Garage Door Remodel: 5 Essential Factors To Consider

garage door remodel 5 essential factors to consider

Garage doors make up a significant part of your home’s curb appeal. An old garage door can be an eyesore and detract from your home’s aesthetic style while also being a safety and security hazard.

Our team at R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc., knows that either a garage door remodel or a new garage door can be the perfect solution for upgrading your home’s exterior as well as your garage interior. Whether you want a completely new door or an update to your existing one, we’re here to help you get the most out of your next garage door renovation.

Garage Door Remodel: Replacement vs Repair

Many homeowners find that a well-chosen garage door makeover improves their home’s curb appeal or helps it fit in better with the neighborhood style. But while an upgrade is an appealing option to enhance your home’s value, it does entail a relatively high upfront cost.

Another option is a garage door remodel with a new coat of paint and repair of minor issues. A garage door makeover may not generate the same excitement as a complete replacement, but it’s better for the budget.

Call us at R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc. for garage door repair in Vacaville, which is the best option for most owners. However, if your garage door was installed 30 years ago, replacing it with a new panel and opening system can change how the entire house looks and feels and is worth the added expense and time.

Existing Garage Door Makeover

Sometimes, a makeover is as simple as painting your garage door to match your home’s exterior. It’s a relatively simple project that can have a big impact.

Clean and prepare

The first step in any makeover project is to prepare the garage door for a new coat of paint. This includes cleaning the door with suitable cleaning materials to remove grime, then removing old coats of paint and masking off the trim to prevent painting accidents.

Choose your color

Since a garage door takes up more visual space than the front door, your color choice will have a massive impact on the personality and appeal of your home.

General tips for garage door color choices include:

  •         Stick with a neutral color if you want to sell your house soon.
  •         If your home is generally neutral in style, consider a bright color to add interest to your home’s exterior.
  •         Paint the trim and details in a muted, complimentary color.
  •         Consider your landscaping and how the garage door’s color will look against a more natural backdrop.

Paint your door

Once you’ve chosen your paint color, the hard work begins. Start by priming the door with a paint primer. Ensure that your door material needs a different primer than a wood one. Priming seals the door and gives the paint something to stick to, helping the paint look better for longer.

Optimizing Your New Garage Door Installation

If your garage doors and mechanisms are showing their age, a simple makeover may not be enough. A new garage door offers a great opportunity to transform your house into a dream home, complete with a convenient garage that does more than provide a safe spot for your car.

Garage door remodel inspiration

The internet is a great place for ideas, and many door manufacturers will provide a virtual planning space that let you superimpose various options onto a picture of your house. Don’t forget to ask friends for brand recommendations and check out the neighborhood to see what styles are popular.

Speak to a professional installer

We recommend a professional garage door installation for many reasons. Installers can guide the homeowner through the selection process and have the expertise and contacts to provide high-quality materials at more affordable prices.

Which Steel Garage Door Is Best?

While wood remains one of the most popular materials for garage doors, modern steel doors can replicate the beauty of natural materials while also offering better insulation. They also allow for windows.

Single-layer

A painted, single-layer steel door is the most affordable option, but it compromises on insulation and durability. While galvanized steel doors won’t rust, they are susceptible to dents and scratches and require frequent maintenance.

Three-layer

These doors contain an insulated core and two steel or vinyl exterior layers. These doors are more robust and offer similar insulation capacity as wood. They are durable and the ideal middle ground between price and functionality.

Five-layer

Five-layer doors contain a low-maintenance exterior skin that can mimic wood, a three-layer insulation core, and a painted, interior-facing layer. While the most expensive option, a five-layer garage door will make your home feel warm and welcoming while requiring minimal maintenance.

Useful Upgrades

While the door is the most important consideration during a garage makeover, a smart owner will consider upgrading other aspects simultaneously. These can improve the functionality of the area or simply make opening and closing the door more convenient. Even installing a heater in the garage can make it feel more welcoming when you come home.

High-cycle torsion spring

Torsion springs are one of the first components to require maintenance. Standard springs have a lifespan of around 10,000 cycles of closing and opening the door, but higher-end options can last for up to 25,000 cycles, resulting in less maintenance.

