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How To Teach Your Children Garage Door Safety

how to teach your children garage door safety

The good news is that automated garage doors, installed and maintained by licensed professionals, have never been safer. The reality, however, is that accidents happen. If you have small children, please create a safety-first culture by teaching your children how to use the garage door safelyas well as what to do if there is an accident. 

Create Explicit Rules To Teach Your Children Garage Door Safety

We recommend reviewing our post, Garage Door Safety Tips for an Accident-Proof Home. There, you’ll glean excellent fodder for your home’s rules and expectations around the garage door.  

  • Explaining how heavy and dangerous a garage door can be, including its ability to trap small children and pets. You may even want to pull the garage door emergency cord to show how the door can fall on its own if there is a malfunction, demonstrating the difference between a door controlled by an automatic system and one that isn’t. 
  • Never play near, stand near, interrupt, or try to enter/exit a garage while it is in motion. It’s best to steer clear of the garage door altogether. 
  • Moving garage doors are off-limits. Never touch or go near a garage door that is moving. 
  • Keeping remote controls inaccessible. Consider storing your garage door openers in an out-of-reach place until your children are old enough to understand and respect the rules. If you keep your remote in the vehicle, lock the doors when the car’s not in use, so kids aren’t tempted to remove it. 
  • Make a steadfast rule about who can and can’t open the garage door – and when. Perhaps the first stage of the standard dictates that only children 8-years old (or 10) can open the garage without an adult present. Or, you may require that children ask permission first, so you are aware they are going to be using the garage door opener and can supervise the process. Some families install their garage door opener at a higher-than-normal location and set the guideline that children can’t use the door opener until they’re able to reach the button without tippy toes.  
  • Children need to report when the garage door is partially open. Garage doors should never be left in a partially open position. This encourages children to enter and leave the garage door through the tempting space, putting them at risk for being trapped or injured if the door is operated by an unknowing parent or sibling. Let kids know that a partially-open garage door is a danger and needs to be reported to a parent immediately. 
  • Likewise, report malfunctions ASAP. If your older children notice the door is making a strange sound or isn’t operating as it should, they should stop using the door immediately and report the issue to you.  

If you do have older children in the mix, we recommend sitting down together and reviewing 10 Not So Obvious Signs That It’s Time to Replace a Garage DoorThe post provides helpful information so they can recognize when a garage door needs repair and replacement, which is a red flag that the door is not safe until the issues are resolved. 

Additional Garage Door Safety Tips 

Here are additional, helpful garage door safety tips that will keep your children safe around the garage door. 

Never perform DIY repairs on your own 

Garage doors should always be repaired or replaced by licensed professionals. Many of the safety issues and injuries we’ve encountered in our local area were the result of DIY garage repairs gone wrong. Repair costs are affordable and certainly worth the safety (and labor guarantee) that goes along with them. 

Replace your garage door if it’s more than 15-years old 

Garage doors have come a long way in terms of energy efficiency, lightness, and durability – not to mention built-in safety features. If your garage door is 15-years old or more, we highly recommend replacing it with a safer alternative. 

Avoid garage door installation or repair offers that seem too good to be true 

As licensed, professional garage door installer, we do our best to remain competitive. Still, there’s much to be said for the expression, “you get what you pay for.” To provide top-quality products and services, we use high-quality materials and fairly compensate our trained employees.  

If you’re tempted by a low-ball offer for a brand new garage door installation or repair deal, remember that garage door scams are a real thing. Read, How to Avoid Garage Door Repair Scams, to identify the red flags that will help you hire legitimate installers and repair professionals that focus on safety-first. 

Maintain your garage door to maintain garage door safety

The best way to avoid a malfunctioning garage door (aka, an unsafe garage door) is to observe the manufacturer’s routine maintenance guidelines, included in the owner’s manual. Some of the maintenance tips, such as keeping the door clean and free of debris or lubricating it two or three times a year, are perfect DIY tasks. Others, such as replacing the spring or track repairs, are best left to the professionals.

Hire A Professional To Help Keep Your Family Safe

Is your garage door due for an inspection? Interested in personalized tips to teach children to safely use the garage door? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo. We can schedule your maintenance or garage door installation to sync when children are home so they get a Garage Door Safety 101 lecture from pro! 

The Benefits Of An Access Control System

the benefits of an access control system

At the root level, access control systems for gates, entrances, or doorways are all about safety and security. However, they also offer additional benefits, not the least of which is never having to replace lost or stolen keys again. 

