• What You Need to Know Before Speaking with a Commercial Garage Door Salesman

    pittsburgh commercial garage doors

    As a business owner, you are probably looking for ways to make your business run more efficiently. The more efficient your business runs, the more your business profits. Whether you are looking to purchase your first set of Pittsburgh commercial garage doors or are looking to replace your existing ones, here are a few things you should know before you start talking to a garage door salesman.


    Before deciding on a new commercial garage door, you’ll want to think about how the doors will be used. While this might seem like a no-brainer, commercial doors can be used to fulfill a wide variety of applications. Also, commercial doors need to be able to stand up to the rigors of businesses that rely on them to open and close with no problems for an extended period of time. You’ll also want to consider how you’ll be using your door and what features are going to be important for you and your situation. Knowing how you’ll be using your door should play an important role in the type of door and system you choose.


    Once you have determined the application in which your door will be best utilized, you’ll want to consider what type of door material is going to work best for your needs. Commercial garage doors are available in different materials, the most common being steel or aluminum. Steel is a durable and low-maintenance option for business owners. Aluminum is also a low-maintenance, as well as resist to corrosion. Steel doors are ideal for businesses needing a door that can withstand high-volume cycles. On the other hand, aluminum doors work great in areas where there is high humidity.


    One of the biggest differences between commercial and residential garage doors is that commercial doors are available in nearly any size, while residential doors generally come in either one- or two-car options. When you first talk to a commercial garage door salesman, one of the first things they’ll need to know is what size of door you’re looking for. So, you’ll want to measure your openings before you start talking with them.


    There are numerous commercial garage door features available. A few of the most common features include:

    • Insulation
    • Automation
    • Safety
    • Motor
    • Cycle Speed
    • Aesthetics
    • Price
    • Maintenance
    • Security

    When you are ready to talk to someone about which Pittsburgh commercial garage doors are right for your business, contact the experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors!  

  • Why Shouldn’t Homeowners Attempt Garage Door Repairs Themselves?

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    As a homeowner, and self-proclaimed handyman, you may want to save money by attempting to complete all the home repairs yourself. This is great for many necessary home repairs, but there is one repair that you should not attempt on your own—the garage door. Garage doors can pose a serious threat to your own safety as well as the safety of family members, pets, or vehicles. There are numerous dangers that are associated with garage door repairs that should be left to garage door installation Pittsburgh professionals. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t attempt garage door repairs yourself.


    When it comes to working on or repairing garage doors, knowledge and experience are crucial. One of the most common problems that arise when homeowners attempt to repair garage door problems themselves, is that they inadvertently make the problem worse. As with most things, when the problem is worse it requires more time and money to correct.

    Save yourself some time, money, and hassle by hiring a professional and knowledgeable garage door repair technician to fix the problem from the get-go. Not only will they be able to quickly diagnose the issue, but they will also be able to provide you with options on repairs to ensure you get the repair that is right for you and your budget.

    Right Tools

    It is also important that you have the right tools. Most garage door repairs require the use of unique tools that most homeowners do not have lying around. This is because most homeowners won’t have the need for garage door specific tools to complete other projects around the home. Therefore, purchasing the tools probably won’t be worth the investment.

    A professional garage door technician will have all the necessary tools needed to repair any garage door-related issues you might encounter. Not only will they have all the tools necessary, but they will also know how to use them correctly.

    Avoid Accidents

    You can’t predict everything that is going to happen while performing garage door repairs, but there are three accidents that are the most common during DIY repairs. The three most common accidents include:

    • Falls: Garage door repairs require you to work on stools or a ladder. While it is essential to be high up in order to perform the repairs, you are at an increased risk of falling as well. Falling means that you could injure yourself or someone else. You also run the risk of damaging any equipment that you are using during the time of the fall or any that happens to be nearby.
    • Springs: Springs pose the greatest danger to homeowners who attempt to repair garage doors on their own. This is because torsion springs are under extreme amounts of tension and pressure. It is this tension and pressure that carries your garage door up and down. When they work properly, they are safe to be around. But when they aren’t working properly, they can be extremely dangerous. Professionals are trained to safely handle torsion springs and know how to prevent them from turning into projectile objects that could cause serious damage and danger.
    • Collapses: Garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds. Because of their weight, inexperienced homeowners are at greater risk of having their garage door, and its hundreds of pounds, come crashing down.

