Category Archives: garage door

Painting Your Garage Door Means Getting the Right Stuff

garage door brush-n-cansSelecting the garage door paint depends upon so many considerations.

The first consideration is the color of the house and whether the garage door is exposed to sunlight or not. Whenever you decide to paint garage doors, you must think about the color of your house and the garage door paint colors will largely depend on that.

If your house is of bright color you may use some color which will match with other exteriors of the house or you may decide to go for a contrast selection. If the garage door is exposed to sun rays during the day then you may not go for a bright color as bright colors tend to fade away very quickly in sun and the door will require very frequent repainting.

For selecting the type of paint that should be applied, in cases when you are repainting garage doors, it is important to know the type of paint which is already there on the doors. If you have oil based paint, you can apply latex paint or oil based paint but if you have latex paint then you can apply only latex paint over it. In case when you cannot confirm the type of paint which is already there, it is advisable to opt for the best quality latex paint for repainting the garage doors.

Once the type of paint and color is decided the question that arises is how to paint garage doors. You can very easily assign the task to professionals but if you love to do it yourself you will find that it is a very easy and tireless job.

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A good time for cleaning and some preventative garage door maintenance

On a busy day your garage door may open and close 20 times, fiirst united door preventitive careso routine maintenance is a must to keep it in good working order. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular garage door cleaning and maintenance will guarantee a great look and longer life of your door.

Appearance

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

Exterior Weather-Stripping

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

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

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Home buyers want accessible features they can age with

firstunitedgaragedoorAccording to U.S. Census data, the number of Americans 65 and older is expected to rise 35 percent from 2010 to 2020. This plays a big part in the upswing of universal design and aging-in-place home features the past few years, accompanying the increase of multigenerational homes. A recent article from The Washington Post cites AARP findings on the subject:

According to AARP, the majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes permanently and live independently. This demographic change translates into demand for residential designs that anticipate changes in health, vision or mobility, and ensures that homes stay safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want report released in 2013 surveyed new and prospective home buyers nationwide to identify which features they want (and don’t want) when looking to purchase a home, one of the most desirable purchases home buyers are making with aging in mind is selecting a garage door 9 ft. or higher to accommodate a raised roof van with wheelchair lift. Besides the accommodation, it’s a good investment as well adding more value to the house itself.

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Stop Thief! Garage Door Security

garage door burglary - first united doorThe garage is an easy entry for unwanted people in our homes making garage security essential to protect yourself and your belongings.

They are a popular target for criminals to get into your home and for obvious reasons. Some of our most expensive belongings are placed in there besides your car including bikes, lawnmower and power tools.

There are a few tips that you can use to ensure the safety of your family and home. Make sure that you invest in a good garage door and door opener. Some new openers, like the Liftmaster brand, have automatic locking feature on some models that make it much more difficult for any stranger to open. On a side note, when you have a new garage door opener installed, make sure the combination is reset, as the factory set combination is a familiar one to criminals.

It is important to understand the different security features that garage doors have. Most people aren’t aware how easy it is to simply open up a garage door. If you don’t have a proper garage door lock in place, for example, you will find that most doors are very easy to open.

Always try and look for a good system that will help to give you the best results possible. Finding the right door lock for you is important because it will help you secure your garage. Having a garage door that isn’t properly secured can be an easy opportunity for potential thieves.

Criminals already know that many of us overlook securing the garage door in the same way we bolt our front door. As the door that leads to the house from your garage is an interior door this misleads to thinking that it is secure. This is not the case. If the garage door can be broken into easily then it is equally easy for burglars to get into the house.

A common mistake made by people is to leave the garage door open during the day especially if they think that they will be back in a few minutes. This leaves everything in the garage to be seen by intruders who now know what they can get from there. In some cases, they can even attempt to hide in the normal clutter of a garage and wait for the right moment to run away with your valuables.

Home security is a comprehensive thing that you should take time to analyze. Securing your garage door should be a big part of that.

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My Garage Door Won’t Close!

Garage-wont-close-firstudtEveryone’s finally dressed and ready to leave. You back the car out, hit the remote, and you’re off. Until you realize the garage door hasn’t gone down. You reluctantly pull back into the driveway, brow furrowing in frustration. It happens to everyone. Many homeowners don’t even realize they left it open until they return home.

