Tag Archives: garage door care

Keep The Door To Your Castle In Good Shape

Garage doors are an important part of your home. They tend to take a great deal of abuse while protecting your family’s vehicles and all the other tools or valuables you have stored away.

Hockey and baseball players need a target for their shots and throws, and where better than the garage door? All this endless thumping only makes the wear and tear on the door to your garage progressively worse.

Your garage door can increase or decrease the value of your property and your home’s curb appeal, based on how well it functions or how attractive it is. It may even become a great liability or a serious nuisance if it is not fully functional. Take a close look at your garage door. Perhaps it is time to seek out a garage door service company for repair, a new door spring, or a complete replacement.

A door that is not functioning properly is a danger and a liability. An average one is likely to weigh three hundred to six hundred pounds. If this falls on a person or an automobile, it can leave quite an impression. Lessening the dangers of a garage door malfunction is the ideal if you want to protect your family, friends, and pets. Cutting corners by doing nothing could eventually cost you more than the value of your home in a lawsuit.

Since the garage door moves by being hoisted onto metal rails up to often ten feet in the air, it can potentially be deadly. If the garage door spring breaks or goes off track, it is possible that the device could fail to stay up and fall to the ground without warning. Having six hundred pounds of metal land on a friend or relative, could cause a lawsuit being filed against you. It is urgent that you find a reliable, trustworthy, and experienced garage door service company to fix any mechanical problems.

Seriously consider when to pay for a garage door repair versus when to replace it. Of course, repair costs less than a replacement. However, if the repair is not done properly, or the door is too far gone, it can end up being a waste of time and money. There are some parts that can be simply repaired.

The door spring is simple to fix, but does require an expert because of the danger involved. Don’t ever try to make this repair yourself. Other examples of reparable problems include broken cables, garage door opener malfunctions, or broken cables and rollers. A door off of its tracks can be adjusted and made to work as good as new.

The key to knowing when to replace the entire door or when to have a repair done is having a trustworthy garage door service company to consult with. Have experts come to evaluate the problems and weaknesses in your system. Allow them to determine if a section replacement is enough or if a new door should be installed. Whatever you decide, be sure to choose an attractive paint color to add beauty to your castle.

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Protecting that Wood Garage Door

Natural wood garage doors can enhance the curb appeal of any home.

The beauty of natural wood with the random patterns of grain is not an easy look to duplicate with manmade materials. If you have a wood garage door, whether it is painted or stained to show the grain, routine care will keep it looking great for years to come.

Unlike the siding of your home, garage doors move with every button push on your remote or lift with your arms. This movement can add stress to the door’s finish and to the panels themselves. Check to see if stress has caused cracks or gaps to form in the finish coat. These cracks are the inroads for water, which can lead to more damage.

The best way to protect wood is with a durable, weather-resistant finish. These can fall into two groups: film finishes, like varnish or paint; and penetrating finishes, like oils and stains. Film finishes are more susceptible to movement-induced stress and can crack and flake. Penetrating oil finishes, by comparison, are more flexible and therefore hold up better. One advantage to maintaining garage doors is that they are relatively small and accessible, compared to other areas of a home. It is easy to reach the upper areas from a simple stepladder.

Cleaning before painting or staining may seem obvious to many people, it is often overlooked; however, its omission can lead to problems down the road. In their excitement for a new look, some people jump right in without the proper preparations. Wind-blown dust and dirt can get into the corners or gaps in the door’s panels. When refinishing, this debris can get into the finish coat and cause unsightly results. Prior to any finish work, the surfaces should be properly prepared. Loose paint or varnish should be removed by scraping or sanding. If mold and mildew are present, the surface may require some scrubbing with a dedicated cleaner. Power washing is an option, but should be used with caution; the high pressures of these machines can actually damage softer woods. Another way to protect wood while cleaning is by using a simple brush; this, along with a garden hose, can get the job done without the risks of power washing. After any “washing,” it is important to ensure that the surface has plenty of time to dry before proceeding. This time varies by climate and season and can range from hours to several days.

Unlike siding, you can access the back of a garage door; to protect wood on both sides, finishing will need to done on the interior and exterior. Wood is a hydroscopic material: It changes with the humidity levels of its environment. Wood swells in high humidity and contracts in low humidity. This expansion and contraction is a primary cause of many finish failures. If the inside of the door is not protected, it can cause finish stress to the exterior side. Because the inside of the door is protected from wind and rain, you will not need to maintain this surface as frequently, but it should still be checked regularly.

