Monday, April 28, 2014

Protect your home from storm damage with Fabric Shield

Wayne-Dalton Fabric Shield is a lightweight alternative to protect your home from hurricane or storm damage.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Garage Door Repair - 4 Things To Check Before Calling A Technician

You've probably experienced this scenario with your garage door. You arrive home late at night, tired and ready to hit the sack. You press the remote as you turn your car into the driveway. The door opens for you to park your car inside. You press the remote again to close the door and nothing happens. It doesn't close. You replace the batteries of your remote and try again...still nothing. You go to bed frustrated and worried your door will remain open all night.
Your garage door system is a complicated system that includes springs, pulleys, etc as well as a heavy garage door you don't want to mess with. Here are 4 things to check before calling your technician. Most of them you can fix yourself but anything more complicated should be left to a professional.
4 Things To Check Before Calling A Technician
Door won't open or close
Common Causes
1. Dead batteries
The batteries of your remote door opener may be dead. Replace the batteries and try again. Make sure you've put them in the correct way. Usually this solves the problem.
2. Electronic eyes not aligned
There are 2 electronic eyes one at each end of the door that create an invisible light between them. If these are not aligned with each other it will affect the opening and closing of the door. To correct the alignment simply move one of the eyes up or down a little on its housing, then try closing the door again. You'll need some patience to achieve success.
Door opens but won't close
Common Causes
3. Obstruction under door
If something is obstructing the door it will open but won't close. This safety mechanism is to prevent a person or an object from being crushed underneath the door. Check you haven't left a shovel, bag or something else under the door. Remove it and try again.
4. Broken springs, cables or pulleys
If you've checked all the above things first and still have problems closing your garage door you may have a broken spring, cable or pulley. Don't try to keep closing the door. It will only make things worse and cost more to repair.
Since this type of repair is beyond what you can do yourself, call your repair technician. He'll be able to easily diagnose and fix the problem. Most door repair companies offer a free quote and some even offer discount coupons. Ask about them when the technician visits your home. You'll save some money.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Warning Signs Which Point to Garage Door Problems

Contrary to the complacent belief of most homeowners, garage doors are not immune to problems. Usually we take them for granted, because they are quite durable, and we use them for many years. When a breakdown does occur, it often comes as a shock, and at a time that is most inconvenient, for example, on the morning that you're already late for work and the door refuses to open. In order to keep a garage door crisis from happening in your life, there are some telltale clues that you need to watch for that will let you know in advance that something is going wrong.
1. One of the most common garage door problems is the result of failure to keep the working mechanisms properly lubricated. The problem can manifest itself as a squeaking sound as the door opens or closes, and it's usually caused by dry rollers, tracks, or bearings. It's a problem that can generally be averted by keeping these items oiled before they totally dry out. A bit of preventive maintenance can save you big repair bills later on.
2. It may be that your door isn't closing properly the way it did when it was new. This can happen so gradually that you may not even notice it if you aren't watching for possible problems. Usually, you'll find some type of obstruction that isn't allowing the door to close as it should, but it can also be indicative of a broken cable or a damaged cable pulley which may mean it's time to call in the professionals.
3. If your opening or closing garage door starts making a scraping sound, it could mean that your cable has gotten worn and needs to be replaced. It can also mean that your reinforcement strut is no longer even or that it has become out of position in some way. If you are unable to figure out what is causing the sound and how to fix it, once again you should consider calling a garage door professional.
4. Sometimes your door can begin moving much more sluggishly than it once did. This is another problem that can sneak up on you, because it happens so gradually. This can be attributable to the springs that operate the door being worn out. You want to catch this condition early so that you can have the springs replaced before one of them snaps. The snapping of a tension spring can be dangerous.
Garage door problems don't happen every day, but they do come about slowly, over time, because of daily wear on the door and its parts. Having regular preventive maintenance done on your door and mechanisms is the best way to ensure that something more major isn't going to go wrong somewhere down the line.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Different Garage Door Styles

Garage doors tend to cover almost one third of your home's fa├žade; therefore, you should be very careful when choosing a garage door for your home. This is because choosing the wrong door would result to destruction of your home's design. The good side is that there are many garage door styles to choose from. The main styles include:
Traditional style
These are the most common doors in most homes. The doors are usually made of one solid piece and they open straight up. When opened, they slide into the garage's ceiling space.
Some of them tend to have tracks on either side. The tracks run up to the ceiling in order to hold the entire section in place. While some of these doors open to the ceiling, there are others that lift straight up then slide back.
Carriage style
These doors are usually made of wood; however, they can also be made from other materials. They are characters by small windows which are usually located at the top. They usually open at the middle and they are made of one piece of material.
From their name, these doors have a number of raised panels that fold up into the ceiling when they are opened. They are usually made from different materials such as wood, steel, and aluminum. The doors also come in a number of different colors.
Flat panel
These are mainly made from wood. They come in smooth and wood grain textures which are usually very elegant.
Ribbed panel
They are made of several ribs in each panel. The doors are commonly found in commercial applications, but you can also use them in your home.
These are some for the main garage door styles; however, there are other doors that come in fancier styles. For example, you will come across doors that will give your garage a cottage look. It's also common to come across some doors that will convert your garage into a couch.
Although, there are many garage doors in the market, you should be cautious when buying them. As rule of thumb, you should ensure that the style that you choose matches the style of your home.
You should also ensure that you buy the doors from reputable sellers that have a good track record.
An excellent way of determining the reputation of the seller is by reading the various reviews given by different buyers. To be on the safe side you should only consider buying from a seller with the highest number of positive reviews.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

How To Measure

Please use the drawing and instructions below to measure your garage door.
Step #1
Measure door opening width and height in feet and inches. This determines the size of door needed. The rough opening should be the same size as the door.

