• The Importance of Proper Loading Dock Signage and Accessories

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    Loading docks are essential for keeping the nation’s freight networks running, but they also act as a potential source of illness and injury. Estimates indicate that thousands of accidents occur at loading docks each year; for every accident, there are many more “near misses” that could have easily led to an accident. Fortunately, adding proper loading dock signage and accessories is one of the most effective ways to make the dock a safer place to work.

    How Loading Dock Signage and Accessories Make Loading Docks Safer

    One reason that loading docks are so dangerous is that there are a lot of vehicles entering and exiting the space, making it likely that collisions or backovers occur. Signage that marks the flow of traffic can mitigate these risks. There should also be signage that specifies the speed limit and signs that define where loading and unloading areas begin and end. Traffic lights should be added to communicate to drivers when it’s safe to go or when a bay is open. They can also inform drivers when a bay is full or when the driver should stop. 

    Dock levelers and lifts should be available to assist with safely lowering freight. Loading dock doors should have dock seals and bumpers that prevent unwanted access to certain areas and keep precipitation outside so that it doesn’t create a slippery surface. Truck restraints are an invaluable accessory that keep trucks and other vehicles from leaving the dock during the loading or unloading process.

    Tips for Ensuring the Effectiveness of Your Signage and Accessories

    To ensure that your signage and accessories maximize your loading dock safety, it’s important to have any electrical or technical components installed by a qualified professional. A professional will utilize the proper installation procedures to make sure that the components work and function properly. You should also confirm that your accessories have sufficient weight limits for the trucks and equipment at your loading dock.

    Improve Your Loading Dock Operations

    Visit Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. today to purchase the signage and accessories you need to encourage loading dock safety. 

  • 7 Benefits of Retractable Screens

    home's back deck with retractable screen around the deck

    A screened porch can be a very comfortable and attractive living space. There are no rules dictating that porches have to be bare spaces with aluminum furniture. The addition of lights, outdoor carpeting, hot tubs, gas fireplaces, and even a TV set can turn your ordinary deck or patio into an oasis that your entire family will want to enjoy. The retractable screens that can create and define these spaces are cost-effective and attractive.

    Retractable screens become an integral part of outdoor living by:

    1. Creating an outdoor living space – Retractable screens can essentially add another room onto your house and give you more space for relaxation and social gatherings.
    2. Protecting you from insects – Nothing can ruin your enjoyment of being outdoors more than having to shoo away mosquitoes, flies, and other uninvited pests.
    3. Adding value and curb appeal to your home – Everything you do to improve the amount of living space and the attractiveness of your home increases the value and makes it more appealing to potential buyers.
    4. Offering customizable options – Retractable screens are available in many different frame styles and colors and fabric or mesh options to perfectly match the style of your home.
    5. Being easy to use and maintain – There is no need to set up or take down your screen every time you want to use it. Simply extend it or retract it with the touch of a button. Your retractable screen will only need minimal if any cleaning.
    6. Shading and sheltering you from the elements – Retractable screens, shades, and awnings not only give you a place out of the sun, but they can noticeably reduce the need and costs for air conditioning during warmer months. 
    7. Letting in light and fresh air – Retractable screen doors and retractable window screens can give you the ability to let the outdoors in and freshen your home without bugs and debris making their way inside your house.

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. is your source for many different styles and options of retractable screen doors and window screens. Contact us today to schedule a service call or to receive a free estimate.

  • 6 Garage Door Accessories You Need

    garage door opener with a garage door in the background

    Just when we thought our garage door systems couldn’t get any safer, any more automated, or any more sophisticated, leave it to the technology companies to prove us wrong. As every industry advances, the same is true of garage door accessories. Wireless technology is improving our safety and control of our garage door systems in unbelievable ways.

    Depending on the model of garage door opener your home has, these are some of the must-have accessories that will streamline your life as never before.

    1. Exterior wireless keypad – If you can’t find your controller, you can enter the four-digit code into the keypad to open the garage door from the outside instead of going inside the house.
    2. Garage door monitor – If you’ve ever gone to bed and wondered if you forgot to close the garage door, your worries are over. This monitor can tell you the door’s status and allow you to close it from any location inside your house.
    3. Laser parking system – This system provides a guide so that you park your car in the perfect spot every time.
    4. Internet gateway – Using a Wi-Fi connection, you will be able to open and close your door from any location in the world. This comes in handy if you aren’t home and you need to let a delivery person or a repair technician have access to your garage or home. You can also use it to be certain that the door is closed when it should be.
    5. Battery backup system – This will allow you to use your garage door opener even if there is a power outage.
    6. Mini remote control – This garage door opener is small enough to carry in a pocket or a purse so you can always keep it with you when you are away from home.

