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Tips for Choosing Your Garage Door

slide6When you’re building a new house, some of the things that you need to think about is your garage door. You will be presented with a lot of options. Some garage doors are heavy while others are light. Some are made of aluminum, while others are made of wood, metal or fiberglass.  If that’s not enough, they also come in myriads of colors and designs.  The truth is, choosing a garage door involves a lot of decision-making and of course, some stress.  This article aims to help you decide which garage door is right for your home.

Make sure to measure the garage opening size

Before buying a garage door, it is important to measure accurately the size of the garage opening. If the measurement is off for even just a few centimeters, you will not be able to install your new garage door.  Those who are not confident about their skills in measuring should contact the garage door company and let them take the measurement.

Think about your driveway

Some garage doors are not meant for homes with short driveways. Like for example, the type of garage door that swings out and up to open is not practical if the driveway does not have space enough for it.  For homes with short driveways, the best type of garage could be the roller type or the sectional type.

Get the color that matches your house

Garage doors are probably the biggest implement on the house and they’re highly visible to everyone.  Because of this, a person’s choice of garage door could make or break his home’s curb value.  While it’s true that garage doors are useful whether they look nice or not, it wouldn’t hurt if you choose one that will complement the total look of your home and get the appreciation of people who pass by.  Colors and the material of your garage door make all the difference in this aspect because they’re what most people will see outside your home.

Garage door materials

This article would not be complete without talking about garage door materials. Each type of material has advantages and disadvantages.

  • Wood is probably the most aesthetic of all garage door materials. It can be carved with elaborate designs or you can keep it plain.  Unfortunately, wooden garage doors are also very heavy.
  • Aluminum is the most common garage door material. It is very light and not easy to break, but it is prone to dents.
  • Steel is the strongest material for garage doors.It also looks nice and elegant, but it’s extremely heavy. Steel garage doors are good for automation.
  • Fiberglass is durable and light and can be painted different colors, but most of the time they are expensive.

Garage doors are not cheap and people have to think hard before buying one. However, despite its price, the undeniable fact is that people need them.  Garage doors are important for families who own cars because the car itself is another big investment that needs protection.   People who are in the market for garage doors should choose wisely.

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How to Know When to Replace Your Garage Door

Old Way or New WayA garage door is probably the most expensive item that can be found outside a person’s home, next to its intricate garden or swimming pool. Your garage door may look nondescript and forgettable, but it serves an important purpose of protecting your belongings such as cars, stocks, and other valuable items.

Although it is advisable for homeowners to care for their garage doors for as long as they can, a smart one knows when a garage door’s time is really up. Here are the signs that tell homeowners that it’s time to replace their garage door:

1.       Rust
There is no need to rush at the first little sign of rust, but when cycles between paint jobs are getting shorter and the brush strokes are getting longer, it is a sure sign of greater damage. Instead of wasting money on paint, it is better to go for a contractor to ring up a new cost estimate for a brand new garage door.

2.       Water damage
When water repetitively seeps in, it may be hard to salvage a wooden garage door. This type of damage is also one that sustains itself with a plethora of problems such as pests. Also, the water may affect the steel support that holds the door together, leading to more problems. A constantly moldy garage door means you may need to replace your garage door with a material that is resistant to moisture.

3.       Deep curves and bents
When your car hits the garage door, you may be left with a deep bent that is beyond repair. If this happens,it may be a wise decision to replace your garage door as these bents deteriorate over time. Also, the damage caused by the crash may actually be irreparable or too costly to repair.

4.       Wide gaps and spaces on the side
With years of continuous use, garage doors can become looser and soon, the gaps can be seen by the naked eye. For safety reasons, it is smarter to change garage doors altogether than have a security breach waiting to happen. Once big gaps are obvious, burglary and trespassing can be as easy as opening a can of meat—all it takes is a pair of wrench and a little effort.