In case you are new to the idea of an access control system, here’s a brief explanation of what they do – and how they work. 

Access control systems work via a secure, designated network. Most often, they utilize keypads and user-specific codes that track movement (time/date stamped entrances, exits, and/or access) at desired locations in and around a property and its buildings 

Systems are custom-designed to fit your business’s needs. Access control panels can be installed at: 

  • Entrance gates 
  • Front/side doors 
  • Delivery doors 
  • Private offices housing sensitive information 
  • Designated rooms or areas 
  • Labs 
  • Storage areas 
  • Etc. 

While keypad/PIN or card scan models are the standards, upgraded, higher-security access control systems utilize biometric data, like fingerprints, before allowing access. The systems can also include other functions such as communication through speakers, timecard tracking sent directly to payroll, audio/video recording, etc.  

7 Benefits of a High-Quality Access Control System 

The combination of digital and smart technology, have made today’s access control systems more accurate and secure than ever before. Over the past decades of installing automatic gates and commercial doorswe’ve converted hundreds of customers into access control systems fans.  

Here are some of the benefits these customers appreciate the most: 

Accountable security 

Stating your building is secure is one thing; holding yourself accountable to that promise is another. From clients or patients trusting you with their sensitive data to residents who demand security in residential or commercial spaces, your access control system appeals to the public’s desire for safety and security. They allow you to stand by your word. 

No more lost keys (or costly re-keying)

Relying on keys is a nightmare for any business or mixed-use building where occupants’ safety – as well as the security of products and merchandise –depends on employees’ being responsible with their keys. 

How many times have you had to rekey a building – or certain areas of a building – as the result of an employee’s lost or stolen key(s)? If employees or residents are unwilling to admit or report a lost/stolen key, are you willing to put the rest of the building at risk? What about when you have to fire an employee or s/he quits without notice – and without returning the key? All of these scenarios compromise the safety of your building and its occupants and can require the expensive rekeying of the entire building or premises.  

Access control systems put an end to that because employee/occupant/user-specific codes can be programmed and canceled in an instant. An access card and the reissuing of new codes take just a few minutes – and it doesn’t cost your company a dime. 

Real-time tracking of others’ access and movements 

The combination of user-specific codes and date/time stamping means you have an accurate, trackable record of who was where – when – and for how long. Doctors’ offices, laboratories, pharmacies, warehouses, or other commercial businesses whose products are at risk for theft appreciate the level of trackability access control systems offer. 

Should a theft occur, odds are the access control records – along with the security systems video footage – will be the invaluable links to solving the crime.  

No strangers allowed with an access control system

The combination of your access control system, a routine security protocol, and the right, well-maintained commercial or personnel doors means only one person can access the building or designated area at a time. This bars strangers from the ability to slip in behind a security-cleared employee or vendor. 

Streamline shift changes 

Shift changes present the ideal opportunity for nefarious employees or their associates to plan a theft. The chaos that exists as multiple employees come in and out between shifts makes it challenging to track their movement. 

Access control systems and security doors can be specifically designed to organize the process around shift-change times, keeping things more streamlined. 

Leveled and time-tiered access 

Are there certain areas of your building or premises that are off-limits at certain times of the day or evening? Access control panels are easily programmed – and reprogrammed via secure software and user accounts – to provide day- or time-specific access. You can ensure some employees have access to general areas only, while others have full-access privileges, and so on.  

Employee safety and security

Employers operating 24/7 businesses, or whose buildings are located in a less desirable area of town, feel more confident about their employee safety after access control panels are up and running.  

Keypad or card access is far swifter than fumbling around for a key or dropping one, which means employees can enter and exit the building more quickly. 

Let Us Give You Peace Of Mind

Are you interested in designing a customized access control system for your Bay Area business or home? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo and schedule a free, on-site consultation.

Why Are Fire Door Inspections And Drop Tests Important?

why are fire door inspections and drop tests important

Fire doors are designed to slow down or prevent the progression of fire and smoke from one area of a commercial building to another. The National Fire Protection Agency created NFPA-80, outlining the parameters and stipulations that must be met when installing, repairing, and replacing fire doors to ensure they’ll function as designed when and if a building catches on fire. 

