3 Garage Door Repair Myths Busted

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 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 o 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!

3 Answers to the Most Common Garage Door Questions

When you’ve been in any business for some time, you notice that your customers ask certain questions more often than others. And the garage door business is no exception.

In fact, considering that the garage door is the largest moving part of a home, and accounts for up to 40% of its frontage, few homeowners really know much about them. That’s because a well-installed garage door generally works trouble-free for many years (although you’ll extend the life of your door, and have fewer problems if you follow these regular maintenance tips.)

So our customers ask us lots of questions. And we love to answer them. Here are just some of the most common garage door questions we get and their answers.

1. My door isn’t working properly, is it broken?

While it’s impossible to tell exactly what’s wrong the door without inspection, when the door doesn’t open and close smoothly, it’s usually due to a problem with the garage door spring. The spring balances the door so it that it opens and closes easily. If the spring isn’t adjusted properly or it actually breaks, it can mean difficulty opening the door, the door closing too quickly or the door not being able to be opened at all.

2. Can I refinish my garage door?

Again, considering it accounts for so much of the overall look of a house, it’s helpful to be able to paint the door as part of a new look for the exterior of your home. Yes, you can refinish your door, but you need to pay attention to what the door is made of, which could be steel, fiberglass, aluminum, wood or a wood composite. Use the best painting practices for the materials of your door.

3. What material makes the strongest garage doors?

The strongest garage doors are made from heavy-duty 24-gauge steel. Wood composite doors are also very strong, followed by wood fiberglass and aluminum doors.

As we said, we love to answer garage door questions. If you have any, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at Markham Garage Doors, we’ll give you straight answers.

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.

3 Tips to Maintain A New Asphalt Driveway

Spring is almost here and, while it’s usually a time full of anticipation of getting outside again to enjoy your yard, you could be in for a shock when you see your driveway after the ravages of winter.

The temperatures in and around Markham this winter fluctuated above and below freezing a lot. While that means we really didn’t suffer through ongoing months of really cold temperatures, the repeated freeze-thaw cycles can damage your driveway.

Moisture from melted snow gets into even the tiniest crack or opening in the driveway, but it won’t drain further if the ground below is frozen. When the surface temperatures freeze too, the moisture expands into ice which can open up the cracks. And any moisture that did get below the surface of the driveway can cause the driveway to buckle when it freezes again.

A bumpy and cracked driveway not only looks bad, but it can be a safety hazard for your family and visitors.

If you decide to repave your driveway this year, it’s important to remember that keeping it well-maintained and looking good for a long time starts as soon as its construction is finished.

Here are just some to the things you should do after you install new asphalt driveway.

1. Don’t Drive or Park On It

The period immediately following installation is crucial. The asphalt needs at least a few days to harden. If you drive or park on it during this time, you could mar the beautiful finish or cause depressions in the surface.

2. Beware of Hot Temperatures

If you repave the driveway in the heat of summer, be very careful about using it in any way for at least a week. Depending on the temperatures, this even includes walking on it, which can damage the finish, or putting things like patio furniture on it, which can form holes.

3. Build A Barrier Against Grass and Weeds

By adding a strip of gravel or topsoil along any edges of the driveway that border lawns or gardens, you’ll help to keep weeds and grass from sprouting up on your driveway.

A new driveway adds to the curb appeal of your home and simply feels great to drive on. The more you do to protect it, the longer it will last.

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.

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