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Increasing Security in Your Garage

Steel Garage Door Rust Removal and Prevention

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Steel Garage Door Rust Removal and Prevention

If you have a steel garage door, then you may notice some of the enamel paint coming off the exterior. Enamel is typically quite durable and resistant to wear, but it will wear away over time. When this happens, you may see rust starting to build on the door. Thankfully, you can remove this rust, restore the door, and prevent future corrosion from forming. Keep reading to learn how to do this. Removing Rust and Painting the Door The first thing you will need to do when you notice the rust on your steel garage door is to remove it. The best way to do this is to use a rust-removing product. These products contain strong chemicals like phosphoric or hydrochloric acid to dissolve the rust. You will need to use protective gear that includes goggles, rubber gloves, and a respirator when working with these materials. If you do not want to work with these types of caustic acids, then choose an acid-free rust remover that uses selective chelation to remove the rust. This process allows compounds in the rust remover to bond to the rust on a molecular level so it releases from the garage door.  Apply whichever rust remover you desire to the rusty areas of your garage door. Use dish soap and hot water to clean the door afterwards. Look for any rust spots that remain and use a piece of 320 or 440 fine grit sandpaper to release the rust. Continue to lightly sand the rust-free door with the sandpaper to roughen the surface so that paint will adhere to it. Use a degreasing agent like trisodium phosphate to clean the door to make sure that oils from your skin and other foreign matter are removed from the metal. At this time, you will be almost ready to paint. First look to see if the garage door contains any small indentations or pot marks where the rust was removed. If so, purchase a high-build filler primer spray from your local home or automotive store. These products are typically sold for use on vehicle bodies that need to be smoothed out. Choose a white or gray variety so it does not show through after a top coat of paint is added. You will also need to purchase the top coat of paint. Opt for an enamel-based product or purchase a rust-prevention type of paint. Spray varieties are best for easy application. One or two coats of this paint will be needed over two coats of the primer.  Install a Seal The very bottom of your garage door is most susceptible to damage and corrosion as it hits the hard garage floor. The easiest way to prevent this type of damage, and the formation of rust, is to add a seal or lip on the bottom of the door. These products are typically flexible vinyl lips that can be added to the bottom edge of the garage door with the assistance of screws or adhesive materials. While screws may be ideal for vinyl or wood doors that are resistant to rust, they can open the steel door to corrosion. To prevent this, opt for an adhesive-applied seal or lip. Garage door seals can be purchased from your local home store. Just make sure to measure the length...

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Wooden Garage Door Considerations

Posted by on Dec 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wooden Garage Door Considerations

If you want a garage door that fits well with your home decor, then it may be a good idea to invest in a wooden garage door. While many people may shy away from these doors due to perceived durability issues, your doors can be strong and secure for years to come as long as you consider your options very carefully before you make your purchase. Keep reading to learn about a few things you should think about before you make your final garage door decision. Outdoor Weather Wooden garage doors come in a wide variety of options for you to choose from. While the appearance of the wood may be one of the main factors in choosing the garage door, you need to carefully think about the weather in your area before appearance is considered. In general, the amount of precipitation that your area typically receives should be considered. Humidity and water may cause your garage door to contract and constrict if you purchase a door made from a dry wood variety. If you live in an area that regularly sees between 30 and 180 inches of precipitation a year, like in the eastern United States, then you should think about buying a garage door made out of cedar or redwood. Both of these wood varieties contain a good deal of natural oils that keep them from being affected by wet weather conditions.  If you live in a dry area, like in the western part of the United States, then think about a wood variety that is drier and contains little or no oil. Since you will have a much wider variety of woods to choose from, then you also should pick out a wood variety that is considered hard and durable. Hickory, hard maple, white oak, beech, red oak, and yellow birch are a few examples of the hardest woods that you can pick. If you have children, pets, or overall concerns about damage, then hickory is your best option for a wooden garage door since it is one of the hardest woods that is also widely available in this country. Finishing Most garage door companies will offer both factory finished doors as well as unfinished doors. Unfinished doors are stained and sealed at your home. Typically, you and your garage door installation professional will be responsible for applying the stain and finish. Most garage doors cost between $1,235 and $2,756, and the addition of stains, hardware, and other accessories can increase the price by about $129. This means that an unfinished garage door can keep your costs down. However, wooden garage doors need to be sealed on all six sides to properly protect the wood. While it is not impossible to seal the door after it is secured, it may be easy to miss side and top sections when adding sealers on your own. Also, if you purchase your garage door when the weather is humid, it may take a good deal of time for stains and finishes to cure properly.  If you are not as worried about the small investment, then think about purchasing a finished wooden garage door. The factory will typically use oil based primers and paints and finish off the door with a UV protection material. Polyurethane sealers and thick varnishes will not be added to the door though. Since the...

