How to Avoid a Garage Door Scam

avoid-garage-door-scamTo avoid a garage door scam, you need to ensure that you choose a service provider very carefully when upgrading, or opting for a new garage door installation. Simply put, there are “scammers” on every corner nowadays, and many unsuspecting victims fall prey to their devious ploys without even realizing until afterward, when it’s too late.

Homeowners, in particular, are susceptible to a garage door scam because they tend to accept quotations at face-value but thankfully there are many ways that you can ensure that the chosen service provider is legitimate, and it is certainly well worth the effort to validate credentials for the business in question.

Remember, you need to get this right from the beginning because if you make these decisions without checking the bare essentials, there is very little to no chance of you recovering your money paid.

Verifying Garage Door Service Providers

Don’t just call the first business that comes up on a Google Search or is listed in your local classified ads. Instead, make a list of all of the businesses and then do some research. Does the business have a website with a full street address listed, as well as a contact number other than a mobile phone? If not, move on to the next business because it is easy to create a website from free templates to make a business look credible.

If the website looks credible, call in and establish if they will come out to discuss your requirements and quote you at no charge. Continue your research until you have at least three garage door service providers who will come out to see you to discuss your requirements and give you a detailed quote.

When the representatives come to see you, look for company branding on their vehicles or clothing. Most reputable companies will invest in that type of branding for marketing and credibility.

Comparing quotations

With your three quotes in hand, your research is not yet done if you are to avoid a garage door scam. Compare the quotes and regard any major difference in price (much higher or lower) as a potential red-flag. Check the quotes for written guarantees on work done for a specific period after completion. If the quote contains a clause which accepts no responsibility for any ‘damage or loss’ while on your premises, discard the quote.

Once you have decided on one or two of the quotes, call the company and ask for customers they have previously worked for where you can get references. If their website lists testimonials, ask if you can contact those customers. No company who prides themselves on their quality and service will deny you this information. If they do, the testimonials are possibly fake and certainly questionable.

Choosing the Right Garage Door Company

You are now well informed to avoid a garage door scam, and you can contact the service provider who has business premises, a contact number with staff to take your call, offers a guarantee on work done, and all this confirmed by previous customers who assured you of their satisfaction. For the small bit of time and research you put in, you now know that your garage door work will not only be safe and to your satisfaction, but also that your money will be well spent.

How to Determine a Garage Door Spring Life Cycle?

It’s a good practice to take utmost care of your garage door. Most people thinks garage doors once fixed last forever. Garage doors are held in place by springs. These springs are of different sizes and life cycles. The life cycle is based on use, which is the number of opening and closing of a door. The more a garage door is put into use the more its life cycle depreciates and vice versa.

There are mainly two types of garage door springs, of which each has its own unique installation method and life cycle. Below are the types:

  • Torsion springs
  • Extension Springs

Torsion Springs: They are installed at the top and middle of the garage door. They function by lifting the door as well as holding it in place. They need to be replaced by a professional when damaged. They usually have 5,000-20,000 cycles which can span between 7 to 12 years (and even more).

Extension Springs: They are installed at the side of the door and act extend, rather than contract (as does the torsion spring). They have 15,000 and 20,000 cycles which equate 7 – 12 years life expectancy.

spring life cycle

How can I determine the garage door spring’s life cycle?

One opening and closing is considered one life cycle. So how can we determine the overall cycle?

To determine the life cycle of a garage door spring, below are the most important factors considered.

  • The size of the wire
  • The diameter of the spring
  • The length of the spring
  • The weight of the door

In most garage doors for residential homes, the life cycle of springs is mostly 10,000, 20,000, or even 30,000 cycles.

Selection of springs for your garage doors begins with knowing the weight of the door.

Say your door weighs about 185Ibs with the weight of the insulation include, to get a 10,000 cycle, a combination of 207x2x20 will be required.

Springs with longer life cycles have thicker wires. These wires are tougher and can withstand more stretching and bending than thinner wires do. The thicker the wire the more expensive the spring.

An illustration is given below

Let’s assume the weight of a door is 165Ibs you have two few options of spring system to adopt.

To get 10,000 cycles the dimension of spring to be used should be 207x2x22

To get 20,000 cycles the dimension of springs to be used should be 218x2x26

To get 30,000 cycles the dimension of springs to be used should be 225x2x33

You will get approximately 7 years on each 10,000 cycles before the spring reaches its limit and breaks.

It’s far better using the sturdier springs for your garage door than the smaller ones. You will end up spending more money if you use the smaller springs, ending up replacing them more often.

