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Garage Door Cleaning Tips and Importance, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the importance and preparation steps for cleaning your garage door. Garage door cleaning is vital not only for aesthetics and curb appeal, but also for preventing rust and limiting certain operational issue risks from arising in your garage door.

At Overhead Door Company, our garage door repair services include a wide variety of expertise areas, one of which is offering basic tips or recommendations on how to clean a particular door properly. Through part one, we covered obtaining the proper materials and equipment – now let’s go over some simple steps for the actual cleaning itself, plus some common garage door cleaning mistakes to avoid as you move through this process.

garage door cleaning tips importance

Basic Cleaning Steps

Assuming a standard garage door setup, here are the simple steps to cleaning your door once you have your tools on hand:

  • Fill your bucket with hot water and mix it with a gentle soap or cleaning solution you’ve decided on.
  • Either while or after you create this mixture, wet down the entire surface of the garage door with your hose.
  • Once the entire garage door is wet, use your soft rag or bristle brush to begin scrubbing the door with the cleaning solution. We recommend moving top to bottom to allow water to drop to lower areas without impacting cleanliness. Ensure you also cover behind the stop molding on the sides and top of the garage door.
  • When finished with a given section, use the hose to rinse it off.
  • Move to subsequent sections and repeat this process until finished.

Cleaning Windows

If your garage door has windows included, cleaning methods for these are exactly the same as any other window in your home. We recommend gentle cleaners that do not risk major chemical buildup. Take care around seals or weather stripping so you do not create any leaks or cracks.

Mistakes to Avoid

A few common mistakes we’ve seen homeowners make while cleaning their garage doors that you should generally avoid unless it’s specifically recommended for your door by one of our team members:

  • Don’t use a pressure-washer, even if you have significant dirt or grime, as it might damage paint or even the actual door panels themselves.
  • Never utilize bleach as a mixture with your cleaning solution, as it can damage doors.
  • Do not use abrasive sponges or various scouring products that can impact the quality of the finish of the garage door, often a major value area.

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

Garage Door Cleaning Tips and Importance, Part 1

While most home and business owners do a good job staying diligent on garage door repair and upkeep needs, one area that can get less attention is garage door cleanliness. While it may not seem as pressing an issue as ensuring springs or rollers are in good shape, keeping your garage door and its components clean can have more of an impact on their quality and lifespan than you might think – and, of course, this makes a difference for aesthetic appeal as well.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re here to help with every area of garage door maintenance, from garage door repair to cleaning tips and many areas in between. We’ve helped numerous home and business owners maintain their garage doors and get the absolute most out of them in terms of lifespan, aesthetics and many other factors. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over why a clean garage door matters, plus some basic tips on cleaning frequency, materials required and the steps you should take.

garage door cleaning tips

Benefits of a Clean Garage Door

For starters, the benefits of a clean garage door go beyond simple aesthetic pleasures. While these areas do matter, particularly for home curb appeal for those who may be looking to sell in the near future, cleanliness actually has an impact on garage door operation and lifespan.

The primary area here is prevention of rust, which can crop up over time due to salt or other debris attaching to the door. Rust will wear down your door much faster than normal, plus may impact areas like rollers or springs and make them less efficient, leading to a need for garage door repairs or even a full replacement of the garage door.

Garage Door Cleaning Frequency

Okay, so cleaning your garage door is important. But how often does this need to be done?

Generally speaking, we recommend cleaning the garage door at least twice per year, or once every six months. Many choose to do this during the spring and fall periods, transitions between the major summer and winter seasons that offer a great opportunity to do some cleaning.

However, if you live in an area that’s exposed to significant elements – or if your garage door undergoes more use than most – we recommend cleaning it more often. Especially if you notice significant dirt, grime or especially rust, you should clean immediately.

Materials Required

Here are some of the tools or materials you’ll need to clean your garage door:

  • Bucket filled with hot water
  • Hose attached to a working water connection
  • Soft rag for drying
  • Gentle soap
  • Optional: Wax or lubricant if you choose to apply these as part of the process
  • Rubber gloves and clothes you don’t mind getting a bit of grime on

In part two of this series, we’ll go over the steps to follow when cleaning and some other basic tips. To learn more about this or any of our commercial or residential garage door repair services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Benefits Associated With Proper Garage Door Insulation

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to offer a wide range of services when it comes to commercial and residential garage door repair and maintenance. We’ll assist you with everything from minor damage to major issues, ensuring your garage space is both protected and comfortable throughout the year.

