It’s time for garage door replacement and you are excited and a bit nervous at the same time. Use this short guide to weigh the pros and cons of the most common types of doors and to compare them against one another. This will take the stress away and make you confident about your purchase.
Why Steel Doors Are So Popular
These units are made from galvanized steel which is resistant to corrosion and usually come painted or clad with composite material directly from the manufacturer. They are the most widely used garage doors because of their strength, durability and reasonable pricing. Besides, there are multiple structural, insulation and style options with them. How about downsides? The panels are at risk of denting, and road salts and harsh chemical cleaners may damage the protective galvanized coating.
The Beauty and Requirements of Wood Units
This material is gorgeous and quite strong too. You can choose from the likes of cedar, fir and redwood and numerous styles and designs. Insulation is also an option. At the same time, wood overhead doors are the most expensive of all. Furthermore, they require more careful maintenance, which includes annual repainting.
The Sleek Aluminum Overhead Doors
These units have an aluminum frame and can come with aluminum, glass or acrylic panels. You can choose between various color and tint options respectively. This metal is light and extremely strong at the same time. It has natural protection from corrosion too. As result, aluminum doors require minimal maintenance. Their only downside is the higher risk of denting. Additionally, the major manufacturers currently don’t add insulation to their aluminum models.
Will a Vinyl Unit Match Your Needs?
These doors have a steel frame and vinyl panels. They can come with polyurethane or polystyrene insulation, but it’s best if you check their R-values specifically as they don’t tend to be very high. The major advantage of vinyl doors is that they are highly resistant to all kinds of damage and extremely easy to maintain. There are fewer color and design options with them and this is something important to keep in mind when it comes to new garage door installation.
Fiberglass Doors and Their Functionality
These have similar construction to their vinyl counterparts – a steel frame with two layers of fiberglass. There is often insulation between the outer layers. Fiberglass is resistant to moisture damage, dents and cracks. However, it is not as highly resistant to strong impact as metal. That is why manufacturers often use steel end caps to make it more rigid. In addition to having great durability, fiberglass overhead doors are very easy to maintain so you can expect to save a great deal of time. When it comes to aesthetics, they usually have fewer customization options, especially when it comes to color.
Are you ready to make a choice? To pick the ideal new garage door for you, consider major factors like strength, durability and maintenance requirements. Decide how important insulation is for you. You should also outline your preferences regarding style and color. Unless you also plan opener replacement, you must ensure that the new door will not be too heavy for the electric operator to handle.
Liftmaster Garage Door Openers don’t just keep you and your car so much safer by ensuring a superior lock-up that no one can force open. They ensure that you keep warm, dry and comfortable whenever the inclement weather threatens to blow you away.
And they aren’t just instant access to your home, they also have a multitude of choices and features to expand your options.
For peace of mind there’s a wonderful, extended range of features and options that are readily available to you. And there’s no easier way to enter or exit your home or perhaps just leave the garage door open while you sit and relax on a summer’s day. Going in or out, a simple push of a button and your convenient new door will allow the perfect functioning.
Who would have thought years ago that with innovation and modern technological function you would be able to monitor and control your personal garage door from anywhere? Think of the possibilities. With some of the models, you will be able to give instant access to movers, cleaners, family or relatives from wherever you are located! This is technology at its best! It’s a wonderful thing to feel secure and be able to be in full control of all goings and comings to your home and property. And the innovation just keeps coming as the expert teams plan and work to make life good for all potential customers.
Ease of Access
Your Elite Series, Liftmaster Garage Door Opener will be there for you when you need it! There are several styles to suit your lifestyle and your applications. Our team are always busy thinking up new ways to make their products even better. Our brands deliver the highest standard of efficiency and quality. Never before has such easy access to your garage been so smooth. You may even want to spend more time there as you can now enter and exit it whenever you want!
Your Next Space
The garage used to be just a place to store old paint cans, Christmas lights, extra wood and tools but with your newly acquired ease of accessibility it can now be considered extra space. Barbecue, sit back and watch the rain, and even set up a summer workshop- Why not? With your new garage door opener you can get in and out in a veritable flash.
Take a look at the designs available to choose from, including the new ultra sleek designs to keep things compact and looking neat. You will rediscover the use of your garage and who knows… you may even start using your extra space more!