Better rollers

Rollers impact how smoothly your door opens and how much noise it makes. While it may feel like a small change, you’ll quickly notice how much of a difference these high-quality rollers can make.

Windows in new garage doors

If you use your garage as a workshop, you’ll appreciate having some natural light. Garage windows can lighten up the room, and since the windows often come in frosted versions, you don’t need to worry about sacrificing your privacy.

Work With The Best

If you’ve read about the most common garage door problems and have the same issues, consider calling us at R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc. We have decades of experience installing and maintaining garage doors for California residents, and we’d love to help you have a hassle-free garage door remodel. Call us at (707) 644-5537 for a free consultation today!

Garage Door Opener Not Working After Storm: Causes & Fixes

garage door opener not working after storm causes fixes

Your garage door protects your garage, vehicles, and other property inside from the elements. With years of wear and tear, however, your garage door becomes less reliable and requires maintenance or repairs. A garage door not working after storms is an issue best addressed quickly.

What To Do If Your Garage Door Is Not Working After A Storm

Garage door failures can result in expensive repair costs. Luckily, this problematic issue has some DIY fixes you can try before turning to professionals for a reliable garage door repair in Napa, CA.

Familiarizing yourself with the steps to take can help you successfully repair your garage door if it fails due to storm damage. Your garage door can work like new again in no time, even better, with professional help.

How Do Storms Affect Your Garage Door?

If your garage door is not working after a storm, this could be for multiple reasons. Firstly, a power outage could be the culprit, so you should check your breakers. Your garage door opener connects to your home’s primary power source, putting those without backup batteries at the mercy of your home’s electrical supply. A power outage keeps the unit’s remote control from connecting to the opener.

Circuit damage

A lightning storm can easily damage your garage door opener’s circuitry. It doesn’t necessarily have to strike your garage, garage door, or the opener to fail. Electricity can travel through the nearby ground and into your garage’s electrical system, damaging the garage door opener’s electrical circuit without direct contact.

You likely have a damaged internal garage door electrical system if your home and garage still receive power, but the door won’t open or close. You can also check for unresponsive opener lights and remote controls. These elements may act sporadically or stop working altogether.

Mechanical damage

Lightning can also contribute to mechanical difficulties. You’ll notice mechanical damage when you try to open your garage door manually.

If the door won’t open or makes a grinding sound upon manual operation, this indicates a problem. You could have a broken spring or another faulty component if your unit doesn’t open before or after restoring the power. If so, contact a garage door service immediately to fix everything safely.

How To Restore Garage Door Operation After A Storm

You can take various steps to troubleshoot a garage door not working after storms. Several practical repair methods include:

  •       Attempting manual operation
  •       Resetting the motor
  •       Disconnecting the opener from its power source
  •       Reconnecting the opener to the door

If one of these options doesn’t work, move to the next fix or contact professionals for expert servicing.

Open the door manually

During a power outage, you can still open your garage door manually. Garage door openers have a special cord that disconnects the door from the carriage, allowing manual operation. If your entry doesn’t open with this method, you likely have mechanical issues and should contact professional garage door technicians immediately.

You’ll need to enter the garage through an additional entrance. Locate the emergency release cord from the door’s trolley and pull it down. This action releases the door.

After the power outage, you can reconnect the door to the opening system.

Unplug the unit

Sometimes a simple fix resolves the issue. Your unit may need a power reset after an outage. If you have an older garage door opener, this may repair it without the need to install new components. Here’s how to reset the power:

  •       Unplug the garage door opener and leave it unplugged for a few minutes. 
  •       Plug it back in and check if lights appear on the opener. 
  •       Cycle through different outlets in your garage to ensure it’s not a problem with the outlet. 
  •       Alternatively, unplug and reconnect the sensor wires to see if the sensors are preventing the unit from operating.

Reconnect the opener to the door

After the power returns, you can reconnect the garage door to the opening component. To reconnect the opener, close the garage door and press the garage door’s opener control. If your opener has a “close” option, select this button.

As the garage door operates, the disconnected trolley and carriage will reconnect with the door to allow proper operation again. Some homeowners will need to pull the emergency release cable to facilitate the reconnection.

Reset the motor

Some garage door openers’ motors have a reset button allowing you to reset the system after a power overload. Depending on the opener’s design, you may have to remove a panel to uncover the reset button. Once you’ve found it, press and hold down the button to reset the system. 

