Is Your Garage Door Frozen Shut?

Is Your Garage Door Frozen Shut?

Frozen
It’s -30 ºC outside, it’s been snowing nonstop for 6 hours, and you’re sitting on your couch in your warm house. How badly do you not want to get up and shovel? Pretty badly, right? We get it, during winter we start moving a little slower and it becomes much more difficult to find the motivation to get up and go outside.

What we often forget is that, during these cold temperatures, your garage door suffers too. Its metal components can contract, resulting in the motor to work a little harder than usual in order to open and shut the door after every use. It’s important to give your garage door system special attention during the cold season and this is why we came up with a few prevention tips to avoid bigger problems. We also provided you with steps to take if your garage door is ever frozen shut and you can’t open it.

Prevention Tips

  • Use your door at least once a day during cold temperatures. Even if you don’t intend to go anywhere, making sure you open and shut your garage door once in a while can prevent your door from sticking to the icy ground. It also allows components that are stuck together from the frost to detach themselves.
  • Make sure to give your garage door the proper maintenance it deserves all through the year, this includes lubrication of important parts and making sure no components are worn out or damaged. This way, when winter comes, its operating system will be less likely to get damaged or perform poorly.
  • Clear your garage door of snow and ice as much as possible, with shovels or snow blowers.
  • You can apply a silicone spray to the rubber bottom seal. This will prevent it from sticking to the snow or ice.

Steps to take if your garage door is frozen shut:

Trying to open your garage door with the automatic garage door opener can burn out the motor of the device or strip its gears when it can’t release the door from the ice.
Step 1: Check to see if the door hasn’t been locked. Check the interior side lock and the lock button on the wall console.
Step 2: Inspect the entire operating system and make sure there is no obstruction to the door or any broken components.
Step 3: Turn off the motor and pull the emergency release cord to allow you to manually open your door in order to free up any sections or weather seal that may have frozen up. This usually has a red plastic handle and hangs in the center of the door assembly near the door.

Options to get rid of the ice:

  • Use your hairdryer to melt the ice fast. Be careful not to hold the hairdryer in the same position for too long and to not set it at the highest heat setting.
  • Chipping away at the ice with a small knife, a hammer, or a screwdriver. Be careful not to tear into the bottom seal and be sure to wear safety glasses.
  • Use boiling water to melt the ice. Be sure someone can help you open the door as soon as the ice is melted because the warm water will eventually get cold again, risking to freeze again.

Reasons to Replace Your Garage Door Opener

Replacing Your Garage Door Opener

Anything made before safety sensors came onto the market in the 1990’s risks injury. Garage door openers are fairly simple mechanisms that tend to last a long time. Even if yours is still working fine, there are good reasons to consider replacing it. Newer models offer increased safety, security and convenience. Here are some of the primary reasons why you might want to install a new garage door opener. Safety is a key reason but not the only reason.

 

Safety Reversal:

Since 1993 garage door openers have been required to be equipped with a safety reversing mechanism. This feature utilizes two sensors about six inches above floor level on both sides of the door. When any object, such as a child or pet, runs through the light beam created by these sensors while the door is closing, the door immediately stops and reverses. If your garage door opener does not have a safety reversing feature, or if the one it does have no longer works, replacing the opener is highly recommended.

 

Noise Control:

Does your garage door opener wake people up or otherwise disrupt the household because it makes so much noise? If so, a new opener will almost certainly be quieter. The original style of garage door opener opened and closed with a chain drive. If you can see something that looks like a bicycle chain near the motor unit of your opener, consider replacing it with a screw drive or belt drive garage door opener. Even a newer model chain drive unit will likely be quieter than an older model.

 

Security:

Older garage door openers were vulnerable to thieves. Because their remote controls functioned with a fixed code, someone with a special device could sit outside your house and find the code, allowing them to open the garage door.  New garage door openers have a “rolling code” feature, which changes the code every time the unit is used. Bad guys can no longer duplicate the code and get into your garage uninvited.

