

Code-compliant garage doors are critical to preserving a home’s structural integrity during a hurricane. Because of their size, garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than other exterior openings – especially two-car garage doors. Unless you have a tested, hurricane resistant door installed, high winds can force it out of the opening.

To meet the International Building Code, garage doors must have additional bracing, heavier gauge tracking and other necessary hardware to help keep them in place under extreme winds.

Homeowners with an older garage door may not even realize that it poses a threat. A reinforced door is a small investment that can minimize major damage and property loss. And, if your door has weathered a previous storm, it needs to be inspected for hidden damage or vulnerabilities.

Here are the things to look for when selecting a hurricane reinforced garage door:

  • Determine the wind load requirements for your geographic region and make sure your garage door meets them. The local building code authority can provide code information and a professional garage door technician can perform an on-site inspection.
  • Understand “storm ready” vs. “add-on” reinforcement. Two kinds of reinforced garage doors are available. With the “add-on” system, a homeowner has to install long posts in the floor and ceiling to reinforce the door before the storm hits, and then remove them again afterwards to resume normal operation.

    “Storm-ready” models require no advance set-up. Reinforcement is built into the structure of the door and is engaged by simply locking it, a timesaving convenience in the event of a sudden evacuation notice. This type of door is particularly beneficial to vacation home and rental property owners because they have peace of mind knowing that the garage door is secure as long as it’s locked.

  • Choose a door that has heavy-duty rollers, hinges, springs and track to provide additional strength and help keep the door in place.
  • Retrofitting an older door with new hardware will not provide the structural support needed for the current building codes. It is important to have a trained garage door professional install the appropriate door for your area.

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 This is one of the hottest new products of the year!

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Deciding Between Garage Door Repair or Replacement

On an older home, a homeowner may find a need for garage door replacement. Sometimes the door has reached a state that will require such a replacement, but sometimes the problem can be fixed with garage door repair. Knowing what 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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Garage Door Safety Needs To Be A Priority

Many families use the garage door more than the front door. Armfuls of groceries and the kid’s bikes and toys all go in through the garage door. The potential for an accident is high with so much activity swirling around. That is why garage door safety needs to be a priority in every household.

The first question homeowners need to ask is how old is the garage door and opener? A garage door over 10 years old is due for an inspection by a qualified garage door specialist. The specialist will test the springs for any weakness, inspect the opener, and track system for any signs of wear and tear. The homeowner should never attempt to adjust the springs or tension devices. The components are under a great deal of tension, and serious injury can occur.

As a homeowner, there are tests that can be conducted to test the safety of the garage door. First off, if the garage door does not have a reversing feature it is recommended that the door be replaced. New safety regulations require all new installations have this feature. To test the feature place a block of wood under the door as it closes. The door should bump the wood and immediately reverse its self. This feature prevents anyone from being crushed under the door. If your garage door has reversing sensors, the way to test them is to pass something in front of the sensor as the door closes. The door should immediately reverse itself. These sensors prevent someone from ducking under the door as it closes, preventing personal injury. It is recommended that sensors be installed if the door does not have them. Sensors can be installed after the initial installation.

All garage doors have a manual feature to disengage the door from the tracks if the door opener malfunctions, the door can be disengaged and operated manually. Homeowners can use this feature if they feel there may be a problem with the door opener. The button to operate the garage door from inside the garage should be mounted high enough to prevent small children from operating it. Five foot up from floor level is the recommended height for most situations. Make sure the door opener button is not mounted near steps where children can use the steps to access the button. The button to operate the door should be within sight of the garage door. It is important anyone operating the door is able to see if any pets or children are playing near the door.

To insure garage door safety do not leave the garage door remote where children have access. Many homeowners have a keypad installed doing away with the need for a remote control. Homeowners should properly secure remote controls that are no longer needed.  Homeowners need to remember that the garage door is the biggest door in their home, and many times the most used entrance and exit.

Check the garage door manual to see if the garage door opener has rolling codes. In other words, is the code random every time the garage door is activated? If the code is fixed the code can be captured by certain devices, and used to operate the door. Codes can be changed or upgrade the door opener and or remote control.

Remotes left in a vehicle can be stolen along with the vehicle giving someone access to the home. Homeowners that expect to be away for any extended period should unplug their door opener; this removes any possibility of the door being opened. Make sure your garage door can be locked if the door is manually operated.

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Garage doors don’t often make news headlines

Garage doors don’t often make news headlines. But they did recently, as a woman in Holland, Ohio had a mural painted on her house depicting Oprah Winfrey. The mural was to commemorate the 25 years of her talk show, which ended recently. This shows one extreme example of garage door customization. There are other more practical options to upgrade your home’s exterior using garage doors.

Customized garage doors are an easy way to personalize your home as well as add curb appeal and value. They can make a home look more attractive and inviting, and they are generally affordable.

When deciding on new garage doors, one of the most important things to consider is what kind of material you want to use. The two most popular garage door materials are wood and metal. Wooden doors come in a great variety of colors and textures, from natural wood that can give your home a rustic feel, to popular wood paneling used to make your garage look like a carriage house. Metal doors also come in a great amount of varieties, and can be made to look similar to wooden doors.

A newly popular trend with metal garage doors is to paint them a shade lighter than the rest of the house – this way, there is a clear distinction between the house and garage, but it does not stand out as much as stark white doors would. Another newly popular material to use in garage doors is glass. Glass garage-doors can offer a unique aesthetic appeal as well as maximum light transmission into your garage, and can feature special coatings so that while you can see out, others cannot see in. Combinations of these materials can also be used – whether it be glass and steel or wood and metal, they can offer a sleek look for any contemporary architecture.

If you want to go a more creative route similar to the Ohio woman’s mural, some companies do offer photo tarpaulins which can be used to cover garage doors. Whether you choose a famous work of art, a photo of your own, or one of their 3-D designs (featuring everything from racecars to the illusion that there is an alligator living in your garage), these pieces can become a piece of conversation in your neighborhood.

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