    Now that you know how dangerous it can be to work on a garage door yourself, hire professional garage door installation Pittsburgh technicians to do the work for you. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we not only install new commercial and residential garage doors, but we also know how to effectively and safely perform garage door repairs! Call us for all your garage door needs.


  • How to Open Your Garage Door When the Power Goes Out

    garage doors pittsburgh pa

    There are few things more frustrating than not being able to open your garage doors Pittsburgh, PA with the push of a button. Once you have gotten used to the convenience of having an automatic garage door opener, it is hard to ever go back to a manually operated door. Unfortunately, there are times when you’ll have no choice but to operate your door manually. This can be the result of dead batteries in your remote, a broken motor, or because your home is experiencing a power outage. While no one plans on these events happening, they do occur. These factors are why it’s important to know how to manually open and close a garage door in Pennsylvania.

    Pull the Trigger

    Nearly every garage door comes equipped with a bypass switch for just such occasions. Located on the garage opener there is a rope, generally red, with a handle on the end. This rope is the manual release that disengages the garage door from the motor, allowing it to be operated manually. Because the door can then be operated manually, it is recommended that you pull the release while the door is down, otherwise it could come slamming down causing damage and possible injury.

    Staying in Manual Mode

    The red rope you pulled to manually operate your door also controls the spring attachment in the trolley. If you are going to be experiencing an extended power outage or if your operator is malfunctioning, you’ll need to keep your door in manual mode. When using the door in manual mode, it is important to remember that you should pull the release rope down and toward the back of the garage to prevent it from getting caught on the tracks.

    Reattaching the Door When the Power Returns

    Once your home has its power restored or your door operator has been repaired or replaced, you’ll want to reattach your door in order to take full advantage of the automatic capability. To re-engage your door, you will need to simply pull down on the release cord again, this time toward the garage door opening. This will prevent the lever from engaging. At the same time, pull up on your garage door until it snaps back into place and you’re back in automatic mode. If you need assistance, simply push the button on your remote and the door track will force the spring attachment back into place.

    Important Things to Remember About the Door Release Cord

    It is important to remember that even if parts of your garage door are corrupted, the automatic system will keep the door operating as a single functioning unit. Springs or cables that are weak or broken will be supported by the track. But as soon as you disengage the track, this is no longer true.

    • If at all possible, only use the release cord to enter manual mode when the door is closed. While this isn’t always possible, remember that the door can come slamming down if the release cord is pulled while the door is open.
    • If the door must be disengaged from the track while in the open position, use 2X4s to prop the door open to safely close it.
    • When releasing the door while open, be sure to clear away all people and objects prior to pulling the release cord.
    • If the cord doesn’t release, don’t hang on it. While it does require some force to disengage the door, hanging on the cord when it won’t disengage, can result in damage to the rope or lever.

    If you find that you have to disengage your door and operate it manually because it isn’t working properly, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors has extensive knowledge in repairing and replacing garage doors Pittsburgh, PA.

  • 7 Benefits of Canvas Awnings

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    It is not uncommon to see canvas awnings Pittsburgh, PA  on both residential and commercial buildings, as these types of awnings have many benefits aside from protecting the building from harsh weather. Listed below are 7 benefits canvas awnings offer to both home and business owners.

    Reduction in Heat Gain and Sunlight

    Canvas awnings cut down on the amount of heat that enters your building from sunlight even more that what can be expected from curtains and blinds. By reducing the amount of sunlight that hits your windows, awnings provide lower temperatures on hot days.

    Improved Aesthetics

    Along with the functional value added by canvas awnings, you can also look to them from increased aesthetic value. Canvas awnings are generally available in different patterns of stripes, solids, and prints to completely dress up your home or business the way you envision it.

    Protects Windows from Sun and Rain

    In addition to working to keep your building cool and protected from the sun, canvas awnings also protect your windows from exposure to sun and driving rains. You have the ability to enjoy fresh air, even during a rainstorm, as canvas awnings keep your window dry.

    Keeps Your Furniture Looking New

    Furniture quickly starts to look old and worn when it starts to fade from direct sunlight. Awnings protect your furniture from harsh sun rays, keeping your furniture looking newer, longer. Similarly, awnings will also protect your paint, décor, and flooring from the sun’s rays.

