• 5 Reasons Why Retractable Awnings Are the Best Choice

    Giel Garage Doors-5 Reasons Why Metal Awnings Are the Best Choice

    Do you need protection from the elements over your balcony or patio so you can sit outside and enjoy the weather without the exposure? A retractable awning from Giel Garage Doors is the  perfect solution. Our retractable awnings fold up nicely out of the way on days when you want to enjoy the beautiful sky above you, yet offer protection on hot or rainy days. While there are many different types of awnings to choose from, retractable awnings have the versatility that you may need for protecting you and your leisure space from storms and the heat when you choose.

    In this brief article, we will discuss 5 reasons why retractable awnings are the best choice for you and your home.

    1. Budget-Friendly

    Retractable awnings are a cost-effective way to add a covering over your porch or patio. They are less expensive than building a permanent roofing structure and installation is faster too!

    2. Lots of Styles to Choose From

    There are literally hundreds of different fabric patterns you can choose from when picking out an awning. Pick something that adds a perfect touch of character and style to your home.

    3. Easy to Use

    A retractable arm makes your new awning a breeze to use. With either a motor or a few turns on a hand crank, your awning comes out or goes in as needed. Plus, it stores itself so no need for removal at the end of the season!

    4. Durable and Long-Lasting

    High-quality materials ensure that the awning will last for many seasons, even under relentless sun and rain. 

    5. Energy Efficiency

    Strategically placing awnings to block the hot afternoon sun is a great way to help reduce your energy bills. With fewer hot sunbeams heating up your home, your air conditioning system doesn’t have to work as hard — so it’s a win all the way around!

    The Best Choice for Retractable Awnings

    Now that you know how great a new awning can be, contact us today at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. We can help you choose and install the perfect awning for you!


  • Safety Tips for Garage Doors

    One receptor eye of a garage door safety sensor that stops action if the beam is crossed

    A garage door is a convenient addition to any home, allowing safe, convenient entry and protecting your garage space and the contents from the elements. It’s important to utilize proper maintenance and operating procedures to ensure it’s safe to use your garage door. Here are a few tips to follow to make garage doors as safe as possible. 

    Periodically Test the Electronic Controls

    Electric sensors and control units enable modern garage doors to open and close safely. However, if these devices malfunction, your garage door may not sense that a person or animal is in its path.

    When a garage door’s electronic controls sense that something is in its path, it reverses course as a safety feature. A garage door without functional electronic controls is a huge safety hazard and can cause serious injury. 

    Test the sensors by passing an object in front of them when your garage door is closing; it should immediately stop closing. Your sensors are mounted to the side rails a few inches from the ground. 

    Regularly Examine Your Garage Door for Signs of Wear or Damage

    Each month, examine the components of your garage door, like the rollers, hardware, springs, and cables, to confirm that nothing is stretched or broken. If something looks broken or worn out, don’t use your garage door until a professional examines and fixes the damaged component. 

    Encourage Safe Habits

    Make sure that your kids and family members understand safe garage door habits. Your family should understand that the garage door remote isn’t a toy or something for kids to use. Store the remote where it isn’t easily accessible to ensure children don’t accidentally gain access to it.

    Teach your kids to stay away from the springs and garage door hardware, as these components can cause injury. Tell them to wait until the garage door is completely open and finished moving before going underneath it. 

    Increase the Safety of Your Garage Door

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. has the experience and knowledge to fix any issues that cause your garage door to pose a safety risk. Contact us at 724-443-1437 to get started. 


  • 4 Benefits of Having an Awning

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. - 4 Benefits of Having an Awning

    Awnings are coverings that are installed over an outdoor space. Often used on patios or over a window, they help protect you from the elements and improve your outdoor areas. 

    But they more than protect your space from rain. If you’re considering installing an awning, they might have more benefits than you previously thought. Here are 4 of the top benefits of having an awning.

    Increase your outdoor space

    One of the top reasons families choose to install awnings is to increase useable space in their homes. An awning can help provide shade in the warmer months and block out light rain on cloudy days. This way you can spend more time outside and enjoy time on your patio or in your yard.

    A retractable awning can make your space more flexible by extending further or closer as necessary.

    Make your home more energy efficient

    Adding an awning to your residential property can help block direct sunlight in the summer months. By reducing sun rays, you can reduce the heat in your home – saving on air conditioning costs and reducing your carbon footprint.

    Protect from UV rays

    An awning that’s strategically placed over a window or doorway can reduce the amount of direct sunlight coming into your home. Not only are excessive UV rays harmful for you and your family, but they can also damage and discolor furniture and finishes over time. 

    An awning can provide up to 80% SPF protection and increase the longevity of the interior of your home.

    Improve privacy

    If you have outdoor spaces that directly face neighbors, awnings can help block direct views into your home. While they don’t give complete privacy, like window coverings, awnings also don’t block out all the natural light. Giving you the best of both worlds.

    Awnings can also improve the privacy of your outdoor spaces.