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Automatic Garage Door Maintenance: 5 Mistakes You May Be Making

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Automatic Garage Door Maintenance: 5 Mistakes You May Be Making

It’s so easy to ignore your garage door until something goes wrong. However, to keep your automatic garage door in good condition, you need to provide routine maintenance that can prevent problems. Check out these five common mistakes you may be making with your automatic garage door maintenance. Neglecting Routine Tests If you park in the garage, you may open and close your garage every day, but that doesn’t mean you’re paying attention. As long as the door opens, you’re set. However, even if your garage door appears to be in perfect working condition, you should perform routine tests on it about once a year. This allows you to spot any concerns or problems you may not have noticed. During the test, open and close the door a few times like normal, but as you do so, pay attention. Look for any uneven movement, shaking or strange sounds, which indicate something is wrong. Using the Wrong Lubrication One of the most basic steps in automatic garage door maintenance is to keep the moving parts lubricated, so if you do that, great. However, if you notice that the moving parts are collecting gunk or that they not moving well, you may be using the wrong lubrication. The best kind of lubrication is aerosol spray, not grease. Aerosol spray is light, non-sticky, and it can penetrate further than grease. Grease is a mess, and it only makes things worse because it collects dust and debris, which makes the moving parts sluggish. Attempting to Replace Springs Yourself There are two types of garage door springs: torsion and extension. Like any part of the garage door, these springs can become worn, broken or loose. However, you should not attempt to replace them yourself. There’s a lot of pressure behind those springs. Safety cables are designed to prevent extension springs from flying off when you try to remove them, and a safety bar prevents torsion springs from doing the same. However, if the cable or bar fails or is broken, you could cause serious injury or even death. Plus, to remove extension springs, you have to remove the cables, which automatically puts you at risk. Failing to Routinely Test the Sensors One piece of garage door maintenance that is commonly ignored is sensor testing. The sensors prevent the door from closing if something is in the way. So if a bike is lying in the path, the sensors sense it, and the door opens before it crushes the bike. When you perform your routine test, try testing the sensors to make sure they are still adjusted correctly. The goal is to get the door to re-open the moment it touches something. If you set the sensor so it’s too sensitive, however, it may cause the door to reopen if it senses the smallest item, such as a leaf in the track. Forgetting to Clean the Tracks and Rollers If you spot a bit of dirt on the front of your garage door, you probably quickly wash it to keep your home looking beautiful. However, when you do clean your garage door, do you forget to check the tracks and rollers? Leaves, sticks and other types of debris can collect in the tracks. If your door doesn’t open or close smoothly or if one side...

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3 Perks You Might Enjoy By Replacing Your Garage Door Opener

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Perks You Might Enjoy By Replacing Your Garage Door Opener

