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    If your garage door has been damaged or you are just looking to upgrade your garage door, then buying a new garage door might be on your to-do list. But what do you need to know when buying a new garage door to help you make the decision?

    But what do you need to know when buying a new garage door to help you make the decision?

    A garage door is an investment. A good quality door can help to improve the efficiency of your home’s energy, as well as up the curb appeal of your exterior. It can also help to increase the value of your home.

    There are many different styles, materials, and prices of garage doors on the market. Below is an overview of the options in those three categories: style, material and price.

     

    Garage Door Style

    There are different styles of garage door that can compliment the style of your home, or to give your home a new style. Styles include: flush panels, painted panels, carriage house style, long raised panels, short raised panels and contemporary panels.

    If you are working with a garage door installation company, sit down with a book of the different options and just see first what you like most. Then consider how it will compliment the style of your home.

     

    Garage Door Materials

    Once you understand the style of door you want, then consider what material you want to purchase. The most common materials are wood and steel. Aluminum and fiberglass are also options, though not as common.

    Size of Your Garage Door

    If you are working with a good garage door company, you don’t need to worry about this since they will size it properly. But make sure when you are searching for the door you want, that it is available in the size you need.

    You can measure the opening of your garage to guide you in selecting the proper size.

    Where can I find garage door options?

    First, find a reputable company in your area that does garage door installations. Make sure they are licensed, bonded and insured. Try to see if they have 3rd party reviews that are positive online. Yelp and Facebook are great options to find these reviews.

     

    We repaired this damaged garage door a few weeks ago. This door had 2 damaged panels, so when we arrived, we inspected the extend of the damage.

    damaged garage door

    What happened, you ask? Our customer was leaving her house in a rush and forgot to open the garage door as she backed out. Whoops!

    Below is a picture of the door’s damage from the inside.

    inside damaged garage door

    We thought the repair would be replacing the damaged panels with new panels. Our customer had other plans. She opted to purchase a brand new garage door. Her goal was to get a more durable and thicker garage door.

    We ordered a brand new door and installed it a few days later. We installed braces to the door as well. This will help to reinforce it if another minor accident occurs. The stronger door plus the braces should help in the future to keep the door secure and undamaged!

     

    reinforced garage door with braces installed

    The photo above shows the braces installed.

    The last thing in this repair included installing insulation to the garage door. The front of the house faces west, so it gets a lot of hot Texas sun! The insulation will help to keep the garage door cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It will also help to reinforce the door as well!

    Final Garage Door Reveal!

    Once the door was installed, braces installed and insulation complete, the last step was painting the door on the outside to match the trim on the house. Painting your garage door is a great way to update your curb appeal, and you can do it without purchasing a new door!

    The door looks great now, as you can see below! The door is opening and closing much more quietly and smoothly, thanks to the brand new door and insulation! Our customer loves it as much as we do!

     

    updated garage door installation

    Most realtors have their go-to people and companies they call when they need help getting a property ready to list. Included on this go-to list is a great garage door repair company that help quickly fix any garage door issues before a home will be shown or listed on the market.

    There are small repairs or updates you can make to a garage door before selling it, that a garage door company can easily help with! This includes installing a new and quieter opener, doing a maintenance check to make sure everything is working well, and insulating the garage door.

    Repairs also sometimes need to be taken care of quickly in order to get the house listed. Recently a Keller Williams realtor called us a few days before their open house. She needed to take pictures of the home, but the garage door was in need of some repair that was visible.

    The panels, as you can see below, are damaged. Likely that the homeowner or someone else hit the door with their car.

    This was a pretty easy fix. The bottom 2 panels were damaged and needed to be replaced. Since the door is still being produced, we were able to order 2 new panels quickly and install them just in time for the pictures to be taken.

    Replacing the panels, if you can, is a much more affordable option than buying and installing a brand new door. Especially if you are selling your home, you want to minimize repair costs as much as possible.

     

     

    Even if your panels are damaged and you AREN’T selling your home, replacing panels is still your best bet. It is a quick fix, and cost effective. Replacing a damaged panel is also a great way to instantly upgrade your curb appeal.

    Good news: After we made this repair, the realtor took pictures and has open house. The home sold in less than a week!

