A.B.E. Doors & Windows Blog

19 December 2023
Prep Your Garage for Winter
Prep Your Garage for Winter

 

We may not have seen too many flurries this year yet, but snow, freezing rain and colder temps are coming. Prepping your garage makes the area safe and ensures your belongings are protected.

Start by giving it a quick cleaning. Sweep out any leaves or debris that could get in the way of your garage door’s sensors. Wipe up any spills that could freeze. Clean up any clutter that may be in the path to your car. Replace any burnt out light bulbs in, and outside of your garage.

Organize your winter items. Those shovels are no good if they are buried behind lawn chairs. Make sure your snow-blower is clean and that you have the proper oil and gas on hand. Take some time to get all your winter items to the front of the garage. Don’t forget any sports gear or clothing the family may need for a fun snow day.

Create a space for wet shoes and clothing. Keep the slush, salt, and dirt out of your living space. Create a “drop zone” for wet boots, coats, mittens, and other items. 

Do a quick inspection of your garage door, opener, and hardware. Watch your door open and close. Does it wobble or seem like it’s lifting off the track? Can you see any loose parts? Are you hearing any squeaks, bangs, or pops? Test your door’s reverse feature. Does it stop if an object is placed in front of the sensors? If any of these examples are a concern, we recommend calling a professional to address them.

If you use your garage as a work area, you may want to check any weather- stripping, insulation and seals around windows and doors. You may want to consider adding some insulation to help retain the heat. Do you use a space heater? Use it with caution and unplug it when not in use. 

Let’s wish for a mild winter but be prepared for a harsh one.


 


 

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. 

 

21 January 2019
Leave the Chilly Weather Outside...Tips for a Cozy Home
Leave the Chilly Weather Outside...Tips for a Cozy Home

 

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth.

~Edith Sitwell

 

“Put a sweater on!”…Was that ever your parents response when you told them you were cold?  It's only now, as a seasoned homeowner, that I realize they kept the thermostat low so their monthly electric bill would not shock them when it arrived.  Keeping those cold drafts from creeping into your home is a challenge this time of year.   Let's explore some ways to keep the warmth in, so you don't have to wear 5 sweaters at one time!

About 25% of your heat escapes your home via the roof, so examining your attic or any crawl space is important.   If you've had any water leaks or work done to your roof this past year, you should also check to make sure mold is not present in the insulation as well.  As time progresses, insulation does settle and becomes less effective, even the foam type can condense as the years go by.  A good rule of thumb is to have between 10 and 16 inches of insulation in these spaces.   If your assessment comes up short, the do-it-yourself-er can head to the home store and purchase the additional material needed.  If you don't feel confident walking around the rafters, see if a friend can recommend a company to assist you. 

Let's move on minimizing the drafts you may be feeling around your windows.   Use curtains to your advantage and make sure you are letting the warmth of the sun in during the day and closing them up at night.   Consider swapping out a lighter fabric for something a bit more substantial like wool or a curtain that contains a liner.  Insulation kits are great for keeping those icy chills out of your home.  They are easy to install and easy on the wallet.  Any visible gaps between the window and frame could benefit from some caulking.   

Doors can be a bit tricky since they are constantly being used, but the use of a curtain or an insulation kit that covers any panes can be beneficial.  A fresh layer of weather stripping and replacing a worn sweep at the base can also keep drafts at bay.  The use of a door-snake could be used on the basement door or perhaps to the door of an unused room.  Don't forget to examine the door leading to a garage or porch area.  

It is a bit chilly to address areas outside the home, but you can start a Spring to-do list and consider planting a tree or some shrubs near windows to cut down the wind and note any gaps or areas that may have developed & fill them with caulking.

Ultimately you want your home to retain heat in the winter and remain cool in the summer.   Replacement of older windows or doors is the best way to address all these issues so your home stays toasty warm & stays energy efficient no matter what the weather!

 

 

 

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! 

 

 

15 November 2017
Chilly Air, We Don't Care: Tips to keep your home warm this winter.
Chilly Air, We Don't Care: Tips to keep your home warm this winter.

Bundle up!  Right now, many of us are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the colder weather ahead.   Winter clothes are coming out of storage, heavier blankets are on our beds and hot cocoa packets are at the ready to warm us up.  Besides keeping ourselves warm, now is the time to make sure our homes are ready for those blasts of cold air.  Let's take a look at your doors and windows and help you make practical fixes to areas that may be letting old man winter in.

Begin by working from the outside in to address areas that may be letting cold air through. 

Check the caulk around windows and doors.   Over time, caulk can wear and peel away leaving small gaps.  As a part of your Fall maintenance, inspect the caulk and replace it or add a new line to repair it. 

The North face of your home could benefit from wind blocking features.  A decorative fence panel or tall dense shrubs are excellent at deflecting colder air gusts.  If changing some landscaping is on the docket for next spring, perhaps consider planting a tree in that area.

