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!

The 4 Most Common Garage Door Repairs For Homeowners

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

  • Broken Garage Door Springs

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

  • Misaligned Sensor

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

  • Dead Garage Door Remote

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

  • Door Off Track

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Ease of Use and Space

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


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

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

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t DIY a Garage Door Installation

Garage doors are designed to increase the level of security on a property. Over time, the products can begin to deteriorate, and the door will need to be replaced. Although you may want to save money, there a few reasons you should avoid installing the garage door without the help of a professional.

Risk of Injury

Without the proper tools and experience, it can be easy to put yourself or others at risk of an injury while installing a garage door. Professionals have the knowledge and training needed to perform the task. It’s important to remember that the installation process is physically strenuous and can be dangerous due to the parts that are involved. If you get injured during the install, your medical will certainly offset the potential DIY savings.

A Complicated Process

Although you may be handy when it comes to performing minor repairs around the house, a garage door installation can be difficult for anyone who isn’t a specialist. There are many different parts involved, and this can make it easy to spend a lot of time on the job.


Many homeowners who attempt to perform garage door installation Pittsburgh PA make mistakes due to the number of steps involved. Mistakes can be costly to repair and cause you to spend more money in the long run. Many errors lead to the garage door not being able to close. If the garage is left open for many days, this can put your personal belongings and family members at risk.

Special Tools Required

It’s important to hire a professional to perform a garage door installation Pittsburgh PA because special tools are required to complete everything correctly. Since you probably won’t have the necessary tools or equipment available in your home, you may have to spend a significant amount of money attempting to purchase them at a local home improvement store. If you attempt to perform the task without the right tools, there’s likely to be damage to the parts and your home. You’ll end up saving more money by hiring a professional to handle the project.

Although you may feel confident enough to install a new garage door, there are many reasons that the task should be left to an expert who is skilled and trained. You can avoid mistakes and save more money by hiring a professional. When you’re ready to start your installation, reach out to the specialists at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors .

How to Know When to Replace Your Garage Door

The garage door is one of the most important components of your home. When it is not working properly, it can keep you trapped in your home or allow others to gain unauthorized access. If you’re trying to decide whether your garage door is ready to be replaced or if a simple repair will fix the problem, ask yourself the following questions.

How Much Damage Has It Incurred?

If you see that your garage door has chipped paint, significant water stains, or signs of a pest infestation, it is time to replace it. In most cases, you can schedule a garage door replacement for a time that is most convenient for you. This means that you could schedule an appointment for your next day off or ask someone to repair your door as soon as possible.

How Old Is the Door?

Garage doors can generally last for about a decade depending on how well they are maintained. Some doors may wear out sooner if they are exposed to harsh weather or not taken care of properly. However, if your door was installed 10 or more years ago, it is often better to get a replacement. In the long run, a new door could cost less to maintain.

Has Someone Tried to Break Into Your Home?

A thief may attempt to get into your home by damaging your garage door. If the structure has sustained any significant dents or cracks as the result of a home invasion, you should schedule a garage door replacement from a company like Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors immediately. Even if the thief doesn’t come back, a weakened door could make it easier for pests and water to get into your garage. Furthermore, a damaged door may not open or close properly.

Is the Door Simply Not Working Like it Should?

If you discover that your door is consistently not working like it was designed to, you should have it replaced in a timely manner. A new door will close properly each time you hit the button on your remote sensor. A new door may also do a better job of not closing when there is an object or person in its path.

Getting a new garage door can make your home look nicer and feel more secure at the same time. Instead of having to worry about whether something or someone will get into the house while you’re sleeping or at work, you can have the peace of mind that comes with an upgraded product.

What to Consider Before Getting a New Custom Garage Door

Whether you are looking to replace your old, outdated garage door with custom garage doors , or are building a new home, there are a few things you need to consider before you make the purchase. Factors including where you live and the resale value should factor into your decision. Keep reading to learn more factors you should consider before purchasing a new, custom garage door for your home.