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., is your premiere garage door company for all the latest garage door opener accessories. We employ only licensed, experienced, and highly trained garage door technicians to install the accessories you need to make your life easier. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

  • 5 Reasons You Should Have a Louvered Pergola Installed This Spring

    black and tan pergola over home's deck

    Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt and perhaps even earlier, pergolas have survived the test of time. They have been used to create shade for terraces and walkways, as the framework to grow vegetation, and as upscale hanging gardens for the affluent social classes. While they have evolved in form and function, pergolas are as beneficial for us today as they were centuries ago.

    The use of a pergola is a way to improve a patio or other outdoor living space that is less than an enclosure but more than an open bare space. Pergolas usually consist of columns that support roofing style rafters or beams. They can be attached to a house or other structure or built as a freestanding structure. The amount of shade a louvered pergola provides can be controlled. The rafters can allow bits of sunshine to peek through or the shelter can be closed and shaded completely. The design styles are limitless and can be adapted to accommodate any style of home and climate. The definition of a pergola also extends to retractable shades or awnings that are popularly used to create backyard retreats and spaces for entertaining.

    Spring is a great time to reimagine your outdoor living space and redesign it to meet your needs and goals. Here are just a few of the ways in which a pergola can improve your lifestyle.

    1. They increase your home’s value – A pergola raises the property value of your home by adding attractive living space.
    2. They are cost effective – The many design options and styles mean that it doesn’t have to break the bank to install a pergola.
    3. Pergolas create privacy – Even though the design of a pergola is inherently open, you can use your imagination to add dramatic curtains or screens to provide greater privacy in your backyard.
    4. They can offer the desired amount of shade – Whether you want some sunshine to nourish plants or complete shade for a cooler space to hang out, there is a design option that is just right for any purpose.
    5. Pergolas require little to no maintenance – The pillars, beams, and stationary or retractable shades are easy to rinse off and can provide many seasons of enjoyment.

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., has the expertise to help you choose the right pergola system for your home. Our insured and licensed technicians can perform the expert installation to create your perfect space. Contact us or visit our website today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

  • Benefits of Aluminum Awnings for Your Home

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    There are different types of awnings that have been used for hundreds of years. Fabric awnings date all the way back to ancient Egypt. Did you know that the first retractable awning was discovered during the time of the Roman Empire? Called a velarium, it sheltered the colosseum. In the United States, the first crude awnings began to appear over store windows in the mid-1800s.

    While styles have changed, the purpose of awnings has not. They were always meant to shelter buildings, people, and goods for sale from the heat of the sun. Now, people can choose from fixed, retractable, motorized, and portable awnings. There are also choices of materials that include canvas, polyester, cotton, or metal.

    The most common choices for metal fixed awnings are copper and aluminum. While copper is considerably more expensive, aluminum awnings present several reasons why they are a practical and sound choice to provide shade and protection for your home.

    1. They are more affordable than awnings made of copper or other metals.
    2. They can withstand high winds, rain, snow, and excessive heat without bowing, warping, or stretching.
    3. Aluminum awnings can last as long as 50 years with proper care.
    4. You can express your personality, because aluminum awnings can be crafted in a wide range of colors and styles including modern and traditional.
    5. They can save you money on your energy bills by sheltering your home from the heat of direct sun. The rooms inside a home that are protected by awnings are generally 20 percent cooler than other parts of the house.
    6. Aluminum awnings require very little care. All that is needed is the occasional brushing or rinsing off of dirt and debris to keep the awnings looking their best.
    7. They increase your outdoor living space by creating a protected patio and lounging areas.

    If you would like to explore awning benefits and the addition of awnings to your home, the experienced professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., can recommend the best styles for your home and provide expert installation. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

  • Should I Repair or Replace My Garage Door?

    Thomas V Giel Garage Doors-should-repair-replace-garage-door

    For most people, the largest investment they will make during their lives is the purchase of a home. It can be difficult to know when putting money into the place will produce a high enough return on the investment to be worth it. Garage doors fall into that category. If you are trying to decide if you want to replace your door or if repairs would be sufficient, keep reading for some information that might help you find your way.

    These are some indications that your garage door only needs to be repaired:

    • It is making noises – A garage door shouldn’t be overly noisy. Rattling or other noises could be signs of loose hinges or torsion springs, which can be replaced.
    • The safety sensors aren’t working properly – If they are blocked or damaged, the door may not open and close properly.
    • The door is off balance or out of square – A weakened motor or worn cables can cause the door to close unevenly.
    • There is only one damaged panel – One panel can be replaced without the need to replace the entire door.
    • The problem just started or has only occurred a few times – New problems are worth looking into and could be easy to fix.

