Garage Door Maintenance


Prevent Rust on Garage Doors and Garage Door Springs

Prevent Rust on Garage Doors and Garage Door Springs

Houston is a humid place, and it can rain a lot here. That rain and humidity can cause rust to form on both your garage door springs and the garage door itself. Once rust starts, it’s hard to contain the corrosion. Corrosion on the garage door springs can cause the garage door springs to break. Corrosion and rust on a garage door can cause weak spots on the garage door, cause the garage door to either break, get off track, leak water into the garage, or be a security issue where someone to breaks in just to name a few issues. There are things you can do to prevent rust on garage doors and garage door springs.

Garage Door

Garage doors are made to last 10-15 years or more, but rust and corrosion can really shorten the lifespan of your garage door. If you have a metal garage door, you have the possibility of rust or corrosion. There are two main types of metal garage doors, steel and aluminum. Now, even though aluminum does not rust, it does corrode. The best way to keep ahead of any rust or corrosion is to keep the garage door painted. That means inspecting the door twice a year to make sure the whole garage door is covered, and that there are no chips or cracks in the paint. If something impacts the garage door like a branch from a storm or vehicle, make sure to inspect the area as soon as you can. You want to make sure there is not any exposed metal on the garage door. If you find an area where your paint on your garage door has chipped, pealed or been scratched away, we have a great how to called How to Fix Chipped Paint on a Garage Door.

Garage Door Parts

Now in keeping with the garage door, you also have to give consideration to the garage door hardware and parts. Sectional garage doors, which are the most common, will have hinges between each section. You will want to inspect each hinge and replace any that are already rusted. For the others you want to apply a garage door, or all-weather lubricate to the hinges. Never use WD40! Inspect your garage door tracks and wipe them down if there is any dust or debris on them. Do not lubricate your garage door tracks.  If you are using metal garage door rollers, you are going to need to lubricate them too. We suggest switching to nylon garage door rollers, as they are quieter and do not rust. You are also going to want to check your garage door cables and make sure they are not rusting to the point of about to break. If they are, it is best to replace your cables before they break.

Garage Door Springs

The standard cycle life for a torsion spring on a garage door is 10,000 cycles. That equals to about 3 to 5 years. Your garage door spring is just one big metal coil. That means they are easy to rust. Rust can greatly reduce how long the garage door spring (also known as a torsion spring) will last. Like the garage door, you need to inspect your garage door springs twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Springtime. Also, upon inspection it, it is best to also lubricate your garage door springs with garage door lubricant. This lubricant will help prevent rust and corrosion.

Garage doors, their parts, and garage door springs all are vulnerable to the elements, and that can cause rust and corrosion. However, with a little diligence and prevention, you can keep rust from being a problem. If you are in the Houston area, and rust has already gotten to your garage door or garage door springs, call Spectrum Overhead Door LLC for award-winning garage door repair service.

 

Garage Door Maintenance for Fall Season

Garage Door Maintenance for Fall Season

The fall season is one out of two times a year you should be doing your garage door maintenance. The reason you should do your garage door maintenance in the fall is that temperature drops combined with rain and humidity can damage parts of your garage door. Yet, with a little garage door maintenance and tune-up, you will be good to go. Let’s look at what garage door maintenance you should be doing for the fall season.

Your Garage Door

We are going to start off with the garage door first.  You are going to want to inspect these parts and replace and or fix any damages.

Garage Door Hinges

If you have a paneled garage door, these panels are held together with metal hinges. The moist, humid Houston air can play havoc on metal parts and make them rust. If the hinges get too rusty they can make the garage door malfunction. Check your garage door hinges for any rust and spay them down with garage door lubrication. If any of your hinges are covered with rust, it would be best to replace those hinges with new ones.

Garage Door Weather Seal.

Your garage door weather seal is your defense against fall rain getting into your garage, let alone any bugs or critters looking for warmer places during those first few cooldowns.  heck to make sure your garage seals nice and tight with the ground. As the weather gets colder during the fall and winter, older the rubber is, the more chance it has to crack. If the weather seal looks old and worn, you can easily change out the weather seal yourself.  Read our post on How To Prevent Your Garage From Flooding to find out how.

Clean and Repair Your Garage Door.

You will want to catch any paint damage or rust spots early. If you have any paint damage or rust spots, See our post on how to clean and fixed chipped garage door paint for instructions on how to take care of that issue.  If a panel on your garage door has been dented, it might be a good idea to go ahead and replace that panel. Depending on the severity of the dent, it can affect the henges and how the garage door operates as a whole, putting undue stress and strain on the spring and opener motor.

