Garage Door Maintenance


Whether To Replace Or Repair Your Garage Door Opener

Whether To Replace Or Repair Your Garage Door Opener

When your garage door opener starts acting up or quitting altogether, you will probably be faced with the question of whether to replace or repair your garage door opener. In most cases, it can be a pretty cut-and-dry answer when you consider a few things. We are going to go over when it’s better to repair your garage door opener, and when it is better to replace the opener.

When it is Better to Repair Your Garage Door Opener.

If your garage door is not operating properly, it’s easy to throw your hands up and say “honey, we are going to have to get a new garage door opener motor”. Yet, before you do that, it might be better to have it repaired. Depending on the situation, you may suspect it is the motor, when instead it may be something else. Let’s look at a few of these possibilities.

Cost-Effectiveness

If the cost of repair is significantly lower than replacement, and the opener has not been prone to frequent breakdowns, repair might be the more economical choice.

Recently Purchased Your Garage Door Opener.

If you have recently purchased your garage door opener, it may still be under warranty, especially if you had a professional garage door company do the work. If this is the case, you can get the garage door opener repaired with little to no cost to you. Even if your garage door opener is outside the warranty time, but still a model that is 5 years or newer, unless you have excessive wear and tear on the motor, chances are it is better to have the garage door opener diagnosed and repaired rather than replacing it.

The Garage Door Opens Only Partway.

When your garage door opens only partway, it’s easy to suspect the motor. This is not always the case. Damaged rollers can also cause the door to stop short of fully opening. Inspect your garage door rollers and the tracks the rollers are in to make sure there are no obstructions or damage to those parts. If that is not the case, the up-limit switch may need to be moved toward the motor unit. This switch is usually a simple touch lever mounted on the end of the track near the motor unit.

The Garage Door Closes Only Partway.

If your garage door only closes partway, your safety sensors are probably out of alignment or going bad. These are near the bottom of the door track on both sides. They are electronic eyes that require a clear line of view between them. Make sure nothing is blocking the line of sight between the two sensors. For more on how to fix your sensors, read Troubleshooting Your Garage Door Safety Sensors

When It Is Better to Replace Your Garage Door Opener.

There are times and situations when it may be better to replace your garage door opener motor. Let’s have a look at a few of these situations.

Frequent Repairs.

If your garage door opener frequently breaks down, requiring constant repairs, it might be more cost-effective in the long run to replace it.

When You Replace Your Garage Door.

If you are getting a new garage door, it may be advisable to get a new opener motor along with it. Your new garage door may have a different weight than your older one and may put more of a strain on your motor, especially if it’s an older model.

Noise Level

Older openers, especially those that operate with a chain drive, can be quite loud. If noise is a concern, replacing your opener with a newer, quieter model like a belt drive or a direct drive might be beneficial.

If You Have an Older Garage Door Opener.

Speaking of having an older model, if your garage door opener is older than 10 years old and is giving you trouble, it would probably be in your best interest to get a new garage door motor instead of repairing the older one you currently have.  The newer ones are going to be quieter than the one you have and have features such as Wi-Fi and a built-in light that your current one does not. In addition, repairs may cost just the same if not more than just getting a new one with better features.

Wanting Newer Features.

As mentioned above, the newer garage door openers have features like Wi-Fi enabled and built-in security light. With Wi-Fi enabled, you’re able to open your garage door with an app on your cell phone. The built-in security light and camera allow you to see who is coming in and out of your garage. If these features are something you do not have but want, it might be worth checking into getting a new garage door opener installed.

Conclusion

When deciding between repair and replacement, consider the age of your opener, the cost of repair versus replacement, and whether the current model meets your needs in terms of safety, security, and convenience. If you are not sure which are the better options, be it replace your garage door opener or repair the garage door opener motor, it’s best to call a professional. A professional garage door repair company like Spectrum Overhead Door  can give you a free diagnosis of the problem and help you decide which is best for you.

