Here’s How to Avoid Garage Door Repairs
Let’s see. It is huge, heavy and it moves completely out of the way, every day, twice. But when’s the last time you had garage door repairs? Chances are you either have never needed to repair your garage door, or you can’t remember the last time you did.
But that doesn’t mean that you won’t ever need a door repair. Very often, the door should be fixed, but we go on living with it as it is. Maybe it doesn’t quite close all the way, or it wakes up the neighbors every time you use it.
In any case, there are ways for you to keep your garage door working the way you expect it to work for a very long time.
1. Keep Stuff Away from the Door
One of the best ways to increase your chances of having to get your garage door fixed is to store things inside your garage right next to the door.
It’s a spot that can seem clear and handy, but the cables used to support the door and keep it level need the space to operate. When you store something in the space near the cables, they can end up being stretched, or even disconnect or snap. Now you’ve done it.
2. Look & Listen
One of the best ways to ward off repairs is to simply look at and listen to the door as it opens and closes. Any unusual noises or during operation can mean a repair is in the near future. Every now and then, disconnect your garage door opener and try to open the door manually (please don’t strain yourself). If you can’t manage to move the door, or it’s overly difficult, you should find out why.
3. Put ‘Garage Door Maintenance’ on Your To-Do List
Instead of checking your garage for signs of repair just one time after reading this post, put ‘inspect the garage door’ on your to-do list at least once a year.
Don’t Do DIY Repairs
Your garage door is very heavy, it is under tension to make it easy to operate and it can severely harm you. Leave your garage door repairs to professionals. Like us here at Whitby Garage Doors!
Why A Cheap Garage Door Won’t Offer Much Value
We all want the best deal, even when it comes to getting a new garage door. But, using the lowest price to choose a new garage door as the only way to determine the best deal can backfire. This doesn’t mean you can’t get a good garage door at low prices. In fact, most of the great garage door brands we represent here at Whitby Garage Doors offer good, low-priced, entry-level doors.
The Lifetime Value of a New Garage Door
Homeowners looking for the absolute lowest price on a new garage door often don’t look at one crucial factor of the total cost. Sure, if they spend less on the door, they save money on the initial cost.
But what about the costs incurred later on. Garage doors have a number of costs associated with them. In many cases, a better quality garage door will mean those later costs can be lower. In other words, the lifetime value, or overall cost of ownership, of a better quality garage door can be lower than for a lower quality door.
Here are just a few ways that can happen:
1. The Energy Efficiency of Your Home
Many lower-priced doors don’t have insulation. If your garage is attached to your home, poor garage insulation can affect the energy efficiency of the entire house. So that lower-priced door can cost you more in heating and air conditioning costs for the entire time you own the door.
2. A Dirtier, Noisier garage
An insulated door doesn’t just keep out heat and cold. It’s better at preventing pollution, debris and even noise from getting into the garage. With many garages serving as storage spaces, it means anything you keep in your garage will be dirtier and more difficult to clean. And, with more people using their garages for working or living space, quieter is better.
3. Greater Durability
One more thing that insulation does beyond insulating is it helps support the structure of the door. That added stability, coupled with better the materials and construction of a higher-quality door, means it will be more likely to last longer than a less expensive door. So you won’t have to spend money on another new door as soon.
Whatever type of garage door you would like to install, contact us here at Whitby Garage Doors, we have the one you’re looking for.
Why Check Out the Gallery on a Garage Door Website
If you’re in the market for a new garage door, you’ll probably be visiting more than a few garage door websites.
While websites are basically online advertisements for a business, you can still tell a lot about a company from them. One quick way to get a bit of real background is to look for ‘credibility symbols’. These are logos of industry associations or awards from review sites like Homestars. If they are authentic, they can and some measure of credibility to a company you haven’t dealt with before, or even heard of. You can simply visit the sites or call the associations that the logos represent to verify if the company is indeed associated with them or if they were the award recipients they claim to be.
A company blog is another way to find out a lot about a company. But, again, you need to have a way to verify what you see. Just the existence of a blog is not enough to confirm that this is a good garage door company to work with.
Take a look at what they blog about. If they have posts with titles like “How to Spot the Best Garage Door Companies”, the information might be useful. But you can bet that the company that wrote the post fits all the criteria for being a great garage door company according to what’s written in the post.