Why didn’t it close? Garage doors usually fail to close as a result of the safety sensors being blocked. They’re located on each side of the opening, no more than a foot or so off the ground. Typically, each will have a small light that stays lit when everything is going well. If either of the lights are out, simply move whatever is blocking the sensor (sometimes even cobwebs/small debris can cause safety sensors to malfunction) or adjust them so that they are pointing at each other again. You can move these around by hand if they’ve been knocked out of alignment.

If you’re still stuck at home, make sure nothing is blocking the path of the door. This can be a common cause for service calls on garage doors. Always use caution when operating your door, but be extra cautious when it’s not working correctly. It’s the probably the largest, heaviest piece of machinery in the house. The counter balance system of the door is under extreme pressure, and when it doesn’t work properly, it can be dangerous. Many people have been injured or even killed by garage doors, some of them professionals. If your garage door is sitting crooked in the opening, has come off the tracks, or is not working properly, call a professional repair company immediately.

If the door works but the opener still won’t close it, there are a couple more things to try before calling a professional. Try using the wall button instead of the remote or keyless entry. It’s possible the remote’s batteries are dead, or the opener’s lock function has been enabled. If the garage door itself is working properly, you can pull the manual release on the opener. This will let you close the door manually, although the opener won’t be locking it shut the way it normally would.

Some openers have an indicator light that can help troubleshoot any problems. Again, you’ll need your owner’s manual for your opener. Many can be found online by doing a quick search for your make and model number. You can find the model and manufacturer on the back of the opener.

If all else fails, it may be time to call a licensed professional. Some companies will be able to give an estimate on probable repairs over the phone, so let them know what steps you may have already taken. Call a few different companies to ensure their numbers are competitive. Since openers have an expected life span of about 10 years, it might also be a good idea to check prices for new openers, instead of repairing an older model. Newer models will also have more up to date security and battery back-up features.

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Read Your Garage Door Owner’s Manual!

For those of you who have moved into a new home or have just installed a new garage door, be sure to take the time to thoroughly read the garage door owner’s manual. It may seem BookStacklike a chore and take time, but one would be surprised at what they can find in most well written garage door manuals. The manual will contain safety and design information to help you insure that your garage door is safe to use and properly installed, and contain information on how to keep your garage door properly maintained.

For example, many garage door manuals will contain helpful tips for painting them. Most companies will tell you to pain BOTH the inside and outside of the garage door to keep everything even, and to never remove any parts of the garage door when painting. If you want to make sure that your garage door is completely covered in a fresh coat of paint, you need to call in a professional to dismantle it so that you can finish the paint job, and then have the garage door installed again. This usually does not happen, but again, do not try to dismantle any of the parts of the garage door. It can lead to a very dangerous situation.

Once you have your garage door installed, it is vital that you periodically lubricate most parts of it. It is often easiest to lubricate the metal parts using silicone spray that can be found at most local hardware stores. However, be sure to never lubricate plastic rollers and plastic idler bearings. It is also suggested that you check for loose nuts and bolts on a monthly basis and if you find something out of the ordinary, call in an expert to help you with your problem. Don’t try anything yourself unless you are licensed and well trained in repairing garage doors.

Also, make sure to check that the door has proper balance by slowly opening the door and making sure that when the bottom of the door is waist high, it does not sway and move in any direction. Finally, using a 2×4 block of wood, make sure that the sensors on your garage works (if it is a remote-controlled door). Place the 2×4 in the pathway of the door and when the door gets somewhat close to the top of the 2×4 it should reverse direction and go back up.

If the garage door is moving, keep your distance and never stand or walk under a moving door. It is important that you set an example for your children and you do not want them under a moving garage door. You should also try to make sure children cannot reach the wall-mounted garage door openers and be sure to hide the remotes. You do not want your children playing with the garage door at all. Finally, if you think you have a problem, call an expert. Never try to fix anything yourself as garage doors are very dangerous and you put yourself in harm’s way when you try to fix it, especially when you don’t know exactly what you are doing.

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Garage Door Emergency Release Latch

Well you probably don’t think about the electricity cutting out in your home. If it happens to you, how can you get your garage door open? garage door release

No need to worry, there’s a solution to your problem.