Gaps also make the indoors prone to the ravages of the elements such as little wild animals (i.e. rats) and extreme cold or heat. This problem can also wreak havoc on one’s electricity bill, which is not worth the trouble versus simply replacing the garage door.

5.       Increasing bills for parts and repairs
Purchasing parts and doing minor repair from time to time does not seem to hurt, but calculating these in the long run really adds up. If the total cost of constant repair work is greater than an actual garage door, it would be more sensible to buy a new one.

When it comes to malfunctioning garage doors, repair may not always be the best solution. Consult your trusted garage door technician to determine if it will be better for you to get a replacement.

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3 Ways to Make the Garage Door Safer for the Family

iStock_000043296394_SmallOne of the greatest fears of parents is their kids getting involved in accidents. However, accidents could happen even within the premises of the home and adults are not exempted from these. As innocuous as it may seem, your garage is an accident-prone area.   Most people keep power tools and other heavy stuff in shelves of the garage and they could fall on a family member. The garage door could also be a cause of accidents if they are defective or if the owner is careless especially when it comes to repairing and maintaining your garage doors. However, there are several ways to keep the family safe from garage door mishaps.

Regular maintenance and repair

People can’t live without garage and garage doors. They keep the car safe from vandals and car thieves. However, after using it many times, some parts may malfunction and they become unpredictable and therefore dangerous.  For example, the heavy door might suddenly close on the user while he is trying to enter his garage door and cause injuries. If children play near an open garage door, they could be in danger, too. Calling for a garage door company for repair and maintenance once a year should help keep the family safe from garage door-related accidents.

Install an IP cam in front of the garage door

An IP cam is a type of security camera that can send the pictures and video it captures through the internet. This is very useful for those parents who leave their kids at home when they work.  They can check if the child strays into the garage door area and plays with the garage door remote control. They can then call neighbors or friends to ensure that their child is taken away from the garage area. In fact, modern phones can be used as IP cams with the right software programs.

Keep the remote way up

Children love to play. Everything they can get their hands on could be a toy for them including garage door remotes. That is why it is very important for parents to keep the remote beyond the reach of children or better yet bring it with them when they leave the house.

Motion sensors

Motion sensors help keep people safe when accidentally closing the garage door and there is a child under it. The sensor will detect if there is a child or a person under the door and it will send the command to the door to go back up. Some technologies use infrared beams. When the infrared beams are cut off because a person passes under the garage door, the door will not close down.

Everyone is afraid to hear the news that a family member was involved in an accident.  Parents can do a lot to make their home, particularly their garage doors safer by following the tips provided above.  There are many other ways  to  keep family members safe from garage door accidents but these are some of the most effective and low cost ones.  Of course, proper maintenance tops the list.

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Elements that Play a Part in Garage Door Repair and Maintenance Fees

Yellow hardhat and leather glovesMaintaining and repairing one’s garage door is an important aspect in keeping a healthy home. First, a garage door that works properly keeps important items safe and secure such as the family vehicle, pets, and other important belongings. Second, and far from most homeowner’s knowledge, it also keeps electricity bills at bay as it prevents the cool air from air conditioning units from escaping during the summer. It also helps retain the heat during winter. Third, it makes for a more polished and beautiful house from the outside. What’s a great garden if the garage door is in utter chaos?

When it comes to garage door repair and maintenance, it would be helpful to know the factors affecting the cost of this service so you can set a budget for it. Here’s a list to provide ideas to do just that:

  1. What is it made of?

A wooden garage door’s maintenance and repair are different from those made of steel  or metal. Wooden ones need an additional coat that prevents water damage as well as control for pests that target wood. On the other hand, metal ones need to be properly lubricated in the hinges and should be painted regularly to avoid rusts.

The smart thing to do is to adjust accordingly as to where one lives. Does it rain more? Does it snow half the year? These answers should dictate the decision of the homeowner in the long run.

In general, wooden garage doors may be more beautiful but are harder to maintain versus their steel counterparts.

