A.B.E. Doors & Windows Blog

20 July 2023
The Heat is On! What Not to Keep in Your Garage
The Heat is On! What Not to Keep in Your Garage

 

 

 

The heat is on! Your garage is a great place to store items, but when the temperatures rise, there are some things that should never be kept in the garage. Look at this list and make some adjustments if necessary. We want all your belongings safe and in good shape for the years to come. 

Your spare refrigerator. We know it’s the ideal place to have one, but when temps start climbing, your fridge works overtime to keep it’s contents cold. That means more energy consumption and higher bills. Fridges work best when kept in a room that is around 65 to 78 degrees. If you have a spot in your basement or other room in the home, keep it there.

The extra propane tank. Not only could a leak seep into the garage exposing people to the risk of asphyxiation, but a small spark could ignite the tank. Limit the chance of a fire and keep your tank in an open area. 

We all like to stock up on canned goods, paper towels and food items in bulk, but the garage is not the area to store them. That big bag of rice is prime pickings for mice and other critters to nibble on. Canned items run the risk of getting rust and spoiling because of the fluctuating temps. Paper (in any form-towels, tax documents, comic books) are another item that mice and insects love to feast on. It may be a good time to reorganize some kitchen cabinets and create some storage inside your home.

Antiques, pictures and heirloom furniture are all at risk when left in your garage. Moisture, changes in temperature and insects can all ruin these cherished mementos. Better to store them in the home, in tightly seals plastic bins. 

Bonus tip: Elevate these items off the floor to avoid possible water damage.

Flammable items. Oily rags, gasoline or oil-based paints all run the risk of catching fire. Throw away dirty rags after any tune up or project. Move paints to a closet that sees cooler temps. While you can keep gas in the garage, make sure it is in an approved container and place it on a platform (away from sunlight) to help maintain temperature & limit condensation. Also check with your local community regarding their limit on how many gallons of gas can be stored.

Clothing, bedding or other materials. Besides the risk of bugs getting to these items, the heat and humidity can lead to mold and mildew. Plus, who wants to use a winter blanket that smells like car fumes.

Enjoy your summer! 


 

15 March 2021
Signs You May Need to Replace Your Garage Door Opener
Signs You May Need to Replace Your Garage Door Opener

We all have long lists of home improvements we want to get accomplished. Replacing your garage door opener is probably not on the top of that list, but at some point, it will need to be replaced. Look for these tell-tale signs it may be time to swap this model for one that has more power, better reliability and smart home features.

 

The overall unit seems sluggish.

Your opener works hard to raise your garage door every day. The average opener is lifting and closing that heavy door about 1500 times a year. While garage doors, with proper maintenance, can last 20 to 30 years, the life expectancy of an opener is around 10 years. All that wear and tear will start to catch up eventually. If you see that the door is opening slower than usual or seems to be catching and jerking slightly, it is probably time to replace your unit.

 

Safety is an Issue

In 1993 all models of garage door openers were required to have an auto-reverse mechanism. This feature consists of two sensors that sit on either side of the door and can tell if an object is in the way of the door opening or closing. Now, you may not have an opener that is over 28 years old, but you may have sensors that no longer work. This important safety feature should not be overlooked. Over 20,000 people are victim to garage door accidents, many of them children. If you are unable to fix broke sensors, make the choice to replace your unit.

 

A Little Peace and Quiet

Picture this. You’re coming home from a long day, baby or toddler asleep in the back seat. You just want to park and transfer the sleepy child into bed..until, the screech and squealing of your garage door opener awakens said child and that glorious silence is broken. If your opener is waking up or disturbing family members inside the home, it may be time to enjoy the quieter operation of a belt drive. Not to knock chain models, many models are much quieter that of their predecessors.

 

You Desire More Features

We live in an age where we can control many items in our homes (lights, thermostat settings, starting our ovens) from our phones. Newer models of garage door openers offer smart features that can be done via an app on your phone or tablet. Alerts of your door being left open, the ability to turn on lights or opening the door to receive a package, can make your life a bit easier.

Battery backups systems are another newer feature that ensure your garage door can still open and close should a power outage occur. A plus if you hate wrestling with the door in the bitter cold or snowy weather.

