Nearly everyone does some sort of spring cleaning when the weather warms and you can open the windows and let fresh air inside. Most also spend some time cleaning up the yard to remove winter debris to get things looking good for another year. Some even invest some time and energy into cleaning the garage, but many overlook one of the important task of maintaining their garage door.
Why does my garage door need regular maintenance?
Garage door springs keep your door opening and closing smoothly so you can use your garage everyday, but they don’t last forever. In fact, the average garage door spring wears out after 10,000 cycles of opening and closing the garage door and are typically rated for a 10-year lifespan, says The Precision Garage Door Guy. But numbers can be deceiving.
While 10,000 cycles may sound like a lot to you, this can add up quickly. If you live alone and only use your vehicle to drive to and from work everyday your garage door springs may last nearly 14 years without replacement. But, adding another household member who drives to and from work cuts that number in half. Add kids who run in and out of the garage to get bikes and equipment, a teen who takes the family car for a spin or using the garage for household equipment like the lawnmower or snowblower and the life of your garage door springs suddenly gets much shorter. Increasing the number of cycles for your garage to an average of 5 cycles a day means your garage door springs will last about 5 years.
How do you extend the life of your garage door springs?
Garage door springs are exposed to the elements and often get wet during inclement weather. That means they are a prime spot for rust to form. Rust on the springs weakens them and shortens their lifespan. Use a rust removing lubricant on the springs once or twice a year to keep the rust at bay and extend the life of your garage door springs.
How do you tell if your garage door springs are getting worn?
You could keep track of the number of cycles your garage door is opened or closed, but that’s not a practical solution. Take the time to test the springs to find out if they are still in good working order. Detach the safety lever on the garage doors (make sure the area beneath the door is clear and keep children and pets away from the area) and lift it manually. The door should move smoothly and without excessive noise. Squeaking or hesitating movement indicates the springs are worn. Likewise, if you open the door several feet and release it, the springs should hold the door in place. If your garage door sags or slides downward, the springs are weak and may need replacement.
Will extended life garage door springs last longer?
Yes, extended life garage door springs typically last about two to three times as long as standard garage door springs explains The Precision Garage Door Guy. These springs are coated to prevent rusting. You will pay more for them, but their extended lifespan gives you the peace of mind that your garage door will open and close safely for years to come. If you have an active family that uses the garage frequently, investing in extended life garage door springs is often worth the investment.
To prevent unexpected surprises, check that your garage door is operating smoothly at least once a year and keep the springs rust free. While it won’t make them last forever, you may get a little more mileage out of them and will get a heads up before they need replacement. Contact a garage door repair company like Overhead Door Of Akron to replace those worn out springs when needed.
Winter can take a serious toll on your garage. Unless you make adequate preparations, winter can lead to a garage door that’s frozen shut, a concrete floor that’s stained from salt and the elements, and other potential issues. Luckily, there are things you can do each year to prep your garage for winter. Here are five great ways to winter-proof your garage:
Use Garage Floor Mats
In the winter, car tires and your shoes track in all sorts of snow, rain, salt, and other potentially damaging debris. Rather than let these things accumulate and damage your garage floors, protect your floors with garage containment mats. These heavy-duty mats are specifically designed to protect garage floors in the winter, and they can easily withstand the weight of cars being parked on top of them.
Start the winter season by thoroughly cleaning your garage floors, and then lay down the mats, which can be purchased at most major automotive or home improvement stores. Depending on your budget and the size of your garage, you can cover the entire garage floor or just the area you will be parking on.
Seal Your Garage Door
If your garage door isn’t properly sealed, rain, snow and cold air can easily make their way inside. Inadequate sealing can also cause the garage door itself to freeze shut, which is incredibly inconvenient when you’re trying to get out of the house in order to make it to work on time.
If the rubber weather-stripping on the bottom of your garage door is cracked or worn out, you can easily replace it yourself with weather-stripping purchased at a home improvement store. After installing the new weather-stripping, coat the metal gaskets on the bottom of the garage door with silicone spray, which will further help keep cold air out and prevent freezing.
Insulate Any Pipes
If the pipes in your garage aren’t insulated, they can easily freeze and then burst, potentially damaging your entire garage, tools and even your vehicles. Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this problem: simply purchase pipe wrap insulation at any hardware store and wrap it over the pipes. The insulated pipes will keep warmer, making your hot water more efficient and greatly reducing the risk of a flooded garage from burst pipes.