Contact the professionals

If none of the above solutions fixes your garage door not working after storms, circuit board damage is likely. So, you should contact professionals for repairs. A skilled garage door repair technician can replace the unit’s circuit board and restore door operation.

Professional garage door repair technicians know how to successfully examine, diagnose, and repair a failed garage door. They have the high-quality parts you need to replace your garage door opener’s circuit board and other damaged components. They can also install a surge protector to prevent future electric garage door opener issues.

Call Us To Resolve Your Garage Door’s Outage

If you notice your garage door not working and none of the DIY fixes resolve its power failure, you’re not out of luck in Napa, CA. The R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc team is ready to assist at any time. We’re always happy to share vital information on preventing garage door outages and other related issues.

Contact our team for fast, friendly, expert service when your garage door stops working. We arrive with fully-stocked trucks to help repair your electric garage door. Whatever the issue, we’ll identify the problem and fix it for a fair price. We know the importance of garage door safety sensors and take them seriously.

Don’t let a power outage keep your garage door inoperable. Call the garage door professionals at R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc. for help with a garage door not working after storms in Napa, CA, at 707-644-5537.

A Quick Garage Door Maintenance Checklist

a quick garage door maintenance checklist

Your garage door is a significant investment that protects your vehicles and other possessions and provides entry into your home. A high-quality, well-maintained garage door can last for years. Following a garage door maintenance checklist once or twice yearly will ensure you keep it in its best condition.

Between the weather’s effects and daily use, your garage door withstands much wear and tear. While you can perform some basic maintenance, some problems are beyond the average homeowner. Contact a garage door technician if your door has severe damage or is inoperable.

The longer you wait to service your garage door, the more problems it will develop. Learn about the signs it’s time to replace a garage door and determine if your needs exceed what maintenance provides. If not, follow the tips below to fix more minor issues.

Garage Door Maintenance Tasks

Specific garage door maintenance tasks may vary depending on the season. Regardless, you should know how to perform maintenance whenever you need to. The following tasks are crucial to include in your regular maintenance regimen year-round. 

Inspect and repair the equipment

The first step of your garage door maintenance checklist should be to inspect the garage door, its operating device, and additional equipment. Without adequately running machinery, your door won’t open or may only open partially.

Note minor damage that could cause future problems. The most basic physical concerns include frayed or exposed wires, rusting metal parts, and other physical damage.

It’s necessary to repair these most fundamental issues as soon as you spot them. Otherwise, these inconveniences become more significant problems later.

Inspect the door for damage

Years of rain, sunlight, and humidity are no friend to your garage door. These elements cause rusting and decrease your door’s longevity and weather resistance. A garage door with physical damage is prone to further mold growth and moisture accumulation.

Gaps in weatherstripping, faded areas, and structural cracks are the most common damage to garage doors. UV rays can make your garage door fade, and mold growth causes additional deterioration.

Weatherstripping keeps drafts and water out during California’s rainy weather. Inspect the door’s weatherstripping for damaged areas. Wash away mold on the door with an aggressive cleaner safe for its material.

Wash the door and other parts

A clean garage door makes your property look great and prevents dirt, debris, and mold from damaging the door or getting indoors. Thoroughly cleaning your door helps keep it in top shape. Here’s how:

  • Wipe the door’s surface with mild soap
  • Rinse with a hose
  • Clean windows with glass cleaner
  • Apply paint to painted doors or stain wooden garage doors appropriately
  • Check that all minor metal parts are tightened and lubricated

Dirt, dust, and other contaminants build up on the garage door tracks and can be tough to remove. Professionals can clean them properly or provide reliable replacements if they’re too dirty to function. 

Check moving parts for functionality

After inspecting the door system and clearing it of debris, the next step of the garage door maintenance checklist is to test the door’s moving parts. Carefully check the rollers, garage door springs, vertical and horizontal tracks, pulleys, cables, hinges, and the spring bar. If you see no damage in these areas, test the door.

Open and close your garage door as you normally would. Be mindful of unusual noises, and note whether it struggles to move along the track.

