3 Garage Door Repair Myths Busted
Garage doors can be very deceptive. They can last for decades, which might make you think that you’ll never need a garage door repair. They are also very easy to operate, even when opening and closing them manually, which can lead you to believe they are always easy to handle.
Unfortunately, those deceptive characteristics of garage door have led to many myths about repairing them. Myths that, at best, can end up costing you more to repair and, at worst, cause you serious injury.
Don’t Believe These Garage Door Repair Myths
Even if you are a committed DIY repair person, and you’re handy around the house, the vast majority of garage door repairs should be handled by professionals. This is both for your personal safety and to save you money.
1. The Garage Door Isn’t Complicated, So it Should be Easy to Repair
How complicated can it be? The opener pulls it up, lowers it and that’s about all. But, for it all that to happen consistently, day after day, there is a complex system of springs, cables, rollers, bearings and hinged panels that must work in perfect balance. The result? There is probably no non-mechanized part of your home that is more complicated to repair than your garage door.
2. OK, It’s Complex, but That’s Just a Squeak
OK. Let’s say you notice the rollers are making a lot of noise along the track. So you put some oil in the roller tracks. You’ve just made the problem worse. Dirt and debris will cling to the oil in the tracks. But that’s not the worst problem. The added friction of the gummed-up tracks can cause your garage door to go out of balance. Now you have a real problem. A costly one. So even repairing a garage door squeak isn’t necessarily easy.
3. One of the Springs Broke, So I Only Need to Replace One Spring
First, replacing a door spring can be very dangerous and should only be done by a professional. But when a garage door repair person tells you to replace both springs, take their advice. The springs help keep your door balanced. As they age, they can stretch and weaken. If you replace only one spring, the new one will be stronger. The difference between the performance of the new spring versus the old spring can put your door out of balance.
Yes, there are some garage door repairs that you can do yourself. The hinges between the panels are lubricated in much the same way as any door hinge. If you’re not sure about repairing your garage door, call us at Markham Garage Doors or fill out our online contact form, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
3 Money-Saving Reasons to Check Your Garage Door Seals
Your garage door seals and weatherstripping are one of those things that you don’t think about twice. You mostly see the rubber strip on the bottom of the door (it’s called a rubber astragal!) and think that it’s nice that the garage door maker decided to put it there.
But the rubber astragal, the weather stripping around the garage door frame and the seals between the panels of your doors play a very important role in the function of your door. A role that can save you lots of money.
Why You Should Check Your Garage Door Seals and Weather Stripping
With your hard-earned dollars on the line, let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should check the seals and weather stripping on your garage door to make sure they’re doing their job.
Stop Garage Door Leaks
This summer has been as wet as it has been hot. Those downpours, blowing hard against your garage door, can cause the door to leak if the seals aren’t doing their job. Unfortunately, most garages aren’t well ventilated. Any water that gets in may not evaporate quickly. When it stays around, it can become home to mold and mildew growth.
Insulate Against the Heat & Cold
We’re not sure how much more hot weather we’ll get this year. But we’re sure that winter’s coming. Damaged, cracked or warped seals and weather stripping let more cold into your garage. And then it can get into your home, increasing your heating costs and decreasing the lifespan of your furnace.
Keep Out Critters
A solid seal all around your garage door helps to keep many insects and small animals from getting into your garage. As the weather cools, everyone’s looking for a warmer place to hang out.
Even if your seals and weather stripping are in good shape without any gaps to the outside, you should lubricate them at least once a year with a silicone based lubricant. Contact us here at Markham Garage Doors to learn more.
3 Choices for Garage Flooring
Your garage floor must at the top of the charts of “most neglected parts of your home that is used daily”. But garage flooring options can change all that relatively quickly.
One of the reasons that garage floors are so neglected in that they are bare concrete. Like the floor of an unfinished basement, when it’s left bare. We tend to not worry if paint or anything else spills on it.
But, if you choose one of the options below. Suddenly your garage floor and the rest of your garage will look great and be worthy of more attention. And considering all of the options for using the space in your garage. It could be the start of a complete makeover.