Consider Installing a Garage Heater
If you spend a lot of time in your garage in the winter, or are simply tired of having to warm up your car and scrape your windshield every morning, you may want to consider installing a garage heater. If you have a small budget or only need the garage to be warm some of the time, a portable space heater designed for a garage is a simple and affordable option. If you want a more dramatic improvement in the comfort level of your garage, call an HVAC professional to discuss your options for running heat to your garage.
Insulate Your Garage Door
If your garage door is uninsulated, your garage will have a hard time getting and staying warm, even if you do install a heater. If you intend to spend any time in your garage this winter, insulating the door will make for a much more cozy and comfortable space, and the extra warmth will help reduce the risk of burst pipes or a frozen garage door. One great option is to hire a professional to insulate your garage door. On the other hand, if you are handy and want to save a little money, you can always purchase and install garage door insulation yourself.
By doing these five things to winter-proof your garage, you can keep your garage door, floor and other garage elements in great condition no matter how bad the weather conditions get outside. Contact a repair contractor like AAA Garage Door, Inc. if you do find yourself in need of garage door repairs.
Given enough time and use, your garage door springs will eventually wear out. However, you don’t have to wait until you’ve experienced a catastrophic failure before having them replaced. Instead, you can use the following preventative steps to ensure your garage door springs aren’t at their limit. With these steps, you can avoid the possibility of damage to your garage or serious injury to you when dealing with garage door springs.
Check the Date of Installation
Although it sometimes feels like your garage door hardware can last forever, it’s actually designed to last for only a relatively short period of time. Garage door spring lifespans are usually measured according to cycles – opening or closing a garage door usually counts as a cycle. Most garage door extension springs are designed to last for 10,000 cycles. Torsion springs, on the other hand, offer up to 20,000 cycles due to their sturdier construction. If you open and close your garage door 4 times a day, you can expect around 7 years of use before you have to replace your garage door springs.
This is why it’s important to check the exact date you had your garage door springs replaced, if you replaced them yourself or oversaw a contractor replacing them on your behalf. A good practice is to have yourself or your contractor write down the date of the installation somewhere on or near the garage door spring itself for easier reference.
If you’ve never replaced your garage door spring or can’t remember when you had it replaced, don’t fret. You can use the following tips to determine whether or not your garage door springs are overdue for a replacement.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Rust
Rust is the enemy of practically everything made of metal, and your garage door springs are no exception. The oxidation process gradually eats away at the metal, weakening it until it’s no longer able to support itself. This can create a dangerous situation when it comes to your garage door springs – rusty springs can snap apart with little warning since they can no longer withstand the tension they’re under.
Rust not only weakens the garage door springs with time and lack of preventative care but also adds extra friction as the springs move during garage door operation. This also adds extra wear and tear on the springs.
If you spot rust on your springs, you should have the springs replaced as soon as possible. Coating the springs with white lithium spray grease can help prevent rust from forming, as it provides a barrier between moisture and bare metal.
Keep Your Ears Open for Odd Noises
A noisy garage door is one that needs a little TLC. While some noises indicate loose fasteners and other components that can be tightened up, readjusted or isolated with rubber washers, other sounds may warrant replacing certain components. For instance, constant popping and creaking sounds may indicate garage door springs that are nearing the end of their useful life.
You can temporarily quiet these sounds by applying more lubricant to the springs. However, it’s likely that the problem will gradually come back on its own. If you want to deal with the problem permanently, you’ll have to replace the garage door springs.
Put Your Garage Door Springs to the Test
Sometimes you need a hands-on approach when it comes to checking your garage door springs. First, make sure your garage door is closed. If you have a garage door opener, make sure it’s disconnected by pulling the emergency release cord.
Next, lift the garage door open by 2 to 3 feet and then release the door. If the springs are still in good shape, the garage door should stay in place without sinking back to the ground. If the springs are worn out, the door will start to sag after you let it go.
For more advice or to have your springs replaced professionally, contact experts like Academy Door & Control Corporation.
Before the cold winter season approaches, it’s a good time to perform a routine inspection and tune-up of your garage door. As with any type of machinery, your garage door has intricate parts that need to be maintained. Performing a safety check is important, and there are a few measures that you can take to winterize your garage door as well. Here are a few guidelines for tuning up your garage door:
1. Perform a Visual Inspection of Garage Door Components and Moving Parts
Don’t wait until the snow and ice settle in to your area. Have a close look at your garage door for signs of potential problems. Check the garage door hinges to ensure that they are tight, inspect the tracks and cables for any signs of fraying or damage and be sure that the rollers move smoothly. Be sure the electrical operation performs as it should. Equally important, the automatic reverse system needs to be in perfect working order for obvious safety reasons.