Admit it, when you think of the festive season or decking the halls with boughs of holly, your garage door is the last thing that springs to mind. If, however, you take a moment to think about it, you might realize that your door can be seen as a large and empty canvas just waiting for some holiday cheer! Whether, you’ll be singing “Silent Night” or “Dreidel Dreidel”, having a festive garage door will definitely get you, and your neighbors, in the mood to celebrate!
If you’re feeling brave and would like to experience Christmas and Hanukkah all year around, you could opt to paint your entire garage door with whatever picture tickles your fancy. If, however, you would like to take down your garage décor along with your tree come January, then read on to find out how!
Cleaning and painting goes a long way
First things first, let’s start on a clean slate. This means soaping up your garage door and getting rid of any residual Halloween dirt of Thanksgiving cheer. If you’re painting your house for the holidays, now might be a good time to extend that paintbrush to the garage. A fresh new door will give your house a mini facelift, just in time for all those festive visitors!
Simple magic tricks
If the thought of having a larger than life-sized picture of Santa Claus taking up your whole door is too much to bear, how about starting small? A huge wreath with some pretty fairy lights will seem slightly magical on a dark and snowy night! Just be sure not to get any wires near the garage door tracks or the overhead door springs.
Magnets aren’t just for your fridge
Another budget-friendly idea is to use magnetic letters on your door. You could spell out “Happy Hanukkah”, “We wish you a merry Christmas” and so much more! This would work best on steel garage doors.
If you’re intending to up your holiday game just a bit, how about wrapping up your door to look like a gift? You can use a large table cloth to completely cover the front of your door and then use a big red bow to add that all-important finishing touch!
Let those Christmas cards come to life
Christmas cards are not only nice to receive, they can also be a source of creativity! The pictures on the front of the cards almost always invoke that warm fuzzy feeling and really gets you in the holiday mood! Luckily for you, these pictures come in garage door-sized decals and on roll-up posters! If you have sectional doors, you could even have a different picture on each section!
Share your memories with the neighborhood
Now, if you’re feeling really adventurous and want to take on the holidays in a big way, how about projecting them onto your garage door? We literally mean making use of a projector and using your blank door as the screen. You could perhaps do a personalized greeting from your family, a montage of your family’s previous holiday snaps or any other pictures relating to all things Christmas or Hanukkah. If you don’t have a projector, this might seem like a pricier option, but it’s a really spectacular one!
Let safety come first
Always be careful when dealing with small decorations around your garage door and your automated opener if you have an electric door. We wouldn’t want any small parts getting in the way and costing you a new door in the New Year!
Make this the best year yet
This time of the year is all about the gift of giving, so how about giving your family and neighbors something beautiful to look at? Whether you decide to do something more affordable, or if you’re willing to blow the budget this holiday season, our tips will make sure that this time will be a memorable one filled with fun, family, laughter and amazing garage doors!
If you have an automatic garage door, there are a variety of things that can potentially go wrong. Both mechanical and electrical components can eventually fail, leaving you with a door that squeaks, rattles, or won’t open and close at all. For most homeowners, it’s difficult or impossible to tell exactly what’s causing the problem. The easiest way to deal with it is to call a professional.
When it comes to garage doors, repair technicians have seen it all. Sometimes the problem is something straightforward, like misaligned sensors or rusty tracks that need to be replaced. Sometimes it’s something unexpected, like an insect’s nest blocking a sensor. A trained eye can spot most problems with typical automatic garage doors, and most issues have a relatively simple solution. Here are a few of the most common problems that technicians run into on a daily basis.
1) The garage door opener’s batteries are dead
It might sound obvious, but how often do you really think about replacing the batteries for your garage door opener? Like all batteries, they’ll eventually wear out. This goes for both the transmitter on your house and the one in your car. Luckily for you, it’s a pretty simple fix.
2) The photo sensors are blocked or misaligned
Most modern automatic garage doors use a set of two sensors, one on either side. An infrared beam runs between them, sensing obstacles in the garage door’s path. This important safety feature helps protect your family and your property from getting caught under a closing garage door, but if something’s wrong with the sensors, your door won’t be able to close.
It’s not uncommon for the photo sensors to simply get dirty. Dust, soil, sawdust, and other debris inside your garage forms a layer on top of each sensor, blocking the IR beam. The system interprets this as an object in the way. You can wipe the photo sensors with a gentle cloth and a mild cleaning solution to remove the layer of dust.
If cleaning off the sensors doesn’t solve the problem, it’s possible that they’ve become misaligned. To communicate with one another, the sensors need to face one another. If they’re not lined up correctly, the beam can’t travel between them, and your garage door may refuse to close.
