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Benefits Of An Insulated Garage Door

benefits of an insulated garage door

Originally, insulated garage doors were designed for households and businesses in colder-weather climates, where routine freezing (or below-freezing) temperatures are the norm in the winter months. Now, however, Bay Area home and business owners see the benefit of spending a little more for insulated garage doors.

Non-Insulated vs Insulated Garage Door

The standard, uninsulated metal garage door is made using single-layer steel panels. These are held together via the frame. While the doors keep the wind and rain out, they don’t protect the garage from colder, outside temperatures. As a result, your garage will typically be around the same temperature as the outdoor air. Then, they get hotter and stuffier during the summer months.

Since attached garages share a wall, and a doorway, with the adjacent interior living space, this means your internal temperatures are affected. When it’s hotter outside, the room adjacent to the wall will be warmer, and when it’s cold out, your interior space(s) will be colder. This temperature differential forces your HVAC system to work harder to meet the desired thermostat settings, and this increases utility savings.

Insulated garage doors, on the other hand, include an additional steel panel, with a layer of insulation between the two. Your professional garage door installer will help you select an insulation R-value that accommodates your geographic location, your home’s sun/shade exposure, and your household’s needs. This extra layer of insulation makes it an eco-friendly garage door option.

While insulated garage doors can cost up to $200 or more than an uninsulated option, consumers recoup the costs and then some, via energy savings – especially if you plan to use your garage as an additional live or workspace.

Improved energy efficiency

So, improved energy efficiency is one of the biggest benefits of an insulated garage door. You’ll notice a decrease in energy spending, but your HVAC system also benefits from less wear-and-tear, so you may also see a difference in maintenance and repair costs, too.

Better whole-home comfort

If you live in an older home and you haven’t updated your exterior wall insulation, your insulated garage door will also provide better whole-home comfort. You’ll notice less hot and cold transfer between the garage and the wall it shares with your home, and you may also experience a reduction in drafts.

They’re more durable

Garage doors are built to be durable, but they’re still vulnerable. As we mentioned above, a standard, uninsulated garage door has a single layer of steel. The lighter the door, the thinner the gauge, and that means your door is more susceptible to dents or dings from routine, everyday activities.

Since insulated garage doors have two steel panels with insulation in the middle, they’re thicker and more durable than their non-insulated counterparts. That means your less likely to require repairs for minor dents, dings, or other cosmetic mishaps.

Interior comfort

The garage is more than just a place to store the car and toys these days. Bay Area garages are increasingly turning into conversions that make the garage an extension of the home. From bonus rooms and hobby or craft spaces to granny units and rental investments, an insulated garage door means you can enjoy improved, year-round interior comfort and energy efficiency when using the garage, but retain the “garage” function in case you convert the space back or to increase resale value for future buyers.

Quieter operation

Insulation’s primary job is to keep things more comfortable, preventing solar heat gain and loss. However, insulated garage doors are also quieter than non-insulated doors because the insulation also serves as a sound barrier. If you have sound-sensitive family members or someone’s bedroom shares a wall with the garage, your new insulated door minimizes the operational sounds, as well as vibrations during operation.

Don’t forget that routine maintenance, including lubrication, is also essential for keeping your garage door opening and closing as smoothly, efficiently, safely, and as quietly as possible.

An insulated garage door has a good return on your investment

If you’re planning to sell your home in the next several years, upgrading an outdated or dilapidated garage door to a new, stylish, insulated version is a smart investment. According to USnews.com’s real estate section, new, insulated and eco-friendly garage doors gain an 85% return on their investment when it’s time to resell. That is an impressive percentage, especially when you factor in the energy savings and decreased repair costs you’ll enjoy in the meantime.

We’re Here For You

Are you interested in learning more about the insulated garage door options available for your home or business? Schedule a consultation with R&S Erection of Vallejo. We’ll provide a free, competitive estimate for your insulated garage door replacement so you begin reaping the benefits as soon as possible.

How To Properly Lubricate Your Garage Door

how to properly lubricate your garage door

Is your garage door louder and squeakier than normal? Odds are it is calling out for some much-needed lubrication. Lubricating moving garage door parts, hinges, and springs are part of routine garage door maintenance and should be done at least once per year. In addition to ensuring your garage door opens and closes more quietly, a well-maintained door is safer – and lasts longer – than its lesser-maintained counterpart.

Lubricate Your Garage Door

While licensed garage door contractors are happy to do this work for you, DIYers can easily lubricate their own garage doors by following these simple steps.

Close the door and unplug the operator

The first step is to close your garage door and then unplug the garage door motor box. Sometimes, the plug is easily accessible and you can unplug it without much fuss. If the plug is at an awkward angle, or hard to reach, skip that step and cut power to the door via the circuit breaker. Test the garage door opener again to make sure power has been cut, so there is no risk of electrocution or of the door opening while you’re working on it.

Clean the garage door tracks

Sometimes, a noisy garage door has more to do with dirty, debris-laden tracks than anything else. Before you do anything else, place your doors in the fully closed position. If the tracks (the rails on each side that serve as the guide the door slides up/down upon) are excessively dirty, use a broom to sweep away larger cobwebs, leaves, twigs, and debris. A vacuum is also a handy way to suck up excess debris and to access harder-to-reach spaces.

Once the bulk of the larger debris is cleaned off, use a soft, damp cloth and run it up, down, and around the tracks – removing any remaining dirt, dust, or grime. Extra dirty or grimy tracks that haven’t been cleaned in a while benefit from an automotive brake cleaner, which will dissolve away stubborn grime.

