Points to Remember before Buying Garage Doors

Don’t be stingy when buying garage doors – even if you have to pay a bit more than you signed up for, it is worth the money as a good door lasts for several years. With minimal maintenance, you don’t have to worry about getting it replaced for a long time.

Get an estimate in person

Please don’t order garage doors over the phone or online. Every garage is a little different, and a knowledgeable salesperson will check details like opening size and shape, headroom and side clearance, and even help you make design decisions. Ask a professional to visit your home, gather the necessary information, and then give you a quote.

Steer clear from wooden doors

These garage doors contribute to aesthetic appeal, but requires a lot of time and money when it comes to maintenance. Natural finishes last a few years before they need recoating. And if you wait too long, you have to sand off all the finish and start over to get your door looking new again. If you want the “wooden door look”, get one made of embossed steel with a faux wood-grain finish – it seems totally authentic.

Upgrade insulation

Planning to buy an insulated door to keep energy costs low or your garage warm? Spend around 15% to 20% more to upgrade to polyurethane insulation. Remember – the insulating effectiveness of a garage door is its R-value; the bigger the number, the better is the insulation.

Invest in sturdy springs

Springs are responsible for helping the garage door go up and come down easily. Most doors use torsion springs that are rated around 10000 cycles, which can be quickly used up if you and close your door six times a day! Pay a bit more and buy a spring rated for 20,000 cycles instead.

Buy a new opener

The same person who installs your new door can also install a new garage door opener. The opener eventually fails, so if it is showing its age or you just want a quieter opener or one with more features, this is the perfect time to replace it.

Get professional help

You could save a few hundred dollars by installing the door yourself, but it is best seek professional assistance. There are numerous parts so it will take least a full day to put them together. Plus, winding the spring calls for special tools and lots of arm strength and is fairly dangerous. If you hire a pro to install the door, the new door will be delivered and the old one hauled away, and the job gets done in a few hours!

Don’t buy your garage door in a hurry – take your time to explore options and then make up your mind.

Seasonal Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Unfortunately, most of us tend to overlook automatic garage door maintenance but inspecting it twice a year and getting problems fixed is a must, preferably in the early spring and late fall. Regular maintenance of these doors keeps them in good working condition and might save you from an expensive repair bill.

Watch and listen while the door is in operation

Problems with your garage door and automatic opener are often manifest in jerky movements and grating, scraping sounds. A well-maintained, well-tuned garage door is relatively quiet as it moves up and down, and you should not see jerkiness in its motion. Look at both sides of the system, and make sure they look symmetrical.

Look at cables and pulleys

Check the lift cables and pulleys that attach to the bottom roller brackets on the door. These provide the connection between the springs and the door to help lift and lower the door safely. Garage doors also have torsion and extension springs that use cables to lift the door. Most experts advise that cables and springs should not be touched by homeowners, since these high-tension parts can be dangerous. If you spot any broken strands or other signs of wear or damage on the cables, call in a professional.

Take care of the weather-stripping

Along the bottom of the door is the rubber weather-stripping that keeps out the cold, along with water, dirt, and dust. Check it twice a year to make sure it is in good shape. Some weather-stripping fits into the bottom of the door by means of a flange that slides into a groove in the bottom of the door. Weather-stripping for wooden garage doors is usually nailed in place. If the weather-stripping is along the sides, inspect its condition and reattach any loose spots or replace the entire length of stripping if it is badly worn or damaged.

Clean and paint the door

Have you looked at the door itself while checking out other components? If the door is made with steel, look for rust spots that should be sanded, primed, and painted. Fiberglass doors can be washed with an all-purpose cleaner. Pay particular attention to wood doors, since warping and water damage are common. Remove chipped and peeling paint, then sand and repaint. If a wooden door is sans weather-stripping along the bottom, seal or paint this edge and then install a weather-strip.

Keep these seasonal maintenance tips in mind so your garage door remains functional for a longer period of time.