3) The tracks aren’t aligned correctly
Your garage door runs on two metal tracks. There may be gaps between the rollers and the rail, or the rails themselves may be bent. This can prevent the door from opening or closing correctly. To fix the problem, the old tracks will probably need to be replaced.
4) The torsion springs are broken
Your garage door has two springs mounted above the opening. When the door lowers down, cables at the bottom corners of the door cause the springs to wind up. When you open the door, the springs release, and their energy counterbalances the weight of the door to help propel it upwards. After years or even decades of going through this process, the springs will gradually weaken. When they eventually break, the door will be unable to open. If your garage door is stuck closed, this may very well be the problem.
These are just a few of the most common problems with automatic garage doors.
A professional repair technician will be able to troubleshoot the exact cause of your problem.
Each part in the garage door system is responsible for its proper and safe operation. If even the smallest component fails, the door won’t open or close properly and can suffer serious damage as a consequence. That is why you should never forget to take proper care of the hinges and rollers as part of regular maintenance. They won’t take much of your time, but you will enjoy great results.
Inspection Comes First
The number one task on your list should be to check these components for damage. Start with the hinges. You have to watch out for loose and missing bolts and for bending. These components should never be loose as they are responsible for the stability of the door. Tighten all bolts and replace missing ones right away. Bent hinges should be repaired as soon as possible too. Straightening is perfectly possible with the right techniques. If the problem remains, it will get worse and the only fix will be to replace the bent hinges.
The hinge cylinders which house the roller stems have to be round. If the check shows that they are oval, this is a clear sign that the hinges are worn and have to be replaced. The stems of the rollers have to be checked for twisting. Replacement is the only solution to this problem. Similarly, if the wheels are worn, the rollers should be changed. Generally, when these components are worn they will make popping sounds. Take is as a red flag if you hear such sounds coming from them, and take action.
Cleaning and Lubrication
The modern overhead door parts from the torsion spring to the hinges and rollers are made from galvanized steel. That is why they are highly unlikely to rust. If it’s present, however, you need to clean the components with rust remover right away. If there is sticky dirt, it should be removed with mild solvent. Usually, the rollers require more thorough cleaning as they can pick up debris from the ground. Loosening the dirt first and then wiping the components clean is the best way to approach the job.
You must not use sharp tools which can cause damage.
The hinge cylinders which house the roller stems should be lubricated. This is also important for metal roller wheels. If they are made from nylon, they won’t need lubrication. Remember that the tracks should not be lubricated either. As long as you keep these simple rules, you can expect to get great results.
The lubricant which you use should be light and non-sticky. Lithium spray is a fine choice because it won’t harder during the winter months and cause the door to malfunction. Besides, it is very easy to apply. If you have all-metal rollers and hinges, you can readily use a proven technique for quick and perfect application. Spray only the wheels while the door is closing. The motion will work to spread the lubricant to the stems.
If your garage door was installed within the last ten to twenty years, then chances are, you have an automatic garage door opener. Since the late ‘90s and early 2000s, they’ve essentially been a standard feature for the majority of suburban homes. These systems are fairly simple, and usually last for at least a decade without any major problems.
But nothing lasts forever, and garage door openers are no exception. Eventually, you’ll probably need to replace it. An experienced garage door repair technician can advise you and guide you through the process, but here are a few common signs that you’re probably overdue for replacement.
1) Your garage door is over 23 years old.
In 1993, manufacturers introduced new safety standards for garage door openers. Since then, they have been required to have a reversal mechanism. Two sensors communicate with an infrared beam. If there’s something in the way, the beam is interrupted, and the system will prevent the door from closing. This protects cars, bikes, and people from getting caught under the door. If your automatic garage door is old enough not to have this feature, it’s long past time to replace it.
2) Your garage door is really, really loud when it’s opening or closing.
When they’re new, automatic garage doors are whisper-quiet. But over time, rust and misaligned components create grinding or screeching sounds every time you open or close it. If the whole neighborhood can hear it every time you leave the house, it’s probably time to replace your garage door.
3) The door won’t open or close unless you hold the button down.
Eventually, the sensor system on your automatic garage door can start wearing out, which prevents it from opening and closing automatically.
Replacing your Opener Can Make Your Home More Secure
When you replace your aging garage door opener with a newer system, you’ll be able to enjoy modern safety features that help keep your home protected. Many keypads on newer systems feature a rolling code. This means that every time you use it, a new code is generated, adding an extra layer of security. These garage door systems generally interface with a smartphone app, making it easier and more convenient to open, close, and control the door.