One of the primary areas we’ll look at during an inspection or maintenance appointment, particularly as it relates to that comfort element, is your garage door’s insulation – or lack thereof. Not all garage doors come with insulation, and many homeowners aren’t even aware of whether or not their garage door is insulated. If yours is not, here are several factors that might convince you to consider an insulated option moving forward.

benefits garage door insulation

Temperature Control

The primary benefit of insulation in a garage door is temperature control. Insulation keeps the temperature steadier and more consistent throughout the year – it keeps cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter. This reduces any strain on your HVAC system that might come up when extreme temperatures from the garage waft into the home space as a whole.

If your door is not insulated, however, you risk both an uncomfortable garage space and rising energy bills. An extremely hot or cold garage will transfer some of that temperature to the rest of the house, making it tougher for your furnace or air conditioner to properly regulate temperature.

Noise Control

Those who have dealt with a noisy, annoying garage door in the past know just how frustrating it can be, but did you realize insulation actually plays a role here? While other factors like rollers and track quality are also important, an insulated door is a bit heavier and quieter when it moves up and down.

In addition, insulation also blocks out significant amounts of noise from outside the garage space. For those who spend significant time in the garage, whether for crafts, auto repairs or any other purpose, being able to work without distractions from outside noise is highly valuable.

Vital for Living Spaces

In some homes, homeowners have chosen to convert part or all of their garage space into a living area. This could refer to a full-on bedroom, or it could just be a TV room, a man-cave or some other kind of setup. In any of these cases, garage door insulation is an absolute necessity – without it, this area regularly would not be comfortable enough to spend time in. Not only will it be more comfortable with insulation, you will be able to store any items that can’t be exposed to severe temperatures.

For more on the benefits of insulation in the garage door, or to learn about any of our garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Primer on Garage Door Opener Options and Add-Ons

When it comes to any good garage door system, a vital component to consider is the garage door opener, also called a door operator. This item is in charge of triggering opening and closing, and modern technology has brought about several convenience options that make it more valuable than ever.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to offer a wide range of commercial and residential garage door operators for any garage door type you’re looking at. In today’s blog, let’s go over a few of the common options and add-ons available for garage door openers, plus which you might consider based on your needs.

garage door opener options add-ons

Chain Drive Vs. Belt Drive

Firstly, you’ll have a choice in most cases between a chain drive and a belt drive for your operator. Here are some basics on each:

  • Chain drive: The most common and classic door opener style is the chain drive, which as the name suggests features actual chains to help connect components and run the door. Chain drives are the more affordable option, though they are also a bit louder than belt drives.
  • Belt drives: Instead of a chain, belt drives use a rubber belt for connections and opening or closing. They come with less sound and lower maintenance needs, but this tends to make them a bit more expensive up front. However, they also usually come with longer manufacturer warranties.

Wall Button Options

In many cases, home or business owners will want an outdoor keypad that allows them to enter the garage by pushing in a code using the buttons on the pad. This connects to a wall button system, which locks outside radio signals so no one can steal your password.

In addition, wall buttons are available with a timer and a motion sensor. This allows you to set your garage door to open and close itself automatically, with no need for a remote opener.

Battery Backup

If you live in an area that regularly loses power, or even if you just want to take basic precautions, consider an opener with a battery backup system. This will allow you to open and close the garage door even if your power is out.

LED Lighting

For those who want a daylight-like feel in their garage, even during the evenings, consider LED lighting options that come with your opener.

Smart Technology

Finally, did you realize that many modern garage door openers can be connected to using Wi-Fi connections? This allows you to control door opening and closing from your smartphone, meaning even if you forgot to close it one morning, you can do so from miles away without having to drive yourself back home.

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

Causes and Solutions for Slow-Opening Garage Doors

During our garage door repair and inspection services for both residential and commercial garage doors, we at Overhead Door Company are asked a number of frequent questions by our clients. One of the most common: Why is my garage door opening or closing (or both) too slowly?

