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.
How to Winterize Your Garage Door
You change the filter on the furnace. You top-up the antifreeze in your car. You buy road salt for the driveway. You do them all because you want to minimize the chances of an accident or inconvenience in the middle of winter.
So why don’t you winterize your garage door? It might not be a disaster, but the moment your garage door decides to not work will probably be the coldest, stormiest and darkest moment of the winter.
It might be a ways off, but now’s the best time to get your garage door ready for winter.
4 Steps to Winterize Your Garage Door
This is mainly just good-sense, regular maintenance to keep your garage door in good working condition.
1. Look and Listen
To the garage door opener that is. If it conks out, the door won’t open. When the door is in operation, listen for unusual sounds of grinding in the motor and squealing from the metal parts of the door.
Also look at the door as it raises and lowers. Make sure the bottom of the door stays parallel to the floor and that the door doesn’t ‘lurch’ as it travels.
2. Check That the Safety Features are Working
Sticking with the opener, it’s important the door’s two main safety features are working properly.
For the first safety feature, put a 2X4 on the garage floor across the line where the door touches the floor. Trigger the door to close. It should automatically stop and go backwards when it hits the 2×4.
Your can test the second safety feature with a stick and empty cardboard box. Use the stick to push the box into the path of the door as it closes. Stay well away from the door’s path. The door should stop and reverse as the box goes between the two photo eyes on either side of the door opening.
3. Fasten Connections Where Needed
There are metal hinges between each garage door panel. The tracks along which the rollers run are connected to the ceiling of the garage. And so too is the garage door opener. Check all their fasteners and connections for tightness.
4. Add Lubrication
Lubricate the rubber seals between the door panels, along the bottom of the door and around the door frame. Lubricate moving metal parts including the door hinges, cables, springs, and rollers.
There’s no guaranteeing that you’ll survive the winter without a garage door issue. But there are lots you can do to minimize it. And if you run into problems, contact Markham Garage Door. We’re happy to help in any way we can.
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.
The Benefits of Having Garage Door Windows
After style, color, size and construction materials, wondering whether you should get windows in your garage door can seem like just another item on a long list. If you already have a windowless garage door, you may have wondered what it would be like to make the switch.
To help you make a decision, we thought we’d put together a list of benefits of having garage door windows. We think you’ll find at least a couple of points that you may not have considered.
Garage Door Window Benefits
1. Let the Sunshine In
The first and perhaps most obvious benefits of windows in the garage door are that it will make your garage brighter during the day. Not only is a brighter garage easier to work in, but it can have other benefits too. Homeowners tend to keep well-lit places tidier. So having windows in your garage can help you keep it more organized.
2. Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Your garage door is the largest single visual element of your home when viewed from the street. In other words, it has a major effect on your home’s curb appeal. But that effect goes beyond the fact that windows are more aesthetically pleasing than a solid, windowless door. You can choose windows for your garage door that match the windows elsewhere in your home, like those in your front door. So, not only do windows look better, but the right windows can unify the entire look of your home’s exterior.
3. Can Help You Use the Garage for Other Purposes
Want to build a pro workshop in the garage? Or how about your very own home gym? Arts & crafts room for the kids? Man cave? In any case, the windows in your garage door are often the only windows into the garage. Even while you only get daylight for part of the day, it’s always nice to have it when your garage isn’t just a garage.
You can retrofit an existing garage door with window panels or choose from a wide variety of new doors with windows or even doors made entirely of tempered glass and aluminum frames. Get in touch with Markham Garage Doors to learn more.
Want a More Comfortable Home? Install an Insulated Garage Door
When you think of ‘home comfort’, insulation is usually part of your thinking. A well-insulated home, including attic and wall insulation, and thermal windows, stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer. But, unless you have an uninsulated garage door, your home might not be as comfortable as possible.
Even in well-insulated homes, an attached garage can be like a ‘hole’ in that insulation.
When you insulate your home, you usually insulate the attic and outside walls. You don’t insulate the walls and floors inside the home. Why would you? Inside walls and floors don’t let in any heat or cold from the outside, so it would be a waste of time and money to insulate them. (You might use sound insulation in inside walls.)
