Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Beginner's Guide To Garage Door Shopping


So you want to buy a garage door and be an expert your first time out. Here are a few tips to aid the process of finding the right door for your home.
Some people break the process of looking for a garage door into very simple terms of trying to find something to fill a large hole in front of their home that looks good and is cost effective. That's a good start. Cost, appearance and functionality are part of the process, but safety, warranty, adaptability and value should also be part of the mix.
Here are some general guidelines:
Appearance
There are a wide range of options out there. You don't have to buy a white garage door with a lot of squares any more. In fact some manufacturers can give you a door with no squares at all. Pattern and design options are multitude for most major manufacturers.
Most manufacturers have two or three colors, but some offer the flexibility of dozens of factory baked-on colors. What will look best with your home and bring out the features you think are important? Those are the key issues to ask.
Material and Design
Steel garage doors come in embossed, ribbed and flush designs. Garage doors come in steel, copper, glass and aluminum, so there are multiple options to consider. You have more options than just the one door you may be looking at in the showroom. Some manufacturers specialize in customizing your door within a very short time, so lead time for a customized door with the right material and look is another option to consider.
The value of the steel in your garage door is also a major issue. Hi-tensile steel is best in at least 25-gauge for protection from denting. Ensure that you inquire about the gauge of steel used and whether the paint is baked on, or simply sprayed. This will give a very clear picture in a hurry about the quality that went into your potential purchase.
Optional Windows
Any garage door can be purchased with optional windows. A myriad of patterns and designs are now available that allow in natural light to liven up the garage. Weigh safety issues in your choice and whether the windows are made of acrylic or glass.
Insulation value
Some manufacturers tout the insulation value of garage doors. Most people question this concern, since the garage in most homes is neither heated nor cooled. If insulation is a concern to you, lightweight polystyrene foam insulation can be added to most doors. Insulated doors will help to reduce the amount of outside temperatures that enters your garage, thus keeping it more comfortable for you. An insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than an uninsulated door.
Springs
The spring is perhaps the most undervalued part of a garage door initially but makes its value known very quickly. Low-cost doors tend to use extension springs. Make sure an internal safety containment cable is included in case of breakage.
Springs tend to be the first part of the garage door to need service or replacement. Many springs are tested to operate between 5,000 to 10,000 cycles while some manufacturers make a spring that will last up to 30,000 cycles or more. That's a wide difference in longevity and value when you add it up. Most homeowners use their garage doors up to 3,000 times per-year so a 10,000-cycle spring could break within 3-4 years. Replacement usually costs $150 - $250. Check the manufacturer's warranty on the spring. Never buy a door with only a one-year warranty on the spring.
Hardware
This is another defining difference in quality and value. Is the manufacturer giving you hardware that will last for five years or 30 years? The coating on the hardware will be one of the first clues and makes the difference in rust, so common in humid areas. Check for at least a G-60 zinc coating on the hardware.
Wind Resistance
If you live in a high-wind region, you'll regret skimping on your garage door. The garage door industry set standards on wind loads that a door should be able to tolerate. Make sure the door you're looking at meets local building codes. Conventional garage doors usually can handle a wind load up to 35 mph, while others build one that is standard at 70 mph. Additional struts can increase the wind resistance on any door.
Warranty
How much of a warranty can you get? This is where manufacturers tend to thin out in a hurry. Many offer one-year warranties and limited use warranties, but there is at least one company that offers a lifetime warranty on its product. Who is willing to stand behind their product? When you're investing money in a garage door this should be a big consideration.
While you may save $100-$200 in buying a cheaper door, you will actually be paying more in the long-run when considered in terms of how much you spend on your door over any given period. In many cases you get a much greater value, by spending the extra $100 to $200 up front. In general, look for a garage door warranty that covers moving parts for at least 15-20 years, and that covers torsion springs for at least 5-10 years or more.
Safety
This is another defining difference among garage door manufacturers. The industry tends to be lightly regulated and so the range of safety options among manufacturers is quite broad. Each year the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are thousands of injury associated with garage door use. In 2001, for example, there were an estimated 17,000 incidents related to the garage door, many involving children.
The most common area of trouble is between section joints. A finger caught in a section joint can easily be broken or severed. Several manufacturers have redesigned their garage doors to protect the fingers, by blocking access and shrinking the size of the gap in the joint. For some this is found only on the higher priced model, but for at least one it is universal on all of its garage doors.
Track hardware and the cable used to move the door up and down are also key. Many of the track systems, common today, have gaping holes or entrapment points where a child can stick their finger though and can easily result in a serious injury in a thoughtless moment of play. Take time to consider the safety factors of your family, especially if you have younger children, before your finalize your garage door purchase.
Garage Door Opener
Openers are usually available with a belt or a chain drive and a ½ or 1/3 horsepower drive. Power is usually only a factor in choosing an opener when a large door is involved. Safety standards initiated in 1993 require that a door reverse its direction when something crosses the path of photoelectric eyes in place that cross the door opening----a key safety feature. But new standards aside, many openers are still noisy and carry limited warranties. Noise can be a factor if there is a bedroom or room above the garage.
Ask for a demonstration of the garage door opener before buying. Finer door openers do not vibrate and the noise level is minimal. Look for at least a 10-20 year warranty that covers all parts.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6746934