Garage Flooring Options
Here are the three basic options for garage flooring, starting with the easiest to do.
1. Paint It
Sounds easy enough, and it is if you get the right paint. Regular wall paint does not have the durability to withstand floor traffic. Concrete-specific paint is designed to be absorbed into the concrete for a longer lasting bond. If your garage floor is very smooth and/or it’s been coated with a sealant or varnish, you may need to do some grinding for the paint to adhere properly.
2. Apply a Coating
Often considered ‘floor paint’, floor coatings made of epoxy, polyurea, and polycuramine are really more of a sealant and coating made with different compounds than those found in regular paint. Epoxy, the best-known coating, is the least expensive and easiest to apply. Garage floor coatings are available in a wide variety of colors and textures to give you more options for the look of the floor too.
3. Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
Just like in the kitchen or bathroom, ceramic tile can stand up to just about anything in your garage. But be prepared to do some floor leveling first, especially if there is a drain in the middle of your garage floor.
With your floor looking fine, you can start considering finishing the walls turning it into something you never thought your garage could be.
10 Fun Facts About Garage Doors & Garage Door Openers
You’ve probably never thought of your garage door or garage door opener as particularly ‘fun’ things. But, considering that you likely use your garage door and opener every day, we thought we’d dig up a few fun and interesting garage facts for your reading pleasure.
1. What is a ‘Garage’
The word ‘garage’ didn’t enter the English language until 1902. It comes from the French word ‘garer’, which means ‘shelter’. The name came into use when homes began to be built with garages for motor cars. Previously, the term used for a place to store your vehicles was ‘carriage house’ to reflect their use for horse-drawn carriages. In fact, ‘motor house’ was briefly used in England before ‘garage’ became common.
2. The Oldest Existing Garage
A motor house in Southport, Lancashire, UK is thought to be the oldest garage still in existence. It appeared in an issue of ‘The Autocar’ in October 1899.
3. The Main Entrance
Over 70% of families in homes that have a garage use it as the primary entrance to the home instead of one of the main entrance doors. This fact underlines the importance of the security of your garage as a way to keep intruders out of the home.
4. He Invented the Overhead Garage Door and the Garage Door Opener
The overhead garage door, versus swing-out carriage-style doors, was co-invented by C.G. Johnson in 1921 and he demonstrated it at the 1923 New York Automobile Show.
Interestingly, Johnson is also credited with developing the first garage door opener, which he did after he became frustrated by having to open the door manually every time he came home.
5. Garage Bands
Among many others, The Beatles, Nirvana, and Metallica all began as garage bands. Canadian rock icons The Tragically Hip famously appeared as a garage band in an episode of the TV series Corner Gas.
6. A Good-Quality Garage Door can Increase the Value of Your Home by up to 4%
Think about it. The February 2018 average price of a detached home in Markham was $1,253,188. If you manage to get the full 4% boost in value from your garage door, that’s over $50,000!
7. DC is Quieter
One of the choices you have to make when buying a garage door opener is whether to an AC or DC motor. DC motors are quieter.
8. ‘Intelligent’ Since 2014
Leading garage door opener manufacturer Liftmaster introduced its MyQ(r) technology on its openers in 2014. Its internet connectivity means you can open and close your door with your smartphone, tablet or notebook computer from anywhere that you can connect to the internet. You can also get email and text alerts if you forget to close your door or if someone is trying to open the door.
9. A Growing Part of Your Home
Early garages were just big enough to house a single automobile of the day. As cars grew in size, and two- and three-car families became more common, garages grew too. In 1915, the average garage accounted for only about 8% of the square footage of a home. Today, the average garage accounts for about 45% of a home’s square footage. That’s almost half the footprint of your home!
10. A Great Place to Start a Business
Among the many companies that started in a garage are Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Harley Davidson, Hewlett-Packard, Lotus Cars and Maglite.
So now that you know a thing or two about garage doors and openers, including how valuable they can be when it’s time to sell, call us here at Markham Garage Doors to install a new door or repair and maintain the one you have.
What Can You Get When You Get a New Garage Door?