The door should close entirely and move smoothly without making creaking, squeaking, or grinding sounds. If you encounter any trouble here, you’ll need professional repair.

Test the garage door opener

Without a working garage door opener, your door won’t operate properly. Your door opener should be responsive and have a working backup system. If this isn’t the case, reach out to professionals.

Check that your garage door opener remote has working batteries and that the opener’s lights work when the door opens. Inspect the opener’s wires, belt, and motor gears for tears and other damage, and schedule repairs when necessary.

All garage doors must come with a backup battery system. Test the battery and get a replacement if it doesn’t work.

Check the safety features

Safety features like auto reversal are crucial to preventing accidents. Without regular maintenance, the sensors become dirty and disrupt the mechanisms necessary to stop your door’s operation.

After cleaning the sensors on your garage door opener, put an object in the door’s path and close the door to test it. If this function doesn’t work, you should consider immediate repairs.

Garage door maintenance should include lubricating moving parts

This step is optional in your garage door maintenance checklist, but it can add many years to your garage door’s life. Lubrication keeps mechanical parts moving smoothly. Older garage doors or those with minor rusting may face some resistance when opening and closing, and so will need lubrication.

Key places to apply oil or another lubricant include:

  • The horizontal and vertical tracks
  • The spring bar
  • Hinges and brackets
  • The end-bearing plates 

Balance the door

The last step of your garage door maintenance checklist is to balance the door. An unbalanced door won’t stay upright without assistance and applies negative pressure on the opening mechanism. This behavior results in significantly decreased garage door life.

To check the door’s balance, open it manually. Once the door is half open, release it. If it doesn’t stay up, you should contact a garage door repair company for service.

Contact A Professional Garage Door Repair Company

By following a comprehensive garage door maintenance checklist, you can keep garage doors of any type durable for years. Scheduling garage door repairs alongside maintenance will further increase your door’s lifespan. If maintenance and repairs aren’t enough, expert garage door replacement from R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc. can resolve your concerns. 

Choose garage door repair professionals in Napa, CA, from R&S Erection of Vallejo, Inc., when you need reliable, individualized garage door repair services. Contact our friendly garage door technicians with your questions. Call our Vallejo office today at 707-644-5537. 

How Important Are Garage Door Safety Sensors

Garage Door Safety Sensors

Garage door safety sensors are one of the most important components in your automatic garage door system. It is the sensors’ job to detect whether a person, pet, or thing is in the way, and ensures the garage door doesn’t strike it.  

It’s the Law  

Since 1993, garage door manufacturers have been required by law to include safety sensors on all doors. This law was created as the result of numerous injuries and fatalities that occurred as the result of a garage door closing on a human.  

An article published in the Los Angeles Times back in 1990 states that between 1982 and 1990, 46 children were killed by garage doors that struck them on the way down. The NYT reported that at least 85 children died or suffered permanent brain damage as a result of garage doors between the years of 1974 and 1995. And, these reports aren’t counting the millions of miscellaneous garage door-related injuries that occur each year, largely the result of ignoring basic garage door safety practices. 

While garage door manufacturers continued to make doors lighter, and invent safety features such as the “auto-reverse” feature, most of these safety “innovations” still required contact with an object or person before the door stopped or reversed. This still left children others vulnerable to contact with a garage door. 

As a result, safety standards experts called for garage door manufacturers to come up with something better, and that led to the invention of laser-sensors that could detect motion or interruption in the laser beam’s path from side-to-side and stop the door’s descent. 

In fact, the federal and state residential garage door opener legislation states: 

Residential GDO’s manufactured on and after January 1, 1993 must:  

  1. Have an automatic inherent reverse feature that reverses after 2 seconds upon sensing an obstruction 
  1. Have a 30 second reverse timer that moves the door upward 30 seconds after sensing the door has not reached the fully closed position 
  1. Have a secondary entrapment protection system, which may be either an attached and working external device (example: edge sensor or photoelectric eye) or an inherent secondary system (example: combination sectional door and operator system with the entire door system acting as a force sensing device) and, 
  1. Close the door using the manufacturer’s suggested devices (either a wall switch or a push button remote control). 

Have a Manual Garage Door? Upgrade to One With a Sensor 

In fact, not having a garage door safety sensor is the #1 reason we recommend those with older, manual doors go ahead and upgrade their doors to automatic options.  

