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What You Need to Know When Buying or Replacing a Garage Door

If you are planning on installing a new garage door, or replacing your old garage door, then this post is for you!

Garage doors are an investment. A great garage door can improve your energy efficiency, give a new look and feel to the exterior of your home, and increase your home’s value. It can also be a great upgrade from a noisy, old door. It also keeps your valuables and your home safe, as it’s a barrier to entry into your home.

Garage doors come in a wide variety of materials, styles, and prices. Finding the right new garage door or replacement garage door can feel overwhelming.

Here are the top things to consider when you are replacing or installing new garage doors.

Pick the right garage door style. 

The most popular garage door styles include:

  • Flush Panels
  • Carriage House Style
  • Short-Raised Panels
  • Painted Panels
  • Long-Raised Panels
  • Contemporary Panels

Garage Door Material Options

The most common garage door materials are wood and steel. Aluminium and fiberglass are less common materials used, but are available as an option.

Consider the Size of Your Garage Door

This is less crucial if you have a good garage door company handling the ordering and installation. But ensure that the doors and styles you are looking at are available in the size you need. Measure the opening and this will help guide you to the proper size.

Where do you shop for garage doors?

The first step is finding a reputable company in your area that does garage door installation. Ensure they are licensed, bonded and insured. Read reviews about their installation and repair services, to get a feel for the quality of their work. And check that they order and work with quality garage door products, including springs, garage door openers and garage door panels.

Consider both the practical and the aesthetic points about choosing and installing a new garage door. Perfect Solutions Houston Garage Door Repair is a great choice if you are replacing and installing a brand new garage door!

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Garage Door Repair in 4 Steps

Before calling a professional garage door repair company, you can always try to troubleshoot and repair a garage door problem. If your garage door isn’t moving along the tracks correctly, or at all, you might be able to fix the problem yourself!

Follow the steps below to repair your garage door. You can always give us a call if you need some help!

Step 1: Inspect your tracks.

Inspecting your tracks is something you should do once a month anyway as part of good garage door maintenance practice. But if things aren’t working right, this is a good place to start. Inspect the tracks for bumps, debris, or any dents. Remove anything in the way of the tracks. You can try to adjust any of the track areas that aren’t smooth.

If you have any dents, a rubber mallet works well to pound those out. If this isn’t enough to straighten them out, you probably need new tracks and should call a professional.

Step 2: Clean your tracks.

Once you have inspected your tracks and cleared any debris and pounded out any dents, next is cleaning them. If you have a sticky residue on the tracks, this can make the opening and closing of your door hard.

The best way to clean your tracks is with a cloth and some water and mild cleaner. Make sure to dry the tracks well with a clean, dry cloth when you’re done.

Step 3: Check your alignment.

If your tracks are good, the next step is to check the alignment of your doors. Vertical tracks should be level, so grab your level and check it out!

Horizontal tracks should be slightly slanted toward the back of the garage. If your tracks aren’t level, you can use that rubber mallet to tap them back into place.

Be careful when tapping them though, so you don’t make them more un-level.

You should also check the mounting brackets and your track alignment after you adjust them. If the tracks still aren’t level, it’s probably time to contact a professional.

Step 4: Check your hardware!

Another easy fix for a broken garage door is checking the hardware: hinges, screws, and the plates where your springs are mounted. You want to make sure all the hardware is tight.

If you are adjusting the plates around the springs, make sure you are careful. If your garage door has only 1 torsion spring instead of 2, be even more careful. The tension on your garage door springs is very powerful and can cause injury if they break.

 

If your garage door still isn’t working correctly after these 4 steps, then it’s time to call a professional.

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Caring for Your Automatic Garage Door

An automatic garage door is a great investment for your home. If it’s maintained well, it can last for years. Caring for your door is essential to it lasting a long time. Every month, quarter and year there are simple maintenance tasks you can do to lengthen the life of your garage door.

Some maintenance tasks are quite easy for most homeowners. A professional garage door company can make sure these tasks are performed properly as well.

3 Easy Garage Door Maintenance Tasks

Weather Seals

The weather sealant on your garage door is great for protecting your garage from cold air and moisture. You can use your finger to run along the seal. If you feel any tears or cracks, you might need your doors re-sealed.

This takes a few minutes and can be done 4 times a year. A great reminder is every season change. Not only for timing, but with weather changes that are sudden, the sealant can crack or tear more easily. So it’s a good time to check that everything is sealed tight!