If you are like most homeowners, you might assume that there isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to the world of garage door openers. When your system finally bites the dust, you might be tempted to head to the home improvement store and pick up a cheap replacement—without exploring systems with better features. However, garage door openers have come a long way in recent years. Here are three perks you might enjoy by replacing your garage door opener with a newer version: 1: A Little Extra Time When you are in a hurry, it might be hard to sit there and wait for your garage door to open. You might need to hit the bathroom, get inside to escape a rainstorm, or deliver a screaming child to his crib—while that garage door takes its sweet time. A slow garage door can even cause problems when you leave the house. If you are concerned about keeping strangers from peering into your garage, you might try to block the view of your garage with your car while your door slowly closes. Fortunately, garage door openers today can help you to speed up the process. While the average speed of most garage door openers is around 7 inches of lift or drop per second, newer models can move twice as quickly. To put those numbers into perspective, if you have a garage door that is 15 feet high, it might take as long as 25 seconds to open or close your garage door. However, with a newer model, you might be able to get in or out in as little as 12.5 seconds. Quicker garage door openers are also helpful for drivers who tend to be impatient about pulling into the garage. If your spouse or teenager decides to pull in before that door is all the way open, they might bend garage door panels or break your door altogether. However, a faster opener might help that door to get out of the way.  2: Storage Space If you use your garage to store things like holiday decorations, power tools, and gardening equipment, you might have some pretty strong feelings about that bulky, ceiling-mounted garage door opener. In addition to looking terrible and being difficult to access, that garage door opener might make it hard to store overhead racks or bikes. However, some manufacturers offer wall or side mount garage door openers, which are attached to the side wall of your garage. Apart from being installed in a different place, side mount garage door openers work just like regular units. The control mechanism is attached to your garage door torsion bar to open and close your door. In addition to freeing up ceiling storage space, wall mounted garage door openers also make it easy to program your garage door. If you need to change your garage door code or program a new remote, you might have easy access to that “learn” button, instead of pulling out that rickety ladder and running back and forth to your keypad. 3: Troubleshooting Help Once your garage door starts making noise, you might find yourself devoting an entire Saturday to greasing tracks, trying to diagnose strange sounds, and resetting your system. Unfortunately, unless you moonlight as a garage door contractor, it might seem impossible...

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5 Reasons Your Automatic Garage Door Won’t Open Or Close

Posted by on Nov 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Reasons Your Automatic Garage Door Won’t Open Or Close

Automatic garage doors are a great invention, but just like any machine, they can break. If your garage door won’t open or close, it isn’t very useful, so check out these five reasons your automatic garage door won’t open and what you should do. The Sensor Is not Property Aligned If your automatic garage door won’t shut, there may be something wrong with the sensor. Automatic garage doors have electronic eyes that shoot an invisible beam across the garage door to each other. If something is in the way, the beam won’t reach the other side, and the door won’t shut. If the electronic eyes are dirty or misaligned, the beam may not reach its destination. Use a cloth to clean any dirt from the eye. If that doesn’t fix the problem, check to see if the eyes are pointed at each other. The eyes should be mounted on thin metal that can easily become bent. Bend this piece of metal while testing the door until it closes. The Wires Are Loose In some cases, you may have a loose wire that is preventing the door from opening or closing. Start by identifying the wires coming out of the control box on the ceiling. These wires run to different areas, including the manual switch and the electronic eyes. To test if the wires are loose, wiggle each one a few inches away from the connection points while testing the door. The loose wire should work when you wiggle it. To fix the loose wire, turn off the power to the garage door and tighten the wire with a screwdriver. A Spring Is Broken One of the most common reasons your door won’t open is there is something wrong with the springs. Garage doors have either extension or torsion springs. Extension springs run above the garage door tracks on the ceiling. Torsion springs run parallel to the top of the closed garage door. Torsion springs are more durable and last longer than extension springs, but both eventually wear down. They may break, snap or become loose. As a result, your garage door loses the counterweight needed to open. To fix a broken spring, call a professional. Attempting to fix it on your own could cause serious injury or damage. One or More Gears Are Stripped If your garage door makes an unusual humming noise when you try to open or close it, there may be one or more stripped gears. If your garage door was installed by a skilled professional, you shouldn’t see this problem because stripped gears usually occur when the door is too heavy for the opener. Unskilled garage door technicians or do-it-yourselfers, however, may install a garage door opener that just isn’t strong enough. You can just replace the stripped gears, but if your garage door really is too heavy for the opener, it’s best to just replace the opener or you’re going to have the same problem again soon. The Tracks Are Warped One last reason your garage door may not open is there is something wrong with the tracks. It may be something as simple as there is a lot of debris inside the tracks. However, the tracks may become warped or misaligned. In cold weather, metal contracts, so your metal tracks may shrink, making...