If you’re overdue to replace your failing garage door opener, it’s time to call in a professional that’ll work with you to find the best new model for your needs and budget. Whichever system you choose, using your garage door will be easier and more convenient than ever before.
Most problems with automatic garage doors can be identified by strange sounds, shaking or slower movement. These are all things which you may be able to put up with for a few days. However, there are times when the system stops working completely. Find out the most common causes of this problem and how to deal with them.
Broken spring is perhaps the most serious problem that can occur. When this happens, the door becomes practically useless. It is not possible to open it even by hand as it will be extremely heavy and the cables will get wrapped around the rollers. When the opener works smoothly but the door refuses to go up, you simply need to look at the torsion or extension springs to find out if they are broken. If this is the case, you must disconnect the opener from the door immediately and get the spring replaced. With that said, it’s best to hire a professional to do the job.
When the door is cocked or jammed, this is the result of a snapped cable. This is another serious problem which requires immediate solution. If you try to open the door either with the opener or by hand before the cable is replaced, the unit may go off track due to the lack of balance. The track can get severely bent or broken. This is how you will have three issues to deal with instead of one. Generally, it is best if worn cables and those with small cuts are replaced timely to prevent breaking and the risks associated with this.
The good news is that modern door operators have a very low risk of failure. However, this doesn’t mean that they have full protection. There are several reasons why the opener wouldn’t be able to open the door when the spring and cables are fine. The most common one is broken moving gear inside the motor unit. It simply disconnects the motor from the drive and the door can’t move. The solution involves changing the gear with a matching one. Similarly, when the trolley is broken, you will not see any signs of trouble apart from the door being stuck in place. Replacing the component will eliminate the problem.
The motor and the circuit board are very durable, but it is possible for them to fail completely. When this happens, you will be able to open and close the door only manually. The replacement of the faulty component is the only solution to the problem. Of course, if the whole opener system is outdated or in poor condition, you can choose to get a brand new one. This may be the more cost-efficient option.
You probably have an idea about the different types of garage door openers and what kind of performance they can offer. You also know that the horsepower depends on the door’s size and weight. When you look at the selection of accessories, however, you feel completely lost. Here is some useful information that will open your eyes and help you make a great choice.
What You Get Automatically
Manufacturers are required to include safety sensors in the package under the UL 325 safety standard. You can expect to get two single-button remote controls. These are usually designed to operate at two or three different frequencies for preventing interference. This type of technology is really important for both safety and security. They should also have rolling code technology. It changes the code after every use and makes the door even more secure. A wall button is typically part of the package too. It is installed inside the garage and lets you open and close the door without the use of a remote.
A Wide Range of Controls
Even though the standard remote controls are loaded with great features, you can opt for an even more advanced one. There are clickers with a reporting technology. When the door is fully closed, there is a green light flashing on the remote. This is a simple feature, but it will give you the peace of mind that you require.
There are remotes with two and three buttons as well. They don’t have any special features, but let you run up to two or three electric operators respectively. Most remotes work equally well for garage door and gate operators. The mini clickers fit more easily into bag compartments and jacket pockets. They can be placed on a key-chain too, like the ones shown here by Genie.
You can have an entire control panel with a screen instead of a single wall button. It can have a wide variety of functions and features such as remote control programming, a timer for the opener lights, diagnostics and maintenance reminders. The panel can also feature an internet gateway. It allows you to connect your opener to the internet and monitor and operate the overhead garage door remotely via an app.
This accessory will enable you to use your opener even in case of power outage. The power stored in the battery is used for running the motor. The two are linked directly. You don’t have to do anything to use the opener in this manner.
Each battery backup has a fixed charging time. The shorter it is the better. It also has an estimated life in standby mode. The longer it is the better. You should also check how many cycles the opener can perform when using backup power. Anything around or above 50 would be awesome.
Use this guide to choose the right opener accessories.
When providing garage door maintenance, you need to focus on three major types of components. These include the hardware, the electronic components of the opener system and the panels. Even though the panels have the lowest rate of wear and tear and are the least likely to get damaged or break, they require as much care as the rest of the parts making up the automatic door. Get some essential advice on how to keep them in good condition.
Start by removing cobwebs and any debris stuck to the door. Use a broom which will allow you to reach even the top corners of the door easily. Clean all panels from the outside and from the inside. The next step in the process depends on the make of your door.
