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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.

Warm Weather Garage Door Maintenance Areas

A long, arduous Utah winter is finally coming to a close, and many homeowners are glad to be transitioning into a warmer period of year. This transition does bring with it a few minor upkeep areas, and one of these for your home might be garage door maintenance.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re here to help with all your garage door repair and upkeep areas this spring and summer. Let’s go over some basic areas you should be thinking about as the temperature continues to rise, both in areas you can handle on your own and in a few where you might require the assistance of our garage door professionals.

warm weather garage door maintenance

Basic Cleaning

For starters, some basic cleaning can go a long way – both for general appearance and the functionality of the garage space. First look to dust and other built-up dirt, which forms through repeated opening and lowering of the door. You can use a simple soap-and-water solution to clean the entire garage door itself.

While you’re at it, consider other areas in the garage as well. Consider clearing clutter or any items that could threaten garage components, for instance. You might also consider re-painting or re-sealing certain worn-down areas to keep moisture out during spring rains.

Inspection of Parts

Both while you’re cleaning and separately, go through the important components of the garage door and ensure they’re all functioning properly. Start at the hinges and cables to ensure they’re not worn down, and check all track bolts to be sure they’re tight.

Next, look at the garage door springs – are they both functioning properly and free of rust or other corrosion? Also check for any such corrosion in other areas. If you see anything that looks abnormal in any of these areas, contact our garage door professionals for repairs.

Lubrication

It’s good to re-lubricate the garage tracks and rollers at least once or twice a year, and the spring period can be a good time. It can be tougher to lubricate during the winter due to moisture concerns, and no one wants to be doing that job in the dead heat of summer when it’s 100 degrees outside.

When lubricating, be sure not to overdo things. For starters, use a lithium or silicone-based lubricant – WD-40 is not recommended. For another, don’t use so much lubricator that dirt and grime are able to stick, as this can create major buildups that interfere with functionality.

Insulation and Weather-Stripping

Especially if you use the garage space for anything but storage, but even if you don’t, ensuring your garage is energy-efficient is a big deal for your monthly bills. This means making sure the door is properly insulated, sealed and has weather stripping that isn’t worn down. Check along garage door edges to see if any weather stripping has worn down – insulation can be a bit tougher to pinpoint since it’s encased in your panels, but our pros can help you assess its quality.

For more on important warm weather maintenance areas to prioritize this year for your garage, or to learn about any of our garage door repair or maintenance services, contact the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Defining and Assessing Garage Door Bowing and Warping

There are several prominent materials that might be used to construct your garage door, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. One such option is wood, one of the most popular and classic choices for garage material and one of the top available materials when it comes to lasting, beautiful quality – but also one that comes with small risks of bowing and warping.

At Overhead Door Company, we’re here to help with repairs for bowing, warping and any other concerns for your residential or commercial garage door. What exactly do bowing and warping describe, why are they problems, and how can you limit their risks or repair them if they do take place? Here are some answers.

garage door bowing warping

Defining Bowing and Warping

These terms are actually directly connected – bowing is a type of warping, which is a slightly larger category that refers to any item that becomes bent or twisted out of its normal shape, often due to moisture or heat presence. When bowing takes place on a garage door, it appears in the form of a caved-in appearance on the door, one that will become obvious fairly immediately.

While the most common signs of bowing are visual, you may also notice audible evidence as well. Bowed doors often don’t move correctly on their tracks, and therefore will moan or strain as they try to move up and down despite obstacles.

Resulting Concerns

The most obvious concern with a bowing door is the appearance – these doors look both ugly and unsafe, and may even be invitations for burglars or other unsavory characters to attempt to enter your home. But perhaps even more concerning is the practical issues that arise with bowed doors, which as we noted above can often see heavily reduced performance due to the bowing concerns. If left unrepaired, bowed garage doors will often wear down their springs, rollers and other areas far earlier than usual, costing you significant repair sums.

Causes of Bowing

There are two primary causes of both warping in general and bowing garage doors:

  • Temperature: Wood can be affected by fluctuating temperature ranges, to the point where it may warp and lose its structural integrity. This can also happen to other materials, such as steel, but it’s not anywhere near as common.
  • Moisture: Another cause of wood warping is significant moisture interference, which can alter the shape. With proper wood sealing techniques, however, you can avoid this risk.

Repair Options

In many cases, it’s simple and easy to replace a small number of warped garage door panels for a limited cost. In cases where the entire door is bowing, however, or where the bowing concerns are significant enough that the door can’t open or close properly, you may have to consider a full replacement.