Garage Door Hardware.

Garage Door Track.

You will want to make sure there isn’t any dust or debris that could get in the way of the garage door rollers. Wipe away any dust or debris with a damp cloth, then spray down with garage door lubrication.  You are also going to want to make sure your garage door track is nice and tight to the wall. The vibrations can loosen the bolts securing the track. If the garage door track gets out of place, it can impede your garage door opening and closing and could even get it stuck in a crooked position.

Garage Door Rollers.

If your garage door rollers are nylon (like we recommend) you are going to want to check to ensure they’re not worn, cracked, or chipped. If any of them are, you will need to replace them. You can order garage door rollers here.

Garage Door Springs.

One of the biggest metal parts of your garage door system can be affected the most by the change in temperature, your garage door springs.  The moist air can cause your springs to rust. When the air gets colder, metal contracts and can cause your garage door spring to break. You will want to check for rust on your springs and lubricate them down with garage door lubrication.

Your Garage Door Opener.

Chain Driven Garage Door Openers.

If your garage door opener is chain driven, you will want to look for rust and lubricate the chain according to your openers operational manual.

Older Garage Door Openers.

Garage door opener models that are upwards of 15 to 20 years old can be affected by the changing weather. The cold weather can make your garage door opener lag in it’s timing while the newer models are built to withstand the outside temperatures better.

In order to help you better prepare your garage door and garage door opener for the fall and winter, we have put together this handy one-page Garage Door Maintenance Checklist PDF.

Spectrum Overhead Door LLC has been serving Houston area garages for over 14 years with award-winning garage door repair service. Call either 281-748-9542 or if you are closer to East Houston 713-557-3407 for a free quote today with no trip charge!

 

 

Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Safety Sensors

Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Safety Sensors

Garage door sensors are an important part of the garage door system. Because garage doors can be heavy and the springs loaded with torque, it would be easy for the garage door to crush something or someone important. It is the garage door sensor’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen. In short, it is the safety mechanism that keeps people, animals, and vehicles safe. That means it’s extremely important that the safety sensors work properly. If you suspect your safety sensors are not working properly, here is a quick guide to troubleshooting your garage door safety sensors.

Why Do We Have Garage Door Safety Sensors?

First, let’s go into why we have garage door sensors at all. This safety feature, like many safety features, was created out a need. Prior to the garage door sensors, some garage doors had a type of pressure-sensitive mechanism such that if the garage door was impeded from closing in some way (such as it was pushing against an object, a person, a car) then the door would stop and open up again. Because this was not a standardized feature and did not always work, tragic incidences would happen with garage doors.  This led to legislation in the 1990’s that federally mandated that automatic garage doors be controlled by these photosensors. They have since likely saved lives AND property damage as they perform their job with each and every push of the button to close the door.

How do Garage Door Sensors Work?

Garage door sensors are 2 small little devices with lenses on the front that are positioned about 6 inches off the ground on either side of the garage door track. Garage door photosensors are constantly firing a tiny laser beam from one to the other and their job is to ensure that nothing is in the path of this beam. If the laser beam is broken (because someone is standing there, or a car is in the way etc.) then the garage door will not close.

Testing Your Garage Door Safety Sensor

To test your garage door sensor, you will need an object like a cardboard box. Place the box in the line of the sensors and try to close the garage door. If the door reverses after sensing an obstruction, your door is functioning correctly. If the door closes on the box, you will want to troubleshoot your garage door safety sensor

Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Safety Sensors

If you find your door not wanting to close, it is possible that these photosensors think something is in the way and are performing their duty. Here are a few tips to help get your door working as needed once again.

Make sure that anything stored near these sensors is moved well away from them. An errant broomstick or misplaced box can block the laser OR knock the sensors out of alignment if they hit one.

Clean the sensor lens so it is free of dirt and debris. Dirt and even spiderwebs can block the lens from sensing correctly and prevent the door from shutting.

Measure from the ground to the garage door safety sensor on both sides and make sure they are at the same height. Also, measure from the wall the track connects to, and make sure the distance away from the wall is the same.

Check to see if the sensors have been bumped. It is possible they are simply out of alignment and need to be adjusted slightly so they’re again “looking” directly at each other. You can try adjusting the photosensors slightly, but if any real force is needed, you might want to call a professional who has experience working with these sensors as they are very fragile and if damaged, they will cease working altogether.

