• 5 Reasons You Should Have a Louvered Pergola Installed This Spring

    black and tan pergola over home's deck

    Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt and perhaps even earlier, pergolas have survived the test of time. They have been used to create shade for terraces and walkways, as the framework to grow vegetation, and as upscale hanging gardens for the affluent social classes. While they have evolved in form and function, pergolas are as beneficial for us today as they were centuries ago.

    The use of a pergola is a way to improve a patio or other outdoor living space that is less than an enclosure but more than an open bare space. Pergolas usually consist of columns that support roofing style rafters or beams. They can be attached to a house or other structure or built as a freestanding structure. The amount of shade a louvered pergola provides can be controlled. The rafters can allow bits of sunshine to peek through or the shelter can be closed and shaded completely. The design styles are limitless and can be adapted to accommodate any style of home and climate. The definition of a pergola also extends to retractable shades or awnings that are popularly used to create backyard retreats and spaces for entertaining.

    Spring is a great time to reimagine your outdoor living space and redesign it to meet your needs and goals. Here are just a few of the ways in which a pergola can improve your lifestyle.

    1. They increase your home’s value – A pergola raises the property value of your home by adding attractive living space.
    2. They are cost effective – The many design options and styles mean that it doesn’t have to break the bank to install a pergola.
    3. Pergolas create privacy – Even though the design of a pergola is inherently open, you can use your imagination to add dramatic curtains or screens to provide greater privacy in your backyard.
    4. They can offer the desired amount of shade – Whether you want some sunshine to nourish plants or complete shade for a cooler space to hang out, there is a design option that is just right for any purpose.
    5. Pergolas require little to no maintenance – The pillars, beams, and stationary or retractable shades are easy to rinse off and can provide many seasons of enjoyment.

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., has the expertise to help you choose the right pergola system for your home. Our insured and licensed technicians can perform the expert installation to create your perfect space. Contact us or visit our website today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

  • Benefits of Different Types of Entry Doors

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    You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the same is true for your home. The entryway and front door can determine if the home looks inviting and friendly as opposed to cold and unnatural. Choices of materials and colors can perfectly complement your home’s style or they can completely distract onlookers from its more attractive elements.

    Your entry door can be a very enticing focal point of your house without breaking the bank or being overly ornate. Since entry doors can be made from different materials and offer options like glass panels and sidelights, there’s always a choice that’s perfect for your style and budget.

    Let’s take a look at the most common types of entry doors and what they have to offer.

    Steel Doors

    If you are especially concerned about safety, a steel door is an excellent choice because it will be harder to break into. In addition to increased security, steel doors also offer these benefits:

    • Energy efficient core insulation
    • Double and triple-paned glass units to let in light and to reduce heat transfer
    • Resistance to warping, shrinking, and swelling
    • Reduction of outside noise
    • Customizable options
    • Easy maintenance that only involves wiping or rinsing off dirt, an
    • More affordable options

    Fiberglass Doors

    The strength and resilience of fiberglass doors mean that you don’t have to use a storm door to protect them. They offer these advantages:

    • Easy installation
    • Durability and strength against harsh weather and heavy use
    • Energy efficiency
    • Lightweight construction to reduce wear and tear on hinges and framing
    • Simple maintenance
    • Secure against break ins
    • Versatility of styles and color options

    Wood Doors

    Wood is a naturally beautiful choice that also has the ability to remain unaffected by changes in temperature because it is a poor conductor of heat. Other benefits of wood doors include:

    • Aesthetics – wood doors invoke a natural rustic feeling that is pleasing to the eye and the emotions
    • Durability – solid wood doors hold up well over time
    • Return on investment – a solid wood door can last a long time while retaining its beauty
    • Resistant to outside noises
    • Fire retardancy
    • Styles include different types of woods and finishes

    If you would like to explore your options or need door installation services, the professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., can recommend a stylish and appropriate entry door for your house style and budget and perform expert and secure installation. Visit our website today for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

  • Benefits of Aluminum Awnings for Your Home

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    There are different types of awnings that have been used for hundreds of years. Fabric awnings date all the way back to ancient Egypt. Did you know that the first retractable awning was discovered during the time of the Roman Empire? Called a velarium, it sheltered the colosseum. In the United States, the first crude awnings began to appear over store windows in the mid-1800s.

    While styles have changed, the purpose of awnings has not. They were always meant to shelter buildings, people, and goods for sale from the heat of the sun. Now, people can choose from fixed, retractable, motorized, and portable awnings. There are also choices of materials that include canvas, polyester, cotton, or metal.

    The most common choices for metal fixed awnings are copper and aluminum. While copper is considerably more expensive, aluminum awnings present several reasons why they are a practical and sound choice to provide shade and protection for your home.