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Garage Door Opener Stolen? Take Steps To Protect Your Home

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Garage Door Opener Stolen? Take Steps To Protect Your Home

If someone breaks into your car and steals your garage door opener, take steps to protect your home now. Recently, a number of homeowners in different states, such as Colorado, experienced home invasions after someone stole their garage door openers. The thieves use the openers to enter and vandalize homes during the day. If you don’t take precautions now by changing out your garage door opener or installing protective features on your garage door, you can experience theft and vandalism as well. Here’s how you protect your home. Clean the Codes From the Main Motor It’s essential that you remove all codes from your garage door’s main motor to keep thieves from accessing your garage. The main motor sends out signals to your stolen garage door opener. If thieves walk by your property or hide somewhere on your property, they can open the garage when you leave home.  It’s also possible for the thieves to use your garage door opener to obtain new access codes from your main motor. The thieves use special technology to hack into the garage door’s motor through the opener. In most cases, the thieves can obtain a new code within 10 seconds or less of trying. Wiping the motor clean prevents thieves from changing your old code and obtaining a new one. Here’s how you do it: Locate the garage door’s main motor, which is located on the long arm attached to the door and ceiling. Use a step ladder to reach the motor. Find the “learn” indicator button on the motor’s control system. The button appears a bright green or yellowish-green color when lit. Place your index finger on the button, then press and hold it for about six seconds. Release the button once the light goes out. You successfully wiped clean your garage door’s main motor and protected your home from vandalism and theft. Use an Advanced Garage Door Opener When you’re ready to replace your stolen garage door opener, contact a garage door installation specialist for services. Although you can find replacement openers on the Internet, you need to use a device that thieves can’t use, steal or hack into easily. You also need a device that’s compatible with the main motor, or else it won’t open up the door properly or safely. You need an advanced garage door opener. Advanced garage door openers come with unique features that block hackers from changing their codes. Features, such as lockout security codes, only allow you to change the codes to your opener through a private pin number and access key code. You choose a unique pin or access key code that only you know. Some advanced garage door openers are small enough to place in your purse or pocket. By keeping your opener in these locations, you reduce the chances of someone stealing it. You can also replace your current main motor with an advanced device that’s only compatible with your new opener for added protection. The motor features a lockout system that senses when someone attempts to change or override your unique pin or access key code. If a hacker manages to steal your new garage door opener, they still can’t use it to enter and vandalize your house. A garage door installation contractor can help you find the best openers...

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Install An Insulated Garage Door Instead Of Replacing A Single Panel

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Install An Insulated Garage Door Instead Of Replacing A Single Panel