If you notice loose or damaged parts or if something does not operate correctly, contact a professional for repairs as needed. If you aren’t confident about performing a check up yourself, you might want to hire a contractor or garage door specialist for a professional tune up.
2. Lubricate the Garage Door As Needed
Again, it is best not to wait until the cold weather sets in to perform this task. Because the snow, ice, and drop in temperatures can cause drying of the intricate components, you need to ensure that all parts are well lubricated. This should include the rollers, hinges, torsion springs, and garage door track. Check your home improvement store for an anti-friction lubricant that is silicone based as this type is most suitable for all types of garage doors. White lithium grease may work as well.
Don’t forget to lubricate the key lock as well, as your keys may become jammed or stick without proper lubrication. As a final step in the lubrication process, you might want to open and close the garage door several times in succession. This may help distribute the oils evenly throughout all moving parts.
3. Install Garage Door Insulation
If you live in a region that is subject to snow, strong winds, and cold temperatures, you need to insulate your garage door before winter arrives. A non-insulated garage door may make your home drafty and uncomfortable. Proper insulation may help conserve energy and prevent high heating bills.
The most basic way to insulate your garage door yourself is to use an insulation kit from your local home improvement center or hardware store. If you have a double garage door, you may need to purchase two kits. Some kits include vinyl work gloves and repair tape for patching small tears in the insulation.
Your kit will come with installation instructions. The insulation boards will adhere to the interior garage door panels using included retainer clips and adhesive backing. You’ll probably need to cut or trim your insulation boards to the correct size to fit into the panel openings of your garage door. You should note that it’s best to install the insulation on a warm and dry day, as condensation or ice may prevent the pins from binding to the door.
One thing to keep in mind when adding insulation is that it will add extra weight to the door. This may place more stress on the door springs. A garage door specialist may need to re-calibrate your door springs if necessary.
As part of your garage door insulation process, weatherstripping or weather seals along the threshold or door openings may also help prevent cold air from entering. Some weather seals are self-adhesive, although rubber weatherstripping should include the necessary hardware such as screws.
If you are inexperienced with do-it-yourself home installation, repairs or maintenance, you might want to hire a professional. The pros have the expertise and proper tools for necessary work, as well as the knowledge to detect a potential problem before it escalates into a major issue. Consider contacting companies like the Jayton Door Corporation to see if they can meet your needs in this area.
You installed an automatic gate to provide you privacy, security, and an extra level of protection. It is nice, especially during cold weather, to roll up to the gate and have your gate open in front of you, as well as close behind you. Unfortunately, during cold weather, there may be a few things that keeps this from taking place. The good news is, there are easy things to check that might get your gate working again.
Are You Using The Right Lubricant?
There are numerous reasons why your gate may not open during cold weather. One of the first things that you want to check during really cold weather is whether your lubricant has thickened up to the point it is preventing your gate from opening. This normally takes place due to the type of grease or lubricant that has been used in a number of locations. These may include:
Different parts of your gate will require different types of lubricants. Using other types of grease and oils than what has been suggested, or approved by the manufacturer, will attract dust, dirt, and even pests. If you are in doubt about which type to use to prevent this problem, ask your professional installer or consult the gate manufacturer for the best lubricants to use during the winter in your area.
Is Your Battery Dead?
If your gate will do nothing at all, or moves very slowly, it is usually an electrical problem. After checking to ensure that your power source is on, and has not been compromised, check your the battery in your gate. Just like the battery in your vehicle, cold weather can also help to hasten the death of the battery in your gate. If your gate clicks but does not open, your battery may just be weak and not completely dead. Try these few simple steps to get it working again.
Always make sure the power is off to your gate before you begin to disconnect any of your electrical systems. Inspect your battery. If you see anything that appears to be corrosion or types of debris, remove and clean the ends of your battery cables, as well as your battery terminals.
This can be done with an inexpensive wire brush and plain water, or you can use a mixture of baking soda and water along with your wire brush to scrub them down. If you do not have baking soda, it has been reported that the acid found in Coca Cola also makes a great cleaning agent. Once clean, put your battery cables back on and try your gate again.
If cleaning your gate does not fix the problem, remove your battery and take it to your local auto supply store to have it tested. They will be able to tell you what type of strength, if any, your battery is putting out. They may even be able to charge it and get it to work again like it should.
Is Anything Blocking Your Gate Or Your Gate Sensors?
Snow and ice can create obstacles that are not present when the sun is shining. If your gate will not open, make sure that the sensors, chains, or other gate components are not coated with ice or snow. Make sure there are no snow drifts blocking your gate. Removing these obstacles should get your gate quickly working again.
