Preparing Your Awning for Winter Weather
Ice, snow, and the major fluctuations in temperature that come along with a cold winter could present some concerns for your awning. Here is what you need to know to protect your awning from these conditions.
Inspect your awning for damage, and make needed repairs.
While the weather is still nice, it is a good idea to inspect your awning to locate any possible damage from spring, summer, and fall use. Look carefully at seams for loose thread or missing stitches. Be sure to note any fabric tears or weak spots. It is much more economical to have minor repairs taken care of than it is to replace an awning when a small tear spreads.
Keep your awning clean.
In regions with very cold winters, the falling leaves always precede the freezing temperatures. It is important to make sure that your awning is clean, and free of leaves and debris before jack frost arrives. A fabric awning can be cleaned with a hose to remove dust, pollen, and other particles brought in by the wind. If needed, a gentle scrub brush with mild dish soap can be used for a deeper clean. Be sure that the awning is completely dry to avoid mold and other moisture related problems.
Store the awning in a protected location during the winter.
While it is still clean and dry, it is best to retract the awning so that no snow or ice will build up on the surface. These conditions can make the awning brittle and harsh winter wind can create tearing. Moisture through the cold months can cause added damage to the awning. Once the awning is retracted, make sure that all the fabric is fully covered by the housing. Any exposed pieces of the awning would be exposed to the harsh conditions and could become weak points at a later time. Additionally, rolled or folded fabric can attract insects during cold months, so it is also a good idea to have the stored awning protected with a winter cover.
If you are interested in more information about retractable awnings, winterization, or awning accessories, call Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. at 724-443-1437. Our friendly, knowledgeable team can help!
Should I Repair or Replace My Garage Door?
For most people, the largest investment they will make during their lives is the purchase of a home. It can be difficult to know when putting money into the place will produce a high enough return on the investment to be worth it. Garage doors fall into that category. If you are trying to decide if you want to replace your door or if repairs would be sufficient, keep reading for some information that might help you find your way.
These are some indications that your garage door only needs to be repaired:
- It is making noises – A garage door shouldn’t be overly noisy. Rattling or other noises could be signs of loose hinges or torsion springs, which can be replaced.
- The safety sensors aren’t working properly – If they are blocked or damaged, the door may not open and close properly.
- The door is off balance or out of square – A weakened motor or worn cables can cause the door to close unevenly.
- There is only one damaged panel – One panel can be replaced without the need to replace the entire door.
- The problem just started or has only occurred a few times – New problems are worth looking into and could be easy to fix.
Sometimes a little garage door maintenance can go a long way toward resolving an issue that could grow worse over time.
More serious issues can be used to determine that a new garage door is needed including:
- You consistently have to pay to make repairs to the door.
- The door hasn’t worked correctly for a long time.
- There are no safety sensors.
- The door is heavily damaged.
- It no longer matches or complements the exterior of your home.
- It has been broken into or could be easily.
With a return on investment of over 90 percent, investing in a new garage door is always a smart decision, but you may have other financial considerations or reasons for not wanting to replace your entire garage door system. If you aren’t sure what to do, there are some factors that you can evaluate that might be helpful.
- How old is the garage door?
- How much repair does it need?
- What is the garage door’s overall condition?
- Is the garage door opener still in good condition?
- Is the garage door safe to use?
- How much money can be devoted to it right now?
- Is repair or replacement more cost effective?
Making decisions about garage door repair isn’t always easy, but you don’t have to make them alone. The garage door specialists at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., are qualified to help you evaluate your current garage door and make the best recommendation for your budget and style of home. Contact us for more information.
Common Garage Door Repairs
Common Garage Door Problems and Their Solutions
An average garage door’s life expectancy is about 15 years. If you schedule maintenance for your door, it could stay in good shape for up to 30 years. Although regular maintenance prevents the need for repairs, a good garage door can still malfunction or break down.
There are a few very common garage door repair situations. Read below to learn more about what they are and how a trained garage door technician can help.