Routine fire door inspections and drop testing is outlined in NFPA-80 and must be performed at least once a year. Fire doors in heavy-use buildings and more conscientious building and business owners may opt to have fire doors inspected more often to err on the side of caution. 

Fire Door Inspections & Drop Tests Keep Building Owners in Compliance 

If you are the owner of a commercial building with fire doors, or you own a business in a building where your customers and clients depend on fire doors to keep them safe in the event of a fire, take note.  

  • Are your fire doors inspected annually or bi-annually? 
  • Do you have documented paperwork or digital files on record to prove it? 
  • Are you unclear as to whether or not your building/business’s fire doors have been inspected in the past year? 

If there is any question as to whether or not your building’s fire doors have been inspected or drop tested in the past year, look into it ASAP. In the event of a fire emergency, fire door failure can lead to injury, fatalities, and may also come back to haunt you via crippling litigation. 

What To Expect During Your Fire Door Inspections and Drop Tests? 

There are several steps required for inspection and drop testing.  

Verify your fire door installer/inspector is qualified and verify references 

The first step is to confirm your commercial fire door installer, inspector, and repair company is certified to do the work.  

The Health Facilities Management Magazine recently posted an article about ill-intentioned garage door “professionals” that are actually scammers. They write, “More and more vendors are offering low- or no-cost inspections of fire and smoke doors to facilities, with the expectation that they will also be the vendor that completes the remediation and/or repairs. This has created large and sometimes inaccurate lists of deficiencies that may or may not be critical for repair. 

Verify your fire door company’s credentials and certifications, and speak with their commercial building references to ensure they perform honest, high-quality work. 

General visual fire door inspections 

As with any commercial door inspection, the technician begins with a visual inspection. They’ll look at the overall condition of the door, looking for visible signs of tampering, ill repair, missing or loose parts, etc. 

Specifically, the technician will look for: 

  • Loose, damaged or misplaced bolts or mounting assembly parts 
  • Compliance with manufacturer’s instructions for welds and welding sites 
  • Fusible links are in the right locations 
  • That fusible links, chain/sash cables are not coated with grease, kinked, dented, misshaped or cut
  • There is nothing attached to, connected to, or obstructing the fire door that isn’t a part of its designed assembly
  • That the smoke detectors, and the fire door release assembly, function properly 

Find and repair damaged or missing parts 

Depending on the style of the fire door, the inspector will look for damaged or missing parts related to the specific door style’s design and function. This includes: 

  • Dented, bent, punctured, fatigued or otherwise damaged metal or slats on rolling or overhead doors 
  • Any signs that end locks are broken, bent, damaged, or not functioning efficiently 
  • Looking for dented, bent or damaged bottom bars 
  • Misalignment, bent or angled channels, loose bolts, etc. in the guide assembly 
  • Any missing, broken parts, or for drop or release arms that are tied, blocked or wedged, in the automatic closing mechanism 
  • Signs of poorly aligned or meshed gears of other malfunctioning or damaged parts comprising the operating mechanisms 

Operational test 

Some fire doors are meant to remain open at all times, except when they close automatically in response to fire or smoke alarms. Others are used day in and day out. Thus, the fire door safety inspector will test the door’s basic operation to make sure the door is properly balanced.  

Any signs the door isn’t working means the parts/systems must be completely repaired and in good working order before moving forward with the drop test. 

The drop test 

Assuming your fire doors have been well-maintained and are in good shape, the fire door specialist will proceed with the drop test. 

The drop test requires two separate steps: 

  • Step One: Make sure the door closes as it should 

As per the door manufacturer’s instructions, the technician will start by triggering the door to close. Fire doors should shut easily, securely, and quickly – between six- and 24-seconds – from the fully open to the fully closed position. 

  • Step Two: Ensure the automatic closing devices reset 

Once the doors have completed the first part of the drop test, the fire door safety technician will ensure the door’s automatic closing device completely resets. 

Failure in either part of the test leads to a correction or repair and retesting until the door passes without any hitch. If the door continues to fail after multiple repairs or parts replacement, the fire door may need replacement. 

 We Can Help Keep Your Business Safe

Are your fire doors due for their annual inspection and drop test? Contact R&S Erection of Vallejo. Our commercial technicians attend regular training and they have ample experience inspecting and drop testing commercial fire doors.