Have you ever been in your garage with the door closed and heard someone pull up in a car outside? It might be someone you’ve been waiting for all day, or it might be your neighbor who you don’t really want to see right now. Do you risk opening the door to find out, potentially betraying your location to your neighbor?
What if there was a window in your garage door? Then your problem would be solved, you could check things out without risk.
Interestingly, while garage door windows can make the garage brighter, and other options available in new doors can deliver other benefits, many homeowners opt to replace their garage doors with a new one that’s much the same as the old one.
“It’s funny, but the new door has been lifechanging.”
If the idea that a new garage door can be ‘lifechanging’ seems a little over the top, it’s a quote from a homeowner who installed a new garage door made by Clopay, one of the great brands that we offer here at Markham Garage Doors.
When the homeowner approached his garage door dealer, he initially asked for a door that was a similar color and style as his old one, except he was planning to get an insulated version.
Fortunately, his dealer convinced him to consider some options. After discovering a wide variety of different designs, the homeowner’s venture into the ‘unknown’ of what’s possible for his garage door took its first step when he chose a carriage-style door.
Before it was all over, the homeowner opted for an insulated steel door, in black to contrast the home’s exterior color.
“When we arrive home each day, it really makes a nice difference.”
You’ll never know what’s possible in a new garage door until you start investigating. Your first step should be to call us here at Markham Garage Door where we can show you the great designs from Clopay and many other leading manufacturers. You never know, getting a new garage door might be lifechanging!
4 Common Questions from Our Customers About Garage Doors
We love it when customers ask questions. We figure the more they know, the better they’ll be able to find the right garage door, opener and company to install them. And we all know who that is!
We get lots of FAQ-style questions, like ‘what does a garage door cost?’ and ‘how quickly can you install a garage door?’ (Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is: ‘it depends’. First on which door you want to install, and second on the situation of your garage, although doors can generally be installed in half a day if the door you want is in stock.)
The questions we get from people who have owned their door for a while are a little different. They might have a problem with the door or opener and they’re not sure how serious it is or, they might want to save money by repairing the door themselves.
The questions below are more from people who already have a door. It’s not like we hear these ‘frequently’, but we hear them a lot and we thought other homeowners would be interested in the answers.
1. Can my garage door be fixed or should I install a new one?
While we’ll need to see the door and the problem to give you an accurate answer, the most common garage door problem is that the door doesn’t open and/or close smoothly or easily. If that sounds like the problem you’re having, the cause is usually the torsion spring on the door, which can be repaired or replaced without needing to install a new door.
Generally speaking, unless it’s a catastrophic problem like a car drove into the door, garage doors can be fixed before they need replacement.
2. Can I fix the garage door myself?
Yes, you can, and we carry a huge selection of parts that are in stock and ready to go, at excellent prices. And we’re happy to answer any questions you have about fixing your door. Many fixes for your garage door can be surprisingly easy, especially if you’re particularly handy with DIY repairs. But, getting back to one of the most common problems, the torsion spring that balances the door, we recommend that a trained specialist fix or replace them. Torsion springs are under a lot of pressure. Fixing, adjusting or replacing them requires special tools and techniques to get the tension just right so your garage door can open and close properly. Without the right precautions, the door could close suddenly, potentially injuring someone or damaging the door.
3. Can I paint my garage door?
Another yes. While new garage doors are designed to keep looking good with only occasional cleaning, they are a large part of the overall appearance of your home. They can be painted if you want to try a new look or freshen up the old one. Depending on what material your door is made of; vinyl, aluminum or steel, you’ll need to use the type of paint best suited for that material. Wooden doors can be refinished or painted.
4. What’s the strongest garage door?
The strongest, commonly available garage doors are made with heavy-duty, 24-gauge steel. Wooden doors are also very strong, followed by wood composite, aluminum and fiberglass doors. Insulated doors are stronger than non-insulated doors and you may be able to buy an insulation kit for your existing door if it’s uninsulated.
These are just a few of the questions you might have about your garage door. Don’t forget, if you have any others, we love answering them, so just give us a call and ask, or fill out our online form and someone will be in touch!