2. How often is it maintained?

Maintenance should be scheduled accordingly with a professional. However, if a homeowner waits until something is wrong, costs can start to skyrocket. It is much harder to reverse or repair damages when it comes to garage doors due to its many complicated parts.

Worse, some may need total replacement due to years of neglect. That is why it is important to schedule a regular maintenance visit from professionals. A great strategy to make this more workable is by scheduling it together with other maintenance works such as pest control and cable check-ups. Another way to do so is to schedule at least a month before another season begins as garage doors expands or contracts depending on the season and how hot or cold it is.

3. Who maintains it?

Professionals may be more expensive but their expertise can save several precious dollars in the long run instead of going for amateurs or people who just have a working knowledge of garage door repair and maintenance.

These professionals don’t just get the job done, more so, they provide important advice that can help homeowners do some reparative work on their own. They also can give the right items to purchase that will work well for their garage doors. Furthermore, they can go straight to the source of the problem to avoid repetitive repair work.

In the end, smarter decisions and a more preventive approach will ultimately lead homeowners to have a more cost effective and efficient way to maintaining their garage doors.

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How to Find the Right Color for Your Garage Door

iStock_000015488039_SmallThe garage door is a big part of a house and is therefore very visible. If the color of the garage door does not match or is not in harmony with the color of the rest of the house, it will really reduce the beauty of the home.  For this reason, it is important to choose a garage door color properly when buying it.  There may also come a time when a person repaints his home. So, even if he chose the right garage door color  the time he bought it, he may want to repaint the garage door, too if he wants to make sure it blends with the new house color well.

Color Harmonies

Color combinations may sound like they belong solely to designers and graphic artists. However, everyone has to work with colors from time to time. Knowledge in color harmony will comes in handy when it comes to choosing your garage door style and color.  There are many color harmonies around but this article will tackle the three most commonly used.

Complimentary Colors

Complimentary colors are those colors opposite each other on the color wheel. An example for this would be a red and green combination. The colors will provide a vibrant contrast that won’t hurt the eye.  Therefore, if the house is red, the garage door can be beautifully painted with any shade of green.

Analogous Color

Analogous color harmony can be achieved by choosing three colors, which are side by side in the color wheel. This color scheme usually provides viewers with a serene comforting feeling.  The combination of yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange is an example of this color scheme.

Triadic Color

Triadic scheme is a color combination that provides good contrast. In a color wheel, a person will find this by drawing a triangle which each point in a certain color. The result is vibrant and pleasing.  If this color scheme is followed, a house painted in green with an orange garage door will look very nice.

Keeping Garage Doors Beautiful

No matter how well the garage door color matches the color of the house, the homeowner should still do some precautions to keep their garage doors beautiful.  Dust and moisture are enemies of paint jobs. Before choosing a garage door, it is a good idea to ask a garage door company for the kind of paint used for them.  Moisture and dust resistant paints are the best type of paint for garage doors.

Maintenance and Repair

Nothing could be more beautiful than a garage door that works smoothly and without glitch.  Regular maintenance from a garage door company could keep the garage door not only looking good but also functioning at its best.  In addition, when the garage door starts making some noises, owners should have it repaired right away before the problem escalates.

If unsure about garage door color and styles, you can always consult your garage door company, architect or interior designer. You can also never go wrong with neutral colors like off-white, gray, and brown.

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How Owners Can Damage Their Garage Doors

iStock_000008076543_SmallMany people do not pay so much attention to their garage doors, but when these get broken, they are going to gnash their teeth out of frustration. What they do not know is that they may be in some way responsible for their malfunctioning garage doors. They may have inadvertently caused damage to their doors. Here are some possible ways owners invariably contribute to their own garage door problems.