Some factors are not put into account when determining the life cycle of a garage spring. Such factors are extreme corrosion, high humidity climate, and chips in the metal. The life span might not reach the expected amount of cycles when these factors are present. To increase the spring’s life span, frequent lubrication of the door mechanism and appropriate maintenance are required. This should be done for all the moving parts of the garage door. Get a high-quality lubricant (lithium-based) from your local hardware store, or call a professional for a tune-up.

You can get a spring replacement for your garage door from a local company. However, make sure the replacement is done by a reputable company, that you make sure the door operates smoothly right after the replacement, and that you get a warranty. We do not recommend replacing a garage door spring by yourself; springs can be dangerous due to the high pressure they operate on, which can harm you if not done properly. Special tools and skills are required.

Top 2017 Home Improvement Trends

Everyone wants a home that they can be proud to showcase to their friends and family when they visit. To really give your home the wow factor, it’s important that you keep up to date with the latest 2017 home improvement trends and keep on top of the game. Luckily, we’ve found the three essential trends for you.

 

Smart Home Devices

smart home

You’ve probably heard a lot about smart home technology but maybe you don’t fully understand how it can improve your home. By using internet connectivity, you can control household appliances with your smartphone. This means that in the future, you’ll be able to come home and open your garage door, unlock your front door as if it was your car, turn on your heating, flip the kettle and turn the TV on, all with your phone. For now, though, you can get affordable Smart lighting for your home, as well as good Wi-Fi, enabled cameras that add an extra layer of security to your property.

 

Gravel Landscaping

modern landscaping

If you’re redesigning your driveway or adding a new path to your garden this year, then you should consider gravelling it. This way, you can avoid the solid gray concrete or boring tarmac, instead of using a material with a more natural look. It’s perfect too because there’s minimal upkeep and when you feel it needs sprucing up, you can just add new gravel!

 

Matte Finishes Rock

bmw matte finish

At the start of the year, many household appliance manufacturers released new models in matte black which signals the start of one of the massive 2017 home improvement trends in the U.S. Apple also released an iPhone in matte black, if you need more evidence that matte black is the new glossy black. Of course, you shouldn’t go out and replace all your functioning appliances just for an improved aesthetic, but if you’re planning on putting in a new kitchen or bathroom in 2017, you should consider going for the matte finish that perfectly complements stainless steel.

 

3 Essential Tips to Stop Your Garage Door Freezing This Winter

During the winter months, there’s nothing more annoying that trying to leave for work and having to find a way to leverage your garage door open because it’s frozen shut. That’s when we normally get the de-icer and lubricant out and go crazy with it to make sure it doesn’t happen again. However, that can sometimes provide you with more issues than solutions. Here we’ve provided you with three essential tips to prevent your garage door hinges freezing.

garage_door_lubrication

  1. Garage door lubrication with a silicon or lithium based lubricants

We use grease to lubricate bike chains and door handles, so why wouldn’t you want to use it on the hinges of your garage door? The issue is that in freezing temperatures, grease will freeze just like water, which doesn’t really help your situation at all. Instead, it’s best to find a silicon lubricant which won’t turn your hinges to ice when the weather gets colder. We’ve found that WD-40 is very effective at lubricating garage door hinges, and you’ll find stockists pretty much anywhere. Be sure to remove the previous application of grease before applying the new lubricant, though, otherwise, you’ll still encounter issues. You should spray some garage door lubrication to your tracks and rollers while you’re at it, to ensure that they don’t cause any issues when opening the door, too.

  1. Apply salt to your garage door

            Salt reduces the freezing point of water, which means that it’s really handy for warding off the ice where it’s not wanted. Although it’s difficult to apply it to the hinges of your garage door, you will be able to put it on the garage floor around the door to prevent water from getting under it and freezing. This is another common occurrence and will prevent you from getting to work on time! To avoid any corrosion, it’s recommended that you use table salt. Also, if you’re ever inside the garage and realize that the hinges are frozen you can apply salt to them help you quickly melt the ice.

  1. Move the car out of the garage straight away

We’ve all been there. It’s a cold day, so you turn the heaters on in the car before you get in, so that it’s nice and toasty when you get in so you can set off on your journey without chattering teeth. However, it will also raise the temperature in your garage, melting any ice on your garage door, which will run to the bottom and reform to ice once you leave. This will definitely cause issues when your return, as your garage door will be frozen to the floor. To prevent this, try moving your car out of the garage as soon as you start it. There’s no point applying garage door lubrication to your hinges if you’re going to freeze the door to the ground anyway!

