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A Healthy Garage Door: Get a Check-Up

Your garage door should get a regular check-up to maintain its health!

Watch and Listen to your door. Strange sounds or motions can be signs of trouble. Popping, banging, snapping, grinding, or an oddly moving door generally indicates an UNSAFE door.

Monthly visual inspection. Stand inside the garage with the garage door closed. Look over the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and mounting hardware, such as hinges, for signs of wear or damage. Look for cable wear or fraying. Is the mounting hardware becoming loose? If something doesn’t look quite right – or doesn’t sound quite right – it could be the symptom of a more serious issue. Have the garage door system inspected by a trained service technician.

Monthly door balance test. If your door is equipped with an automatic opener system: CLOSE the door and disconnect the automatic opener. (Do not disconnect while the door is open.) Once you are able to lift the door manually: Lift the door. It should lift smoothly with little resistance and should remain fully open. If it is difficult to open or does not remain open, the door may be out of balance and should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Monthly reversing mechanism test (if your door is equipped with an automatic opener system). Note: garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to be equipped with a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor as added measures of safety to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended.

With the door fully open, lay a piece of wood such as a section of a 2×4 on the floor in the center of the garage door opening where the door would touch the floor. Push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. When the door strikes the wood, the door should automatically reverse. If the door does not automatically reverse, the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Monthly photo eye test (if your door is equipped with an automatic opener system). Note: garage door openers manufactured after January 1, 1993, are required by federal law to be equipped with a reversing mechanism and a photo eye or edge sensor as added measures of safety to prevent entrapment. If your system does not have these features, replacement of your automatic operating system is recommended.

With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. Wave a long object, such as a broomstick, in front of one of the door’s photo eyes so it “breaks the beam.” The door should reverse.

If it does not reverse and reopen, pull the broomstick out of the path of the closing door. Close the door. With the door in the closed position, clean the photo eyes with a soft, dry cloth. Gently adjust the photo eyes by hand if they appear to be out of alignment. Open the door and repeat the photo eye test. If the door does not reverse and reopen, the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Monthly force setting test (if your door is equipped with an automatic opener system). With the door fully open, push your garage door opener’s transmitter or wall button to close the door. As the door is closing, hold up the bottom of the door with your hands outstretched and stiff. If the door does not easily reverse and continues to close, pull your hands away immediately. The closing force is excessive and the door should be serviced by a trained service technician.

Semi-annual lubrication. Apply a small amount of spray lubricant to the door’s hinges, rollers and tracks.

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Going Shopping

Here are some factors to consider when buying a new garage door.

• Budget. Like everything, budget dictates options. Garage doors range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the size, materials and design you choose. Even if you have a small budget you can still get a great looking door that is going to enhance the look of the house.

Design. Think of the garage as an extension of the home’s theme, not an afterthought. Let the home’s architectural style, the shape and size of the windows and entry doors, and exterior design details influence the design of the garage door.

It’s a good idea to visit dealer showrooms and review manufacturer Web sites to get a sense of the options available. Many companies offer doors pre-designed to match specific architectural styles, which can make the selection process easier.

• Insulation. Doors can be insulated or non-insulated. If the garage is attached to the house you’ll want an insulated door. This will help reduce utility bills – a popular selling point with prospective buyers. If you live in a mild climate or have a detached garage that will only be used to park the car, you can opt for a less expensive, non-insulated door.

Upkeep. Maintenance is another consideration. Steel doors are very durable and virtually maintenance-free, but some people prefer the warmth and character of wood and the limitless design options. Depending on the climate and exposure, wood doors will need to be painted or stained every few years.

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Safety Comes First!

Maybe you have never given very much thought to the safety functions of your garage door, or just how unsafe a defective garage door can be.

Because as frequently as your garage doors are used it is vital to take into account all of the maintenance and basic safety features, because most people use the garage door at least a couple of times every day and there are numerous moving components that might be loose or fail resulting in property damage or for someone to get hurt.

Stop and think about this, the garage door may be the heaviest working component of the house. Your garage door is actually a motor-driven device that is frequently being opened and lowered over your car or truck as well as your entire family.

