Learning About Garage Doors

How To Lubricate And Change Garage Door Rollers

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Lubricate And Change Garage Door Rollers

If your garage door suddenly sticks, falls down the tracks, or makes horrible squeaking noises when the door moves either up or down, then it is likely that the garage door rollers are in a state of disrepair. These rollers may need to be lubricated or replaced. Keep reading to learn how to complete both of these tasks. Lubricating the Rollers The rollers that are attached to your automatic garage door are made to help the door move up and down smoothly. Each roller contains a stem, a ball bearing, and an outer roller made from either steel or plastic. The rollers move along the track of the garage door, and sometimes debris within the track can cause issues with sticking or squeaking rollers. To see if this is the issue, use a car brake cleaning fluid that will rinse away dirt, grease, and other foreign debris. Just make sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear, because the material may be damaging to the skin. Spray a generous amount of the cleaner across the garage door tracks, and use a clean cloth to remove the cleaner and dirt. If cleaner residue is left behind, use your hose to rinse the tracks clean.  Afterwards, lower the garage door and listen for squeaks. If the rollers continue to make noise and stick, then you should place a lubricant on each roller bearing. The bearing sits directly in the middle of each roller and you will need to use a silicone-free lubricant. Motor oil, like the one you use for your car, is a good lubricant for the bearings. You can place the oil in an oil can and use the end nozzle to apply the lubricant to the bearings or you can place a small bit of motor oil on a clean rag and gently rub each bearing with it. Once you apply the oil, raise and lower your garage door to see if it works better. If it does, then think about cleaning the track and lubricating the rollers every two or three months to keep the door moving smoothly. Changing the Rollers If cleaning and lubricating does not help with garage door movement, then think about replacing the rollers along the door. You may only need to replace a few of the rollers that are in poor condition. This is likely the case, since most garage door rollers are rated for 15,000 cycles, and they are typically able to stay strong for about 20 years. Specifically, rollers that do not spin or that are rusty or cracked along the plastic edge should be replaced, while the other rollers can be left alone. However, you will be unable to fully inspect each roller without removing them from the door. Most garage doors have one roller on the right and left side of each door section. If your door has six sections, then you will probably have around 12 rollers. Each one will be kept in place with a hinge on the inside of the door. Secure your door so it is all the way down and use a screwdriver to remove the screws from each hinge. Inspect each roller for damage. Place all damaged or degraded rollers in a pile and take one roller to your local home store to find...

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Why The Paint Is Peeling Off Your Metal Garage Door And What To Do About It

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why The Paint Is Peeling Off Your Metal Garage Door And What To Do About It

Most homeowners choose metal garage doors over wood or vinyl models because they’re looking for both durability and longevity. However, that goal can backfire if the paint or coating begins peeling and flaking off after just a few years of use. Find out what’s causing your paint to fail and how to correct the problem so the next coat doesn’t fall prey to the same problems. The Causes of Garage Door Paint Failure Whether the door is covered in basic exterior paint or a complex epoxy coating, the same issues can result in a poor bond. It’s a weak bond that causes the coating to peel off far before its time. Small mistakes that interfere with bonding include Leftover protective coatings that keep the metal from rusting or corroding before it can be painted Residual oil left behind after the sheet metal pressing and polishing process Mismatched paints and metals, such as oil paint paired with galvanized metal Oxidization that formed on the metal due to a delay before paint was applied Layers of primer and paint that were applied before each application fully dried and cured Missing primer, especially on galvanized metal or aluminum Mixed paint types, such as acrylic-based mixtures applied over a coating of oil paint Exposure to extreme weather conditions, like direct sun for 12 hours a day or constant rain storms beating directly against the surface. Aside from the last cause of paint damage, you can deal with the rest of these problems simply by taking more care when adding the new layer of paint. Preparing the Peeling Surface First, you’ll need to remove all the loose paint on the garage door. There’s no need to remove every trace of the previous coatings if the problem arose due to weather or improper curing, but other problems like a lack of primer, layers of oil or oxidation, and mismatched coatings are best handled with complete resurfacing. Focus on taking off all the bubbling, flaking, or peeling areas if you’re not buffing down the entire door. Try a large grit sandpaper block or steel wire brush for small areas and a grinder wheel for resurfacing the entire door. Removing Grease and Other Coatings If you suspect the paint failed to bond because the underlying metal has a white powdery coating or feels greasy, you’ll need to remove all the paint and get rid of that layer before adding any addition coatings. This is a big project, so you’ll likely need to leave it to a professional in garage door repair and restoration instead. If your garage door is still within its warranty period, consider contacting the manufacturer for a replacement since applying a factory coating over a layer of oil is a mistake on their part. Buff off any rust or white corrosion too. Scouring Raw Metal Relatively clean metal still benefits from the application of a degreasing cleaner and some scouring. Metal degreasers do a good job of removing dirt, mildew, and other debris that cause paint to peel just as much as oil and grease. Don’t be afraid of scratching or scuffing the sheet metal since a roughened surface only encourages the paint to cling even better. Choosing and Applying the Paint Finally, pick your paint and either spray it on with a rented...