 

If a garage door opener upgrade is in your future, please feel free to talk to our knowledgeable sales staff. They can help you choose the right unit and features to fit your needs.

15 July 2020
Do This, Not That-Organization Tips for the Garage
Do This, Not That-Organization Tips for the Garage

 

You may be storing items in your garage that are not only taking up space, but should not be stored there in the first place. Let's help you identify these items and find a better home for them.

No one likes to run out of propane when you are grilling for a picnic, but that spare tank should not be tucked away in your garage. Hot temperatures may cause the tank to expand and start leaking gas. One small spark could lead to a fire. Tanks should be kept in a well-ventilated area outside.

Those blankets & beach towels you are storing for summer vacations are prime real estate for critters to burrow and sleep in over the winter. Bring these items back inside and store them in space saver bags you can vacuum the air out of. The flattened bags can slip under beds, as not to take up extra space in linen closets.

Cherished family photos and other memorabilia deserve a special spot inside the home. If left in the garage, they can become a feast for bugs to nibble on. Placed in air-tight containers, these memories will be enjoyed for years to come.

That older gaming console or other electronics you may be saving should also stay away from your garage. The higher humidity can wreak havoc on the inner workings and wires are a magnet for mice to chew on. Assess these items and ask yourself if they are worth hanging on to considering how quickly electronics are updated.

Having extra canned food for emergencies is a smart idea, but don't be tempted to stockpile them on shelves in the garage. Canned foods that are exposed to temps over 80 degrees can spoil. Rust can also form on the cans quickly if your garage is prone to high humidity.

Hanging your bicycles up after summer is over is a creative way to free up floor space, but did you know that the rubber tires should be stored inside? The cold temperatures in winter may lead to the rubber cracking. A few hooks in the back of a closet can secure the tires till springtime rolls around again.

Consider storing these items in your garage to free up some space in the home.

Coolers and water jugs don't have to clutter up a closet, line them on a shelf in the garage for easy access. Same with serving dishes or plates you may use a few times a year for entertaining purposes. You can use the freed-up space for that new pressure cooker you've been eyeing up.

Christmas decorations or any other holiday décor, will be safe nestled in a few plastic totes. Lights, glass and ceramic items will all do well, while more fragile items or anything paper should still be kept inside.

Your luggage can find a new home in your garage too. Nestle as many pieces inside each other and store on a higher shelf.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.” ~~Benjamin Franklin

 

26 November 2019
Featuring: LiftMaster WLED
Featuring: LiftMaster WLED

 

 

A.B.E. Doors and Windows deals in LiftMaster brand electric operators for garage doors. A recent addition to our in-stock operators is LiftMaster’s WLED. It is driven by a belt system and has a quiet yet powerful DC motor. The combination offers a soft and quiet start/stop function, smooth operation, and long-lasting service. The 12V DC motor and belt come with a lifetime warranty.

Most remarkable about the WLED is its patented corner-to-corner lighting system that makes the entire garage bright. The WLED is equipped with two LED light panels that give off 100 points of light totaling 3,100 lumens. The light is motion-activated via the wall control and will turn on automatically whenever it sees you.

The WLED also has a built-in battery backup so you can access your garage even when the power is out. Like most of LiftMaster’s operator models, it comes standard with built-in Wi-Fi and the myQ Mobile App. It has several safety features including the infrareds, which will auto-reverse the door if it senses an obstruction. The Emergency or Quick Release function will automatically reconnect to the trolley the next time you use the door should you have to disconnect it for any reason.

All in all, the WLED is an excellent operator that takes care of everything.

23 September 2019
Prepping Your Garage for the Winter Months
Prepping Your Garage for the Winter Months

 

Summer has officially moved on. Schools in session, Halloween decor is everywhere and a few trees are starting to show their fall colors. Although we hate to say goodbye to the warm weather, many of us look forward to cooler temps, football games and cozy sweaters. What we don't look forward to is putting away all that summer gear that has crept up all over the yard and house.....and the eventual sleet and snow that will make its way to our area. If you follow these tips to get your garage space ready for winter, you'll be back to sipping that pumpkin spice latte in no time!

