• How to Protect Your Garage in Winter

    garage door installation pittsburgh

    Cold weather is fast approaching, bringing in the winter months with it. When the weather starts to turn cold, it is a good indication that it is now time for you to begin winterizing your home. One way that you can help cut down on your home’s heating costs during the winter is with a well-insulated garage. If your garage is too cold, you risk damage to your vehicles and anything else that you store inside your garage. The best way to prevent expensive repairs from accruing later on, is to winterize your garage ahead of time. Here are a few things you can do to protect your garage before winter sets in which will prevent you from needing to invest in a new garage door installation Pittsburgh come spring.

    Replace Weather Stripping

    One of the easiest things you can do is to start by replacing the weather stripping on your garage door. This will create a seal between the garage door and the garage door opening, keeping cold air from coming in. When cold air is allowed to find its way inside your garage, it will create cold drafts that cause the temperature inside your garage to drop dramatically.

    To install new weather stripping, start by removing the old weather stripping and remaining sealant. Use a putty knife or scraper of some sort to remove as much of the old weather stripping as possible. Cleaning the surface as much as possible will make it easier for the new weather stripping to be installed. Once you have the surface cleaned and prepared for the new weather stripping, be sure to measure before you begin to install anything. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t have too much rubber sticking to the sides, where it could possibly interfere with the garage door track. Close the garage door and align the weather stripping so the rubber flap flattens slightly against the door. A good seal on your door allows the garage door to operate easier.

    Insulate the Garage Walls

    Another way to insulate your garage to prepare it for winter is to insulate your exterior garage walls. You can purchase fiberglass batt insulation fairly cheaply at any home improvement store. You can simply tack it into place on the walls of your garage. You’ll want to check to see that you have the right insulation thickness to ensure that you provide your garage with plenty of insulation against the cold. Failure to install the insulation securely to the wall or forgetting to provide extra support for the insulation can result in problems. In order for insulation to work properly, you’ll need to ensure that it has a snug fit and completely covers your wall.

    Repair Garage Door

    If your garage door is old or broken and is the source for the cold air getting into your garage, you might want to consider replacing it before the really cold weather arrives. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we provide garage door installation Pittsburgh, along with repairing and replacing broken panels and other parts. A garage door that is properly repaired or replaced can work to eliminate cold air from finding its way inside. Often, replacing an old or broken door with a new, insulated door is the best option for homeowners.

    Heat the Garage

    Another great way to ensure that your garage stays warm throughout the winter is to install a heater unit after you’ve completed all the other necessary precautions. Heaters will not only protect your garage from getting too cold, but they will also protect your vehicle and other belongings from the low temperatures. Keep in mind, it is important to be careful when using a heater, as heaters pose a risk of personal injury or potential house fires if not handled properly.

    As you can see, your garage plays an important role in keeping your home warm during the cold winter months. If you are considering replacing or repairing your garage door before the cold sets in, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors today!

  • How to Open Your Garage Door When the Power Goes Out

    garage doors pittsburgh pa

    There are few things more frustrating than not being able to open your garage doors Pittsburgh, PA with the push of a button. Once you have gotten used to the convenience of having an automatic garage door opener, it is hard to ever go back to a manually operated door. Unfortunately, there are times when you’ll have no choice but to operate your door manually. This can be the result of dead batteries in your remote, a broken motor, or because your home is experiencing a power outage. While no one plans on these events happening, they do occur. These factors are why it’s important to know how to manually open and close a garage door in Pennsylvania.

    Pull the Trigger

    Nearly every garage door comes equipped with a bypass switch for just such occasions. Located on the garage opener there is a rope, generally red, with a handle on the end. This rope is the manual release that disengages the garage door from the motor, allowing it to be operated manually. Because the door can then be operated manually, it is recommended that you pull the release while the door is down, otherwise it could come slamming down causing damage and possible injury.

    Staying in Manual Mode

    The red rope you pulled to manually operate your door also controls the spring attachment in the trolley. If you are going to be experiencing an extended power outage or if your operator is malfunctioning, you’ll need to keep your door in manual mode. When using the door in manual mode, it is important to remember that you should pull the release rope down and toward the back of the garage to prevent it from getting caught on the tracks.

    Reattaching the Door When the Power Returns

    Once your home has its power restored or your door operator has been repaired or replaced, you’ll want to reattach your door in order to take full advantage of the automatic capability. To re-engage your door, you will need to simply pull down on the release cord again, this time toward the garage door opening. This will prevent the lever from engaging. At the same time, pull up on your garage door until it snaps back into place and you’re back in automatic mode. If you need assistance, simply push the button on your remote and the door track will force the spring attachment back into place.

    Important Things to Remember About the Door Release Cord

    It is important to remember that even if parts of your garage door are corrupted, the automatic system will keep the door operating as a single functioning unit. Springs or cables that are weak or broken will be supported by the track. But as soon as you disengage the track, this is no longer true.