Use a lithium-based lubricant specific to garage doors

Do NOT use WD-40 or other, standard de-greasers – and never use oil – to lubricate your garage door. While these products may seem to work at first, their makeup attracts more dirt and grime, which gums up the system. Instead, speak to your local hardware store about lithium-based lubricants, some of which are specific to garage door lubrication. The best options come in an aerosol or spray can.

Where to lubricate your garage door

Now, it’s time to start lubricating. Read the spray can’s instructions to ensure you’re using it safely and as directed. It’s a good idea to wear safety goggles and gloves to minimize contact with your eyes and skin. Wear a mask if you’re sensitive to chemicals or strong smells.

You’ll want to spray the following locations:

  • Hinges. Manually roll the door up, little by little, and spray each of the hinges that hold the panels together at the bends. Just one or two sprays should be enough to thoroughly coat the entirety of the hinges.
  • Rollers. The rollers are those circular disks that roll/slide up and down the track. Inside each roller are small ball bearings. Use the straw or thin attachment to direct the lubricant into the ball bearings and wipe away excess lubricant. Skip this step if your rollers are nylon, rather than metal.
  • Springs and bearing plates. Look toward the top of your garage door and you’ll see a big spring, and each side of the spring is secured at the edge of the door by bearing plates. The circular bearing plates are also moving parts. Use a stepladder or a safe, solid object you can stand on to comfortably reach them. Spray the lubricant towards the center of each bearing plate and on each side of the spring. Manually open/close the door two or three times, enabling the lubricant to distribute more evenly around the moving parts. NOTE: if the springs seem bent, broken or damaged, call a licensed garage door repair company and have them replace the part.
  • Lock and armbar. Give a small burst of lubricant inside the lock to prevent rusting, and then spray lubricant along the armbar that runs along the top of your garage door.
  • Top of the rail. The rail is the arm of the garage door that runs from the top of the door, back to the opener motor, and the chain runs along the top. Lubricating the top of the bar, along the chain, keeps the door operating smoothly and efficiently. We recommend consulting your garage door manual (most are available online by searching the manufacturer/model) and adhering to their recommendations for lubricating the garage door motor.

Congratulations! You’ve officially lubricated your garage door. Now that you’re done, it’s time to reconnect the power and give your garage a test open and close to see if you notice a difference. If it’s still noisy, isolate where the sound is coming from and see if it could use a bit more lubricant. If it’s still making a screeching or grinding sound, contact your local garage door installer and schedule an appointment for an inspection.

Hire A Professional

Have a question about the right way to lubricate your garage door? Need to schedule a routine garage door maintenance appointment? Give us a call here at R&S Erection in Vallejo at (707) 644-5537.

Guide To Having An Eco-Friendly Garage Door

guide to having an eco-friendly garage door

There are plenty of ways you can have an eco-friendly garage door. It starts with the types of materials you select for your door and its finish and continues via routine garage door maintenance that keeps it running safely and efficiently.

Your Step-By-Step To An Eco-Friendly Garage Door

Whether you’re building a new home using green building principles, or you’re interested in replacing an outdated door with an eco-friendly garage door, this guide will take you through the process.

Let your garage door installer know you want an eco-friendly garage door

This may seem like a given, but you’d be amazed how often we start to show people their options and answer all types of questions – only to learn they’re interested in a green or energy-efficient garage door. This is helpful to know right from the outset because it automatically streamlines the options your garage door installer will present, saving you time and energy.

Look for models made from recycled or sustainable materials

Garage door manufacturers understand that demand for more earth-friendly and sustainable garage doors is on the rise. As a result, certain models that are intentionally designed using recycled steel or other metal content. Keep your eye out for a SCS (Scientific Certification Systems) label, which means the door was made from a minimum of 88% recycled content and CFC-free materials in the insulation.

If you’re interested in a solid wood door, focus on garage doors that are made using wood that has been harvested sustainably. Most often, you’ll see some type of wording or logo showing the wood was certified by the FSC. This distinguishing mark ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

Invest in durability and longevity

The lowest-dollar bottom line is an understandable feature for those on a budget. The reality, however, is that you get what you pay for when paying for products you want to last for decades to come. One of the most eco-friendly features a garage door can offer is it’s high-quality materials, craftsmanship, durability, and longevity.

The fewer times you need to replace parts – or replace the door – throughout your home’s lifetime the less demand there is for materials production and the less we clog up the landfills with inferior products.

Purchase doors from:

  • Manufacturers who have a solid reputation in the industry
  • Made from durable, high-quality materials (your garage door installer can discuss the difference in products/materials with you
  • Companies that offer decent warranties

Look for insulation and weather-proofing properties in your eco-friendly garage door

If your garage is attached to your home, it’s worthwhile to purchase a door that is insulated and weatherproofed via weather-stripping/sealing options. The more insulated and weatherproof your garage is, the more insulated and weatherproofed your home is.

Homeowners who install insulated and weatherproofed garage doors – and maintain them well from year-to-year notice a decrease in heating/cooling costs, and improved whole-home comfort because the house maintains more consistent draft-free temperatures.

If you purchase a garage door with window inserts – or you add windows to your existing garage door – you want to verify their efficiency as well. Also, make sure windows are caulked/sealed well – and inspect them each year before and after storm season, re-sealing whenever necessary.

Learn more about specific manufacturers and their practices

Up to this point, we’ve discussed the tenets that make an eco-friendly garage door once it’s arrived and installed in your home. However, a truly eco-friendly garage door is made sustainably from start to finish, including its manufacturer’s business practices and production methods.

