• Maintenance to Get Your Garage Door Ready for Cold Weather

    Snowy Driveway

    As the weather cools, many homeowners find themselves preparing for winter. Homes are cleaned, and vehicles are serviced. Include the garage door in your home maintenance this year. Below are some ideas for fall maintenance to get your garage door ready for cold weather.

    Lubricate

    Somewhere in the back of our minds, most of us are aware that garage doors have moving parts and should be lubricated. The reason why doors need lubricant is because moving parts (especially the metal ones) create friction when rubbing together. Increased friction means increased strain on the garage door opener and can lead to mechanical issues. Moving metal parts should be greased every six months with a lubricant designed specially for garage door openers.

    Weather Stripping

    Weather stripping is a key feature on garage doors. It serves both to protect the garage from drafts and to cushion the door itself. Each year, weather stripping is exposed to harsh conditions such as heat, cold, wind, sun, and rain. Everyday use can also cause wear. Check for areas that are cracked, chipped, or are detached from the door. Repair or replace damaged weather stripping in order to better protect your garage from the elements.

    Clean

    During the winter, salt and dirt can build up on a garage door, eating away at the finish. Before that can happen, be sure to wash off any existing residue from the garage door. Touch up any areas where the door could use refinishing. Also check the garage door opener and clean any dirty parts, such as the tracks. The onset of winter is also a good time for ensuring the garage itself is clean and organized.

    Whether it’s the cooler weather or simply the change of seasons, something motivates people to perform home cleaning and maintenance. Each home feature is important, including the garage door. Avoid costly repairs by maintaining a properly cared-for garage door. Your wallet will thank you. For more helpful information about garage doors, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog

  • How Can an Insulated Garage Door Save You Money?

    Garage Door

    As the weather cools, many homeowners consider strategies for staying warm while saving money. Insulation is a common decision, often taking the form of double-paned windows, new weather stripping, or actual fiberglass insulation. One area where insulation can be particularly useful is the garage. Below are some ways an insulated garage door can save you money.

    Energy Efficiency

    Insulation is known to keep warm areas warm and cold areas cold. Walls in homes and garages are often filled with the stuff. The garage door more or less composes an entire wall of the garage, so insulating the door would significantly boost the energy efficiency of the garage as a whole. When the door between the home and garage is open, cold air from the garage mixes with warm air from the house. A warmer, better-insulated garage will bring warmer air into the home. This will lower the home’s heating costs. This principle is also true for air conditioning in the summer.

    Secondary Savings

    An insulated garage door can also save money by protecting garage-storage items. A car battery, for example, will have a longer lifespan in more moderate temperatures. This is true also for tires on bicycles and lawn mowers. Canned food and other liquids can be stored more confidently in a better-insulated garage. Wooden items, such as garden tools, are easier to maintain in milder conditions. In a well-insulated area, hard plastics like sleds or storage containers are less likely to crack. Additionally, insulated garage doors recoup an average of 72% of their value when the owner decides to sell the home.

    Most homeowners actively pursue avenues for saving money. During the cold months, money-saving ideas tend to involve improving a home’s energy efficiency. One major component of a home is the garage. Adding an insulated garage door can increase heating efficiency. Insulated garage doors also offer protection for the garage’s contents, saving money and providing peace of mind.

    For more helpful information on garage doors, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog

  • 3 Tips for Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Opener

    Garage Door Opener

    A garage is a convenience which is too often taken for granted. It is easy to forget how much we’ve come to rely on them. We quickly remember, however, if the garage door opener malfunctions. When a garage door opener begins to underperform, there are a few ways to correct the problem on your own. Below are some tips for troubleshooting your garage door opener.

    Electrical

    Garage door openers are powered by electricity, so there is a possibility that the device is not getting the power it needs. If your opener does absolutely nothing (that is, no noise, no movement,) when the button is pushed, first check the power source. Confirm the garage door opener is plugged in to an outlet and that the outlet is working. To test an outlet, plug another device (such as a night light)  into the outlet in question. If the device powers up, it means the outlet is working. Also test any extension cords using the same method, being sure to plug the cord into the power source before testing the output. Voltage readers can also be used. If an electrical issue cannot be solved at the power source, it is best to call a professional for repairs.

    Mechanical

    The moving parts in a garage door require regular maintenance. Still, mechanical malfunctions can occur. These may include grinding noises, the door or belts off their tracks, and abnormal rattling or jarring. A good first step is to lubricate. Use a designated “garage door lubricant”; WD-40 won’t do the trick here. A spray lubricant will make quick work of cracks and crevices. Be sure to cover the metal joints (including the links of a chain) and springs. Clean inside the tracks using a rag. After lubricating, open and close the garage door a few times to distribute the grease. Since the garage door opener is a complex mechanical system, it’s best to reach out to a licensed professional for more serious mechanical issues.