Crashing into a garage door

Sometimes, when people are in a hurry to get to work, they tend to drive carelessly. Backing up on the garage is a common problem especially on those homes where the drive way is short.  This accident also occurs frequently during winter because sometimes cars slide backwards and crash into the garage because of the slippery ice.  Whenever this happens, it is better to call garage door repair right away to assess the damage.  Strong impacts will not only dent the garage door, it may also cause the garage mechanism to fail.

Not closing the garage door all the way

Many people think it’s fine to open a garage door partially so they can let their pets in and out of the house though it. The truth is it could damage the garage door, specifically the spring. The reason why owners can easily lift open the heavy garage door is because of the spring located on the garage ceiling. When the garage door is closed, the spring can relax, but if it is left partially open, the spring will have to bear the weight of the garage door for a long time. Soon it will snap, and when that happens, the garage door will become slow, erratic and will not close fully.

Neglect and lack of maintenance

Garage doors need maintenance. This home amenity has so many mechanical parts that need to be checked from time to time. However many owners are too busy to spend even a few hours to check if everything is working great.  Many don’t even notice if their garage door is opening slowly or if it’s making weird clunking sounds, until it’s too late. The worst part is that they may blame the garage door for failing instead of blaming themselves for negligence.  Doors that have been neglected may develop more than one problem, so it is better to call a garage door repair company.

Trying to repair the garage door themselves

It’s the height of confidence when a garage owner thinks that because garage door repairmen can fix their doors, they can do it, too. Too much confidence is not always good, especially unfounded confidence.  It will be like a non-doctor trying to operate on a patient. Everyone can guess what will happen, more damage.  Garage door parts could be misplaced, not returned to their proper place or broken. When garage doors start showing symptoms of wear and tear or other malfunctions, it is better for the owner to call a garage door repair company than trying to repair it themselves.

Garage doors are sturdy constructions, but they still need care. They are not immune to the owner’s negligence.  A well-maintained garage door would need less repair work. It could last a long time, saving its owners a lot of money.

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Child-Proofing Your Garage Doors

Photo Credit: iStock Photo

Photo Credit: iStock Photo

Garage doors are heavy and therefore could cause injury to unattended children.  This is why parents should make sure their children are not very close to garage doors while they are in operation.  But, what if mom and dad are not around and kids being kids play with the garage door? Child-proofing the door to the garage is a responsible thing for parents to do, but how do they do it?

Parents should talk to their kids

It will not take an hour for parents to talk to their children about the possible injuries they might get when playing with and around garage doors.  Talking to the kids is the first thing the parents should do. This way kids will keep it on the back of their minds that messing around with their garage doors may not be a good idea.

Warning posters on the garage door

After talking to their kids about keeping themselves around the garage door, parents should reinforce that by pasting a warning notice on the garage door.  It may seem a little unsightly but a little inconvenience like that is surely not as important as keeping their children safe.  Parents could even do a bonding activity where they and their kids make the poster themselves. This way, the safety warning will be reinforced in their minds.

Keep garage door remotes out of children’s reach

Garage door remote control does not belong in a child’s hands.  Children have a penchant for playing with whatever they get their hands on.  If the garage door remote is accessible to them they may play with it by opening and closing the doors repeatedly. This will cause the door soon to break and it could also be dangerous for the child if he or she is controlling the garage door very near or right under it.

Get a motion sensor for the garage door if it doesn’t have that yet

There are times when a parent is working in the garage their children will follow them. Sometimes, bad timing happens and just as daddy closes the garage door, his little girl is under it.  Scenarios like this happen many times. If the garage door ha motion sensor, it will go back up if it senses there is something under it.  Garage door motion sensors have saved many of children’s lives in recent years.

Have the garage door checked by a garage door repair company

Regular maintenance of garage doors keeps it working properly.  A malfunctioning door could suddenly close even while a person is still under it. Not only will a broken door be dangerous for kids its dangerous for adults, too. By calling a garage door repair technician, those little wear and tear can be found and immediately fixed.