    • If at all possible, only use the release cord to enter manual mode when the door is closed. While this isn’t always possible, remember that the door can come slamming down if the release cord is pulled while the door is open.
    • If the door must be disengaged from the track while in the open position, use 2X4s to prop the door open to safely close it.
    • When releasing the door while open, be sure to clear away all people and objects prior to pulling the release cord.
    • If the cord doesn’t release, don’t hang on it. While it does require some force to disengage the door, hanging on the cord when it won’t disengage, can result in damage to the rope or lever.

    If you find that you have to disengage your door and operate it manually because it isn’t working properly, Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors has extensive knowledge in repairing and replacing garage doors Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Garage Door Pittsburgh Maintenance Guidelines

    man standing in front of garage door

    Probably one of the last things on your to-do list is garage door maintenance, and maybe it’s not on your list at all. Garage doors are an often easy to overlook item. Your garage door is the first thing you see when you get home and the last thing you see when you leave for work. We just assume that it’s always going to be in working order, but that’s not always going to be the case. There are a few maintenance guidelines that can keep us and our garage doors on track. Most of these are quick fixes that should be done at least once a year, and now that it’s summer, you have the perfect opportunity to check and fix your garage door before the snow and rain of fall and winter come back! Doing a few simple maintenance acts can prevent you from having to hire garage door Pittsburg experts for more costly repairs later on in the year for the life of your garage door.

    1. Clean it out

    Your garage door is one of the largest pieces of mechanical equipment that you use regularly, and it does need a tune-up every now and then. Give the door rollers, tracks, hinges, and latches a thorough cleaning with a citrus solvent and remove any built-up grime and dirt. Pay special attention that the tracks on both sides of the door are clear of leaves and other debris, and that they are evenly aligned. If you notice that the tracks need to be adjusted, this must be done by a professional garage door Pittsburg technician.

    2. Lubricate it

    The constant up-and-down motion that is required for garage doors day after day can take a toll on the pulleys, wheels, and tracks of your door. Make sure to check and regularly lubricate the door’s hinges, springs, and bearings with a non-silicon based lubricant. Most technicians recommend that if you aren’t sure what lubricant to use, motor oil is a standard garage door lubricant that is easily available. Make sure that you don’t oil the actual roller tracks on your door, as direct lubrication of the tracks can make the door become unbalanced, triggering the door to slip and causing injury or damage.

    3. Weather-strip it

    Check the rubber weather seal on the bottom of your door. If the seal is brittle, cracked, or ripped, replace it! Weather stripping can not only protect the bottom of your garage door, but it can keep the elements out of your house. Weather stripping is usually sold by the foot at hardware stores. Just simply measure the length of stripping you need and replace it yourself, easily!

    Don’t let one of the biggest parts of your house go forgotten. Make sure you keep your garage door maintained and at peak performance. And when there are fixes or problems that require more than a cleaning cloth and lubrication, garage door Pittsburg experts Giel Garage Doors have the experience to get it working perfectly.

  • Entry Door Maintenance Guide

    Maintenance on your entry door is essential to keep it looking as beautiful as possible and making sure you don’t have to replace them more frequently than usual. Different materials require a different kind of maintenance and this is everything you need to know!

    Steel Doors

    Once or twice a year, wash the outside of your door with a mild detergent. It is a good idea to apply a liquid silicone wax at the same time you wash the door. A liquid car wash & wax product that does both in one step works wonders and can be found at most auto part stores. Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash and Wax is a great option!

    Remember this rule: If you can use it on your car, you can use it on your door.

    If your area uses salt on the roads in the in the winter and your door gets wet, you should rinse the bottom of your door clean to prevent the salty water from hurting your product.

    We also recommend that you don’t use a paste wax. Paste waxes tend to dry in the wood grain texture and beveled edges of the door and are difficult to buff out. This leaves behind a dried residue in the low spots which will ruin the aesthetic appeal of your door.

    Fiberglass Doors

    Apply the clear coat/paint annually or every other year depending upon the amount of sunlight your door receives. The clear coat is a two-part urethane to protect from the sun’s UV rays.

    Finish is usually available in pint or gallon size from the manufacturer or a paint shop. We suggest using a water based clear coat. If the clear coat is not maintained, the sun will damage your door similar to a “sun burn” causing it to peel and pull off the stain finish in the process.

    The only way to repair this damage is stripping the door completely. Consistent maintenance will prevent this extreme damage from happening.

    Wood Doors

    Wipe away dust and dirt monthly with furniture polish. On painted wood doors periodically check for blistering, cracking or peeling, particularly around any fixtures on the door.

    The painted surface keeps water from damaging the wood. If the paint is coming away or is not sealed, water can soak into the wood and damage it over time.

    If your door has a stained finish, check to see if it is still water repellent. If the door is becoming discolored, and water soaks into the wood, it is time to refinish the door. There are chemical treatments on the market that will rejuvenate discolored wood, for example polyurethane clear coat.

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors serves a 50-mile radius around Pittsburgh. We handle all your needs when it comes to entry doors! We also provide storm doors that are installed in front of the entry door to protect it.