When a garage door has broken wheels, it will fail to roll smoothly on the horizontal and vertical tracks. If you keep your rollers properly lubricated, you’ll protect them.
This type of repair job has phases. You’ll need to know how to disconnect the power and how to align the door. An experienced technician can perform these tasks quickly and effectively.
The springs pull a garage door up. If they’re damaged, a garage door won’t open correctly. Typically, garage door springs are extremely durable. On average, they can withstand up to 10,000 cycles.
When your garage door’s springs require maintenance or repair, you’ll notice some signs. If your door isn’t balanced, the springs are probably failing. Also, listen closely as the garage door opens. If you can hear a squeaking sound, the springs may need repairs or lubricant.
To replace a broken garage door spring, you’ll need to know how to identify specific extension or torsion springs. As knowledgeable technicians, we work with these springs every day. We can replace:
Clipped-end extension springs
Double-looped extension springs
Open-looped extension springs
Torque-master torsion springs
Steel-rolling door torsion springs
Early-set torsion springs
Standard torsion springs
Broken Automatic Opener
A garage door opener has many components that work together. If a garage door opener fails, it probably has a defective part or a wiring problem.
You should hire a trained garage door technician for this job. This isn’t a DIY project because a garage door opener has many electrical hazards.
Garage door repairs require a certain level of expertise. If you’re not certified, it is best to turn to Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. whenever your garage door needs repairs.
Common Winter Door Problems and How to Fix Them
For people living in colder climates, winter can be harsh and destructive. Icy winters can produce a number of troubles. Car batteries are strained, walkways become slippery, and garage doors can start having problems. Many of these issues can be resolved without enlisting a professional. Check out these common winter door problems and how to fix them.
In warm temperatures, lubricants are more runny and can move around easily. During the winter, lubricants become more dense, and heavy grease may not move easily enough to properly lubricate the garage door opener. Lubrication reduces the amount of work a motor must perform in order to open the garage door. If a heavy grease has been used, apply an even coat of a silicone-based lubricant. A local hardware store will most likely carry a product designed specifically for garage doors.
Frozen Garage Door
During periods of prolonged freezing, garage doors may become frozen and refuse to budge. Frozen garage doors are highly inconvenient, and they can cause further damage to the garage door opener. An immobile door strains the motor, and pieces of the door itself can break if the door is forced open. Where the door meets the ground, remove any existing ice with hot water and a snow shovel. Once the area is clear and dry-ish, apply ice melt as needed. Regular snow removal can prevent future icing.
Fatigued Metal Parts
Metal parts (such as springs) often face additional strain during winter months. More force is often required to open the door in the cold, due to less lubrication and other issues. The increased work can advance a metal part from being strained to outright fatigued. Cold temperatures often render moving parts brittle, and more likely to snap. To avoid potential damages, replace worn parts before they have a chance to break.
Winter can be a festive time for visits and winter sports. The cold season, however, is a time when extra precautions must be taken. Preventative measures can improve the lifespan of the door opener while preventing lockouts. If you run into any of these common garage door problems this winter, the solution may be rather simple.
If your garage door is causing your problems, schedule a service call with Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. experts. For more helpful information about maintaining your garage door, browse the Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. blog.
Most Common Garage Door Repairs
When you take the time to troubleshoot your garage door, you can save yourself a lot of time and money as a homeowner. It is common for your garage door to malfunction every now and then. There are certain situations where you may need to get in contact with a professional at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. for assistance, but other times you may be able to fix the issues with your garage door on your own. The faster you identify the problem, the more likely you are to save your garage door from potential damage and minimize costs. Here are some of the most common garage door issues that people encounter and their remedies.
- Garage door opener malfunction. This may be one of the most common problems that a homeowner will encounter. A simple solution for a chain and drive screw operated garage door could be that there is too much friction, this can be fixed simply by adding a lubricant to help it run more smoothly.