Through the years there have been a number of different kinds of garage doors placed in garages but the most frequently used style is most likely the panel garage doors. These types of doors really are standard panels hinged with one another that will be installed on tacks using a spring system to assist with raising the garage door. They can be manually operated but today most of them employ a garage door opener which includes a remote opening devise enabling you to open the garage door from the inside of your car or truck.

The following are some maintenance ideas to keep the garage door secure and safe and last for many years;

• Visually inspect your garage door looking for any kind of damaged locations especially where garage door opener connects close to the top portion of your garage door

• Check and be absolutely sure the garage door rollers are not wobbly or damaged, and lubricate annually

• If the garage door has the safety reversing eyes, test them out every month by just shutting your garage door and interrupting the beam being careful to not have anything within the path of your door if the reverse devices fail

• Doors manufactured after 1993 have reverse sensors together with the pressure sensing unit. To try the reverses sensor device; place a roll of paper towels on the garage area floor under the door and once the garage door opener detects pressure it needs to reverse and begin to raise

• Look for loose nuts, mounting bolts or anchoring screws and simply tighten as required especially on the tracks and mounting brackets which support your garage door from the ceiling

• Do not let the children to spend time playing with the garage door since there are a number of pinch points around the garage door, and be sure that the garage door control button is beyond the reach of children

• Visually check out the garage door springs, the two most common styles of garage door springs are; torsion springs and extension springs. Should you have extension springs there has to be a safety cable going through within the springs in case the spring fails it will be contained

• Be certain everyone in the family understands and is able to use the emergency safety release option

Safety Comes 1st. If you find any loosened and / or defective areas in your garage door and you don’t feel safe doing the repairs, simply call a certified garage door specialist in order to make all of the repairs.

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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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Consider This!

When you are purchasing a new garage door for your garage, you need to take careful consideration before you make your decision.

The garage door that you choose may have a great impact on the way your home looks, and can either complement it or decrease the value of your property. You’ll find nothing better than a good garage door that makes your house look more attractive. There are lots of functions for a garage, from housing your motor vehicle to being an extra workroom or even an extended living area.

This is why it is also important to look into garage doors that provide good insulation. If you are planning to be utilizing your garage for something other than housing your car, then you’ll want it to be as temperature regulated as possible. Even if you’re only likely to be keeping your motor car inside the garage, you must keep it a good temperature so that the engine does not freeze up on cold winters’ mornings!

There are a number of different styles you are able to choose for your garage door that may vary greatly. Each one of these will add its own different appearance and feel. The first style of garage door you can get is one with a flush panel. This means that the paneling of the door is slightly flat and can fit in well with the surrounding wall. You can even choose several types of panel blocks for your garage door. You may choose long raised panels that will give a good sense of depth to the garage door. It is possible to get shorter panels for your garage door, to add even more depth. Different types of raised paneling on the garage door will suit a variety of different styles of home.

Now it will come time to select the material for your garage door. The two most widely used materials are wood and steel, with wooden garage doors coming in first for popularity. There is something so lovely about a wooden garage door, and it is also a very versatile material to make use of. Firstly, you can paint or varnish wood to any stain you need, to enable you to match your home accordingly. Wood is also excellently insulated, and is much more affordable to buy than many other materials. Galvanized steel is becoming a popular choice for garage doors though, as it is less likely to weather over the years, unlike wood. Steel will show up dents and scratches more easily than wood though, whereas wood seems to have more character with a bit of damage!

There are plenty of different garage doors to select from; you simply need to examine the brochure belonging to the garage door company that you are looking at obtaining a quote from. There are also many stores that will have showrooms with examples of the garage door you can buy. Whichever style, pattern and material you choose, your home will certainly look far better with your new garage door!

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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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Anatomy of the Garage Door

A very important part of a home that is often taken for granted is the garage door.

They protect our belongings from theft and weather, seal our home to keep the temperature regulated and can add a character or curb appeal with the many styles offered today. Although the actual door is the most noticeable part of a garage door system, there are many parts that are essential to the function of a garage door.