    1. They are more affordable than awnings made of copper or other metals.
    2. They can withstand high winds, rain, snow, and excessive heat without bowing, warping, or stretching.
    3. Aluminum awnings can last as long as 50 years with proper care.
    4. You can express your personality, because aluminum awnings can be crafted in a wide range of colors and styles including modern and traditional.
    5. They can save you money on your energy bills by sheltering your home from the heat of direct sun. The rooms inside a home that are protected by awnings are generally 20 percent cooler than other parts of the house.
    6. Aluminum awnings require very little care. All that is needed is the occasional brushing or rinsing off of dirt and debris to keep the awnings looking their best.
    7. They increase your outdoor living space by creating a protected patio and lounging areas.

    If you would like to explore awning benefits and the addition of awnings to your home, the experienced professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., can recommend the best styles for your home and provide expert installation. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

  • Should I Repair or Replace My Garage Door?

    Thomas V Giel Garage Doors-should-repair-replace-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.

    1. How old is the garage door?
    2. How much repair does it need?
    3. What is the garage door’s overall condition?
    4. Is the garage door opener still in good condition?
    5. Is the garage door safe to use?
    6. How much money can be devoted to it right now?
    7. 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.

  • 10 Things You Should Never Store in Your Garage

    Many people use their garage as a type of storage room. They run across something they aren’t using or don’t have room for, so they store it in the garage. This gets the unneeded items out of our way, but it also falls prey to the “out of sight, out of mind” principle. Fluctuating temperatures, rodents and pests, and humidity are some of the enemies your garage harbors that can damage your belongings. Other items just pose safety hazards regardless of the conditions inside the garage.

    These are some of the things that should never be stored inside a garage.

    1. Gasoline, Propane, or Other Combustibles – Propane should always be stored outside. You should store gasoline outside or in other outbuildings that won’t pose as great of a risk to your home.
    2. Paint – Leftover paint is great to have when touch ups are needed but storing it in a garage can cause it to thicken and separate due to temperature changes.
    3. Canned Food – Temperatures that exceed 85 degrees will cause spoilage while dampness and humidity cause cans to rust.
    4. Paper Documents – Paper attracts chewing pests like mice and silverfish and varying temperatures can make books and paper curl and crack.
    5. Photographs – Humidity and high temperatures can make photographs stick together causing irreversible damage.
    6. Clothing and Bedding – Even though they may be tightly wrapped up, tiny insects, moisture, and exhaust fumes and other odors can still creep into and ruin fabrics.
    7. Unused Electronics – Moisture from condensation or other pests can destroy circuit boards and other components.
    8. Wood Furniture – Wood swells and contracts in response to changes in temperature and moisture can cause veneers to warp.
    9. Spare Refrigerators – Higher temperatures make refrigerators work harder to keep food at lower temperatures. This extra effort causes an increase in your energy bill.
    10. Firewood – While it would be convenient to only have to go out to the garage to get a few pieces of firewood, a stack of firewood can also harbor insects and mice that can invade other areas of your garage.

    Regularly declutter your garage to avoid causing damage to your belongings. Removing debris and food particles from your garage will prevent rodents and other invaders from being drawn in.

    A great way to protect your car, your belongings, and the rest of your house is to have a secure garage door that has been installed properly. If you need garage door repair or are interested in reviewing options for a new garage door, contact the experienced professionals at Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc.

  • Why is Water Leaking into My Garage?

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors-why-water-leaking-into-my-garage

    It’s normal to see small accumulations of water on your garage floor that were caused by strong rainstorms or melting snow. They are usually easy to clean up or evaporate with no issues, but there may be a problem if you are finding more than the occasional puddle. Water accumulation in corners or odd spots that are causing damage need to be attended to. While looking for a garage door leak is a good place to start, there are many other sources to consider.

    Here are some areas to check for water leakage.

    1. Damaged or Broken Door Seals – If the gasket, or bottom seal, of the garage door is damaged or torn, it will let in water, debris, and unwanted animal pests.
    2. Garage Door Problems – Things like the door being off of its alignment or other damage could also be allowing water into your garage.
    3. Rain Gutters – Water can pool and seep into the garage if there are no gutters to drain the water away from the house or if the existing gutters are leaking.
    4. Surrounding Terrain – Gravity might be causing the water to flow naturally to its lowest point which might be the floor of your garage.
    5. Deteriorating Seams – Seals around windows and doors may need fresh caulk to keep moisture out.
    6. Sill Plate Deterioration – If the sill plates at the foundation of your home have been damaged by decay or termites, they could be the source of the problem.
    7. Plumbing Issues – A leaky pipe or water heater can cause water damage.
    8. Missing Shingles or Moisture Barriers – Damaged roofing or siding might be allowing the water to get into your garage.