Garage Door Tracks

Once a month, it takes 5 minutes to wipe down your garage door tracks with a rag and look them over. Look for any dents or bumps, as these can cause the door to go off track. If you notice any debris or residue on the tracks, use the rag and get it wet to wipe it clean. Dry them completely once you’re done!

Lubrication

Lubricant is necessary if you notice your garage door is not moving smoothly on the tracks or is making noise.

We recommend using a silicone or lithium based lubricant, not WD-40 to lubricate your garage door.

Spray lubricant on: the arm bar, chain rail, hinges, metal rollers with ball bearings.

Do not spray: the chain, spring, or bottom of the chain rail.

During an annual maintenance check with a garage door company, they can easily lubricate the proper parts of the garage door for you!

 

Taking care of your garage door is essential for it to function properly. Maintaining it regularly can stop bigger problems from catching you and your bank account by surprise. Simply cleaning it and visually inspecting it every month for 5-10 minutes can make all the difference!

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Two Paint Options for Your Garage Door

Every few years it’s a good idea to give your garage door a face lift. A good cleaning, annual maintenance, and especially, a fresh coat of paint.

New paint not only makes it look better, it also helps prevent weather damage. There are 2 preferred types of paint for your garage door: Latex and Oil-Based.

This post takes a look at those two types of paints and what we recommend for your garage door paint job.

Latex Paint For Your Garage Door

Latex paints, surprisingly, don’t contain latex. Latex paint is actually made from synthetic polymers, which have similar characteristics to latex. Latex paint will not cause a reaction from anyone allergic to latex.

Latex paints are distinct in that they can be diluted with water, but when dry are water resistant. Latex paint is sometimes referred to as emulsions or acrylic paint. There are different levels of quality to latex paint, obviously the better quality is a higher price.

For garage doors, a balance between vinyl and acrylic resins present in the paint is best. The combination is a great balance between price and quality. Latex paint as you’d imagine is easy to clean, water resistant and adheres really well to your garage door. It’s also resistant to cracking, which helps the paint job last longer.

Latex paint also holds up well to alkali cleaners. This is important for garages that also double as a workshop. Alkali cleaners are great for getting out grease and stubborn stains. You can use these cleaners without damaging or cracking the paint.

 

Oil-Based Paints For Garage Doors

These are oil-based paints (ha!) that generally contain linseed oil. You can buy this type of paint in high concentration, and the thing it down during an oil based solvent. The most common solvent is turpentine.

Oil-based paints take a lot longer to dry than latex paint. They are also much smellier! If you are going to paint your garage door with an oil-based paint, it’s recommended you empty your garage before painting so the smell doesn’t stick on your things. Oil-based paints are hard to clean as well, so moving your stuff out is recommended also for this reason, to prevent any drops from ruining your belongings.

Oil-based paint despite the obvious cons, is really easy to work with. A thin coat will stick to the door well regardless of the material of the door (wood, aluminum, steel, etc). Don’t forget to use a primer if painting with an oil based paint. Especially if the door is made from metal, the paint can peel away after long sun exposure, so primer helps this.

Lastly, oil-based paints are affordable, and come in a lot of colors!

 

No matter which paint you choose, make sure to hire a good painter to do the job right!

 

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Different Types of Garage Door Openers

The difference between a garage door you have to open yourself, and with the click of a button, is a garage door opener.

You might not realize that there are a few different types of openers, each with their own price point, pros and cons. And it’s not just for opening and closing your garage door. It helps maintain the safety of your garage and home.

If you are looking to buy a new garage door opener and want to understand your options, below you’ll find more information about the 3 kinds of garage door openers: chain drive openers, belt drive openers, and screw drive openers.

Chain Drive Garage Door Openers

Chain drive openers are the most popular opener. They were also the first type of opener to be sold. They are the most affordable of the three options, and also the noisiest.

Screw Drive Garage Door Openers

Screw drive openers are more expensive than the chain drive opener. They are low maintenance, and are very easy to install.

Belt Drive Garage Door Openers

The belt drive openers work using a rubber belt, hence their name. Belt drive openers look similar to a chain drive opener. But they make almost no noise while operating. As you might expect, the belt drive openers are also the most expensive of the three. But they also have the most advanced features.

Installing a Garage Door Opener

No matter which garage door opener type you install, make sure you hire a licensed garage door company to install it for you.

There are many moving parts to a garage door, including the weight of the door, size of the springs, and thickness of the cable. You want to make sure your opener is appropriate for your garage door, and the settings are set correctly for your specifications.