 

Start with a Clean Slate

 

Start by giving your garage floor a good sweeping. Look for any oil or gas spills that may have happened. If you find one, treat them right away by covering the area with cat litter, cornstarch or baking powder. Let this sit on the stain for a few hours and then collect it with a brush and pan. Scrub the area with a small amount of dish soap and water, then rinse and let dry.

 

Use a damp cloth to wipe down around window and door frames. Now is a perfect time to examine any weather stripping and replace it. Examine caulked areas too. If you notice cracking, scrap away the affected area and apply a new strip of caulk. Clean seals will ensure a tight closure so moisture and cold air don't creep in over winter.

 

Replace any light bulbs that may have burned out over the summer so your area is well lit when we turn those clocks back.

 

Store Items the Right Way

 

As you gather your summer gear together for storage, check items for breakage and general wear and tear. Clear up space by donating items you no longer use or throw them it away. As you put items away, make sure they are secure, especially if they are hanging or being stored on a shelf. Make sure they do not interfere with the opening and closing of your garage door. Use a peg board or employ various holders to hang smaller items.

 

Don't bury your shovels and winter items under your patio furniture! You may not be thinking of snow just yet, but you'll be thankful the shovel is not buried under a mountain of pool noodles come that first dusting. Put all your snow gear, shovels and ice melting products in an accessible area. Make a note if you need to buy any products or finally replace that shovel with the broken handle.

 

Make sure your cars are equipped with ice scrapers and brushes for snow removal. Store an extra pair of gloves with these items too.

 

Garage Door Check-Up

 

Examine all areas of your garage door opener and track. Make sure the tracks are clear of objects and debris. Open and close the door and look for any hesitation or unevenness when it is in motion. If the springs or any other part of the track seem to be faltering, call a professional to look things over and make any repairs. Many homeowners suffer unnecessary injuries because they try and tackle these repairs on their own.

 

We hope that you are ready for cooler temps and the beauty that fall brings. Please call us with any garage door concerns or repairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 May 2019
Tips and Tricks to Make Your Garage Area Stand Out
Tips and Tricks to Make Your Garage Area Stand Out

 

We are all enjoy seeing the transformation our homes undergo during spring time. The exterior comes alive with blossoms on the trees, colorful hanging baskets and perhaps a new welcome mat or wreath for the front door. Make sure this fresh look extends to your driveway and garage areas as well. A clean, continual look is not only aesthetically pleasing, but can also boost curb appeal if you are placing your home on the market this year. Here are a few suggestions to consider.

 

Your biggest upgrade or boost to this area will be your garage door. There are so many styles and options that can enhance your home's overall look. Consider a different material like wood or steel. Many doors offer vertical or horizontal patterns, besides the traditional paneled look. If your budget allows, wood doors make a spectacular impression, offering a variety of grains and bold stains that add a rich look. Window panes are another way to add character and set your door apart from other similar doors in the neighborhood. Iron hinges or accents are also a marvelous way to spruce up your garage door.

 

If your garage door is still in great shape, perhaps a fresh coat of paint is in order. A dark brown or bronze will work well with a brick home, while a gray exterior can be enhanced with a deep burgundy or black. You could choose a color a few shades darker than your homes exterior for a sophisticated, contemporary look. A word of caution....don't get drawn into a color that is over the top or too trendy. You don't want to be “that” home in the neighborhood!

 

Accessorize the area leading up to and around your garage door with low growing shrubs or planters. Choose perennials that offer color in the spring and stay green throughout the summer months. If the surrounding area of your garage is flat, consider adding a trellis or portico for added texture. The adjacent walls may benefit from some stonework or decorative trim. If you seek something less permanent, try lattice with ivy or another climbing plant to add a welcoming look.

 

If your black-topped driveway is in need of repair, perhaps consider pavers instead. Brick and concrete styles can be arranged in a pleasing design & artistic pattern. They also allow you to bring a bit of color to that area as well.

 

Have a bit of fun with new lighting. A lantern style on either side of a wooden garage door will give it a charming carriage house feeling. Another popular look is those vintage, goose-necked barn fixtures. Solar, pathway lights lend a little brightness at night as well as added security. A lighted border can also show off beautiful landscaping & lend a bit of ambiance.

