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Phone Conversation: “My garage door is frozen!”

Homeowner: 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 [more]

June is Garage Door Safety Month

Top 10 Garage Door and Opener Safety and Security Tips

The 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.

Make sure garage door opener control button is out of the reach of small children.
Do not let children play with garage door remote controls.
Consult the owner’s manual and learn how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature.
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.
Test the garage door opener’s reversing mechanism monthly by placing a 2 x 4 board or a roll [more]

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.

Keep 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 [more]

Garage Door Check-Ups

At least once a year you should examine the garage door(s) on your property. To insure for proper operation and the longevity of your investment, we recommend that you pay-attention to your garage during daily use. When you find time to do a relatively simple walkthrough, follow these steps:

1. Disengage your opener by means of the emergency release and manually open and close the door. During this time, the garage should operate smoothly without making loud noises. If you can open your garage door with one hand, make sure that it’s not flying up or slamming shut.

2. Check the cables and chain, torsion springs, rollers, and track. As you look at those, also go over the hinges and mounting brackets because sometimes screws come loose.

3. Perform preventative maintenance by having a good lubricant that is made for garage doors. Remember that WD-40 is not a lubricant. With your garage door closed, place a tiny amount at each point on the door where there’s a moving part. When you’re finished, manually open and close the door to work the lubricant in. Don’t forget the bearings on a torsion spring (which is located above the door when closed).

Garage door systems will last [more]

Garage Doors: To Insulate or Not to Insulate

Deciding if you really need insulation in your garage door depends on where you live, so the benefits of an insulated garage door and how to select the right degree of insulation to best suit your needs will differ quite a bit.

The amount of insulation you need in your garage door depends on if your climate is typically cold, hot, or somewhere in-between. With the garage usually being the primary entrance to the home and with living space often above or beside it, it’s best to keep the temperature in the garage as comfortable as possible. This is especially true in very cold or very hot regions. You can choose garage doors with varying degrees of insulation to best suit your needs.

The effectiveness of the insulation is expressed as an R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation in the door.

Another point to consider is that an insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than a non-insulated door.

Lastly, pests and insects enjoy nesting in the back of uninsulated garage doors. An insulated door doesn’t give them a place to call their own.

Painting Your Garage Door Means Getting the Right Stuff

Selecting the garage door paint depends upon so many considerations.

The first consideration is the color of the house and whether the garage door is exposed to sunlight or not. Whenever you decide to paint garage doors, you must think about the color of your house and the garage door paint colors will largely depend on that.

If your house is of bright color you may use some color which will match with other exteriors of the house or you may decide to go for a contrast selection. If the garage door is exposed to sun rays during the day then you may not go for a bright color as bright colors tend to fade away very quickly in sun and the door will require very frequent repainting.

For selecting the type of paint that should be applied, in cases when you are repainting garage doors, it is important to know the type of paint which is already there on the doors. If you have oil based paint, you can apply latex paint or oil based paint but if you have latex paint then you can apply only latex paint over it. In case when you cannot confirm the type of paint which [more]

A good time for cleaning and some preventative garage door maintenance

On 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 [more]

Home buyers want accessible features they can age with

According to U.S. Census data, the number of Americans 65 and older is expected to rise 35 percent from 2010 to 2020. This plays a big part in the upswing of universal design and aging-in-place home features the past few years, accompanying the increase of multigenerational homes. A recent article from The Washington Post cites AARP findings on the subject:

According to AARP, the majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes permanently and live independently. This demographic change translates into demand for residential designs that anticipate changes in health, vision or mobility, and ensures that homes stay safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want report released in 2013 surveyed new and prospective home buyers nationwide to identify which features they want (and don’t want) when looking to purchase a home, one of the most desirable purchases home buyers are making with aging in mind is selecting a garage door 9 ft. or higher to accommodate a raised roof van with wheelchair lift. Besides the accommodation, it’s a good investment as well adding more value to the house itself.

Read Your Garage Door Owner’s Manual!

For those of you who have moved into a new home or have just installed a new garage door, be sure to take the time to thoroughly read the garage door owner’s manual. It may seem like a chore and take time, but one would be surprised at what they can find in most well written garage door manuals. The manual will contain safety and design information to help you insure that your garage door is safe to use and properly installed, and contain information on how to keep your garage door properly maintained.

For example, many garage door manuals will contain helpful tips for painting them. Most companies will tell you to pain BOTH the inside and outside of the garage door to keep everything even, and to never remove any parts of the garage door when painting. If you want to make sure that your garage door is completely covered in a fresh coat of paint, you need to call in a professional to dismantle it so that you can finish the paint job, and then have the garage door installed again. This usually does not happen, but again, do not try to dismantle any of the parts of [more]

Rub-A-Dub-Dub Your Garage Door

Your garage door is the largest door in your home, and is constantly exposed to all kinds of weather.

Set up a regular annual cleaning schedule for your garage door. Remember that garage doors are often the largest visible part of your house. A clean and well maintained Garage Door will help keep the ‘curb appeal’ of your house, as well as its value!

It’s simple. To clean steel garage doors wash both the exterior and interior twice a year using water mixed with a half cup of mild laundry detergent. If your garage door is a pre-painted steel door, you can apply a car wax to the exterior to help protect it from the elements. Avoid using abrasive cleaners since they can damage the paint. When using the brush to remove debris, use gentle action to avoid removing paint. Never use bleach full strength, and do not use acid-based products, such as vinegar.

Clean the weather stripping with an all-purpose cleaner, such as Formula 409, and lubricate the weather stripping with a silicone-based lubricant. Check the weather stripping between the door panels for cracks and replace, if needed.

Once you’ve washed your door and allowed it to dry, take the time to perform [more]