- Loud grinding sounds. This problem can also be solved quite easily. When there is loud squeaking, it could be due to loose hardware. Much like the previously mentioned problem, this can also be solved simply by using applying a lubricant.
- Gaps or cracks. This is another issue that people encounter frequently and is not a huge cause for concern. If you feel that the cracks are widening, it is time to apply a waterproof filler or sealant to fill in the cracks.
- Garage door does not open fully. If you find this occurring, the most likely culprit is the springs above the garage door. It may be time for them to be replaced. If you have already had the springs replaced in the last three years, then it is only necessary to replace the springs that are not operating correctly. Contact a professional to replace a faulty spring.
- Formation of rust. Rust is never a good look; it degrades the value of your garage door as well as your home. Rust forms when iron is exposed to water or air for long periods of time. To get rid of the annoying rust, scrub the area that has been infected by use of soap first, next rub down the rust with a rag that has been soaked in vinegar. Finally, use sandpaper to smooth off of the rust and apply a new coat of paint and primer.
For more information about garage door upkeep, continue to browse the Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. blog. If your garage door is in need of professional repair or maintenance, contact the team at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. to schedule a free estimate.
Is My Garage Door Sensor Damaged?
Is your garage door no longer opening and closing properly? Then you may need to do some troubleshooting to discover what’s causing your garage door to malfunction. Sometimes it is not clear whether your garage door sensor is simply broken, but there are some things to look for that might indicate that it is having issues. It is essential that as a homeowner you are aware of the signs that your garage door sensor needs to be replaced. Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors offers some simple steps that could help you determine the issue.
1. Check for power
One of the more common reasons that the sensors for garage doors seem to malfunction is a result of an insufficient power supply. Search for small lights that appear on the sensors. If all the lights seem to be glowing, then this is not the problem and you can cross it off your list of possible problems.
2. Be sure the path is clear of objects
The purpose of a garage door sensor is to restrain the door from closing if there is something in its path. This function is valuable because it keeps your car and loved ones safe from falling garage doors. If there is something in its path, it is programmed not to close, so make sure nothing is obstructing the sensor beam.
3. Check for dirty sensors
At times, dirt or grime can become plastered on the lenses of your garage sensor. This could be the culprit that is preventing your garage sensors from performing properly. To avoid this from occurring, be sure to clean the lenses regularly.
4. Sensor alignment
There is a possibility that the problem you have encountered with your garage sensors has to do with their alignment. Be sure to check thoroughly that both of your sensors are properly aligned. The way to check this is to examine both LED lights on the sensors and see if they are green. If you discover that these lights have turned red or are flashing continuously then you have found your problem and you will need to realign your sensors.
5. Simple wear and tear
Like with most things, time will surely catch up to anything, including your garage sensors. This is certainly accurate if you haven’t changed your sensors for more than ten years at a time. If you have conducted the tests that were previously outlined and you still cannot determine what is causing your faulty sensors, perhaps a replacement is needed. Consult Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors for repairs or to learn more about what may be hindering your garage doors.
How to Fix a Garage Door That’s Off Track
An off-track garage door is a major inconvenience and can cause enormous frustration. In addition, it can cause property damage and serious injuries. Fortunately, fixing off-track rollers is a simple DIY project. Here is our 5 step guide to fixing your off-track garage roller.
Steps to Get Your Garage Door Back on Track
Step 1: Disconnect the opener
To start the process, find the string hanging from the console that controls the door opener. Pull-on this string to disengage the opener. This will allow you to manually open and close the garage door.
Step 2: Open and secure the garage door
Check that the door is completely released from the opener, then lift it until the track is lined up with one of the rollers. This step requires caution so use a pair of vice grips or locking pliers to hold the garage door in place or ask someone to help you.
Step 3: Bring wheels back to track
Use a pair of pliers and open the track precisely at the spot where the roller has jumped out of the track. Put the rollers back inside the track and close the opening in the track. Finally, use a rubber or wooden mallet to bring the track back into the correct shape.