In many cases, garage doors opening too slowly are due to basic wear-and-tear that take place over time, with relatively simple fixes possible. In others, the issues may relate to previous door settings or related concerns. Let’s take a look at how long your garage door should generally take to open and close, some causes and possible solutions if it’s moving too slowly, and how regular garage door service reduces these and other risks.
causes solutions slow garage doors

General Opening and Closing Timing

The average time period for a garage door to open or close is between 12 and 15 seconds in most cases, though there are exceptions if your garage door is particularly heavy or made of certain materials. Your door should be able to fully complete its cycle within this span of time. If you find it’s taking 20 seconds or longer on opening or closing cycles, it’s time to investigate why this might be happening.

Causes and Solutions for Slow Doors

The single most common cause of a garage door that won’t open or close quickly enough: Improper lubrication. Garage doors involve several connected components, many of which create friction when they move in concert with one another – lubricant is vital in these areas for limiting this friction and allowing smooth operation between parts.

If the garage’s lubrication has worn down, however, several processes within opening or closing can slow down. In similar circumstances, pulleys may become worn down based on daily use, and torsion springs can lose tension, leading to slower operation. Finally, you may even notice specific blockages on the door track that are slowing things down.

In other situations, certain garage door models come with previously-set speed setting controls. If your door is one of these, ensure your speed settings themselves aren’t the reason why the garage door is operating too slowly.

Benefits of Regular Service

If none of the above issues seem to be present, it’s time to call our professionals to assess the issue. This relates directly back to the benefits of regular garage door inspection and upkeep from our team – we’ll identify these kinds of issues before you even notice them taking place, handling items like lubrication or worn-down part replacement before the garage even begins to noticeably slow down. This kind of preventive maintenance is vital for keeping your door in great shape and your costs down.

For more on the causes and solutions for garage doors opening too slowly, or to learn about any of our garage door repair services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Choosing Between Garage Door Repair and Replacement

At Overhead Door Company, our top priority at all times is maintaining your garage quality and safety in a cost-effective way. While garage door repair is our specialty, we won’t recommend any kind of repairs unless they’re absolutely necessary – and on the other side of this equation, we won’t push repairs on you when the more prudent move is replacing the garage door altogether.

This is a common theme when it comes to garage door issues: To repair or replace? There are plenty of situations where either side is the correct call, and this depends on the age of the door, the severity of the issue and a few other factors. Here are some broad damage types to  consider, plus some basic factors in whether you should be looking at repairs or replacement for your garage door.

choosing garage door repair replacement

Aesthetic Damage

The simplest and most common form of garage door damage is simple cosmetic concerns, from chipped paint or cracked panels to fading colors or small dents. These kinds of damage, often caused by natural wear-and-tear or some harsh weather, generally do not affect the way the door works, but merely how it looks.

If your door is on the newer side and is experiencing this sort of damage, repair is usually the way to go – it’s low-cost and not something you should have to do repeatedly. If the garage door is over 10 years old, on the other hand, you might want to consider replacement based on elements like curb appeal and long-term value. This is an area where the precise cost of repairs will play a big role in your final decision, and our pros are happy to guide you in the right direction.

Structural Damage

In other cases, damage to a garage door is structural in nature. Examples here include bending, warping or major dents that actively impede the door’s ability to open or close properly.

While repairs are absolutely possible for these issues on newer doors, this is often a moot point for one simple reason: These issues are far less common on newer doors, and far more frequently-seen on older models that are already nearing the end of their lifespan. In these cases, replacement with a modern alternative can be the way to go.

Functional Issues

Finally, if the door’s issues cause it to be stuck or undergo other functional issues, the decision comes down to the precise nature of the issue. Is the door opening and closing extremely loudly? This is often due to a friction or lubrication issue that can be resolved easily without replacement, as is the repair of a single component like a torsion spring that might have gone faulty while the rest of the door is in great shape. If multiple areas are an issue or cannot be repaired, however, replacement could be necessary.

For more on choosing between garage door repair and replacement, or to learn about any of our garage door services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Simple Tricks for Improving Garage Door Security

While they have several separate purposes in today’s day and age, the top overall goal of any garage door and system is simple: To keep the building and its occupants secure and protected. Even as convenience and technology have made their way into the garage door world, this singular purpose remains at the top of the list.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re here to help keep your garage door safe and secure through our garage door repair and other high-quality services. We’re also happy to offer several tips and areas of expertise when it comes to the kinds of things you can be doing to increase and maintain your own garage’s security. Here are a few primary areas to consider.

improving garage door security

Keep it Closed!