For example, you want to order a garage door from a company that:

  • Prioritizes sustainable practices in terms of product sourcing, energy-efficient production, and less-consumptive transport/shipping methods
  • Is conscious of the materials they consume and works to minimize waste and unusable scrap materials whenever possible.
  • Offers FSC- and SCS-certified products
  • Eliminates unnecessary packaging and/or focuses on biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials

Currently, industry leaders in eco-friendly garage door products and production methods include Clopay, Ankmar, Amarr, Martin Doors, Overhead Doors, and Wayne-Dalton. Your garage door pro may have other recommendations or know of locally-based, custom garage door companies or builders in your area.

Extending The Life Of Your Garage Door Is Important

Extending the life of your eco-friendly garage door – or your regular, came-with-the-house door is one of the most sustainable practices of all. What good is the world’s most sustainable garage door if lack-of-maintenance sends it to an early landfill grave? Plus, the same steps required to maintain your garage door also help to keep things safe.

The following tips extend the life of any garage door:

  • Schedule professional inspection and maintenance on an annual basis (or as per your door manufacturer’s instructions)
  • Wash your garage door inside and out once a year to reduce dirt, grime, and other debris that contribute corrosion or part malfunction
  • Keep metal springs and hinges lubricated
  • Keep laser sensors clean, free of cobwebs and other debris so the door can open/close efficiently

When homeowners perform routine inspections and maintenance, they enjoy a garage door that lasts a lifetime – and that’s about as eco-friendly as it gets.

We’re Here To Help

Schedule a free, onsite visit from R&S Erection of Vallejo – (707) 644-5537 – to learn more about eco-friendly garage door options for your home or business.

How To Avoid Garage Door Repair Scams

how to avoid garage door repair scams

While there are home and business owners who perform professional-quality DIY repairs and garage door maintenance, they are an exception. Most of the time, licensed garage door installers are called in to get the job done. The last thing you want is to call a garage door professional for a single repair, only to hear a laundry list of recommended repairs and replacements that seem ingenuine or fake.

Don’t Fall Prey To Repair Scams

Sometimes they are honest and accurate, and other times they are scamming unknowing civilians in an attempt to make more money. How do you know which is genuine, and which is a scam?

Work with the same, trusted garage door installer whenever possible

Customer-centric contractors enjoy long-term, high-quality, and loyal relationships every bit as much as their customers do. This is why we recommend meeting with at least three different contractors when you first install or replace your garage door. You’ll get a feel for their customer service reps and their staff, and can pick the one that seems the most genuine and trustworthy.

Then, over the course of time and various maintenance and repair appointments, you’ll build a positive rapport. That is the best way to avoid garage door repair scams and know that you can trust the information you’re hearing.

Maintain your garage door as per manufacturer’s instructions

If you maintain your garage door as per the manufacturer’s instructions, you’re rarely going to require a suspect list of repairs or parts replacement. This is because a well-maintained garage door has fewer issues, and continued maintenance extends its lifetime.

Of course, over time, certain parts will require replacement, but it’s typically going to happen at a more routine pace, and the explanation (and demonstration) of “why” the repairs are necessary should make sense.

Look for a marked vehicle and clear identification or credentials

High-quality, reliable garage door companies use marked vans or trucks, employ their own technicians on their payroll, and the technicians are identified by their uniform and name tags. Often, companies out to scam people, raking in money on upsells or unnecessary repair and replacement charges hire contracted technicians that drive their own vehicles and have no real attachment or loyalty to any one company – they only care about maximizing their take of the total bill.

You want your garage door repair technician to:

  • Work for a company with an established address and professional work history in your area
  • Drive a truck, van or car with a company logo
  • Provide a detailed estimate (and explanation) of recommended repairs
  • Leave the ultimate decision to you, without any pressure or guilt
  • Work for a company with vetted, recent customer referrals they willingly supply upon request.

Have the technician demonstrate and explain his/her recommendations

If you hear a laundry list of repair or replacement recommendations, and it has you on edge, ask for a demonstration and explanation. The repair technician should be able to show you the parts he’s referring to and explain why they aren’t working up to par. You should feel educated about his recommendations but without any pressure to do something against your will.

Call the company’s main office immediately if the technician performs repairs without your approval

Often, garage door repair scammers repair or replace parts (or said they did) without any prior approval from you. Then, they become “put out” or antagonistic if you balk at paying for charges you didn’t authorize. Playing on your guilt, they’ll make up reasons why it was necessary, and you may find yourself pressured to pay. Don’t!

If this happens to you, contact their head office immediately and ask to speak to a supervisor to explain the situation. You should never have to pay for any repairs or replacements that you didn’t approve or request.

Know just enough about garage doors to feel legitimately suspicious of repair scams

There are a few basic tenets of garage doors and parts that are worth knowing so you can sniff out a scam artist before he gets the best of you:

  • Springs. Garage doors rely on springs to operate, and springs are designed for a certain number of openings/closings. For example, they come in 15,000, 25,000 or 50,000 rated life cycles. The difference in price can be upwards of $100. So, if he recommends a spring replacement on a hardly-used garage, don’t let him sell you a “lifetime springs with a 50,000 cycle rating” or else you’re overpaying.
  • Rollers. Rollers cost less than $10 each and only have to be replaced one at a time. If your technician shows you three worn rollers and wants to replace those three, he’s legitimate. If he shows you one worn roller and wants to replace the entire set – it’s a potential scam.
  • Motors. Sometimes, the motor still works, but a gear isn’t working. If this is the case, the motor runs but the chain doesn’t move. Gears can be replaced without requiring an entire motor replacement, which saves you money.
  • Balance. Garage doors often have to be rebalanced, but you can test this on your own. Unhook the garage door motor from the door and manually raise the door to about halfway. If it’s balanced, it will remain in place or move just a little bit. If it comes crashing down, it’s out of balance.