    Get an awning for your home today

    A professional can help evaluate your outdoor spaces and suggest an awning that will maximize the benefits for you and your home. From retractable to fixed awnings, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. has a selection for everyone. Contact us today to explore our selection of awnings.

  • How to Choose a Security Grille for Your Business

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc.-how-to-choose-a-security-grille-for-your-business

    You’ve invested a lot of time, money, and resources into your business; you don’t want your company to suffer because thieves decide to target your facilities.

    A security grille is an excellent addition for protecting your business’s inventory, supplies, and equipment, as well as keeping your employees safe. Follow these tips when choosing a security grille or gate.

    Decide How You Want to Open and Close Your Security Grille

    One detail to consider is how you prefer to operate your security grille.

    Rolling grilles open and close vertically; you often see this type of security grille at stores in your local mall. It’s available as a manual grille and as a motorized grille.

    A manual grille requires someone to open and close it, while a motorized grille will open with the push of a button. Rolling grilles are ideal for securing a business with a conventional shape.

    Sliding grilles have a side-folding design that only permits manual operation. The design of sliding grilles is customizable, making them ideal for complex spaces that don’t have a conventional design (like a store with a semi-circle-shaped store entrance).

    A sliding grille or gate is affordable and capable of accommodating wide spaces and curves.

    Select the Appropriate Material and Design for Your Security Grille

    Multiple materials and designs are available for your security grille.

    A tempered glass security grille makes the interior of your business completely inaccessible while still allowing people to see inside of your business. If you want a security grille that won’t distract from your company’s aesthetics, a tempered glass alternative is a terrific option.

    Open-style security grilles have space between the grille’s bars that allows air to enter your business’s space. It also allows people to see inside your facilities.

    Security grills are also available in a solid design that uses aluminum. This design secures your space and prevents anyone from seeing inside of your business.

    How to Add a Security Grille to Your Business

    Ready to select your business’s new security grille? Contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. online or call 724-443-1437. 


  • The Importance of Proper Loading Dock Signage and Accessories

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc.-important-proper-loading-dock-signage-accessories

    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. 

  • Different Types of Commercial Doors and Their 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.

  • Common Garage Door Terms You Should Know


    Using a garage door is as much a part of our everyday lives as preparing food or taking showers. On average, garage doors are used three to five times per day or 1,500 times each year. Garage doors utilize different kinds of springs which are built to last between 5,000 to 20,000 cycles. A cycle represents each time the door is opened and closed. These figures mean that your garage door may remain problem-free for three to 13 years. Since more usage equals greater wear and tear, the need to replace or repair your garage door is inevitable. 

    Being well-versed in how your garage door works and the components that make it possible is essential if you need to describe the problem to a garage door service professional. You may be interested in learning so you can make the repairs yourself, but as you read through this information, you’ll see why that isn’t recommended.

    Garage door assemblies are complicated and there are many small parts and accompanying definitions, so we will introduce you to only the most essential working parts that you should know.

    These terms have to do with how the garage door is raised and lowered.

    1. Garage Door Track – also called the rails, these are the vertical metal tracks attached to the outsides of the garage door opening and the horizontal ones attached to the ceiling that hold the garage door in place.
    2. Rollers – found inside the track and made of various materials, they allow the door to roll smoothly up and down inside the door track.
    3. Cable Drum or Drum – also known as a spool, the drums are mounted above the door on each side and balanced using torsion spring systems. There will be one on the right side and one on the left side.
    4. Pulley – these are located at the ends of the extension springs and mounted on the top corners of the track assembly
    5. Lift Cable – the lift cable can be attached two ways depending on the spring system. For an extension spring, it will be found inside the pulleys. For a torsion spring, it will be attached to the cable drum assembly. The lift cable works with the spring system to lift the door.
    6. Extension or Stretch Spring – this type is suspended over the horizontal track and is controlled by the lift cable.
    7. Torsion Spring – mounted along with the cable drums and above the door on a pipe or shaft, it uses torque (twisting force) to balance the door weight as it is lifted and lowered.
    8. Retaining or Safety Cable – used with extension spring systems, it runs through the center of the spring and helps keep the door from falling if one of the system components fails.

    The next set of terms applies to how the garage door is assembled.

    1. Panels and Hinges – the individual portions of the door are called panels and are connected with hinges that allow them to flow through the curved portions of the door track.
    2. Top Fixture – just like it sounds, it mounts onto the top section of the door to attach it to the opener.
    3. Bottom Fixture – these are mounted onto the bottom sections of the door and hold the lift cables. The lift cables are under extreme tension. That’s why they should only be removed or repaired by a qualified installer. A cut or loose cable can cause severe physical injury.
    4. Astragal – this is the weather-stripping material that runs along the bottom of the door to seal gaps.

    This final set of terms applies to the garage door opener. Whether your opener uses a screw, belt, or chain drive, it will operate in the same manner.