Garage Fire Prevention Tips

Garage Fire Prevention Tips

Garages are more than just spaces for parking cars or storing tools; they are an integral part of our homes. However, they can also be potential fire hazards if not properly maintained. As experts in garage doors and safety at Spectrum Overhead Doors in Houston, we understand the importance of fire prevention in your garage. This blog post will walk you through essential tips to help keep your garage, and by extension your home, safe from fire risks.

Store Flammable Materials Safely

Garages often house various flammable materials like gasoline, paint, and cleaning agents. To minimize fire risks:

  • Store all flammable liquids in small quantities and in their original or approved containers.
  • Keep them away from sources of heat and electricity.
  • Consider using a dedicated storage cabinet for added safety.

 Maintain Electrical Systems

Faulty wiring and overloaded circuits are common causes of garage fires.

  • Regularly inspect the condition of your garage’s electrical wiring.
  • Avoid using extension cords as permanent wiring solutions.
  • Consult a professional electrician for any major electrical work.

Proper Placement of Propane Tanks

Never store propane tanks in your garage. Even a small leak can lead to a dangerous situation. Store them outside, in a well-ventilated area, away from your home.

Fire Alarms

Smoke alarms are essential, but in a garage, a heat alarm is more effective due to dust and exhaust fumes that can trigger smoke alarms.

  • Install a heat alarm in your garage to detect unusually high temperatures.
  • Regularly test and maintain the alarm to ensure its functionality.

Keep Your Garage Clutter-Free

A cluttered garage can not only be a fire hazard but can also impede escape in case of an emergency.

  • Regularly clean and organize your garage.
  • Keep items, especially combustible materials, away from appliances and outlets.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Good ventilation helps to reduce the buildup of fumes and heat.

  • Ensure your garage is well-ventilated, especially if you work on cars or use any type of machinery inside.

 Regularly Inspect Fuel-Powered Equipment

Fuel-powered equipment like lawnmowers and power tools can be a source of fire if they leak.

  • Store them properly and check regularly for leaks.
  • Refuel them outside the garage to minimize spillage and fumes.

Be Cautious with Heating Appliances

If you use portable heaters or other heating appliances in the garage, exercise extreme caution.

  • Keep them away from flammable materials.
  • Never leave them unattended and always unplug them after use.

Educate Your Family

One of the best ways to prevent garage fires is to educate your family about the risks and safety practices.

  • Discuss the importance of fire safety and establish rules for the use and storage of hazardous materials.

Conclusion

Fire prevention in your garage is an essential aspect of overall home safety. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of a fire starting in your garage. Remember, safety starts with awareness and a proactive approach. At Spectrum Overhead Doors, we prioritize not only the functionality and aesthetics of your garage doors but also your safety and peace of mind. Feel free to reach out to us for more information on garage safety and how our services can contribute to a safer home for you and your family.

Treat and Prevent Garage Door Rust and Corrosion

Treat and Prevent Garage Door Rust and Corrosion

Rust on a garage door can damage the integrity and the look of the garage door. it’s crucial to treat any rust on the door and prevent rust from developing on your garage door. Many homeowners think a painted metal garage door is a forget-about-it kind of thing when it comes to rust and corrosion, yet that is not the case. Especially here in Houston, where we have a combination of high humidity and saltwater air the closer you get to the coast or ship channel.  In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips to help you in preventing garage door rust and corrosion.

Treatment and Prevention of Rust on Your Garage Door

Regular Cleaning and Inspection

One of the best ways to prevent rust on your door is to clean your garage door and then inspect for cracks or chips in the paint. In order to do so, follow these steps:

  • Gather Supplies: Grab a bucket of warm water, mild detergent or dish soap, a soft brush or sponge, and a garden hose.
  • Clean the Door: Dilute the mild detergent or dish soap in the bucket of warm water and use it to gently scrub the garage door. Pay close attention to areas that accumulate dirt or debris, such as hinges, handles, and bottom edges. Rinse the door thoroughly with a garden hose.
  • Dry Thoroughly: After cleaning, use a soft cloth or towel to dry the door completely, paying special attention to any areas where water tends to accumulate.
  • Inspect for Damage: While cleaning, inspect the door for signs of rust or damage. Look for areas where the paint may have chipped or where the protective coating has worn off. Promptly address any issues to prevent rust from spreading.

