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    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!

     

    Tuesdays morning our customers called us with a problem. Their main garage door went off its tracks and some rollers and cables fell on the door. Uh-oh!

    off track garage door sugar land texas  off track garage door sugar land texas

    When we arrived we found few problems.

    1. The opener adjustments were wrong.
    2. The size of the springs were wrong for the door.
    3. The cables were bad.

    On top of this, the customers have a beautiful classic car in their garage, and the fit is very tight. We needed to make sure we fixed the door and didn’t do any damage to their car.

    broken garage door cable

    Bad cable

    How we fixed it:

    The first thing we did was leveled the door. This allowed us to then put all of the rollers back in the hinges. Then we were able to remove the old springs tension.

    The next step was addressing the cables. We replaced the bad cables with heavier gauge cables that are the right fit for this garage door. We also installed new springs that are the proper size to support the weight of the garage door.

    Since the upper panel of the garage door was also cracked, and the door model had been discontinued, we installed a 16′ strut for reinforcement. We also added a center style mount to mount the opener “J” arm to keep things solid.

    The last thing we noticed during our inspection and job completion was that the opener installer had adjusted the opener force to the maximum.

    This max setting means that the opener uses all of it’s power to lift and close the door. This is not a good idea for many reasons. The most important reason is if your door is set at the max setting, your door will close too forcefully and can injure a person or property. You always want a professional to set the force properly. The setting depends on the weight and type of your door for a proper setting.

    Once we completed all of these repairs, the customers can now enjoy opening and closing their garage door safely, and enjoying their beautiful classic car!

    fixed off track garage door

    We repair a lot of snapped and broken cables. Your cables help to reduce the tension which helps extend the life of your springs, both torsion and extension springs. They also allow your garage door to open and close more smoothly. If a spring breaks, which we see often, the cables can help keep the garage door from crashing down and causing even more harm or damage.

    There are 3 kids of garage door cables:

    1. Safety cables
    2. Torsion spring cables
    3. Extension spring cables

    We often are asked how thick should cables be and does it make a difference. The answer is yes!

    Thin cables tend to wear faster. They can break or snap more easily as well. Just imagine a garage door going up and down, and all of a sudden a cable snaps! The thicker cables are, logically, more durable. They can carry even more tension and weight to help support your springs and the weight of your garage door.

     

    Usually this is the spot of where garage door cables can snap. That loop you see in the picture below is connected to a bracket at the bottom of the garage door.

    garage door cables repair thickness

    Even though thicker cables are always better, you don’t want to have a cable that is too thick. This is why you pay a professional, since they can determine the exact thickness your specific door and springs require to work optimally. You need a cable that is thick enough to handle the load of your garage door. But if your cable is too thick, it can impede the door from moving smoothly over your pulley and drums.

    As a note, the higher the gauge on a cable, the thicker it is. You want to find the right gauge and thickness for your specific door. A smaller door doesn’t need as thick of a cable as a larger one.