Children’s safety should be the focus of parents.  Keeping them safe around garage doors is a responsibility they must take seriously. Luckily, it isn’t very difficult to child-proof garage doors. All parents need to do is to take time to explain to their kids the possible dangers of not being careful around it. There are also innovations that they can buy to eliminate the danger of a garage door accident. Finally, maintenance and repair should not be forgotten because a well-maintained garage door is less likely to cause accidents.

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Caring for Your Garage Door During Winter

iStock_000002832183_SmallDuring winter, a home’s garage door is probably the most vulnerable part of the house. Exposed to the elements, garage doors take a beating during winter compared to most seasons with the combined powers of nature of providing cold, gusty winds and pouring snow.

As a homeowner, it pays to care for garage doors as it not just keeps important belongings safe from burglars and destruction, but a working garage door also keeps the home warm and toasty as it keeps the cold at bay and maximizes the heat. After all, one great sign of a garage door that’s ridden with problems is one’s electric bill.

Garage doors also care for another very expensive item a homeowner has – the family car. Imagine it being outside on a snowy night. It would take a miracle and a lot of shoving to get it started, or to even find it under all that snow, after a continuous pour.

Winter should not be a death sentence to any garage door to the owner that cares enough for it. How to help it survive the cold chill? Let’s count the ways:

If possible, opt for a metal garage door 

Garage doors made of thick, heirloom wood is beautiful—no doubt about it. But if the location of one’s home is right smack in the middle of snowstorms on a yearly basis such as upstate New York, it’s time to re-think beauty to something more economical.

Wooden garage doors are a nightmare to maintain during winter as the wood reacts to the season. It’s basically soaking the door in water that slowly melts and small cracks on the door may lead to flooding inside the garage. This type also is prone to hardwood flies that may eat into it especially those coming from firewood for the fireplace.

Metal garage doors are also much cheaper to maintain in the long run versus the regular polishing and alignment of knobs involved in a wooden garage door.

Lubricate just right 

One key problem during winter for garage doors is lubrication. Having more or less of it makes the knobs and tracks misalign.

To avoid this, first start with a thorough cleaning of the grease. Make sure that old and hardened oil is not the culprit of garage doors that would not close. After this, switch to a silicone-based lubricant as silicone handles the cooler weather better as its contents are not as easy to harden or be affected by the temperature.

Metal also reacts to the weather by contracting or shrinking. One way to resolve this is by making sure that all metal and moving parts have ample lubrication or are not affected by rust.

It’s good to have them replaced by professionals before the temperature further drops in the middle of the season.

Check the rollers 

Sometimes, rollers are the problem and can be extremely misaligned during winter. Garage door professionals can take care of this through replacements or simple repairs.

Have a professional ready 

Always have a 24/7 garage door repair service number ready and on standby. As the weather worsens, garage doors can go from bad to worse – and the worse it gets, the harder it is to maintain.

And the last thing any homeowner wants is to have all their Christmas bonus go into buying a new garage door for the coming year.

Stay safe by keeping that garage door working!

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How to Make Your Automatic Garage Door Last a Long Time by Tuning

Yellow hardhat and leather glovesThough they look sturdy, garage doors are the implements in people’s house that are most often subjected to wear and tear. Unlike the other doors in the house, garage doors are opened and closed often, using delicate mechanisms that can get broken after frequent use. For this reason, garage owners should keep their doors well maintained to avoid the cost of repair. Garage door owners can do part of the maintenance work by themselves. All they need are the right tools and some free time.

Safety instructions when doing garage door maintenance:

  • Always  unplug the automatic door opener to avoid accidental activation
  • To keep the door open while you work, make sure to clamp locking pliers onto the roller tract under the rollers.
  • When the door spring is in tension, leave the lift cable alone, never remove it to avoid injury because the spring can snap and injure.
  • Don’t replace the tension spring. Only garage door professionals should handle that.