Garage doors are extremely heavy objects, therefore, they require necessary hardware and tracking that is dependent upon your location. Based on weather and climate safety measures your new garage door may require additional bracing or other installation specifications.

Wind and water aren’t the only elements that can impact your garage door. The direction that your garage door faces can also affect your door. If your garage door faces the sun, your home and garage are more likely to heat up from air escaping from the garage. If this is the case for you, consider purchasing an insulated garage door to improve energy efficiency throughout your home.

Energy Efficiency Requirements

As with most custom items, a custom garage door will cost more than your typical garage door. But, a typical garage door won’t be able to save you nearly as much on your utilities as a custom, insulated door would. Choosing to purchase a door that has a higher energy efficiency rating will not only aid in keeping your home warmer or cooler around the garage, but it will also save you money on energy bills.

Market Value

Any investment you make in your home will increase your home’s resale value. Before you make a final decision on the garage door that you want to purchase for your home, you should first calculate the cost of your home. This will allow you to determine how much value will be added to your home when you purchase a new door.

The price of garage doors vary, so knowing how much return you’d get on your investment can help to justify your decision to purchase a new door.

Type of Door

There are different types of doors to choose from. The ultimate deciding points for estimating how much your custom door will cost is the type, build, and design. Some of the most common types of doors include:

  • Aluminum: lightweight, yet comes with a higher price tag. This is a good option for wet climates, as aluminum doors hold up better to rust than steel doors.

  • Steel: If you are looking for variety, you’ll want to invest in a steel door. Available in different colors, insulation and flexible price options make steel an attractive choice. These doors are strong and light and can be equipped with foam insulation to protect against heat and cold.

  • Wood Composite: Wood doors have a classic look and feel to them, but they don’t tend to last as long as other materials. Although, wood composite doors are widely available and cost effective.

  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass is great due to its durability. Fiberglass is known to hold up well against insects and most elements. Fiberglass is not a good option for cold climates where temperatures are known to drop below freezing.

  • Vinyl: Vinyl doors are one of the more expensive options available. They are great for those who are looking for a particular look or a different visual appeal than they can get with other door types. An advantage of vinyl doors is that they require less maintenance than most other options and are rust resistant as well.

  • Carriage House Doors: Generally, carriage house doors are more affordable than you might initially think and add a lot of curb appeal to your home. These doors are the most aesthetically pleasing style of custom doors available.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing custom garage doors. If you are looking to have a custom door installed, contact the professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today to learn more about your options and get the right door for your home!

How Well Do You Know Your Garage Door?

There are many different components that make a garage door function properly. Each part is intended to help the door function with the assistance of the motor, so that it easily goes up and down without any hiccups every time you push your remote. Knowing what components are included on a garage door and what their functionality is can save you time and money when something goes wrong. Additionally, knowing the various components of a Pittsburgh garage can help to protect you and your family from any potential harm from a malfunctioning garage door.

Here is a list of the components that make up a garage door:

Sections : Steel panels that create the door part of your garage door. These panels are reinforced with stiles which are then interconnected with hinges and rollers. Sections can be replaced when damaged, without having to replace the entire door.

Bottom Brackets: These devices are located at the bottom of a garage door and provide structural support and attachments for lifting cables.

Cable Drums: Located on the torsion spring, these grooved drums provide a place for the lifting cables to wind up when the door is opened.

Torsion Springs: The means to open and close the garage door through the use of cable winding on the drums.

Extension Springs: These springs extend along both horizontal tracks and assist in the raising and lowering of the garage door.

Operator Hanger: Used to attach the horizontal tracks to the ceiling of the garage, providing additional support.

Track: Used as a guide for the garage door to run up and down on. Tracks are installed on both sides of the door and are often referred to as either horizontal or vertical tracks.

Hinges: Attached to the sections of a garage door and provide support. It is the hinges that allow for a garage door to roll up and down.

