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The Garage Door Blog

Phone Conversation: “My garage door is frozen!”

frozen fudt garage doorHomeowner: My garage door is stuck from the Winter’s cold? What can I do to unstuck it?

Garage Door Dealer: Can you see ice at the bottom of the door?

Homeowner: Ah, yes.

Garage Door Dealer: Well then your garage doors weather seal is probably frozen to the concrete. This happens when the bottom of the door sits in water or wet snow that eventually freezes when the temperature dips.

Homeowner: So what do I do?

Garage Door Dealer: Well, to get the door unstuck, break off the ice or use warm water to melt the ice. Then raise your garage door and clean and dry the area to prevent the door from refreezing when you’ve finished.

Homeowner: That sounds simple. I tried to force my door open and break the ice.

Garage Door Dealer: That could rip your weather seal and then water, snow and cold air could get into your garage. Then you’d have to replace the weather seal.

Homeowner: I don’t want to do that. Well thank you for your information.

Garage Door Dealer: Just one more idea. Think about waxing your door with the same wax they use on cars. This can be a great way to prevent ice from sticking to your door.

Adore Your Garage Door

Whether you’re planning to build a new home or are doing a remodel, it’s unlikely you think much about your garage door. Still, it’s the largest moving part in your home and the broadest piece of curb appeal on display. Today’s best garage doors are detailed to blend into the aesthetics of the home’s design. Their architectural frame occupies a major portion of the front landscape and has a major impact on the street perception of the home.

Garage doors can have character too. In many homes, the garage doors often incorporate carriage house motifs that greatly enhance the architectural character of the home and the neighborhood. The latest garage doors offer increased style and function that can enhance the aesthetics of any home. And they are safer to use than ever before.

Decorative options are helping homeowners differentiate their doors adding a dynamic architectural accentuation to their home with a selection of glass inserts and new styles of hardware. Homeowners and builders alike are expressing increased interest in carriage-style garage doors, designed to fool the eye and mimic old-style sliding or swing-up doors. These are drawing the most attention due to their distinctive architectural styling and for traditionally styled homes this is a handcrafted looking door that is best suited.

To fashion a striking first impression, taking metal garage doors and painting them with a custom faux-paint treatment, gives them a deeply embossed wood-grain pattern, that will result in a richly, dramatic effect. For a contemporary house, the garage door’s character may show through in its panel design, incorporating detailing from different architectural styles. On the other hand, a garage door with clean lines and a smooth finish may be more appropriate.

Adore Your Garage Door. Your garage door is one of the most visible aspects of your home, so it makes sense to have one with character.

Winter is Here: Is Your Garage Door Ready?

With the colder weather, there’s nothing worse than not having your garage door not working properly. Here’s some ways to save you a lot of time and money!

Keep 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.
garage-door-winter-First-United-Door
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.

CONSUMER ALERT VIDEOS

Brought to you by First United Door Technologies & Door & Access Systems Manufacturing Association

These YouTube Videos are designed to promote a better industry that serves and provides the best advice to consumers.  

The Garage Door Repair Scam    Link: https://youtu.be/QVhgWi6CxBY

How to Assess Your Garage Door Problems    Link: https://youtu.be/sRXk4YHe-5o

How to Spot Marketing from Garage Door Repair Scammers    Link: https://youtu.be/OTr88-opHjU

How to Detect a Scammer When You Call for Garage Door Service    Link: https://youtu.be/GCIWgPCPt1k

Is It Time for a New Garage Door?

Dented Garage Door_Firstudt.comYou’ve repaired and replaced, repaired and replaced, but your old garage door still isn’t working right. There comes a time when pouring all that time and money into a faulty door just doesn’t make good fiscal sense anymore. In some parts of the country, garage doors are continuously pounded by harsh weather conditions including snow, sleet, ice, and hot sunshine. Here are some ways that homeowners can know when it’s finally time to get a new garage door.

Dents: A dented garage door is not necessarily a safety hazard, but it is certainly an eyesore! Even if your yard is immaculately kept and the rest of your house looks terrific, the sight of a dent or dents in the garage door will wipe out any positive impression when people drive up to your property: and this could result in a loss of value to your home too if you’re considering selling.