    Sometimes a little garage door maintenance can go a long way toward resolving an issue that could grow worse over time.

    More serious issues can be used to determine that a new garage door is needed including:

    • You consistently have to pay to make repairs to the door.
    • The door hasn’t worked correctly for a long time.
    • There are no safety sensors.
    • The door is heavily damaged.
    • It no longer matches or complements the exterior of your home.
    • It has been broken into or could be easily.

    With a return on investment of over 90 percent, investing in a new garage door is always a smart decision, but you may have other financial considerations or reasons for not wanting to replace your entire garage door system. If you aren’t sure what to do, there are some factors that you can evaluate that might be helpful.

    1. How old is the garage door?
    2. How much repair does it need?
    3. What is the garage door’s overall condition?
    4. Is the garage door opener still in good condition?
    5. Is the garage door safe to use?
    6. How much money can be devoted to it right now?
    7. Is repair or replacement more cost effective?

    Making decisions about garage door repair isn’t always easy, but you don’t have to make them alone. The garage door specialists at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., are qualified to help you evaluate your current garage door and make the best recommendation for your budget and style of home. Contact us for more information.

  • The Importance of Properly Maintaining Commercial Garage Doors

    Thomas V Giel Garage Doors-importance-properly-maintaining-commercial-garage-doors

    Commercial garage doors are designed specifically to offer maximum security. Commonly made with steel, they are sturdier, stronger, and more secure than residential garage doors. Your commercial garage doors protect not only your property but also your livelihood. Your business couldn’t operate without some kind of commercial door whether it’s high speed or aluminum garage doors, rolling security gates, rolling steel garage doors, or man doors. Keeping them in safe working order protects you, your business, and your customers.

    Commercial garage doors can experience problems and even create safety hazards when they are not taken care of properly. These are some common problems that commercial garage doors experience:

    1. Damaged or Broken Tracks – Gaps between the rollers and the tracks keep the door from operating evenly and closing completely.
    2. Electrical Issues – Failure of the door to open or close could be a problem with the power supply.
    3. Cable and Spring Damage – If torsion springs break, you won’t be able to open the door from a closed position and if it is open at the time, the door could fall dangerously.
    4. Damaged Panels – A damaged panel could pose a security risk.
    5. Wear and Tear on the Rollers – The rollers can experience heavy wear or if they aren’t regularly cleaned, it can be hard for them to operate smoothly.

    Addressing these issues early through the use of a preventative maintenance program is key. Keeping your commercial garage doors in good working order is essential to:

    • Keep Your Business Open – Unexpected closures drive customers away.
    • Save Money – Fixing small problems before they lead to bigger ones can save you money.
    • Protect You from Liability – A broken or malfunctioning door can be a danger to customers and employees.
    • Protect Your Business – Make sure your business is protected against theft, burglary, or other crimes.

    The biggest reason for performing commercial door maintenance is your peace of mind. The assurance that your property, employees, and customers are safe goes a long way toward making your business successful for the future. Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., offers a commercial garage door maintenance program that can help you find and fix problems before they progress. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

  • Does My Home Insurance Cover My Garage?

    Thomas V Giel Garage Doors-does-my-home-insurance-cover-garage

    Insurance companies can be pretty good at throwing us curve balls. Just when we think something is covered, it might not be either because of a contingency or a point of coverage we didn’t know we needed. One example of this is our garages. It’s common to believe that our attached garages and their contents are covered by our homeowner’s insurance and for the most part, that’s true, but there are some exceptions that you should know about.

    Your attached garage is covered by your insurance because it is considered to be an actual part of your home. Your insurance will pay for the damaged structure and contents, but from here on out it gets a little trickier. If you are planning to keep very valuable items such as an antique car in your attached garage, you should talk to your insurance agent about making certain that your policy is large enough to recover those costs if damage or theft should occur. Detached garages are another issue. They are usually only insured for one-tenth of the value of your home so if you will be keeping valuable or irreplaceable items in a detached garage, you should definitely contact your insurance agent for a better policy.

    You will also need to contact your insurance agent if you are running a business out of an attached or detached garage. Your business will not be covered by a traditional homeowner’s policy and will likely need separate coverage.

    Whether your garage is attached or detached, the following kinds of damage are covered by most homeowners’ policies:

    • Burglary, theft, or vandalism
    • Damage from falling objects like trees
    • Lightning and fire
    • Smoke damage
    • Structural damage from the weight of ice or snow
    • Damage from hail and windstorms.

    There is also a list of things that most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover that includes:

    • Some types of water damage
    • Maintenance or wear and tear issues
    • Equipment or mechanical breakdowns
    • Power surges
    • Rodent or pest infestations
    • Damage from floods
    • Damage from earthquakes or other uncontrollable earthly movements.