If you have a steel door either with or without cladding, you can readily use a specially formulated cleaning product or dissolve half a cup of liquid detergent into two gallons of water to create your own solution. Use a soft sponge to wash each and every panel from both sides. After you are done, fill a bucket with plain water, wash the sponge and start rinsing the door. This is an extremely important task as any traces of the cleaner left on the surface may cause damage over time. Don’t use the garden hose for rinsing as the excess amount of water may have a damaging effect on the panels, the hardware parts and the safety sensors. Use cloth to mop any water left after the rinsing, if needed.
If you have a wood door, you should wipe the panels clean with a slightly damp cloth. This should be sufficient for keeping the unit in good condition. If there is stubborn dirt, you can consider using a cleaner which is especially formulated for wood and is completely safe. Just remember to test it on a small section before applying it to a bigger area.
Ensuring Full Protection
If you notice any damage during the cleaning process, you must get the affected panels repaired immediately. While it’s fairly easy and quick to remove rust from steel doors, decaying wood is a problem requiring a special solution. It involves scooping out the rotten material and filling and sealing the holes.
Since they are at greater risk of damage, wood doors require repainting or re-staining annually. The paint or stain should be especially formulated for wood and provide the highest level of protection from water and the other elements. Steel doors, on the other hand, can be repainted less frequently.
As part of maintenance, you also need to check if the bottom seal is intact. If you can see light coming in from underneath the door, you should change it right away. This applies to the top and side weather seals too. The new seals will give the door much higher protection from the elements in addition to giving better insulation to the garage.
When you provide proper care to the panels, you may be able to extend the useful life of the door for well over three decades.
There is no doubt that the garage door tracks are among the most important stationary components of every automatic door system. They keep the panels in place and guide the door up and down during opening and closing. They are strong and durable since they are made from galvanized steel. This, however, doesn’t mean that they don’t require care. Find out what kind of maintenance these components need.
Running Full Inspection
This is the primary task which you have to perform. You need to start from the top down and watch out for three major problems – bending, blockage and rust. Given the smooth sides of the tracks, it is easy to recognize bending. Even if there is just a tiny section which isn’t as smooth and straight as it has to be, you must get it fixed. If you don’t get a bent track repaired timely, it can break and then you will have no choice, but to have it replaced.
Blockage is also easy to tell. You can easily see accumulations of sticky dirt and small pebbles. These are actually pretty dangerous as they can easily cause the tracks to get bent as the rollers pass. That is why you must remove them right away.
You can expect all metal garage door parts to be made from galvanized steel. This is steel with zinc coating, which protects the alloy from rust and corrosion. How can tracks be affected by rust then? This happens when they get into contact with chemicals which damage the zinc coating. The bottom ends of the tracks are at the highest risk of all other hardware parts. This is because they can easily get into contact with damaging road salts and driveway cleaners. You have to take action even if you see just a few tiny spots of rust.
Cleaning and Rust Removal
The cleaning starts with removing any pebbles. It’s crucial to disconnect the opener beforehand to minimize the risk of an accident. Sticky dirt, which is not uncommon, is best removed with a mild solvent or brake cleaner. The cleaning agent will take the dirt down to the ground, but some wiping will help you achieve perfection. It’s important to note that tracks don’t require lubrication maintenance. Only metal rollers do. Rusty spots should be removed straight away too. Make sure that you use a safe rust remover. To protect these components from rust in the future, choose a non-corrosive driveway cleaner.
If your initial inspection has revealed that the bottom and top sections of one or both tracks have been misaligned, adjustment will be required. It involves loosening the bracket bolts and aligning the sections together. Tightening the bolts will help to keep the sections in place. If there are any damaged ones, they should be replaced straight away. Otherwise, the sections will get misaligned once again.
As you can see, tracks need a lot of care to stay in good condition. Do everything necessary to prevent major damage and breaking. If a track gets broken, however, it will jam the door and therefore require replacement immediately.
- The 5 Main Types of Garage Doors Compared
- Liftmaster Garage Door Openers: Rethink the Possibilities
- Giving your Garage Door some Christmas cheer
- The 4 Most Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open
- Maintenance for Hinges and Rollers
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- Cables and Tracks
- Choosing garage door
- Garage door maintenance
- Garage door openers
- Garage door parts
- Garage door remotes
- Garage door service
- Garage door springs
- Garage door tips
- Garage door types