Most garage door repairs are affordable, with the average cost of a repair running homeowners between $200 and $300, according to Home Improvement Educator. This range, however, is brought down by simple fixes that don’t cost much, like realigning sensors and adjusting automatic openers. Some repairs, particularly replacing broken garage door panels, cost a lot more. If you have a garage door panel that needs to be replaced, consider having your entire garage door replaced with an insulated garage door instead of replacing the one panel. Replacing a panel is expensive Minor dings and dents in a garage door panel can often be fixed without replacing the panel. If a garage door panel has seriously been damaged, though, it will need to be replaced. Even though a single panel can be replaced, installing just one panel is still a pricey proposition. Home Improvement Educator reports the following costs for installing garage door panels: 9-foot panels cost between $250 and $500 16-foot panels run from $400 to $700 designer and custom panels can reach $1,000 or more Installing an insulated garage door costs only a little more Having an insulated garage door installed will cost a more than replacing one panel, but the price difference may be minimal. Angie’s List reports that a double-walled steel garage door that measures 16 feet wide costs between $750 and $3,500. An insulated composite wood door of the same size usually runs between $1,200 and $2,200 installed. Although a new door costs more than replacing one panel, the cost of an insulated steel or composite wood garage door is comparable to the price of replacing several panels. For instance, if your garage door has four panels and each one of them needs to be replaced at some time, you’ll spend between $1,600 and $2,800 in total replacing them.  That is well within the price range for an insulated steel garage door, and it’s on the high end of the range for a composite wood door. If your garage door is older and worn, it may not be worth investing $400 to $700 in a new panel. You might be better off purchasing a brand new, insulated door that will last longer than your current door will. Insulated garage doors reduce energy costs The price difference between a single panel and an insulated door becomes even smaller over time, because an insulated garage door will reduce your home’s energy costs. Even if you don’t heat your garage, energy is still lost through it. In the coming cold months of winter, heat will escape through your garage’s door. By protecting against heat loss, an insulated garage door will save you money on your utility bills each month. The savings may seem small when compared to the cost of installing a door. Over the life of the door, though, they’ll add up to be a significant sum. Of course, an insulated garage door will also help reduce your utility bills next summer if you live in a hot climate. It’ll help keep your garage cool, so heat from your garage doesn’t warm up the rest of your house. How much an insulated garage door reduces your air conditioning costs in summer will depend on what direction your garage faces. If your garage door looks south or west,...

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Tips To Help You Restore The Hardware On Your Old Garage Door

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Help You Restore The Hardware On Your Old Garage Door

When your home’s garage has survived nearly a century or more, it deserves to be restored and its history saved. Restoring your garage to its former glory can also preserve the quality materials and workmanship in its built-to-last design. Here are tips you can use to help you restore the garage door’s hardware while renovating your old garage door. Disassemble Door Hardware and Clean Rollers The first step to restoring your garage door is to remove it from its roller tracks and disassemble all the hardware. The rollers can become clogged with old grease and dirt and the hardware can become covered in several layers of paint or rust, so each piece will need to be cleaned.  First, clean and degrease the garage door rollers. Spray a degreaser all over the surface of each roller, making sure to let the degreaser get into all moving parts. Wipe off the degreaser and old grease with a cloth until all the rollers are free of oil and dirt. Next, spray white lithium grease onto each of the rollers, making sure it gets into all moving parts. Remove Paint From the Hardware One of the easiest ways to clean off hardware is by soaking them in a crock pot full of water overnight. Place them in the crock pot, cover them with water, turn it on, and let it simmer. You may need several crock pots to fit all your hinges and brackets. Make sure to use a crock pot that will no longer be used for cooking food, because lead from the old paint can leach into the crock pot’s cooking surface, making it dangerous for cooking food. The next day, use a wire brush to clean the paint layers from the metal hardware. The paint should peel and lift off the metal hardware after soaking.  For cleaning paint and rust from off larger hardware or garage door rails, you will need to use metal paint stripper. Using a brush while wearing gloves and a long-sleeved shirt, paint a thick layer of metal paint stripper onto the surface of the paint. Once the paint stripper begins to bubble, use steel wool to wipe the paint away. Then, you can use a paint brush and lacquer thinner to wipe the hardware pieces clean. Allow the surface of the hardware to dry, then brush off any remaining flakes of paint or debris with a metal brush, scraper, or sandpaper. The primer and paint won’t adhere properly if there are any old paint particles remaining. Prime the Hardware After all the paint has been removed from the hardware, you need to prime any ferrous metal surfaces with red oxide primer. Red oxide primer protects your layer of ferrous metals from corrosion and rust due to moisture. If you are not sure if the metal is ferrous, or contains iron, test to see if it attracts a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the metal, it is ferrous and will need oxide primer. Also, if the surface of your hardware already contains spots of rust, the primer will coat and stop the rust from further corroding the hardware.  Make sure you apply two coats of primer, making sure the primer is dry to the touch before applying the second coat. This can take up to two hours, depending on the humidity in your work area and the type of oxide primer you are...

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