    Safety Features

    Garage door openers come with features to ensure safety. The auto-reverse function serves to re-open a door if it encounters any obstacle while closing. Test this by standing a roll of paper towels and closing the door on them. The door should reverse on contact. Doors may also reverse (or fail to close altogether) if the infrared sensor is tripped. The infrared sensors are located on either side of the frame, typically near ground level. Wipe them clean. Dust on the screens can trip the sensors. Sensors can also be tripped by a certain angle of sunlight. You can bypass the sensors by holding down the button at the wall.

    Like most machinery, a garage door opener can occasionally misbehave. While many repairs are best left to a professional, you can try a few simple solutions at home. After determining if the problem is electrical, mechanical, or due to a safety feature, try these troubleshooting tips to get your garage door opener working the way it should. For more helpful information about garage doors openers, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog. 

  • Should I Invest in a Garage Door Screen?

    Garage Door

    A garage is usually a space for one to store items and cars. Although, at times homeowners do not realize that it is a place that can serve many purposes. You can make this space a workshop, or even an office. But if you decide to go this route then it is a good idea to invest in something called a garage door screen. There really are many positives and benefits that can come from making this purchase. One being that they are affordable and easy to maneuver. Here are some reasons as to why the addition of a garage door screen is an excellent idea. 

    Bugs and Pests

    When you implement a screen on your garage door you avoid the nuisances that are bugs and other creepy crawly pests. With the addition of a screen, you make it much more difficult for bugs to get into your home. 

    Circulation 

    When you consider the activities that could be done in a garage, it may cross your mind how you are going to keep it cool in the summer. It can get dangerously hot in your garage, so it is only natural to open your door to let in some fresh air. With a screen, you can do this with the peace of mind that no unwanted visitors will creep in. 

    More Secure

    It is not abnormal for a homeowner to forget to close their garage door when they leave. This will look like an open invitation to any criminal that is looking for an easy opportunity to strike. A screen door will give you peace of mind and deter criminals from breaking and entering.

    Energy Efficient 

    When you make the wise decision to invest in the garage screen, you can save money by opting out of installing an AC unit. With the extra circulation that comes from being able to safely open your garage door, you have the luxury of having your garage door without having to spend extra on energy. 

    More Clean

    When the weather outside is frightful, your garage does not have to be. If the winds are blowing leaves and debris, you can know that with the addition of a screen door you will not have to blow out the leaves after a storm.

    For more helpful information on garage doors, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog

  • How to Remove Garage Floor Stains

    Garage Floor Strains

    Your garage can quickly become a dirty, messy place if you let it get out of hand. But like most parts of your home, you can combat this issue by keeping up with it regularly. At times, grease and oil can spill and stain the floor of your garage. Your garage is full of machines such as lawn mowers and vehicles that have the potential to leak fluids from time to time. When you notice a stain, it is vital that you clean it as soon as you can, reducing the risk of tracking it into your home, or worse, someone slipping and hurting themselves. There are a variety of methods that can prove to be successful in removing stains from the floor of your garage. There are several different kinds of stains and a different technique to combat each type.

    Oil and Grease

    The first step to cleaning this type of spill is to sprinkle either sawdust or cat litter onto the stain to absorb the liquid. Next, let the stain soak for an extended period of time before sweeping it up and throwing it away. After you have properly disposed of the sawdust or cat litter, simply drip some detergent or dish soap on the garage floor and let it sit for just under an hour. For the next step you will need to apply some elbow grease, as you will need to scrub the stain thoroughly for up to 15 minutes. Keep in mind that the older the stain, the more difficult it is to remove. 

    Rust 

    There are many culprits capable of leaving rust stains, such as nails, hammers, and other tools which are typically found in the garage. To remove these stains, begin by squeezing a lemon directly on the stain and let it sit for approximately ten minutes. Then you need to scrub the stain with a brush and rinse the garage floor with water with pressure. It is possible that you may need to repeat this cycle numerous times. 

    Paint

    These kinds of stains can be difficult to remove, although with a few steps your garage can look good as new. Locate a putty knife and scrape away the paint that is loose and sweep it up with a broom. Pour some trisodium phosphate (TSP) on the area and scrub the paint off. Be sure that you are wearing gloves for your own safety. 

    For more information considering your garage, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog for more helpful hints and tips.

  • 5 Tips to Update Your Front Door This Fall

    Front Door

    During these times of what seem like life in pause, it can be natural to yearn for change. Drastic changes can be problematic, complicated, and expensive. One change that could satisfy your fix could be fulfilled by simply upgrading and changing the look of your home’s front door. Here are some easy steps to give your front door a fresh new look.