    Regular maintenance on your garage door will help to prevent major problems from catching you by surprise. It’s possible for a skilled homeowner to take care of most or all of this garage door maintenance. You can also hire a professional garage door company to come out and perform this maintenance regularly.

    Proper garage door maintenance is the key to the longevity of your garage door and to keep your garage door working properly.

    Monthly Garage Door Maintenance

    Every month, you should visually inspect your garage doors. Notice anything different from last month, and any wear and tear.

    Make sure to look specifically at your springs, pulleys, tracks, rollers, cables and your hardware. Do you notice any loose hardware? A fraying cable? A sound you didn’t hear last time you opened and closed your door?

    Check out your mounting hardware as well. Mounting hardware is your screws and hinges. Make sure they are secure.

    Another task monthly you should do while visually inspecting your garage is cleaning your tracks. Take a damp cloth and wipe the tracks down. Make sure to dry them when you’re done. Keeping the tracks free of debris or built up residue will help them perform optimally.

    Every month is also a great time to lubricate your garage door or check if any parts need lubricating. Lubrication should be done, at a minimum, twice a year, but checking monthly is good practice. Don’t use WD40, use a silicone or lithium based spray. You can find this spray on Amazon or a local hardware store.

    Spray lubricant on all tracks, hinges, and rollers. This will help to prevent damage to those parts, and allow the door to open smoothly.

    Lastly, put a small soft object in the path of the garage door sensors and try to close your garage door. Your door’s auto reverse function should automatically open your garage door back up again. This is a very important safety feature, and checking that it is operating properly is a good idea. Takes 30 seconds! If it doesn’t work, call a professional ASAP!

    All of these tasks each month will take 10-15 minutes of your time and is well worth it!

    Extra Credit

    Checking the balance of your garage door is another important maintenance task, but you need to know what you’re doing. Here are some quick steps if you feel comfortable performing this task. Otherwise, it’s best to call a garage door company.

    Step 1: Disconnect your garage door opener.

    Step 2: Manually lift the door and check that it glides smoothly on the tracks, with no resistance.

    Step 3: If you lift the door, it should stay open. If not, or it’s hard to open manually, then your door is not balanced.

    If your door isn’t balanced, call a professional garage door company to balance it for you.!

    Your garage door is a common way that intruders find their way inside a home. Most people focus on window and door security, but forget about their garage door. There are a few ways to increase the security of your garage door.

    Below are 5 things you can add to your home to increase your home’s overall security, as well as that of your garage door.

    Make sure your interior door is locked. 

    If you have an attached garage door, make sure you lock this when you leave your home (and when you’re home!) Most people assume that locking it takes too long, and it’s more of a nuisance to have to unlock it when you come home through your garage. But this is just another way intruders can easily gain entry to your home.

    You should also consider installing a dead bolt to this door as well, if you don’t already have one, and a peep-hole like your front door. This added security can help keep you safe.

    Use a remote on your key chain for your garage door.

    If someone breaks into your car, they can easily steal your garage door remote and find your address on your registration, before you even know your car was broken in to! By carrying your garage door remote on your key chain, you eliminate this possibility and can keep your home safe. For this same reason, never keep a copy of your house key in your car either.

    Install motion sensor lights around your garage door and home.

    This is a quick project anyone can do in a few hours over the weekend. You can purchase motion sensor lights on Amazon or your local hardware store. Install these all around the perimeter of your home. Don’t forget around your garage door. If an intruder were to try and gain entry through your garage door, the sensor lights would shine directly on them. This can act as a huge deterrent for a break in!

    Install a garage door opener with added security features.

    Most garage door openers you find on the market today come with rolling code door technology. This feature, which changes the code of your opener each time it operates, makes it very difficult for an intruder to reprogram a remote and gain entry to your home when you’re away.

     

     

     

    Always keep your garage door closed.

    This seems obvious, but many people forget to close their doors when they leave, or leave it open while they are home. You might think it is no big deal when you’re home, but this is a great opportunity for a would be intruder to drive or walk by and see what you have in your garage. And also to see how they might enter your home when they know you’re away, by canvasing your garage layout.

    Unless you need to move a car in or out, leave your garage door closed.

     

    Making these small changes to your opener, lights, doors as well as your behavior, you can go a long way to keeping your garage door as an entry point to your home secure.

     

    We recently replaced this old garage door trolley on this genie garage door opener.

