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.

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  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.

  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!

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?

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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.

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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 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?

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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!

Garage Door Won’t Close

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If every time you attempt to shut your garage door it immediately begins opening back up, you have a pretty agitating problem on your hands. Fortunately enough, it’s an easy fix! We’ve compiled a few typical causes for a garage door that won’t close along with the solution to each:

The Disconnect Switch is Activated

If you try to close your garage door and the opener is incessantly running but the door doesn’t budge, you’ve probably activated the disconnect switch on accident. The disconnect switch is a rope or knob on the garage door opener which does exactly what it says- disconnects the door from the opener. If this happens to be the problem, please refer to our previous post about what to do when you lose power to your garage door opener. You will have to reattach the door to the opener, which is not as difficult as it may sound!

The Sensor are Improperly Aligned

The two sensors at the base of the garage door send a beam to one another to determine whether it is safe to fully close the door or not. If said beam is interrupted, the door will begin to open back up. If the sensors are not aligned properly, however, they perceive this as an obstruction and will open the door anyways. If needed, adjust the brackets connecting the sensors to the garage so they are aligned all the way. If they are aligned all the way and the path of the door is clear but you are still encountering issues, pay attention to when the issues occur. Is it particularly sunny outside? If the sun is glaring down directly onto the sensors, this can be interpreted as an obstruction and they will continue to open the door. If this is the problem, you may just have to set something up by the garage to put some shade on the sensors.

Improper Garage Door Limits

If your garage door closes all the way before deciding to re-open, your garage door travel limits may be set wrong. Refer back to our previous post all about adjusting your garage door limits for an in-depth explanation on how to assuage this.

Broken Cables or Springs

Every garage door is equipped with a set of tension cables and springs which allow it to function quickly and effortlessly each and every time you press the button. If the door refuses to shut all the way, check your cables and springs to make sure they’re all intact. If not, you may want to consider contacting your Garage Door Repair Madison WI for an efficient and cost-effective fix!
If none of the above problems are affecting your door but it still won’t close, feel free to contact us by phone or email for friendly and proficient help.

How to Reconnect a Garage Door Opener After an Outage

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In a society which thrives on electricity-dependent technological advancements, it should come as no surprise that power outages have become the bane of our existence. Nearly every aspect of modern life relies on a source of electricity. How many times per day do you simply turn on a light or use a computer? Or perhaps plug your phone into charge? One aspect of daily life which is not difficult to neglect in the event of a power outage, however, is your garage door opener. Suppose a lightning storm tears through your small suburban area and destroys a transformer down the block. Depending on whether you left the door open or closed prior to the resulting power outage, your car and possessions are now either trapped in the garage or exposed to the elements and anyone passing by. We sympathize with this and understand that it is simply unacceptable. Here’s how to fix just such a problem:

How to Reconnect Your Garage Door Opener

1. First you must disconnect the garage door opener from the door itself. It’s best to unplug the opener from its power source beforehand.

2. Pull the emergency disconnect cord hanging from the opener. This is the only way to disconnect the opener and allows you to fully open the door. This is especially important if you’re trapped in the garage.

3. Manually close the door all the way. The opener will not reconnect properly if the door isn’t completely shut.

4. After the power has been restored, press the button you typically use to close the door. Give the opener ample time to connect on its own. The chain of the opener will move the corresponding trolley to its correct position until it connects with the arm of the garage door.

5. If the trolley of your garage door opener is not automatic, you will have to manually attach the trolley to the garage door’s arms after pulling the emergency release.

6. Your opener and door should be connected and functioning as good as ever!

To prevent further issues, consider investing in a surge protector for the outlet your garage door opener is plugged into. If you continue to have issues with re-connecting your garage door and opener, do not hesitate to contact us!

Adjust Opener Limits

Having a new garage door opener installed is an important venture. It guarantees that your garage door will open and close smoothly and safely every time as long as it is properly maintained. You are given the freedom of choosing whether you want a chain, belt, or screw opener, whether you would prefer a name brand such as Genie or LiftMaster, and multiple other aspects of what opener you would prefer. It’s not just an opener, it’s your opener. However, it is easy to overlook the limits set on the garage door opener. Did you know how far up or down your garage door opener takes the door?

