• Should I Invest in a Garage Door Screen?

    Garage Door

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

    Bugs and Pests

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

    Circulation 

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

    More Secure

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

    Energy Efficient 

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

    More Clean

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

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

  • How to Remove Garage Floor Stains

    Garage Floor Strains

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

    Oil and Grease

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

    Rust 

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

    Paint

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

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

  • 3 Signs That Your Garage Door Needs to be Serviced

    Garage Door

    Man installing a garage door

    Like other home appliances, garage doors endure wear and tear as they are used. Over the course of a year, many garage doors are opened and closed about 1,500 times. This much usage may, in time, create a need for Giel Garage Door’s professional service. Regular maintenance (such as tightening bolts and keeping lubrication on the necessary components) may improve the longevity of the system. Inevitably, though, the garage door will need to be serviced. Listed are some indicators that it may be time to contact your service provider.

    Your Garage Door is Noisy

    A garage door will naturally produce some level of noise. The noise it creates is a relatively consistent sound, so if it begins to make different types of sounds or if the volume is distinctly different from the regular hum, a professional evaluation may be in order. Listen for creaking, popping, rumbling, grating, grinding, and other unusual sounds. Such noises may indicate abnormalities such as misalignment or worn springs.

    Your Door Won’t Open or Close

    Garage doors, naturally, are designed to open and close. Many homeowners open and close the door using a remote device, particularly while driving a vehicle. If the door does not open in these instances, first examine the remote before servicing the garage door (see our blog about changing your garage door remote batteries). The functionality of the door may also be tested using the keypad or interior opener. Once it has been established that the garage door simply will not open or close, the next step is to contact a professional to evaluate the situation.

    There is a Visible Imbalance

    Some serviceable issues are visible. Schedule a service if the door is off the tracks. Another indicator is the sagging of individual sections, which may result from a door imbalance. Test balance by disconnecting the garage door from the door opener then manually opening the door to about half-way. Let go, and, if it moves either up or down, the door is likely off balance. If the door does not move, it is properly balanced. For sagging panels, a balanced door will need closer inspection in order to work its best. Unbalanced doors may also benefit from a professional balancing.

    Garage doors are a common feature in most American homes. In order for homeowners or renters to access the garage, the door must function properly. Giel Garage Door’s team of professionals are able to evaluate such situations and provide effective, reliable services. By watching for visible abnormalities, listening for unusual noises, and noting when the door does not open or close, residents may prevent further complications by contacting a professional service provider as soon as possible.

  • Why Your Garage Door Needs an Annual Tune-Up

    Home repairman uses tools to work on a garage door spring

    Fittings on the end of a garage door spring are twisted

    Like automobiles, garage door systems are machines with working parts. What homeowners should know is that, like automobiles, garage doors and their openers require regular maintenance. Many experts recommend maintenance every 12 months. Annual tune-ups can help keep the machine working properly. This can save money and add to peace of mind.

    Save Money

    Any system made of moving parts is subject to wear and tear. Trained professionals know what areas to focus on to ensure all bolts are tightened, belts are not worn, tracks are balanced, et cetera.  The cost of replacing a belt is much lower than replacing all the parts that may have been damaged by a belt breaking during operation.

    Peace of Mind

    Homeowners rely on their garage doors to provide both access for the family and a barrier against unwanted entrance. Maintaining garage door dependability through tune-ups is an easy way to keep the garage door open when it’s supposed to be open and closed when it’s supposed to be closed, without any surprises. Additionally, most garage-door-related injuries are the result of some sort of malfunction. These are less likely to occur when the system is properly maintained.

    The majority of homeowners rely on garage doors just as they would their automobile. A well-functioning garage door provides peace of mind for the person using it. Annual tune-ups will keep the system in its best working order, which will save money on serious repairs as well as lower the overall risk of injury. If your garage door is ready for regular maintenance, schedule an appointment with Giel Garage Doors today.

  • How Important Are Garage Door Safety Checks?

    residential garage door

    There must be no debate that durable, sturdy, and properly functioning garage doors are essential for any home. But homeowners often install a new residential garage door and then quickly forget about it unless it breaks down or has other problems. As long as the door is able to close and open while making minimal to bearable noise, the owners are satisfied. If the door is finally behaving intermittently and erratically, only then they decide to look into the situation.

    But does your garage doors need routine inspection and safety checks? The answer is yes and the reasons are below.

    Prevention of Accidents

    It is vital to keep a check and balance on the complete operation of your garage door. Most people who experience a garage door accident don’t realize their mistake until after damage has been done. But sometimes mistakes can be serious, even life-threatening. This is why it is important to schedule regular maintenance and inspections for your garage door to avoid later catastrophes.

    Keeping You Safe and Secure

    The majority of today’s garage doors are automatic and not manual. Once the door detects the vehicle is inside, they close automatically. But what if the sensor is not working properly and it delays in closing the door on time? In the United States, 9% of burglars enter the house from the garage door. This is why it is especially important to conduct a safety check and ensure the working conditions of your garage door. Keep your family and yourself safe from accidents that can cost you.

    Keep a Check on Loose Hardware of the Door

    Your garage door is composed of numerous small and big pieces of hardware. Each and every piece of hardware must be in working position. Even if a tiny nut is malfunctioning or a hinge collapses, an accident could occur.

    It is recommended to keep a check on the tension springs of the door and replace them when needed. If the spring is rusting, be sure to change it instantly. If you observe any loose brackets, inspect the door and make the necessary adjustments. Look for fray cables before they cause disastrous accidents.

    Never wait for a mishap before you decide to inspect your residential garage door. It is recommended to schedule monthly maintenance and inspection to avoid fiascoes later on. Never forget to lubricate the hinges of the door to ensure their smooth working and running. Giel Garage Doors ensures satisfactory inspection and maintenance services at reasonable rates. Stop worrying and call us today to avoid problems down the road.

  • 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.