 

Don't overlook the advantages of having a manicured, pleasing garage area. A consistent look makes your home's exterior look balanced and welcoming.

 

 

06 March 2019
Cold Weather Blues
Cold Weather Blues

 

 

 

I hate winter and I’m not the only one—your garage door hates the winter too. The colder it gets, the busier our service gets because the low temperatures wreak havoc on everything.

In the cold, metal gets rigid and fragile and, guess what, pretty much your entire garage door is metal. While the door itself isn’t going to break just because it’s cold, a lot of the smaller moving parts have a higher chance to break. Most of all, the large metal springs that raise and lower your door—stretching and compressing at least four times a day as most of us leave and return from work—are the primary things that we find breaking this time of year. Without those springs, you and your opener are stuck trying to lift the full weight of your heavy door and it goes about as well as you can expect.

My personal pet peeve is the cusp of temperatures that allow the snow to melt during the day and then refreeze at night. If your house is on a slope like mine, you might find that some water has slithered under your door and frozen the rubber seal at the bottom—called astragal—to the concrete. Again, we aren’t getting our doors open until we get rid of that nasty ice.

Our technicians are also getting more and more calls for noisy doors. Why? Because the lubricant and grease that help quiet your door are going to freeze or harden like anything else in the cold. Batteries are also dying much faster this time of year, especially the ones that are outside in our cars or in the keypad mounted outside our doors. Save yourself a service call and pop some replacements into those puppies—we’re here at the showroom if you need help.

Human error is also a little higher in the cold. I don’t know about you, but once I’ve shoveled the driveway, I just want to get back in the warm house as soon as possible. We find that plenty of people accidentally block their infrareds—which are little safety features at the base of the garage door—with snow shovels and bags of salt. Snowflakes can also flutter inside and melt on the infrareds. The infrared eye ‘sees’ anything that may be in the path of the closing door, including these water droplets, so make sure they’re wiped off.

As if I needed any other reason to hate winter, I think I just gave you about six. However, we at A.B.E. Doors and Windows are here to make the cold a little less terrible. 

 

26 December 2018
Twas the Night Before Christmas... Why Can't I Get In?
Twas the Night Before Christmas... Why Can't I Get In?

   

It’s that time of year again. We’ve put up our tree, our wreath, our many [many] lights. The tree is lit, the house is lit, the whole neighborhood is lit. It’s nice to admire our beautiful handiwork from the front yard. It’s nice to come home after work to our beautiful well-lit house. It’s nice to—hold up… Why isn’t the garage door opening? Why isn’t the remote opening the door? Guess the universe wanted you to have a little more time to admire your beautiful decor.

Just when you thought you were finished fighting with the lights… Truth is, all those beautiful holiday decorations can play havoc on the garage door opener. It runs on a radio frequency and all kinds of things that you wouldn’t expect can suddenly interfere with your remote opening your door—anything from a new refrigerator to that darling inflatable Frosty in the front yard to your neighbor’s new surround sound. Radio waves can travel pretty far, run into plenty of things, and then stop.

So, if your remote suddenly stopped working [or started working very sporadically], you might want to evaluate what changed inside your house. Try unplugging a few of those new decorations. If you still can’t get the remote to behave, come on down to A.B.E. Doors and Windows, where we can test the frequency your remote is sending and you can admire our lights while you wait.

You have enough to worry about with the holidays coming. Let us take care of the garage!

16 November 2018
Get Your Garage Prepped for the Winter Months
Garage Organization

 

Did the recent snowfall catch you off guard?   Don't worry, there is still time to get your garage prepped and ready before old man winter really comes to town.  After you shovel out from this storm, keep up the momentum and make the simple changes listed here so you are ready for the next one. 

Prep and Organize 

Once you have cleared your cars and any other large items out, give your garage a good sweeping.   You'd be shocked at the amount of debris you track in over the summer months.  Check the exterior for any holes or areas that critters could come in and find a warm home over the winter.   Plug them up so you don't find any chewed cords or items come Spring.  Examine windows or doors for air leakage and consider applying some weather stripping to keep those seals tight.  This is important if you have a door that connects from the garage to your home to keep those pesky drafts out. 

