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Basics and Importance of Garage Door Photo Eye

There are a few important components to keep track of when it comes to your garage door, and one of the most vital from a safety perspective is the photo eye, or photo eye sensors. These sensors are in charge of ensuring there are no blockages or obstructions to your door when it’s opening and especially closing, preventing safety risks while also keeping the door in good shape at all times.

At Overhead Door Company, our garage door repair services cover a comprehensive range of garage components, including the photo eye sensors on your door if they’re dealing with malfunctions or other issues. What is the photo eye, why is it important, and what should you do if you believe it’s experiencing problems? Here’s a primer.

importance garage door photo eye

Photo Eye Basics and Operation

Generally located about half a foot off the ground, photo eye sensors sit on both sides of your garage door, slightly inside the garage itself. They send out an invisible beam of light that connects the two sensors to one another.

Anytime this beam is interrupted, the two sensors will no longer be in contact – and they’ll take note of this. They will signal the garage door system to break the circuit temporarily, preventing the door from being able to close while the circuit is broken. Only once beam contact between sensors has been restored will the circuit reopen and allow the door to close.

Safety Mandate

You might be wondering how photo eye sensors came about as a garage door component, and the answer traces back to the 1990s. During this period, the US government was looking to make garage doors much safer due to a rash of incidents – the photo eye was viewed as a great way of improving safety, especially for homes with children or pets who might walk under the door without knowing the risks. Over a short period, it quickly became a constant and even a mandated product.

Signs of Sensor Issues

How can you tell if your garage door sensors are having issues? Here are a few basic signs:

  • Lights are blinking on one or both of the sensors
  • The door itself will raise, but will not lower when you press the button
  • The door will begin to rise when commanded, but will only go up partially before dropping down again

How to Respond

If you notice any of these issues, there are a few basics to check on:

  • Blockages: Confirm that there are no blockages between the sensors, such as items that may have moved or shifted in the garage.
  • Sunlight: In certain cases, direct sunlight may interfere with these sensors. If your sensors are exposed to sunlight, get some shades to block this.
  • Cleaning: In other cases, the issue might be simple cleanliness. Use a dry cloth to clean them.

If none of these themes solves the problem, call our team for assistance.

For more on your garage door photo eye sensors, or to learn about any of our garage door repair or other garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Preparing a Bountiful Garage Door for the Hot Season

The changing of the seasons is often a good time for home or building owners to check on some of their primary components, and the garage door is a great example here. As the single largest working entry or exit point in nearly any home or building, the garage door may experience some wear-and-tear over the course of a full season like the winter we’re just coming out of – and ensuring it’s ready for the upcoming season is important, both for energy efficiency and for the long-term lifespan of your door and related components.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re here to help. We provide numerous services in preventive maintenance for garage doors, from seasonal inspections to basic sealing or efficiency tweaks to optimize your system. As we transition from the colder season in Bountiful and other parts of Utah toward the warmer time of year, here’s a basic primer on how to prepare your garage door and optimize it for the upcoming spring and summer.

preparing garage door hot season

Pre-Summer Checklist

Here are several areas you might consider during the current part of the year before we hit the peak of summer:

  • Basic cleaning: Removing dirt, dust and other debris that’s accumulated over the winter is great for garage doors, helping prevent corrosion and other risks. Use a mild dishwashing soap plus water, then a soft cloth or brush to clean both sides of the garage door. Then rinse it thoroughly with a hose.
  • Paint: If it hasn’t been done in a few years, a new coat of paint on your garage door will not only improve appearance, but also protect the door from various risks.
  • Rust removal: Especially if your door is metal or has metal components, but even if not, sand down any rust spots and consider future methods to prevent rust buildup.
  • Inspection: Have the door inspected by one of our garage door professionals, who will check on all areas of operation and related components plus identify minor repairs or upgrades that are needed before they become larger concerns.

Cooling Themes

Some general themes for keeping the garage cool during summer, therefore limiting HVAC strain and maximizing efficiency:

  • Make sure the area is well-ventilated, including use of ceiling fans or air conditioning.
  • Consider dehumidifiers to remove moisture and make the garage space feel less sticky.
  • If you’re painting the garage door, choose a lighter color that will reflect heat instead of absorbing it.
  • Remove clutter and any other blockages that might interfere with air flow.
  • Insulate several areas of the garage, including the door itself, or purchase a new garage door that’s well-insulated.