The simplest task here, but one many home and building owners seem to forget about regularly: Keep the door closed! A garage door can’t provide you with optimal security if it’s not even in the proper position.

Leaving your garage door open leaves your space wide open for would-be thieves or burglars. If you’re the sort who regularly forgets to close yours when leaving the home, consider installing a Wi-Fi-enabled garage door that allows you to check whether it’s closed from anywhere, plus close it if needed.

Code Changes

If you have a garage door with a numbered code for opening, be sure you change this code on a regular basis – at least once every six months, if not more often. Also be protective of this code, never giving it to anyone but the people who live in the space.

Door Inspections

Another regular task should be inspecting you garage door, something we’re happy to help with as well as needed. You’re looking for anything that might detract from overall door security: Cracked windows, for instance, or gaps in weather-stripping that might allow for easy access.

Even if an issue looks small, know that thieves might target it to try and break in. Two important times for these kinds of inspections: When changing from cold weather to warm and vice versa, as these are periods where temperature changes might cause some small issues.

Lighting and Locks

Two additional security measures you might consider installing:

  • Side locks: A manual garage door side lock is perfect for use when you’re away for a long time. It requires manual unlocking, making it that much tougher for anyone to access the space while you’re gone.
  • Lighting: Many homeowners install motion-activated floodlights around the garage door area, meaning anyone trying to break in will be illuminated and often deterred.

Opener Protection

Finally, if you ever park outside the home, we highly recommend hiding your garage opener or even removing it from the vehicle. Many unsavory folks will break into cars to find garage openers, then use other personal information found in the car (like your insurance info) to obtain your address and potentially break in.

For more on how to keep your garage door safe and secure at all times, or to learn about any of our garage door repairs or services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Role of Homeowners’ Insurance in Garage Door Repairs

If you’re a new homeowner, one of the primary considerations you’ll be making in terms of protecting your home is thinking about a homeowners’ insurance policy. Common among homeowners, these policies offer insurance against damage in several major areas of the home that could be susceptible to this kind of damage based on several causes, from weather elements to vandalism and many others.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re here to inform you of one vital area within a homeowners’ insurance policy: The garage door. As one of the largest moving items in any home, the garage is always at minor risk of damage from things like falling branches, vehicles or even over-exuberant children playing nearby. Whether you’re looking into one of our new garage doors or considering repairs for recent damage, understanding whether you’re covered by your policy is very important. Here are several causes of garage door damage, plus whether they’re typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.

homeowners insurance garage door repairs

Vandalism or Burglary

In most cases today, homeowners’ insurance policies will contain what’s called a “malicious mischief” clause, one that covers this kind of damage – damage caused by intruders or ill-intended individuals looking to cause specific harm, whether just for vandalism purposes or to attempt to burglarize your home.

In many cases, this policy will stretch far enough to also cover graffiti or other aesthetic damage. As long as you have one of these clauses in your policy, you should be completely covered for this sort of rare damage.

Vehicle Damage

Perhaps the most common type of garage door damage out there is caused by people driving their vehicles incorrectly, making contact with the garage in some way. Many people accidentally put the car in drive rather than reverse, for instance, accidentally denting the garage before they have time to brake.

While you should check your policy to be sure, most homeowners’ insurance policies do cover this kind of accidental damage – when it’s caused by you or someone who lives in your residence. If the damage is caused by an outside party driving their vehicle into your garage, though, that party’s auto liability insurance should cover the repairs or replacement.

Weather or Natural Disaster

Whether it’s hail, debris blown from high winds, falling tree branches or other weather-related issues, homeowners’ insurance policies tend to vary. Some will cover certain kinds of natural disaster damage but not others, while other more expensive policies may cover the whole range. One area you usually have to pay a bit more for is flood damage, which isn’t covered by most base policies.

General Wear

Finally, if the garage is simply getting old or wearing down, this is an area that generally won’t be covered. Your best protection against this is regular garage door inspection and preventive maintenance from our pros.

For more on whether your homeowners’ insurance policy covers certain kinds of garage door damage, or to learn about any of our residential or commercial garage doors, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Important Lubrication Areas and Tips for Garage Doors

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to maintain a fantastic relationship with many of our garage door clients. Whether in commercial, residential or even industrial garage door areas, we offer a combination of quality in-person services and valuable expertise – the sort that allows homeowners or building managers to properly care for and maintain their garage doors and spaces for years with limited hassle or expense.