This is a great time to examine the track, springs and mechanics of your garage door opener.  Make sure nothing is in the way of the beam that stops the door in case of an emergency.  We don't suggest you attempt to fix the springs yourself.   The tension on this item is high and accidents can occur in seconds.  Seek out a professional if you think an area needs adjusting.

 Now you can organize the items you need to store.  If something can be hung to utilize wall space, go in that direction.  Sports gear, gardening items and hoses can all hang securely, freeing up floor space.  Swap out your summer gear and have your winter items at the ready.   Put your shovels, ice scrapers, sleds and any snow sports equipment where you can access it easily without having to climb over a patio chair.  Be sure to check over your snow-blower, start the engine and make sure you have the proper gas to last all winter.  

Beat the rush and stock up on salt or washer fluid (which is safe for garage storage) for the winter.  

If you have the room, set up a snow station that has hooks for snow covered coats and hats, a tray for wet boots and a non-slip mat to ensure you don't fall into a slushy mess.  

A Word on Liquids 

If your summer to-do list had you painting or staining, any of those leftovers should be kept in a more stable climate.  Same for any weed killers or other liquid lawn products.  The cold weather and possible freezing of these items can cause them to separate or become ineffective.  Find a safe area in your basement or a little-used closet to store these items. 

All done! 

Now that your garage is all prepped you can relax inside with a hot chocolate and cross your fingers for a mild winter! 

 

 

05 November 2018
Stuffed
Stuffed

  

We’ve all been there—it’s Thanksgiving and the dining room table is positively packed with boisterous family and friends. It never seems to matter how big your table is or how many extra chairs you bring in from the garage. Between the delicious food and the visiting bodies, there is just never enough space.

While we’re talking about space, let’s talk about what to expect when you get a new garage door. Now, garage door installation is actually done from the inside. The garage door is put together like a puzzle, starting from the bottom and working up one section at a time as each panel is fit into the track. As a result, our technicians need enough space to rotate and lift the length of the door. They also need access along the sides to install the track. If your track is not accessible due to clutter, our technicians are forced to try to install your door on an angle, which isn’t a great idea for a myriad of reasons.

We all use our garage for storage, be it extra chairs for the holidays or tools for lawn care. However, before you have your new door installed, you might need to take a look at your garage and remove some things that will be in the way. If your garage is stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey, if you can’t fit your car in your garage, then our technicians won’t have room to install the new door either. Before you get ready for the holiday or a new install, make sure everyone has the room they need.

19 July 2018
How Secure is Your Garage? Tips to Prevent a Break-In
How Secure is Your Garage? Tips to Prevent a Break-In

 

How Secure is Your Garage?  Tips to Prevent a Break-In 

When thinking about the security of your home don't forget your garage.  An often, overlooked area, your garage is just as susceptible to theft as your home is.  Whether your garage is attached or a separate structure, follow these guidelines to protect its contents and deter break-ins. 

Seems like a simple tip: but keep your garage door closed at all times.  Even the safest neighborhoods can be targets for criminal activity.  Don't allow anyone walking or driving by get a glimpse at the contents or easy access to any entry door to your home. 

Keep all access doors in your garage locked.   All doors should have deadbolts and should always be locked during the day.  If you have a service door that is not frequently used, consider adding a security bar or door jammer for added protection.  

Don't let crooks get a peek at all your tools and toys.  Cover up windows with a curtain or translucent film that allows light in but obscures the view.  Statistics show that there is less motivation to break into an area that you can't see into.  

If your emergency release pull can be accessed through a window take some measures to make sure the cord is not dangling.  Some criminals use a method called “fishing” by inserting a wire and hooking it around the cord.  A simple pull and the door is released.  Just make sure the cord is still accessible to you in case of an emergency. 

A well-lit area is probably the best deterrent for mischief.  Motion detector lighting is a smart choice.  It attracts attention when it goes off and saves you on energy when not activated.  Spotlights are another great option if you have a detached garage.   Position them to illuminate the door and the walkway into your home.   If there is an area that you can't see before exiting the garage, consider installing an effective mirror so you can see if anyone is lurking about. 