For more on important areas to keep an eye on with your garage door headed into the warm season of the year, or to learn about any of our garage door repair or other services in Bountiful and nearby areas, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Factors in Matching Garage Door and Entry Door Color

For homeowners who put value in their home’s curb appeal, or aesthetic value to those who are viewing it from the outside, garage doors are an important component here. Not only do garage doors represent one of the widest color swaths on many home exteriors, they are also perfect options for improving your home’s aesthetic through matching or blending their color and style with other exterior elements of the home.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re happy to offer numerous residential garage door services, including assistance for those who are looking to properly match or contrast their garage door with other important exterior curb appeal areas of the home. Whether you’re looking to directly match your door’s color with other elements, such as a front entry door or window dressings, or you’re considering a contrasting color scheme of some sort, here are a few general tips on this blending effort. We’ll use the entry door as a test example for your matching surface.

matching garage entry door color

Material is Important

Generally speaking, garage doors and entry doors are made from the same primary materials: Wood, fiberglass and steel. Garage doors do have a few other options as well, but these are some of the typical ones you’ll see.

Which material is chosen will play an important role in your color options. Many homeowners try to match the material that’s chosen to make this area simpler, but you don’t necessarily have to. Just be aware that wood doors tend to provide the widest array of color options, while on the flip side, certain steel doors can be a bit more limited. If your current home aesthetic features any unique colors, going in another direction besides steel might be the right call.

Factor in Architecture

Color isn’t the only feature you should be considering when it comes to the aesthetics of a new garage door. You should also be sure the door complements your home’s style and architecture – if you have a modern home with sleek design, for instance, a steel garage door with a steel front door would be a fantastic combo. If your home is Colonial, on the other hand, a steel option will not be ideal.

View Various Light Angles

If possible, do your best to view the new door setup in multiple light angles. This might mean coming back to it a couple times during the day to see how the varying angles of the sun changes things. You may be surprised by just how different your door arrangement looks when the light has changed, so it’s good to get an idea of things at different times before finalizing your choice.

For more on how to contrast your garage door with your entry door, or to learn about any of our garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Garage Conversion: Plumbing, Wiring and Other Needs

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics for those who are looking to convert their garage into another purpose of some kind. Whether for a home office, game room or even an actual living space, there are many common garage conversions today, and these impact several areas of the space – including the garage door.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re happy to offer a wide range of residential garage doors and related services, such as repairs and assistance with a variety of other needs. We’ll help in several ways if you’re looking to convert a garage for any purpose, especially if your project requires replacing your current door with a different option. Here are some of the other factors you’ll need to assess when considering this sort of conversion.

garage conversion plumbing wiring

Plumbing Needs

For those who require plumbing access within their converted garage space, this can be one of the more labor-intensive areas of the conversion. The simpler side is typically the actual plumbing connections – most modern homes have the right equipment and connections to make this fairly simple, often with some basic assistance from a plumber.

The larger hassle issue in most cases: Drainage. For those with a laundry or utility room nearby, you might be able to convert this into a bathroom and eliminate drainage issues quickly. In other cases, though, you will have to add a plumbing line for drainage or related needs.

Wiring Considerations

For those who will have major electrical needs in their garage space, you may have to add new circuits to your electrical system. Most garages only come with a single lighting circuit, but you’ll probably need more than this for a home office or any related area. If the garage is detached, wiring may be run through an underground circuit. In some cases, power sources here may be similar to those for your door opener.

Storage, Parking and Space

One other important area to be thinking about here is what you’ll be doing to adjust to having less storage and parking space in the garage. For some this isn’t an issue, especially families who only own one car in a two-car garage, but others will have to make some adjustments. You might consider buying a carport if you’re looking for additional vehicle protection, for instance, or you could look into a detached garage. For storage needs, you may have some additional space in your basement, attic or another area of your home where you can transfer items.