In addition to being heavier than most contemporary garage doors, manual doors have no way of “knowing” if your little one is trying to slip through the remaining opening before the door closes or whether a beloved kitty is trying to run back in. Your precious bike or another toy/treasure may be out of its normal alignment and about ready to get smushed before the door crashes down. 

Keep Your Family, Children, and Pets Safe 

Even with all of these features in place, garage injuries are still a reality. In addition to installing an automated garage door with safety sensors, there are several things you can do to help keep your family and children free from potential injury. 

The garage door opener(s) is not a toy 

It’s imperative that your family create a safety culture around the garage door and it’s automatic mechanisms. Children are naturally drawn to the ability to push a button and make something open and close.  

They are intrigued by the thrill of ducking into or out of the diminishing gap between the door and the ground (action hero style), and some are drawn to the sounds or rhythmic motion created by pushing the button over and over and watching the door respond. Remote control power is also compelling. 

Read our post How to Childproof Your Garage Door for more specific instructions on how to keep the younger members of your family safe and accident free. 

Honor the manufacturer’s annual maintenance recommendations 

The better maintained your garage door is, the less likely it is to cause an accident. Above and beyond impact with a garage door, fingers can get pinched, electric currents can cause shocks or electrocution, and powerful springs can snap if they aren’t repaired by professionals. 

Always honor the manufacturer’s recommendations for annual maintenance. Some of these can be performed by you, such as lubrication of moving parts, but others should be taken care of by professionals to avoid unnecessary accidents, injuries or malfunctions. Another benefit to hiring a garage door technician to perform maintenance chores is that licensed professionals are more likely to notice smaller red flags that indicate a repair or parts replacement is on the horizon. 

Ultimately, garage door safety sensors are the best gift you can give to your garage door – and your building occupants, to keep them safe. Visit Garage Door Safety Tips For an Accident Free Home for more suggestions on how to prevent garage-door related injuries. 

Are you  on the hunt for an honest, trustworthy, and affordable garage door company to install your garage door? Contact us here at R&S of Vallejo. We never upsell products, and our competitively priced maintenance appointments are designed to ensure your garage door safety sensors work day in and day out.  

Should You Upgrade Your Garage Door From Manual To Automatic?

should you upgrade your garage door from manual to automatic

There are multiple reasons to upgrade your manual garage door to an automatic model, including safety, security, and convenience. If your current automatic door opener is 25 years or older (installed prior to 1993), you’ll also benefit from the efficient and safety-oriented features of newer, automatic models.

Upgrade Your Garage Door

Here are eight reasons to upgrade your old, manual garage door. 

Safety First

First and foremost, your manual garage door isn’t as safe as it’s automatic counterparts. Without the security of an automatic operating system, your manual garage door is more likely to close on a pet, a childyourself, or your valuable toys if they get in the way. There are no lasers or safety sensors to stop the garage door in its tracks. 

These features not only reduce garage door accidents, but they can also save lives. 

Convenience 

Perhaps you used to pride yourself on the fact that you were able to get out of the car and manually open and close your garage door. It’s extra exercise, right? Or, perhaps you didn’t want to spend the extra money.  

99.9% of homeowners who make the move from manual to automatic garage door openers never regret it. And, we’ve yet to meet the .1% who regret it – we just wanted to err on the side of the conservative. The good news is that you always have the opportunity to switch the electric door into the manual mode whenever you need to. 

Lighting 

The extra light that automatically turns on when you open and close the garage door is a welcome change from the dark you’re used to once the sunsets. Automatic garage door lights are automatically timed to give you plenty of time to get into your car and back out, or to park, gathering your things from the car, and enter the home or breezeway. 

Keep in mind that some LED lights can interfere with your garage door code. Always use high-quality LED garage door light brands or have your garage door technician replace it when needed to avoid the potential of frequency interference. 

