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?

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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.paint-garage-door 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

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 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.torsion-spring-numbers

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.

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.