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Tips For Testing And Maintaining Your Garage Door Springs

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Testing And Maintaining Your Garage Door Springs

Garage doors are heavy, and they require a delicate balance of springs and chains to open and close correctly. Over time, the springs can become worn and fatigued. If your garage door is unbalanced, the springs will wear much faster than if your door is leveled and balanced correctly. You should test the door’s balance regularly so that you can tell when those springs have shifted. The sooner you identify a damaged garage door, the less repair you’ll have to do later due to added wear and tear. Here are some tips to help you check your garage door. Checking for Balance In order to evaluate the balance of your garage door, you’ll have to do a balance test by hand. The first step is to disconnect the automatic opener from the door if you have one. Make sure the garage door is closed all the way, because you’re going to need the full weight of the door for the test to be accurate. Stand directly in front of the door handle that’s centered on the inside of the door. Lift the handle so that the door is mid-way open. Once the door is open to the halfway mark, let go. It might be best to have someone standing on either end of the garage door too so that the three of you can catch it if it starts to fall. If the door is balanced and the springs are in good shape, the door shouldn’t move when you let go. If the spring tension is too heavy, the door may continue to open. If the springs are too loose or have too little tension, the door will fall. If either of these things happen, it means you need to have the springs maintained. Evaluating the Torsion Springs In a two-car or wide garage door design, torsion springs are used to control the door. You’ll find torsion springs above the door. These springs are made to sustain the heavy weight of larger garage doors, but over time they are as vulnerable to wear as any other spring. When this happens, the spring can weaken and may not hold the door sufficiently. If the torsion springs are too loose, you may be able to invest in a spring brace to stiffen the door. Otherwise, you’re going to need to have the springs replaced. Torsion springs hold potential energy, so it’s important that you call a professional if they need to be replaced. They have the tools to safely disconnect and replace the springs without risking personal injury. Dealing with Extension Springs Extension springs are the other common garage door spring that you’ll want to be attentive to. Extension springs are usually installed parallel to the track of the garage door. You’ll likely also find a pulley on the end of the spring nearest the door. These are usually reserved for lighter, smaller doors, so they’re easiest to maintain by yourself. Open the door completely so that there’s no pressure on the spring. Then, adjust the hook on the spring to loosen or tighten it appropriately. Just make sure that you have someone with you to help you support the door if it needs it. The more attentive you are to your garage door springs, the easier it will be to...

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An In-Depth Guide To Replacing Extension Springs

Posted by on Oct 8, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on An In-Depth Guide To Replacing Extension Springs

A worn-out garage door extension spring can make it harder for you to open and close your garage door. Once the coils become bent and distorted from years of constant service, it’s time to have the extension springs replaced. Unlike torsion springs, extension springs are not as difficult for the do-it-yourselfer to successfully replace. The following shows how you can easily remove and replace your garage door’s worn-out extension spring with relative ease. Preparation Tips Safety should always be your first priority when dealing with any home repair. The following tips will not only help you prepare for your extension spring replacement, but also keep you out of harm’s way: Make sure you move your vehicle out of the garage and into the street or driveway. If you have a garage door opener, disconnect it from the garage door by pulling the emergency release handle. It’s also a good idea to unplug the garage door opener. Open your garage door and place a step ladder directly underneath the door. As the bottom of the door rests on the step ladder, place C-clamps underneath the last roller on the left and right-side garage door tracks. Once the C-clamps are in place, you can remove the step ladder. Opening and clamping the garage door will release tension from the extension spring, making it easier and safer to replace. Out with the Old To remove the extension spring, you’ll first have to disconnect the safety cable that runs through the spring. Start by placing a piece of blue painter’s tape on the track below the extension spring pulley. Use a marker to mark on the tape where the center of the pulley’s bolt is located. Next, locate the vertical support bracket and, for reference’s sake, take a photograph of how the safety cable is tied into the support bracket. This will make it much easier to reinstall the safety cable during the installation process. After making your reference, disconnect the safety cable from the support bracket. You’ll also need to locate and disconnect the S-hook that attaches to the pulley cable. Make a mark where the S-hook is positioned and disconnect it from the horizontal support bracket. Finally, you’ll need to disconnect the pulley fork from the pulley itself. Not only is it a good idea to take pictures of how the pulley is set up prior to its removal, but you should also tape the steel cable to the pulley wheel. This will make it easier to reassemble the pulley later on. Finally, the extension spring can be taken off the pulley fork. All that’s left is to slip the other end of the extension spring off the eye bolt hanger on the vertical support bracket. In with the New First, make sure the new extension springs are the correct ones for your garage door. The new spring will have a color-coded end that’ll go on the pulley fork, while the uncolored end will slip onto the eye bolt hanger. Thread the safety cable through the new extension spring and attach the spring onto the eye bolt hanger. Tie off the safety cable as shown in the photographs you took of the spring for reference. Next, attach the color-coded end to the pulley fork and reattach it to the pulley. Make...