Security 

In addition to posing safety hazards, manual garage doors are far less secure than automatic models. They offer several security-oriented features, including: 

  • Entry code pads. Entry codes can be programmed as needed, and reprogrammed if compromised. They protect your home and keep children or others from having spare keys that are easily lost/found by the wrong entities. 
  • Rolling codes. Your garage door mechanism can continually reprogram itself and the remote, ensuring nobody else in the neighborhood can sync their garage door opener to your door. 
  • Lock features. You can lock the garage so it can’t be reopened until the right code is pushed in or you remove the lock feature yourself. 
  • Vacation mode. This disables the garage door from being able to work with remote control. The door can only be opened from the inside. Once you’re home, taking the door off vacation mode re-programs it to your remotes. 

Energy efficiency 

Original automatic doors required far more energy than today’s models. Innovative garage door models that are lighter and less dense, combined with more efficient operating systems, means your garage door automatically opens and closes while using minimal amounts of energy. 

If energy efficiency is important to you, read our Guide to Having An Eco-Friendly Garage Door. 

Easier maintenance 

Well-made and professionally installed automatic garage doors require minimal maintenance to work efficiently and reliably all year long. One annual maintenance appointment from a licensed garage door technician is all your door will need for decades to come.  

If you have an old, manual door, odds are you’re performing the maintenance on your own, more often, and that can be dangerous. Once your automatic door is installed, all you’ll need to do is keep the mechanical parts lubricated and the lasers and track free of debris or blockage. We’ll take care of the rest. 

Smart technology 

Automatic garage door manufacturers have jumped on the smart technology bandwagon. You have the ability to open and close your garage door from your smartphone or gadgets. The system will also sound an alert or alarm if the door is opened – or left open – to keep you informed. 

Quieter operation 

 Your older garage door and its springs are likely pretty creaky and squeaky as you open and close it. And then, there’s the decided “bang” when it’s dropped or let go into the fully open or closed position.  

You and your family (not to mention the neighbors) will appreciate the quiet and streamlined open/close functions associated with your newer, automatic model. 

Upgrade your garage door for peace of mind 

All it takes is one serious illness, a major sprain or break, or the simple aging process to interfere with your ability to open and close your garage door on your own. Having an automatic garage door, with innovative safety and security features, means your door will continue to open and close with a simple press of a button, regardless of what the future holds.  

Update your curb appeal 

If you have a manual garage door, odds are it’s detracting from your home’s curb appeal. With so many contemporary styles and colors to choose from, your new garage door will give your home a much-needed facelift.

We’re Here When You’re Ready

Are you interested in learning more about reliable, affordable automatic garage door options? Contact us here at R&S Erection in Vallejo, or give us a call at (707) 644-5537We’ll help you select the perfect door design and model for your home and price range.

How LED Lights Interfere With A Garage Doors Performance

how led lights interfere with a garage doors performance

The most common DIY repairs are those related to remote interference with your garage door’s performance. Sometimes, the laser sensors on either side of the garage door are out of alignment. Or, you may have to reprogram the remote’s signal. Now, led lights can interfere with frequencies emitted by your remote control, interrupting your garage door’s performance.

Learn All About The Downside Of LED Lights And Garage Doors

How do LED lights interfere with garage door opening/closing? 

All garage door mechanisms have a light bulb that illuminates whenever the door is opened or closed, and if the door is switched into a safety mode or when you first switch it from the automatic system to the manual mode (typically indicated by a flashing light).  

In order to promote energy-efficiency, garage door manufacturers have migrated away from the use of more energy-consumptive incandescent bulbs to more efficient options such as fluorescent or LED lights. 

LED lights are the most efficient options of all. According to energy.gov, LED light bulbs are as much as 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and upwards of 20% or more efficient than fluorescent. Plus, the bulbs last up to 10 years, which means you should only have to replace them once or twice over the course of your garage door’s lifetime. 

Pulse-width modulation and interfering megahertz (MHz) 

One of the reasons LED lights are so efficient is that they have a high pulse-width modulation. This rapid pulsing is invisible to the naked eye but reduces the amount of time the light is actually “on” or using electricity. Most LED lights have a pulse-width modulation rate of about 15 times per second. 

However, they run on a radio frequency of 30 and 300 megahertz (MHz). Your garage door opener operates between around 288 and 360 MHz. When those two frequencies are emitted at the same time, the LED lights cause interference that can override the signal from your garage door opener 

Troubleshooting potential interference with your garage doors performance 

Review these troubleshooting tips if your garage door isn’t opening and closing like it should when you use the remote control. 