For more on how to go about converting your garage in one of several ways, or to learn about any of our related garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Garage Conversion: Garage Door and Theme Considerations

While the most common use for a garage space today remains vehicle storage, the garage conversion is also a popular method for many homeowners. This conversion, which involves transforming the garage space into a living area of some sort, may involve several specific themes – including the garage door itself.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re happy to provide a number of residential garage door services, from basic repairs to those who are looking to convert their space into a variety of other purposes or uses. What are some of the common themes generally considered for these conversions, and which elements, from the garage door on down, should you be researching when it comes to performing such a conversion? This two-part blog series will go over a number of factors.

garage conversion door theme

Common Themes

Here are some common garage conversion themes you might be thinking about:

  • Office: Many who don’t use the space for vehicle storage will covert it into a home office, especially if you primarily work from home.
  • Game room: For those with kids, a converted garage is often perfect for a dedicated game or play room – or a man cave for the adults among us with similar desires.
  • Crafts: Whether you take part in crafts for fun or for a portion of your income, a converted garage is often a perfect studio.

These are just a few templates – there are many other room types you might think about for a converted garage, even including a bedroom or similar living space in some situations.

Our subsequent sections will go over the elements to keep in mind during this sort of conversion.

Evaluating Garage Door

First and foremost, what you do with the garage door itself may play a big role here. Many garage conversions can be done without removing the existing garage door, but this will often require additional insulation or support to limit temperature loss – many garage doors aren’t normally insulated to the level of a living space.

In other cases, you may consider removing the door and replacing it with different structural elements. These may include framing a new wall or installing a patio door – but these often tend to be more expensive routes to take.

Flooring Considerations

Many garage floors are concrete slabs that are below the floor level of the rest of the home. They may also slope toward a floor drain. For these reasons, if you plan to spend significant time in a converted garage space, we recommend filling the bottom of the garage door opening with a curb that will prevent any water from entering the space. If necessary, you may also want to consider leveling this floor.

Temperature Control

For attached garages, it’s often possible to run elements of the existing HVAC system into the new living space. If this isn’t an option, look for an independent system such as baseboards, space heaters or stoves, plus a room air conditioner for the summer. Another major element here is insulation, which is ideal for limiting temperature loss in all seasons.

For more on how to set up a converted garage and how the garage door plays a role, or to learn about any of our garage door repairs or other services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Benefits of a Smart Garage Door Opener

In the year 2020 and beyond, numerous smart home themes and products are growing significantly in popularity. And while many of the most well-known items here are home assistants and various entertainment-related areas, there are also numerous other practical themes covered – including garage doors and their openers.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to offer a wide range of garage door services, from garage door repair to expertise on any of the latest garage door products you’re considering. This includes smart garage door openers, which are generally powered by Wi-Fi and connect to not only the rest of the setup, but also your smartphone and other devices that can be accessed from anywhere. Here’s a quick primer on the benefits of a smart garage opener for your home.

benefits smart garage door opener

Simple Convenience

First and foremost, the convenience offered by this device is leaps and bounds above your previous garage door operations. Because this device connects to any of your phone, tablet, laptop or others, it can be operated from anywhere.

Did one of the kids forget their opener while driving to school? No problem, they can call you and have you open the door for them from work. What if a service provider or one of our technicians needs to come by for a garage door appointment, but no one is home? Again, this is a simple push of a button with a smart garage door opener.

Safety and Security

For many, however, the most important reason they move to a smart garage door opener is for security. This kind of device is the ultimate insurance policy against forgetting to close the garage door when you leave for the day – you can check it at any time to see if the door is open or closed.

Smart garage door openers will go even further, too. You can set up basic notifications for anytime the garage door is opened or closed, allowing you to note if it’s being used at a strange time. There are even specific notifications for if someone gains access to the home via illegal means.

Scheduling Allowance

And finally, for those who are often out and about, the ability to schedule various themes within your smart garage door opening system is vital. Consider a company like Amazon, which in many cities allows an option where you sync your deliveries with your online account – and when you have a package delivered, the smart garage opener will automatically open the door so the package can be placed inside rather than sitting on the porch for hours. There are also simple capabilities for syncing your opener with garage door lights.