Hire A Pro

Ultimately, the best way to avoid garage door scams is to work with a locally-owned, licensed garage door company with a good reputation in the area.

Ready to work with garage door technicians you can trust? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo.

Why You Should Cover Garage Door Frame In Aluminum

why you should cover your garage door frame in aluminum

Is your old, outdated or beat-up garage door ready for replacement? Not so fast! Did you know you can recover your existing garage door frame with new, aluminum panels – and cover the wooden door frame alongside it for a complete package? We recommend installing aluminum panels over your existing, wood garage door frame to protect its lifetime and to save yourself valuable lifetime maintenance energy.

Protect Your Garage Door Frame With Aluminum

Here are the four best reasons why we recommend covering garage door frames with aluminum if they aren’t already.

Aluminum is versatile and there are multiple styles and colors to choose from

Aluminum is a lightweight metal and can be easily stamped into a variety of shapes and patterns. Thus, you have a wide range of style options to choose from – ranging from traditional-style panels with lots of raised embellishments and borders to more modern, flat-panel options that create a sleek and streamlined look. Typically, the aluminum panels used to protect your garage door frame are simple and designed to match your garage door, and you have the option to choose additional styles if you prefer.

Most often, these sheets come in 2-foot x 8-foot or 2-foot x 10-foot options and are fabricated to accommodate the lintel and jambs. Installing them can be a DIY job, but we recommend hiring professionals. If you damage, dent or bend the panels in any way during your installation, you’ll have to pay for a replacement. Professionals know how to install them quickly and expertly, and can make any modifications necessary to amend their fit. And, if they happen to damage a panel during the installation, the professional garage door installers will be the ones paying for the replacement.

It’s easy to maintain

Wood garage doors are beautiful, but they are also vulnerable to moisture, weather, and pest damage. As a result, they are considered the high-maintenance garage door option. Aluminum, on the other hand, can be painted any color you want, and are virtually zero-maintenance. This is the main reason why aluminum garage door frame panels are becoming more popular. Now, you have the same ease of maintenance for the original wood frame as you do for your garage door.

Assuming you spray them down a couple of times a year, to remove dust and debris and wash away any evidence of mold or mildew spots, your low- to no-maintenance aluminum panels will last for decades. Aluminum doors don’t fade or rust – which means you won’t need to repaint them at all unless you’re interested in changing the color to match an exterior home update.

If you are interested in repainting your existing garage doors, check out, Repainting Your Garage Door, which provides step-by-step instructions.

Protect the Life of Your Garage Door Frame

Similarly, covering your garage door frame with aluminum panels protects the life of the frame itself. Your door’s wood frame is easy to neglect and because of its exposure to the elements, especially when the garage door is open, it is also more vulnerable to peeling paint, rotting wood, mold or mildew, and pest infestations.

Once the aluminum panels are installed over the existing frame, they act as a shield, protecting the wood beneath from the environment, which means fewer repair and replacement costs over the years.

Improve your home’s curb appeal

Your new aluminum garage door frame immediately boosts your home’s curb appeal. As mentioned above, the finish on your aluminum garage door panels is virtually impervious, which means it never peels, chips or cracks. The same is not the case for traditional, wood garage door frames.

If your garage door is west- or south-facing (with more sun exposure) or is on the side of the house that seems to get the most wind – and, therefore, the most driving rain – you are an especially good candidate for using aluminum garage door frame covers. There is no more worry of paint fading, peeling, cracking, or chipping that diminishes your home’s curb appeal. 

Bonus Benefit: You have a driver who’s hard on the frame

Do you have a driver in your house who is hard on the frame? Do the kids seem to knock or scrape their bikes, skateboards, toys and sporting equipment on the existing frame when they move them in and out of the garage? Your door frame will thank you for an extra protective layer that protects the wood below from permanent damage.

Ready to Cover Your Garage Door Frame In Aluminum?

Are you ready to move forward with your plan to cover your garage door frame in aluminum? Contact us here at R&S Vallejo. We have decades of experience behind us and work diligently with Vallejo-area homeowners and residents to find the garage door and frame styles that are best suited to your architecture and the garage’s use. Give us a call at 707-644-5537 to start the conversation.

Repainting Your Garage Door

repainting your garage door

Repainting your garage doors may be all you need to spruce up curb appeal and make a well-maintained garage door look like new again. Unlike a new garage door installation, repainting a garage door is a straightforward, low-risk, and enjoyable DIY project.

There are several tenets for adding paint to a garage door:

  • Use a paint that’s specific to the garage door material
  • Invest in the highest-quality, exterior paint you can afford
  • Take the time to complete each step thoroughly, so the job looks professional when you’re finished

If you have a touch-up can or container of paint left for you from your garage door installer or the door manufacturer, that’ great. Be prepared, however, for visible signs that the door was touched-up. As a result of sun, weather, and time, odds are the new paint patch will be noticeable.

If you are adding paint to address or cover up anything larger than a small nick or scratch, it may be worth your while to repaint the entire door. In many cases, it’s less time consuming than trying to create “invisible touch-ups.” This is especially the case for wooden doors, which may require additional attention – such as rot or mildew removal – before they can be painted again.