    1. Apply a new coat of paint. 

    Keeping up with the Jones’ can prove to be exhausting and boring, if your home’s front door is the same color as everyone else’s on the block, maybe it is time for a change. A quart of paint runs you a little less than twenty dollars and comes in almost every color.

    2. Replace the hardware.

    Hardware could be anything from mail slots to handles. If the hardware on your door is out of date, or if you’re simply sick of looking at it, it may be time for a change. This is a simple and inexpensive project that goes a long way.

    3. Include a new trim

    If the wooden trim around your door has paint that has begun to chip, then you might want to dress up your front door with a brand new PVC trim that looks like its wooden counterpart, but is much more durable. 

    4. Spruce up your entryway. 

    The front door is the first part of your home that most people see. You can tell a lot about a homeowner by the way they decorate their entryway. It can really create a pleasant experience for anybody that visits your home. Add a wreath or a welcome mat to spruce up your home’s main point of entry.

    5. Maintain cleanliness in your front yard.

    Even if you have completed all other steps and you have the best-looking front door and entry on the block, it would all be for not if your front lawn and entryway is filthy and cluttered. Never forget to continuously take the time to tidy up your yard to keep the attention on the doorway. 

    There are numberless ways homeowners can improve their homes, as well as their quality of life. For further hints and tips, be sure to take a deep dive into the Giel Garage Doors website and blog to find new ways to keep your house up-to-date. 

  • 5 Trending Garage Door Colors

    Garage Door

    Your front door should not be the only part of your home that captures the attention of your visitors, your garage door should also make a great first impression and improve your home’s value. The garage door should be the perfect complement to the front door and not compete for attention. When selecting a color for your garage door, be sure to consider the colors of the other parts of your home, such as your roof and the front door. 

    White. White is by far the most popular color for garage doors. If you were to drive around and look at garage doors you would find that they are both crisp and bright. One of the few downsides of a white garage door is that they get dirty easily. Every little splatter of dirt will be easily shown upon the white surface. 

    Light Grey. This color is growing in popularity because of its ability to blend in and match with all other colors. It is a neutral color that keeps the attention on other parts of the home. 

    Black. Black is yet another example of an extremely popular color for a garage door. In the newer neighborhoods that are being built, you can find this darker color becoming more prevalent. To complement the black color, consider painting the window panes the same black color. Not only does the darker color help hide dirt and grime but is both elegant and trendy. 

    Beige or Taupe. This is a color that is not for everyone and will only work if you take into consideration the various colors around the home. If your home is made from beige bricks or other materials, then be sure to match the garage doors with it. 

    Walnut Brown. Some homeowners prefer colors that are warmer, but also enjoy the idea of a darker color. If this is you, a walnut brown may be the perfect choice. This can be a relatively inexpensive option, that looks like it has a higher price tag than it really does. 

    Whichever color you choose, be sure to avoid painting your garage door an off color or two separate colors. For more helpful hints and ideas, be sure to scroll though the rest of the Giel Garage Doors blogs. We pride ourselves in assisting homeowners everyday to create the peace of mind that comes from the perfect home. 

  • How to Clean Your Garage Door

    Garage Door

    Like other home components, garage doors function best with regular cleaning and maintenance. In order to preserve beauty and functionality, homeowners are encouraged to wash their garage doors twice a year. In addition to better appearance and functionality, many warranties require doors to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Below are some strategies to safely and effectively clean your garage door.

    Preparing for a Wash

    Begin the process by removing dirt chunks with a dry cloth. This will minimize the amount of work required when the door is wet. Once visible dirt is removed, wet the inside and outside of the door with a hose. Using a gentle sprayer on the door will ensure the finish remains undisturbed. Prepare for the next step by gathering soft rags or a sponge. As with the gentle sprayer, non-abrasive rags will help maintain the beauty of the door for the maximum number of years.

    Washing the Door

    Using a cleaning bucket, mix water and a gentle cleaner. Car wash soap and dish soap are commonly used. Many homeowners clean the interior of the door then move to the outside. With a soft rag or sponge, begin washing the door with the soapy water, including the weatherstripping. Once dirt and grime are removed from all areas, gently rinse off the soapy water using a hose. Bleach water can be used on non-wood doors to treat problem areas. Rinse the bucket, rags, and door thoroughly before using bleach water.

    Finishing the Process

    After the door is satisfactorily clean, allow it to dry completely. Similar to the car washing process, the cleaning of garage doors should end with a wax finish. For wood doors, a wood finish is to be used in place of wax. If there are any places on the wood door where the existing finish is worn or absent, correct this (often with primer) before applying the new coat of finish. For non-wood doors, a liquid car wax is commonly used. As the wood finish or wax dries, cover all exposed parts of the door, which includes the interior and exterior of the bottom piece.

