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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.