Repainting Your Garage Door If It’s Metal

If you have a metal garage door, you’re in luck because there is far less preparation involved than with a wood door.

What You’ll Need:

  • Old clothing
  • Safety goggles
  • Painter’s masking tape
  • Paintbrush/roller and tray
  • High-quality exterior paint (marine-grade is even better)
  • Fine-grit sandpaper and wire brush (optional)
  • Dropcloth to protect the ground below

Before you start, we recommend disengaging the door from its automatic opener so you can manually open/close it. That way, you can open the door and set the lower panels at a comfortable height to paint. Then, slowly lower the door as you complete each panel.

First: Pressure wash the exterior of the door

Note: If your garage door hasn’t been maintained, cleaned or repainted in a long time, you may need to use fine-grit sandpaper and a wire brush to remove any rust, stubborn stains, chipping paint, etc.

Before you paint, you need to remove all of the dust, cobwebs, and general debris that accumulate on the door. There is no need to get up too close while pressure washing. In fact, if you pressure-wash too close to the door, the powerful spray winds up chipping off the existing paint. Standing a reasonable distance from the door is sufficient to clean it thoroughly.

Second: Tape off the trim

Once the door has thoroughly dried, use the masking tape to protect the door trim, surrounding brick or siding, and so on.

Third: Apply the primer

For the most professional and durable look and effect, apply an exterior paint primer designed for your door’s material. The primer should dry for at least 12 hours for the best effect – so consider this a two-day job.

Fourth: Start painting

Keep in mind that the weather will dictate how you paint. Ideally, it’s best to save the project for a warm-ish day (50° to 70° F is ideal), at a time when that area of the house is out of direct sunlight. That way, you can paint comfortably and efficiently – without the paint drying too fast on you.

Work little by little. Flat paneled doors are easier to paint, more ornate panels require extra time and attention around the details, borders, and raised areas. As you paint, make sure to get the “lips” of each panel (the surface at the top and bottom that separate and then come back together as it opens and closes. Once you’re finished, look at the interior side of the door and see if there are any areas where the old paint color shows and then repaint those as well.

Repainting Your Garage Door If It’s Wood

Ultimately, the process for painting a wooden garage door is the same as a metal one, but it may require more preparation work.

The list of what you need should also include a scraper and caulking material. If the door hasn’t had attention in a while and paint peeling or wood splintering is more severe, use an electric sander to smooth the entire surface. If mildew is an issue, you’ll need to use a degreasing cleaner and a mildew cleaner once the door is sanded. Apply these, remove evidence of mildew, spray the door with a hose to rinse it and then let it dry completely before applying the primer.

Wood is an organic material, so it’s more susceptible to wear and corrosion than metal garage doors.

Once you’ve pressure washed the door – inspect it carefully for:

  • Flaking, peeling paint
  • Rotted areas of wood
  • Cracks or nicks

All of these should be scraped away, and any rotted or cracked areas should be filled and sealed with caulk. Follow the caulking manufacturer’s directions in terms of process and drying time.

Now you can prime and paint the garage as indicated above. Some homeowners opt to use a paint sprayer to expedite the process. Just make sure to thoroughly clean the machine between the priming and painting steps.

Need A New GarageDoor?

Once your door is dry, you’ll benefit from a whole new look. Is your garage door beyond the help of a paint job? Contact us here at R&S of Vallejo and schedule a consultation. We’ll help you select a high-quality, low-maintenance garage door that compliments your current architecture and design.

Your Guide To Adding Garage Door Windows Yourself

your guide to adding windows to an existing garage door

Are you tired of the monotonous aesthetic of a plain garage door style? In the design phases for a garage door facelift or renovation?

The Benefits Of Garage Door Windows

Rather than replacing the entire door, windows are an easy modification that enhances the door’s look as well as its function. Adding windows to your existing garage door no only affect the doors exterior appearance, well-installed garage door windows:

  • Add natural light that saves energy and utility spending during daytime hours
  • Make it easier to utilize the garage for hobbies, social gatherings, or as a game room
  • Enhances garage conversions such as in-law units, an additional rental opportunity or a man cave – making creating a more indoor/outdoor environment

Install Garage Door Windows Correctly

Your professional-level window installation is key to ensuring the windows achieve your overall goals, without compromising garage door safety, function, or security.

Step One: Decide which window style is best for your needs and architectural design

Ultimately, the installed garage door windows should complement your architectural design while also addressing your needs – lighting, upscale aesthetic, etc. There are several styles or designs to choose from. Your professional garage door installer can show you various examples and discuss the pros/cons of each to ensure the windows you select are the best ones for the job.

However, you also need to make sure the windows are customized to address certain functional features:

While installing garage door windows into an existing garage door can be a DIY project, we still recommend consulting with a professional garage door company to ensure you address all of the major bullet points associated with the job.

Step Two: Install a new lift system

If you’re installing new windows into a garage door that currently lacks windows, you’re inevitably going to need a new lift system. The large majority of today’s garage doors are intentionally designed to be light and easy to lift/close. Most spring systems are designed with only about a 5% variance in weight restrictions, so it doesn’t take much extra weight to create an imbalance. Ideally, garage doors are balanced such that they weight about eight- to ten pounds.

Glass is heavy and the additional weight associated with a string of window panels and that requires a substantial lift system to ensure the door opens/closes smoothly and can accommodate built-in safety features. The last thing you want is for the automatic door opener safety system to fail when it comes in contact with a family member or pet who gets in the way of its function.