Step 4: Manually check for proper alignment
Now that all the rollers are fixed, the next step is to manually check if the rollers are operating smoothly and if the door is opening correctly. You can do this by manually opening and closing the door a few times. While you’re at it, you can test its balance as well.
If the track is still misaligned, repeat the steps above until the entire track is correctly aligned.
Step 5: Check the automatic operation
Now that you’ve made sure that the door is back on track, hanging straight and operating well manually, it is time to check the automatic operation. Use the remote control to activate the opener and allow the door to automatically open and close a few types. If this final test is successful, then consider your garage door as good as new. If you are still having trouble getting your garage door back on track, there may be more issues with your garage door system than you originally anticipated. Contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. to schedule an expert garage door repair service.
Fixing your off-track garage door is a breeze if you have the right skills and tools. Follow the above-mentioned steps to quickly fix your garage door and make sure to hire a garage door repair company to perform regular maintenance of the garage door opener system. By doing so, your doors will stay reliable and functional for years to come.
Why is My Garage Door Leaking?
The modern garage is more than just a safe space for our cars. It is a place to fix, create, and store our personal possessions. Therefore, it is important to keep it dry. But, does water always seem to find its way into your garage after a storm? That is likely because your garage door has developed a leak. A leaking garage door can become frustrating because you’ll constantly have to dry out and clean the garage. Additionally, leaks can lead to unwanted problems like mold and mildew that can make it smell and become unsafe.
Here are some possible causes and remedies for water in your garage:
- Poor door seals
A broken seal is one of the most common causes of water leaking under the garage door. The moment rainwater hits your garage door, it will start to seep into your garage. You can stop this by replacing your old, worn out seal with a new, reliable one. By doing so, you’ll also keeps leaves, pests, dust, insects and other unwanted debris out of your garage. Call an expert in garage door repair Pittsburgh, PA for help replacing the seal and making your garage door water-tight.
- Clogged or broken gutters
Does it look like the garage door leak is coming from the roof? It might be the gutter. Your gutter might be clogged with moss, pine needles or other debris. This will cause the water to drip directly off the garage roof instead of being drained away properly. You can resolve this by cleaning or repairing the gutter. If needed, install new gutters and downspouts that will divert the water away from the garage door. Functioning gutters and downspouts will protect the garage floor and the foundation.
- Downward sloping driveway
A downward sloping driveway can cause water to easily drain into the garage. In this instance, it is best to have the soil grade adjusted on your property. The best option is to dig a drain trench in the concrete in front of the door and install a steel or PVC pipe. Place an iron grate on top so water can drain into the trench instead of flowing into your garage.
A water-free garage will save you money and time, and prevent the forming of mold, rot, and other foundation issues. Remember to replace worn-out garage bottom seals, clean clogged and broken gutters, and make sure the soil on your property is even. If you think a worn out seal is your problem, get a quote for expert garage door repair Pittsburgh, PA services from Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. today.
How Often Should My Garage Door Be Serviced?
Most people in Pittsburgh will only service their garage door when it shows signs of weakness or when something breaks. Unfortunately, this is a dangerous approach that can end up costing more money in the long run. Garage doors just like other mechanical devices can experience wear and tear, therefore it is pertinent to regularly check and/or service your garage door.
How often does my garage door require professional service?
The Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. professional Pittsburgh garage door technicians say it is best to service your garage door at least twice a year. However, you can also incorporate your own simple preventive maintenance routine that includes lubricating areas of the door, and tightening bolts and screws. Still, it is imperative to have a Pittsburgh garage professional check your garage door semi-annually. When servicing your garage door, consider the following:
When to Service
For complete assurance, service your garage door system at least twice a year. Ensure that one of those services occur in the fall season to prepare for the cold winter temperatures and snow. Check the door again in early spring when temperatures and moisture levels have changed.
Rollers & Hinges
Rollers and hinges must always be in perfect condition. These parts are prone to splitting and cracking, therefore they should be checked, and repaired regularly to ensure they are secure.