For more on the benefits of a smart garage door opener, or to learn about any of our garage door repair or other garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Garage Door Service Frequency Recommendations

Like many other high-value elements on a given home property that also undergo regular wear-and-tear, maintenance is an important factor for garage doors. From the doors themselves to various components such as tracks, rollers, hinges and more, wear-down and damage over time may take place, but strong upkeep will prevent these minor issues from growing into larger ones that threaten both safety and financial areas.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to offer quality garage door preventive maintenance for all our clients. No matter your door type or material, we’re familiar with it and know exactly where to look to identify minor issues you may not have caught on your own. One common question we get within this realm: How often should a garage door receive service or upkeep? Our standard answer: It depends on a few factors, most importantly the current state of the door. Here’s a primer on the variables you can use to determine how often garage door service is needed, plus why it matters.

garage door service frequency

Why Garage Door Service Matters

Garage door service is vital for its ability to extend your door’s lifespan. If you leave your garage door alone without a single bit of maintenance over the course of multiple years, the chances of it developing long-term issues skyrocket – as does your risk of a major expense here.

With proper regular service, however, these concerns aren’t present. Smaller issues can be quickly identified and remedied for low or even no cost, rather than waiting until they spiral out of control and impact the entire system. You’ll completely avoid emergency service needs of any kind.

Homeowner Checks

In many cases, periodic homeowner checks – we recommend inspecting the garage once every couple months, or more often if it’s older – will easily help you identify signs that service is needed. A couple areas you can check on without any risk to safety or door quality:

  • Eye function: The garage door eye is the sensor that tells the opener if something is in the way of the door opening or closing. Try placing a broom or some other item in front of it and then pressing the button – if the door stops, no problem. If not, this is a safety issue and you should contact our team for service immediately.
  • Alignment: Unhook your opener and raise the door up and down by hand. If this is very difficult and the weight is very high, you could have an alignment problem.

Professional Service

In other cases, however, signs that service is required might not be visible to the untrained eye. This is why yearly (or more frequent) garage door service from our professionals is so important: We can check for all these areas, from broken springs or rollers to cable issues, sectional or panel concerns, problems with the opener or remote and much more. During each yearly appointment, we’ll also recommend service frequency moving forward.

For more on how often you should service your garage door and why this is important, or to learn about any of our garage door repair or related services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Steps for Properly Measuring a Garage Door, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on how to get started with measuring your garage door. Whether for an upcoming garage door replacement, repairs of some kind or any other need, being able to perform this basic task can be very helpful in a few different situations.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to provide a wide variety of garage door repair and related services, including assisting clients with simple tasks like measuring their garage door – and actually performing them in some cases. For cases where any of our services may require the basic measurement of your door or the available space in the area, part two of our series will go over the final steps to making these measurements, plus some other notes to consider while doing so.

steps measuring garage door

Step 4: Ceiling Openings

As we went over in part one, you’ll have already measured your door opening’s width, height and end openings. The next step is to measure ceiling openings, or the space between the top of the door opening and the lowest point of the ceiling in the garage – also called headroom in some cases.

This measurement will require a stepstool or stepladder that’s secure. Simply measure the precise distance between the highest point of the door opening and the lowest point in the ceiling – if your ceiling has any obstructions that will interfere with the door while operating, you should use the lowest point of the obstruction for your measurement.

Step 5: Rear Obstructions

Finally, you must measure the distance from the garage opening to the very back, or rear, of the garage space. There must be significant space here depending on the sort of door you’re looking to install – over four feet, in fact, if an electric opener is being installed.

Like with the previous measurement, be careful to note obstructions. If such an obstruction exists well before the back of the garage, it should count as the measurement area as long as you’re sure it will impact the door’s operation.

