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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 garageis in the future, refer back to our blog to learn all the best tips and tricks to reclaim that space for your car again!
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.