Adjust Opener Limits

If you notice that every time you attempt to open or close your garage door it’s either not performing a full cycle (i.e. opening/closing halfway) or reverses its motion mid-cycle, you may have to adjust the limits of your garage door opener. In order to adjust the limits, first locate the limit adjustment screws on the opener and retrieve a corresponding flathead or Phillips head screwdriver for them. Cycle your door one time by opening and closing it. If the door does not open completely and stops at about 5 feet (typically the halfway mark), turn the “Up” adjustment screw clockwise one full turn. Every complete turn of the screw corresponds to two inches of movement. Continue to turn the screw until you are able to fully open the door.

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If the door will not close completely, turn the “Down” adjustment screw counterclockwise one full turn. Again, each full turn will add two inches of movement to the door, so continue to turn the screw until the door fully closes. If the door closes fully but reverses its motion after touching the ground, turn the “Down” adjustment screw clockwise until you are able to close the door without it attempting to open up on its own. For any of the above methodologies, be certain to open and close the door after each full turn of an adjustment screw. If you are still having issues with your opener’s limits after trying all of the above, be sure to contact your local garage door company.

How to Program Your Garage Door Remote

It’s a secure feeling to have a new garage door opener installed. It guarantees you will no longer have to wonder whether your garage will function properly or not. One detail which is easy to overlook in amidst the process of choosing the proper opener and having it installed (unless bold enough to do it yourself) is how to program your opener to a remote. It’s a relatively simple but necessary process. So, how to program your garage door remote?

The Process

First, identify whether your opener has a smart-learn button (most newer models do). The button should be located near the light of the opener or in the case of the wiring of the opener. Press the Learn button and look for a blinking light. The light will blink for approximately 30 seconds, within which you should choose a button on the remote you would like to open the door and hold it. The light of the Learn button should flicker twice or you may hear two clicks, both of which indicate the remote and the opener have successfully been linked. If the light does not flicker and there are no clicks, simply try again.

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Older Openers

Maybe you have an older garage door opener which does not have a Learn button. Suppose you purchase a remote corresponding to this older model but do not know how to program it. Chances are the opener will have Dip switches located behind the light cover or maybe even in a separate box depending on the model. The remote will also have these switches in the battery compartment (as many as 12 of them). To program a garage door opener and remote with dip switches, simply choose a unique pattern for the switches which can only be in the on or off positions. Make sure that the pattern of the switches matches on the remote and the opener. When they match, test the remote to see if it works properly, which it should.
Typically, you will not have to worry about dip switches due to the fact that manufacturers ceased their use between fifteen and twenty years ago to ensure each opener possesses its own unique frequency.

Programming a remote to a garage door opener is not too daunting of a task and hopefully, this tutorial is able to clear up any issues one may be having!

Garage Door Sensors and Sunlight

Did you get home, parked your car in the garage, hit the wall button to shut it, and halfway through it stopped, and reversed back up? You have checked that nothing blocks the sensors’ beam and made sure all wires are connected properly, and still, the same thing happens over and over again?

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It May Be Caused by Sunlight

Sunlight can interfere with the sensors’ beam and cause them to act as if an object blocks them. Many years ago, sensors weren’t common. Nowadays, for safety reasons, most garage doors have them. The sensors only work when the door is in the process of closing. If something prevents the sensors from pointing directly at each other, and hence, break the beam, the photocell will reverse the door from closing to opening. If this problem keeps reoccurring, and the door won’t shut, simply press and hold the wall button continually until the door is fully closed. As soon as the door passes the sensors’ line, the sunlight won’t interfere with the beam anymore and the door will remain shut.

Another thing you can do to overcome this problem permanently is to set a cylinder shaped object around each of the sensors’ eyes, which will block the sunlight and prevent it from interfering with them.

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Remember, the lens on each sensor must be kept clean and free of any obstructions at all times. Know that if you have more than one door adjacent to each other, the sensors may affect the smooth operation of the doors by providing a false signal.

Once in awhile, make sure that the sensors work properly. You can do it by sliding an object between them while closing the door. If the door keeps closing while the object is present, do not hesitate and call a professional garage door technician to fix this problem. Unfortunately, every year there are fatal incidents caused by malfunctioning sensors. Don’t overlook them!

Garage Door Lubrication

Every garage door, whether operated electrically or manually, contains metal parts that require lubrication occasionally. Lubricating the moving parts, such as door’s rail, springs, hinges, and rollers, prevents them from rusting or becoming squeaky, as well as keeps them in functioning order for years to come.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake homeowners do is using a standard lubricating oil such as WD-40, which is actually a degreaser that takes away the grease, rather than serve the right purpose. Rather, you should use a lithium-based lubricant, which you can find at the local hardware store. If you cannot find any, aim for a silicon-based lubricant. It isn’t as good, but it’s better than oil.
Another mistake homeowners do is lubricating the garage door opener’s chain. Garage door openers come out of the factory with a protective coat that should last for as long as the opener is running. The most you should do to aid the chain is use a rug with a tiny bit of WD-40 to help smooth it out.
The third mistake is lubricating the tracks. Tracks don’t need to be greased, but rather need to be cleaned.