How to Use the Website’s Photo Gallery to Spot a Good Garage Door Company
Not every garage door installer’s website will have a photo gallery. But if it does make sure you visit the page and look for the following:
1. Professional Photography
If every photo in the gallery looks like it could be in an architectural magazine, with perfect lighting and what looks like a custom-designed home, beware. You’re probably going to choose a local garage door installer, so the houses and doors should look familiar. And don’t be afraid to ask the company where the homes are in the photograph.
2. Variety of Doors
So you establish that the photos are of actual installations the company has done. But if they all look annoyingly the same, with maybe a few different colours on similar designs, then that’s another reason to be aware. It means the company may have a deal with a single supplier, even for a single model of a door, and your options will be limited.
3. Look for How the Door Affects the Curb Appeal of the Home
Every new garage door will look good. But does it fit with and even enhance the overall curb appeal of the home. If you can’t tell from the photos, ask the garage door company for a list of their installations that are near your home and take a look yourself. A good garage door installer will be more likely to look for and recommend a certain style or type of door that will not only look great on your home but fit your needs too.
You could just skip the whole website and gallery thing and take our word for it. We are the best garage door installation company in Whitby! Contact us today.
5 Ways to Get Your Garage Door Ready for Winter
As we write this post, new record high temperatures are being set for Whitby and the GTA in early September. The long range forecast doesn’t show any daytime temperatures below 20 degrees. It feels more like June than September.
But September it undeniably is. The beginning of autumn and cooler temperatures. The precursor to winter.
It may not seem like a time to prepare anything for the onslaught of ice and snow, but it’s better to prepare your garage door for winter now than when the ice and snow actually arrive.
5 Steps to Prepare Your Garage Door for Winter
The last thing you need is for your garage door to stop working at the height of a blizzard. The following steps will help keep it in peak working condition throughout the winter.
1. Check the Operation of the Door
This one’s easy, unless there’s a problem. Whether it’s manual or you have a garage door opener, open and close the door. As you do check to make sure it moves up and down evenly, with it’s bottom edge remaining parallel to the garage floor. Also listen for unusual squeaks and sounds, particularly grinding noises from your garage door opener.
2. Tighten Connections
The panels of your garage door are connected to each other by bolted hinges. And the door is connected to it’s tracks through the rollers on each side. Check and tighten all bolts in these connections.
3. Lubricate the Weather Seals
The rubber seals between each panel, along the bottom of the door and around the door frame should be lubricated to keep them from sticking, freezing together and cracking.
4. Lubricate Moving Metal Parts
The garage doors hinges, cables, springs and rollers should all be lubricated to keep them running smoothly.
5. Test the Safety Systems
You should do this at least twice a year and the autumn is as good a time as any. If you have a garage door opener, it has two safety systems. One will reverse the door if the door strikes anything as it closes. The other will reverse the door if anything crosses its path while it is closing.
To test the first safety system, place a 2X4 on the garage floor where the door meets the floor. Close the door. It should stop and reverse when it hits the 2X4. To test the second system, use a stick to push an empty cardboard box into the path of the door as it closes, while you remain well away from the door’s path. The door should stop and reverse as the cardboard box moves between the two photo eyes on either side of the door opening.
To learn more about keeping your garage door and opener it tip-top working condition, contact us here at Whitby Garage Doors.
3 Questions About Garage Doors that We Hear a Lot
Is there anything you’d like to know about your garage door? Really, we mean anything. We love to answer questions about garage doors.
But, if you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, we understand. The interesting thing is that most homeowners don’t give a second thought to their door. It opens and closes on demand, every day, week after week, year in, year out, no matter the season. And you don’t get that kind of faithful, predictable outcome from everything in your life! So you have more important things to worry about.
Until you garage door stops working. Or it makes a loud noise when it does. Or it closes on one side and not the other.
Then, suddenly, the garage door is on your mind in a big way – especially if you can’t get your car out, or close the door after you leave.
When problems happen with a garage door, that’s when we get all the questions we like to answer. In case you’re in the market for a new garage door, here are few questions we hear very often, and their answers.
1. Can my door be repaired or do I need a new one?
Of course, we’ll need to take a look to find out the exact problem before we can say what the best solution would be. But, if your door isn’t opening and closing smoothly, or if it does so unevenly, it’s usually a problem with the door’s spring, which balances to door to make it easy to open and close, even by hand. Springs can usually be repaired or replaced without installing a new door.