Getting Rid Of Current Rust

If you find rust in your inspection, you have a few options. If the rust is really bad but only on one or two panels, you can replace the panel instead of replacing the whole door. If the rust is superficial you can remove the rust.  It’s important to remove all of the rust so it does not spread and stop the oxidization process for good. 

  • Thoroughly wipe down all of your garage door rust with a cloth soaked in white vinegar. 
  • Once you’ve removed all the rust that you can with a cloth, it’s time to go over the rusted areas with a steel wool pad.

Repaint Your Garage Door

A fresh coat of paint not only enhances the visual appeal of your garage door but also provides an added layer of protection against rust. Follow these guidelines:

  • Prepare the Surface: Use sandpaper or a wire brush to remove any loose paint or rust from the door. Smooth out the surface, ensuring there are no rough edges.
  • Apply Rust-Inhibiting Primer: Use a rust-inhibiting primer suitable for your garage door material (steel or aluminum) to create a smooth and uniform surface for paint application. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.
  • Paint the Door: Choose a high-quality exterior paint designed for metal surfaces and apply it evenly to the primed surface. Apply multiple thin coats for optimal coverage. Ensure the paint is completely dry before exposing the door to moisture or harsh weather conditions.

Check Your Weatherstripping

Inspect the door for any gaps, cracks, or damaged weatherstripping. Repair or replace them to prevent water and moisture from seeping into the door and causing rust.

Watch What You Store in Your Garage

In truth, everything said up till now really is common sense advice. Yet the one not really found or talked about much that can cause rust and corrosion of your garage door and garage door part is what you store in your garage. More specifically talking about things like pool cleaner chemicals. Pool chemicals should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. Garages are generally not the best place to store pool chemicals unless they are locked in a storage bin or cabinet. Oxidizers and strong acids corrode metal and can cause heavy rusting of anything metal in your garage, including the garage door itself. 

Conclusion

Preventing rust on your garage door requires consistent maintenance and proactive measures. By following the tips you can ensure that your garage door remains rust-free and in optimal condition for years to come. If rust has gotten to your garage door in Houston, Spectrum Overhead Door has been repairing and replacing garage doors since 2006. Give us a call at 281-748-9542 and book your free estimate today!

 

Weatherproofing Your Garage Door

Weatherproofing Your Garage Door

Houston, Texas, a city known for its scorching summers, occasional thunderstorms, and surprisingly chilly winters, is a place where homeowners must take weatherproofing seriously. Your garage door, often overlooked in this regard, plays a vital role in maintaining your home’s comfort and security. In this guide, we’ll explore how you can weatherproof your garage door to withstand Houston’s extreme climate variations, from the heat and humidity of summer to the occasional winter chill.

The Importance of Weatherproofing

Energy Efficiency

Weatherproofing your garage door can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency. In Houston’s hot and humid summers, a well-insulated garage door can prevent hot air from seeping into your home, reducing the strain on your air conditioning system. Conversely, during winter nights, proper insulation retains heat, ensuring your heating system doesn’t have to work overtime.

Protection from Storms

Houston is no stranger to powerful storms, and your garage door can be vulnerable to wind, rain, and flying debris. A weatherproofed garage door can provide an additional layer of defense against the elements, protecting your valuables and the structural integrity of your home.

Enhanced Durability

Weatherproofing measures can extend the lifespan of your garage door. They shield it from the wear and tear caused by extreme temperature fluctuations and exposure to moisture.

Weatherproofing Your Garage Door

Insulation

Start by inspecting your garage door’s insulation. If your door lacks proper insulation or has damaged insulation, it may not provide adequate protection against extreme temperatures. Consider adding insulation to your garage door or replacing damaged insulation panels. Insulation can help maintain a more consistent indoor temperature and reduce energy bills.

Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping is a simple yet effective way to seal gaps around your garage door. Check the seals on all sides of the door, including the bottom. Over time, weatherstripping can become worn or cracked, allowing drafts, moisture, and pests to enter. Replace any damaged weatherstripping to ensure a tight seal.

Garage Door Threshold Seal

Installing a threshold seal at the base of your garage door can further enhance weatherproofing. This seal prevents water, leaves, and pests from infiltrating your garage. It’s particularly useful during heavy rains or when your driveway slopes towards the garage. Here is How to fix the gap at the bottom of your garage door which can help guide you on installing a weather seal.

Regular Maintenance

Routine maintenance is key to preserving your garage door’s weatherproofing capabilities. Inspect the door, tracks, and hardware for signs of wear and tear. Lubricate moving parts, such as rollers and springs, to ensure smooth operation. Tighten loose bolts and screws, as they can allow water and air to penetrate.

Garage Door Opener Surge Protection

Houston’s storms can pose a risk to your garage door opener with power surges. Consider installing surge protection for your opener to safeguard it from electrical surges during storms. This relatively inexpensive measure can prevent costly repairs or replacements.

Painting and Sealing

Wooden garage doors are susceptible to moisture damage. If you have a wooden door, ensure it’s adequately painted or sealed. A fresh coat of paint or sealant can protect the wood from moisture absorption, which can lead to warping and rot.

Professional Inspection and Maintenance

Periodically, have your garage door professionally inspected and serviced. A trained technician can identify potential issues and perform preventative maintenance, ensuring your door remains weather-resistant and in good working order.

Conclusion

In Houston, where the climate can be unforgiving, weatherproofing your garage door is an investment in the comfort, security, and longevity of your home. Whether it’s scorching summer heat or a chilly winter night, your garage door can play a pivotal role in maintaining an optimal indoor environment.

At Spectrum Overhead Door, your trusted garage door experts in Houston, we understand the unique challenges posed by the Texas climate. Our experienced technicians can assess your garage door’s weatherproofing needs and provide tailored solutions to keep your home protected year-round. Don’t wait until the next storm or heatwave; take proactive steps to weatherproof your garage door and enjoy a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and ensure your garage door is up to the task of handling Houston’s weather.

How to Have a Quiet and Easy Lifting Garage Door

How to Have a Quiet and Easy Lifting Garage Door

If you’re tired of dealing with a noisy, cumbersome garage door, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to ensure your garage door operates quietly and lifts with ease. We’ll cover topics like checking if your door is balanced correctly, identifying roller issues, and even providing a quick guide on how to adjust the door’s balance and replace the rollers.

The Importance of Proper Balance

A well-balanced garage door is key to achieving quiet and effortless operation.  Your garage door should go up and down just using one hand just using a few fingers. When the door is balanced and running smooth and running properly it should be easy to open with one hand because the door is counterbalanced by the Springs.  An unbalanced door can put unnecessary strain on the opener, leading to premature wear and tear. Also, an imbalanced door can suddenly fall, posing a significant risk to anyone nearby. Ensuring proper balance is crucial for the safety of your family and pets.

Noisy Garage Doors Can Be a Sign of Improper Balance

One of the telltale signs of an unbalanced garage door is excessive noise during operation. If your door sounds like a train every time you use it, it’s time to investigate further. Noisy garage doors are not only annoying but can also be a sign of impending problems.

How to Check The Balance Of Your Garage Door

Now that you understand the importance of a balanced garage door and how noisy rollers can be an issue, let’s walk through the process of checking your door’s balance:

  • Release the Opener:To check the balance of your garage door, start by disconnecting the opener. This ensures that the opener is not assisting in lifting the door, giving you an accurate assessment.
  • Manual Lifting:With the opener disconnected, manually lift the garage door about halfway. If it’s well-balanced, it should stay in place without falling or rising on its own.
  • One-Hand Test:Attempt to lift the door with one hand from the halfway point. A balanced door should be easy to lift with minimal effort. If it’s too heavy or falls, it’s likely unbalanced.

