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.
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 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.
Add Windows to Your Garage Door to Enhance the Look and Value of Your Home
Many homeowners will often dream of the upgrades or renovations that they would like to make to either the interior or the exterior of their home. In some cases, the changes may be intended to modernize or brighten living space, while in other instancesthey are seen as equity investments or, in simpler terms, enhancing the curb appeal of the home.
Some of these changes may be more subtle in nature, others perhaps more elaborate, but they can all be pictured in the mind nonetheless. Unfortunately, many of these ideas and plans can be quashed for reasons of time, scope, and/or money; as a result, those visuals remain just that – mental images that linger out-of-reach or are filed away under the heading of ‘someday maybe’.
Well, there is at least one way to achieve that renovation/upgrade objective and address the issues of time, scope, and cost all in a single project – the installation of windows in a solid garage door. Within just a couple of days or less, homeowners can have windows installed in their garage door at a reasonable cost and instantly augment the curb appeal of their home.
There are several aesthetic and functional benefits that can be gained from upgrading an existing garage door with new windows. These would include:
- Permitting the entry of natural light into the garage
- Softening the horizontal lines of external stone/brick
- Complementing the size/shape of other front windows
- Adding architectural detail to the exterior of the home
- Presenting a warm, welcoming look versus a solid door
- Retaining privacy by using opaque or tinted glass panes
Garage door windows can be added to almost any type of solid door, although the design options might be limited based on the age, model, and/or composition of the door; and while some do-it-yourself homeowners might feel adventurous, it is highly advisable that the work be contracted to a professional garage door repair and maintenance provider such as Markham Garage Doors.
The expert technicians from Markham Garage Doors have the knowledge and expertise to complete any such upgrades without compromising the structural integrity of the door or its operation. The work would include making any needed adjustments to the tension in the garage door springs, which may be necessary as a result of altering the overall weight of the door itself.
A Garage Door Replacement Can Enrich the Curb Appeal of Your Home, Property
For some homeowners, adding windows to their garage door may take the form of a full door upgrade/replacement. This may simply be due to the age/state of the existing door or a need/wish to upgrade any or all of the following:
- Energy efficiency
- Home safety/security
- Aesthetics/color scheme
When shopping for a replacement garage door, homeowners may find benefit by visiting the 1000 square-foot showroom of Markham Garage Doors, located at 176 Bullock Drive, Unit 11, in Markham. Here, homeowners can compare and contrast a wide range of full-scale garage doors from all the leading North American door manufacturers in terms of:
- Window Options
- And More!
For a preview of the many doors on display in the Markham Garage Doors showroom, visit Our Gallery.
See our Garage Door Installation page for further information on garage door replacement and other services provided by the team from Markham Garage Doors.
Adding windows to an existing garage door or upgrading via a garage door replacement can transform the look of your home and immediately enrich its curb appeal. Call the garage door repair and replacement specialists from Markham Garage Doors at today at (416) 570-3667 or (905) 472-9178to request your no-obligation consultation or visit our showroom at 176 Bullock Drive, Unit 11, in Markham.
Adding Aluminum Capping To A Garage Door Frame Offers Several Advantages
Although there is a substantial amount of truth to the statement that a book should not be judged by its cover, it is often human nature to form and retain an opinion based on a first impression. This can be applied to practically every aspect of life from interpersonal relationships to material possessions – when it comes to the latter, people might assess both the value and the condition of a home simply by the appearance of its trim work, including the gutters and downspouts, window frames, and the frame of the garage door.
While the look of the garage door and its adjoining frame may have little in common with the state of the home in general, a perception that maintenance is lacking may lead an outside observer to believe that a similar lack of attention is likely a reality elsewhere throughout the house and property. Since the garage door is such a prominent feature of the exterior of a home, eyes may be drawn to this area first, and any peeling paint or weather-beaten wood on the frame will stand out like a proverbial sore thumb.
In turn, such a perception can and will detract from the aesthetic appeal of the home as well as its apparent value. To counteract and/or prevent such perceptions, homeowners might consider the installation of aluminum capping around the garage door frame.
Installing aluminum capping over an existing garage door frame offers homeowners a number of distinct advantages:
- Longevity – protects wood against damage from weather extremes
- Durability – aluminum capping is basically resistant to rusting or fading
- Aesthetic appeal – a clean and smart-looking finish to the garage door
- Cost savings – less expensive than replacing the entire existing frame
- A variety of choices – available in several different colors and styles
- Convenience – essentially maintenance-free once it has been installed
Working with aluminum capping requires specific skills as well as expert workmanship to ensure that the garage door frame has a smooth, clean, and professional look. The installation of aluminum capping may also need to include some attention/repair to the frame or the garage door itself.
Therefore, installation of aluminum capping plus any related garage door or frame repair work should be entrusted to certified professionals, such as the service technicians from Markham Garage Doors.
Aluminum Capping On Garage Door Frames Reduces Maintenance Time And Cost
Owing and maintaining a home can sometimes seem like a full-time job. Just when the homeowner feels that all outstanding maintenance needs have been addressed, another list of necessary household jobs seems to magically appear. Therefore, many home and property owners are often looking for, and ready to pay a little more upfront to invest in, low-maintenance types of amenities and/or programs.
When the garage door becomes a focus of their attention, there are several types of low-maintenance models available. The same also holds true for aluminum capping of the garage door frame.
Adding aluminum capping over the existing garage door frame basically eliminates any and all of the following maintenance requirements for this area of the home:
- Scraping/sanding paint or stain
- Power washing
- Repairing any damaged wood
- Re-painting or re-staining
- Repeating this process every few years
If the installation of aluminum capping is coupled with a new low-maintenance garage door, homeowners could reduce this aspect of their overall maintenance time and costs to essentially an annual tune-up from the professionals at Markham Garage Doors.
If you looking to upgrade the aesthetic appeal of your home plus reduce/minimize your overall maintenance time and costs, call the experts at Markham Garage Doors today at either (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to arrange a no-obligation consultation on the installation of a new garage door and/or aluminum capping over your existing frame.