Residential Garage Doors Guide

residential garage doorsOld, shabby looking residential garage doors can detract from the appearance of otherwise beautiful homes. There is no curb appeal gained from the neglected appearance of worn out garage doors. Homeowners that take pride in their residences know that nice looking garage doors are an integral part of a great looking home. Often, the garage doors are one of the first things that a visitor or guest will see when pulling up to a house and you know what they say about first impressions!  Fortunately, today’s garage doors are innovative and designed to add beauty to the home as well as functionality, and last a long time as well. Anyone interested in having new garage doors installed will find a wide variety of garage doors for sale that will add aesthetic value to their home.

Garage doors that do not function properly are dangerous and frustrating. Wrestling with a garage door that will not open or close properly is an irritating activity to engage in daily and runs contrary to the safety precautions that most homeowners consider critical for their homes.

Reliable ingress and egress through the garage are an essential component of overall home safety. No one wants to get stuck with a malfunctioning garage door in an emergency and conceivably be unable to use their car. Also, a potential intruder will have a much easier time breaking into a home through an old, broken garage door than a new, tightly sealed door

The good news is that garage door replacement and garage door repair are available through the services of a professional company like All Four Seasons. These services can be performed quickly and are unquestionably one of the most affordable home upgrade projects that a homeowner can initiate. These are jobs that require the skills of a knowledgeable pro to achieve the desired results, though, and should be almost never attempted as a do-it-yourself endeavor.

Broken or malfunctioning garage doors can result from several different issues, such as the garage door opener or the mechanical structures of the garage door itself. If the door is not opening and closing correctly, or it is making unusual noises, the door most likely needs to be serviced. Below are some of the common problems that necessitate garage door repair:

Garage Door Opener Sensor Beams

Since 1993, garage door openers have been required to utilize sensory beams that act as a motion detector when the door is closing, thereby causing the door to stop and reverse if, for example, a child, pet or vehicle is underneath the door. These devices tend can be damaged by the day-to-day comings and goings through the garage and can go out of alignment easily.

These sensors work by throwing an infrared beam between two “eyes” that signal the garage door opener to stop when the beam is interrupted. If the two sensors on either side of the door are misaligned, they’ll keep telling the door to stop, interpreting the situation as if there were something blocking the beam, thereby halting safe closing or opening of the door.

There may be debris (cobwebs are often the main culprit) that interfere with the sensors only when the door is in motion, resulting in a mysterious stop and start of the opener. Also, leaning or storing items near the tracks may either block the door or affect the sensors. Often it only takes a quick bend of the bracket to re-align the electric eye and the problem is solved.

residential garage doorsWorn or Broken Torsion Springs

Garage door springs on residential garage doors are not built to last forever and eventually will wear out and possibly break. Springs should be inspected every year because if they snap, the result can be hazardous. A broken torsion spring or tension spring can cause the door to crash to the ground if there is also a problem with the cable. This kind of fall can damage the door panels, in addition to the tracks and rolling pins.

A torsion spring stores energy via a twisting motion, making the door a bit lighter for the garage door opener (or a human garage door opener!) doesn’t have to work as hard. The tension spring also takes on some garage door weight by stretching, and there are usually two of them flanking either side of the door. They relax when the door is raised and stretch when it’s down. Since most of the time they are in the stretched position (door closed), they can fatigue and wear out. Garage door sizes determine the gauge of springs.

Frayed or Broken Garage Door Cable

The cable on a garage door works with the spring to control the raising and lowering mechanisms. If the spring snaps, the cable is the only thing preventing the door from plummeting dangerously, so it is essential to have the cable inspected for fraying and ease of movement. The critical function of this component merits annual inspection just as the spring does.

Residential Garage Doors Tracks, Rollers, and Rails

Problems with these moving parts often result when the door is struck and the rails are knocked out of alignment or bent, usually when someone accidentally backs into the garage door. If there are gaps between the tracks and rollers, or if there are bent rails, there is often a scraping noise, or the door may have difficulty opening or closing. Since the entire system works only when everything is aligned and straight, damage to a door panel may affect the smooth movement as the door opens or closes. When this happens, it is critical to have the damaged panel or bent rails fixed or replaced by a professional before they bend further or create more damage- the makings of a potentially dangerous situation.

Extension Spring Pulleys

Garage doors that use extension springs have pulleys that can wear out when the ball bearings break down. This problem can cause the pulley to scrape against the track or even cause the pulley to split if the rivets fail. When pulleys malfunction, the garage door will not open and close properly. The door will stick and often scraping sounds can be heard. Again, this is a situation that calls for service from a professional. Lubrication is also an issue here- most doors don’t do well with WD-40 or other silicone lubricants. Professionals use specific grease-based products to keep parts from wearing out from friction.

How do I find a reputable company that services garage doors near me, and what are the important things to know about these companies?

Just like in any industry, garage door service companies are not all the same, and some are better at what they do than others. A garage door service technician should be licensed and insured from a reputable company with years of experience. The company should provide detailed estimates and bill with no hidden costs or fees. A good company should also guarantee the work, giving you the peace of mind that if a problem arises with the repair, that problem will be addressed free of cost. References should be available upon request, and online reviews are helpful, too.

Many homeowners will decide that replacing an existing garage door system is the right choice. Garage door technology and aesthetics have advanced remarkably over the years, so it is no surprise that their replacement is a desirable option. The impact that new garage doors have on the appearance of a home can be dramatic, and the installation is affordable. The job of installing new garage doors is mechanically complicated, though, and demands the services of a professional to ensure safety and flawless operation.

There are several different materials to choose from when installing new garage doors, including steel, aluminum, wood, and wood composite. Here are some of the benefits of each:

Steel Doors

Steel is the most popular material used for garage doors because it is durable and virtually maintenance-free. Steel is also the least expensive material and can be configured to maximize insulative properties. Insulated garage doors are effective in hot or cold climates when a little extra barrier between inside and outside helps with energy efficiency.

Aluminum Doors

Aluminum offers superior insulation and resistance to corrosion that is appropriate for homes in more humid climates. These doors also come in a variety of colors and designs to suit any taste.

Wood Doors

Wood garage doors are arguably the most beautiful and enhance the appearance of a home’s exterior significantly. These doors are perfect for the carriage house style, which creates a stunningly appealing effect to the face of a house. While they do take a bit more care, they can last as long as metallic doors.

Wood Composite Doors

Wood composite doors are less expensive than wood doors with the same classic appearance, but less maintenance over time. They come primed and ready to paint and are thus easily adjusted to match the color of the exterior.

New garage doors come in different styles as well, such as carriage house doors, traditional sectional doors and garage doors with windows. Bifold garage doors are sometimes used when there is space and an aesthetic call for them, Garage doors sizes will vary to an extent, and this is another reason to have a professional complete the job. A professional garage door installer should be licensed, insured, and provide warranties on all parts and labor for the job.

Garage door prices vary widely as well, from a few hundred dollars to five figures. Some custom doors for expensive properties can cost upwards or $15,000. All Four Seasons can help you find the right price point for your next door that will leave you with a great, functional door for a good price.

Imagine pressing the garage door remote button and your brand new door glides silently up next to the garage ceiling, stopping perfectly! As you drive out and close it, your new door blends perfectly with the style and design of the house, bringing the front exterior together, while offering the security and safety you expect from all the other doors and windows on the house.

The bottom line is that garage doors are an important, integral feature of a well maintained, and secure home. Whether the doors need maintenance, repair or replacement, keeping them safe and sharp looking is a necessary responsibility for any homeowner.