Friday, February 14, 2014

Light Up Your Garage Door



Watch this proud homeowner put the spotlight on the favorite part of his home: the garage door!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Installation Video for LiftMaster MyQ Package



Installation video for how to upgrade your LiftMaster® garage door opener manufactured since 1998 to the new MyQ® and Security+ 2.0™ radio systems so you can control your garage door with your smartphone or computer.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Garage Doors - A Brief Tutorial on Garage Door Safety and Installation

As a door expert witness, I am called upon many times a year to evaluate garage door injuries. Garage doors come in many shapes and sizes. Their functions range from basic security of an area to cosmetic concealment. Most doors can be broken down into a few basic styles or categories. Typical modern garage doors for residential applications tend to be predominantly of the overhead sectional variety. That style of door comes in many configurations, materials, levels of insulation, and a wide range of appearance possibilities. They are available as a prefabricated kit, or built as a custom design to complement the dacor of any building. Commercial warehouse type installations often dictate higher security requirements. A good choice for this security type of door is the "roll-up" style that resembles a roll top desk type of door. This door can be manufactured with a variety of materials that can be as strong as the adjacent walls, making forced entry through this opening very difficult. Other common commercial installations include light weight aluminum single or sectional panel doors. These doors function more for closing off an already secured area than for assuring point security.
In the past, the biggest concern with operating an overhead garage door was the potential risks associated with the springs used for balancing the door weight. Pre mid 1960's garage door installations typically relied upon a pair of stretched (tensioned) springs to assist the operation of the garage door pivoting hinges. These springs became loaded (tensioned) as the door was moved into the closed position. Unloading (releasing) of the stored spring energy occurred as the door was opened to the horizontal overhead position. One of the most dangerous aspects of these spring systems was that after a period of time, often without any maintenance or inspection, the points of attachment of these springs would rust or become weak. This weakening of the springs or points of attachment would often lead to an inadvertent explosive failure flinging the broken spring components across the garage, embedding the spring or steel components into the garage walls, cars or other items in the path of travel. Unfortunately, sometimes people were in the path of travel of these explosive occurrences. As these springs failed, as an attempted safeguard, some manufacturers devised a "caging" system for the springs. These cages were retrofitted onto the stretched springs in an attempt to capture the parts that would release if a failure occurred. While these caging devices were helpful, they were not completely effective. Some of these spring devices are still in use today. Whenever this condition exists or the quality of garage components are questionable, a qualified professional service technician should be consulted.
In response to the inherently dangerous old style garage spring issues as above, a newer and safer system for opening the overhead garage door was created. The idea was to transfer the load or weight of the door via a cable and pulley system to a vertical rod now equipped with a torsion (twisted) spring. This type of spring is installed with specialty hardware and bolts to a fixed plate at one end, while the entire spring is installed around a horizontal pipe. This load balancing device is normally installed directly over the header of the garage opening. Using appropriate cables, connectors and pulleys, the weight of the garage door is transferred into the torsion spring system. The difference between the old style stretched spring and the newer torsion spring is the way that the spring energy is stored. With the old style stretched spring, the energy is stored and released by pulling on the spring or returning the spring to its un-stretched condition. With a torsion type of spring, the energy is imparted or removed by rotating the spring clockwise or counter clockwise depending upon the direction of usage. With professional installation, the complete loading of the torsion spring is controlled by the garage installer, and is determined by the weight and size of the garage door that it is operating. When this type of torsion spring fails, it remains attached and intact to the location on the horizontal control rod where it was mounted. I have not heard of or seen any torsion spring fly across a garage, creating injury from failed components as with the stretched older style garage door springs. This is not to say that injuries have not occurred with the torsion style spring. The installation of this type of spring is generally safe when left to a trained garage door installation professional. Severe and serious injuries have occurred when untrained, unqualified individuals have attempted to install or service this type of spring. In most installations, a warning tag is left attached adjacent to the torsion spring when the garage door is installed. This tag warns of the danger associated with the stored energy of this spring, and alerts untrained individuals to not attempt any repair, adjustment or to even touch the spring and associated hardware. When the label that should be attached to this spring becomes damaged, is removed or tampered with, it is important that a new warning label be reattached immediately to show the dangers of this spring tension