 

No Keys:

Older garage door openers did not offer keypads that could be mounted outside the garage. This handy feature allows you to enter a code into the keypad that will open the garage door. No keys required. You may be able to buy a keypad to install with your existing garage door opener. If not, though, this might be a good reason to upgrade. Newer keypad units even eliminate the need to remember a code. They operate by touch, using fingerprint detection to open the door.

 

Battery Backup:

One of the big inconveniences of a power outage is often the inability to operate the garage door opener. Garage door openers are now available with battery backup systems that will kick in automatically when you lose electrical power. This is of course counteracted by the use of the emergency pull cord that most garage doors have. But for extended problems with power outages, it’s a great idea to have the battery backup in place.

 

Click here for a free estimate on a new garage door opener!

 

The Benefits of Having a Preventive Maintenance Plan for Your Garage Door

When you have a garage door and an opener installed, you will want to make sure it will last for a long time. One way to do this is to participate in a preventive maintenance program. Call us to learn more about our PM program + sign up today!

The Benefits of Having a Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your Garage Door_resized

If you sign up for the preventive maintenance program from Rowe Door Sales Company, your garage door and opener will receive a thorough inspection.  Each section of the garage door will be inspected to make sure there are no problems or damage. The springs will be adjusted and lubricated, and the spring fasteners will be inspected to make sure the mounting is secure. The rollers and bearings will be inspected and lubricated, and the hinges and hardware will be checked and tightened. Your garage door cables will be inspected for damage or wear, as well as the weather strip. The garage door track fasteners and hangers will also be checked to ensure the mounting is still secure.  All of these inspections will aid you in being able to get the longest life possible out of your garage door.

The Benefits of Having a Preventative Maintenance Plan for Your Garage DoorThere are many benefits to participating in a garage door maintenance program. One big advantage is saving money in the long run by reducing the likelihood that you will have long-term repair expenses on your garage door.  With the preventive maintenance program, your garage door will have increased efficiency and reliability. It will also reduce the probability of a malfunction with the garage door opener. If you do need interim service throughout the year, you will receive a discounted rate for parts & labor.

For more information about the preventive maintenance program at Rowe Door Sales Company, visit rowedoor.com or call 570-655-7701.

 

Ultimate Guide to Choosing the BEST Garage Door for YOU!

What is Important?

Chances are this is the first, maybe second, time you’ve had to purchase a garage door. It’s not something like shoes that you purchase multiple times per year. You’re probably wondering where to start. Don’t worry! We’re going to take you step by step through safety, sizing, materials, appearance and much more.

 

 

Garage Door Safety

Garage door safety standards have come a long way over the years. You can no longer even get a garage door that doesn’t have the technology to detect something in its path and prevent it from crushing whatever that may be.

Remember when you could close the garage door from inside the garage and then run under it before it closed? Yeah, those days are gone. We’ll discuss more of the safety features a little later on… Because, it’s worth stressing in its very own section that safety is always the #1 concern.

 

Garage Door Sizes

Not all garage door openings are built the same! The good news is, as with regular doors, there are a few standards that most garage doors fall into. These standard sizes will fit your average car, truck, SUV, etc., but they will not fit your big ol’ toy hauler. Don’t fret if your door opening doesn’t fit into one of the following “standard” categories… Special order doors are also available!

One Car Garage Door Sizes

  • 8’x7’
  • 9’x7’
  • 10’x7’

Two Car Garage Door Sizes

  • 12’x7’
  • 14’x7’
  • 16’x7’

 

Garage Door Construction

Not all garage doors are constructed the same. This primarily comes down to one thing – what’s it made of? Let’s talk about it…

Material

Just like a traditional front door, you have plenty of options or your garage door. And these days, things are not always as they seem. One of the hottest trends in the flooring world has been deception… Lookalike floors made in less expensive, lower maintenance materials. Garage doors are doing the same thing – offering you multiple looks in almost every material. So, what should you be looking for in a garage door? You want a garage door that’s durable, dent and fade resistant, quiet and attractive. Here’s what you must choose from.

 

Steel Garage Doors

They’re strong and durable, yet light and quiet – a great combination! Steel is not exactly known for its insulation properties, but luckily many steel doors can be insulated with foam to keep the harsh temperatures outside where they belong. The downside to steel is it can rust easily, especially if you live in a wetter environment.