If you have looked but you cannot find the cause of your gate not working, call a professional installer, such as those at Bells Garage Door Services, to get them to come and repair your gate. This will keep you from spending unnecessary time, as well as money, trying to do it yourself. Because, if you are not able to use your gate, it will not serve the purpose that you had it installed for originally.
When giving your home’s exterior a makeover, don’t neglect an important aspect: your garage door. Do you want your garage door to be aesthetically appealing as well as functional? If so, here are three smart ways to transform your garage door into a serviceable yet eye-catching part of your home’s exterior:
1. An Interesting Garage Door Mural
If you want your garage to be a focal point and don’t mind drawing attention to your home, you might consider installing a mural on your garage door. These designs are sometimes referred to as “photo doors” and “garage billboards.” Relatively easy to self-install, these murals attach to single or double garage doors and are often available in various sizes, or you may ask to have them custom cut to fit your garage door. Some garage door murals are also suitable for sectional garage doors.
If you do choose to install a garage door mural, you might want to be certain the materials used are weatherproof. Look for materials that can resist fading from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and can withstand moisture and wind. Also, be sure to obtain an installation kit if you plan on installing it yourself.
As for the motifs, you may find all kinds of designs available from specialty dealers. Popular designs include sports car and trucks, landscapes and even animals. Can you imagine a garage door mural that offered the illusion of a horse peering out over a barn door or stall? How about a realistic tiger appearing to walk out of the garage, or an elephant or giraffe? This might make passersby do a double-take from a distance, but the murals are easily removable if you decide to take it down.
Because the murals are removable and may be stored away when not in use, you might want to consider special holiday or seasonal editions. For example, consider a festive Christmas design or a scary Halloween mural. Creepy pumpkins, ghosts or even a graveyard design might be a fun idea.
2. Decorative Magnetic Garage Door Hardware and Simulated Window
Maybe your garage door is perfectly functional and in good condition. If you aren’t looking to replace the door yet you want to spruce up its appearance, there’s another option to consider. Decorative hardware kits are readily available and not all that difficult to install.
For maintenance free steel doors, you might want to consider a simple to install decorative magnetic accent handles. Look for carriage styles that can be installed without the use of tools and with no drilling required. Like the above mural idea, these also are easily removed without any modification to your garage door needed.
In addition to the decorative magnetic hardware, you might consider a magnetic simulated garage door window. A simulated window kit offers the depth and dimension of an actual window, without major to your garage door. It’s also virtually maintenance free.
3. Garage Door Screen
And now for the functional aspect of your garage door makeover. How about installing a garage door screen? A retractable screen that works with your existing garage door should be spring loaded for easy operation. Basically, the garage door screen will be interchangeable with your garage door so you can easily switch positions as desired.
A screen for your garage door is a practical way to keep your garage cool in the summer, without the risk of pests entering inside your garage. For security, you might want to consider adding a locking system to the garage door screen. Keep in mind, garage door screens are best installed by professionals, as they are typically spring loaded.
With winter quickly approaching, this is the perfect time to address some issues regarding your home and how to effectively “winterize” it. There are numerous portions of your house that definitely need winterizing: your pipes, your driveway, your roof, etc. One of the most overlooked areas of your home that definitely needs winterizing is your garage door. By winterizing your garage door, you are ensuring that the harsh coldness of winter and inclement weather will stay out of your garage. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn about 4 important ways to prepare your garage door for winter.
In many cases, you can install forms of insulation along the sides of your garage door. Depending on what type of door you have, you will have to go about using different material and installing the insulation in different manners. For example, if you have a wood frame and panel style garage door, it is best to install rigid insulation on such objects. Foam board is, by far and away, the most popular option for this style of garage door, as it is rigid enough to protect your garage from the weather, but also malleable enough that it can fit into nooks and crannies that are the bread and butter of garage doors.
Although fiberglass insulation can also be installed on your own, it should also be noted that it often takes the touch of a professional to adequately install this sort of insulation alongside your garage door. If you have a garage door that consists of steel, you should most likely hire a professional to install “batt” insulation alongside the sides of your garage doors. This type of insulation is often times backed with foil and paper. The R-value of such a form of insulation ranges from 2.9 to 3.8 per inch. It is not recommended that you merely stuff this insulation in between the gaps in your garage door, but rather have a professional do the work for you.