    1. Circuit Board – the brain of the opener, it processes the commands from the controls to open and close the door.
    2. Safety Beam or Photocell – these are mounted on both sides near the bottom of the door and complete the circuit that makes the door operate. It stops the door when a blockage is detected.

    When your garage door is malfunctioning, it will be helpful to use these terms when describing the problem to a repair technician. 

    If you need garage door parts or a new garage door, call a qualified insured repair service like Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., to safely get your door back into top working condition.

  • Increase Your Home’s Value with a New Garage Door


    When people are looking for ways to increase the value of their home, they often think of things like buying new appliances or remodeling the kitchen or the bathrooms. Some people don’t even consider the curb appeal of their home. Installing a new garage door can do more to boost your home’s value than some other kinds of improvements.

    About 70% of realtors believe that a home sells faster when it features a new garage door, and 80% agree that the new door adds up to four percent of the home’s value. For example, a house priced at $200,000 with a new garage door will be able to sell for $8,000 to $12,000 more. Since the average cost to replace a double car garage door is anywhere from $800 to $1800 including installation, that represents an excellent ROI.

    In addition to enhancing the home’s curb appeal and being a sound investment, there are other ways in which new garage doors offer benefits.

    1. Accentuating the Style of the Home – You can really put the exclamation point on your home by matching the garage door to the style. For instance, a wood or steel carriage house garage door would be an excellent complement for a Colonial or Victorian house.
    2. Saving Energy – Installing an insulated weather-sealed garage door blocks cold or hot air, which keeps your home at a consistent temperature, saving you money on your energy bill.
    3. Increasing Comfort and Privacy – An insulated garage door can minimize noise and other disturbances to keep your home quiet and shielded.
    4. Optimizing Security and Safety – New garage door features include photosensors that keep the door from closing on an object, person, vehicle, or pet that is in the path of the door. Security features like rotating security codes safeguard your home from intruders by changing the code every time the door is opened or closed. There are even apps that allow you to operate your garage door using your smartphone.

    Whether you are planning to sell your home or to stay in it for several more years, investing in a new garage door is a wise investment. The garage door experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. can answer questions you may have about installing a new garage door.

  • Things You Should Know About Dock Seals


    Four Things To Know About Dock Seals

    You want your shipping area to be productive as well as safe and secure. Loading dock seals provide the barrier between the warehouse door and the backed-in trailer for loading and unloading assets. Designed to compress, they create a tight seal. Here are some things to know about the addition of dock seals to your company’s loading dock area.

    Your Loading Dock Is Safer

    Pests or even fire are left out when your loading dock is sealed. Employees won’t be worried about swatting flies, bugs or bites, which can slow down operations. Moreover, the wind will stay outside, making it easier to carry items and load them into the trailer. Protected from unwanted entry, the sealed doors will help keep everything and everyone safer.

    Your Loading Dock Is More Productive

    Unwanted weather like rain and snow won’t be able to disrupt your loading and unloading when you utilize a dock seal. Your staff will not need to worry about wet floors and their safety. They can focus on their job, sending and receiving and making your warehouse more productive. 

    Your Loading Dock Will Remain in Better Condition

    Wind and rain may take a toll on your loading area as exposure to the elements creates wear and tear on the doors. Gradually, they will wear down. Having strong seals minimizes exposure to the elements and makes the doors last longer. This saves money in the long run.

    You’ll want to consider the usage, type of trucks and the height of your docks when selecting the appropriate seals for your loading dock. We can help you select the right option for your specific business needs before you order. Interested in learning more about how loading dock seals or shelters can help your business? Contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. to get in touch with our experts for assistance.

  • 4 Reasons to Upgrade to a Keyless Lock System


    Why You Need to Upgrade to a Keyless Lock System

    Keeping garages, commercial buildings, and residential buildings secure should always be a priority. Upgrading to a keyless lock system can allow you to better protect your property. When using such a lock system, you will not need a physical key to open a door since these systems use electronic access control mechanisms.

    When using a keyless lock system, you will need an electronic device to unlock your door. For instance, you will need to use a sensor or a proximity card reader, depending on your lock system. Read on for more details about keyless entry systems and their benefits.

    Better Security

    You can easily lose traditional physical keys, or someone can steal them from you. The garage’s security will be compromised when either of these occur. However, such a thing cannot happen when you use a keyless lock system since only authorized users can access your building.

    Remote Access

    Most of the available keyless lock systems have remote access capabilities. That means you can unlock and lock doors even when you are not onsite. This is convenient for people who need the ability to remotely open and close their business doors for employees and deliveries.

    Tracking All Entry Activities

    When using traditional locks, it is hard to know who opened the garage door in your absence. However, when using a Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. keyless lock system, you will be able to track all entry activities. Tracking these activities can help you effectively respond to security threats and emergencies.

    There are a variety of benefits associated with installing a keyless lock system in your home, business, or other property as laid out above. Call our garage door experts at Giel Garage Doors to learn more about how a keyless entry system can benefit you specifically.