2. Can I paint the door?
Garage doors form a large part of the look of your home, so keeping them looking good keeps your home looking good too. Yes, you can paint your door and, in the case of wooden doors, you can refinish them. But garage doors can be made of steel, aluminum, fibreglass, vinyl or wood, so you’ll need to use the best painting practices for whatever material your door is made of.
3. What’s the strongest material for garage doors?
Heavy-duty, 24-gauge steel garage doors are the strongest that are commonly available. Wood composite doors are also very strong, followed by wood fibreglass and aluminum doors. One way to strengthen an older door is to insulate it.
OK. That was fun, wasn’t it?! If you have any other questions that we can answer, please get in touch with us here at Whitby Garage Doors – we have answers.
What Makes Up Your Garage Door Support System?
Sounds like an easy question to answer. The tracks that hang from the garage ceiling hold your garage door up. That’s true, but it doesn’t tell the whole story of your garage door support system. If only the roller track were responsible for supporting a garage door, then it would be a ‘hot mess’ after just a couple cycles of opening and closing.
In fact, without an entire garage door support system, the garage door might get so out of balance and alignment that the roller tracks might not be able to properly support it at all.
A garage door support system lets it go from being a wall, to tucking neatly out of place under the ceiling, quickly and consistently with very little effort, either from you or your garage door opener.
Your Garage Door Support System
Without these devices, your garage door wouldn’t be able to do everything it does for you.
There are two types of springs that can support your door. The horizontal coil-shaped spring runs parallel to the top of the door, just inside the garage. Extension springs located above the horizontal tracks help keep the door level from side to side.
Your garage door probably has four horizontal panels connected by hinges. It’s the hinges that articulate to allow the door to go from a vertical to horizontal position, and back, in just a few seconds.
Extending off either side of each door panel, usually near the top of the panel, steel or nylon rollers sit inside the roller tracks. They keep the door upright when it’s closed and aloft when it’s open. And they make it possible for the door to move smoothly between the two positions.
Located on either side of the door, the lifting cables are connected by pulleys to the torsion spring. They help support the weight of the door and keep it balanced, throughout every opening and closing of the door.
The roller tracks guide and support the rollers and, in turn, the door itself. They are positioned on either side of the door through its entire travel path from vertical to horizontal.
While the weather stripping doesn’t physically support the weight or motion of the door, it does help the door do its job of keeping the everything inside your garage protected from the elements outside.
A garage door system is far more complex than most of us realize. To learn more about your garage door, how it works and how to keep it working, contact us at Whitby Garage Doors.
4 Tips to Tuneup Your Garage Door this Spring – Part 2
In Part 1 of 4 Tips to Tuneup Your Garage Door this Spring, we talked about the importance of keeping your garage door and door opener operating smoothly and safely, and we looked how to inspect both for problems.
Here are three more tips to keep your garage door operating at peak efficiency this summer.
1. Check that The Door’s Safety Systems are Working
Your garage door is probably equipped with two safety systems. One stops the door and reverses it if the door strikes anything while it is closing. The other, the safety sensors, stops and reverses the door if anything interrupts the signal between the photo eyes located on either side of the door frame.
To check the garage door’s safety sensors, get an empty cardboard box that you do not need. Put the box on the driveway just outside the open garage door. Stand on the side of the box away from the door with a stick or something to push the box. Start the door closing and push the box between the photo eyes. When you do, the door should stop in its path and reverse.
To check the system that reverses if the door strikes anything while closing, with the door open, place a short 2 x 4 piece of wood on the garage floor where the door touches the floor when it’s closed. Stand away from the path of the door. Use the remote control for the garage door opener to close the door. The door should stop and reverse when it hits the 2 x 4.
2. Inspect the Door’s Seals
Your garage door has weather seals between each panel, along the bottom of the door and around the outside frame of the door. They should all be in place and undamaged to keep your garage well-insulated.
3. Lubricate the Door
Like an oil and lube for your car, this will keep your door running like a well-oiled (lubricated!) machine.
For metal on metal moving parts, like the hinges (never the surface of the rollers in the roller tracks) use a petroleum-based lubricant.
For weather seals and stripping between the door panels and all around the door, use a silicone-based lubricant.
Good luck with your garage door tuneup! If you spot anything that doesn’t seem right, or you need any other help or garage door services, please let us know here at Whitby Garage Door.
4 Tips to Tuneup Your Garage Door this Spring – Part 1
You do it for your car, so why not for your garage door and garage door opener? Every spring, you start thinking about taking the car in for a tuneup, rotate the tires, oil and lube, check the brakes, and anything else needed to keep it running safely and smoothly.
