• 4 Things You Need To Know About Smart Garages

    residential garage doors

    Modern smiling salesman using tablet and waiting customers

    By now, we’ve heard of smart security for your home, phone, credit cards, etc. But did you know you can get smart security for your garage? New technology has reached out to make even your residential garage doors safer with the ability to control when it’s opened, closed, and locked up, all with a touch of a button from your smartphone.

    Smarter Security

    Through the use of Wifi and a phone application, you now have the power to control when your garage door opens, closes, and locks up. This adds smarter security for your family, as the app can alert you when the garage door opens and closes. You can also set up for multiple users so you can know who is home.

    Control From Anywhere

    As long as you have your phone on you with the phone application available, you can virtually control who gets in your garage. This solves the problems of forgetting your keys, locked outside your home, or if you forgot to close your garage door. Virtual accessibility can help you solve those problems easier and with less hassle. Now they have hands-free opening and closing which can be a great option for motorcycle riders or for individuals who don’t want to worry about typing in a code to get into your garage door every day.

    Automatic Customization

    Having a smart garage allows for customization to your specific needs. If you tend to forget to turn the light off in your garage or close the door at night or when you leave for work, you now have the ability to set up a timer so it automatically closes or opens for you when you need it. This can help be one less thing that you have to worry about and can help you put your time and energy into other things.

    Available Now

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors partners with Linear and Liftmaster to provide you with top-quality smart garage doors and garage door openers. Not only do we want to provide you with aesthetic appeal for your home, but also the ability to protect your home and those who live in it. For a free sales estimate on our variety of residential garage doors systems and accessories, call our office today at (724) 502-2471. We would be delighted to speak to you about our smart products and services!

  • Do Awnings Increase Your Home’s Value?

    Pittsburgh awnings

    There are several reasons why a new awning may be a good choice for you personally, but homeowners often make large decisions based on more than personal preference. They want to make decisions that will help increase their home’s value and maximize their investment. If you’re considering installing Pittsburgh awnings but aren’t sure if it will pay off in the end, consider the following.

    Improved Aesthetics

    As a stylish fixture on your home, an awning will add value because it creates additional living space to both the outside and inside of your home. Realtors may tell you that it also adds curb appeal, which will also factor into your home’s overall value. This can be true if you pick the right awning. When looking at fabrics, consider sun-resistant fabrics. If you install an awning that easily fades, it can become more of an eye-sore than an asset.

    More Functionality

    Awnings are installed against your house and add a shaded, comfy, easily-accessible outdoor living space for guests to enjoy themselves and relax. Sturdy Pittsburgh awnings with    permanent steel frames are incredibly durable and can stand up to the elements. It’s one of the more cost-efficient and easy ways of increasing your home’s value before you place it on the market. It’s a great alternative to renovating and redecorating.

    A new awning will also help save money and energy. It helps to keep the temperature down in your home, which reduces air conditioner usage. The Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has estimated that awnings can save homeowners as much as $200 yearly. It can also be a great addition to a home that doesn’t have air conditioning. Some studies have shown that an awning can help save up to 69 perfect of electricity in your home.

    Conclusively, installing an awning is both an efficient and costly investment that’ll help increase the value of your home. It is also a comfortable and stylish way of doing so. Find your perfect awning today!

  • 4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Pittsburgh Garage Door Dealer

    pittsburgh garage

    Having a Pittsburgh garage door that opens and closes on command is a luxury that many people take for granted. It isn’t until your garage door needs to be repaired or replaced that many begin to look into finding a reputable garage door dealer. But how do you ensure the dealer you are considering hiring is reputable and professional? Here are a few things to help you ensure that you entrust your garage door needs to a reputable dealer.

    Experience

    One of the easiest ways to determine if a dealer knows what they are doing and can help you with your garage door needs is to look at how much experience they have. Garage door dealers that have been in the business for decades will have all of the technical knowledge and experience necessary to install your garage door properly. If you’re considering a new company, find out if the owners and/or management have experience in the door and operator industry. How much experience do they have?

    Workmanship

    Another aspect to consider that is equally as important and easily verifiable is the satisfaction of previous customers. Can they provide letters of recommendation from other customers? What do online reviews have to say about the company? If possible, try to talk to multiple previous customers to hear about their experience firsthand. Find out if they were satisfied with the workmanship and overall quality of work that was completed. You should be cautious when a dealer is unable to put you in touch with any satisfied customers—take that as an indication that you should look at other options.