Why would a garage door be off balance?

A garage door can become off balance for several reasons, and it’s important to address this issue promptly to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your garage door system. Here are some common reasons why a garage door may be off balance:

Wear and Tear

Over time, the various components of a garage door, including springs, cables, and rollers, can experience wear and tear. This wear can lead to an imbalance in the door’s weight distribution, making it harder to lift manually and putting additional strain on the door opener.

Broken Springs 

Garage door springs are essential for counterbalancing the weight of the door. When a spring breaks, the door loses its proper balance, causing one side to become heavier than the other. This imbalance can make the door difficult to open and pose a safety risk.

Improper Spring Tension

 If the tension in the garage door springs is not properly adjusted, it can result in an unbalanced door. If the springs are too tight or too loose, it can cause one side of the door to be heavier than the other.

Damaged or Worn Rollers

Rollers that are damaged, worn out, or not moving smoothly in their tracks can cause an imbalance in the door. When rollers don’t function correctly, they can create friction and resistance, making the door harder to open and close evenly.

Obstructions or Debris 

Sometimes, foreign objects or debris can get lodged in the garage door tracks or interfere with the smooth movement of the rollers. This obstruction can disrupt the balance of the door.

Installation Issues

If the garage door was not installed correctly in the first place, it may never have been properly balanced from the beginning. Poor installation can lead to uneven weight distribution and operational problems.

Accidental Damage

 Accidents or impacts, such as hitting the door with a vehicle or other heavy objects, can cause structural damage that affects the balance of the door.

Changes in Weather 

Extreme temperature fluctuations and changes in humidity can affect the functioning of garage door components, including springs. Such changes can lead to an imbalance in the door.

It’s crucial to address any issues related to an off-balanced garage door promptly. An imbalanced door can put extra stress on the door opener, potentially causing it to fail prematurely. Moreover, it poses safety risks, as an unbalanced door can fall unexpectedly, leading to accidents and property damage.

If you want an easy lifting garage door and suspect that your garage door is off balance or encountering any issues, it’s advisable to contact Spectrum Overhead Door if you are in the Houston area. We will assess and rectify the problem as we have the expertise and tools necessary to diagnose and fix garage door balance issues safely and effectively.

 

Garage Doors, Springs and Openers, How Long Will They Last?

Garage Doors, Springs and Openers, How Long Will They Last?

Whether you currently own a home or buying a home for the first time, if your home has a garage, it’s important to know how long each one of the major components of your garage door system will last. That is because sooner or later you will probably have to either replace your garage door, repair or replace your garage door spring, or install a new garage door opener. That is why we want to go over the lifespan of each one of these major components, the garage door, opener, and springs, so you can anticipate the costs better and understand why maintenance of each of these parts is important.

How Long Does the Typical Garage Door Will Last?

The short answer, most doors will last 15 to 30 years by most manufacturers’ standards. Yet when you look at that number, that is a pretty big gap, by double of years to be precise. Why such a big gap? This is because there are a lot of determining factors in determining the lifespan of the garage door.

What Determines How Long Your Garage Door Will Last?

One of the biggest factors in how long your garage door will last is the type of material used in its construction. The most common materials used for garage doors are steel, wood, and aluminum.

The Lifespan of Garage Doors By Material

  • Steel doors tend to last the longest, with an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years. They are durable, resistant to rust and corrosion, and require minimal maintenance.
  • Wooden doors, on the other hand, have a shorter lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. They are susceptible to rot, warping, and cracking due to changes in temperature and humidity. However, they provide a natural and warm aesthetic appeal that many homeowners prefer.
  • Aluminum doors have the shortest lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. They are lightweight, rust-resistant, and require minimal maintenance. However, they are not as durable as steel doors and can dent easily.