Make the most of technology available to you.   The MyQ accessories and app lets its users monitor the status of their garage door.   If coupled with security system cameras you would be able to view areas of your garage and see who is coming and going.  It can also notify you when the door has been activated or tell you if the door has been left open accidentally. 

Additional safety garage tips. 

*Install a smoke detector in your garage & keep a fire extinguisher handy. 

*Install additional lighting in the garage to prevent tripping and accidents. 

*Never store chemicals or propane in your garage. 

Take some time this week to look for and address weak areas of security in and around your garage.

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-cautious. 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.

16 May 2018
Service Is Smart
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.

30 March 2018
What's the Deal on Curb Appeal?
What's the Deal on Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is your home's opportunity to make a first impression on potential buyers. Don't you want it to be a good one? You probably thought to mow the lawn, wash the windows, and put away the toys on the patio, but did you consider the garage door? 

If your open house isn't gaining the attention you're seeking, take a step back and look at your home-from the outside. The garage door is the largest moving object in your home and it's how most people are going to come and go on a regular basis. The door you have on your home is the one that's been there for fifty years and not all "antiques" are desirable. 

You painted the inside of your home a nice neutral color because it helps boost resale value, right? However, Remodeling Magazine and the NAR (National Association of Realtors) state that replacing an outdated garage door has the highest return on investment. Garage doors add more curb appeal to your home which can increase it's value drastically.

Beyond the aesthetic appearance of a brand new door, you are also adding a layer of insulation between the outside world and the interior of your garage. If your garage is attached to your home, this can be quite a factor in heating your home. Replacing your existing door with better insulation and a great design might seem like a costly expense, but when you compare it to improving the curb appeal of your home, it's a no brainer.

18 January 2018
It's that time of year again!
Garage Organization - what to keep and what to get rid of

It's that time of year again!  The urge to purge takes over and we find ourselves looking over our homes to decide what needs organizing and revamping. As we sweep through each room, often times we look at the accumulated stuff and wonder...where am I going to put this now? Then the a-ha moment comes and the answer is “stick it in the garage.” While your garage is a great spot to store certain items, changes in temperature, exposure to the elements and a nosy critter can make it unsuitable for some belongings. Let's go over some of those items and offer a better storing solution.

                 Paint


Changes in temperature can lead to discoloration as well as clumping and possible separation. Plus, the moisture of a cement floor can encourage cans to rust. A better solution would be to transfer a portion of paint-for touch up purposes- into a tight sealed container with the color mix noted in case a full can is needed in the future. Store in a closet that maintains an even temp all year round. 

 

Canned Food

 

Again, varying temps in your garage can lead to a shorter shelf life and alter the taste of some foods.  In Winter, you risk the chance that a frozen can could explode.  Reexamine your pantry for areas where storage could be gained. Employ new shelving or an over the door rack that can accommodate cans. 

  

Paper Goods/Fabric

Storage of these items may encourage a family of mice to make your garage their home. Moths and other bugs love to nibble on certain types of fabrics. If you must keep these items in the garage, make sure they are placed in quality, air-tight containers. Keep them off the ground on a higher shelf if possible.

 

Propane Tank

No one wants to run out of propane during a back-yard barbecue. Keeping a spare in the garage is hazardous.  Tanks need to be kept in a well-ventilated area free from fumes or materials that could ignite it. Best to keep this item stored outside away from any structure.

 

A Refrigerator

 

 

 

It may be tempting to purchase a spare to keep drinks and stock up on frozen items but the unit will actually work harder trying to maintain an even temperature in the summer and winter months, thus increasing your electric bill. There are insulation and heating coil kits available, but do some math first to see what these will cost you over time. The price to store that great sale on frozen food may not be worth it.
 
Photos/Important Documents

 

That photo album you inherited from your grandparents, when exposed to fluctuating temperatures could grow mold over time and pages can get stuck together.  The same applies to any document that may be difficult to replace.  Set aside some time to scan important documents to your computer or invest in a fireproof box. Many stores offer photo-scanning services that compile all your cherished memories into one DVD. 
 
