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    Our customer, Michael, gave us a call last week because the belt on his garage door opener was clearly falling apart. 

    One of the torsion springs was also broken, and as a result, the garage door opener was carrying part of the weight of the garage door, which then damaged the belt. 

    A very old garage door opener.

    Since his existing garage door opener was already very old, it made sense to go ahead and replace the garage door opener completely. 

    Michael’s garage is detached from his home, and the only exit is the garage door. Instead of installing an emergency lock, we decided to go with a battery backup model garage door opener. In case there is a power outage, Michael will still be able to open the garage door normally. He can use the keypad or a remote control, and the battery backup kicks in to operate the door.

    We installed this brand new LiftMaster 8550 garage door opener with battery backup.

    The LiftMaster 8550 garage door opener includes WiFi capability in addition to the battery backup. The opening is very quiet, with a soft opening and soft closing. The security is upgraded and the garage door opener is maintenance free! 

    Michael is very happy with his new garage door opener and we’re happy we were able to get out to his home quickly to resolve the problem! The LiftMaster 8550 is very popular, so we had a brand new one right on the truck and were able to install same day.

    At least once a week, someone calls our office and says “My garage door is off track, what do I do?”

    The answer: you call us!

    Off track garage doors are best handled by a professional who knows what they are doing. It’s a common issue to happen to garage doors, and the best advice is always to STOP using the garage door, don’t try to fix it and call a professional.

    A garage has the potential to get more off track and fall completely off the track, which is dangerous for you, for your belongings and for anyone else in your home.

    Not only that, continuing to operate your garage door while off track can actually do more damage to your door, hardware and other parts.

    How does a professional fix the garage door when it’s off track?

    Generally it’s as simple as popping your garage door rollers back in place and returning the garage door to the track.

    If you are handy and have worked on your garage door before, and you feel comfortable with all these steps, you can try this before calling us:

    Putting your garage door back on track…

    1. Locate the handle and role that is attached to your garage door.
    2. Ensure your garage door is CLOSED before you touch the handle and rope.
    3. Next, disconnect your garage door from the power source. Next, disconnect your garage door opener.
    4. Your garage door is now in “manual” mode. This will allow you to raise the garage door up until you get the rollers to align. They should align close to where the garage door is off track.
    5. You then grab a clamp or vice grips and secure the door. We generally do this on the track near hte lower part of the garage door.
    6. Now, use another clamp or grip to open the track up. Select an area near to where the rollers went off track.
    7. If the track is wide enough, you can put the rollers back onto the track. You can then use a piece of wood and a soft hammer to close up the opening and straighten the track.
    8. Now you’re ready to remove the clamps and vice grips you placed on the track. Now, close the garage door all the way.

    Once you have completed all the above steps, you can reconnect the garage door and opener.

    Make sure to test the door a few times and ensure it opens and closes properly.

    If you notice the garage door catches or drags in a certain area on the track, you might need to straighten the track more.

    If, after all of this, your garage door is still not working well, CALL US! 

    Our customers, Amy and Melvin, were in need of two new garage doors – one two car garage door and one one car garage door. 

    Their old garage doors had several cracks (dangerous!) and were just not operable. 

    Since they needed to purchase brand new doors, as repairing their existing doors wasn’t an option, they decided to get an upgrade!

    Amy and Melvin wanted a class, carriage house style garage door look. They ultimately chose these beautiful carriage style metal garage doors.

    carriage style metal garage doors in walnut finish

    Amy and Melvin chose a walnut finish. Not only is it beautiful, it really offers a nice contrast with their lighter color home. It also is a big change in curb appeal for their home!

    The homeowners also chose some decorative hardware to accent the doors. Very traditional and beautiful!

    The garage doors are steel backed and insulated, which is perfect for the hot Texas summers. Insulated garage doors can help lower a home’s utility bills when the garage is attached to the home. The insulation also helps in a two story home, helping to keep the room or rooms above the garage cooler.

    Many customers now ask for “smart” garage door openers to be installed in their garages. And for good reason! The garage is a main point of entry for both residents and thieves! It makes sense to want to ensure the garage is easy for homeowners to access, and difficult for unwanted visitors.

    The best way to achieve a “smart home” garage experience is with a WiFi enabled garage door opener.

    WiFi Enabled Garage Door Features

    “Smart” garage door openers will allow you to open or close your garage door from your smartphone, whether you’re at home or away. And don’t worry, most of these openers come with a battery backup in case your WiFi or power goes out.

    You can also check on the status of your garage door when home or away, whether it’s open or shut and when it was last operated. You can even set up notifications to alert you on your phone if the door opens. This can give you piece of mind that no one is coming through your garage that you don’t know about!

    These openers also give you scheduling abilities so you can have your garage door open or close at set times, including automatic closing if a door has been opener for a set period of time.

    Best WiFi Garage Door Openers

    We love LiftMaster garage door openers, and all of their openers are now “Smart”. You can enjoy this technology on their wide range of opener options, including chain drive openers, belt drive openers and Jack Shaft openers. Chamberlain also has a great MyQ technology opener on the market.