The first part and most important is obviously the door panels. Although it one of many parts, it’s what most people think of when they think of a garage door. Most automatic doors are made in panels connected with hinges so they can easily go up the track when being opened. The average door assembly is made up of four to five panels connected to form 1 piece. The modern homeowner has dozens of choices when it comes to the style and material of their door. The most popular material by far is metal, but it can be fabricated to resemble other materials. You can have a metal door that looks like a barn door, a wooden door, or the traditional door with several raised panels. Whatever door you choose, make sure it’s a sturdy design that will hold up to the weather and other elements for several years.

Another very important part of any garage door parts system is the motor that pulls the door up and down. These electric motors typically run at one half to three quarter horsepower depending on the model. When choosing a motor, you must make sure that the motor is suitable for the size and weight of your door and is made for your style of door whether it be belt or chain driven. Other than that, popular options include keyless remote systems and battery backups that will ensure your door works if and when the power goes out.

There are several other parts in the garage door system that plays an important role in the proper function of garage doors. For one, the pulleys are what actually receives power from the motor to lift and lower the door. Each door panel has wheels connected to the side that allow the panel to move up and down in the track. The track runs all the way from the floor to the ceiling and allows the door panel wheels to be held in place during lifting and lowering of the door. Other important parts include the cable drum, torsion spring, strut, cable, extension spring, and panel hinges.

By understanding how the parts of your garage door parts work, you’ll save lots of time and money when it needs repair and what needs to be done. Don’t forget to call a licensed and insured garage door technician.

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Garage Doors Are Our Friends

Many times, garage doors are simply another part of the home that serves a simple purpose – for you to get in and out of the garage.

Yet there’s more to these moving structures than lots of people don’t even realize. These entryways serve many purposes, and at the end of the day, you should be sure to take advantage of such benefits to ensure you’re getting the most out of your property.

Convenience
It’s one thing to have a special place to park your car, but it’s another thing if getting in and out of that space is an ordeal. Garage doors can be opened manually, but it’s so frustrating to have to pull up to your home, get out of the car, let the structure up, get back in your car and drive in to the space. Some may simply think that’s no big deal, but if it’s raining or snowing, you won’t be so eager to get outside your car to let up the structure. So the great thing is that most garage doors are installed with garage door openers so you can just drive up to your home, click a button, and the structure goes up.

Business All sectional garage doors work in the same way – e.g. they have vertical tracks on each side of the garage door opening so that the door can slide up. The sections of the door are hinged together and this enables it to fit around the 90 degree angle formed by the roof and the front wall of the garage. It then sits in a horizontal position next to the ceiling. Most sectional doors go up automatically although they can be manual if you really want to get out of the car and open the door four or five times a day, every day. Those who have used the automated sectional garage doors swear, when you want to let it down, just click the button again, and you’re done.

Beauty
Although beauty may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of your garage doors, there are a ton of options you can consider. Some people like to get really detailed when it comes to their moving structure. There are some gorgeous types of wood you can choose from, and some people take it as far as getting carriage doors to really make an impact. No matter what you’re thinking, this structure can really help give your home a punch of curb appeal.

Protection
All homes don’t come with garages. Having such a structure allows you to do so much more to the space as well as offer protection against outside elements. You won’t have to worry about getting caught in the wind and rain since the structure keeps all that out. When wind starts blowing, debris, rain, and snow can get under the covering and get to you. Then you’re wet and frustrated. Fortunately, if you have an enclosed structure with a door, you’re sure to be out of harm’s way.

Uniqueness
Many neighborhoods put in the same garage doors with each home. Nothing’s wrong with this if you don’t mind blending in. But if you want to really stand out, you could possibly put up a completely different entry to your garage. However, some areas have homeowners’ associations that have to okay such changes, so get approval first. Once approved, you can start shopping for a variety of materials from steel to wood. Different materials work for different needs, so keep this in mind. But the bottom line is that you can get something that is truly unique and may have the neighbors talking for weeks.

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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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