Inside and outside finish work can protect wood from the effects of sun, wind and rain; proper preparations can yield long-lasting and beautiful results. Whether you work with colorful paints or simple penetrating oils, your goal is to protect wood. The added stress of movement makes garage doors more susceptible to damage, but their accessibly can make quick work of the required tasks.

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Garage Door: Make it Last!

If you want something to last, it goes without saying that you’ll need to take care of and maintain that something.

In other words, if anything about it dysfunctional, you should look to fix the situation as soon as possible. In turn, such an approach will guarantee a long life expectancy to anything you’re maintaining.

Unsurprisingly, the same philosophy applies to garage doors. Due to the fact that they move frequently, they get deteriorated faster and lack of essential maintenance repairs will wear down your door to a point where it will become completely dysfunctional. If you’d like to repair your garage door, here’s something to keep in mind; you need to be able to determine when it’s is faulty. Knowledge in such an area will help you save money in the long run, since it will allow you to detect problems earlier on, making the repairs less costly and stressful.

In most cases, two parts of the garage door are likely to be in need of routine repairs. The first one is the opener, and the second one is the door itself. Because the door constantly moves, make sure that the metallic tracks as well as the bracelets connecting the tracks to the wall are firmly in place by tightening the bolts and screws. For these repairs you’re required to work from the inside with the door closed.
It’s also worth mentioning that the tracks themselves deteriorate as well. If they’re still in passable condition, then it’s possible to hammer them into shape using a mallet. However, if they’re beyond redemption, the best solution would be to buy new ones. Also be sure to clean any dirt from the tracks, as that alone may prevent them from working properly.

Last tip I’m leaving you with is to never forget to check the springs because they will need to be serviced from time to time.

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It’s Getting Colder Out There! Tune-Up Your Garage Door

With the cooling weather, the following can you save you a lot of time and expense!

Keeping it Clean

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap, such as car 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.

Weather Stripping

Clean the weather stripping with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a SILICONE-based lubricant. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather stripping as it will dry up and crack. Don’t forget the weather strip between your door panels. 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.

Maintaining the Hardware

Lubricate the rollers, tracks and hinges and all moving hardware parts with a little motor oil (e.g.: 10W30) every three months. Wipe off excess oil with a cloth. As for the springs, use the same oil applied with a cloth. You are not only prolonging the spring’s life, but also reducing the noise the springs make when the door is operated.

At least once a year, home owners must check the following :
– the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
– the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
– the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
– the cables for wear and tear; especially near the pulleys and the lower support (corner bracket).

Open Sesame: The Garage Door Opener

Depending on the model you own, consult the manufacturer’s guide. If you want to add some white grease on the operator track, again you must first clean the track. By oiling all the mobile parts you will reduce the noise initiated by the motor. If it is still too noisy for your liking, then nylon rollers would help reduce the noise.

Pull on the trolley release cord and operate the door manually. Is it difficult to open and close? The electric operator only replaces manual operation, therefore it must move freely. If you have trouble operating it, contact your local l qualified and licensed garage door installer. For your safety as well as your child’s, check the automatic safety reverse system of the door opener every month.

Get Your Annual Exam

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will operate beautifully. Ask a qualified and licensed garage door installer to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. In a 10 step check-up, they will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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Helpful Tips for Replacing a Garage Door

What Kind of Garage Door should I buy?

When looking for a garage door, you notice that there are two major designs: tilt-up doors and sectional roll-up doors. Sectional roll-up doors are more expensive than tilt-up doors, but the extra cost is well worth it.

Tilt-up doors consist of a single panel of material. To open the door, you have to pull it out and pivot it up to slide it along the roof of your garage. Sectional roll-up doors, on the other hand, are made of a number of horizontal sections. Each section is hinged to the next section, allowing the door a certain degree of flexibility. Because the door is mounted on rollers, to open a sectional roll-up door you just have to lift the door and it will roll into place along the roof of your garage.

Sectional roll-up doors are superior to tilt-up doors. From a purely practical point they take up less room. Because you don’t have to pull the door out, there will be more room in front of your garage door for things like your car. The door will also take up less room in the garage, since it can be placed higher up than a tilt-up door.

What should my Garage Door be made of?

Garage doors, both tilt-ups and sectional roll-ups, are primarily made from wood or steel. Of these two materials, wood is the cheaper and – arguably – more attraction option. If you decided to get a wooden door please keep in mind that just like your deck, a wooden garage door will be more easily damaged by the weather than a steel door. If you live in a particularly hot or cold climate, you may find yourself with a warped or damaged garage door.