 

 Functional shutters for your windows can benefit you all year round.  Consider the hardworking Bermuda style, which can protect against the rain and wind in winter and provide shade and allow a cool breeze in summer. The addition of an awning can also assist in deflecting winter gusts.

 

Moving on to your entryway, let's inspect the following areas of your door for problem spots. 

 

Examine your weather stripping, door sweep and threshold for signs of wear or damage.  Your local hardware store can provide new materials, such as foam adhesive strips, that are easily installed and cost effective.  Door snakes are another functional, decorative way to block drafts from doors that may not see much use, but still allow a bit of cold air to enter the home, like the basement door.

 

Most drafts are seen around your windows, but preventing them is easy by trying these simple solutions. 

Layering your windows with blinds or shades and then a heavier drape is an effective way to keep rooms warmer.  Velvet fabric is a smart choice to use in the winter months.  Cotton or linen fabrics with the addition of a lining can also provide an efficient barrier against the wind.  

Products like weather stripping and caulk can help create a tight seal between the window and frame. Always inspect and clean the areas to insure a smooth, effective application.  

Film insulation kits are easy to use and only require a few additional tools.  Kits come with special two- sided tape and a plastic film that covers the window frame creating an airtight seal.  This method works well on all shapes and sizes.  When winter is over, the plastic film and tape are easy to remove so you can start to enjoy those spring breezes.

 

 

If the above solutions have not stopped the drafty areas, then perhaps it's time to consider replacement.  Our staff is on hand to discuss door and window options that fit into your budget. We want to help you and your home stay warm this winter season.

16 February 2017
Why Choose an Insulated Garage Door
Insulate Your Garage Door

Bundle up!   That's what you heard from your mom as you walked out of the house every day in winter. She was determined to keep you warm and comfortable as you ventured into the chilly air.  The same principle applies to areas of your home.  Having sufficient layers can help keep the heat in and make your home more comfy as well.  Insulation in your walls and attic is common place, but what about your garage?  An insulated garage door can afford you many benefits. Here are a few to consider.

As the humble garage space has evolved over the years it has taken on a multipurpose use.  No longer is it just a space to house a car or two, but it has become an extension of your home.  Many of us use this area to do woodworking or tinkering on our cars. Some utilize the space as a workout area or a place where your teenagers can play their drums or guitars without deafening the entire household.  For these very reasons an insulated door can help maintain heat generated by a portable heater so these activities can be enjoyed all throughout the chillier months. 

A warmer space can also mean the difference of your car starting or not.  If the temperature outside is 20 degrees, your garage is about 30 degrees.  An insulated door increases that temp to around 42 degrees, which gives your vehicle a little extra edge when temperatures are below freezing. 

If your garage is attached to your home, you probably have a door that connects to a small mudroom or hallway off your kitchen.   Each time that door is opened your home feels the effects of that blast of cold air.  Having an insulated garage door can help buffer that cooler air so your home maintains it's temperature.  

Does anyone in your home work the early shift?   Or perhaps you have a night owl in your midst?  Insulated doors are denser and therefore rattle less.   That means less disturbance for those of you already asleep.  The denser door is also a great sound barrier......those drums that are being practiced on will cause less rift in the neighborhood.

Let's be real, your garage door takes a lot of abuse.  Besides the daily opening and closing, it receives the occasional bump of a basketball, catches the falling bicycle and sometimes feels the back bumper of your car.  The stronger core of an insulated door adds rigidity to the panels and helps it absorb these impacts better.  The less damage done to the door over the years can equate to less repairs and longer duration in general.

A.B.E Doors and Windows carries the Raymor Innovation Series garage doors which offers a polyurethane insulation.  Please contact us at 610-398-2430 if we can be of assistance in selecting a garage door for your home. 

 Other articles you may be interested in:

www.abedoors.com/blog/1/2016/09/index.cfm

www.abedoors.com/blog/1/2015/02/index.cfm

22 December 2016
Winterizing Windows
A How-To for Saving Money with Windows

By now, most of you know that Energy Star ratings are an integral way to gauge the quality of a window's thermal and energy efficiency, and we are proud to provide dozens of models that receive the highest Energy Star ratings.  Among these, we are especially proud of our line of ProVia Endure windows, which can be seen here .

Two things that make ProVia Endure especially smart solutions as replacement windows involve obscure, but incredibly important, factors in the estimation of an Energy Star rating, these factors being "air infilitration" and "condensation resistance."  

Air infilitration denotes a measurement of how much exterior air flow passes through the window pane, thus decreasing internal temperatures.  Factory-tests conducted by ProVia ensure that all their windows exceed the industry standard for this measurement before they are released on the market.  

Condenstation resistance denotes the material ability a window has to avoid condensation formation, which is a function of ambient humidity.  Just like the case of air infiltration, laboratory tests on condensation resistance are performed on all ProVia windows before they are sold and installed by ABE Doors.  

There are many ways to save on energy costs during winter, and purchasing replacement windows, such as ProVia Endure, through ABE Doors is just one way among many.  Please call, return to our site, or visit our offices for more helpful tips on saving money during the winter seasons.

 

  

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