    Maintaining a clean garage door can amplify the beauty of a home. Performing a twice-yearly washing and waxing will, in many cases, fulfill the warranty requirements set by the manufacturer. For the owner, regular cleaning will save money by minimizing repairs, lengthening the door’s lifespan, and, often, maintaining the manufacturer warranty. The steps above outline an effective approach to augment the appearance and functionality of garage doors. 

    For more information about maintaining your garage door, visit the Giel Garage Doors blog

  • A Guide to Changing Your Garage Door Remote Batteries

    Garage Door

    Man by using remote garage opens in a cloudy day

    From the outside, garage doors are typically opened using either a keypad or remote. The remote is an especially convenient way to open the garage door while remaining in the vehicle. Over time, remote openers may begin to require several presses in order to open the door. In such instances, the solution may be as simple as replacing the battery. Below are three simple steps for changing your garage door remote batteries.

    Step 1: Remove the Battery Cover

    On many remote garage door openers, the battery cover is often located on the back of the device. In this case, the cover may be opened by pressing the back piece of the device and sliding it back. Other remotes have covers with no discernable battery covers. These can usually be opened by splitting the remote into two pieces. A small screwdriver will assist with battery covers attached with a screw.

    Step 2: Identify the Battery Type and Obtain a Replacement

    Remove the battery from the remote. Most may easily be pulled or popped out of the remote. Many remote batteries are small, round, silver in color, and flat on the top and bottom. Such batteries come in specific sizes. The battery will have the type and size identified on the side as a series of numbers. A safe option is to simply take the exhausted battery to a store where the staff will provide the appropriate replacement. 

    Step 3: Replace and Reprogram

    Place the replacement battery or batteries in the remote, facing them in the correct direction as indicated on the remote. Replace the cover using the reverse process which was used to remove it. Once the battery has been replaced, the remote may need to be reprogrammed to operate correctly with the garage door. The manufacturer of the remote provides instructions for reprogramming, which can be accessed online.

    Garage door remote openers can often be rejuvenated by inserting a new battery or batteries. This process can be accomplished by removing the cover, replacing the battery, and reprogramming the remote. Following these steps as listed above, batteries can be replaced quickly and easily, allowing the user to enjoy the remote as it is designed to function: consistently opening the garage door on the first attempt. 

    For more information about how to maintain your garage door and opener, visit the Giel Garage Doors blog.

  • 6 Clever Ways to Organize Your Garage

    Mess and tools in disorder in a workroom. Equipment, home, interior, rope, dirty, house, messy, objects, stuff, box, chaos, clutter, cluttered

    Mess and tools in disorder in a workroom. Equipment, home, interior, rope, dirty, house, messy, objects, stuff, box, chaos, clutter, cluttered

    Decluttering a home and yard often results in several items needing to be disposed of or stored for later use. Many homeowners utilize garages for storage, but quickly run out of space. Below are a few clever tips for getting or staying organized and maximizing garage storage space.

    Utilize Vertical Space

    One of the most efficient ways to maximize available storage is to utilize space above the floor. 

    Shelves And Cabinets

    Shelving and cabinets allow items or bins to effectively be stacked without limiting access or causing damage to items at the bottom of the pile. Free-standing shelves can be used where permanent shelves and cabinets are not an option.

    Peg Boards

    Peg boards utilize vertical space for items that do not have much depth, or are awkwardly shaped, such as shovels, rakes, and brooms. A key advantage of peg boards is that they do not take up much lateral space and can therefore be placed in tight places, such as next to a vehicle.

    Overhead Space

    Many organizers recognize the availability of overhead space, which includes space directly above vehicles. This can be utilized by shelves running across the width of the garage. Considerations for overhead shelves include adequate gapping between shelves (for adding and removing items), distance from ceiling to shelf, distance from shelf bottom to tallest vehicle, and structural integrity/weight limit.

    Bins and Bags

    Organization begins with grouping. Similar items can be stored together by use of bins, which come in sizes to accommodate most items. Subgroups can also be established (e.g. different sizes of nails or screws) and placed in plastic bags within the bins. These, of course, can be labeled for ease of use.

    Accessibility

    Storage is most effective when items can be accessed as needed. Seasonal storage can be stored far from reach when not in use. Frequently used or emergency items will be most accessible near a door and stored between 3-6 feet high. Additionally, items can be stored together near places where they are likely to be used. For example, tools can be stored near a workbench, garden equipment near the appropriate door, and deep freezers near the door to the house.

    An organized garage allows the home and yard to have less clutter. The organization process can be achieved with minimal worry when considering these simple guidelines. For more tips and tricks to a more functional garage, follow our blog at Giel Garage Doors.