Steel garage doors are more expensive, but you will not face the same problems that you would encounter with a wood door. If you decide to get a steel door the main thing to check is that it has been properly prepared to prevent rust.

Garage doors are also occasionally made with aluminum or fiberglass. While both of these materials are less expensive than steel doors, you should be careful when using them. Neither material is as strong as steel so they will not hold up to the usual wear and tear of a garage door. And once again depending on your climate, they will not be as energy efficient as a steel door if that is a concern to you.

How do I look after my Garage Door?

Just like any other exterior surface on your house, your garage door will need periodic maintenance to keep it working smoothly and looking as good as the rest of your house. You’d be surprised how the look of your garage door not only affects the overall look of your house, but the perceived value of your house too.

No matter what material your garage door is made of, it should be washed regularly. If you have a wood door, you should repaint the door every other year to ensure that the wood stays protected. If you have a steel door, you can give it a yearly shine with car wax

To prolong the life of the mechanical parts, you should lubricate all moving parts with motor oil whenever the door starts to feel sluggish.

Safety Concerns with Garage Doors

Every year, children are seriously injured from accidents involving garage doors. To avoid these preventable accidents, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you should only use automatic garage door openers if they have an automatic reverse function. This will reverse the closing of the garage door if an obstacle is encountered.

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The Crib® and a Garage Door

You have to love the idea of using garage doors for various reasons.

However, having this feature on this project is unique. Not only because it instantly opens up the inside of a house to the outdoors but also due to the uniqueness of the project.

So this is architect Jeffery Broadhurst’s off the grid project in West Virginia called The Crib®.  It was designed in response to the popularity of another small building, the award-winning Shack at Hinkle Farm by Broadhurst Architects, Inc., that was completed a few years ago. It became apparent that many people identified with and were interested in a small shelter that could serve as a weekend retreat, as a home yoga studio, as a backyard home office, or in multiples as cabins at an eco-resort.

This new building takes its basic form from traditional American corn cribs which were common farm buildings that served to store and dry corn as well as protect it from rodents. Here the form is realized by the use of a shop-fabricated galvanized steel bent structural system as a nod to traditional wood timber framing and with the structural simplicity of a common scaffolding system. Manufactured wood beams connect the bents. Structural insulated panel (SIP) floor and roof systems, wall panels of unpainted heat-treated native (and fast growing) poplar and recyclable translucent insulating multi-layer polycarbonate sheets make up the structure’s skin. The prefabricated wall panels are weather-stripped and clipped into the framework. The simple structural concept of The Crib allows considerable flexibility in the length of the building and degree and type of outfitting.

The simple structural concept of The Crib allows considerable flexibility in the length of the building and degree and type of outfitting. The Full Crib is a 250 square foot habitable space suitable for weekend recreational use, backyard home office, studio, or guest cottage. The two outdoor decks increase the livable area to about 370 square feet. The building can be elevated on an enclosed foundation to house a bathroom and mechanical and storage spaces, or guest room (increasing the total area to about 500 square feet), or may be supported by four simple concrete piers in other locations and circumstances. The building can be heated with a small propane-fired stainless steel fireplace and/or an electric or hydronic radiant floor system. Solar hot water and photovoltaic’s can be integrated into the structure.

The option of a small well-outfitted “kitchen in a box” allows for many of the comforts of home. The building is designed to resist rodents, bears, and undesirable visitors by securely closing down when not in use. Wood shutters secure any ground-level openings; an awning swings down to form a storm door to cover the glass door/wall, and the aluminum stair system hinges up off of the ground and locks in an inaccessible position.

The Crib includes a small entry deck and a larger deck space on the opposite side that extends the habitable space in favorable weather. This deck is accessed through an insulated glass garage door that allows a connection between the interior of The Crib and the landscape.

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Garage Door Opener: A Useful Invention

A garage door opener is a fascinating and useful invention. It is an electronic unit that helps you to open the garage door with the click of a switch.

There are mainly two categories of openers. The first one is the conventional switch that is installed within or without the garage and is clicked to open the door. These have manual options for operating in case of a power failure. For these switches, the security is slightly less. The second variety is a more developed remote controlled version. These types, contain a pair of receiver and transmitter each. A portable set is extremely convenient, as it enables the operation of the garage door without you having to step out of your car. Certainly, there are other erstwhile options like those operated by means of screws, belts and chains.