 

 

 

Aluminum Garage Doors

Would you believe that aluminum is typically pricier than steel when it comes to garage doors? It seems like it would be the bargain option, but a good quality aluminum garage door is pretty darn top of the line. Aluminum can also be insulated and offers the same dent-resistant properties of beefier steel doors. However, aluminum is much better in wet environments than steel and far less likely to rust.

 

 

Vinyl Garage Doors

Just like vinyl floors, vinyl garage doors seem to be virtually indestructible! Built to stand up to kids, weather and more, vinyl is the low-maintenance garage door option. Of course, you can’t always get the exact look you want with vinyl, which is the one downside. But, they are truly built to last.

 

Fiberglass Garage Doors

A fiberglass garage door also offers a realistic wood look without the weight and maintenance of a solid wood garage door. Fiberglass is popular in temperate areas. It’s great in the rain, but it does not love the cold. In fact, super cold environments can cause the door to turn yellow or even break over time.

Wood / Wood Composite Garage Doors

Like wood flooring, wood garage doors are the real deal. While other materials can mimic the wood look, at the end of the day, nothing quite compares to the look and feel of solid wood. Just like wood flooring, the best look doesn’t always offer the best features. Wood doors are heavy, and high-maintenance, often requiring much more work down the road. The good news is wood composite, like composite decking, gives you the closest resemblance to a wood look, but in a lighter, easier to maintain material.

 

Insulation

First thing’s first: Do you actually need to insulate your garage door? Well…it depends. If you live in a harsh climate and plan to spend a lot of time in your garage, it’s worth springing for the insulation. However, if you are just parking in your garage, insulation could be keeping in things you don’t want like fumes and chemicals. If you are insulating, the good news is that most new garage doors come with built-in insulation. If you are stuck with an older garage door or can’t find an insulated one you like, there are lots of great DIY tutorials out there using inexpensive materials like foam to keep you safe from the elements.

 

Garage Door Features

We are living in the era of bells and whistles and, these days, the more the better. So why shouldn’t your garage door have bells and whistles, too? Just take a look at some of your options…

Automation

There are tons of automation features for your garage door and the good news is that if you decide to go for automation, most devices will do all of them. Lights, closing, deliveries, you name it, it can be automated. Check out one of the many automated garage door openers if this is something you think you might be interested in. Most of them connect with apps on your phone, Alexa or Google Home.

Safety Features

There are three main safety features you want to look for when choosing your garage door.

  • Manual controls. This means you can manually open and close your garage door in an emergency if it breaks or you lose electricity.
  • Motion detection. This is how the garage door senses that there is an object (or human) in its path. It is very
  • Auto-reverse. Okay, so your door can detect objects. That’s cool. But it doesn’t matter if it can’t, upon detection, automatically reverse its path to keep from crushing those objects. This one’s a biggie.

Now, having all these features is great, but you also need to make sure you’re regularly testing your garage door to make sure all features are working properly. Better safe than sorry!

Garage Door Aesthetics

Color

So, the truth is many people end up painting their garage door down the road anyway. Color is important, yes, but it’s not permanent. You can always update it later so don’t worry too much about it being perfect right away. Unless you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, your color options are endless.

Windows

Do you like a garage door with windows? You can go for no windows, a few top windows, huge sweeping windows or anything in between. Look around and see what you like and what will look best with your home.

Hardware

You can choose different colors, finishes, styles, you name it. There is something for everyone. Ask for samples if you are unsure of what you might want!

How to Make the Decision

The time has come: decision time! Determine which things are most important to you then just searching your options. Take pictures, hold them against your house and get a few different quotes. Our experienced sales staff would be more than happy to assist you in your garage buying endeavor! Call the experts at Rowe Door Sales Company at 570-655-7701 or visit our showroom today!

 

 

Can my garage door be repaired?

Worried about the state of your garage door? Making strange noises? Not closing or opening properly? Worried about your family’s safety?