    Provides Protection from Storm Damage

    In areas where storms are a common occurrence, it is typical for homeowners to be left with major loss and damage to their home and belongings. When awnings are professionally and accurately installed, homes are offered protection from storm debris.

    Reduced Energy Consumption

    More than providing your home protection and improving aesthetics, awnings help cut down on your home’s energy consumption. Awnings work to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This will save you money on your electricity bills every month.

    Protection from the Elements

    Whether it is rain, sun, heat, snow, sleet, hail or any other type of weather, your home and windows are protected with canvas awnings. Modern canvas awnings Pittsburgh, PA are made using highly durable, long-lasting, fabrics that are easy to clean, brightly colored, flame-retardant and strong.

    As you can see, there are many benefits to installing a new canvas awning. Whether you are looking for a great way to add some curb appeal  or you’re looking for ways to cut down on energy consumption, canvas awnings are the way to go. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we install canvas awnings that are not only attractive but durable, reliable and long lasting.

  • 3 Popular Residential Garage Door Styles

    residential garage doors pittsburgh

    Your home is not only the place where your raise your family, but it also reflects your style. Your residential garage doors Pittsburgh are the largest entrance to your home, and a major factor when it comes to “curb appeal.”  That being the case, it is good to personalize your door to reflect your style by selecting a door that is unique to your home.

    Traditional Raised-Panel Garage Doors

    While traditional, the raised-panel garage doors are still a clean and classic look. This particular style of door is identifiable due to its iconic symmetrical, raised-rectangular panels. Traditional doors are available in different sizes and colors, with or without glass, to help you achieve the exact look you are searching for.

    Contemporary Garage Doors

    Homes that are newer and more contemporary, can be greatly enhanced by a contemporary garage door. These types of doors provide homes with a clean and functional design that enhances curb appeal. Contemporary doors are available in aluminum, glass, steel or wood. If you are looking for a truly unique yet beautifully contemporary door, a combination of metal, glass, and wood can create a fresh look for your home’s exterior.

    Carriage-House Garage Doors

    Carriage-house style garage doors are sometimes referred to as barn style garage doors. These doors have a distinct rustic style, making them stand out from all the other garage doors on the block. Carriage-house garage doors are the perfect complement to a craftsman or mission style home. If you’re a homeowner looking for a distinct door with an aesthetically pleasing look that can complement your home’s existing décor, the carriage-house door is the perfect style for you!

    When you are looking for the right door for your home, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors is your residential garage doors expert in Western Pennsylvania. With years of experience and a wide selection of residential garage doors Pittsburgh to choose from, you can’t go wrong purchasing your next garage door from Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors!

  • 6 Signs You Need a New Garage Door

    As a homeowner, spending money on costly repairs and upgrades to your home with little to no return on your investment is anything but satisfying. One repair that can be made to your home that won’t break the bank, while offering an immediate return on your investment, replacing an overhead door Pittsburgh PA. Not only are garage doors one of the first things that people see when they come to your home, they are also a feature that you use multiple times a day. Because it is such a vital part of your home, it is important that it is in good working condition.

    Because garage doors can be a huge investment, you’ll want to make sure that your door can’t be repaired and needs to be replaced. There are a few factors that will indicate that it is time to invest in a new door, some of which include:

    1. Speed: When you push your garage door button, you should start to notice some sort of movement right away. If your door isn’t responding to your remote as fast as it used to, you might need to look into getting it replaced.
    2. Noise: Noise is a good indication that either a part needs to be repaired or replaced on your garage door. Don’t just ignore the noise, thinking that it is just part of the garage door. It could potentially be an indication of something serious that needs to be addressed. If your garage door starts to make a lot of noise in the form of grinding, crunching, grating, squeaking, or banging, you’ll want to look into a replacement door.
    3. Safety and Security: Due to the excessive weight, garage doors can pose a huge safety risk if they come slamming down too fast or unexpectedly. As soon as you notice a potential safety risk, such as your door not shutting all the way, or your sensors not working properly, it is time to get your door replaced. These are all issues that can harm you, your family, or your pets.
    4. Appearance: The way your garage door looks will have a tremendous impact on the overall curb appeal and value of your home. Over time, doors will go out of style, leaving your home looking older and less stylish. Investing in a new garage door not only improves your home’s curb appeal but can also make your home look more modern and attractive. It is an investment that is money well spent.
    5. Functionality: Over time, wear and tear will accumulate on your garage door. Dings and dents are inevitable, while debris can build up over time. Garage door springs generally only last around 10,000 cycles before they need to be replaced. Most issues with an older garage door can be repaired, but if you are worried about your garage door not working properly or failing, it might be time to consider investing in a replacement.
    6. Price: Because garage doors are made up of several parts, you will generally be making a huge investment up front or over time as you continually pay for repairs on an older door. If you find that you are continually forking out money for repairs or breakdowns, you might want to consider investing your money in a new door and not repairs. Maintenance costs for your overhead door Pittsburgh PA should not be a constant expense.

