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The Garage Door Blog

“Winterproof” Your Garage Door!

garage-door-winter-First-United-Door“Winterproofing” is a cost-effective way to help keep the heat in our homes. It is installed around doors and windows, but is often overlooked in the garage, and this can have a major impact on heat loss in the home, especially during the winter months.

Garage doors should be weatherstripped, especially if the garage is under bedrooms or the main living space. Cold winds blowing in and around garage doors can cause discomfort, especially on the floors, by cooling the hot air furnace ducts running within the floor joists. (Of course, this won’t happen in a heated garage.)

Use garage-door weatherstripping around the perimeter of the door on the wood frame and convex rubber door stripping on the bottom of the door.

After weatherstripping the door, vent the garage, as moisture will need to get out by means of proper ventilation. A simple way is to install eight-by-eight wall vents at the top of a wall, six inches from the plate, and at the bottom of the wall, six inches from the plate. This allows moisture to evaporate and exit through the passive wall vents.

When vehicles are parked in a garage during the winter months with snow and ice melting off, there must be ventilation to allow moisture to evaporate and escape without condensing on the door or windows. When moisture evaporates, it increases the relative humidity within the space. Relative humidity will always take the least line of resistance thereby taking the easy way out through the vents, leaving no puddles, drippy doors or windows.

Wood or single-skinned steel doors can be insulated using as a foil-type insulation such as Reflectix, keeping your garage cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Properly weatherproofing your garage door will help save you money on your utility bills with the added benefit of having a more comfortable home.

Your garage door needs to be maintained, as springs, hinges and bolts can come loose, making it drafty, noisy, and even susceptible to warping. Older steel wheels are very noisy, and must be maintained with grease or oil. These outdated rollers can easily be replaced with nylon rollers which are much quieter than the metal rollers, require no oil, no maintenance, and last twice as long as metal rollers.

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.

Are Cheap Garage Doors Really Worth It?

It’s easy to see where you may want to try and save money anyway you possibly can when it comes to buying a new garage door.Cheap Is Worth It - FirstUDT

You think cheaper always better?

Obviously, the answer is no. Are there less expensive garage doors that are still high quality products? You bet!

There are some basic factors that you need to consider before choosing the one that would fit your specifications. These are the qualities of materials used, design and of course the garage door prices. The first thing that you need to do is to determine the design and style that you want and then allocate your budget. Once you have pictured something in your mind it will be easier for you to narrow down your search and focus on how much the door of your choice would cost.

It is normal to be worried about garage door prices because you want to get your money’s worth, right? If you are not careful you might end in getting a door with substandard quality or materials yet with a high price, the best technique here is to survey everything on offer and be selective. You should shop around and look at the various options and prices available.

Get quotes on your garage door prices from different sources and use the web as it allows you to carry out major research. It is always advisable to have as many choices as possible; all you need to have is enough patience for you to find a door design which would be a perfect fit for your garage. Don’t forget to ask about the warranty for the door and the opener, if you purchase one.

Don’t waste your money on cheap garage doors that will only last a few years. There are many styles, sizes, and manufacturers available and you can find a great deal when you spend some time looking.

Ready Your Garage Door for the Winter

garage-door-winter-First United Door 2The garage door is the main access point to the home for more than 70 percent of homeowners, and as the Winter weather approaches, it’s important for homeowners to ensure the operation and safety of your household’s main point of entry.

First United Door provides some helpful tips to ensure your garage doors are ready for Winter.

Weather Stripping

Check the weather stripping around the garage door to ensure it is keeping out the cold air, and replace any damaged or missing seals.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

Older garage doors can malfunction in the cold weather, so garage door maintenance and inspections are even more important during the Winter months. Metal parts of a garage door can contract during cold weather, which can lead to broken springs and other issues.

Homeowners should use a garage door lubricant on any moving parts. 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.

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.

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 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).

With these helpful tips, homeowners can ensure their garage door is safe, functional and secure well through the winter. 

June is Garage Door Safety Month

Increasing Garage Door Safety AwarenessGarage Door Safe

The International Door Association (IDA) and the Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA) have designated June as Garage Door Safety Month. Both associations and their affiliated manufacturers will be working to increase public awareness of the possible hazards of garage doors and automatic opener systems, and the need for periodic inspection and maintenance to keep them safe.

Just as your customers want their garage door system to operate properly every time they need it,  they also want it to operate safely at all times.

The garage door is typically the largest moving object in your home. Properly maintained and operated,      a garage door and its operating system allow them, their families and their vehicles convenient access to and from their home. They also provide security and protect against the elements. Newer, insulated   garage doors even help save energy.

But moving garage doors can also cause serious injury. While there are some garage door system maintenance chores that your customers can – and should – perform on a regular basis, there are other tasks (including garage door installation and garage door spring replacement) that are best left to you, the dealer.

You have a responsibility to your customers to make sure they know how to operate and maintain their garage door system safely at all times. You are the key to their garage door safety.

Here are 10 things everyone in their household should know about garage door safety. It’s a good idea to review these with your customer and family.  The garage door and its operating system are not playthings.

1. The garage door and garage door opener are not toys. They are dangerous if misused, and can cause serious injury or even death.

  1. Children should never be allowed to play with the garage door or its operating system. Children should never stand, run or play under or near any garage door, especially when the door is open or moving.
  1. Adults should not allow children access to the remote controls or push button wall controls for garage door opener systems; these should be kept out of reach of children. The push button wall control for a garage door operating system should be mounted at least five feet off the floor, out of the reach of children.
  1. Never stand or walk under a moving garage door. Never try to enter or exit the garage by racing under a moving garage door.
  1. When opening or closing the garage door, always keep the door in view until the door is fully opened or fully closed. Make certain that no adults, children or animals try to enter or exit while the door is closing.
  1. Keep fingers and hands away from door sections when the door is opening or closing to avoid injury.
  1. Keep your garage door properly maintained to keep it operating safely. Annual maintenance by a trained service technician is recommended. There are other tests and maintenance tasks that you can perform.
  1. Remember that your garage door opener uses electricity, which can shock or kill if mishandled. Service should be performed by a trained service technician.
  1. Never attempt to repair a garage door’s springs or cables. These are under extreme tension and can cause severe injury or even death. These are best repaired by a trained service technician.
  1. If someone has backed into the garage door (yes, it does happen – all of us are in a hurry at one time or another), it’s a good idea to have the door inspected and/or repaired by a trained service technician. Even if the door doesn’t appear to be severely damaged, the operating system may have become misaligned and wear prematurely, creating what could be a dangerous environment.

Although your customers should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your garage door system, you need to teach them that an annual visit from you, a trained door systems technician, can keep their door operating safely and smoothly for a very long time.