Commercial Doors For Colleges And Universities

commercial doors for colleges and universities

There are few commercial settings that require the gamut of commercial door options than colleges and universities. Diverse campus settings accommodate a wide variety of needs and services, from residential housing in dormitories to personnel and counter doors in various office and commercial settings as well as rolling and loading dock doors utilized by food services and storefronts selling school-related merchandise.  

Due to heavy daily use, and increased need for improved campus security, top-quality fabrication and professional installation are essential to ensuring commercial grade doors for colleges and universities work easily, efficiently, and safely every day. 

Getting The Most From Commercial Doors In University Settings 

The following are tips for ensuring you’re getting the most from commercial doors installed in university settings. 

Work with a licensed, experienced vendor for your commercial doors 

First and foremost, you need to work with a licensed, experienced commercial door vendor and installer. The needs of a university far exceed those of the average commercial business. The building plans, safety, and evacuation policies, and legal building requirements must be adhered to for the efficacy and safety of the university’s students, faculty, personnel, and visitors – and to protect the institution’s bottom line. 

This includes professional inspections and repairs. Without verifying a commercial door installer’s credentials, you risk being scammed. Worse, you risk the safety and security of buildings and their occupants in the event of an emergency. 

Don’t forget about firerated doors and maintenance requirements 

The majority of your college’s buildings require fire-rated doors, which must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Designed to automatically shut and lockdown, preventing key firebreaks, routine tampering from curious or mischievous students compromises the doors’ integrity.  

As a result, firerated doors must be inspected and certified on a regular basis. Choosing the right door vendor and installer is essential as you’re forming a longstanding partnership, based on trust. 

Stylish commercial doors for dorms and offices 

Non-utilitarian doors – such as those used in public areas of the college, residential dormitories, and other professional settings have to look as good as they are designed to function.  

Commercial pass door products and personnel doors from major brands (available in steel, stainless steel, fiberglass, FRP, composite), as well as specialty doors,  can be selected to meet the safety and security requirements for the application. At the same time, you can benefit from doors that are stylish and complementary to your college or university’s architecture and interior design. 

Time to replace outdated rolling and counter doors 

Ready to trade-in those outdated, manual rolling, overhead, and counter doors? You should be. In addition to sprucing up the exterior faces of your building, automated options are notably more secure, efficient, and easy to use than their manual predecessors. You may find that attractive wood options far surpass the standard metal options of previous decades.  

For delivery bays or warehouse and mechanical room use, ask your commercial door vendor about vinyl strip roll curtains that keep the weather and debris out, while allowing more efficient entrance and egress from workers, forklifts, delivery trucks and so on. 

Never underestimate the importance of security and safety 

Unfortunately, the recent rise in school shootings has made security and safety a top priority for college and university campuses across the nation. Innovative, high-quality commercial doors make it possible for your community to remain safer than ever.

A recent post in Fortune Magazine outlined how several schools around the nation utilize technology – including the use of updated security doors and locking mechanisms – to keep their communities more secure. Another article promoting smart investments for safer schools cited how after a recent school shootingFlorida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) called for investing in more visible security measures including steel doors, bulletproof glass…” and other options. Steel doors, bulletproof glass, and high-tech locking mechanisms are a must when student and faculty security and safety are a priority. 

Speak to your door representatives about: 

  • Bulletproof glass for common area use 
  • Lockdown potential 
  • Automated silent “shooter” alarms, lockdowns, and security options 
  • Remote, smart gadget access and operation controls that integrate the security and door systems and functions 

In addition to protecting students in the event of a shooting or other violent act, implementing the highest-quality doors, equipped with high-tech locking and automatic shutdown features, also shows the community that you’re doing all you can to keep them safe.

Inspections and maintenance allow commercial doors in universities to do their job 

The job doesn’t stop once the doors are installed. Your garage door company should offer routine inspection and maintenance services. Moving systematically through your university campus’s buildings – scheduled as per manufacturer’s, fire code, and campus safety code’s recommendations – these professional inspections ensure any potential door issues are addressed, repaired or replaced immediately. This is the only way to guarantee doors’ efficient, day-to-day function, and that they will provide the level of security you’ve invested in if an unfortunate emergency takes place.

We’ve Got You Covered

Are you looking for a local, Bay Area commercial door installer who can take care of your campus’s commercial door needs? Contact us here at R&S Erection in Vallejo to schedule a free, onsite consultation. We offer all R&S products directly from our manufacturing plants and distribution centers, allowing us to provide a higher level of customer service and competitive prices.