    Code and Regulatory Compliance

    When it comes to installing garage door systems, there are numerous requirements in place that pertain to the safety and installation of garage doors. As a result, all federal, state, and local codes and regulations must be strictly followed. When interviewing potential dealers, ask how they comply with codes for your location. If they cannot adequately explain how they adhere to codes, be wary, this may be a major warning sign. All federal, state, and local codes and regulations are in place for the safety and protection of homeowners. Therefore, they should be followed at all times. If a potential dealer cannot demonstrate that they are aware of regulations and are in compliance at all times, you should immediately walk away and continue to search for a dealer that is.

    Insurance Coverage

    Another important feature to consider is that a dealer should carry the proper insurance, not only for their business but for their employees as well. Start by asking for a copy of the company’s certificate of insurance to verify that they do in fact have insurance. This will also help you to know when their coverage is up to guarantee that they will be covered for the duration of your installation. Be wary of companies that hesitate to provide you with a copy of their insurance, as it can be a warning sign. In the event that a dealer attempts to explain that they do not need to carry insurance, it will be in your best interest to walk away and continue to search for a dealer who is more than happy to provide proof of insurance. As a general rule, you can expect that a reputable garage door dealer will carry the proper insurance and won’t hesitate to provide you with proof of insurance per your request.

    Being able to find a reputable garage door dealer for your Pittsburgh garage door repairs and replacement needs don’t have to be a daunting or a seemingly impossible task. In fact, by asking a few important questions you can find a trustworthy and safety-conscious dealer, such as Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors. Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors has been in business since 1950. We’ve been able to provide quality garage door services that our customers have come to know and expect from us. Don’t trust your garage door needs to just anyone, trust them to Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, a licensed and insured garage door dealer with years of experience.

     

  • How to Clean Your Retractable Awning

    pittsburgh awnings

    Now that spring is in full swing, many homeowners are elbow deep in their spring cleaning. While many focus primarily on the inside of their home, it is just as important to prepare the exterior for summer. Homes with Pittsburgh awnings will need to take special care to clean and care for their retractable canvas awnings. Over time, canvas awnings can become stained. The elements can weaken the fabric’s sewing threads, resulting in the fabric eventually beginning to disintegrate. Once the fabric begins to disintegrate, the appearance and structural integrity can be jeopardized. Regularly cleaning your canvas awning can help minimize these risks and give your awning a longer lifespan.

    Here is how to best clean your awning, as part of your spring home cleaning.

    • Start by getting a bucket filled with cool or lukewarm water. Add three ounces of mild laundry soap, such as baby laundry soap, per gallon of water. Do not use detergent. Mix the soap and water solution until foamy.
    • Before you use the soap and water mixture, take a household broom to remove all cobwebs, leaves, and debris taking up space on the underside of your awning.
    • With all the foreign debris removed, you are now ready to begin washing your awning. Start by wetting down a manageable portion of the awning with a garden hose, with your soap and water bucket within reach.
    • Scrub the awning with a stiff brush saturated with the mixed soap and water mixture. Work in a circular motion to effectively work the solution into the awning fabric. Try to limit the area you clean at a time to prevent the soap from drying on the awning.
    • Use a garden hose, to rinse off the soap solution and dirt and allow the awning to air-dry.
    • Continue to scrub your awning in small sections until the entire awning is cleaned.

    Regular cleaning of your Pittsburgh awnings can help to prolong their lifespan, causing it to last for years to come. If you are looking to add retractable awnings to your home, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today.

  • Spring Cleaning & Maintenance for Your Awning

    awnings Pittsburgh

    Having your awning clean and clear can help prevent damage and ensure your patio looks in tip-top shape when guests come to visit. In this article, we discuss how to maintain your aluminum and retractable awnings Pittsburgh.

    Fixed Aluminum Awning Maintenance

    The best way to care for your fixed aluminum awning is to begin by clearing off debris that may have accumulated over the fall and winter. It’s best not to wait until it’s extremely dirty to begin cleaning, as it can begin to rust or cause other possible damage. The less maintenance you do on your awning, the more problems can arise. Next, you will want to grab a ladder and a broom to clear any debris that might have collected on your awning. Be cautious and don’t stand directly beneath the awning while trying to remove the debris with a broom. You could be injured by a falling branch or a larger item. Debris can also damage your awning, so be careful when removing larger objects. Secondly, the easiest way to wash your awning is by using a pressure washer. Lastly, inspect for any signs of damage and if there is anything that needs to be repaired, be sure to call a professional.