Inspect your garage door

Check for loose nuts and bolts and tighten them. Since the garage door is always moving, nuts and bolts specially those bolts keeping the rails to the support bracket.  Checking and tightening the roller brackets is also necessary to keep the door working properly.   The reason garage door hardware loosens is the constant motion of the door when opened and closed.

Also, inspect the rollers and lift cable for wear and tear but because those parts are under high tension, leave the replacing and repairing to professional garage repair people.

Lubricate the chain or the screw of the opener

To keep the garage door operating smoothly and quietly, the opener screw or chain should be lubricated with white lithium grease once a year or as often as needed.  Because lubricants help lower the friction on the opener chain and screw whenever the garage door is opened, lubrication will also help protect the parts from wear and tear. There are spray-on versions for the lithium grease lubricant that are easier to use.

Lubricate the spring

To keep the spring from corroding, garage door owners can spray them with a lubricant/cleaner, which can be bought from hardware stores.  If corrosion is already eating the metal, it is best to call professionals to replace it.  Again, non-professionals should not try to remove or replace the garage door spring.

Check the garage door seals and replace if necessary

The weather stripping or astragal of the garage door keeps cold and small insects from entering the garage, but they can easily wear and can also get damaged by mice. Replacing them is easy and not dangerous.  Garage door owners should make sure that the materials used are the right size for their garage door. They can also measure the damaged weather seal and take the measurements to the shop to ensure they get the right one.  Many companies offering garage door repair also sell these parts.

Only experienced professionals can perform complete maintenance of garage doors, repairs and replacements. However, as owners,it is your responsibility to do basic care for your garage door to prolong its lifespan and maximize your investment.

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Three Reasons Why Doing Your Own Garage Repair Is Not Advisable

bigstock-Girl-Opens-Old-Garage-21316331Broken garage doors are a source of great stress to their owner. Some of the symptoms of a malfunctioning garage doors are weird sounds produced while opening and closing them. Sometimes, they fail to open completely, if at all. It is human nature for owners to fix their broken garage doors themselves. However, experts contend that this is not a good idea.

When garage doors begin to show signs of malfunctioning, it is more advisable to let garage repair specialists take care of the problem. Here are three reasons why.

Save your money

The garage door has complicated mechanisms. If you lose one gear, the whole mechanism fails.  Garage door repair specialists have the proper know-how in repairing a failing door. They know what they are doing, so they don’t end damaging the door more. Owners do not necessarily have that knowledge. If a garage owner tries to fix his garage door, he may unintentionally cause more damage. By the time he decides to contact a person to repair his garage door, the damage he caused may cost him ten times more than if he called a technician right away. In addition, if the garage owner gets injured trying to fix his own garage door, it will also cost him money for hospital bills.

Save yourself from injury

Not only are garage door mechanisms complicated, tinkering with them without the right skills and knowledge could lead to serious injury. Take for example the garage door spring. When that powerful metallic spring snaps and hits someone’s face, it could crack skulls. This unfortunate incident could be easily averted if the owner does not try to repair the garage door himself. As has already been previously mentioned, only professional garage, door technicians are qualified to make repairs for a garage door. They know how it works so they can avoid accidents.

Save time

When they try to fix their own door, it usually takes garage door owners days, week, or even months to finish it—sometimes it won’t get fixed at all. They would be wasting a lot of time that they could spend with their loved ones. Garage door specialists can fix garage doors in a day or two because they are knowledgeable in that field. Once they are done, the door can function again flawlessly.  Time saved!

Although it is tempting for owners to fix their broken garage doors by themselves, it is always advisable to let professionals solve that problem. They are better equipped with knowledge and the right tools to repair garage door in a safe and efficient manner. By choosing to call them right away at early signs of garage door problems, homeowners could save money, time, and most importantly themselves.

When a person is sick the best person to call the doctor. When a building is wobbly, call a carpenter. When a garage door is having problems, the best action is to call a garage door professional.

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