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Signs Your Garage Door Springs Need To Be Replaced

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Signs Your Garage Door Springs Need To Be Replaced

Automatic garage doors are features that are added to many homes across the United States, whether the door is used to secure cars during the winter or it is utilized as one of the main entrances into your home. Your garage door will have many different moving parts that need to be taken care of properly, and sometimes parts will need to be replaced. You have the option of replacing things like rollers, tracks, and the door itself if you want to do so by yourself. However, if the garage door springs start to go bad, you may injure yourself by trying to replace them on your own. You should instead look for signs that the springs may be failing and contact a professional to replace them for you. Keep reading to learn about a few of these signs. Your Springs Are Old If your initial garage door investment was a sound one, then your door was installed with good quality torsion springs. These springs are the ones that sit above the garage door itself. Two springs will be installed on a single door, and a metal spindle or dowel will sit in the middle of the springs. These springs and the dowel will be attached to two spring anchor brackets secured just outside the garage door. Pressure is placed on these springs when the garage door motor is activated. The springs hold a great deal of tension, and this helps to force the garage door upward. Understanding Usage Numbers Your springs will wear out over time though, and most hardware is rated for a certain number of uses or cycles. Typically, the use number is around 10,000. If you open your garage door four times a day, then the springs will likely go through around 1,460 cycles a year. This means that the springs will likely remain in good shape for maybe seven or eight years. However, if your garage door is made from a heavy wood or steel material, then they may not last this long. This means that you should have your springs changed if they are seven years old or older. If the garage door is heavy, then a replacement every five years may be best. You Did Not Invest in a Spring Rebalancing Garage door torsion springs help to force your garage door open, and they also help to provide counterbalance. This counterbalance makes sure that the weight and stress on the right and left sides of the garage door are equal. This helps to reduce the ability of the door to become too heavy on one side, resulting in the overworking of the garage door motor. Not only will the garage door motor become stressed when the torsion springs are unbalanced, but one torsion spring will be stressed more as well. This can result in a break, and you may see springs bending, cracking, or coming unwound to some degree before a full break occurs. Usually, your garage door installation expert will inform you to set up an appointment within one or two years of the initial installation to have the garage door rebalanced. This will help to make sure that the torsion springs are secured in the right place and they are working effectively. Checking Balance Once the rebalancing is completed, you should check to see if your garage door...

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Does Your Steel Garage Door Look Like A Scratch & Dent Special? Pretty It Up With These Easy Repair Tips

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Does Your Steel Garage Door Look Like A Scratch & Dent Special? Pretty It Up With These Easy Repair Tips