    Retractable Awning Maintenance

    Caring for your retractable awning involves a couple of extra steps since the awning has more moving parts. Start by using your ladder and broom to remove all debris that has accumulated. Next, you will want to begin washing the awning using a cloth or soft brush using a gallon of water with some mild natural soap or dish liquid. If you notice any buildup of mildew, add a cup of bleach to your solution to remove it. Ensure that you have cleaned the entirety of it as any leftover soap will get chalky which will accumulate over time and add to the cleaning time later. After that, you can move on to hosing down the frame and fabric of the awning and check to be sure it’s completely dry before retracting it. If you happen to notice any damage while cleaning the awning, be sure to let a professional know so they can make those repairs or get the awning re-covered for you in time for summer. To maintain the cleanliness of your awning, rinse it with a hose and, using a broom, brush the underside of it on a monthly basis.

    Remember to retract your awning before it rains or gets over 20mph winds to prevent weather damage. Additionally, the acid produced by vines and shrubbery can be damaging to the fabric, so try to keep all plant life away from your awning. If you’re interested in installing fixed or retractable awnings Pittsburgh, PA, call Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today.

  • What You Need to Know Before You Purchase a Retractable Awning

    pittsburgh awnings

    A retractable awning is a huge investment for many homeowners. When you do your research before making a large purchase, you’re more likely to save money and avoid headaches down the road. Prior to investing in Pittsburgh awnings for your home, there are a few important things you should know regarding retractable awnings.

    Who Are You Purchasing From?

    When making a large purchase, research is the key to success. Start by asking for recommendations from friends and family, and reading reviews online to make sure the company you work with is reputable.

    Who Does the Installation?

    Does the prospective dealer do their own installations or do they contract out to a third-party? Do they offer a warranty on the installation? Does their warranty include any service work or future adjustments that you might need? Finding a dealer who stands behind their installation is an important aspect of the buying process to consider.

    What Kind of Fasteners are Used for Installation?

    Retractable awnings can weigh anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds. Because they are so heavy, it is imperative that when they are installed, the installers use a minimum of a 3/8-inch wide shaft lag screw. Depending on the material the installer is mounting to, the length of the lag screws is going to be an important factor as well. When retractable awnings are installed, the goal is to reach the center of the house’s framework after removing all exterior materials that can be compressed—i.e., foam board under vinyl siding.

    Is the Fabric 100% Acrylic?

    Because retractable awnings are made using a fabric material, it is important to have a material that will last. Most acrylic fabrics will not rot, mildew, or quickly fade due to sun exposure. Typically, most acrylic material is also the same color/pattern on both sides. An acrylic fabric that is sewn with UV stable thread should last anywhere from 8 to 12 years with maintenance and cleaning.

    Is it a Full or Prorated Warranty?

    It is important to know if the warranty is prorated or full. This will prove to be useful information if you ever need to file a warranty claim. Awnings that come with a full warranty will save you a lot of money in out-of-pocket expenses.

    How Does the Awning Operate?

    With retractable awnings, there are different ways the awning can be operated—manually, by hand crank, or motorized. The motorized option is more expensive when compared to manual options. But although they may have a higher price tag, research has found those with a motorized unit are ten times more likely to use their awning than those without. A motorized awning can easily be operated using either a handheld remote or a switch located on the wall of your home.

    Does the Location of Awning Assembly Matter?

    The majority of quality awnings are assembled in the United States. Because most awnings are custom made, they generally take a week or two to produce. Be aware that some companies will try to save money on production by importing lower quality units and components from other countries. When this happens, the components aren’t capable of withstanding the diverse climates found across the United States, causing peeling paint, faded fabrics, and rusted fasteners.

    What Applies the Spring Force in the Retractable Arms?

    All models of retractable awnings rely on a spring-loaded folding arm that exerts outward pressure in order to keep the fabric tight. The real work comes when you retract your awning. It is a lot harder to retract an awning than it is to extend one. This is true for both manually operated styles and motorized units. This is harder to do because you are not stretching the internal arm springs. In most units, the springs apply tension using one of three methods—cables, chains, or belts. Regardless of the tension method, most claim to have a lifespan between 20,000 and 100,000 arm cycle durability.

    Knowing the facts about retractable awnings can help you to make an informed decision, ultimately aiding you in purchasing an awning that you will be happy with for years to come. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we offer quality Pittsburgh awnings that are not only beautiful, but durable as well. You can rest assured that when you make your awning purchase from Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, you are getting a high-quality awning that will enhance the appearance of your home.