Types of Garage Door Rollers

Types of Garage Door Rollers to Consider

garage door rollers blue mounds wi

When is the last time you sat down and really considered what type of garage door roller you’re currently using? If your first thought was something like “What is a garage door roller” or “What difference does it make”, then you may want to continue reading! Garage door rollers are composed of a steel stem with a wheel on one end which can be made of various materials, all of which provide their own unique benefits and disadvantages. Examples of commonly available materials for roller wheels are:

  • Plastic
  • Nylon
  • Steel with bearings
  • Steel without bearings

When contemplating what material to use, one must consider aspects such as the material of the door, how quiet you want the door to remain, what type of weather will the roller endure, and how many open/close cycles do you want the roller to last through? Selecting a wheel with ball bearings will ensure the wheel will last significantly longer, especially when the wheel itself is comprised of steel. However, a steel wheel will not be quite as quiet as a nylon wheel, which is reminiscent of a skateboard wheel in consistency. Plastic wheels are a cost-effective alternative to steel or nylon, although they will undoubtedly atrophy more quickly. Replacement costs will accrue as quickly as the wheels break!

The final consideration when determining what type of garage door roller to purchase is the diameter of the wheel and the length of the stem which varies from door to door and must be measured either by oneself or by a professional. To measure the diameter yourself, simply use a ruler and measure from edge to edge of the roller. Roller sizes are typically one, two, or three-inch standard sizes. The stem can be measured with the same methodology. If you just can’t seem to figure out what material or size would be ideal for your next garage door roller, there’s no shame in consulting the pros!

For more information about garage door rollers, check out DDM Garage Doors.

 

           

Garage Door Springs

Types of (Common) Garage Door Spring Mechanisms

Did you know that there are two (main) different types of spring mechanisms you can install in your garage door? One can either choose to have torsion or extension springs on their garage door, each of which boasts its own benefits. But how does one determine which type of spring mechanism is the most efficient or, at the least, is the most fitting for them? In order to answer this, you must ask yourself whether efficiency or cost-effectiveness is paramount to you. Below you will find an in-depth comparison of the different types of garage door spring mechanisms.

garage door springs madison wi

Extension Springs

Extension springs are somewhat ubiquitous in the commercial garage door industry; they are remarkably cheap and provide ample tension for lifting a typical residential garage door. As the name of these springs implies, they create the tension to lift the door by extending along the horizontal tracks above the door (typically). Extension springs must be paired with safety cables in order to prevent them from being launched in any direction when they finally break. Although these springs are cheaper and will suffice for a residential garage, they are significantly more dangerous than torsion springs, bearing more exposed parts, and will not last nearly as long. Extension springs will last an average of 10,000 cycles (open and close motions).

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are installed above the garage door as extension springs are, although the method of raising and closing the door varies. Torsion springs implement torque to move the door by slowly coiling along the shaft. The use of torsion springs ensures that your garage will open and close with a controlled motion, as opposed to the potential jerking motion extension springs will provide. Additionally, since torsion springs do not extend, they are able to last much longer than extension springs, enduring between 15,000 and 20,000 cycles on average. They are also able to lift significantly more weight than an extension spring, which is more practical for users with more cumbersome doors. Torsion springs present little danger when they break, whereas extension springs present the potential to shoot in any direction and cause harm to anyone standing in their path. They are available in a myriad of different sizes to fit your individual door. The only drawback to torsion springs is their higher price, although you are getting what you pay for in regards to overall quality and efficiency.

 

 

 

Garage Door Weather Stripping

Weather Stripping: What is it and Why is it Important?

            If you are unfamiliar with weather stripping, it is a strip comprised of a material of your choosing which blocks any gaps between a specific door and adjacent wall. Although this may seem trivial at first, it absolutely is not. When your garage is an extension of your house, it must be temperature regulated just as the rest of the house. If your garage door has gaps around it, you begin spending exorbitant amounts on monthly bills to either keep the house heated or cooled down. In order to remain cost-efficient and keep your garage and house at a cozy temperature, it’s not a bad idea to invest in some weather stripping. Before you can do this, however, you must ask yourself a couple questions: what material should the stripping be made of and do I know how to install it?

garage-weather-seal bottom-seal

Types of Weather Stripping and How the Installation Process

            Depending on your rationale for purchasing weather stripping, there are a plethora of materials for stripping to consider. Typical materials include:

  • Felt: If you prefer more traditional methods, then felt may be ideal for you. It is cost-effective and is available in a myriad of different sizes and colors to fit your individual door. These strips are typically nailed in place, although they are available in adhesive alternatives for easy installation. Simply make sure that the strips are cut to the proper length in order to extend across the entirety of the door on all sides and nail in place or stick on.
  • Serrated Metal: Serrated metal strips are backed by either vinyl or felt. They integrate the reliability and sturdy nature of metal with the easy application of felt. These are either nailed down or applied with adhesive.
  • Rubber Seals: In order to ensure there is not a gap between the bottom of your garage door and the floor of the garage, a bottom weather seal will do the trick. Rubber weather seals work efficiently by sealing the gap and helping to retain heat. They are remarkably cheap and installation is as simple as it gets. Once you determine the proper length of the strip, you can simply slide it on the bottom of the door!
  • Tubular Gasket: Comprised of flexible but durable vinyl, tubular gasket stripping is ideal for outdoor use. Its flexibility allows it to conform to uneven surfaces with ease. An adhesive can be used to ensure the stripping stays in place. Although it is reasonably priced and efficient when used, it does not come in a variety of colors beyond white or gray and cannot be painted. If you apply paint to the stripping, it will lose its flexibility and defeat the purpose!
  • Interlocking Metal Stripping: With two interlocking rabbeted metal pieces, this type of stripping will provide industrial strength. Unfortunately, it will most likely require a professional for installation unless you are savvy with this type of work.

weather-stripgarage-door-repair-bottom-seal

Advantages of Using Weather Stripping

Now that you know a few common variations of weather stripping, why should you use it? If you’re like most people, you are probably not elated by the concept of paying bills. It’s inevitable, but the goal is to pay as little as necessary to provide you with the optimal level of comfort. Without weather stripping applied to your garage, you’re allowing heat or cold to escape from you garage constantly. Even if your garage isn’t attached to your house, it is still advantageous to prevent the inside from cooling down too much (to protect the contents of the garage. For example, bike tires don’t do too well in sub-zero temperatures). Most types of weather stripping are easy to install with little more than a few nails or some adhesive which is sometimes already on the strips, although hiring a professional is always an option.

What to Do When I Back Into the Garage Door?

Backed Into the Garage Door?

As confident as most people tend to be in their parking skills, sometimes we all have some spatial relations issues to put it lightly. Suppose you’ve decided to back your car up to the garage just as you have dozens upon dozens of times before. This time, however, you experience an involuntary lapse in judgment and next thing you know, you’ve backed into the garage door and dented the bottom two panels of your precious garage door. What do you do now? Should you attempt to fix the issue yourself, consult a professional to fix it for you, or simply replace the damaged panels? In order to assuage this issue, you must begin by asking yourself two questions:

  • How severe is the damage? Is it a minor bend or is the panel on the verge of falling off?
  • What material is the garage door composed of?

How to Fix a Bent Door 

            If your garage door is composed of steel or aluminum as most typically are (aluminum is more prone to denting due to its lack of durability), you may not have to replace it after backing your car into it! Take a moment to evaluate the extent of the damage done. Run the garage door through a couple cycles (opening and closing) to determine whether it is capable of running smoothly or not. If the damage is not too substantial, you may be able to fix the door by adding steel struts, which are reinforcements installed on the back of the door.

Steel struts prevent the door from bowing and in turn disrupting its cycle. This is a simple and remarkably cost-effective alternative to replacing the door or even a single panel when not necessary. This will not resolve aesthetic-based issues, so those of us who cannot stand to look at a damaged door without cringing may feel obliged to purchase a replacement for the damaged portion of the door.

backed into garage door fitchburg wi

What About Wooden/Fiberglass Doors?

If you are the proud owner of a lavish wooden or fiberglass garage door and have undergone the misfortune of backing your car into it, you may not possess the option of fixing the door. Whether or not you are able to add reinforcements to the door is wholly dependent on the extent of the damage, which you can either determine yourself or with the assistance of a professional. If the damage is too much and the door cannot run efficiently, then it may be time to purchase a new door.

Replacing a Damaged Door

            Depending on the severity of the damage done, you may need to either replace the entire door or a couple panels. For an extensive guide on how to do so, consider reading one our previous articles entitled “Replacing Your Garage Door”. As always, contact us by email or phone at any time for questions regarding costs, materials, and/or the installation of garage door components!

           If you backed into the garage door and need to replace it, take a look at our Clopay garage door collection.

What Should I Do When Someone Steals My Remote?