Even in the most careful of households, the garage door can become the victim of small scratches and dents. Whether the damage results from a rock displaced by mowing an adjacent patch of grass, a stray ball, a bump from your child’s bike or contact with the family car, this type of damage can detract from the overall appearance of your home. In many instances, even though the damage is unsightly, homeowners may decide to put off making the repairs because the garage door is still operational. If your garage door has become ugly due to a scratch or dent, the following DIY tips just might help you give it the cosmetic facelift it needs to become beautiful once again.   Healing Surface Scratches Scratches on steel garage doors are more than just ugly. Left unrepaired, a scratch can penetrate through the finish on the door and expose the steel underneath to the damaging effects of moisture and weather. This can cause rust to develop on the bare metal, worsening the damage and making the door even less attractive. If you have a scratch on your garage door, begin by carefully cleaning the area with a soft cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This will easily remove any dirt that has become embedded in the scratch. Wipe gently, and do not use a scrubbing action, brush or any abrasive cleaning products that could cause further damage to the finish. Using a cotton swap or the tip of a small paint brush, carefully dab a good quality, rust-proof paint into the crevice of the scratch, making sure that the paint color matches the door and there are no drips or smears around the edges. Let the paint dry completely and examine the area. If the scratch is still visible, apply another thin coat of paint, still being careful not to allow the paint to drip or run. Once again, let the paint dry completely, then apply a drop of liquid car wax and buff gently with a soft cloth to restore the shine. Repairing Dents and Dings A small dent or ding can often be removed from a steel garage door in much the same way that a small dent is removed from an automobile. Heat is applied to force the metal to expand, followed immediately by the application of cold to cause contraction of the metal. In many cases, this sudden manipulation of the metal’s temperature will remove small dents, allowing the metal to regain its original shape. To use this technique on a dent on your garage door, you will need: a soft cloth, moistened with water a hand held heat gun or hair dryer to apply heat to the dent a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil a bit larger than the dented area a can of compressed air to supply a burst of cold, concentrated air First, clean the area gently with the cloth. When the area has been allowed to dry thoroughly, hold one corner of the foil above the dented area so that the dent is completely covered by the foil. The foil will protect the surface of the door from the direct heat of the heat gun or hair dryer. Apply the heat for approximately sixty seconds, then quickly drop the foil and direct...

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How Can You Make Your Garage Burglar-Proof?

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Can You Make Your Garage Burglar-Proof?

While you may put a great deal of thought and effort into securing your home from would-be burglars — checking and double-checking that the doors are locked each time you leave, creating a hard-to-guess PIN for your home security system, or avoiding broadcasting your absences on social media — you may put much less thought into securing your garage. However, an unsecured garage can render the rest of your home dangerously accessible (particularly if you’re not always vigilant about locking the door between your garage and home). What should you do to help increase the security of your garage? Read on to learn more about your door’s potential security weaknesses and how to combat them. Disable the emergency release One of the quickest ways for a would-be burglar to access your garage is by using the same emergency release lever you may use to open and close your door during a power outage. By using a coat hanger or another type of thin, pliable wire, a burglar can grab and pull this release lever from the outside and use it to open your garage door, waltzing right in and shutting the door behind him or her to rummage through your tools and belongings sight unseen. You can easily disable this emergency release lever by uncoupling it from the trolley, preventing it from moving the door up and down. If you use this lever very infrequently anyway, you may instead opt to remove it entirely. Although disabling this emergency release will also prevent you from being able to manually open your garage door, if you have access to the inside of the garage, you should be able to reassemble the emergency release fairly quickly whenever needed. Though generally a simple process, if you happen to damage your garage while disabling the release, a garage door repair service should be able to fix it quickly. Determine whether you have a “fixed” or “rolling” door code As one security researcher recently discovered, many of the automatic garage door openers sold in the U.S. can be nearly instantly opened by an outdated child’s toy that costs less than $100. For doors with electronic codes that never change (fixed codes), this device can scan through the thousands of possible combinations nearly instantaneously, triggering your door to open just as if the burglar had used your own automatic opener. Newer doors with constantly-changing or rolling codes aren’t susceptible to this particular hack. While the thought of someone opening your door in such a manner can be unnerving, the solution is a fairly simple one — replace your door’s opening mechanism with one that has a rolling code. This will bring your door into the modern age and ensure that this type of hacking isn’t an option. If you’re not sure if your door has a fixed or rolling code, this information is usually available on the door manufacturer’s website. Invest in a remote garage door monitor The advent of wireless technology has given homeowners many more ways to ensure the physical security of their homes even while away. One application, the remote garage door monitor, can provide you with a live video feed of your garage and even open and close your garage door from anywhere with a wireless internet connection. You’ll need to have the...