To learn more about bowing and warping and how we can help, or for information on any of our garage door repair services, speak to the pros at Overhead Door Company today.

Understanding Sources of Garage Ghost Openings

In the garage door industry, when a garage door opens on its own for one of a variety of reasons, this is called “ghost opening.” Garages contain several mechanisms, and the failure of even one can lead to this kind of ghost opening, which can not only pose safety hazards to those nearby but can risk the security of your house when you aren’t home.

At Overhead Door Company, our garage door repair services include helping you identify the source of ghost openings and assisting you with correcting them. Let’s take a quick look at three of the most common reasons for this happening, plus what you can do about each of them to prevent these issues in the future.
sources garage ghost openings

Debris

In today’s day and age, the majority of garage doors are electrically powered, using a remote opener and sensors that help detect when there’s a blockage of some kind that should prevent the door from closing for safety reasons. These sensors are near the ground, and are generally very sensitive.

One of the single most common sources of ghost openings, then, is sensors that are tricked by various forms of debris. Perhaps this is a tool that wasn’t quite put away properly, or maybe it’s something that fell from the ceiling. If it is interfering with the sensors in your door, though, it may cause the door to rise on its own or fail to close. This should be the first area you check if your door continues to ghost open.

Radio Interference

In addition, modern garage doors utilize radio waves for their basic operation. When you type in a passcode entry, radio frequencies communicate this to the opener. The same is true when you press the buttons inside the garage or the buttons on your remote opener, which will be on the same frequency as the garage door and can cause it to open and close.

Garage doors, however, are not the only items out there that utilize radio waves. Police radios, CB radios and even other nearby garages might also be operating on the same frequencies, leading to interference issues. If this is the case, your fix is easy: Just reprogram the openers using a different frequency.

Opener Problems

Down similar but perhaps even simpler lines, you may be having issues with your garage’s remote opener itself. If this item is dirty, submerged in water or short on batteries, it may either simply not work or work in a faulty manner. Many garage opening and closing issues, including ghost openings, can be traced back to openers that were not in proper operating condition.

For more on how to avoid garage door ghost opening issues, or to learn about any of our residential or commercial garage doors, speak to the staff at Overhead Door Company today.

Selecting Between Single-Panel and Sectional Garages

If you’re considering a new garage door for your home or business, one of the first big decisions you’ll make is between the two primary types of garage door: The single-panel door and the sectional door. Single-panel garages come in a single large piece, while sectional doors come with separate panels and are more common for homeowners today.

At Overhead Door Company, our residential garage door selection includes several different distinct types. Let’s look into some important factors surrounding single-panel and sectional doors, plus give you some tips on which to choose for your home.

selecting single-panel sectional garages

Visual Differences

It’s important to note that whichever choice you make in terms of door style, you’ll have a ton of variety available to you from a visual perspective. Both types are made in several different material types and designs, so you don’t have to worry about missing out on a visual style you enjoy because you prefer one or the other.

That said, sectional doors are slightly more limited because of the way they require a layout that includes their segments. Single-panel doors come with just one section, which opens up their options a bit. Many older homes stick with single-panel doors to maintain the historical aesthetic of the building, and even some modern homeowners enjoy the vintage look.

Functional Qualities

A big part of the reason sectional doors are more popular than single-panel doors today is due to their gaps in functionality. Sectional doors generally come with more modern features, plus are safer to operate and repair due to no extension springs – single-panel garages do have these springs, which can break and cause issues in some cases.

In addition, sectional doors are known to be a bit more durable against inclement weather. And finally, they have smaller opening clearances than their single-panel counterparts, which means they’re preferable when you’re dealing with a limited amount of space.

Price

Price is obviously a huge factor as you choose any major home element like a garage door. Single-panel doors tend to cost a little bit less than sectional options, but some of this is mitigated due to the scarcity of single-panel production – actual manufacturing costs far less for single-panel doors. But many people consider the cost efficiency beyond the original price, which is why sectional doors remain more popular.

How to Choose

Generally, here are some signs that a sectional garage door is right for you:

  • You need better durability
  • Your space is on the smaller end
  • You want more selection available for your garage door
  • You prefer lower maintenance requirements

On the flip side, here are some situations where a single-panel door could be the way to go:

  • You want to install the door yourself
  • You have an older home and want to maintain its outward aesthetic
  • You’re on a tighter budget

For more on garage door types, or to learn about any of our commercial or residential garage doors, speak to the pros at Overhead Door Company today