Step #2
Measure for sideroom: 3 3/4" is required on each side for installation of the vertical track for standard torsion spring assembly.

Step #3
Measure area labeled "headroom" - distance between the top of the door opening ("jamb header") and the ceiling (or floor joist). 12" is required for standard torsion spring systems. If you have restricted head room, special hardware is available. Additional head room is required for installation of an automatic garage door opener.

NOTE: If door height extends above the opening, the head room measurement should be adjusted proportionately.

Step #4
Measure area labeled "backroom" - distance is measured from the garage door opening toward the back wall of the garage. Door height plus 18" is required. Additional back room may be required for installation of an automatic garage door opener.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Garage Door Springs, The Danger Zone

Usually, the largest mechanical thing around your house is the overhead garage door - the one you're driving your car through, sometimes without even opening it - I know that you do.
The major, and the most dangerous component of the overhead door is the garage door spring - (or springs depending on the design), which supports the entire weight of the door panels (sometimes over 400 pounds) and helps you to lift / lower the entire door assembly. I have personally installed 3 overhead garage doors with 2 different types of springs, and you do have to trust me on that - garage door springs are under enormous pressure and you can get seriously injured or even killed when performing such work. If you decide to take your chances - it is imperative that you follow instructions to the last detail! Even if you have a friend or a professional doing it for you, read it and check everything after the installer finishes the job. The garage overhead doors have no safety brakes (at least I haven't heard about any), that would prevent it from falling down when the supporting spring fails. I've found some US patents for such devices, but apparently none of them were ever implemented into an actual garage door.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, garage overhead door related accidents account for thousands of injuries every year (average of 30000 per year). For example, these injuries are: fractures, crushings and amputations. It is believed that not all injuries are reported in the United States . (CPSC)
There are basically two types of the garage door spring systems utilizing tracks / side rails (at least these are the most common types in Illinois and probably the rest of US):
1. garage door torsion spring(s) which are wound-up on a rod above the garage door opening top section ( door header)
2. garage door extension springs that are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal part of the track when the door is closed
You might also have an old, one piece door that swings outward as it goes up and overhead. This particular design will have springs mounted on the sides of the door opening - at about your waist height, secured to a lever bracket system that extends the springs toward the ceiling at the door closing. It is an old and extremely dangerous system, not manufactured anymore. If you have such a system in the garage, I'd highly recommend replacing it.
Garage door torsion springs - there are either single or double spring designs. The spring will usually break while under the maximum stress which is when the overhead garage door closes / travels down, or it is already completely closed (USUALLY). If you're closing it manually and it happens during this operation, don't try to prevent it from crushing down, let it go ... well, unless your foot is where the door will slam!
When one of the two garage door springs breaks you need to have them both replaced at the same time! It will cost some extra money, but having an old and new spring installed will:
- put much more stress on the new one
- the door will loose proper balance
- the remaining old garage door spring will most likely break soon
Torsion springs for residential overhead garage doors have anywhere between 5000 - 30000 cycles life span. Those digits represent an average total number of times you should be able to open and close your door before anticipating garage door spring replacement.
Garage door extension springs - you might have either one or two on each side of your overhead garage door A critical issue with those springs is to have a safety cable installed inside of each single spring and secured properly, so when the door opens and closes, the spring can freely slide on this cable! When the garage door spring snaps without the cable inside, broken ends might severely injure anyone standing within their range. The cables should be always included with the overhead garage doors hardware (assuming that they came equipped with extension springs), but A LOT OF PEOPLE either forget to install them, or don't read instructions and maybe assume that they are not required. Unlike the torsion spring, which doesn't really show any visual wear until it breaks, extension spring wear is much easier to spot, because they simply change dimensions: the coils are over-stretched (best visible when the garage door is open). If you notice such a behavior on your garage door springs - it's time for a replacement.
And for both types of the garage door springs - their tension should be evenly adjusted (on a two spring system) so the overhead door travels properly in its tracks - to test it, stop the door slightly above the garage floor (1" or two) and make sure that its bottom / top edge are perfectly horizontal. Measuring the gap along the bottom might not be the best way to confirm that, because the garage floors are often out of level. Placing a level somewhere in the center section of the garage door top edge would give you the best readout (remember that the door should not be closed completely!). When the springs are properly adjusted, you should be able to raise and stop the garage door at any height, and it should stay at this level without any assistance ( garage door opener arm disconnected).
Important things to remember:
1. Check the rollers / hinges, cables, and the overhead garage door springsoften to ensure they are in good working condition
2. Educate your children about garage door safety
3. Never leave children and disabled persons unattended near or in a garage door path
4. Keep your body clear of the door path when closing
5. Don't leave a personal property underneath an open garage door
6. Read more about the garage door opener and other garage components

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