Garage doors can be operated manually (by hand), as well as automatically (by power assisted motor). In both cases, the proper operation of the garage door is determined by the proper balancing of the garage door weight, springs and related component hardware. An automatic power assisted motor cannot overcome an improperly balanced garage door. The weight of all garage doors is normally deceptive. Due to the fact that a properly functioning door appears easy to open and close, many users do not realize the combined overall weight until springs fail to assist the door in its operation. In all cases, regardless of the type of garage door, the entire system of hinges, track, hardware, and door opener work as a team. Problems with misalignment, shifting, or jamming can lead to problematic operation of a door. Counter forces imparted to a garage door, not engineered into the components, can lead to injury. Inappropriate maintenance or complete lack of maintenance has lead to severe bodily injuries. Forcing the operation of a garage door, when one or more components have become damaged or broken has lead to serious bodily injuries. In all cases, maintenance is a crucial and important aspect of proper operation of all door systems.
In contrast to an overhead type of garage door, be it sectional or single panel, roll up doors have a totally different type of operating system. When these doors are used, they can be concealed in an overhead or under mounted trough. These doors operate similarly to a roll top desk door except for how they are stored when not in the closed position. They normally coil as they are retracted, and require significant gear trains to reduce the effort required to move these doors up and down into position. Often the forces needed to move these roll up doors require a reduction type of transmission that allows a very heavy door to be operated effortlessly. These doors can be chain driven either manually, or can be automated using electric motors. Roll up doors require more frequent evaluation and servicing than a standard overhead garage door. The tracks that are mounted vertically on both sides of the garage opening need maintenance and cleaning more frequently, and are often blocked by foreign obstructions or damaged by collision of some type. These roll up doors are often held open by some type of ratcheting action. Proper balancing of these doors is often more important than an overhead type of door, as the weight of these type of doors is normally much greater than an overhead door.
I have been involved in numerous garage door lawsuits where many different reasons for an injury have occurred. Having been retained as expert witness for both plaintiff and defense, several common factors have been observed. In many cases, unqualified individuals have attempted to repair or install garage doors. They have lacked the knowledge, skills or even the basic required tools to perform the work safely and properly. I have been hired as an expert by garage door manufacturers and installers to defend claims that they are not responsible for alleged product defects. In most cases, the components that failed, failed as a result of abuse or improper installation on the part of the end user. As stated above, the installation of many garage doors is not appropriate for an untrained person. An exception to this relates to "do it yourself" garage door kits that are sold at local home centers. A homeowner could install the door because these kits do not come with a professional quality package of hardware that should or would require special knowledge for the installation. These kits do not typically employ torsion springs that would require special knowledge, proper tools, and working skills to install. The doors are typically for light duty use. Professional installation services are often available through a home center to assist a homeowner in need of a specialized installation. As with most trade specific tasks, years of experience working as a professional installer qualifies tradesmen for their contracting license. The average homeowner watching a few television shows that give rough explanations of how to install garage doors is not usually qualified to install his or her own door. These "how to" television shows are no substitute for the many skills acquired after working in the field.
The above article is a very brief description of a few types of garage doors. I have not given any specific details regarding appropriate trade conduct or listed any information regarding the serious potential for bodily injuries.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7014869

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Garage Doors Temperature Test with Clopay's Intellicore Doors



Clopay's Intellicore garage doors have some of the highest R-values in the industry, up to 20.4! Watch this video of temperature testing we did with 'The Doctor'... and it might get a little hot!