Garage Door Openers have an “emergency release latch” mechanism that allows you to operate the garage door manually in the event you lose power.

The carriage is the part of the opener to which the door arm connects. The carriage locks around the opener trolley during normal operation. Once the power comes back on it is necessary to reengage a garage door opener to the door. The process is generally the same among all the garage door opener manufacturers.

To do this:

  1. Locate the release mechanism. Somewhere along the track between the motor and the door should be the drive carriage and a release mechanism with a cord hanging down. Usually it will be closer to the door assuming it is closed. If the power is out and your garage is dark, you may need to use a flashlight to help you see.
  2. Pull the handle to release the carriage. It may take a little force especially on an older opener that might be stuck. Pull all the way until it stops to be sure it is completely released. If not fully released, attempting to manually open the door could damage the opener.
  3. Manually open the garage door. Now the garage door should be able to freely open and close. Be aware that anyone will be able to open the door from outside. You might want to use a latch if this is not a temporary solution.
  4. Re-engage the automatic door opener. Once the power has been restored or the opener has been repaired, pull the release cord again to make sure it is fully open. Manually raise or lower the door until the carriage locks into place. Verify that the opener works as expected.

Lifting up a garage door is a trivial action for the majority of us; nonetheless, utilizing the emergency release latch can turn out to be a daunting task for the elderly or the young.  There is an alternative.  A battery-operated power backup is a proven and effective solution; although, it does come at a price.  Essentially, the battery backup is powered by the mains when not in use and kicks in automatically when required.  Due to the fact that it is battery operated, it has a limited number of uses before recharging is required – an important note for those prolonged power outages.

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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.Wash Garage Door

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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A Guide to Garage Door Openers

garage-door-operatorGarage doors are no longer the regular roll-top ones, which have to be
pushed up by hand.
These days, garage door openers are provided with
various accessories to make opening easier. No matter how heavy the garage
door, it can be fitted with the right kind of opener. These openers ensure
utmost safety and security for garages under any conditions. They are also
provided with several options and in various designs to suit the exact
requirements of the user. The best thing is, they can be installed within 3-5
hours. A professional can install a garage door opener in one hour!

Garage door openers are of two kinds depending on the use: residential and
commercial. In the commercial range of garage door openers, the main
models are: Trolley, Jackshift, Hoist and the Slide models. While Trolley
openers are used for standard lifting on sectional doors, Jackshift is used for
grilles, rolling doors and shutters. Hoist operators are similar to Jackshifts
but they are also suitable for heavy duty industrial doors. The slide door
openers are meant for single and bi-parting slide doors and also for fire
doors.

The main step in purchasing a garage door opener is to determine the actual
drive system. Garage door openers are of three kinds depending on the drive
system: belt driven, chain driven and direct drive. The most important points
to be considered in a garage opener system are the kind of motor and the
horsepower. Garage door openers differ in speed also. The average speed is
7 inches lift/drop per second. There are openers that operate at even double
this speed.

Garage door openers are provided with different kinds of warranties. Safety
is another important aspect while choosing the right garage door opener. It is
mandatory that all automatic door openers should be equipped with a noncontact
invisible beam system that can sense the approach of a person and
make the door to reverse back to the open position. Other mandatory
features of garage openers are: automatic lights, a timed reversing feature,
a manual emergency release cord and a force adjustment feature.

Garage door openers are usually noisy but some advanced models are being
designed to be really quiet. Proper maintenance and lubrication would also
lessen the noise made by garage door openers. On the whole, garage door
openers should be weather resistant, safe, and should have the least wire
exposure for long life.

Garage doors can also be operated by a remote control. This is especially
useful for people who have homes with multiple garages. However, it is
better to have a rolling radio signal code for the control as it is easy for
thieves to capture the code from thin air. Garage door openers can also have
an automatic light, remote control and a wall operator, as well as the option
of single/two/three button transmitters.

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Reduce the Noise Coming From Your Garage Door!

Garage Door NoiseEvery time the garage door opens and closes, a loud rumble comes right through the walls of your home. 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 licensed and insured garage door professional. They are trained to offer you top quality work and service and in the end, peace of mind.

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