    At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we have experienced technicians that can diagnose garage door problems and provide you with cost-effective solutions. Whether it is a simple repair job or a complete, new door install, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors is your Pittsburgh garage door expert!

  • 5 Benefits of Installing Aluminum Awnings on Your Home

    For homeowners looking for an affordable way to add some curb appeal or a cut down on direct sunlight, an aluminum awning Pittsburgh may be the way to go. Not only do aluminum awnings provide shade, they also protect siding and windows from rain and debris. While homeowners do have the option of installing aluminum or canvas awnings, aluminum has a few benefits that just can’t be beat!

    1. Durable

    Because they are made out of aluminum, these awnings are better equipped to withstand the environment. When living in an area prone to high winds, extreme winds, rain, snow, or excessive heat,  year after year aluminum awnings will withstand the elements without bowing, warping or stretching. With regular maintenance, aluminum awnings can last 50 years or more.

    2. Affordable

    Cheaper than metal awnings, aluminum awnings provide homeowners with a cost-effective solution for protecting their home. Awnings that are smaller sizes and traditional shapes are even more cost-effective than other options available.

    3. Flexible

    Aluminum awnings are available in a wide range of colors, allowing homeowners the flexibility to choose a color that will match or complement their home’s exterior. Additionally, aluminum awnings come in both traditional and modern styles, allowing homeowners to find a style that complements their home.

    4. Low Maintenance

    One of the nice features offered by aluminum awnings is that they require little to no maintenance. The only regular maintenance that is required is spraying them off with a hose to remove any dirt buildup from the surface. This will help to keep the awnings looking their best for years to come.

    5. Energy Efficient

    Aluminum awnings do more than just add curb appeal to a home, they work to cut down on energy consumption. Awnings around a home absorb some of the heat from the sun, which ultimately keeps a home’s interior cooler, and gives the air conditioner a break. Areas of the home that are covered by aluminum awnings can be up to 20% cooler than others.

    There are many benefits that aluminum awnings Pittsburgh can offer homeowners. If you interested in adding aluminum awnings to your home, contact the professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today!

  • The 4 Most Common Garage Door Repairs For Homeowners

    Many homeowners consider their garage door’s creaking and groaning to all be part of owning a garage door and don’t consider the possibility that it could be an indication of something more serious. If your garage door has visible damage to the panels, is making loud noises, or simply doesn’t open or close, it might be time to hire garage door repair Pittsburgh PA professionals. Here are 4 common garage door repairs to be aware of.

    • Broken Garage Door Springs

    For manual garage doors, it is easy to notice when your springs are broken, as the door will be difficult to lift and will slam down when trying to close it. For automatic doors, the door won’t open at all. In order for you to manually open your door, you’ll have to disengage the emergency release and operate it manually.

    • Misaligned Sensor

    Automatic doors are equipped with two laser sensors located at the bottom of your garage door to prevent damage and injuries. If there is an object that disrupts the laser from beaming directly into the other laser, the door will not shut. If these sensors get bumped or become misaligned, the door will not be able to shut, reversing immediately or not operating at all. Sensors can be adjusted and realigned until they are lined up again, allowing the door to operate properly.

    • Dead Garage Door Remote

    For most, garage door remotes can last for a long time before the batteries need to be replaced. If your remote no longer operates your garage door, try replacing the batteries. If new batteries don’t fix the problem, you may need to replace the entire remote. If remotes get dropped, they are more susceptible to breaking. Try using the wall switch to see if your door will operate to determine if you need to replace your remote or if you have other, more serious problems.

    • Door Off Track

    If a door gets hit with an object or slams down too hard it is easy for your door to get off track. When this happens, you’ll need to hire professional garage door repair Pittsburgh PA to repair and perform maintenance to the door and track. In most cases, your door will need to be reattached to the rail, which you should not do yourself.

