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June is Garage Door Safety Month

Increasing Garage Door Safety AwarenessGarage Door Safety Month

The International Door Association (IDA) and the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) have designated June as Garage Door Safety Month. Both associations and their affiliated manufacturers and dealers will be working to increase awareness of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems, and the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep them safe.

Just as you want your garage door system to operate properly every time you need it, you also want it to operate safely at all times.

The garage door is typically the largest moving object in your home. Properly maintained and operated, a garage door and its operating system allow you, your family and your vehicles convenient access to and from your home. They also provide security and protect against the elements. Newer, insulated garage doors even help save energy.

But moving garage doors can also cause serious injury, or even death. While there are some garage door system maintenance chores that you yourself can – and should – perform on a regular basis, there are other tasks (including garage door installation and garage door spring replacement) that are best left to the pros.

You and your family should know how to operate and maintain your garage door system safely at all times. You are the key to garage door safety.

Here are 10 things everyone in your household should know about garage door safety. It’s a good idea to review these with everyone in your household from time to time – especially children. The garage door and its operating system are not playthings.

  1. The garage door and garage door opener are not toys. They are dangerous if misused, and can cause serious injury or even death.
  1. Children should never be allowed to play with the garage door or its operating system. Children should never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving.
  1. Adults should not allow children access to the remote controls or push button wall controls for garage door opener systems; these should be kept out of reach of children. The push button wall control for a garage door operating system should be mounted at least five feet off the floor, out of the reach of children.
  1. Never stand or walk under a moving garage door. Never try to enter or exit the garage by racing under a moving garage door.
  1. When opening or closing the garage door, always keep the door in view until the door is fully opened or fully closed. Make certain that no adults, children or animals try to enter or exit while the door is closing.
  1. Keep fingers and hands away from door sections when the door is opening or closing to avoid injury.
  1. Keep your garage door properly maintained to keep it operating safely. Annual maintenance by a trained service technician is recommended. There are other tests and maintenance tasks that you can perform.
  1. Remember that your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled. Service should be performed by a trained service technician.
  1. Never attempt to repair a garage door’s springs or cables. These are under extreme tension and can cause severe injury or even death. These are best repaired by a trained service technician.
  1. If someone has backed into the garage door (yes, it does happen – all of us are in a hurry at one time or another), it’s a good idea to have the door inspected and/or repaired by a trained service technician. Even if the door doesn’t appear to be severely damaged, the operating system may have become misaligned and wear prematurely, creating what could be a dangerous environment.

Although you should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time

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Troubleshooting: Remote Control for Your Garage Door Opener

Believe it or not, technologies like garage door opener remote controls are supposed to make our lives easier. Unfortunately,  there is nothing easy about having to open a garage door by hand in the middle of a freezing winter night because the remote for the opener won’t work. As technologies become more complex, there are more and more ways in which they can break down. Scan the list of problems below to find one that sounds familiar, then read the quick fix underneath it. Hopefully, it will help correct the error within the remote so that the garage will open and close without any issues.

The Garage Door Opener Remote Only Works Up Close

There are quite a few things that could cause this to happen. First, check the batteries within the remote itself to be sure they still carry a charge powerful enough to operate the remote. While replacing the batteries, be sure to clean the electrical contacts, since this may be another cause of a weak signal from the remote. If the remote is still only working up close it may be time to go talk to the neighbors. If a button is stuck on a neighbor’s remote, the signal can cause an interference that may shorten the range of other radio frequency based devices in the area. Houses within the proximity of military bases will have this same problem and it is recommended that people in this situation switch to remotes that operate below 390 megahertz to fix the problem.

The Garage Door Remote Won’t Work but the Wall Switch Does

Check the batteries and electrical connections in the remote to make sure they are working correctly. If they are working correctly, the problem might be because of the safety sensors. Some garage doors have infrared sensors that shoot an invisible beam across the door. If one of these beams is misaligned, blocked or the lenses are dirty, then, as a safety feature, the opener will not allow the door to close unless the wall switch is held down. Clean the beam lenses, and make sure they are aligned and unobstructed. If this fails to fix the problem, unplug the door opener and then plug it back in. This will often reset the safety systems of the unit.

Remote Only Works in Cold or Warm Weather

If there are problems with the remote that seem to occur only when the weather is either cold or warm, the problem probably has to do with the infrared safety sensors that run along the bottom of the door. Next time it happens, try going inside the garage and holding down the wall switch to override the safety. If the door works when this is done, then it is indeed the sensors that need to be realigned. What happens when the weather turns, is that the steel which houses the sensors either expands or contracts which, in turn, will distort the path of the sensor beam. If the beam was slightly misaligned in the first place, then the slight change in the temperature of the metal will force the safety to kick in. Also, in cold climates with heated garages, the lens on the sensors can be clouded by either fogging or frosting. Clean the lenses and realign the sensors to fix the problem. If that doesn’t work try rebooting the unit by unplugging the opener and then plugging it back in.

The Batteries in the Remote are Brand New and the Door Still Won’t Open

If the remote is set to the correct frequency, then this may not be a remote problem, but rather a problem with the garage opener itself. Check to make sure that the opener is plugged in and that no fuses are blown or circuit breakers tripped. If the power seems to be working properly, there may be an internal problem with the opener’s mechanisms. If this is the case, the unit will need to be serviced.

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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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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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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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garage door and snowWith the cold 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 :
1. the sturdiness and adjustment of the hinges;
2. the rollers for worn-out ball bearings, flattened rollers, and crooked rods;
3. the tracks for premature wear and tear, loose bolts, and loose supports;
4. 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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