Step Three: Decide on the right placement

Deciding which panel to remove for your window installation typically depends on the reason you’re adding window panels. Most garage doors have four panels, and we count them from the ground to the top. When the garage door is in the closed position, Panel 1 touches the ground/floor, while Panel 4 is the one at the top of the door.

  • Optimizing daylight: The higher up the windows, the more light can get in. If daylighting is your main purpose, install windows in Panel 4 – at the very top of the garage.
  • Optimizing privacy and security. Similarly, if someone will be living or staying in the garage conversion, or you don’t want passersby to see everything stored in the garage, Panel 4 or Panel3 is the best choice – depending on the slope of the driveway and visibility into the garage.
  • Creating a more indoor/outdoor feel. If you’re planning to use the garage as an office, your hobby spot, or a place to hang out with family and friends, you may prefer to place the panels in Panel 3, where insiders benefit from natural light, but also have a better view of the outside world.

Step Four: Purchasing and installing the garage door windows

Here’s a general outline of the steps involved when adding garage door windows.

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Measuring tape
  • Blue or colored masking tape
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Screwdriver
  • Waterproof caulk
  • A Rag

Measure the panel. Take accurate measurements of the panel where the windows will be installed. The windows must fit exactly – and can never exceed these measurements.

Mark the opening of the window. The back of the window goes inside the garage, while the front attaches directly to the garage door panel. Therefore, the opening you’ll cut out of the panel has to be big enough for the back of the window to fit. Measure the back and then draw its dimensions on the panel using a pencil. Remember the contractor’s golden rule: Measure twice, cut once. Use colorful masking tape to highlight the cut marks and use the inside line as a guide.

Use a jigsaw to make the cut: Use your jigsaw to follow the inside of the masking tape guide and make the cut. Be extra cautious. If you cut the hole too big for the window, you will have wasted the effort and will have to make unfortunate adjustments (new windows or new panel…)

Caulk the window edges. Weatherproof caulk is essential to sealing your garage door from the elements, preventing water infiltration and keeping the garage more airtight during the cooler months. Run the caulk around the edges of the window before installing it into your freshly cut hole. Carefully place and secure the window in the hole and use your rag to wipe away excess caulk around the edges.

Attach the window back(s). Most window backs are screwed to the front, but not necessarily. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions and attach the back of the window securely.

Let Us Help You

Congratulations! You’ve just completed the installation of your new garage door windows. Does something look a little off? Is your garage door not opening/closing well now that the windows are in place? Not sure you want to tackle this project on your own? Give us a call here at R&S in Vallejo, (707) 644-5537, and we’ll send a professional door installer over to give you a hand.

Why Do Commercial Buildings Require Fire Doors?

why do commercial buildings require fire doors

In the United States, commercial buildings are required to be equipped with fire doors. This is true regardless of the nature of the businesses contained within them.

The question is, why do commercial buildings require these doors? What exactly is the law as it pertains to commercial buildings and fire safety?

We’re going to get into those questions below. Let’s begin!

What Exactly Is A Fire Door?

To put it simply, a fire door is a door specifically designed to withstand the effects of fire. Made out of hollowed metal, solid wood, or thick glass, they are big, bulky, and heavy, offering protection against arsons and other types of building fires. Sometimes equipped with panic devices and crash bars, they exist on both the exteriors and interiors of commercial properties.

Other characteristics of fire doors include an ability to block smoke, an ability to close automatically when a fire is detected nearby, and an ability to stop the spread of heat from one of their sides to the other.

Fire doors are required by law in specific parts of commercial buildings. Most typically, they will be found on stairwells, between different sections of a building, and on buildings’ exteriors.

Fire Door Features

As was noted, fire doors are made out of either solid wood, hollow metal, or fire-resistant glass. These three materials work terrifically as fire-stoppers, ceasing the spread of fire almost soon as it meets them.

To offer further protection, fire doors are equipped with intumescent seals. These seals exist on fire doors’ edges and will expand whenever temperatures exceed 200 degrees Celsius. By doing so, they close off the gaps between their corresponding doors and doorways, preventing the inward flow of smoke.

Fire doors can be equipped with a wide variety of locks, from cylindrical locks to crash bars to electronic locks and more. These locks are no different from the ones you’ll find on conventional doors.

Why Are Fire Doors Required?

In the United States, commercial buildings are required by law to possess fire doors. The reason for this is for the protection of employees, customers, and other individuals who make their way into a commercial property. While private residences aren’t required by law to have fire doors, homeowners could still benefit from having them.

In most municipalities throughout the US, the regulation of fire doors is determined by the National Fire Protection Association. While municipalities are allowed to determine their own building codes, they tend to stick with the fire-protection outlines provided by the NFPA.

Where Must Fire Doors Be Installed?

When it comes to commercial properties, fire doors must be installed in a few different locations. The layout of your particular property will determine how many fire doors you require.

First, it’s necessary to install fire doors on all main exits. These will help protect the interior of the building from any exterior fires which might arise.

In addition, if you have a stairwell in your property, it might necessitate a fire door. Other areas which might require fire doors include corridors and horizontal exits.

Consequences Of Not Having A Fire Door

Business properties which don’t have fire doors located in the proper areas can be subject to legal penalty. In fact, even if you do possess the proper number of fire doors, you could be charged for using them in an unlawful manner. For instance, you could have your doors blocked by large objects, preventing them from opening or closing when needed.