    In the picture below, you can see the difference between the old trolley carriage, and the new part we are replacing it with.

     

    genie carriage trolley

    You’ll know if your trolley is starting to wear if you begin to hear a grinding sound when your garage door is opening and closing. If your door won’t open or close easily either, you might have a worn trolley carriage.

    This customer’s repair was on their Genie opener. They had their springs replaced about a year before. There was normal wear and tear on the garage door springs, and used another company to replace them.

    This company put in springs that weren’t the right size for the door. They were too small, so it caused the opener to wear more quickly. It took less than a year for the grinding sound to start.

    You can see and hear in the video below what the grinding sound sounds like. At the end of the video, we’ve already replaced the trolley, so you can hear the difference!

    Trolley Repair Video

     

    Repairing the trolley was very easy. We just exchanged the old for the new, and that’s it! The repair took less than an hour, and after we were done, got to installing a proper sized spring. We adjusted the spring’s tension, so that the spring can carry the weight of the door as it should!

     

    It’s important to maintain your automatic garage door. Quick and easy maintenance that you can do monthly is the best way to keep your automatic garage door in good shape and prevents bigger problems from growing.

    Most of these garage door maintenance tasks can be done by a handy homeowner. Professional garage door companies also generally have a maintenance service call that is a standard, fixed price.

    Below are 3 easy garage door maintenance tasks you can perform yourself.

    1. Weather Seals

    Every time the season changes, it’s a good time to check the seals on your garage door. The sealant used on garage doors protects your garage from extreme air and moisture. Basically, what helps keep it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

    Four times a year, run your finger along the seal and notice any tears or cracks. If you find some, your door needs to be re-sealed.

    The benchmark of checking this every season has two purposes. It’s easy to remember. Also, when the weather changes, the sudden change from hot to cold or vice versa can cause the sealant to crack more easily.

    2. Garage Door Tracks

    The best thing you can do, and it’s easy too, is to wipe down your garage door tracks every month. Simply take a rag and as you wipe, check for any bumps or dents. Any part of the track that is worn or has bumps can cause the door to go off-track when it is operating.

    Debris and residue on the tracks can also cause the misalignment. While you are wiping, be sure to clear debris and rub off any built of residue. Make sure you dry them completely once you are done cleaning.

    3. Lubrication

    Lubricating your garage door every month or so is a great idea, and easy to do. Especially if you notice your garage door isn’t moving smoothly along the tracks, or is making more noise than usual.

    We don’t recommend using WD-40. Instead, choose a silicone or lithium based lubricant.

    Once you get the right lubricant, spray: the arm bar, chain rail, metal rollers with ball bearings and hinges.

    Make sure you do not spray: the springs, the chain, or the bottom of the chain rail.

    If you get regular maintenance with a professional garage door company, they can quickly lubricate your doors during the service.

    Checking your doors regularly for anything abnormal can help prevent bigger garage door emergencies from popping up. This not only saves a big hassle, but can save you a lot of money as well!

    Green is the name of the game, and everyone is looking for ways to make every part of their life and home more green. The benefit to going green with your garage door is the money savings you can enjoy.

    Below are a few ways you can make your garage door eco friendly, and save money while you do it!

    Eco-Friendly Garage Door Materials

    Wood and steel are the best choices for a green garage door. They are both durable and do well in a variety of temperatures. Wood and steel doors come in a variety of sizes and styles as well.

    Composite material is also a good option, especially on a budget. Since they are made with recycled materials, they are also very eco-friendly as well!

     

     

    Eco-Friendly Garage Door Insulation

    Insulating your garage door is easy, and inexpensive. It’s also a great way to go green since it saves on energy bills! It helps regulate the temperature inside your garage door, so for attached garages this is great. It can help keep the interior of your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

    Some insulation options include a perforated garage door. This is great for warmer climates, as it allows more light and ventilation to come in to your garage, without compromising your privacy or the security of your garage door.

    Some homes have their HVAC system run into their garage. If this is the case, not only insulating the door but also the walls of the garage is a good idea. This adds a protective layer, which will help reduce your heating and cooling costs.

    Garage Door Maintenance

    Part of any garage door maintenance routine should include checking the weather stripping on your garage door for any tears or cracks. Replace any bad parts quickly. Air can come through those cracks, and not only counteract your insulation if you have any, but lets cooler or hot air (depending on the season) into your garage which can affect the temperature inside your home.