    Floor cracks and pitting can pave the way for more damage that occurs over time. Water that continually soaks wood framing and drywall leads to structural damage, the possible formation of mold, and very costly repairs.

    Garage door repairs, such as replacing the gasket, may be the solution. An experienced, fully insured, trusted garage door company will provide trained experts who can identify the problem and guide you through the repair process to include choosing a new door if necessary. If you are having a water problem in your garage, contact Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., for a consultation.

  • 4 Benefits of Upgrading to an Insulated Garage Door

    Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors-4-benefits-upgrading-insulated-garage-ddors

    Garage doors serve many purposes. They secure our homes by locking out intruders, they keep animals out, and they create a protected space for our vehicles and other belongings by sheltering them from the weather. While just about any kind of a garage door can suffice, there are things that insulated garage doors do that go beyond protecting our homes and the possessions inside.

    Here are some reasons to consider upgrading to an insulated garage door.

    1. Insulated Garage Doors Make Less Noise – Non-insulated lightweight doors often  make the most noise. This can be an issue for people trying to sleep or work in rooms located directly over the garage or next to it. Insulated doors are heavier and the panels are made of tightly bonded materials, so they vibrate less when moving up or down along the track. They can also help to block more noise from the area surrounding your home.
    2. Insulated Garage Doors Last Longer – Since the panels are constructed from layered materials, they are stronger and more durable than non-insulated doors. Older style garage door panels are made by wrapping thin sheets of steel over the panel frames, which makes them essentially hollow. They can be easily dented or damaged when hit by a car, a bicycle, or even a basketball or football. A dented garage door takes away from your home’s curb appeal and value. With an insulated garage door, you can ensure the value of that garage door for years to come.
    3. Insulated Garage Doors Save You Money – An insulated garage door will hold more heat inside your garage and therefore, your home. This means that less heat is lost from your home through the garage and your furnace won’t have to work harder to compensate for it. Your insulated garage door will save you money on your heating bills each month.
    4. Insulated Garage Doors Protect Your Car – Cold weather affects cars in adverse ways, such as decreasing the air pressure in tires, thickening engine and brake fluids, and causing the battery to have a harder time starting the vehicle. An insulated door can raise the temperature inside the garage to about 42° F when the temperature outside is 20°F. Car batteries work best at temperatures between 30 and 90° F. Upgrading to an insulated garage door protects some of your biggest investments, your home and your vehicle.

    Choosing the right insulated garage door for your home involves knowing which materials would provide the best value and style. An experienced garage door installation company like Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc., can show you the available options and help you make an excellent choice.

  • Most Common Garage Door Repairs

    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. 

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

  • How Safe is Your Garage Door?

    Garage Door

    As a homeowner and the head of your household, it is your responsibility to make sure all the inhabitants of the home are safe and out of harm’s way. Whether it is black mold or stray wires, keeping up with hazards can become exhausting. But one danger that tends to be forgotten is your garage door. From faulty sensors to aging garage doors, these household staples could create serious problems. Here are some questions you can ask to determine how safe your garage door really is. 

    Is it Time for a Garage Door Replacement?

    There are a lot of moving parts that must work together perfectly for a garage door to function properly. If the pulleys, track, cables, etc. are not working, it is time to replace your garage door. If you procrastinate, this can cause potential harm to you or your loved ones. 

    Are My Garage Sensors Operating Correctly?

    It is always a good idea to periodically check your garage sensors for problems. If for whatever reason it has complications opening and closing or is behaving erratically, be sure to check the photo eyes for issues. More times than not the problem needs a minor fix that can be completed easily. But sometimes it is mandatory that a garage door installation professional visits your home and fixes the malfunction. In situations like these, it is often better to be safe than sorry. While homeowners may believe they’re saving money with a DIY project, if done incorrectly, these seemingly harmless projects can be dangerous for your home’s residents and vehicles. 

    How Do I Know if My Garage Door is Safe?

    One easy way to test your door to see if it is working properly is to frequently place an object in front of the sensors to see if the garage door is shutting and opening the way it should. A garage door balance test can also be a beneficial way to determine the safety of a garage door. Release the emergency lever and lift the door, it should stay even and steady, but if it were to fall, it is time to get in contact with a Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. technician to come and take a look. 

    There should be no higher priority than that of keeping your family safe from potential dangers. Your home should be a place of safety and peace of mind, this is why it is so vital that you continuously check your garage door to ensure it is safe. For more helpful information, visit the Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. blog

  • 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 Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. professional services. 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. The Thomas V. Giel Garage Doors, Inc. 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.