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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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Evolving Door Styles for Garages

Woodie Plank
Some things do come back in style if you wait long enough. Think hip-hugger pants, shag carpeting and, yes, even wood garage doors. The wood garage doors of the 1970s are back in a big way. It’s one of many design trends that have come and gone.

The first revolution in garage door materials happened in the 1980s, when raised panel steel doors replaced wood ones. They continue to dominate the market today, mainly because they’re economical and low-maintenance. But for certain homes — especially custom homes or those with an Old World look — a big expanse of cold steel just won’t do. Frequently the garage door is a major part of the front of a home and people are finding that they can do something more interesting.
For this reason, wood has become the most popular option. But these aren’t the humble wood doors of two decades ago. For example, manufacturer of garage doors First United Door Technologies, offers wood overlay doors with a carriage-house style that has an old-fashioned craftsman look. Made of the finest cedar wood, they offer a much richer appearance and you can expect to pay four times or more what you would for steel doors.

Just as wood is back, the next wave of garage doors is already approaching. If you have a steel garage door, there are ways to ramp up its curb appeal. You can select different patterns and install a variety of different patterned windows; and there’s always the do-it-yourselfer’s best tool: paint. But if you want your garage door to be a focal point rather than something to disguise, wood may just be worth its price tag.

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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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The All Purposeful Garage Door

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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Advancement in Energy Efficiency, Safety and Curb Appeal

The bitter cold of winter marks the time to rethink that garage door.

This is the season when homeowners usually make efforts to seal up the biggest opening in the home. It’s also a popular time for garage door replacement. It’s that time of year when weather has a distinct effect on the garage door business.

Steel isn’t a good insulator, so to compensate; manufacturers double up the panels and fill the space between them with polystyrene or polyurethane insulation. Polyurethane insulates better than polystyrene, but it tends to break down after a period of time, whereas polystyrene lasts forever.

Polystyrene is a flat, sheet-like material, similar to a Styrofoam cup. Polyurethane is pumped into a door as a liquid, then expands and fills the space between the metal sides of the door. There are some synthetic problems with polyurethane. It can dry erratically, leaving unprotected spots in the door. That problem is detectable when a homeowner sees granulated polyurethane draining from the door. A polyurethane-lined door, however, can often have a better R-value than the rest of the garage.

Polystyrene has a lower R-value, the insulation rating system, and also is less expensive. Single polyurethane doors are rated around R-15 and cost more.

Insulation with polyurethane and polystyrene has made doors so efficient that there often is a 15- to 20-degree difference in a garage after new doors are installed. That can play a big role in heating costs.

While energy efficiency plays a big part in the selection of a garage door, safety is also a key consideration. Safety plays an increasingly important role in garage-door design. All new garage doors incorporate many new safety technologies and innovations such as pinch-resistant door panels, easy-to-set torsion springs and advanced reversing mechanisms.

Garage doors are also more than just practical openings, they often make up the largest percentage of the front of the house and mean a great deal in the appearance of a property. It is, in fact, a home’s fashion accessory. The look of a garage door is important to accentuate the look of a house. Many people would never consider this to be the case because the garage is the traditionally overlooked and forgotten part of the house. But a garage door can draw attention away from the home’s other exterior features. When two of these are these garage doors are placed side by side it seems to take up at least half of the house. Going on three it’s easy to see how the house’s otherwise beautiful look can be swallowed up—unless the doors are thought through carefully.

With houses getting bigger and more lavish, though, the best garage door is one that compliments the house without taking away from it. Because of this need we are now able to walk a street without seeing the same color and style of garage door twice.

One of the most popular features is the carriage house design which originally was made with large hinges on heavy wood that gave the doors a striking presence. Manufacturers are taking these old traditional styles and providing fresh design choices. To enhance appeal, manufacturers introduce “high-definition” lines that feature more complex designs that give the look of texture and create shadow lines.

These days, garage door manufacturers are up-to-date with the demands of the consumer, continually creating better looking and better functioning garage doors. So, no matter whether it’s a remodel or new construction project, and no matter how far out the ideas are for a garage and garage door design, there’s probably one that can be found. Garage doors today are as efficient and aesthetically-pleasing as ever.

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Are Your Garage Doors, Fall Ready?

The kids head back to school. We watch as leaves change from green to hues of brown, gold, red and fiery orange in the crisp, cool autumn air. The busyness begins again and we find that many of us will scurry from activity to activity for months to come.

All this renewed activity results in extra work for every part of our homes..especially our garage doors. They go up and down as we leave for work, and come back again. We load the kids up for sports, and activities and are in and out of the garage all week.
Are your garage doors ready? Can they handle all the hustle and bustle that fall inevitably brings?