Did you know that one of the most prominent means of breaking into a house nowadays is by stealing someone’s garage door remote and entering through the garage? Imagine approaching your car only to notice that the remote is no longer clipped to your visor or located where you typically keep it. You search around for a moment to no avail. Someone has stolen your garage door remote. This may seem insignificant until you remember that the registration papers for your car (usually conveniently stored in the glovebox) contain your home address. As of 2016, approximately 88% of all burglaries in the United States are residential and 77% of all crimes are property-based crimes. Identity theft is indisputably the most rapidly growing crime throughout America and you do not intend to become an addition to this statistic because someone stole your garage door remote. So how does one fix this issue or prevent it from ever occurring again?

garage door repair madison wi

Consider Deprogramming the Remote

      Every garage door remote works in the same manner: a signal is sent to a receiver in the housing unit of the opener. If your opener was manufactured after 1993, then the remote will most likely use a rolling code, meaning the transmission code changes with every use. If you are certain that your remote has been stolen, you should consider disabling the remote so the potential burglar is not capable of stealing your precious possessions.

How To Disable Your Remote

    The first step to deprogramming your remotes is to locate the colored Smart Button on the motor housing. Hold this button for a few seconds and all of the remotes currently linked with the opener will be deprogrammed. Whoever stole your remote will be out of luck.

    Assuming you still have another remote, you will have to reprogram it along with any keypads in order to use them with your opener again. In order to do this, you can either refer to one of our previous posts regarding the reprogramming of your remotes or you can read your owner’s manual for more detail.

    Another method of ensuring your possessions stay safe is to lock the opener. If you have a control panel, it will have a LOCK button which will disable the opener from being used without deprogramming any of the remotes. You may still use the control panel itself to open and close the door.

What if You Don’t Have a Control Panel?

    If you do not have a control panel, then simply unplugging your garage door opener until you’ve resolved the issue will suffice. In order to continue using the door, you will need to pull the emergency release cord (which will typically have a red handle). This allows you to manually operate the door.

How Can I Prevent This From Happening?

    If you want to prevent future theft from happening in regards to burglars accessing your garage, you may install extra locks and security features as well as various applications on your phone to monitor the activity of your opener. You can also ensure that your remotes are kept in secure areas not in direct view, so as to prevent alluring a potential thief. If you have any questions regarding the security of your garage, feel free to contact us by phone or email!

Choosing a New Garage Door Opener

Is your garage door opener squealing or working much slower than it used to? You aren’t alone. It’s not difficult to forget about your opener and the fact that it will eventually need to be replaced in the midst of other daily tasks; when it happens, though, you’ll understand how irritating it can be. Selecting the right garage door opener is not the simplest of tasks, however. When is the last time you researched the specifics of garage door openers?

Selecting the Opener

garage door repair madison wi

Which Type of Drive is Best?

The first question you must ask yourself when choosing a new garage door opener is what type of drive you would prefer. There are three types of drives:

  • Chain: Chain drives are the traditional garage door opener drives. They are composed of a durable metal chain. They are essentially your go-to drives since they are reliable and reasonably priced, although they do make a bit of a raucous.
  • Belt: Belt drives are the pride of the industry. The premise is almost the same as a chain drive: a belt which pulls the garage door along its tracks. The benefit of the belt drive is that it is significantly more quiet than a chain drive! They hone the reliability of the chain drive without the noise, but they do come at a higher price.
  • Screw: Last but not least, the screw drive. This is the cheapest of the alternatives, although this does not come without the sacrifice of quality. Screw drives are louder than belt or chain drives and are more likely to malfunction if the weather conditions in your area are too erratic. If you don’t mind the extra noise and are looking for a discount, then a screw drive opener is ideal for you.

  How Powerful Should the Motor Be?

When determining how much power you should have in the motor, take into consideration the material from which your garage door is comprised of. Is it light aluminum, sturdy steel, or an extravagant but heavy wood? For standard steel/aluminum doors, a ½-horsepower motor should work proficiently. For heavier doors or wooden doors, a ¾-horsepower motor should be taken into consideration. DC motors are more efficient than AC and sometimes offer battery backups.

Ceiling Height and Safety Features

Take an accurate measure of the height of your garage door. Is it about 7 feet or is it taller? If your garage door is about 7 feet tall (the standard), then you will be fine purchasing a typical motor. If it is any taller, you will have to invest in an extension kit to ensure the motor works proficiently and safely. In regards to safety features, you must be certain that your motor is equipped with at least the standard features which include: automatic reversal, photoelectric sensors, an emergency manual release, and rolling-code technology. We cannot overstate the importance of safety for your garage door, which should be a precedent to everyone.

Convenience

Don’t just settle for any motor. Treat yourself. Consider motors which offer convenient aspects such as keyless entry, smartphone capability, or motion-sensor lights. Be sure to consult us about the many available options which add to the convenience of working your garage on a daily basis. You may not think you need any of the bells and whistles, but you won’t know what you’re missing until you try it out!