Rust: Rust is not only unsightly, but it is also a sign that your garage door will soon be experiencing operational problems if it isn’t already. Rust is a symptom of corrosion in a door’s metal parts, and these parts may break or fall apart unexpectedly resulting in inconvenience or even injury. Rust in spring coils is especially dangerous: since these coils are responsible for the high degree of tension necessary for proper door operations, if the coils fail the heavy door could fall and fall violently.

Difficulty Opening: A door that is hard to open either by hand or automatically is exhibiting signs of wear or misalignment.

Could it be your time to replace that garage door?

 

Cleaning and Preventative Maintenance

Make your garage door last longer and operate efficiently

garage doorOn a busy day your garage door may open and close 20 times, so routine maintenance is a must to keep it in good working order. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular garage door cleaning and maintenance will guarantee a great look and longer life of your door.

Appearance

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap (like dishwashing detergent) and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results. If there’s exposed wood, be sure to paint it.

Exterior Weather-Stripping

Clean the weather stripping around the frame and bottom edge with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a Silicone-based lubricant to keep the stripping pliable. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather-stripping as it will dry up and crack. It is important to let your weather-strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather-stripping. If the weather-stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

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.

June is Garage Door Safety Month

Top 10 Garage Door and Opener Safety and Security Tips

Garage Door Safety Month - First United DoorThe International Door Association and the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association have designated June as Garage Door Safety Month.

First United Door Technologies will be working to increase public awareness, throughout the month, of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems, and the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep them safe.

It’s important that the public is aware of garage door safety and that safety checks should be done to insure it’s in proper working order by using these ten garage door safety and security tips.

  1. Make sure garage door opener control button is out of the reach of small children.
  2. Do not let children play with garage door remote controls.
  3. Consult the owner’s manual and learn how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature.
  4. Visually inspect the garage door each month. Look at springs, cables, rollers and pulleys for signs of wear. Do not attempt to remove, adjust or repair these parts or anything attached to them. A trained door repairman must make adjustments to these parts, which are under high tension.
  5. Test the garage door opener’s reversing mechanism monthly by placing a 2 x 4 board or a roll of paper towels in the door’s path. If the door does not reverse after contacting the object, call a qualified garage door professional for repair. If the opener has not been replaced since 1993, seriously consider a new one with auto-reverse as a standard feature.
  6. Never place fingers between door sections and explain the dangers to children. If you have small children, consider a door with panels that can’t pinch.
  7. Do not leave the garage door partially open. When activated again, it may travel downward and come in contact with an object in its path. This also impacts your home’s security as well.
  8. While on vacation, unplug the garage door opener unit or use a wall vacation lock console security switch, which renders remotes unusable and is an optional accessory to most openers.
  9. If the opener does not have rolling-code technology, which changes the access codes each time the opener is used to prevent code grabbing, be sure to change the manufacturer’s standard access codes on the opener and remote control, or consider investing in a newer model with more safety and security features that are now standard.
  10. A new trend in home invasion is gaining access to the home by stealing the remote from the car. Never leave the remote control in the car or with a parking attendant. Consider using a key chain remote and always lock the entry to the inside of your home – especially if your opener is programmed to your vehicle. It is a small inconvenience for safety and security.

Homeowners should have annual safety checks and maintenance to their garage door system from a licensed and insured garage door company to keep their door operating safely and smoothly for a long time.

Make Your Garage Door System Family Friendly

Garage doors are very large in size and the last thing you want is for it to harm a member of your family, especially when each year there can be up to 30,000 injuries caused by garage door
accidents. Although garage doors are already designed to be safe, there are some extra precautions that you can take to keep your garage door system safe for your family and avoid any injuries.

Garage Door Safety-FIRSTUDTKeep Your Remote In A Safe Place

Do not leave your remote lying around for just anyone to grab. Secure it somewhere in your car so that it cannot easily be stolen or played with. Some features allow you to connect your garage door with your car or mobile device and no remote is necessary. Practice safety with your remote to avoid unfortunate accidents.

Inform Your Children On Garage Safety

Make sure your children know not to play around with the remote or garage. Remind them to stand away from the garage and wait when trying to enter or exit. In addition, hanging or playing on any parts of the garage should never occur because that is the quickest way for an accident to happen. Inform your children on the dangers of misusing a garage is wise and the best way avoid accidents.