Emergency Pull Cord: This cord allows for the motor to be disengaged, allowing for the door to be opened or closed manually.

Motor: This is what powers a garage door, mechanically opening and closing the door.

Operator Rail: Most garage doors operate on either a chain, belt or screw drive.

Rear Track Hanger: This is what attaches the horizontal track to the ceiling, therefore providing additional support.

Bearing Plate: Attached to the header, the bearing plate is used to support the spring and shaft.

Photo Eye: The part of the sensor’s safety measure that transmits an infrared light from one sensor to another. If the beam of light is interrupted, the garage door will not be able to close. These must be properly aligned in order for the garage door to operate properly.

It is obvious that there are numerous components that are in place to not only assist a Pittsburgh garage to operate efficiently but to provide safety as well. When a garage door doesn’t open, the most common problem has to do with a damaged spring. As springs are the most dangerous component of a garage door, do not attempt to repair a spring yourself.

Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors has trained garage door technicians who know how to work on garage doors and return them to working order. When you find that your garage door needs repair work done, call on the experts at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors!

What You Need to Know Prior to Purchasing a Garage Door

There are various reasons as to why you might need to replace your Pittsburg garage door. It is important to remember that investing in a good garage door can last decades when you invest in the right door. Therefore, it pays to take some time and do your research to make the best decision possible. Here are 10 things that you should know before you go out and purchase the first garage door you find.

  1. When possible, have an industry expert come out to your home or business to give you an in-person quote. When you order a door over the phone or online, you could potentially be setting yourself up for a costly mistake. An industry expert will know to check the overall size and opening, headroom, and side clearance. Additionally, since they have seen your home or business, they will be able to give suggestions regarding design choices. In the event that something does go wrong, when you’ve gone through a reputable company to order your door there is no question as to who is at fault.

  2. Know and understand the maintenance requirements of wood doors. Real wood doors look great when they are brand new, but unless you are willing to devote the time and money to maintenance and upkeep, they won’t look great for long. If maintenance is put off for too long, you’ll end up sanding down your doors and starting over. If you like the look of wood but don’t want to invest in the maintenance required, you can get the same look for a fraction of the cost by investing in affordable alternatives that look like wood.

  3. Invest in higher quality insulation. If you want to save money on energy cost, you are going to want to upgrade to an insulated door. The insulating effectiveness is represented by its R-value, the higher the number the better insulating factors it has. When you invest in upgrading from 2-inch polystyrene to Intellicore (polyurethane), the R-value raises from R-9 to R-18!

  4. Spend more to get beefier springs. The springs on your garage door are what help it to open easily and come down slowly. Generally, garage doors are equipped with coiled torsion springs. The standard torsion spring is rated for 10,000 cycles. While 10,000 might sound like a lot, it can add up quickly, especially if you open and close your door multiple times a day. Spend the extra money up front and invest in springs that are rated for 20,000 that will last you a lot longer.

  5. Replace your garage door opener at the same time as your door. If you are going to be replacing your garage door, think about your garage door opener as well. Is it starting to show its age? Is it loud? Or do you want to invest in one that has more options? Regardless of the reason, if you are wanting to replace your opener, consider doing it at the same time that you are replacing your door. You can possibly save money on labor by doing both at the same time.

  6. Invest in features that help to make your door quieter. Not only will the higher-quality insulation help to reduce noise, but nylon rollers will also help. The insulation works to dampen the vibrations from the door opening and closing that are generally amplified from an uninsulated door. The nylon rollers are quieter than metal ones. You can also install a belt driven opener, as they are quieter than other types of openers.

If you are looking to invest in a new Pittsburgh garage door, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today! With a wide selection of doors and features to select from, you will find the right door that will fit your needs.

How to Open Your Garage Door When the Power is Out

Having automatic garage doors is something that most often we take for granted amidst our busy lives. While they provide us with easy access to our homes, and protection for our vehicles, do you know how to operate your door in case the power goes out?