An attached garage can be like a hole in your insulation (a very large one!) because of how we think about the garage. Considering that there’s a door from the house to the garage, just like any other ‘room’ in the house, the garage can feel like a part of the house.
But, in the majority cases, homeowners don’t insulate the walls of the garage, whether they are outside walls, or shared with other rooms in the house. They also generally don’t insulate the ceiling of the garage, even when it is shared with a room above the garage.
Cold and heat can get into the garage through the outside walls and uninsulated garage doors much easier than most people think. With no insulation on the walls and floors that are shared between your house and garage, that heat and cold can get into your home fairly easily too.
An Insulated Garage Door to the Rescue
An insulated garage door will help reduce the amount of heat and cold that gets into your garage. That will make your home more comfortable, and it will reduce your utility bills.
If you would like to learn more about insulated garage doors, please contact us at Markham Garage Doors.
3 Features of The Future of The Garage
Garages have remained much the same since they started housing horseless carriages in the early twentieth century. Even seemingly ‘modern’ advancements, like garage door openers, have been around for a long time.
And if you look at some of the ‘new’ designs for garage doors, you’ll spot many carriage doors styles that even pre-date car garages.
So with garages changing very little over the past century, you might think that they won’t change very much in the next century.
But that thinking could very well be wrong.
In fact, it might be safer to bet that garages will change more in the foreseeable future than they did in the past 100 years. Here are just a few ways your garage will be different in the not-so-distant (happening right now!) future of the garage.
1. They’ll be Equipped to Refuel Your Car
No, you don’t need to get safety certified to build a gasoline pump. But as electric vehicles continue their slow but steady foray into the world of fossil-fuel burning cars, there’s a good chance you might be retrofitting your garage to recharge electric cars.
2. It’ll be Online
The future is now for this one. LiftMaster’s MyQ™ technology has been offered on the many of their garage door openers for at least five years now. You can now even connect an older door with their retrofit package. It means that the status and control of your garage door, garage door opener, garage lights and security cameras in the garage are in the palm of your hand.
3. It Might be Your New Home Expansion
If self-driving automotive technology continues to evolve, there may be no need for personal vehicles. You’ll simply ‘whistle’ and one will find its way to you. That leaves one of the largest, continuous open spaces in your home empty. And ready to become anything you want to make of it. Think of the size of the TV you can get in through the garage door!
It’s a good thing that, until the future arrives, you can rely on Markham Garage Doors for quality maintenance and repairs to your garage doors. Contact us today to learn more.
Get to Know Your Garage Door’s Support System
Considering everything about your garage, the garage door is the star of the show. Without the unwavering security it provides, you wouldn’t be able to store anything safely in your garage. Without its ability to easily and quickly open and close, you wouldn’t be able to drive your car in and out of the garage; or simply wheel out your lawn mower, snow blower, boat or anything else, large or small, you keep in your garage.
When movie stars get an award. they often thank all the people who supported them and made the award possible. Well, as the star performer of the garage, your garage door owes its ability to do so many amazing things to a long list of supporting hardware. Every piece works together in order to create the garage door’s support system.
A Garage Door’s Support System
Without the following list of hardware, your garage door wouldn’t even be able to remain upright on its own.
Two types of springs work together to make it easy to open and close your garage door. A coil-shaped torsion spring sits horizontally above the door. It counterbalances the huge weight of the door. Extension springs located above the horizontal tracks help keep the door level from side to side.
Connecting the panels of the door, the hinges bend to allow the door to rise vertically to open and roll into a horizontal position when fully open.
Extending off either side of each door panel, the rollers sit inside the roller tracks. They support the door vertically when it is closed and horizontally when it is open. And they allow the door to roll smoothly between the two positions
Located on either side of the door, the lifting cables keep the door stable during its operation.
Running along either side of the door from its vertical position to its horizontal position, the roller tracks guide and supports the door.
Between each panel, along with the bottom of the door and around the outside of the door on the door frame, weather stripping helps to insulate the garage from outside temperatures and wind.
Most homeowners never realize the complexity of their entire garage door system. If you want to learn more about your garage door and garage door’s support system, how it works and how to keep it working, contact us at Markham Garage Doors.
5 Ways to Reduce Your Chances of Needing Garage Door Repair
You might not think of it this way, but one of the most amazing facts about your home is that you don’t need Garage door repair more often.
