A.B.E. Doors & Windows Blog

31 May 2018
Infrareds: Safety Is Smart
Infrareds: Safety Is Smart


We've all been there. You're leaving for work and you hit the button to close your garage door. It starts to go down a few inches, then suddenly reverses. The lights flash on the opener like there's a party you weren't invited to. You try again—same result. What the heck?

Here's the deal—safety is smart, flashing strobe lights and all. Your garage door is the largest moving object in your home and it can do some serious damage to you, your car, your kid, your trash can, or whatever else is underneath it when it closes. To avoid crushing deaths, infrareds became mandatory in 1992 under federal law.

Infrareds act like the bouncer at the club, watching the door and making sure it's safe to close. They're a pair of small boxes mounted a few inches above the floor, making constant eye contact with each other like a couple of co-dependents. If something comes between them or breaks the beam, they tell the opener that it isn't safe to close the door. That might seem silly until you remember that your door can weigh more than two-hundred pounds. You don't want that to come down on top of you, right?

Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on your perspective—the infrareds are a little over-cautios. They can tell the opener that it isn't safe to close the door for a multitude of reasons. If anything, and I mean anything, obstructs the infrared beam, the door will not close. That could be something as big as a car or as small as a leaf. If you have an antique door from the 1800s, all the rattling during opening and closing can throw the infrareds out of alignment too. If you bump the infrared accidentally with a rake or a trash can, they don't automatically reset themselves and will remain out of alignment until you step in to straighten them out.

Once you've checked the perimeter and you can't find anything blocking your infrareds, it might be time to call in the professionals. However, if you've just gotten home from work or you need to leave, you can override the safety feature by holding down the inside wall button [not the button on your remote]. This tells the opener that you are physically standing there and that it's safe to close the door.

I hope I've told you something that can help you get to work on time or allowed you to head out for the weekend. Now, go forth with your new knowledge and new bodyguards. Remember, safety is smart and hurting yourself is not.

21 May 2018
Dress up Your Windows this Summer
Dress up Your Windows this Summer

 

Window box planters have been making appearances on houses since ancient times.  The Romans used terracotta versions for growing foods and plants for medicines. As window boxes made their way through Europe, they used such materials as wire & hay, wrought iron and tin.  The modern versions seen on homes today showcase beautiful blooms that delight the eye.  

Consider these guidelines when adding window boxes to your home. 

Your window box should match the length of your existing window and should not exceed 25% of your windows height.   Examine the area and make sure it can support the box you choose plus the weight of the dirt and flowers.  Consider the amount of sunlight this area receives, this will determine the type of flowers you plant. 

Window boxes come in a variety of materials, each with pros and cons to take into consideration.  

Metal - strong and durable, but can dent easily and rust.

Fiberglass - does not rot and can be painted to match your home, but is pricey.

Wood – easy to customize, but is susceptible to rot and insect damage.

Terracotta – readily available, not a good choice for colder climates.

Plastic – lightweight and inexpensive, less durable. 

If you are handy with your power tools, you may want to build your own planter.  Popular Mechanics has an easy to follow guide here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/a12323/4318527/ 

If you want to think outside the “box”, an old drawer can be refashioned to hold flowers or several pails lined up make a sweet presentation. 

                                            

You have several options when it comes to installing your window box. 

 

Brackets are a smart choice for many different styles.  They are easy to install and convenient if you need to remove the box for cleaning or for winter storage. 

                                        

 

 

If the window box will be a permanent fixture to your home, utilizing a cleat system gives you more stability, plus the box can still be removed for cleaning or storage.  This video gives you easy step by step guidelines: 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji6jkO79C6M 

 

If you are renting your home, employing D-rings & hooks designed to go under vinyl siding is a great solution.   Attach the D-rings to your planter, position your hooks and your box is ready to hang and fill.  This method is best for light window boxes.

 

 

                         

 

 

When you choose your flowers, keep in mind the amount of sunlight they will be receiving. Start with younger plants that will root well. Zinnias and marigolds are very tolerant of the heat, while impatients and fuschia need shade. Pansies and petunias are a great all around choice. A composition of flowers or vines that trail over the edge makes for a pleasing display. Choose a potting mix that contains peat or other ingredients that help to maintain moisture. Arrange your plants 2 to 5 inches apart so there is room for growth. Water daily and prune plants as necessary.

An herb garden is a fun idea for a window near the kitchen. Fill it with herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme or mini pepper plants that can be used in cooking over the summer.

                                              

Enjoy your window box and the pizzazz it brings to your home!

 

 

 

 

 

16 May 2018
Service Is Smart

 

Industrial equipment. Heavy machinery. 

When I hear those words, it's a callback to a bygone era—a time when people worked in terrible conditions and safety measures were lax. I also think of contruction—oil rigs, bulldozers, combine harvesters, and steam rollers. I don't think my day to day life involves heavy machinery or industrial equipment.

I leave for work or school or head out to run some errans just like every other day. I get in my car, push the button to open my garage door, back out, and push the button to close it. It's at that moment, watching it rumble down and settle against the concrete, that I realize what I use every single day that I leave my home—a steel door weighing on average two-hundred pounts and driven by a 1/2 horsepower motor. 

The garage door is the largest moving object in the home and the average household opens and closes it four times every single day. If you're anything like me, you didn't really think about that until just now either. Now, if you oversaw the use of a bulldozer or combine harvester or worked in a place that used industrial equipment to build skyscrapers, you would want every precaution to be taken to ensure no one got hurt, right? However, when was the last time you thought about your garage door?

Service is smart.

The garage door is made up of a lot of parts. Heavy springs are used to counter balance the door, hinges hold all the sections together, the track supports the door, the rollers keep the door in the track. Any of those parts can wear out and break down, just like the brakes on a bulldozer. Your garage door should be serviced at least once each year to keep everything in working order and—most of all—to keep it safe.

Here at A.B.E. Doors and Windows, we offer a discount on service in the form of a 20 Point Service Inspection all year round to keep your garage door in tip top shape. Give us a call and set something up.

 

Danielle Reeder
Inside Sales Consultant
610-398-2430 Ext 121

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