If you break fire door laws, you could face jail time. And that doesn’t even include the substantial fines that your business would likely have thrown its way.

In short, you don’t want to break fire regulation laws. And believe us: if you do, you will eventually be caught. Play it safe and have yours installed today.

Understanding Fire Door Ratings

After they’ve been manufactured, fire doors are put through an intensive independent testing process. During this process, they are rated on how well they can handle fire exposure and high heats.

Fire door ratings are generally provided in hours. For instance, a door might have a rating of 0.5, meaning that it can withstand direct fire exposure for a total of 30 minutes.

These doors are generally assigned one of five ratings. These include 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0. The higher the number, the greater resistance the door will have against fire.

Fire Door Certification

When buying a fire door, it’s important to keep an eye on certification. Fire doors are required by law to possess certification stickers. If they don’t, they’re not legitimate and should be avoided at all costs.

Certification stickers should possess a few different pieces of information. These pieces of information include the name of the door manufacturer, the fire-resistant efficacy of the attached hardware, a temperature rise rating, the standard fire rating, and the nature of its smoke-resistant capabilities.

Assessing The Condition Of An Existing Fire Door

Already have a fire door installed? Wondering if it’s time for a replacement? There are a number of signs that a replacement might be needed.

First, check the gaps between the door and the door frame. If the gaps measure in at any more than 4 millimeters, they are too big, indicating that the door can’t do its job properly. Also keep an eye on the bottom of the door, which should not allow any light through.

Next, take a close look at the seal around the door. If it’s damaged in any way, it (or the door) needs to be replaced.

The state of the door’s hinges is important as well. Each fire door should have three hinges, each of which should be firmly equipped with tight screws.

Purchase Fire Doors Now!

Are you in the process of building a commercial building? Looking to purchase fire doors right now? If so, and if you’re in Napa or Solano County, California, we here at R&S Erection of Vallejo are the people to see.

We offer and install a wide variety of commercial fire doors. Regardless of your needs, our team can help you.

Contact us today for a free estimate!

Installing A Pet Door In Your Garage Door

installing a pet door in your garage door

Installing a door for your pet in your garage is a convenient and simple way to grant your pets the independence they want while keeping away unwanted critters from the rest of your house.

This is especially true for outdoor cats, as keeping your garage door cracked open in the evening encourages both robbers and vermin.

Read on to learn about the many types and how to install one.

The Perks

If the rest of your yard is fenced and gated, energetic dogs can take advantage of garage doors by letting out excess energy all on their own in-between walks, as the traditional leash and walk around the neighborhood should never be replaced. And accidents that inevitably occur with puppies and elderly dogs will be easier to clean up.

Not only that but if you live in cold or hot climates and your pets still insist on living their best life outside, a pet door for a garage door enables them to access a safe, insulated environment all on their own. Moreover, garage pet doors won’t waste energy like the ones usually installed on back doors.

Of course, before you even attempt this make sure your is indeed clean and safe for your best friend! Now, read on so you can learn how to install a pet door.

Tools You Need

Before we get started, here is a list of tools you’ll need:

  • Pet door
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Jigsaw
  • Caulk
  • Pencil
  • Carpenters square
  • Caulk
  • Drill and bit
  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver

Your Options

Determine what kind of pet door you’d like by considering what your main reason is for installing one. There are some that only go one way, while others, only open if your pet is wearing a special electronic collar. Others provide exceptional insulation.

The Traditional Flap

This is a classic that is easy to use for pets, and everyone has seen them. They are durable, but there are also issues when it comes to possible intruders or vermin. But if your pet door leads into a garage and your door is locked, this shouldn’t be an issue!

Hard Plastic Doors

These hard plastic doors come with a locking mechanism that slides a plastic cover over the door. Although your pet won’t be able to use it while it’s locked, this is especially helpful if your pet isn’t allowed out at night and you want to ensure your house is secure while you’re asleep.

Magnetic/Electric Door

These work with your pet’s collar and will only open for your pets when they attempt to go through. Although these are more expensive than traditional flap or plastic doors, these ensure that no other creatures can go through the door, and may be worth it for the peace of mind alone!

Installing A Pet Door In 6 Easy Steps

Placement

Determine where you’d like to place the pet door while considering the garage door. Make sure that the pet door won’t be blocking or cutting into any supports or braces.

Also, you’ll need to ensure that the bottom of the pet door is two inches above the bottom of the garage door, and the top of the pet door is two inches above your pet’s shoulder.

This will give your pet a comfortable fit while avoiding any structural issues that could occur with your garage door.

Measure

Next, use your tape measure and carpenter’s square to measure where the top of the garage pet door will be, marking it with a pencil line. Draw perpendicular lines so that you’ll also know where the top corner is, and utilize your level so that all your lines are even.

Outline

Finish marking the rest of the lines where the pet door will be. Hold up your pet door to the outline to ensure it’s accurate, and double check with your level to make sure all lines are even.

If the lines are off, your pet door won’t close evenly, which is especially important if you live in the north – you don’t want your garage getting cold and drafty!

Cornering

With your drill and a 1/4 inch bit, drill a hole just inside each corner of the pet door markings. This will create rounded corners.

Cutting

Make sure that your jigsaw is equipped with a blade that’s appropriate for the material and thickness of your garage door. Starting with one of the corners you’ve drilled into, cut the outline of your opening. Afterward, sand the edges so that your pet won’t hurt themselves getting in and out.

Assembling Your Pets New Door

Line up your door with the opening of the frame you’ve just cut and ensured that there are no exposed raw edges. If they are, seal them with weatherproof paint or sealant before you continue with the next steps.