Well, you’ve come to the right place! We understand that when it comes to garage doors, safety is number one. So, if you’re worried about the state of your door, you should investigate further and then contact a garage door expert.

The good news is most of the time it can be repaired, rather than replaced. But you should act as soon as possible because even the most minor issues can quickly become big problems.

 

 

When can you repair it?

  • Issues with your electric door opener

For example, the door closes a couple of inches but then opens again. The most likely cause is a misalignment of the photo-eye units on the safety reversing system. This is easy to verify, and you should be able to see if one of the units has been moved. If not, the wire joining the two units might have been severed. If it’s the latter, call a garage door technician right away!

  • The door jerks or vibrates when opening

This sounds like your door opener is having trouble lifting the door, which means one of the lifting cables is likely broken or very damaged. To verify, look at the vertical tracks on either side of the garage door. If that’s not the case, a roller might be broken or have come off its track. Either way, call a professional as soon as possible.

  • The door is making a loud, yet short, noise when opening

Most garage doors come on steel tracks, or commercial grade tracks for larger doors. If you’re hearing a loud noise when the doors opening, it’s likely that one of these tracks is damaged, perhaps bent or twisted from a collision. You need to hire a garage door technician to rectify the situation.

  • The door is slow to open and close

Like number 2, this is likely a sign that the door system is having trouble lifting the door, but this time it’s probably linked to the spring system. If the door opener is working harder than normal one of the springs is probably broken or has lost tension. To check, pull the emergency release cord and try and open the door manually. Remember that garage doors are calibrated to have a perceived weight of no more than 10 lbs., you should be able to lift it easily one-handed. If you can’t, you’ve got a problem and need the broken system replacing.

 

When do you need to replace it?

If you take good care of your garage door it can last for generations, as long as you regularly maintain it, including lubricating all moving parts at least twice a year, you shouldn’t have any problems. But there are some issues that can arise that unfortunately cannot be repaired. For instance:

  • Rust

If you live in a cold climate, your garage door is literally put through the wringer, and unless you have a heated, well-insulated garage and heavy-duty hardware, rust is likely to develop over time. If this is the case and you have rusty garage door components, you’ll need to replace it.

  • Damaged door sections

If one of the garage door sections is badly damaged, you may need to replace the entire door. It all depends on how damaged the section is, but a severely damaged door section can lead to other issues, including rust.

  • To sell your home faster

If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, but you’re worried that your battered, old garage door might make it a tough sell, you might want to think about investing in a new garage door. Any real estate agent will tell you that a new garage door guarantees a great return on investment, and what’s more, your house is more likely to sell quickly.

Keep in mind…

Garage doors are dangerous moving objects, so for your safety and the safety of your family, please hire a professional! If you’re still unsure whether you need to repair or replace your garage door, give us a call at (570) 655-7701 or request a detailed quotation. If you’d prefer to speak to someone in person, we’re happy to make a house call.

Garage Door Injury

Statistically speaking, you are unlikely to have ever experienced a garage door related injury, or even know someone who has. This may start to give you a false sense of security about your garage door. After all, it’s equipped with safety features, so it must be safe, right? The reality is that garage doors may start off very safe, if all possible safety features are included, yet become extremely hazardous if they are not properly maintained.

Every year thousands of Americans who probably thought their own garage doors were very safe become injured. Don’t let yourself or a loved one become part of these statistics! Instead, educate yourself on the most common types of garage door injuries and how they can be prevented using the following information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance Survey.

Injury Type: Pinching

Americans Affected: Every year, over 7,550 Americans suffer pinching injuries, most often when fingers get caught between the panels of the garage door. Pinching fingers between the rollers and the tracks is also common. A little pinch may not seem like a big deal until you stop to think about the forces involved in moving a heavy garage door. Then you can begin to understand why in some cases the fingers are so badly pinched they have to be amputated.

Prevention: The most important step you can take to prevent pinching is to keep fingers away from the garage door in the first place. However, if you have small kids you can get added peace of mind by choosing a garage door that has a pinch-proof panel design. Frequent professional maintenance will also help keep pinching injury risks low.

