How to Choose a Garage Door?
Functional and easy to use, the overhead / sectional garage door has been the most prevalent type of garage door in the last few decades in the U.S. Composed of several panels that slide inside tracks via rollers, the door when it is actuated, is housed under the ceiling of the garage thus freeing up a maximum of storage space. This type of door has several advantages: excellent performance in thermal insulation, optimal use of the garage by saving space, good security, and a nice aesthetic appearance.
How to choose your garage door?
While taking into account your budget, you must be attentive to quality, safety, the comfort of use, and aesthetics.
Ideally, the garage door would match the architecture of your home and the rest of your exterior joinery, but also operate several times a day, it must be reliable and robust.
Here are some essential criteria to take into account to help you in your choice.
1) The choice of materials and the type of panels
There is a wide range of materials on the market, such as steel, wood, and aluminum, to name a few. The door must first be in harmony with all the exterior joinery of your home. The insulation performance and safety will also condition your choice.
Most doors are made of steel panels insulated with polyurethane foam. Be careful that there are non-insulated sectional doors on the market which are not advisable when your garage door is integrated into your home. The thickness and insulation of the panel is a very important criterion.
As for the design of these sandwich panels, know that there are many models that can match the style of your home.
There are also sectional wooden doors. However, it must be taken into account that the wood requires maintenance.
2) The color
Our Clopay garage doors can be painted in any of the Sherwin-Williams color schemes.
3) The motorization
For your comfort and safety, do not hesitate to choose a garage door with an integrated motor / electric opener. This will allow you to close or open your door remotely with remote control, and even from far away using your cell phone.
The openers vary according to the type of garage door and they do not have the same speed, nor the same sound. You can read about the different types of openers here.
Check if your garage door has an anti-lift lock for burglary protection. An electric opener should do the job of locking a door even if it doesn’t have a lock on. However, to ensure the safety of your home, a lock would give ease of mind.
5) The budget
Before you find out about what the market has to offer, you should first determine your budget according to your requirements and needs, knowing that prices vary depending on the material and the model.
In summary, the installation of a garage door is an important investment that requires a good reflection on certain criteria, so do not hesitate to inquire with the approved suppliers.
Prepare a Garage Door for Winter
Winter in Wisconsin can hit us, and it can hit us hard, especially when we’re not prepared for it. Thus, we should always aim to prepare your most valued possessions in time for winter. Obviously, we want to prepare our house, including the garage for it. So how do we prepare a garage door for winter?
Make sure the hardware is in place
Your garage door has a lot of moving parts and movement to do, so the hardware can become a bit loose. To prevent this from causing problems it would be smart to tighten them all up. All you need to do is get a socket wrench and use it to tighten all the roller brackets and the bolts. This will keep your garage door in a better shape during the cold winter times.
Keep the springs lubricated
The springs can get quite stiff when the cold hits, and if you don’t want them to break, it would be smart to lubricate them about once a month. You can easily do this yourself and it can save you from having to replace the springs, which is one of the most common repairs for garage doors.
Get a new weather stripping
When it starts getting colder and even starts snowing, the last thing you want is to have a bad weather stripping that will allow the cold air and perhaps snow to enter the garage. Therefore, it is smart to get a new weather stripping, if yours is old, to prepare your garage door for the winter. You don’t want any snow entering your house in the midst of winter.
Prepare your outdoor faucets
You don’t want your pipes to freeze during winter, so it’s important to prepare your outdoor faucets. First, you want to disconnect and drain all hoses. You also want to drain the exterior faucets and apply all the shut-off valves to protect your pipes from the cold winter temperatures.
Check if both cables are in good condition
The cables that get your garage door up and down should be in good condition, so it is smart to check for damage or any broken strands or rust are showing. If something does turn out to be out of place it is best to get this fixed before it becomes really cold.
Check the condition of your rollers
Rollers need to be inspected regularly, and they also need to be replaced every 5-10 years on average, or sooner when they’re in a bad condition. When you do notice that they’re chipped, cracked, or just worn out, you should replace them as soon as possible and prevent the door from coming off the tracks.
Clean up the garage
You may be dreading to do this, especially when you’ve put it off for a long time, but it’s probably the smartest thing to do. Not only will your garage be a lot cleaner, you will also be able to pull out the tools you might need for winter, like a shovel.
When you’ve done all this, your garage door should be completely ready for the winter and your car and any of the appliances in your garage should be safe. We recommend you prepare this well before winter. It’s no fun trying to prepare a garage door in the cold snow.
Summer Garage Door Maintenance
Garage doors today are built to last 15 to 20 years. If you want to maximize the use of your door, you will need to give it a periodic summer garage door maintenance, to ensure that you catch any problems early. And with the summer months, comes summer maintenance for your home. There are important summer maintenance tasks to be done. The heat and humidity of the summer can make a garage extremely uncomfortable and this could be dangerous if combustible supplies are stored in a garage. Here are some of the ways we would help in maintaining your garage doors during the summer.
- Check the Hardware for wear and tear: during summer, it is important to check for signs of broken or bent hinges, wear or tear, rusty rollers, rusty springs and other hardware that needs to be tightened well. You need to check for all the lifting cables that are not operating properly and fix them. Regardless of the number of years you have been using your garage door, it should open and close smoothly. If yours doesn’t, the springs may need some adjustment or greasing. We would check the brackets at the bottom, the pulley and cable system to change the ball bearings of the pulleys that might have worn out with constant usage.
- Clean and lubricate the hardware: it is advisable to inspect all the parts of the door every weekend during the summer months. The hardware of the door should be free from debris or build-up caused by lack of proper lubrication. If you find out that there is dirt in this area, use an old toothbrush or paint brush to remove the dirt build-up and lubricate the door if necessary. All the other parts of the door should be well lubricated always in order to prevent a noisy door when it is been opened or closed. It is advisable to use a grease based lubricant such as a lithium or silicon spray.
- Test the Garage door balance: if your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, this won’t make the door last as long as required. You can check your garage door balance by disconnecting the door opener by pulling the release handle (which is usually a red cord), manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay put, the counterweight system is improperly balanced. We can help in repairing this particular problem.
- Remove rust: if you can see any visual signs of rusting on any part of your unit, then it is time to do some work. After using sandpaper to remove the rust, a coat of exterior latex is added to prevent further rusting
- Painting: it is the idea to wash and paint your garage door during summer months. Steel and aluminum door can be washed easily with household detergent. Steel doors should be painted with 100 percent acrylic latex exterior paint, no oil based paint. Make sure you clean the door first so that it is free of dirt or oil.
Proper summer time maintenance can help keep your items away from extreme temperature changes and also extend the life of your garage door.
How to Avoid a Garage Door Scam
To 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.
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.
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
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.
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
How to Determine a Garage Door Spring Life Cycle?
It’s a good practice to take the utmost care of your garage door. Most people think 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 of life expectancy.
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.
The selection of springs for your garage doors begins with knowing the weight of the door.
Say your door weighs about 185 Ibs 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 165 Ibs 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 every 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.
3 Essential Tips to Stop Your Garage Door Freezing This Winter
During the winter months, there’s nothing more annoying than 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.
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 silicone 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.
2. 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.
3. 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
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:
- 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 yourse
lf 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.
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 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?
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.
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.