  • Could it be other LED lights? The LED light in your garage door opener may not be the problem. As LED lights have become the norm in the holiday and decorative twinkle light market, garage door interference is increasing. Unplug any decorative lights to see if they are the culprits instead. 
  • Check the LED bulb manufacturerThe large majority of LED-related garage door interference is caused by cheap, foreign-made LED lights. Try replacing cheap, foreign-made LED light bulbs with a higher-quality LED bulbs. If it doesn’t fix the issue, you can always return the new bulbs and get your money back. Genie LED lights are intentionally designed to prevent garage door signal interference. They cost a bit more but are well worth it. 
  • Switch out your garage light fixtures. It could be LED lights in existing garage door light fixtures that are causing the problem. Switch their bulbs as well to see if that does the trick. Or, you may need to switch the garage light fixtures out for more contemporary options. 

Additional garage door troubleshooting tips 

If the garage door still isn’t operating correctly, it may not be the LED lights at all. In that case, continue down this list of additional garage door troubleshooting tips. 

  • Check the power source. There is nothing more embarrassing to a homeowner who’s diligently troubleshot their garage door, only to have a tech come out and…plug it back in. Make sure the garage door opener is plugged in to an outlet that has power. If it’s plugged in, unplug it and plug something else in to ensure the outlet has power. You may need to reset a tripped breaker. 
  • Verify the control pad is unlocked. Most garage door openers have a lock function on their control pad as garage door safety feature. If it was locked by mistake, your door will work again as soon as the control pad is unlocked. 
  • Replace the batteries in the remote(s). When’s the last time you changed your garage remote’s batteries? If the door opens and closes via the hardwired button on the garage door wall, but fails when you use the remote, tired or dead batteries may be the culprits. 
  • Try reprogramming the remotes. Every once in a while, the garage door remote’s signal gets wiped out (or is interfered with by competing signals from the surrounding environment. Follow the garage door manufacturer’s instructions on how to reprogram the remote. If you can’t find the manual, just search the make/model (written on the automatic door opener’s exterior) and “how to reprogram the remote” in your search engine to find online instructions.  
  • Contact your garage door contractor. It may be that it’s time to contact your garage door technician to come to take a look. Whether the problem is related to LED lights or not, the technician will know exactly how to identify and repair the issue.

We Can Improve Your Garage Doors Performance

Are you looking for a Bay Area garage door contractor you can trust? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo. We can talk you through some basic troubleshooting tips and are happy to send a technician out to take care of the problem ASAP. 

Garage Doors Through The Ages

garage doors through the ages

Ever since humans invented wheels, and used them to cart their goods or transport their bodies from one place to another, there has been a desire to safely shelter their particular modes of transportation. 

As a result, the doors (or lack thereof) that protected these valuable possessions have gone through an evolution that is in direct correlation with the invention of power, automation, and the availability of ever lighter-weight materials.

Garage Doors Through The Ages And How they’ve Progressed

The original garage door was a framed opening 

The first evidence of wheels showed up in 3500 B.C.E., and archeologists think wheels may have been invented and used even prior to that. Originally, wheeled carts and wagons were secured in open caves or covered enclosures. Eventually, and depending on the skill or wealth of the wheeled object’s owner, they were further secured via doorways that were typically created from wood, tanned animal skins, or woven piece of cloth. 

The advent of the carriage house door 

As time marched on, wealthier cart and carriage owners, or those who had skilled hands and access to building materials, constructed wooden doorways – called gatehouse or carriage house doors. 

These doors were very heavy, which made them very secure and harder to open or break open when barred close. And, because carriage houses often housed the animals who pulled the carriage, the buildings were detached from the home. The doors were made of wood, very large, and quite wieldy to open. Carriage house doors usually consisted of two separate panels that swung out to gain access. 

From carriage house to garage door 

Those of us who have the honor to live in an older home, circa 1900 and prior, may even have a surviving carriage house, now converted to a bona fide garage, a rental/in-law unit, or some other outbuilding purpose. 

Most of us, however, live in homes, condos, or apartments with designated garages. This is mostly thanks due to Henry Ford, who took the invention of the automobile and put his assembly line stamps on the works. As a result, automobiles became available to the middle-class and working masses, which meant car owners needed a place to store them safely and securely. 