 
As you continue to freshen up your homes this year, take care where you store items in and around the house as well. If reorganizing your garage is in the future, refer back to our blog to learn all the best tips and tricks to reclaim that space for your car again! 
 

04 December 2017
An Individualized Touch That Can’t Be Purchased Online!
An Individualized Touch That Can’t Be Purchased Online!

The hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holiday season is upon us—the endless lists of things to do and limited amount of time to complete them.  Many of us seek the internet to solve our problems by saving time and money, but what you aren’t purchasing is an individualized touch.   

Throughout my experiences as the office manager, I have seen too many times a customer walk through our door needing assistance with a garage door or operator part.  They had purchased the part online that was listed on Amazon or Ebay to name a few common sites.  This seemed to be their “jackpot.”  Pay for the part online and have it shipped directly to them within 24 hours.  SOLD!    Only to receive the part and deal with the disappointment and frustration that it does not work.  Now what?  It’s not like you can call the internet and talk to a person to help you.

 

This is where we have an advantage over an online store.  The office staff can help you diagnose the problem and supply you with the correct part.  Garage door operator technology has changed so much in the past twenty years.  Manufacturers discontinue parts or replace them with universal models that accommodate many products.  The next time that you need help with a part, instead of reaching out to Google, call me directly at 610-398-2430, extension 115 or stop by the showroom location.  The staff is always available to offer you the “Gift of Giving.”

 

Happy Holidays, 

 

Shannon Seng

Office Manager 

 

23 July 2017
Don't lose your cool in a hot garage!

 You just finished dressing and fixing your hair in the coolness of your home only to become hot and flushed by the time it takes you to hop into your car to begin the day.   Don't sweat it.....here's a host of great tips to lower that temperature and keep your cool. 

Let there be air flow!

If you are fortunate enough to have a window, install an exhaust fan to help pull the hot air out.  If you feel comfortable with the idea, you can open the garage door about a foot to help with circulation as well.  Even a well placed box fan can help with air flow if you are doing some tinkering in the garage.  Always make sure the garage door is closed and any fans turned off at the end of day. 

Don't be full of hot air.

Think of the ceiling of your garage like the attic in your home.  Hot air rises and gets trapped in that space.  Adding a vent to the roof will give all that hot air a way to escape, thus keeping the overall garage cooler.  Insulating your ceiling is an another way to keep that hotter air from coming into the working area of your garage.  

If these walls could talk.

They would say “add some insulation to us too”.   If you choose this option, make sure to encapsulate the insulation with some wall board material. This would prevent tearing and wear from pets and younger children.  Applying weather stripping around an entrance door or the bottom of the garage door will help keep the warmer air out.  You could also caulk around a window or door if you saw small gaps in those areas as well.

Consider some shade.

If your garage is used as an extension of your home in terms of living space maybe consider adding an adjustable roll away awning to the sunny side of the garage to keep that summer sun at bay.  If you are revamping your landscaping, a well-placed tree can provide leafy shade during the warmer months and the loss of leaves in the winter will allow the sun to peek through and warm the garage...bonus!

Think light.

Darker colors absorb heat.  Painting your garage door a crisp white, beige or cream will help reflect the heat.  Another choice is a cool roof system.  A more costly selection, these materials help absorb the sun's energy and reflect more heat.  Available in the form of paints, tiles and sheet coverings, this option would be more suited to a garage that has been converted to a home gym or living space.

We hope these tips will make your garage a bit more tolerable in the summer months or at least a little less rumpled till you get to work.  

21 June 2017
National Garage Door Safety Month
Garage Door Safety

 

The International Door Association has deemed June National Garage Door Safety Month. Your garage door is the largest heaviest moving object in your home. Over 77% of garage door related injuries occur at a person's own property.  Keep your family, pets and automobiles safe all year round by following these simple tips.