Your garage door opens up over the heads of yourself, your family, your cars, pets and stuff so they need to be in good working order. There are some common garage door problems that occur primarily in the fall and in early spring. When the seasons change, and the temperature starts to rise or fall it can bring with it garage door issues. These climate changes cause metal to contract and expand. When this happens, weak points in the metal on your garage door will begin to break.

1. Look for frayed or broken Cables – If you have cables on your garage door that look a little worn and frayed, it is best to get them replaced before the cooler fall weather sets in.

2. Look for sagging or broken springs – It is a very common occurrence for garage door springs to snap during a season change. Usually springs tend to wear evenly so if one has broken, the other is usually not too far behind. It is for this reason that its always recommended changing out both springs at the same time. It is safer and ends up saving money in the long run.

3. Cold weather opener woes – The same cold weather that snaps cables and springs on a garage door also can cause problems for your garage door opener. Look for worn out or stripped gears in your opener (especially for doors that are not balanced or running smoothly). Also, expect to have some difficulties with your screw drive opener. The screw drive opener has a thick lubricant around the screw assembly which, in cold weather, tends to thicken and cause the opener to function improperly, or sometimes not function at all.

Here are some things you can do to get your garage doors ready for fall.

1. Schedule an Annual Tune Up and Service – Have a trained garage door technician perform a routine door service.This is an affordable way to ensure that your garage door is working properly.While performing the door service, your tech will be able to check your door and opener and give repair recommendations.

2.Lubricate all working parts – In order for your garage doors to continue to run smoothly, and as noiselessly as possible, it is important to occasionally lubricate them. A garage door should be lubricated a minimum of two times a year.

3. Replace worn out bottom rubber – If you find that your garage door has cracked or torn bottom rubber, call a garage door technician to replace it for you.

4. A fresh coat of paint -If you have a wooden door, and you find that the paint is peeling or chipping, it may be time to apply a fresh coat of paint. Direct exposure to rain can ruin a wooden door quickly. Pay particular attention to the bottom of the door where water collects the most. This is usually where a door starts to rot.

With just a little care each year, and routine service a garage door will run smoothly for years to come.

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Garage Doors Featured on Local News

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***HOT NEW PRODUCT: MOTORCYCLE GARAGE DOOR OPENER***

 

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Garage Doors Open Up Homes to Curb Appeal and Value

Garage doors just aren’t what they used to be. The garage door is a fundamental part of the blueprint, structural design and sanctuary of a home. The garage door is one of the most important visual features of a home, representing up to a third or even more of the front. They are now eye-catching, beautiful and — dare we say it? — even “cool.” In a marketplace where enhanced curb appeal, residential diversity, and neotraditional architecture are in demand by municipalities, we’re seeing an onslaught of more unique garage door styles, especially steel, three-section, carriage house-style garage doors.

Carriage house garage doors help us recall the charm of that turn-of-the-century swinging barn-door style, behind which hid a jaunty horse-drawn carriage. Today’s doors may look attractively retro, but they are also durable and they open overhead like any other modern sectional garage door.

Original carriage house doors were made of wood. Garage doors today are made from various materials including wood, composite and steel. Each type offers its own benefits, characteristics and costs.

Most homeowners want affordable beauty with low maintenance. That means a moderately priced, steel, carriage house garage door. Because they are all steel, all the parts expand and contract at the same rate, preventing misshaping of the door. All-steel doors with steel plant-on boards also provide design shadows more readily visible from the curb. Stamped or raised-panel steel doors can only emboss designs to a certain depth, creating less dramatic shadows. This “curb appeal” is what homeowners are looking for more and more consistently.

Homeowners are driving the curb appeal trend by actively expressing their dissatisfaction with living in cookie-cutter housing that cannot show the personality of the owner. With the same front elevations, same tile roofs, same color schemes, and same garage doors, neighborhoods can look plain and uninteresting. Add a few touches of curb appeal — with decorative rock, windows, shutters, wrought iron, or an expanse of unique carriage house garage door — and neighborhoods grow beautifully in character and value.

Carriage house garage doors offer hundreds of design choices which can complement other artistic elements in a home’s elevation such as window shapes, shutters, and trim. In choosing the look of the door, builders can choose among multiple designs using “plant-on” board; solid arches; window treatments; and decorative hardware.

All it takes is one visit to a project using carriage house garage doors to see the future of the industry. No curb appeal product can more effectively enhance the diversity and value of a home than a carriage house garage door.

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