Afterward, hold up the pet door again and mark all the locations of the screw holes. Apply beads of caulk all around the edge of the opening while avoiding the locations of those screw holes.

Now, screw the pet door frame into place! Test the door to make sure it opens and closes correctly and apply more caulk around the edges.

We Can Help

While these steps are simple, it still takes time just learning how to install your pets door as well as crafting your own garage pet door while ensuring you’re not damaging the structural integrity of your garage door.

Finding a professional may be worth it instead because you can use the time saved playing and interacting with your best friend! Not only that, but your peace of mind that everything was done properly is almost priceless – these are our babies, after all.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you install a pet door or any of your garage door needs!

What Is A Personnel Door And Why Does My Business Need One?

what is a personnel door and why does my business need one

Did you hear about the guy who first invented door-knockers?

Apparently, he won the no-bell prize.

…Sorry. Enough with the bad door-jokes.

Indeed, the entryways to businesses are no laughing matter. They’re of huge importance for a host of reasons. For instance, take security. A burglary happens every 18 seconds in the United States. And, according to the same source, 34% of burglars get in through the front door.

Clearly, for businesses with valuable equipment, materials, and products onsite, it pays to get the right door for the job. But which do you choose? Of all your options, personnel doors won’t let you down. Indeed, these particular doors offer a wide range of benefits to any business.

But what are they, and why do you need one?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is A Personnel Door?

First, let’s take a look at what a personnel door actually is.

At their core, they’re simply another form of a commercial door. However, what sets them apart is their primary purpose. They don’t cater exclusively to the needs of customers or the public. Instead, they’re intended to withstand the rigors of employee usage too.

In essence, personnel doors are those used most commonly by the employees in the building.

Think about the classic sales line of ‘I’ll go check out back’. The doors they pass through are a prime example of a personnel door. Likewise, think waiters and waitresses passing in and out of a restaurant kitchen. That swing door is another personnel door.

They have a different function to the average door. Whether the public uses them as well or not, they’re in near-constant use. Compare that to the average household door, which might open a handful of times each day.

The requirements are just different. As such, the materials, hinges, styles, and features vary accordingly to match the specific needs of the business.

Why Your Business Needs One

Now we know what a personnel door actually is, let’s turn to the advantages they offer your business.

Separate Employee Areas

Some businesses demand areas that are off-limits to the public.

Personnel doors are exactly that. Regardless of the type (whether it’s a rotating, sliding, swinging, automatic, or standard door), they help designate areas that are specific to staff members.

They can be fitted with locking mechanisms too. Codes, key cards, fingerprints and so can all be used to open them, in relation to your business’ requirements.

In so doing, the working area becomes private, secured and separated from the outside spaces. No unwanted visitors can gain unexpected entry.

Greater Security

As a result, these doors offer far greater security.

It all depends on the use and requirements of the building. But businesses that demand added security will usually opt for heavier-duty doors with specific locking mechanisms. Banks, prisons and forensic hospitals are all examples of premises that would require security from their doors.

The specific features included are customizable depending on the need. Strong, hardy materials such as steel can be used, any glass can be reinforced, and the frames and hinges would be impervious to movement.

It’s worth mentioning fire-security too. After all, not all dangers come from intruders. In most public buildings the doors must be able to protect against fires. Personnel doors are what’s required.

Need security? Get a fit-for-purpose personnel door.

Aesthetic Appeal

These doors offer a nice blend of the functional and aesthetic.

Simply, they look good as well as performing to a high standard. That’s important for all sorts of businesses that must combine style and practicality. Take the example of banks again.

The front entranceway is key to attracting people into the building. But it must be strong and easily secured in case of an emergency too. Corporate offices and major hotels are two further examples.

It’s easily done with personnel doors. There’s no real limit to the aesthetics you can find. All manner of materials and designs are available.

Different Styles

By style, we mean type.

And the type of door places a big part in its aesthetic and functionality. Personnel doors come in a wide range of different styles. As we’ve already noted, you can opt for sliding, swinging, revolving, and traditional doors.

You can also find corrosion resistant doors that mitigate particular environmental hazards. There are materials designed to be weather-resistant too (to protect against the elements). Then you have double-door systems and more.

Anything you need for your specific business, you can usually find a door to match.

More Durable And Long-Lasting

Durability is a foundational part of a proper personnel door.

Think of the rigors they’ll have to put up with each day. For security and fire purposes you may need to keep them shut. You can’t prop them open. That means people may pass in and out hundreds of times on a daily basis.

Ordinary doors would wear out in no time. The hinges would deteriorate and the frame would suffer. By contrast, personnel doors are intended to withstand such use.

Adhere To Regulations

A final advantage derives from your responsibility to adhere to regulations.

As you know, your business premises must provide a safe working environment for employees. That extends from the general (such as fire safety) to the specific (for instance, panic hardware). Personnel doors can cater to all regulations you’re required to meet.

Time To Wrap Up

There you have it: exactly what we mean by a personnel door and the main advantages they offer your business.

Doorway and entranceway consideration may seem like an unnecessary bore to keep in mind. After all, there are much more important business tasks to do.

However, the doors in your buildings shouldn’t be forgotten. Among other things, a proper door can be the difference between a successful and failed burglary attempt. Personnel doors are a vital inclusion on your premises.

Hopefully, this post has highlighted and convinced you of their many virtues!

Like this piece? Click here to get a free estimate for how much personnel doors will cost in your premises.