Other Notes

A few other important themes to take note of while performing basic garage measurements:

  • If any stairs or lights are blocking garage operation areas, note this
  • Ensure electrical outlets are present and working for door opener use
  • Confirm condition of wood jambs, header and floor level
  • Be careful to note and potentially measure any pipes, ducts or other obstructions above the door space that might impede the door’s ability to operate normally

For more on measuring a garage door and door space for any reason, or to learn about any of our garage door repairs or other garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Steps for Properly Measuring a Garage Door, Part 1

There are several cases where you may need to measure your current garage door for one purpose or another, and knowing how to do so properly is valuable for home and building owners. Whether for a new garage door replacement, an aesthetic upgrade or even certain repair or upkeep needs, there may come a time where measuring the door’s dimensions is necessary.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to offer a huge variety of garage door repair and upkeep services, including assisting clients with any needs that may arise – such as the need to measure their door. While this process is not difficult at all, it does contain a few important variables to be aware of. This two-part blog will go over everything you need to know about measuring your garage door in the proper order.

steps measuring garage door

Step 1: Width

The first step is to measure door width, which should be done at the widest point available in the door. Begin by measuring from the middle of the left side of the finished opening all the way across to the right side, measuring in feet and inches.

In some cases, wider doors might require you bring in a second person to help you hold a tape-measure, or purchase a digital tape measure. While measuring width, look for any possible issues like jambs that aren’t square.

Step 2: Height

Next up is the height of the door, which again should be measured using the highest possible point on the door. Measuring in feet and inches, you should first ensure the floor is completely level before you begin measuring to avoid any inaccuracies, as well as the finished opening at the top.

As with the width measurement, keep an eye out for any other problems. Uneven floors are one, but others may include concerns with opening diameter.

Step 3: End Openings

Another important measurement area here is the width of the areas beside the door openings on each end of the garage. These areas are vital because there must be adequate space on each side of a given garage area to allow for the installation of the track.

The absolute minimum distance required on each side for vertical tracks will be roughly 3.75 inches, but the requirement is often much larger than this. For double-car garage doors, for instance, the requirement for space on each side of the opening can range up to 10 inches based on the use of a center post.

For more on measuring your garage door for any reason, be it a replacement or any other need, or to learn about any of our garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Tips for Performing Summer Garage Door Upkeep, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on maintaining your garage door and garage space during the summer months. This time of year offers several great opportunities for maintenance projects, plus involves a few standard areas you should be keeping up on in terms of regular upkeep during the warmest time of the year.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re happy to offer a variety of garage door repair and maintenance services to all our clients in need, including those looking for some assistance with their basic summer themes. Here are a few additional areas to consider when it comes to summer upkeep, both in terms of the garage door itself and several surrounding elements.

tips summer garage door upkeep

Insulation Themes

Some may think insulation is only a winter concern, but this simply isn’t the case at all. Insulation helps protect temperature loss on both ends of the spectrum: For both heated and cooled air within your HVAC system.

If your garage door and other areas of the garage are properly insulated for summer, you know outdoor heat will stay out and your conditioned air will stay inside. Not only is this a benefit for the actual garage space, you’ll see the trickle-down in other nearby rooms, plus in your monthly energy bill – which will be lower because your HVAC system isn’t working as hard to pump extra air into the space.

Other Cooling Considerations

There are a few other cooling themes to consider for your garage space this summer, especially if you use the area as a home office, workshop or any other space where you spend significant time. Here are a few:

  • Ventilation: Ensure the room has proper air flow and does not become too stuffy.
  • Air conditioning: For those who use the room for significant daily purposes outside storage, installing a window AC or mini-split unit goes a long way.
  • Ceiling fans: Will also assist with ventilation and air flow.
  • Lighter color: If you paint your garage door (more on this below), consider white or another light color that will reflect heat rather than absorbing it, keeping the interior cooler.

Paint and Aesthetics

Summer is also a fantastic time to consider re-painting your garage door if you’ve been putting the job off for a while. One tip before getting started: Be sure to clear the area of dirt, debris, grease and any other possible blockages.

When painting, consider colors that will both reflect heat and match well with the rest of your home. You can both protect your space and improve your home’s curb appeal in one fell swoop.

General Inspection

Finally, we strongly recommend a thorough inspection of your garage door and garage space during the summer, both on your own and from our garage door professionals. We’ll help you identify any minor issues taking place, offering simply and often cost-free repairs rather than much costlier issues cropping up later on.

For more on summer maintenance for your garage door, or to learn about any of our overhead door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.