Balance the Door
If your garage door is halfway open and you notice it moving up and down, it is a clear sign that the torsion needs to be adjusted. Springs tend to break when they are old or in the winter during cold temperatures. Request the help of a professional repair technician to fix this as soon as possible.
Hearing an unusual squeaking sound when you open or close your garage door? This means that it needs to be lubricated. Lubricate all metallic moving parts with a non-greasy, non-silicone-based garage door lubricant. Don’t forget to open up the motor and lubricate all of the nylon parts with grease – especially the drive gear. Pay special attention to hinges, rollers, and springs, especially during the wintertime as these objects require more lubrication during cold months.
Bottom Seal & Weatherseal
Depending on the condition of the weather seal and bottom seal, it might need to be replaced. The garage door should not have gaps that allow air and light to enter. If you notice these occurrences, it might mean the bottom seal is experiencing wear from animals or shrinkage from moisture, or both.
It is of utmost importance to have your garage door serviced by a professional twice a year. Yet it is also great if you routinely do your own check-up. By doing this, you’ll immediately become aware of the problems your garage door may have and if the help of one of Thomas V. Giel Garage Door’s Pittsburgh garage repair professionals is needed immediately.
Why Shouldn’t Homeowners Attempt Garage Door Repairs Themselves?
As a homeowner, and self-proclaimed handyman, you may want to save money by attempting to complete all the home repairs yourself. This is great for many necessary home repairs, but there is one repair that you should not attempt on your own—the garage door. Garage doors can pose a serious threat to your own safety as well as the safety of family members, pets, or vehicles. There are numerous dangers that are associated with garage door repairs that should be left to garage door installation Pittsburgh professionals. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t attempt garage door repairs yourself.
When it comes to working on or repairing garage doors, knowledge and experience are crucial. One of the most common problems that arise when homeowners attempt to repair garage door problems themselves, is that they inadvertently make the problem worse. As with most things, when the problem is worse it requires more time and money to correct.
Save yourself some time, money, and hassle by hiring a professional and knowledgeable garage door repair technician to fix the problem from the get-go. Not only will they be able to quickly diagnose the issue, but they will also be able to provide you with options on repairs to ensure you get the repair that is right for you and your budget.
It is also important that you have the right tools. Most garage door repairs require the use of unique tools that most homeowners do not have lying around. This is because most homeowners won’t have the need for garage door specific tools to complete other projects around the home. Therefore, purchasing the tools probably won’t be worth the investment.
A professional garage door technician will have all the necessary tools needed to repair any garage door-related issues you might encounter. Not only will they have all the tools necessary, but they will also know how to use them correctly.
You can’t predict everything that is going to happen while performing garage door repairs, but there are three accidents that are the most common during DIY repairs. The three most common accidents include:
- Falls: Garage door repairs require you to work on stools or a ladder. While it is essential to be high up in order to perform the repairs, you are at an increased risk of falling as well. Falling means that you could injure yourself or someone else. You also run the risk of damaging any equipment that you are using during the time of the fall or any that happens to be nearby.
- Springs: Springs pose the greatest danger to homeowners who attempt to repair garage doors on their own. This is because torsion springs are under extreme amounts of tension and pressure. It is this tension and pressure that carries your garage door up and down. When they work properly, they are safe to be around. But when they aren’t working properly, they can be extremely dangerous. Professionals are trained to safely handle torsion springs and know how to prevent them from turning into projectile objects that could cause serious damage and danger.
- Collapses: Garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds. Because of their weight, inexperienced homeowners are at greater risk of having their garage door, and its hundreds of pounds, come crashing down.
Now that you know how dangerous it can be to work on a garage door yourself, hire professional garage door installation Pittsburgh technicians to do the work for you. At Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, we not only install new commercial and residential garage doors, but we also know how to effectively and safely perform garage door repairs! Call us for all your garage door needs.