Tag Archives: garage door insulation

Conserve Energy 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.

The number one (but not only) 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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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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Your Garage Door: A stiff, groaning monster?

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

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

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

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

Things You Will Need

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

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

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

Tips & Warnings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Ben Franklin

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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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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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Garage Doors – Worth the Investment

Garage doors can be a benefit to your home and they have the ability to enhance the style of your Residence.

With marketplace conditions in their present state, with people losing their properties, it is extremely hard to possess a clear vision of what we should look forward to in the future. In real estate, however, there is a saying, ‘what goes down should come back up’, and for this kind of business, those who are ready for the turn will capitalize substantially.

When remodeling entry doorways and or kitchen counter tops, people don’t seem to have a problem searching for the best, for this, as they know, will only add to their property value. Imagine, for example, a $400-$8,000 investment that has a custom made garage door covering more than 30% of the front of your residence.

In case you would like to go the extra mile and decide to invest $1000 or even $3000 more for a custom, handcrafted garage door, what comes to mind is the added worth that this modest investment will bring to your gorgeous household.

From an investor’s perspective, it appears a little juvenile – not to look at the first item individuals see when they drive up to your residence when they are considering a purchase. Just research what the professionals are saying about the relationship between home values and their curb appeal.

Some authorities say the garage door may not be the very first item you imagine dressing up when you’re putting your home up for sale, but it is certainly worth giving it some prerogative. If you genuinely think about it, the garage door could be the single largest moving object in a residence and if it faces the street, you know it plays a huge part in the overall look of your house. It is incredibly important to understand that curb appeal can be a critical factor in marketing a home. If a prospective buyer does not like the view of your house from your street, chances are, he or she won’t waste time coming inside, and that may be one thing you, as a seller, shouldn’t ask for.

In a new study field, realtors nationwide were asked to figure out if garage door visual appeal made a difference in the selling price they would assign to a house, nearly all of the agents interviewed agreed that a brand new garage door enhances curb attractiveness and 75 percent believes it adds importance to a residence. In reality, most have recommended that a homeowner replace their garage door when listing their home for sale, especially if the present look of the garage door was broken, in bad condition or rotted. Just about half stated visual appeal was a big reason, mainly because the age or design garage door detracted from the home’s curb appeal.

The regular selling price for a brand new garage door is based on the size of the garage door as well as the material it is made from. The most favorite look in garage doors is the ‘carriage-house’ model door. The doors look like old-fashioned swing-out doors but act like modern roll-up doors with an electric garage door opener. The selections for style, color and materials are virtually endless.

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Insulating Your Garage Door

Have you ever noticed how steaming hot your garage gets in the summer and how freezing cold the room above it gets in the winter?

This happens if your garage doesn’t have any insulation. What you probably didn’t realize is that had your garage been insulated your heating bills probably wouldn’t be that high.

To insulate or not to insulate? Here are some points to consider if you’re thinking of doing so.

Insulation helps to lower your electricity and heating bills. If your home has a room above or next to the garage, that room can – just like the garage – get extremely hot during the summer and ultra cold during winter. Insulating the garage, or at the very least the garage door, will help to make that area and the room above or adjacent to it more bearable during these times of extreme weather. This translates to lower electricity and heating bills whatever the season.

You can DIY it with a kit. Yes, you can insulate your garage door yourself. There are DIY garage door insulation kits that you can buy from Home Depot or the hardware store. Insulation materials vary from polystyrene, fiberglass (not to be used on wooden doors), to polyethylene. Among the better known brands are Owen Corning, Falcon Foam, Anco, and Astro-Foil. A kit (for one door) will cost you anywhere from about $75 to $90. If you’ve got a 2-door garage, buy two kits.

You can also do a non-kit DIY. Ready made kit too expensive? Other people have reported success with styrofoam (polystyrene), reflective foil insulation, or fiberglass batting. This may be a cheaper option – you can buy the materials yourself and attach the insulation to your garage door with double sided mounting tape.

Rebalance the garage door and adjust tension springs afterwards. Remember to have your door rebalanced after you install the insulation. When you put in an insulation panel on your garage door, you’re adding to the weight that the springs the door opener has to carry. The door will need to be rebalanced and the spring tensions adjusted in order to prevent breakdown.

Seal the bottom of the garage door. Don’t forget to seal the bottom of your garage door as well, in order to prevent wind from going through the door bottom. For this, use a garage door threshold kit. This will keep out the wind, dust, water, leaves, and pollen from your garage. Garage door threshold kits can cost anywhere from $25 to $100 depending on the size.

You can replace your door with a new pre-insulated garage door. This is the most expensive option, but if you’re looking for a long-term solution, this would be the best. With an insulated garage door, you can expect to spend many productive hours in your garage for many years, come summer or winter, and see your HVAC bills go down.

Still not sure? Contact a local licensed and insured garage door dealer. You can find one thru the International Door Association at http://www.doors.org

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