How To Childproof Your Garage Door

how to childproof your garage door

Are you maintaining a childproof garage door? From pinched (or broken) fingers to more serious or even fatal accidents, your heavy garage door should be installed, maintained, and operated within a “Safety First” framework to keep your children and family safe.

10 Tips On Childproofing That Garage Door

Let your kids know garage doors are dangerous

Because garage doors are largely viewed as utilitarian and used most by adults, we often forget how enticing they are for children. Both smaller and bigger children are often fascinated by the automatic door process, or love to use a partially open garage door as a place to hide or play.

Instilling the awareness that garage doors are heavy, dangerous, and should not be thought of as a “toy,” creates a more reality-based awareness for your children.

Always repair or replace worn out or old garage doors

Don’t let repairs or a potential garage door replacement languish on your “to do” list. As long as your garage door is malfunctioning, making loud or obnoxious noises or vibrations, or needs replacement – consider it unsafe.

Some of the biggest red flags indicating your door needs to be inspected, repaired or replaced include:

  • Randomly opening/shutting on its own
  • Misaligned tracks
  • The door doesn’t close all the way
  • The garage door is warped

Have your garage door installed and repaired by a licensed garage door contractor

We understand the need to save money by performing DIY repairs. However, garage doors should only be installed by licensed professionals. While there are routine maintenance tasks worthy of a DIYer (such as lubricating the moving parts, or repainting an older garage door), hiring a licensed, experienced garage door contractor is the best way to ensure the door is installed and maintained, with precise respect to the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.

Read, 7 Reasons to Hire a Pro for Your Garage Door Installation, for more on that topic.

Raise the height of the wall-mounted garage door opener

If the button to your wall-mounted garage door opener is within the reach of small children, raise it to a height that is greater than what they can access using tippy-toes and outstretched arms.

Keep children away from moving parts

It’s best to open the garage door before toddlers or smaller children are in the garage or wait until they are safely strapped into car seats or boosters before opening the door. Children often become transfixed by chains, moving rollers in the tracks, or the spaces that open/close between panels – all of which can cause very painful or even debilitating injuries when curious fingers, hands, or feet get in the way.

Keep routine garage door maintenance appointments on your calendar

Time flies in a busy household with young children, so it’s easy to miss the routine inspection and maintenance appointments necessary to keep your garage door working well, in good shape, and gleaning the benefits of the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance tasks.

Your garage door should be professionally serviced at least once per year. Fall is a great time to schedule these appointments, ensuring the garage door is ready for winter’s more extreme rain and wind.

Lock the garage door if your child can’t resist

Have a born mechanic or engineer in the family – a child who loves machinery and/or enjoys figuring out how things work? If so, there’s a good chance s/he isn’t going to adhere to the household rules about safe garage door operation.

If that’s the case for you, implement the automatic garage door’s “lock” function to ensure that adults are the only ones able to open/close the garage door until you feel your little one is old/mature enough to prioritize safety above curiosity.

Lock the car doors and store keys out of the reach of small children

Children are born observers, and you’d be surprised how many garage doors have been demolished by an older toddler or young child’s decision to back the car out of the garage. Even “pretend driving” escapades can result in “real driving” if your child has access to the keys and knows how to operate the garage door.

Locking your car doors when the car isn’t in use, and keeping the keys locked up or out of the reach of young children is a wise move.

Test your garage door’s safety functions regularly

Contemporary garage doors are intentionally designed with built-in safety mechanisms. These include the door’s automatic lift response if it encounters resistance (potentially a human or pet) while it’s closing, or a complete resistance to closing if the laser sensors “sense” something in the way when you try to close it. Even so, these safety systems can fail.

Test your garage door regularly, using a bucket flipped upside down, to make sure the safety features work. Put the bucket in direct line with the door’s closed position and make sure it doesn’t close, and then have someone else push the “close” button and stick the bucket in the way of the doors closing pathway and make sure the door immediately stops and reopens.

Invest in a stronger garage door frame, or an insulated garage door

Finally, we’re reversing the idea of “childproof” for this last point. Children’s games and activities are often the cause of damage to the garage door (bumps, dings, scratches, and dents). Spending a little more for a more durable door is a good way to protect your garage door from your children.

Keep Your Family Safe And Sound

The crew here at R&S Erection Vallejo is happy to provide an inspection and routine maintenance to ensure your garage door is as childproof as possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment. (707) 644-5537.

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.