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The Ficticious R Factor

The garage door 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 [more]

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.

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 [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.

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]

Garage Door Emergency Release Latch

Well you probably don’t think about the electricity cutting out in your home. If it happens to you, how can you get your garage door open?

No need to worry, there’s a solution to your problem.

Garage Door Openers have an “emergency release latch” mechanism that allows you to operate the garage door manually in the event you lose power.

The carriage is the part of the opener to which the door arm connects. The carriage locks around the opener trolley during normal operation. Once the power comes back on it is necessary to reengage a garage door opener to the door. The process is generally the same among all the garage door opener manufacturers.

To do this:

Locate the release mechanism. Somewhere along the track between the motor and the door should be the drive carriage and a release mechanism with a cord hanging down. Usually it will be closer to the door assuming it is closed. If the power is out and your garage is dark, you may need to use a flashlight to help you see.
Pull the handle to release the carriage. It may take a little force especially on an older opener that might be stuck. Pull all the way until it [more]

Reduce the Noise Coming From Your Garage Door!

Every time the garage door opens and closes, a loud rumble comes right through the walls of your home. Can’t stand it? Here’s some advice to help you reduce noise generated by the up and down movement of your garage door.

1. An insulated garage door can significantly reduce the intrusion of street noise into the home – especially important when there are bedroom or other living areas above or adjacent to the garage. If your door isn’t already insulated, the insulation can be installed by professional installers for a minimal charge, but it is not difficult to mount the insulation yourself and kits are available at your local home improvement retailer. It is important to consider having your springs recalculated because of additional weight to the door.

2. Have the steel rollers on your garage door changed to nylon. With nylon rollers, you will obtain almost silent running on the tracks and there is no need for lubrication.

3. Another point to look at is your electric operator. Any belt-driven model is best because the motor of this model is insulated from the metal case and will cut vibrations. The rubber belt is also quieter than the steel chain.

4. A noise isolator [more]

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With the cold weather, the following can you save you a lot of time and expense!

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.

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 [more]