Think about it. It’s the largest, heaviest and one of the most frequently used moving objects in your home. The next largest moving object (maybe your front door?) is a fraction of its size. Even your garage door opener, which lifts and lowers this massive moving object every day, can give you decades of repair-free operation. Wouldn’t life be great if you got that kind of performance from everything in your home, like your washing machine?
But that remarkable track record of worry-free operation can leave you unprepared. Your garage door and door opener aren’t infallible. They can break, stop working and need emergency repairs. For you, the real problem can be that when you need a garage door repair, you’ll be stranded, either inside or outside of your garage.
How to Minimize Your Garage Door Repair
While it’s not necessarily a terrible situation, the need for garage door repair can happen at inopportune times. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of it happening.
1. Keep Stuff Away from the Door
If you’re like most people, you use every available space in your garage to store things – even your car sometimes!
But you should never store anything too close to the door for a number of reasons. First, stacking boxes just inside the door can present a hazard of them falling on you when you open the door.
But even storing things at the sides of the door can be a problem. The cables on either side of your door help to keep the door balanced as it opens and closes. In the closed position, the cables remain fairly close to the door, making it look like you have more space than you actually do. But when the door opens, the cables are pulled back into space just behind them. Anything you store in that space just behind the cable might get damaged when the door opens and closes, and the cables may stretch or fray over time.
2. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
You should regularly give your door and opener a visual inspection. Check that the bottom of the door meets the garage floor evenly across the width of the door. Look for signs of corrosion metal parts. And watch the path of the door as it opens and closes to make sure it moves smoothly throughout the operation.
3. Listen Carefully
Simply due to its sheer size, your garage door can make some noise as it operates. But any change in the sound it makes can be a sign of an impending repair. Any sort of grinding, scraping or other unusual sounds should be investigated immediately.
4. Make Your Garage Door Part of Your Regular Home Maintenance Schedule
“Clean the eavestroughs” is on it. So is “replace the furnace filter”. And those things get done, right? But “inspect your garage door” probably isn’t on your list of “things to do” around the house. But if you put it there, it’ll get done and you’ll be less likely to need a garage door repair.
5. Don’t DIY
Yes, your garage door is huge. It is very heavy. It’s balanced by cables and springs that are under high tension. And if you decide to work on your garage door yourself, you’ll probably need to disconnect it from the garage door opener, which means all the safety systems are disconnected. The potential for needing even more repairs to the door, and the threat to your personal safety, are very high.
Stating it as simply as possible: do not try garage door repair yourself.
Instead, call the repair experts here at Markham Garage Doors!
Your Garage Door Might be the Most Important Part of Your Home’s Curb Appeal
It’s not often that your garage door will be included in any discussion about your home’s curb appeal. Curb appeal is the attractiveness of your home when viewed from the street in front of it. And garage doors are way down the lists of most people’s ideas of what affects curb appeal.
The Importance of Curb Appeal
Despite its popularity in real estate listings, the importance of curb appeal is most likely underestimated by homeowners and real estate agents alike. More than one study tells us that buyers can make a decision to buy within 30 seconds of seeing a home.
That doesn’t mean they end up buying the home. Other parts of the home can turn the buying decision into ‘let’s move along’. On the other hand, if no other part of the home changes their mind, then a buyer will have made a decision to buy based initially on the curb appeal of the home.
How Does Your Garage Door Affect Curb Appeal
We’ve told you before that garage doors can account for one-third of the appearance of your home. Yet, if you asked homeowners, they will much sooner list things like ‘windows’, ‘landscaping’, or ‘entry doors’ as curb appeal’s greatest influences.
But how can you ignore something that accounts for such a large part of the look of your home?
It turns out you can’t ignore your garage door.
“Garage Doors Offer the Best Return on Investment”
Last summer, U.S. News & World Report published ‘10 Home Renovations With the Best Return on Investment’. In it, they listed the home renovations that offered the best return for the investment, based on how much the improvement increased resale value. The research was conducted and originally published by Remodeling Magazine.
Second on their list was ‘New Garage Door’. According to the article, “when it comes to what it considers upscale renovations, Remodeling Magazine says replacing the garage door offers the best return on investment.”
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!