Another factor in the lifespan of a garage door also depends on how well it is maintained. Regular maintenance, such as lubricating moving parts, tightening loose screws and bolts, and keeping the door clean, can significantly extend its lifespan. Neglecting maintenance can cause parts to wear out quickly and lead to costly repairs or replacement.

Frequency also plays a part, The more frequently it is opened and closed, the more wear and tear it will experience. Therefore, a garage door that is used several times a day will have a shorter lifespan than one that is used only a few times a week.

You also have to take into account that your environment also affects the lifespan of a garage door.  Here in Houston, the weather can be extreme. Extreme temperatures, exposure to sunlight, and exposure to saltwater or other corrosive substances can cause the door to deteriorate quickly. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, it is essential to choose a garage door material that can withstand those conditions.

Replacing Your Garage Door

Now, how do you know when it’s time to replace your garage door? Here are some signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement:

  • Age: If your garage door is approaching its expected lifespan, it’s time to start considering a replacement. Waiting until it breaks down can be more costly in the long run.
  • Damage: If your garage door has significant damage, such as a dent, crack, or broken panel, it may be more cost-effective to replace it than to repair it.
  • Noise: If your garage door makes loud, unusual noises when opening or closing, it could be a sign that some parts are worn out and need replacement.
  • Safety: If your garage door does not have safety features such as sensors or fails to close properly, it’s time for a replacement to ensure the safety of your family and property.
  • Aesthetics: If your garage door looks outdated, faded, or does not match the style of your home, it may be time for a replacement to improve your home’s curb appeal.

Garage Door Springs

Another part of your garage door system you should keep track of is your garage door springs. Your torsion springs are what keep your garage door from just slamming down as they help the door defy gravity to open and close. The lifespan of a garage door spring is measured in garage door cycles, with the garage door going up and down one time considered a cycle. Most garage door springs are rated for about 10,000 cycles.

The life expectancy of a 10,000-cycle spring translates these estimates based on daily usage.

  • Two times daily should last about 13-14 years
  • Four times daily should last about 6-7 years
  • Six times daily should last about 4-5 years
  • Eight times daily should last about 3 years

Once your garage door spring does break, do not try to fix it yourself. It can cause you more damage and issues than you started with. Call a professional to replace your garage door spring. It will save you time and money in the long run.

Garage Door Openers

The garage door opener is another piece that you really should know the age of. The lifespan of a garage door opener will depend on various factors, such as usage, maintenance, and quality of the device. Generally speaking, a well-maintained garage door opener from a reputable brand like LiftMaster can last 10 to 15 years, while a cheaper and poorly made model may only last for 5 to 10 years.

Factors That Wear Down a Garage Door Opener

Usage

  • The more you use your garage door opener, the shorter its lifespan will be. Every time you open or close your garage door, you’re putting stress on the motor and other components of the opener. This wear and tear will accumulate over time and eventually lead to failure.
  • You can expect the device to wear out sooner if you use your garage door opener multiple times a day, such as if you have a large family or run a home-based business. On the other hand, if you only use your garage door opener a few times a week, it may last longer.

Maintenance

  • Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan of your garage door opener. Like any mechanical device, a garage door opener needs to be lubricated, adjusted, and inspected regularly to keep it functioning properly. One of the most important maintenance tasks is lubrication. The moving parts of a garage door opener, such as the chain or belt, need to be lubricated periodically to prevent friction and wear. Other maintenance tasks include adjusting the tension of the chain or belt, tightening screws and bolts, and inspecting the safety sensors.

Quality

  • The quality of the garage door opener is another factor that affects its lifespan. A well-made opener from a reputable brand will generally last longer than a cheaper and poorly made model.

 

Now, why do we mention parts other than the garage door? Because to get the most out of your garage door and extend its lifespan your garage door parts need to be regularly maintained as well. If you want to know more about getting the most out of your garage door, read our post, Extend the Life Of Your Garage Door

Spectrum Overhead Door LLC has been serving Houston area garages for over 16 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!

 

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