Injury Type: Crushing

Americans Affected: According to NEISS data, over 2,200 Americans will be injured each year by a garage door falling on them from above. About a hundred of these injuries typically occur when individuals unwisely try to run beneath a garage door as it is closing. The remaining injuries can be attributed to mechanical problems with the garage door and opener equipment.

Prevention: The best way to prevent sudden garage door failures that could trap a person beneath the door is to inspect your garage door regularly. You should do a visual inspection once per month yourself, and invest in a professional garage door inspection and maintenance visit each year. This way, you can avoid getting taken by surprise by issues like broken garage door springs that could cause the door to drop suddenly.

Injury Type: Lacerations

Americans Affected: About 800 Americans will suffer lacerations when the window glass in their garage doors breaks.

Prevention: This type of garage door injury is becoming less and less common as older doors with regular glass are replaced with new doors that feature shatter-resistant glass. This type of glass is similar to the glass used in car windows, so when it breaks it creates small dull chunks rather than wicked shards. If you need help replacing an old garage door with dangerous glass with a safer model, contact Rowe Door Sales Company for help.

Garage Door Tips for Fall

Garage Door Tips for Fall – Here are a few fall maintenance items to check that will only take a few minutes but could save you a hassle later:

  • Look and Listen. Is your garage door running smoothly? If your garage door is shaking like a leaf now, winter isn’t going to look much better. Take a second to clean out the tracks (a quick once-over with the vacuum nozzle will do the trick) and add some lubricant to battle what summer humidity may have done to the metal in your garage.
  • Grab Your Level. Using a simple construction level can tell you whether your door or tracks have warped. This will tell you if you need to get some repairs before your car is held captive by a faulty door and you’re late for work. Again.
  • Replace the Weatherstripping. If it’s cracked or brittle, ain’t no way it’s gonna keep the cold and damp out of your garage. Your gloved hands will thank you later. We carry a stock of many different colors and lengths, and it’s pretty easy to install yourself too.
  • Keep It Movin’. Check your rollers and springs to make sure they aren’t chipped, cracked, or stretched out. If they are, they’ll need replacing fairly soon. If you’re looking to DIY, check out our tips, but like any powerful, tightly wound, well-used thing, we have to warn you that springs can be dangerous. Be careful, or call us – we’ve done it a thousand times.
  • Check the Opener Battery. Never fear, sometimes it’s as simple as that.

 

We know you’re busy. And we want to make sure running kids to soccer games, prepping for the holidays, and last-minute runs to the store go as smoothly as possible. If you know it’s important but don’t have the time to do it, give us a call! From tune-ups to repairs to replacements, we’ll keep your garage door moving as consistently as you.

 

 

Top 10 Preventive Maintenance Tips for Garage Door Owners

Your garage door is the largest moving part in your entire home and is used multiple times per day at any hour and in all seasons. To keep your garage door operating smoothly for decades to come, it’s very important that you take the time to perform regular preventive care and maintenance. Here are 10 things that all homeowners can do:

1. Look and Listen

The most important preventive step you can take is to observe your garage door in action every time you use it. Is it moving smoothly or is it jerky in places? Does it operate silently or does it make grinding or scraping noises? Do both sides of the system (springs, pulleys, and cables) look symmetrical?

2. Tighten up the Hardware

The average garage door moves up and down more than a thousand times a year. That’s a lot of movement and vibration, which can loosen the hardware. Examine and tighten all roller brackets and bolts with a socket wrench.

3. Test the Garage Door Balance

If your garage door is not properly balanced, the garage door opener will have to work harder, and it won’t last as long.

After you disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle (usually a red cord), manually move the door about halfway up. If it doesn’t stay put, the counterweight system (springs) are improperly balanced. Garage door spring adjustment is best left to the professionals.

4. Inspect and Replace the Rollers

The rollers, whether steel or nylon, need to be inspected twice a year and replaced every seven years or so, and even more if you use your garage door many times a day.

Worn, chipped or cracked rollers should be replaced as soon as possible. You do this by removing and reinstalling any roller brackets that are not directly attached to the cable system.