    LiftMaster also offers an automatic lock that works with their smart garage door openers, to lock the garage once it is closed. Not only does it provide peace of mind, it also reinforces the door as well.

     

     

     

    Investing 10-20 minutes a month in garage door maintenance can make a world of difference for the lifespan of your garage doors.

    This post outlines a few tips to help keep your garage doors working well and spot any potential issues before they blow up!

    Clean your garage doors!

    This is simple to do with a hose and a rag!

    Rinse down your doors and use a rag with warm soapy water to clean inside and out. This is something you can do quarterly as well.

    While you are washing, give it a visual inspection and note any rust or other metal parts that show signs of rust. You can also clean up any cobwebs and other debris you see, including on the tracks.

    Wipe down your tracks with the rag, and ensure you dry it off with a dry rag when you’re done cleaning.

    While remembering to do a few things a month to maintain your garage door sounds like a waste of time, it’s not. Small tasks as outlined in this post can help prevent problems before they become big ones, and can extend the life of your garage door and parts.

    If you take just 10 minutes a month to do the following 4 things, your garage door will be in great condition!

    Clean Annually

    So this isn’t a monthly task, but something that might take 30-60 minutes, once a year.

    Cleaning your garage door includes washing it with soapy water and rinsing it well, both inside and out.

    Give it a thorough visual inspection. If you are maintaining your doors monthly, then anything out of the ordinary should be obvious.

    Check specific areas, including your springs for any rust, and other metal parts for signs of rust. Get rid of cobwebs and other debris you see anywhere, including on the tracks. Wipe down your tracks as well. This can be down with a wet towel. Ensure you dry the tracks when you are done cleaning with a dry rag.

    Lubrication on Garage Doors

    This task is only 2 minutes and very important! Using a silicon or lithium based spray, lubricate the tracks to ensure your garage doors run smoothly along the tracks.

    Do NOT use WD-40! You want a spray that isn’t greasy or too sticky, so that when it dries it’s clean. If it’s sticky, debris and dirt and dust can get stuck onto the areas you’ve lubricated.

    The spray can be used on your tracks, rollers, hinges, locks and springs. Essentially, you want to lubricate any moving part of your garage.

    Check Your Springs

    Although you should be visually inspecting your springs along with the rest of your garage door parts, take an extra moment each month to look at your springs.

    Since the springs are metal, rust is always a concern. Rust can cause your springs to break, which can be a safety hazard if they break while the door is open and you, a loved one or valuable object is underneath.

    Find a garage door company you trust!

    A professional garage door company can perform a thorough yearly maintenance service for you if you don’t want to check your doors each month.

    Whether or not you have maintenance done professionally, it is always a good idea to have a company you trust so you can call if your inspections bring up anything troubling. If you notice your springs have some rust, you can quickly call a professional to inspect them and replace if necessary!

    Oftentimes as well, the tech can quickly perform a visual inspection while out on the call to note any other pressing items.

    Staying on top of your garage door maintenance will allow the garage door and parts to perform optimally and for a long time.

    If you don’t have a professional company you trust – google one! Make sure to find independent, 3rd party review sites to research different options, including Yelp, Facebook and BBB.

    We recently installed these absolutely gorgeous Canyon Ridge garage doors by Clopay at a customer’s home.

    Their setup is very unique in that they have a 2 car garage and 1 car garage opposite from each other.

    These garage doors by Clopay feature a four layer steel material. They have a carriage house style with a faux wood finish.

    In the photos below you can see the beautiful detail of the finish. You can almost believe it’s real wood!

     

    The beauty of this material is it’s durable and long lasting, as well as weather resistant. You can enjoy the look of real wood without the wear and tear and long term maintenance that comes with real wood. Plus, these steel doors are more affordable than wood.

    The garage doors also feature 2 inch Intellicore® polyurethane insulation with a thermal break. This garage door has an 18.4 R-value. Features Clopay’s Safe-T-Bracket®, a patented garage door safety feature.

    In addition to low-maintenance steel, the doors are also covered with a composite overlay, molded from actual wood pieces for a natural look. It’s truly a great door and beautiful option for many home styles.

    You can choose from 3 composite finish options and styles, including:

    • Clear Cypress
    • Mahogany
    • Pecky Cypress

    There are also several finish colors to match any home and style, including:

    • Walnut
    • Dark
    • Medium
    • Slate
    • White Wash
    • Primed

    You can also customize the design of the door itself, with a variety of window panel options. Our customer preferred a solid door look and opted to not install a window panel.

    They can also be customized more to the home and homeowner’s style with hardware choices.

    This door has some beautiful iron handles installed, as well as 4 strap hinges on each door to give the carriage house look!

    The traditional carriage house doors open out to the side. These doors really have that style, without the inconvenience of actually opening your garage doors out to the side.

     

    This repair is on a broken torque master spring system by Wayne Dalton.