    Insurance won’t pay for things like power surges that were caused by power companies, certain natural disasters without separate coverage policies, or things that occurred due to the negligence of the owner as in the case of infestations and wear and tear.

    Maintaining your garage by keeping it clean and secured with strong garage doors and locks is a good way to be sure that your insurance will pay for damages if something unforeseen does occur. Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., can help you with all your residential or commercial garage door needs. Contact us today to schedule a service or sales call.

  • 10 Things You Should Never Store in Your Garage

    Many people use their garage as a type of storage room. They run across something they aren’t using or don’t have room for, so they store it in the garage. This gets the unneeded items out of our way, but it also falls prey to the “out of sight, out of mind” principle. Fluctuating temperatures, rodents and pests, and humidity are some of the enemies your garage harbors that can damage your belongings. Other items just pose safety hazards regardless of the conditions inside the garage.

    These are some of the things that should never be stored inside a garage.

    1. Gasoline, Propane, or Other Combustibles – Propane should always be stored outside. You should store gasoline outside or in other outbuildings that won’t pose as great of a risk to your home.
    2. Paint – Leftover paint is great to have when touch ups are needed but storing it in a garage can cause it to thicken and separate due to temperature changes.
    3. Canned Food – Temperatures that exceed 85 degrees will cause spoilage while dampness and humidity cause cans to rust.
    4. Paper Documents – Paper attracts chewing pests like mice and silverfish and varying temperatures can make books and paper curl and crack.
    5. Photographs – Humidity and high temperatures can make photographs stick together causing irreversible damage.
    6. Clothing and Bedding – Even though they may be tightly wrapped up, tiny insects, moisture, and exhaust fumes and other odors can still creep into and ruin fabrics.
    7. Unused Electronics – Moisture from condensation or other pests can destroy circuit boards and other components.
    8. Wood Furniture – Wood swells and contracts in response to changes in temperature and moisture can cause veneers to warp.
    9. Spare Refrigerators – Higher temperatures make refrigerators work harder to keep food at lower temperatures. This extra effort causes an increase in your energy bill.
    10. Firewood – While it would be convenient to only have to go out to the garage to get a few pieces of firewood, a stack of firewood can also harbor insects and mice that can invade other areas of your garage.

    Regularly declutter your garage to avoid causing damage to your belongings. Removing debris and food particles from your garage will prevent rodents and other invaders from being drawn in.

    A great way to protect your car, your belongings, and the rest of your house is to have a secure garage door that has been installed properly. If you need garage door repair or are interested in reviewing options for a new garage door, contact the experienced professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc.

  • Different Types of Commercial Doors and Their Uses

    Giel-Garage-Doors-different-types-commercial-garage-doors-uses

    Function is key when it comes to choosing doors for your commercial business facility.  Aesthetic concerns aside, it can be difficult to choose the right door from among all the styles available. Factors such as the purpose, speed of operation desired, and heavy or light usage all help determine which door will best fit your commercial needs.

    Let’s take a look at several available types of commercial doors.

    1. Rolling Steel and Fire Doors – These kinds of doors are made of steel and are intended to activate automatically in the event of smoke or fire. The purpose is to keep smoke and fire from spreading into other areas of the building to allow for safety of personnel and extinguishment of the fire. They have intumescent coatings, which is a fancy way of saying that the linings around the door frames swell up in heat so that the fire can be contained. You will need extra guidance from a professional installer to determine the fire rating you will need for each door.
    2. Sectional Garage Doors – These commercial garage doors are made of separate panels that are raised and lowered by a torsion spring system and can be operated by garage door openers or manually. They can be insulated and incorporate clear panels or smaller windows as needed.
    3. High-Speed and Special Function Doors – The springless design of high-speed doors allows them to open and close safely and quickly to maintain speed of production, safety, and separation of work areas.
    4. Security Gates and Grilles – Necessary for store fronts, kiosks, and other retail applications, security gates offer visibility and ventilation along with increased security. They can be motorized or operated manually and stored out of sight for convenience. A skilled installer can help you determine a curtain pattern and style that is right for your business.
    5. Man Doors – Offering a wider range of aesthetic options, man doors can be made out of metal or fiberglass with an array of hardware and exterior coating choices.

    Professional experienced installers from Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. not only help you choose the correct door but also any additional equipment and accessories. To maintain safety, security, and efficiency, loading dock areas need essential equipment including levelers and lifts, dock seals and bumpers, and accessories like fans, lights, truck restraints, and impact guards. You can also find door openers, keypads, card readers, and even parking arms and gate openers for your facility.

    Your commercial doors can be functional as well as give your business a professional appearance.