Now that you have an idea about the basic types of openers that are available you need to decide on the one you want to purchase for your garage door. There are a lot many variations that you will come across like those that are soundless, openers that are self lubricating, etc. Ensure to buy only what suits your needs. The factors that influence your decision would be durability, price and security.

If you are having trouble with your garage door opener, it may lead to immense anxiety. However, you may find that only a minor problem exists. Hence, prior to seeking professional help, you could try to fix it on your own. Things that you will be able to do on your own to fix problems are removing obstructions from the opener’s track, tightening up all nuts and bolts, checking the alignment of the opener, and of course checking the motors. You must also check the remote, as that is a possible problem area, too. If all these fail, you know you need a pro.

You may notice that no amount of repairing or professional aid seems to be helping to put your opener back into operation. That is when you need to replace your garage door opener. Since this is something you have done before, it should be simple.

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Size, Looks and Style Matters

Your garage door serves many purposes. It keeps your garage secure. It provides aesthetic appeal for your home. It also can be an energy efficiency product to help lower your energy bills.

You can get so much from a garage door that when it comes time to buy a replacement, you should shop smart. Make sure that the new one will be even better than the last. Do not settle for just any door. Shop around and be sure the model you get will serve all your purposes perfectly.

There are many considerations to make when choosing a new garage door. You should consider how you use the garage when making your choice. In some homes the garage is a playroom or a workshop in addition to keeping vehicles in out of the elements. How you use the garage will play into your final choice on a door.

You also need to make sure you get the right size of door. The wrong size of door will not serve any purpose. Take measurements carefully. Get help if you need it. Many retailers will offer help with taking measurements.

The appearance is also important. There are a range of styles, so you should try to figure out what you want before you go shopping. Common styles include flush panels which are flat and slightly textured. Flat panel styles blend nicely in with your home’s exterior.

There are also doors with raised panels that are long. This style is very dimensional. It provides depth to the look of the door and accents the home’s appearance.

There are short raised panels that add depth, too. They are really intricate in style and are perfect for homes of Victorian style or Tudor style homes.

Besides the style, many different colors are available. You can get almost any color or even pattern of colors you want. Along the same lines, you can also choose from different materials, like wood or steel. Some are more durable than others and some require less care and maintenance than others.

You can also choose to have windows added in the doors to really customize and change the look. You really have many choices when it comes to the look of the door you choose.

The last consideration you should make is energy efficiency. Most today come with the option of being energy efficient. If you are concerned about energy loss through the garage then you must look for energy efficiency properties in your new garage door. Try to find a door with good insulating qualities.

Make sure there are weather seals between the door sections. Additionally, look for a bottom seal. If one is not built into the door, then they are simple to add, so keep that in mind.

Buying the right garage door is not too difficult. You just have to know what your needs are and do some shopping around to find the door that is a perfect fit for you and your garage. With all the great options on the market, you can be sure you will find that perfect door.

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The Weather is FALLing… Tune-Up Your Garage Door

With the cooling weather, the following guidelines can you save you a lot of time and expense!

Keeping it Clean

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap, such as car 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.

Weather Stripping

Clean the weather stripping with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a SILICONE-based lubricant. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather stripping as it will dry up and crack. Don’t forget the weather strip between your door panels. 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.

Maintaining the Hardware

Lubricate the rollers, tracks and hinges and all moving hardware parts with a little motor oil (e.g.: 10W30) every three months. Wipe off excess oil with a cloth. As for the springs, use the same oil applied with a cloth. You are not only prolonging the spring’s life, but also reducing the noise the springs make when the door is operated.

At least once a year, home owners must check the following :
– the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
– the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
– the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
– the cables for wear and tear; especially near the pulleys and the lower support (corner bracket).

Open Sesame: The Garage Door Opener

Depending on the model you own, consult the manufacturer’s guide. If you want to add some white grease on the operator track, again you must first clean the track. By oiling all the mobile parts you will reduce the noise initiated by the motor. If it is still too noisy for your liking, then nylon rollers would help reduce the noise.

Pull on the trolley release cord and operate the door manually. Is it difficult to open and close? The electric operator only replaces manual operation, therefore it must move freely. If you have trouble operating it, contact your local l qualified and licensed garage door installer. For your safety as well as your child’s, check the automatic safety reverse system of the door opener every month.

Get Your Annual Exam

Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will operate beautifully. Ask a qualified and licensed garage door installer to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. In a 10 step check-up, he will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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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.

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