What most people don’t realize is that their garage door can benefit from some of the same TLC. And you don’t even have to drive it to your mechanic’s shop. A spring tuneup for your garage door and opener helps to keep it running smoothly for longer, helps you avoid costly repairs, and most importantly, helps keep the largest and heaviest moving object in your home working safely.
How to Do a Garage Door & Door Opener Tuneup
Here are a few of the things you can do to make sure your garage door and door opener are all working well for the summer.
1.Inspect the Door and Opener
Check that all the moving parts of your door and opener work properly.
After disconnecting the door from the opener, opening and closing it by hand should be a relatively easy, smooth operation.
Inspect the hinges between the door panels for signs of corrosion and/or damage.
The rollers on the side of the door should run smoothly and evenly along the entire roller track.
5.Springs & Cables
Check the cables and springs that help balance your door for signs of rust, fraying and over-extension.
6.Inspect the Gear on the Garage Door Opener
If you see signs that the gear is slowly being stripped of its teeth, it might be worth having it replaced before you are caught at the worst time with a garage door that can’t open or close.
In Part 2 of 4 Tips to Tuneup Your Garage Door this Spring, we’ll talk about how to make sure the door’s safety systems and seals are in good shape and also how to lubricate the garage door.
Until then, if you spot anything that doesn’t seem right, or you need any other help or garage door services, please let us know here at Whitby Garage Door.
What Will a New Garage Door Mean to You?
So when’s the last time you got a new garage door? Have you ever had a new garage door installed? Considering you’ve found your way to the blog of a garage door repair and installation service guessing, if you have ever had a door installed, it was a very, very, very long time ago. (to get an idea of time, each ‘very’ can easily represent 10 years!).
On one hand, that’s great news, because it means your new door will probably last a long time. But on the other hand, having potentially never shopped for and has a new door installed, you may not know what to look for and/or what to expect.
You’re not alone. In fact, the rarity of getting a new door mans that many people simply stick with what is really an updated version of their old door. Sure, it might be made of stronger, longer-lasting materials, but if it was red before, there’s a good chance it’ll be red again.
“The new door has been life changing”
We offer the quote above to give you an idea of the potential effect of a new garage door. It’s a real quote and it’s from a homeowner who installed a new garage door made by Clopay, one of the great garage door manufacturers we represent here at Markham Garage Doors.
It was yet another homeowner who approached a Clopay representative looking for a door with a similar colour and style as the door he was replacing, except he wanted the door to be insulated.
The Clopay dealer managed to get the homeowner to consider what could be done with the new door, and it worked. He ended up with a carriage-style, insulated steel door, in black to contrast with the home’s exterior colour.
“It really makes a nice difference.”
If there’s anything that’s changed for sure since the last time you needed a new garage door, it is that virtually anything’s possible. With newer materials, finishes and styles, you can have almost any look, style and colour of door you can imagine. Call us her at Whitby Garage Doors to find out more.
What a Difference a Door Makes on the Appearance of your Home
We’re always talking about the fact that a garage door can account for a third of the overall appearance of your home. It’s something that can be difficult to understand or appreciate when you see the door every day, lift it, lower it, walk under it. In other words, like anything else that’s a big part of your life, it’s difficult to have an objective view of your garage door and how it affects the appearance of your home.
So we thought we’d take a look at a few garage door ‘before and after’ shots to give you an idea of what’s possible.
Garage Door #1
For our first before and after, we thought we’d take a look at how a garage door can almost completely change the style of the home. In the ‘before’ image, the clean, white door matches the soffit of the home for a pleasant straightforward suburban look.
In the after shot, with just a new door and a tree trimming, the house now seems to have a more modern architectural style.
Garage Door #2
Who would think you could improve on the great looks of the door in this ‘before’ picture. But we chose this one to show you how a door can be made to blend in with the style and colour of the rest of the home.
Matching the look of the door to the rest of the house takes the emphasis off its large white area of the home and makes the home seem more ‘whole’, and bigger overall.
Garage Door #3
There’s no profound shift in architectural style here. No making the home look larger. But we wanted to include this one to highlight how, with just the addition of windows, a garage door can add so much more character to a home’s appearance.
If you’d like to find out more about how a new garage door could improve the curb appeal of your home, call us here at Whitby Garage Door.