If you are in the Houston, Texas area, call Perfect Solutions for a free quote and opener installation services. 281-557-6351

 

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Re-Purpose Your Old Garage Door

What happens to your old garage door when you replace your old one with a new one? You probably think, what can I do with it? It’s old. I can’t sell it. But there are some fun ways you can re-purpose the door you might not have thought about!

If you purchased your old garage door from a quality manufacturer, the materials are high quality and can be reused! Plus, it’s always great for the environment to re-use!

What to do with a metal garage door.

Metal garage doors are generally made of steel, which is a very strong material. These doors can withstand many natural elements, like wind and water, and even fire. This highly durable material can be used to create:

  • Something to hang plants on.
  • Shelves
  • Benches for your backyard.
  • A safe or vault.

The options are endless! Get creative!

What to do with an aluminum garage door?

Aluminum is also a strong metal, like steel. Except it is also malleable and light. When installing a new garage door, many prefer an aluminum door since it’s affordable while providing the same benefits as any metal.

Since aluminium is easy to manipulate, there are some fun projects that can be done with your old aluminium door:

  • Fence reinforcement
  • DIY room divider
  • Table or chairs for your backyard
  • A new grill!

What to do with your wood garage door. 

Don’t worry, we aren’t going to suggest you just burn your old wood garage door. There are some great ways to re-use the wood from your old garage door, including:

  • Accent panels for inside your home.
  • Use the wood to make new furniture. Cabinets, shelves, etc.
  • Use the old door as a headboard for your master bedroom!

Be creative!

This is a small amount of ideas of what you can do to re-purpose your garage door. There are great skilled local craftsmen you can call to do the work for you and create a unique piece of art or furniture for your home.

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How to Polish Your Wood Garage Door Using Natural Cleaner

When your wood garage door starts looking a little worse for wear, it might need a good polishing. There are tons of commercial wood polish on the market, but these days people prefer natural methods. While you can debate “green” all you want, a natural cleaner for polishing your wood door is a great idea.

Beeswax polish is cheap and simple to make, and is safe to use! Commercial wood polish usually contains petroleum as a base, and beeswax does a better job anyway!

How to Make Beeswax Polish For Your Wood Garage Door

The recipe is easy: beeswax and oil. You can use either olive oil or coconut oil. The first step is pouring the oil in a microwave safe dish. Then grate some beeswax into the oil. You want a ratio of 1 part beeswax to 4 parts oil.

Heat up the mixture in the microwave until the max is melted. This can take several minutes. Stir the wax and oil together until its totally incorporated. Let is cool, and voila! Beeswax polish!

How to Clean Your Wooden Doors with Beeswax Polish

First wipe down your doors with a vinegar and water mixture. This helps remove the dust and any other dirt from the doors and will make polishing much easier. Let the door dry naturally before you begin polishing.

Once the doors are dry, apply the polish directly onto the door. Take a soft cloth and start rubbing the polish into the door. Starting from the upper left corner and working down to the bottom right is a good method.

Apply the polish as evenly as possible. Once you’re done, wait for the wax to get hard. This can take several minutes. After the wax is hard, take your cloth and scrub the door until the wax turns glossy. Make sure to scrub the entire door for an even look.

 

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Choosing the Right Garage Door Opener

New automatic garage door openers come with a ton of great features these days. If it’s been some time since you last replaced your opener, you might want to check out what is on the market. You might be surprised with what you can get, and at what cost!

In addition to all the great upgrades, there are also a ton of openers on the market now compared to 10 years ago. So finding and choosing the right garage door opener has never been easier.

Garage Door Opener Safety Features

Garage door openers on the market today have a long list of great safety features. They all have an auto reverse feature, which detects if there is an object in the path of the door. If it detects something, it will automatically reverse. This helps protect children and pets from becoming trapped under the heavy garage doors.

Another great improvement is the rolling code tech. This changes the access code every time the garage door remote is used. This makes it very hard for thieves to break your code. There are event some garage door remotes not that use fingerprint tech for extra security.

Garage Door Mechanism Types

When you are researching garage door openers, you’ll notice there are 3 kids: chain drive, belt drive and screw drive.

Belt drive openers are generally the most expensive. They require no maintenance.

Chain drive openers are the cheapest and the most common. They are louder though, and require regular maintenance.

Screw drive openers are in the middle price wise, and much quieter than chain drives.

Motor Horsepower

You’ll also notice in your research that there are 3 levels of motor horsepower: 1/4, 1/2 and 1. The horsepower you choose depends on your garage door. Lighter doors only need 1/4HP. A heavy door that is steel or wood, or a double garage door, needs 1/2HP or 1HP. This is to help lift the extra weight of the door.