One such area that’s very important for long-term garage door upkeep? Lubrication. Garage doors have several distinct components that move in coordination with each other, and can create friction and wear-related issues over time if they are not properly lubricated to allow for smooth movement. This is an area any handy home or business owner can cover themselves if they feel comfortable – here are a few tips to follow, including the proper lubricant to use and the areas of the garage door that require attention.

lubrication areas garage doors

Proper Lubrication Solution

One big tip here before you get started: While many who have not lubricated a garage door in the past may automatically assume that a related product like WD-40 is the way to go, they’d be mistaken. While WD-40 is a solid product that helps resist rust and grease concerns in many areas, it is not technically a lubricant – it’s actually considered a cleaning solvent. Another solution to avoid is grease, which may seem like a good idea but will create sticky areas that lead to dust and other buildups which are difficult to clean.

Instead of WD-40, choose a specific lubricant solution designed for garage doors and similar components. A common option we recommend is LPS 2, a non-silicone lubricant that’s perfect for these kinds of areas. If this is not available, ask you local hardware store expert (or our team) for their recommendation.

Areas of Garage Door to Lubricate

There are several areas of the garage door you’ll want to consider lubrication for, whether once a year or multiple times. Before lubricating, be sure to clean each of these areas thoroughly with a dry cloth to remove dust or other debris. In addition, keep another dry cloth with you to clean up drips or spills as you go.

These are the areas of the garage you should be looking at:

  • Hinges: All metal garage door hinges have pivot points where they open and close – these are the areas that should be lubricated. Stay away from lubricating plastic parts, which do not require it and may actually decompose faster due to it.
  • Springs: Torsion springs are in charge of opening and closing the garage door, and lubricating them is vital. Use just enough lubricant to keep the springs efficient, a service that will add years to your garage door’s lifespan.
  • Rollers: Metal rollers allow the door to move up and down on its tracks, and you can lubricate both the track and the metal rollers. If your rollers contain nylon, avoid lubricant in those areas.

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

Benefits of Always Parking Vehicles Inside the Garage

In today’s day and age, people use their garages for a variety of purposes. There’s standard vehicle storage, yes, but there’s also significant secondary storage, conversions into home offices or workspaces, and several other alternative options many choose to dedicate some or all of their garage space to.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re proud to offer high-quality residential garage door services for all  the varying purposes and needs you might utilize your garage space for. We’re here to tell you, however, that there are several benefits to parking your vehicles in the garage every time – let’s look at these benefits, and why you need a functioning, quality garage door to protect the area.

benefits parking inside garage

Vehicle Quality and Protection

For starters, many don’t realize the degree of risk they’re opening their vehicle up to by parking it in the driveway or especially on the street every night. Most of us consider the basics like rain, snow and other weather elements, sure, and modern vehicles should do well enough against these simple concerns.

However, those are far from the only areas you have to be thinking about when it comes to the long-term protection of your vehicle. Leaving the car out each day and night opens it up to bird droppings, for instance, which are acidic and can damage vehicle paint. Also consider the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which over time can and will crack the leather interior of virtually any vehicle.

Vehicle Security

There’s a tendency among those who live in nicer neighborhoods to be less concerned with vehicle security and crime when parking outside, but this is a mistake. High-value neighborhoods can actually be targets for exactly this sort of behavior, especially those who are so relaxed that they don’t lock their vehicle properly or fail to take other basic precautions. Parking the vehicle outside leaves it far more susceptible to theft, vandalism or other related concerns.

Comfort and Convenience

Beyond the practical factors in parking inside the garage, there are comfort and convenience factors to consider as well. Tired of condensation on your windows every morning during the summer and ice on them every morning during winter, for instance? Parking in the garage eliminates these concerns.

In addition, parking inside makes transporting items to and from the vehicle far simpler, whether we’re talking groceries or something larger. And no one wants to have to run through a rain or hail storm to get in and out of the vehicle when a garage space is readily available.

Aesthetics and Curb Appeal

Finally, there’s a visual appeal to parking inside the garage. Homes with cars parked outside them tend to look worse from an aesthetic standpoint, making the property look cluttered and unkempt. In cases where you’re thinking of listing the home on the market, this could even have a minor impact on curb appeal.

For more on why parking vehicles inside the garage is beneficial despite many choosing not to in recent years, or to learn about any of our garage door repair services, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company.