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3 Great Tips For Revitalizing Your Garage Door’s Looks

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Great Tips For Revitalizing Your Garage Door’s Looks

Has it been a while since your garage door has wowed anyone? Perhaps it’s time to add some visual pizzazz to it with a fresh coat or two. Refreshing your garage door not only gives your home more curb appeal, but it also protects your door from the rough treatment the elements can dish out. However, repainting your garage door isn’t just a matter of slapping on a new coat of paint and calling it a day. These 3 great tips can help you rejuvenate your garage door’s appearance without turning it into a complete disaster. Always Get Rid of That Old Paint First You’d be surprised at the number of homeowners who decide to paint over chipped and peeling paint out of sheer convenience. Contrary to popular belief, laying a new layer of paint over an old layer won’t cover up its flaws, no matter how many coats you use. Not only does it leave your garage door with a less than professional appearance, but the new paint will simply chip and fall off along with the old paint underneath. Once that happens, your garage door’s looks will go from bad to worse. Before adding any new paint, scrape and sand away as much of the old layers as possible. Don’t forget to clean the resulting debris from your freshly sanded surfaces and make sure none of the debris falls into nearby pans or buckets of fresh paint or other freshly painted surfaces. Neutral Colors Always Work in a Pinch If you don’t have a particular paint scheme in mind, you can always stick with a neutral color such as beige, white or grey. These colors, along with off-white shades, work with practically any building color or material type, which is why most garage doors come in white or beige straight from the factory. In some cases, however, white or beige can make your garage door clash with the rest of your home d├ęcor. Fortunately, you can give your garage door a neutral appearance by painting it in a lighter or darker shade of your home’s main color. This way, your garage door won’t end up being the focal point for your home. Be Careful with Contrasting Colors If you want to use a non-neutral color for your garage door or if you want to bring out the various decorative elements in the door itself, a contrasting paint scheme is the way to go. However, you should be careful how you choose your contrasting paint. After all, you won’t want to use a color that causes your garage door to visually dominate the rest of your home. To keep your garage door from becoming your home’s focal point, it’s important to choose colors that, while providing contrast, also won’t cause your garage door to clash strongly with the rest of your home. Here are a few key points to keep in mind: For most garage doors, you’ll want to use a single contrasting color that visually complements your home’s main color scheme. A color wheel guide can help you choose one that offers the best complementary appearance for your home. Avoid painting the garage door with the same accent color used for the front door or shutters. However, feel free to paint the garage door trim in the same...

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5 Often-Overlooked Steel Garage Door Essentials You Need to Know

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Often-Overlooked Steel Garage Door Essentials You Need to Know

When considering a new garage door, you might be inclined to consider aesthetics and value over other important aspects. For example, did you know that insulation is an important feature to consider, especially if your garage is directly under a room in your house? Are you aware of what type of paint to use when painting your steel garage door, or how to clean a dirty steel garage door? Do you know what periodic maintenance may be necessary and how to secure your garage door against a potential break-in? Instead of feeling confused about the requirements of a steel garage door, keep the following particulars in mind: 1. Don’t Overlook the Importance of Insulation Many homeowners use their garage for working and other tasks, making insulation an important factor. Even if you do not use your garage for anything more than parking your vehicle, you might need to consider its insulating properties. Insulation is especially important for an attached garage, as hot or cold air may transfer to rooms directly above it. For this reason, check the garage door’s R-value rating. The R-value rating indicates the insulation value and energy efficiency of the garage door. In simple terms, garage doors with higher R-value ratings will insulate better. For instance, an R-value of R-12 may reduce the heat flow by 93%. This is generally in the mid-range of energy efficiency, and probably best for doors of thinner material or smaller garages. 2. Consider a Few Basics When Painting Your Steel Garage Door Are you considering painting your steel garage door? This is a doable task, although you should keep a few pointers in mind. It’s best to remove wax and rust by gently sanding the steel before you paint. Next, choose a good quality latex paint for your steel garage door. Latex paint is made to last and withstand the elements. If you were to paint your garage door with an oil-based paint, you may notice chipping and peeling over time, especially when exposed to moisture. Although using latex paint is a good choice, you might want to check your manufacturer’s warranty before you paint your garage door. In some cases, re-painting a steel garage door may void the warranty. 3. Clean Your Steel Garage Door Properly If your steel garage door has been pre-finished, it should be relatively easy to clean. Simply remove dirt and grime with warm water and a mild soap detergent. Be sure to rinse the soap residue thoroughly. After cleaning the door, apply a priming and finish coating for protection against peeling. 4. Inspect Your Steel Garage Door Regularly and Make Necessary Repairs For safety reasons, your garage door should be inspected visually for signs of damage. Check all springs and pulleys, as well as the garage door hinges. Hinges should be lubricated periodically to keep the operation running smoothly. Loose parts should be replaced or repaired at once; a qualified technician may be best for the job, as tension springs may cause serious injury if not handled properly. 5. Be Sure Your Garage Door is Secure Against Intruders While a reinforced steel garage door provides strength, you’ll want to do everything possible to secure it against intruders. If you prefer a garage door with windows, consider frosted windows, as this will make it difficult...

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