    The best way to prevent garage door problems is to perform regular maintenance. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we have experienced technicians who are trained in inspecting and repairing garage doors to ensure that your door continues to work time after time. If you find that your garage door isn’t working or needs maintenance, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today!

  • Retractable vs. Fixed Awnings: Which is Right For Your Home?

    Installing an awning at your home or business makes a lot of sense. Do you own a deck right outside your home or a dining patio at your restaurant? Don’t let the rain or sun force anyone inside. With the right awning in place, mildly inclement weather doesn’t automatically turn the exterior off limits. An awning provides decent shade while also contributing to the beautification of a home or business. But which awning should you install?

    Fixed vs. Retractable Awnings

    You can choose between two major types of awnings: fixed and retractable. Fixed awnings, also known as stationary awnings, remain in place once installed. That’s why they get the name permanent awnings. Calling them permanent wouldn’t be entirely correct though. After all, the awnings can be disassembled and removed.

    Retractable awnings require a little less effort. The retractable versions use a roller system to pull an awning back into a folded “out of sight” position. Thanks to the roller, the awning can be locked out in place or pulled back anytime you wish. Depending on the setup, rollers can be cranked by hand or turned by an automatic motor. Both fixed and retractable awnings maintain their pros and cons. Just look at the benefits and drawbacks of both prior to an installation decision.

    Fixed Awnings: Pros and Cons

    Fixed awnings generally come with sturdy construction. The awning needs to remain in place 24/7 during all kinds of weather. Steel parts help ensure the sturdiness of the awning. Another added benefit is customization. Fixed awnings can be built to order, allowing the buyer to choose a custom job from companies offering Pittsburgh awnings .

    Unfortunately, the 24/7 nature of these awnings means they remain exposed to the elements. Steel can rust, and awning fabric may fade with exposure to the sun after a few years. And custom jobs can be a bit more costly initially.

    Retractable Awnings: Pros and Cons

    Retractable Pittsburgh awnings such as the ones sold by the Thomas V. Giel Corporation can be pulled back during bad weather. This extends the life of the awning and preserves the buyer’s investment. Automatic motors can drive the price of these awnings up, but the less costly manual option still exists. Overall, retractable awnings can be a good choice.

  • Single Panel vs. Sectional Garage Doors: What’s the Difference?

    Residential garage doors generally come in many different colors, sizes, and designs. However, two of the most common styles are single panel garage doors and sectional, panel-style doors. Either option can be a welcome addition to a home, especially when properly installed and maintained. Still, it never hurts to have a good idea of how these two common styles that may end up on your Pittsburgh garage stack up when compared.


    At one time, single panels garage doors were widely considered to be cheaper in price than sectional ones. This isn’t so much the case anymore because single panel doors are harder to find and in higher demand among historically-minded homeowners. Sectional doors, on the other hand, are widely available in many price ranges, making it easier to shop around. However, due to their simplicity, one-piece doors tend to cost less to maintain and repair.


    The main appeal of single panel garage doors is their vintage look. And because there’s just one piece, the panel can be conveniently stained or painted to match existing exterior features without worrying about intrusive section gaps. Modern sectional garage doors can be just as versatile. Whether your prefer carriage house styles or contemporary flush panels, sectional doors can mimic many different preferred looks.


    If your garage is adjacent to your home, then you’ll definitely want a door that provides a strong barrier against indoor and outdoor air. Sectional doors generally have the advantage if insulation quality is one of your top concerns.

    Ease of Use and Space

    Both styles are fairly easy to operate because of spring systems that help with lift. Because there are no tracks, and springs and levers are along the interior edges, single panel garage doors have more headspace. Sectional doors require outward clearance when opened.


    Extension springs on each side of single panel doors serve the same function as the torsion spring does on sectional garage doors. This only becomes a serious safety concern if springs aren’t properly maintained or upgraded to be in line with current safety standards. Also, one-piece doors can only withstand so much wind and they can’t be reinforced.

    Ultimately, what’s best for your Pittsburgh garage will depend on several factors, such as how exposed your garage is to the elements, your available budget, and the overall size of your garage. When you turn to a company like Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors , you’ll benefit from additional assistance with your garage door selection. Added insights from experienced garage door technicians can help you make a confident decision when it’s time for a new installation or replacement.