5. Replace the Weatherstripping

If the rubber weather seal strip on the bottom of your door is brittle or cracked, replace it right away to keep the elements out of your house. Weatherstripping is sold by the foot at hardware and home improvement stores. Just cut to size and insert into the grooves with the wide angle of the flange inside the door.

6. Lubricate the Moving Parts

Keeping your garage door parts greased up will add years of seamless operation to your system – and it takes just 10 minutes a year! Use white lithium grease on the opener’s chain or screw, and a spray lubricant, available from your garage door specialist, to coat the overhead springs.

7. Check the Cables

You should never tinker with the high-tension cables that lift your door because they have enough force to maim and kill. But you can check their condition so you know when to hire a pro. Check for broken strands and damage near the bottom roller bracket.

8. Test the Auto-Reverse Safety Features

There are two mechanisms: mechanical and photocell. In order to test the mechanical feature, place a piece of wood or a brick on the ground in the path of the door. When the door coming down touches that object, it should reverse direction and go back up again. To test the second, the photoelectric system with beams at each side, close your door and just pass your leg in the door’s path. Your door should reverse.

If your opener is more than 20 years old, it may lack this basic safety features – and so it’s time to buy a new garage door opener.

9. Clear the Tracks

Make sure the tracks on either side of the door are free from debris and, if you are so inclined, you can use a level to check the plumb. Any major adjustments to tracks must be done by a professional garage door technician.

10. Groom Your Garage Door

Don’t forget to examine the door itself. Wood doors will need to be checked for water damage and warp, as well as chipped and peeling paint. Steel doors may have rust spots that need to be sanded, primed and painted. Wash your garage door regularly with a mild all-purpose cleaner at the same time you do your car.

Remember, your garage door makes up about one-third of the exterior of your house, so keep it fresh and clean. If you don’t have time to do this kind of check-up, call us at Rowe Door Sales Company to schedule a tune-up service call.

Safety Check Your Garage Door for Change of Season

Safety Check Your Garage Door for Change of Season: Before the weather starts to turn colder and winter bears down upon us, there are three maintenance checks every homeowner should perform on their garage doors.

Misalignment, cracking, or worn parts will only get worse with winter’s rough conditions. Many emergency repair jobs happen when the temperature dips. To avoid having to repair your garage door in the dead of winter, make sure it is in good condition now. Save yourself from the frustration and cold!

1. Test the Balance of Your Door

Step 1. Close your garage door. Disconnect your door from the opener by pulling on the red release cord.
Step 2. Manually lift the garage door. Stop it at waist height, and keep it steady.
Step 3. Release the door. It should stay at waist height. If door goes down on its own, you need to have it adjusted. If it goes back up, the springs are too tight. Both of these scenarios put undue wear on the garage door opener. If the springs are too tight, the door has to work against the spring pulling it up. If the door needs readjustment, it has to work against gravity pulling the door down.
Step 4. If your door moves, contact us right away—a professional needs to adjust it for balance right away. A professional has to adjust the garage door and springs for balance.

2. Visual Examination of Parts

Door Service Diagram1. Start by making sure the tracks aren’t bent or rusting.
2. Make sure the rollers on the track aren’t worn out or rusty.
3. Examine the cables for rust, fraying, or areas that seem worn.
4. Close your garage door and inspect the seal around the door. You shouldn’t see any light coming through any of the four sides (left, right, top, bottom).
5. Check the hinges on your door for rust or cracks.

If any of the door’s parts are worn or rusty, give us a call for preventative repairs.

3. Check Bottom Seal

Between the bottom of the door and the floor, your garage door has a seal (astragal). An astragal is either a solid black flap or tube-shaped. Its shape and material enable the astragal to form a tight seal and soft close. In the fall, small animals like mice, rats, chipmunks, and squirrels can chew through the seal to get into the warm garage or to find food.

Take a few minutes to check your bottom seal throughout the fall season to make sure no little critters are trying to get inside your garage for the winter. If you determine that your door can’t close or seal properly, try replacing your seal first.

For service, repair, installation, and answers to any of your questions, call us at (570) 655-7701.