The process:

1. Start by standing inside the garage and close the garage door shut. Pay attention to all the moving parts (springs, rollers, drums, and hinges).

2. Make sure you blow all the dust, dirt, and cobwebs that may have accumulated on the door’s moving hardware. If necessary, climb a step stool to help cleaning the upper rollers, as well as the garage door overhead tracks.

3. Spray small amounts of lithium/silicone spray into the moving parts on the garage door. If your bearings are sealed (e.g. on rollers and drums) you don’t have to do so, they don’t require maintenance. Open and close the door a few times to make sure all parts are lubricated evenly. Spray additional lubricant if needed. Wipe away lubricant leftovers that drip.

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4. If you have an electric opener, climb a step stool and spray the lithium/silicon spray on the top of the rail, which is where the trolley goes back and forth and creates friction.

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Making sure your garage door is well groomed and maintained can add many years of functionality to it. If you have an owner’s manual for the electric garage door opener and/or door itself, read it thoroughly, since the manufacturer may provide specific maintenance recommendations. Garage door openers operate in various ways depending on manufacturer and style.
During lubrication check all hardware for looseness and tighten necessary bolts. Also, make sure you use spray cans with a straw nozzle to be more accurate and reach tight spots.
Remember to use a lithium or silicone based lubricants rather than degreaser; degreasers may dry out rather than lubricate surfaces.

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How to Replace a Broken Cable

Before you begin replacing a garage door cable on your garage door, make sure you have the necessary tools. It is not possible to predict all repair circumstances.

The following steps must be followed in order to prevent any damage to a door and a person. We highly recommend hiring a professional technician to do this job and do not take any responsibility for any outcome of someone implementing the following steps.

Take it Apart

The garage door size determines the cable size. For the most common residential 7 feet tall door, you will need an 8’6” cable. Sizes of tools used for cable replacement may vary in size, too, so have a combination of sizes available.

You will need locking pliers or a vice grip, a set of cables, wrenches, winding bars, sockets, stepping ladder, ratchet, safety glasses, and gloves. A proper outfit (e.g. gloves, work boots, and safety glasses) is needed, too.

Be cautious of pointed edges on cables to avoid injury.

To begin with, unplug and disengage the garage door opener by pulling on the emergency release cord. There should be a red rope with a handle that is positioned on the top rail (depending on your opener). Doing so will allow you to manually open and close the garage door.

Close the door and make sure it touches the ground evenly. Walk toward the center of the garage door and slacken the set screws on the springs with 1/4 turns. Don’t forget to fully insert the winding bars as well as use both bars at the same time to prevent injury. Do not get in the bars way!

Unwind the spring until all of the tension has been removed. If the door has two springs, do the same with the second spring.

After springs’ tension is removed, take a wrench and slacken the set screws on the cable’s drum at the top left corner of the garage door. Then, remove the cable from its drum. By the bottom of the door, release the cable where it connects to the bottom bracket.

Installing the Cable

Install the new cable onto the bottom bracket. Then, thread the cable up toward the cable’s drum. Make sure the cable is running behind the rollers (between the tracks and rollers). Do this for each side of the door.

Insert the cable into the slots of the drum. Validate that the cable is set properly and is not overlapping. Wind the cable onto the drum, and then slide the drum over toward the bearing plate. Then, turn the drum counterclockwise (right drum-clockwise) until the cable sits tight. Now, tighten the set screws, but do not overdo so.

While holding the cable, use your vice grip pliers on the metal shaft that goes across the entire door (along the wall) to hold it tightly in place. Then, go to the other side of the door and follow the same instructions. After completion, increase the springs’ tension using your winding bars. Remember to only increase the tension at a ¼ turn at a time.

Remove the locking pliers from the metal shaft and check that the garage door is balanced (i.e. stays at the same place where you leave it). Before plugging the opener back in, make sure to manually lift the door all the way up, while checking that there is an even tension between the drums and cables. In case there is no tension on one side, repeat the process again, until you get an equal tension. Engage the door by pulling the emergency release, and then plug the opener back in. Again, make sure there is tension between the drums and cables while the door is fully open.