  • What’s the Difference Between Torsion and Extension Springs?

    garage door installation pittsburgh pa

    A garage door is made up of many parts that all work together so the garage door can work properly. Torsion and extension springs are responsible for managing your garage door’s counterbalance system. It is the counterbalance system that uses force to offset the weight of the door, enabling it to safely and reliably open and close. There are several types of springs that can be used, but torsion and extension springs are the most common. Because both torsion and extension springs perform the same function, you might be wondering what the difference is. Garage door installation Pittsburgh PA guarantees that springs be professionally installed to help keep the door in working order for years to come.

    Torsion Springs

    The most common type of spring found in modern garage doors is the torsion spring. Torsion springs are available in several sizes and lengths. They are calculated based on the weight of your garage door and the height and track radius. Torsion springs are installed on the top of the garage door. When the door is operated, the spring slides into a channel where lifting cables are attached, allowing the springs to wind and unwind in a controlled motion. Some of the benefits of torsion springs include:

    • Sturdy and Long Lasting: Although torsion springs are more expensive upfront, they are more durable and can last upwards of 15,000 to 20,000 cycles.
    • Less Wear: When a garage door is opening or closing, the torsion springs provide steadier movement that keeps the door balanced, creating less strain on other parts. Torsion springs make it so your garage door doesn’t have to work as hard to open and close.
    • Safer: If your torsion springs break, they will make a loud sound but remain encased in the shaft. But if extension springs break off, the result can include property damage or injury.

    Extension Springs

    Extension springs are an older technology, but they are still common because they are more affordable and ideal for smaller garages. Instead of being installed overhead, extension springs are installed on the side of the door and extend when the door is operated.

    Although extension springs are a popular option, many professionals don’t tend to recommend them because they only last upwards of 10,000 cycles. Not only do they not last as long as torsion springs, but they also require more maintenance, operate with jerking motions that cause more wear and tear, and can be a safety hazard if they break.

    Whether you’re looking for torsion or extension springs, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can provide you with reliable and reputable garage door Pittsburgh PA installation and services. If you need expert garage door advice, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors can help you discover which garage door springs, openers, etc. are right for you.

     

  • Home and Garage Door Security Tips

    residential garage doors pittsburgh

    As a homeowner, you do everything you can to protect your home, family, and belongings. You also know that your residential garage doors Pittsburgh are one, if not the main point of entry into your home. If a garage door is left open or unsecured, it can be an open invitation for burglars to enter your home without opposition. Here are a few security tips for your garage door that you can implement to protect your home and discourage burglars from entering your home unwelcomed.

    Set Up a Home Security System

    One of the easiest and more convenient ways to secure your home is to monitor every entrance, including the garage door, by having a complete home security system installed. Homes that are equipped with a security system deter crooks from trying to enter. High-quality alarm systems are designed to not only alert you of an intrusion but also emergency personnel. Most alarms are not silent, scaring off crooks and preventing them from entering or lingering in your home. The one drawback to having a home security system is that depending on how many doors and windows you have and how comprehensive your security system is, it can be quite costly.

    Cover Garage Windows

    Windows in garage doors can be both good and bad. Windows allow natural light to flow into your garage, cutting down your need for lighting. On the other hand, these same windows can provide would-be burglars the ability to easily see what is stored in your garage and how easy it is to enter your home via your garage. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to cover these windows to prevent people from seeing inside. You can achieve this by placing a decorative film or tint over the glass. Both of these options allow natural light to shine in while making it more difficult for someone to see inside.

    Add Movement Detector Lights

    If you’re concerned about nighttime break-ins, having a well-lit home will make you less of a target. A good way to protect your home is to install motion-active lights around the exterior of your home. A good location for a motion detected light is above your garage door, so when someone walks or drives up the light kicks on. These lights serve a dual purpose, not only do they deter people from approaching your home unwanted, but they are also helpful for when you return late at night.

    Close and Lock Your Garage Door

    This tip might seem like an obvious one, but you would be surprised to learn how many people forget to shut and lock their garage door at the end of the day. Be sure to shut your garage door every day to prevent easy access to your home. While not every residential garage door Pittsburgh is equipped with a lock, those that are should be locked daily. If your garage door doesn’t have a lock on it, you might want to consider looking into having a locking system installed on it for added protection.

    If you have questions about your garage door or need a repair to provide your home with optimal security, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today! We can help you repair or replace your existing garage door to provide your home with added security and you with peace of mind. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we can help with all your residential and commercial garage door needs.

  • 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.

    Application

    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.

    Material

    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.

    Size

    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.

    Features

    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!  

  • 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!