Why You Should Call a Pro if Your Garage Door Doesn’t Open or Close Properly
While there are lots of reasons why your garage door might not open and close properly, if you eliminate reasons due to the garage door opener, like blocked or misaligned photo eyes, or a stripped gear, then the issue very likely involves the garage door spring(s).
If you have a manual door, you should be able to open and close the door relatively easily. If not, and there are no other obvious problems, like a blocked runner, then the problem will be with the spring(s).
If you suspect there’s a problem with your garage door spring, we strongly recommend you call a trained, professional repair person to fix the problem. Yes, we’re a garage door company and our technicians know how to repair all types of spring problems, but we’re not making this recommendation just to get more business. We’re making it because of the serious and expensive consequences of trying to repair springs yourself.
1. Personal Injury
Even single garage doors are heavy. The spring is under tension to help you or the opener easily open and close the door. The tension needed to properly balance the door is very high. If you don’t have any experience or training in adjusting torsion springs or the right tools for the job, then you risk serious personal injury by trying to adjust or repair the spring.
2. Cause More Damage
Even if you manage to adjust the spring without hurting yourself, proper adjustment can be tricky. You may eliminate the problem that you had but unintentionally create another problem. If your door was opening slowly and you adjusted the spring to compensate, it might not close properly now. And you might not realize that you’ve created the other problem. The consequence? Your garage door opener must work harder to close the door and it will need to be repaired or replaced sooner than later.
In the end, adjusting a garage door’s torsion spring by yourself is simply not worth the risk or potential cost, especially when you realize that hiring a professional to do the job is less expensive than you think. If your garage door needs service or repair, call the experts at Markham Garage Doors, or fill out our contact form to request service!
5 Tips for Planning a Great Garage Sale
There might not be a better way to do so many cool things at once. Garage sales give you the opportunity to declutter your home, reconnect with neighbors and friends and either pocket a bit of extra cash or raise some funds for a favorite cause or charity.
While you’ll probably not have your garage sale until the weather really warms up, now is the best time to start planning for it.
And that’s the first tip: start now and don’t wait for the night before, to plan your garage sale. Here are a few other tips to make your sale more successful.
1. Pick A Date
Break out the calendar and pick a date that suits your schedule. Too often we say we’ll have the sale, but it never happens because other plans come up.
2. Talk to Neighbours
Chances are that your neighbours want to get rid of some stuff too. More garage sale shoppers are attracted to a number of sales in the area – or a street sale – instead of a single sale.
3. Do an Inventory
You probably don’t have all the things that you want to get rid of sitting in one neat place. Over the next few weeks, start looking for and collecting items for the sale. Ask friends and family if you could sell anything for them.
4. Plan Your Promotions
Start looking around for all the local community publications and websites, particularly those that offer specific places to promote garage sales. If you use social media, start spreading the word on them as soon as you have details.
5. Create Your Signage
Signs around the neighbour and community are a great way to build interest. Before the sale, your signs can encourage others to also have a garage sale the same day as yours.
There was one more advantage that we haven’t yet mentioned about holding a garage sale: it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
Contact Markham Garage Doors
Markham Garage Doors provides new garage doors and openers, as well as service and repair in Markham and the surrounding communities. To learn more, contact us today!
5 Ways to Maximize the Storage Space in Your Garage
Garages are for cars. But, judging by what you find inside most of them, garages are the place for anything but the car. Especially if you have kids, you have a lot of ‘stuff’, and anything that doesn’t have a place or is too big for your home, gets tossed in the garage.
Not that there’s anything wrong with your garage playing that role in your home. It’s just that, in the act of tossing the stuff, garages can quickly become unorganized stacks of random items, fill up far faster than they should and never be a place where you can find anything fast.
If you want to better use the space in your garage for storage, try some of the following helpful tips.
1. Add Shelving
Yes, you probably thought of this one, or you already have a shelf or two. But think about using space that isn’t usually used for shelving. Like between the vehicles in a two-car garage. In any case, shelving helps you get more usable space without taking up more floor space.
2. Build a Shelf Bay
Many urban garages, or those on older homes, have barely enough room to squeeze in a car. You can build a large shelf bay at the far end of your garage such that the front of your car fits underneath it and all the space above it becomes storage space.