    Replacing the weather stripping is easy and can be done as a quick weekend DIY project. Or you can call a professional to do it!

    If you have any questions about how to make your garage door more green or would like a FREE “green” plan for your garage, give us a call! 832-532-3032

    There have been many updates and added features to garage door openers in the last few years. If your garage door opener is even 5 years old, you might be missing out on some great new security and tech features you might enjoy.

    Despite the cool features, there are some basic things everyone should know about a garage door opener before choosing the right fit for their garage door. Below are some factors to know about and consider.

    Choosing Garage Door Opener Horsepower

    There are 3 kinds of horsepower options for a garage door opener: 1/3, 1/2, and 1.

    A professional installer will know best what opener matches your door best.

    1/3 HP openers are the best choice for light garage doors.

    1/2 HP is perfect for heavier doors like wood and steel, or for a double garage door. These types of doors need at least 1/2 HP, if not 1 HP.

    If you are in between 1/3 or 1/2 or 1/2 and 1 HP, going to a higher HP is always the better option. If the price difference isn’t that great, it makes even more sense to go with a bigger HP. The price is usually not a big gap, so having more power never hurts.

    Choosing Garage Door Opener Mechanisms

    Again, there are 3 types of mechanisms you can choose with a new opener: screw drive, belt drive and chain drive.

    Screw drive openers is the middle of the road option, quieter than a chain drive but not as quiet as a belt.

    Belt drive openers are the most expensive, but require little to no maintenance, so some feel its worth the extra cost.

    Chain drive openers are the cheapest and most commonly used. The only negatives is the noise and the regular maintenance needed.

     

     

    Choosing Garage Door Opener Security Options

    There are some great new security features that come standard on many new garage door openers. These include:

    Motion detector lights. 

    Your garage door opener light will turn on if motion is detected. This is great for security and can deter intruders similar to motion detection lights around your property.

    Auto Reverse Feature 

    If your opener was made before 1993, this feature does not exist. This feature basically means that if an object is detected in the garage door path, it will immediately reverse the garage door from closing to open. This is essential for safety for children, pets and belongings.

    Rolling Code Tech 

    This is an awesome way to deter would be intruders from gaining access to your garage door. The code changes on the remote every time you open or close your door. This makes it difficult for thieves to crack your code and clone your garage door opener remote to use when you aren’t home.

    Fancy Features

    There are even features these days that use a fingerprint to open your garage door! Or openers that allow you to control the door from a smartphone or tablet app. You’d be surprised at how inexpensive these features are in a new garage door opener.

     

    Choosing a great opener that is the right size and horsepower for your specific door, and meets your needs and your budget can be tricky. A professional and highly rated garage door company can ensure you make the right choice, and install the opener for you correctly! Give M&L Garage Door Repair a call today if you’re in the Sugar Land, Texas area!

     

    Our latest job was a big switcheroo with some garage door openers.

    Our customer, Steve, has a 3 car garage, so one two car garage door and one one car garage door. The opener that was installed on Steve’s 2 car garage door was a 1/3 HP. This is too small for this size door, and would be better for his one car garage door. So, that’s what we did!

     

    Now that his one car garage door has a perfect opener, we needed to give Steve an opener that is the right size and power for his two car garage door. Steve ended up choosing a new LiftMaster 1/2 HP chain drive opener.

    It’s very important that you have the right opener for your garage door.

    There are 3 kinds of openers:

    1. Chain drive opener: This is the most common opener and uses a chain to pull or push the trolley on your garage door when opening or closing. Chain drive openers are the most affordable, but also the noisiest on the market.
    2. Belt drive opener: Belt openers use a belt, instead of a chain, to open or close your garage door. They are more expensive than chain drive, but much quieter.
    3. Screw drive opener: These are noisier than a belt drive, but less than a chain drive. They use a threaded steel rod to move the trolley. Because there are less parts on a screw drive opener as compared to chain or belt. They also require less maintenance overall, which can cut down on costs over the lifetime of the opener as compared to the other opener types.

    Openers also come with different horsepower speeds, and a professional garage door company can safely choose opener options that meet the needs of your garage door. The opener needed must be a good match for the weight and size of your garage door. In Steve’s case, 1/3 wasn’t enough for his larger two car garage door, but a great match for his one car garage door.