Check your garage door track to make sure it is stable and not loose. If the track is even slightly loose, it could vibrate the garage door sensor, causing it to malfunction.

Also, check to see if the sun at any pot of the day is hitting the sensor. If it is, it can confuse or blind the sensor. If this happens, consider putting a paper tube around the sensor to block the sun.

One allusive issue could also be that there is a fault in the circuit board or sensors as a result of a power surge, water damage, or another failure. If you are still having an issue after following the steps above, then complete failure is a possibility. This could call for the replacement of both safety sensors, and/or the replacement of the circuit board from the head unit.

Faulty garage door sensors can become a pain. If you suspect your garage door sensors have become faulty or your garage door does not close all the way and need help with your garage door repair,   Spectrum Overhead Door LLC of Houston offers same-day garage door repair in Houston and surrounding areas. Call us at 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment.

Common Weather Caused Garage Door Problems

Common Weather Caused Garage Door Problems

Houston weather can be unpredictable. What can be predictable are two things, it will be very hot and humid in the summer and that the weather can damage parts of your home. Your garage door is no exception. Let’s look at how Houston weather can cause common weather caused garage door problems.

Common Weather Caused Garage Door Problems

rusty garage door springOne thing you know about if you live in the Houston area is the humidity. At least 80% of the time the air in Houston is moist and humid. This can lead to rusting of your garage door springs and metal rollersOMMON . During the late fall time, when it starts to turn cold, that rusting can lead to your garage door spring breaking from the metal shrinking from the cold.  The best prevention is to make sure you keep your garage door’s moving parts lubricated. Use a lithium-based grease or garage door lube instead of WD-40. Lubricate your springs, hinges and garage door rollers.

 

Humidity can also cause an issue with the garage door motor itself. If your garage door motor is chain operated, that chain can also rust due to the moisture in the air. Make sure you keep the chain lubricated as well. The hot Houston summer can also affect the electronics in your garage door opener causing a need for an adjustment to the sensitivity or limits of travel for your garage door opener.

Another thing the wet and humidity can affect is the space between the garage door frame and the garage door itself, especially if you have a wooden garage door. Both the frame and or the garage can swell. If the door and the frame swell, the clearance between the two decreases and can cause the door to rub against the frame or even become stuck in place.

If you have a west facing house where you get a lot of sun, it is best to have an insulated garage door. If you have an uninsulated door, you are going to turn your garage into an oversized oven. The sun also can have another effect on your garage, tricking your garage door sensors. When the sun’s rays shine directly on your garage at certain times during the day, it can fool your garage door’s photo eyes into thinking there is an obstruction in the way, preventing the door from closing. The best way to counter this is either to simply wait it out or construct a small cover using paper or cardboard that deflects the sun’s light away from the photo eyes.

If you have a wooden garage door, sun, humidity, and rain can damage the garage door itself. The damage can compromise the vital structural integrity of the door. You’re going to want to water seal your wooden garage door. We recommend re-sealing your wooden garage door every one-two years.

garage doors in Houston TX

Another common weather occurrence in the Houston area is lightning. Combine lighting with electrical brownouts (especially in the summertime) can play havoc on your garage door motor. We recommend installing a surge protector in your garage door ceiling or wherever you have your motor hooked up to.

One of the biggest causes of garage door issues by weather, besides caused by water is wind. Houston is known to get tropical systems, and along with the water comes wind. High winds can blow your garage door completely off, or have high impact damage from limbs a debri hitting the garage door. One of the best ways to prevent this type of damage is get what is known as wind-rated garage doors. Wind rated ( or also known as hurricane garage doors) are rated to take winds and impacts up to and above 125mph. You can learn more in our post, What is a Wind Rated Garage Door.

Houston weather can damage your garage door and it’s opening parts. With simple year-round maintenance though, you can prevent much of the damage from ever occurring. Spectrum Overhead Door LLC offers a garage door tune-up, to take care of the little things before they become costly damages and repairs.

Contact Us About Your Garage Door Issues and Get a FREE Quote Today :

When Do You Need Garage Door Strut Braces

When Do You Need Garage Door Strut Braces

Even though garage doors are made out of some strong materials, they can still have strength and stability issues. Whether by impact, wind or some other force or reason, garage doors can get damaged. That is why garage doors some garage doors should be reinforced. That reinforcement is called a strut brace. So, when do you need garage door strut braces exactly and what are they?