Perfect Solutions or any professional garage door company can help you figure out what horsepower you need for your door.

Garage door openers are available in three levels of horsepower; ¼ HP, ½ HP, and 1 HP. A light weight, single garage door only needs a ¼ HP motor, but a heavier steel or wood set of double doors will need a ½ HP or 1 HP motor to lift the additional weight. Perfect Solutions Garage Doors can help determine the right horsepower for your garage door.

 

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Why You Should Hire a Professional Garage Door Installer

Not many people realize that a garage door is a big investment for your home, especially if you are looking to sell soon. It is also an expensive part of your home to replace, so if you are getting repair work or a new garage door installed, you want to make sure you have an experienced company handling the job.

Save the stress, and hire a garage door company who employ technicians who are highly trained and experienced. It can be tempting to hire a local handyman to perform repairs, and sometimes this works out fine. But a company that guarantees and/or warranties their work will give you peace of mind.

We have made a lot of money fixing the poor repair and installation jobs of other inexperienced techs. While this might be nice for our bank account, it is a waste of money for you! And a waste of our time, when we could have done the job for you right the first time!

We wanted to put together the top 5 reasons you should hire a professional garage door installer, even though the reasons as stated above are pretty obvious!

1.     It can cost more in the long run to hire someone inexperienced! 

An installer or handyman that isn’t licensed, bonded, and has little experience can cause expensive damage to your garage door and other garage door parts, like your tracks, pulley system and more.

2.     Risk of Hiring Thieves!

This might sound paranoid, but it’s happened! Hiring someone you don’t know, or a company that isn’t licensed for garage door work could be thieves in disguise! They can take your deposit and run, or use the repair job as an opportunity to break into your home, or scope it out.

3.     Safety Issues

We have repaired many doors that are the remains of a bad garage door accident due to a bad installation. An inexperienced installer can do a poor installation job that results in your door falling unexpectedly or causing damage to your car, or family.

4.     Out of Business!

We work on some projects that were done by a company no longer in business. Hiring a reputable company generally ensures a long lasting business and no hassles.

5.     Warranties

You can count on a quality garage door company to choose the right materials, ensure proper installation and most importantly, will stand by their work. Hiring a company that doesn’t guarantee their work, and offer a warranty on their job complete is a red flag!

These are just a few reasons why you should hire a professional garage door installer. If you are in the Houston, Texas area, consider calling Perfect Solutions Garage Door. You can reach us at 281-557-6351 for your garage door needs!

 

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Garage Door Repair: Off-Track Door

off-track garage door

Off-Track Garage Door in Houston, Texas

A common garage door issue is a garage door that jumps the track. It is very important that if this happens, you stop using your garage door immediately and call a professional.

If the door continues to operate while it’s off-track, you can do further damage to the door, and increase the cost of the repair.

If you catch the off-track problem ASAP and you are a handy person, it’s possible to fix the issue yourself. Sometimes it’s as simple as popping the rollers back into place, and then putting the door back on track.

If that already sounds too complicated, call us today – 281-557-6351.

Getting your off-track garage door back on track!

  1. Find the handle and rope that hangs from the midpoint of your garage door track. Make sure the garage door is closed. Then disconnect the opener from the garage door. You can do this by pulling the handle.
  2. Raise the garage door a little until the rollers align with the area near where the door is off-track. Then, use a clamp, pliers or a pair of vice grips that lock to secure the door. You can put them on the track under the lower portion of the garage door.
  3. Once that’s done, use another pair or clamps or pliers to open the track. Pick an area close to where the rollers jumped off-track. If the track is wide enough, you might be able to direct the roller wheels back onto the track.
  4. Now, close the opening using a piece of wood or a hammer. You can place this against the outer edge like a buffer. Or just tap gently on the track to straighten it. You can tap with a hammer, or a rubber mallet. A rubber or wooden mallet won’t cause much damage, like a hammer would.
  5. Once that’s complete, remove the clamps or pliers and close the door completely. Now you can press the button on your garage door opener remote to confirm it’s closed completely. While you’re doing this, the opener will snag on the garage door. Then it will snap the release apparatus into the correct position.

Your garage door and garage door opener should now function properly!

Make sure you test your garage door several times to make sure it’s working the way it should. Watch and make sure the garage door continues to open and close fully, and note any problems you might find. Problems include a place where the rollers are catching or dragging. You might have to straighten the track in those areas.

 

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