    As you can see there is a cracked panel in the door as well.

    We worked on replacing the spring system with a new standard torsion spring system.

    We have found that the torque master systems typically fail after a few years in use. The standard torsion springs systems last many years.

    Another negative to the Wayne Dalton systems is that their components are mostly plastic. With extreme temperatures and extended use, plastic parts can break more often or wear more quickly.

    Our replacement spring systems are installed with metallic parts, helping them to last longer and function better.

    Below are some before and after pictures of the cracked panels and spring system changes.

      

     

    We also added a strut to reinforce the cracked panel. This isn’t a permanent fix long term, but helps prevent further breakage and will allow the door to work and function as it should.

    If you are looking for a garage door repair tech in Sugar Land, Texas, there are a few things you should consider before hiring one.

    Figuring out how to pick the best one can feel daunting, but it’s not so hard!

    Tip #1 Look at Reviews

    Most people do this anyway, but don’t skip this process!

    Remember it’s not always about the number of reviews, or even the rating. Look at each individual review. Do you see any common themes, either positive or negative? Remember what kind of job you want done as well – repair or new garage door installation. See if you can find reviews that address these services specifically.

    A great place to start is Yelp and Facebook. Good garage door businesses will solicit reviews from happy customers plus any dissatisfied customers go to these 2 places first when wanting to make a public complaint. You should get some great info, plus Yelp and Facebook take independent reviews seriously, so it’s hard for the business to filter any negative reviews.

    Tip #2 Ensure the company is professional and has the right certifications.

    Any garage door repair business you contact should be able to show that they are licensed, bonded and insured. If they can’t, run away! No company, including garage door companies should never shy away from showing examples of their work, a copy of their license and certification that their employees are also licensed and bonded.

    Remember that garage doors have many complicated moving parts and mechanisms. You don’t want just anybody working on your garage door.

    Tip #3 Compare Service Rates

    This is also great practice for hiring a service professional for any part of your home or life.

    After checking reviews and licenses, narrow down your choices by comparing rates. Generally, rates should be competitive. Finding out what the going rate means getting quotes from at least 2-3 companies. This will give you a sense of what the right amount is to pay for a service, and might help weed out a company that is trying to take advantage of customers.

     

    If you are in the Sugar Land, Texas consider adding M&L Garage Door to your list. We have great reviews, are happy to show you are licenses and insurance and offer competitive local rates!

    Tiffany was looking to update the exterior look of her house. Her garage doors were a basic design and a bit boring. She wanted a darker finish since her home is a light beige and her existing doors were white.

    So she gave us a call to find garage doors and a front entry door that met her needs: darker finish, upgraded look and great hardware to match!

    She first decided to invest in brand new, beautiful garage doors.

    After those were installed, it became obvious that her existing front entry door didn’t look good with her new garage door choice.

    She decided to invest in a new entry door that would not only look better but offer some nice updated features as well.

    Her existing door was the builder basic door that comes with new home construction. She didn’t like the dated gold hardware or the design.

    The entry door she chose goes so well with the new darker wood finish garage door.

    They both really stand out with the lighter paint color of the home’s exterior.

    Garage Door Details

    The garage doors she had installed are Clopay Gallery collection doors. They are a carriage style door with a mahogany finish.

    The front door is a sturdy fiberglass entry door that has a matching mahogany finish as well.

    In this up close picture, above, you can see what a match the garage doors and the new front entry door is. The similar wood grain design and matching finish really create a custom and complimentary look.

    Notice too that the hardware choice adds to this custom finish and really makes the doors stand out.

    The most important part is that Tiffany is really happy with the end result. And we are too! Now she can focus on some interior renovation projects on her list!

    Our customer, Gene, called us up wanting to install a new garage door on the shed he built on his property in Sugar Land, Texas over 3 years ago. He just hadn’t gotten around to it, but now he was ready! 

    Any non-residential garage door project is always a fun one! So many unique factors to each job and it generally means we get to play with bigger tools! 

    His shed opening measured 16×11, so we were tasked with finding a basic commercial roll-up garage door to fit the space and specs. We found one that met Gene’s wishes, and put in the order. 

    One of the main reasons Gene finally wanted to install the door was because of critters! They kept getting in and setting up shop in his shed. Gene was tired of it! We don’t blame him. 

    Below, Gene’s shed. Isn’t it beautiful? Gene built it himself and it’s a great space to store all of his property’s equipment.

    On installation day, we brought out the huge door on this truck. This is where the fun began!

    And then got to use the big tools to get the door from the truck to the shed opening for installation. We were in heaven!

    After that it was all about hard work getting the door in place and set up with the garage door system, including an opener, tracks, etc. We got this all done in one day once the garage door manufacturer delivered the door!

    Below you can see the installed commercial roll-up garage door from the inside and outside view.

    The door is metal, which is great for long term durability and perfect for this commercial, outdoor shed setup.

    commercial roll-up garage door 

    Now there are no more critters! Gene is happy about that and about how the shed project is now finally complete and looking good!