3. Install Slat Walls
These are similar to what’s used in many retail stores, particularly shoe and sports equipment stores, to display products on a wall. Hooks and shelving slide into the wall slats at any level on the wall, giving you flexible, floor-to-ceiling options for storage.
4. Use Pegboard
Talk about versatility, pegboard lets you hang tools, clothing, equipment – anything that can hang on a hook – anywhere on your wall.
5. Put Up Cabinets
This one is for the ultimate in a well-organized garage. Whether you use custom cabinetry built to fit perfectly in your garage, or just install a standard set, cabinetry not only gives you more places to store your things, but it lets you close the cabinet door so you don’t have to see all the clutter.
You probably have a lot more space in your garage than you think. You just have to use it better to have a great place to store your stuff.
7 Tips for Converting Your Garage into Your Winter Storage Unit
While the weather here in Markham continues to be summer-like well into September, the winter will no doubt return. When it does, your garage becomes the place to store a number of things that may have been kept elsewhere for the summer. From your patio furniture to your classic car, those things have spent most or all of the summer outside, but they need to be stored and protected from the snow, ice and colder temperatures of winter.
It means that at some point between now and when the first snow flies, you’ll need to get all that stuff into your garage. It’s not usually a chore you look forward to, but by doing some planning and starting sooner (even now when temperatures are still warm) you can make it an easier job.
1. Do a “Needs Assessment”
In other words, before you begin to set-up the garage for storage, it helps to know exactly what you’ll be putting away. It might seem like a no-brainer, but when you actually make a list, you’ll be surprised at what you hadn’t thought of, and you’ll get a better idea of where to put things and maximize your space.
2. Put Together a Storage Plan
Once you have a good idea of what needs to go in, you can start planning where and how to store them. Make note of your shelving and overhead storage options and possibilities. Having lots of both will help you use more of the space in your garage (versus throwing everything on the floor). Visit your local hardware store or garage door dealer and ask about storage options. There’s always some new storage idea or products, especially for garages, that can really make a difference.
3. A Place for Everything
As part of your planning, try to find practical places for everything. You’re going to need your snow blower and shovels, so put them close to the door. Garden furniture that you won’t need until next spring can go deeper in the garage and even be used as ‘shelving’ for other items.
4. Plan for Safe Access
Even the best plans have their flaws and at some point over the winter, you’re going to need something that’s ‘buried’ somewhere in your garage. The danger lies in stretching over or around other items and in the potential of something from overhead falling on you or your belongings. Make sure shelves are secured to walls and try to store heavier items closer to the ground or otherwise in ways that they cannot fall. Try also to layout your storage so you can have relatively easy access to all your stored items.
5. Keep Your Garage Door Clear
While it’s tempting, packing items against the back of a garage door can end up damaging the items and/or the door. With some types of doors, support cables need room to travel and any items that are too close can be damaged by the cables, or the operation of the door can be affected. Also, the photo eyes that control the door might be blocked or bumped by things you store nearby, which can affect how your garage door operates.
6. Clean and Organize
One of the best ways to get as much storage space out of your garage a possible is to get rid of and/or organize all the stuff you’ve accumulated since spring cleaning. Whether it’s used paint cans or new toys, plan to put them in the right spots. Once you’ve opened up as much space as possible, giving your garage a thorough cleaning, including oil spots on the floor, will make it easier to pack the garage and have it feel less cluttered.
7. Prepare Your Stuff for Storage
From getting vehicles ready for a long period of inactivity, to having covers and/or boxes ready for furniture and other items, the more you do to properly prepare your belongings for storage, the better they’ll be when it comes time to bring them out again next spring.
It might not seem to make sense to add to your list of things-to-do when it comes time to store stuff in your garage for winter, but the payoff in added space, more protection for your things and a safer garage is more than worth it.
Protect your garage door from the effects of cold winter weather and temperatures with our professional inspection, maintenance, and winterizing services. To ensure that your garage door provides the functionality, protection, and energy efficiency that you want and need throughout the winter, call the specialists at Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to book your service visit as soon as possible.