Check Your System Regularly

Check the garage door system regularly to make sure it is working properly. Neglecting to do so could be the reason an accident occurs. Ensure that all its components are in good condition and make repairs when necessary. Remember, you can also call your garage door dealer and they will perform a safety check for you.

Keep Garage Clean

You want to make sure that there is little clutter in your garage as possible to secure the safety of your family. Accidents happen all the time and if your garage is cluttered someone may trip and fall and you never know if that could occur while the garage door is opening or closing.

While garage doors are created to be safe not everything is always made perfectly. Monitor your garage door system and inform your family on all safety measures. By checking your system and educating your family, you will create a safe environment for your family inside/outside your garage.

Submitted by Peter Torres

Peter is the owner of South West Garage Door Service, offering premier garage door repair in Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, and Menifee, Ca.  They provide services for a wide range of customers who’ve come to depend on their high quality professionalism, superior workmanship and unsurpassed level of customer service.  http://www.southwestgds.com

The Ficticious R Factor

The garage dooGarage Door R-Factorr industry association, the Door & Access Systems Manufacturing Association (DASMA ) is in the process of performing U factor testing and eliminating R rating on all garage doors.  This has been expected for some time as the major manufacturers (Clopay, Overhead Door, Wayne Dalton, CHI, Amarr/Entramatic and others) have been battling over who has the highest R-Factor.

Forty years ago a company, by the name of McKee Door, did testing on a 10′ x 10′ insulated door that didn’t have weather seals around the perimeter. They determined that they may as well have a 12 inch diameter hole in the center of the door due to air leakage. Perimeter seals are a major factor in buying an insulated garage door. Regrettably no one in our industry provides anything close to the kind of seals that the window entry door industries provide on their products.

So while consumers and door dealers get hung up on polystyrene/urethane doors with fictitiously high R-Factors, they are doing nothing less than selling the consumer a bill of goods. It’s reminiscent of the same commotion that energy tax credits and pinch-proof doors provided and flooded the industry for a number of years.

A conditioned air space and an insulated garage play a major role in providing a garage with a space that insulates like that of the house. When you drive home in the winter and its 25 degrees, you close the door trapping that cold air in the garage. You might notice the next day when you go outside and the temperature is 40 degrees, when you go back into your garage, you’ll find the temperature is still 25 degrees. So what have you accomplished? Without providing the garage with a conditioned space to balance the temperature, you haven’t achieved anything. The same can be said about the heat. Drive a hot car into a garage when its 100 degrees and go back an hour later and that garage will be over 115 degrees.

The lesson here is if you want to upgrade your garage door to a steel sandwich door, which is typically stronger and quieter and perhaps more stylish, do so for that reason and not for some fictitious high R-Factor that a manufacturer is promising. It’s obviously unrealistic and incapable of achieving without a conditioned space. Before you go out and spend $4-5000 dollars on making your garage conditioned, you might also ask yourself, how often do you intend to really use that space for living type of environment?

Garage Door Replacement is among the Best Home Investments

Remodeling Magazine has released its 2016 Cost vs. Value report, which states that a garage door replacement is  among the leading remodeling investments. The report, which evaluated 30 popular home remodeling projects in 100 markets across America, is based on how much real estate experts estimate those projects will increase a home’s value at resale.

Garage doors were among the top three best investments in both mid-range and upscale home remodeling projects.  Among the 30 remodeling projects that real estate experts evaluated, garage door replacement was the number 1 remodeling project with the greatest return on value by far in the upscale project range.  Among mid range remodeling projects, only adding attic insulation and replacing vinyl siding with manufactured stone veneer had greater recoup values than garage door replacement. The 2016 recoup value of garage door replacement was higher in both mid-range and upscale remodeling projects versus the 2015 values.

Homeowners and remodelers should consider the STEELHOUSE™ Carriage House Door by First united Door Technologies. With an immediate impact on the curb appeal of any home, the available designs of the STEELHOUSE™ Door brings the traditional look and design of the old style wood carriage door without the problems that were once associated with the older wood door. At half the cost, half the weight, and with a maintenance free exterior, you cannot make a better investment in your home’s exterior appearance.