 

 

Every month inspect your garage door and the surrounding mechanics.  Look over your cables, springs, rollers and tracks.  Look for any objects, such as leaves or other debris, that may be in the way of these areas that would cause a problem.  If you hear a lot of grinding or scraping apply a spray lubricant to keep the tracks running smoothly.  The average life span of most springs and cables is approximately 10,000 cycles or roughly 6 to 10 years.  Please consider calling a professional to replace these items, as they are tension mounted and may cause injury to the do-it yourselfer.  Do not operate the door if you feel there is an area that needs repair.

Since 1993 overhead garage doors are required to have auto reverse sensors to indicate if an object is in the way of the door as it closes.  Check these sensors monthly by placing a soft object, such as a roll of paper towels, in front of the sensor.  If the door does not automatically move back up, check the wires to make sure they have not been chewed on or disconnected in any way.  Over time the sensor itself may become dirty, wiping each lens with a soft cloth ensures the beam does not get interrupted.  If the beam seems broken it could indicate the brackets have become misaligned. Tightening the brackets may solve the problem, if not, you may have to replace them.   If your garage door does not have sensors it may be time to upgrade to a door that does to avoid an injury.  

 

              

Talk to your children about garage door safety.   Encourage them not to play with the opener or the remote.  Make sure your opener is placed at a height that small children cannot access.  Instruct your kids not to leave bikes or toys in front of the garage or inside where they could get run over.  Never open or close the door when kids or pets are close by.   If you have older children, teach them how to use the emergency release pull.... make sure you know how to use this as well!

Staying safe extends to when you go on vacation as well.   Inform a trusted neighbor of the days you will be gone and have them notify you if they see any odd activity near your garage door.  Take remote controls out of your car and keep them in the house until you return.  Some newer garage door models have a vacation mode feature that can be activated so your remotes are disabled.  Upon your return, simply deactivate this setting from the wall control in the garage and you are back in business.  

 

 A little prevention and knowing what to look for can save you and your family from a garage door related injury.  A.B.E Doors and Windows cares about you and your home, if you feel your garage door could use a little love please contact us at 610. 398. 2430.  

 

 

19 May 2017
Organize Your Garage to Fit YOUR Needs
Have fun Organizing

 Organize Your Garage to Fit YOUR Needs

 Now that you have spring cleaned your home from top to bottom, let's move your focus outside the home to your garage. Has it been awhile since you were able to park your car in it?  If your car does fit, are you tip-toeing around stuff to get to your car door and hoping you don't knock anything over?  If the answer was yes to either of those questions, let’s look at some practical solutions that translate well for any garage space. 

                   

                                   Before                                                                                          After

The first step is to clear out the garage from top to bottom.  As you remove items place them into three piles.  Trash, Keep and Donate or Sell.  Really assess the item...when was the last time you used those roller-blades?  If it's been over three years, it's probably time to let it go.  Have some bags and boxes handy for the items you donate and make a plan to drop them off later that day.  Try not to bring it back into your home or garage. While the garage is empty give it a good sweep.  It is also an excellent time to check your garage door opener for wear and tear. Make a note if you see something that needs repairing.

 

The next step is to sort the items you are keeping.  Grouping them into like categories will help you determine how to organize your garage area.  Examples would be: toys and sports equipment, lawn & garden, tools and perhaps holiday items.  Now that you have your groupings, take a look at the garage space and create different zones for those items.  If your garage is attached to your home you may want to designate that space near the door to be used as a pantry or an area for coats, shoes and school belongings. 

                    

 

Utilize vertical and overhead storage solutions to your advantage.  A simple pegboard with an assortment of hooks can hold all your tools.  A clever trick to remember what goes where is to trace the outline of the tool onto the pegboard!  A solid shelf and some sturdy S hooks can help create a sports zone for bicycles, golf equipment and sports gear that may only get used at certain times of the year. When installing any overhead solution, always make sure they do not impede the opening and closing of your garage door.  

                                

 

Wooden pallets and PVC pipe are two inexpensive ways to corral all your long handled garden tools.  A small shelf can hold potting supplies, gloves and smaller gardening implements.   As you put things away it's a great idea to label things.  That way everyone knows where items belong. 

 

                                                

 You've worked hard.  Take a moment to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the reclaiming of your car's parking spot.  If you have energy left, lace up those roller-blades and take a loop around the block.

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