PVC molding is a form of weather stripping that will help you fill in the gaps along the garage door’s sides and top and bottom. When properly installed, it should effectively remove all of those gaps such that you won’t even be able to see them. Since PVC is such a strong material, this type of weather stripping will tend to last for years – sometimes upwards of 10 – without demanding or even hinting at needing to be replaced. Still, once a decade is, in general, a good rule of thumb for replacing PVC molding such that it will work to the best of its capacity.
Install a Garage Heater
Installing molding and insulation alongside your garage door will help to protect your garage door during the winter, but the best thing that you can do for your garage door is to take a holistic approach in ensuring that your garage stays winterized during those icy cold months. Installing a unit heater in your garage is one such way to ensure that your garage door will be winterized during these months. Both gas and electric heaters are available for purchase and are great ways to make sure that not only your garage door, but the entirety of your garage will be ready for those dreaded winter months.
Winterizing your garage door is not a huge feat to be performed, but it might take a bit of help. Hopefully, this brief article has given you some insight into how you can go about performing such a phenomenon either on your own or with the help of a professional. For more information, try clicking here or contacting your local garage door professional.
If you’re in the market for garage doors, stop and think carefully before making this investment. The right choice of door will provide you with many years of attractive looks and trouble-free service, while the wrong choice will have you regretting your decision for the same number of years. So while you’re researching garage door installation, mechanics and so on, make sure you ask yourself these four helpful questions for choosing the doors themselves.
1. Which Material Makes the Most Sense for Your Needs?
The sheer range of available garage door materials can get your search off to a bewildering start. Each material has its own pros and cons, making some choices better than others for individual needs. Natural wood offers the richest, most traditional look, but it can rot and warp over time and you’ll need to re-apply paint or stain every so often. Composite wood is more moisture resistant, making it a better choice for homeowners in humid areas. Steel is available in more color and style options than other materials, but it can rust if you don’t maintain its paint job. Aluminum doesn’t rust, but it can dent easily. Ultimately, you have to weigh the various characteristics of these materials against the challenges they’ll face from your environment.
Your choice of material should will also affect how much you pay. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll probably want to get steel doors. A pair of steel doors measuring 16 feet by 7 feet can be had for as little as $750, although deluxe options can range up to $3,500 in price. The same pair of doors in natural or composite wood would start at $1,200, while you can expect to pay at least $1,500 for aluminum.
2. Do You Need Natural Light?
Many people like to use their garages for more than just storing cars. If you’ve been thinking about creating a workshop or art studio in your garage, you might decide that natural light is essential for your work. At the same time, however, you don’t necessarily want to perform that work with the garage doors wide open for the whole world to peek in on your progress. If this describes you, then you need to make sure you’re looking exclusively at garage doors equipped with windows. Even if you don’t really need natural light, the addition of windows can make an elegant statement that adds to your home’s curb appeal.
Garage doors with windows come in a variety of styles, from the clean straight lines of standard rectangular doors to the curved upper edge of carriage-style doors. Even if you choose larger windows, you don’t necessarily have to give up any privacy. Choose opaque windows instead of clear glass, and you’ll still get the benefit of natural light without allowing others to see inside your garage.
3. Is Your Garage Too Hot or Cold?
If your garage is too uncomfortable to spend any time in during the summer or winter months, it’s probably poorly insulated (or not insulated at all). This not only discourages you from getting full use out of your garage, but it can also contribute to unnecessarily high utility bills. Today’s insulated garage doors can create an effective thermal buffer between the outside world and the exterior wall of your house. You also get the benefit of a less noisy garage, thanks to an insulated door’s ability to muffle outside sounds.
A typical insulated garage door has an inner core of lightweight insulating material sandwiched by sturdy panels. You can determine the degree of thermal protection by choosing a door with the appropriate R-value for your climate and anticipated needs. For example, a value of R-8 reduces heat flow through the door by 90 percent, while a value of R-32 offers a 97 percent reduction in heat flow.
4. What Kind of Mechanical Systems Should You Choose?
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re not terribly interested in the technical details of your garage door; you just want the installer to do a good job. But the product you select will influence your garage door installation requirements. For instance, torsion springs, which attach to the top of the garage door, do a better job of distributing the load across the entire door surface than side-mounted extension springs do. The larger and heavier your choice of door, the more this matters. (Torsion springs are also the components of choice for double doors.) You may also have to decide between hot-dipped galvanized steel tracks and powder-coated steel tracks. The latter cost more, but they present a nicer image by avoiding that utilitarian “bare metal” look.
Choose the right garage doors and you just might fall in love with that most utilitarian of spaces. Ask your local garage door installer, such as those at Shank Door, for specific recommendations to help you make the smartest possible decisions.