What Are Garage Door Strut Braces?

Garage door struts are long steel bars that are installed horizontally on the interior of your garage door. Screwed into the exposed interior of your garage door, they provide support and reinforcement. These steel bars keep your garage door from bending or bowing under the door’s weight over time.

When To Use a Garage Door Strut Brace

When the Garage Door is Bowing or Sagging

At times, an impact or just time will cause a garage door to bow or sag. A garage door strut can be installed to straighten and support the damaged garage door section. With the strut installed properly the garage door will function smoothly without any sagging or binding.

Hurricane Protection

In California, they get earthquakes. Here in Houston, we get hurricanes. Hurricanes can throw a lot of debris around and slam it into your garage door. A garage door strut brace can help your garage door survive the hard impacts that hurricanes can throw at your garage door.

High Wind

High wind can come from hurricanes or even other non-tropical storms here in Houston. A 60mph gust of wind is something that, without anything else, can cause damage to your door. Garage door strut braces can provide your door with the support it needs to survive the high winds. Without them, high winds could potentially damage the interior of the garage and even possibly your home.

Are There Drawbacks to Strut Braces?

Weight.

Whenever you are thinking of adding a garage door strut brace, you do need to be mindful that you are adding weight to your garage door. It will be important to check the garage door balance. It is possible that you will either have to adjust your current garage door springs or go with a more heavy-duty spring.

Not Always the Right Fix

Though a garage door that is sagging from a broken panel can be fixed by using a strut brace, it is possible that either the damage is too extensive or too many panels are damaged for this to be an ideal solution. In that case, it is best to replace the garage door panels instead.

If your garage door is sagging or the panel is damaged, or you are just generally want to add garage door strut braces to your door, you can contact Spectrum Overhead Door if you are in the Houston area. We have repaired garage doors in Houston since 2006 with award-winning service. Call us at 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment.

How to Measure Your Garage Door Spring

How to Measure Your Garage Door Spring

Your garage door spring doesn’t work forever, though we wish it would. They tend to break about 10 to 15,000 cycles depending on the type of torsion spring you have.  For Single springs, the life expectancy is usually 7-10,00 cycles, dual springs up to and around 15 thousand cycles, and high cycle springs can last up to 40,000 cycles. That equates to about 10-15 years of usage on your garage door springs.  It really depends on not just the type of spring you have to be also how much use your garage door gets. Some use their garage door as their front door, so the garage door springs get more use per day. If you feel it helps you in explaining to your garage door technician what part is broken or if you plan to try to replace the garage door spring yourself ( which we don’t recommend unless you have the right tools and are good at home repairs) we are going to explain how to measure your garage door spring.

Now when you see a broken garage door spring, there is usually about a 2-inch gap between the pieces of spring. It is easy to confuse as to whether include the gap or not in your measurements and answer to that is you do not include the gap.

How to Measure Your Garage Door Spring

You will need Tape Measure.

There are three measurements you will take:

  • Length
  • Inner Diameter Size
  • Wire Size or Known as Coil Wire Size

Garage Door Spring Length

There is a couple of ways you can measure the length of your garage door spring if it is still on the torsion tube. You can take your tape measure and go from the first coil to the last coil. Then measure the gap and subtract the gap measurement from the overall length. You can also measure the two sections separately and then add them together. Either way, do not measure a spring that is still under tension, as it will give you a false reading.

Garage Door Spring Inner Diameter

After that, you are going to want to measure the inner diameter of the spring. Most residential garage door springs are 2 inches, though there are occasions where it is 1 3/4. Commercial garage door springs start at 2 5/8.

Wire Size

The next measurement you want to take is to take your tape measure and put it at the end of the coil. Stretch your tape measure out and count 20 coils and see what the length of that is. The amount of 20 divided by the length will help give you the wire size. You will get a fraction, which you will convert to a decimal. We have broken down some of the common ones for you.

 

Though this is not super complicated, unless you have some handy person-type skills, it really is best to call a professional to replace your broken garage door spring. Spectrum Overhead Door LL has been fixing garage door springs in Houston since 2006 with award-winning service. We treat our customers the way we would like to be treated and have the knowledge and skills to get the job done right the first time. If your garage door spring is broken and you are in the Houston area, give us a call 281-748-9542 to schedule your appointment.

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Garage Door Maintenance