Some people might panic, trying to figure out how they will get their car in or out. Forget about your vehicle, others might be concerned with trying to figure out how they will gain access to their home. Are you going to have to pay a service charge to have a professional garage door service company come out and open your door? Thankfully, the answer is no! Once you know what to do, opening your automatic door when the power is out is easy!

Enable the Bypass

Most automatic doors are equipped with a bypass function, that allows you to disengage the automatic opener and operate the door manually. For most doors, the bypass function is a rope that is hanging down from your doors opener system.

When you pull down on this rope, the opener is then disengaged from the automatic system that is rendered useless due to the power outage. It is recommended that you only engage the bypass when your garage door is in the closed position, as the weight of the door could cause it to slam down; potentially injuring or damaging to objects, animals, or people that are standing nearby.

Once you have enabled your doors bypass, you are then able to operate your door manually. While this is not ideal, and requires more effort on your part, don’t let the power outage prevent you from using your garage as you normally would.

What to do when the power is restored?

When the power is restored to your home, you’ll need to reattach your garage door to the automatic opener. Just like when you enabled the bypass, you’ll need to pull down on the rope again. Once you have pulled on the rope, you’ll need to pull up on the door until you hear or feel it snap back into place. If you prefer, you can also push the button on your remote. This option will allow for you to see the spring attachment reconnect once the opener reaches a certain point.

When the power goes out, there is a possibility that your door may fail to engage with the operator again. If this happens it is important to call a professional garage door repair technician to hook your door back up.

Safety First

Even with the power out, your garage doors are still an extremely heavy object in your home. It is important to practice safety measures around your door, especially when manually operating the door. While it is possible to disengage and engage your door, never put your safety or the safety of others above a working garage door. A few hours of inconvenience are not worth the potential risk to your safety.

At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors we have expert technicians who are able to help with any garage door problems that you might be experiences. Whether you are needing service, maintenance, repair or a complete replacement, we have the knowledge to get you what you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for all your garage door needs!

Three of the Most Common Garage Door Repairs

Having a garage door that opens and closes on command with the push of a button is something that most homeowners take for granted. In fact, relying on your garage door to always open when you need it to, can result in some serious problems when something breaks and doesn’t work the way that it should. When a mechanical garage door breaks, there is the possibility that you could get locked out of your home when you lose access to a working garage door. While garage door problems are not that unheard of, some problems are more common than others. We’ve outlined three of the most common Pittsburgh garage door repair that we encounter.

Garage Door Won’t Open at All

When you push the button on your garage door controller, you expect your door to respond to the coordinating command. While this is expected, this doesn’t mean that it always happens which could be the result of a number of different reasons. The first thing to check is the batteries in your remote to ensure that they are still good and working. If your batteries need to be replaced, and your door still isn’t working, you could have problems with your cables, tracks, the motor or sensor. To get your door repaired and back to fully working condition, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors.

Loud Screeching and Grinding when Opening or Closing Your Door

When your garage door starts to make loud screeching, and grinding noises it is generally annoying. While it might be tempting to ignore the sounds, and try to get used to them, there is generally a simple solution to fix the problem. The cause of the noise is generally caused by dirt or debris that has collected in the tracks, or a lack of lubrication. To fix the problem, clean the tracks and lubricate the relevant parts with an oil or lubrication that is specifically designed for garage doors. If you would prefer not to perform your Pittsburgh garage door repair yourself, the professional technicians at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors are happy to assist!

Broken Torsion Spring

When your torsion spring breaks, you will know it! When torsion springs break, they sound like a loud firework that has been set off in your garage. It is natural for springs to break, due to the limited number of uses that each spring is designed to withstand. When your torsion spring breaks, do not attempt to repair it yourself. Always call a professional to come and do the repair work for you, as torsion springs are very dangerous to work with, due to the high amount of tension they contain when wound.

At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors , we have years of experience in helping homeowners will all of their garage door repair needs. If you are in need of a new garage door, or repair for any type of garage door, call the professionals today!