Since automobiles were smaller than most wagons or carriages, and there weren’t any horses, feed, or tack to store, the larger carriage house was scaled down to the standard residential garages we use today. That said, garages needed to be as protected from the weather as possible because early automobiles were completely open, so they needed a weatherproof environment when not in use. 

Early garages came in multiple forms. Some were attached to the residential building, but most were detached from homes, and that continued to be the case until well into the 20th century. In any event, the first written record of the term “garage,” is in a 1902 dictionary, where its French root, “garer,” refers to a shelter or cover. 

First was the sliding door 

The first major change from the dual-opening carriage house style doors was sliding door versions. The addition of circular casters on a horizontal track made it much easier for drivers and car owners of all ages and abilities to open and close their own garage door – regardless of their upper-body strength.  

There were also sliding versions designed with accordion-like, folding sections, which meant garages could be narrower and take up less space. 

Then came the overhead, hinged version 

A man named J.C. Johnson, owner of a company called Overhead Door Corporation wanted to design a door that was more streamlined and easier to open. In 1921, he successfully invented an overhead door that opened by lifting and swinging it upwards, allowing it to rest parallel to the garage door when in the fully-up position. The spring action eased the burden of the door weight from the person opening/closing the door to the opening mechanism’s structural strength. 

Later on that same decade, he invented an electric, automated version, but these were largely unavailable to the majority of Americans because they were too expensive.  

Attached garages became the norm 

By the 1950s, as post-war housing boom and a growing economy – along with an obsession with modern conveniences – developers began promoting the attached garage model. Attached garages have since become the norm, and they began to expand in size to the two-car garages we’re familiar with today as households recognized the benefits of a multi-car ownership. 

Our love of multicar ownership meant that, by the late 1960s, garage square footage was an average of 45% of the total house square footage! 

Garage doors through the ages went from wood to metal 

Until the 1970s, most garage doors were constructed from wood, and this meant they were heavy and cumbersome to operate – especially if you didn’t have an electric garage door. However, as steel and metal prices came down, and fabrication processes continued to innovate, the wood garage door made way for aluminum, steel, and fiberglass options. 

Fabricated doors were typically more affordable than their wooden counterparts, easier to maintain and repaint, and they are certainly lighter and more efficient to operate 

Garage doors have come a long way in the past several hundred years, and today’s homeowners have the ability to choose from an unbelievable range of styles, décor, colors, and automatic system features.

If You’re Ready To Update Your Garage Door

Are you in the market for a new garage door? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll help you choose the best, contemporary garage door for your needs.

How To Manually Open And Close Your Garage Door

how to manually open and close your garage door

Electric garage door openers are designed to operate seamlessly day in and day out, but they rely on power. When the power goes out, it’s important to know how to disengage the automatic opener function so you can manually open and close the door until the power comes back on. This is especially important for Bay Area homeowners in this new era of PG&Es fire season power outages.  

The manual option is also important if the automatic mechanism malfunctions, in the event of an emergency, or for homeowners who have lost their garage door remote and are waiting for a replacement. 

Follow Manufacturer’s Directions to Manually Open And Close Your Garage Door 

Your garage door came with the manufacturer’s instruction manual. This is your best resource for learning the specifics for manually opening/closing your particular garage door make and model. If you cannot locate the garage door manual, contact your preferred garage door vendor/installer and schedule an appointment. 

We also recommend searching your garage door make/model online and download a copy of the manual so you have it in the future. 

Does your door have battery back-up? 

Many modern garage door models have a battery back-up system to keep the mechanisms running without power. The batteries are unit-specific and cannot be replaced by the homeowner. If your garage door has a battery in the opener motor, your garage door technician will test it during routine maintenance calls and will replace it as needed. 

Engaging the bypass system to manually open and close your garage door

Every automatic garage door has a bypass system some kind. This may include a key that locks/unlocks the system or it is as simple as pulling the red emergency cord. The latter option is the most common. 

  • Perform a quick inspection. Before disengaging the door from the automatic system, do a quick inspection to ensure the door is still aligned on its track, the springs and chain are intact, and there is no visible sign of damage. 
  • Locate the chain that operates the garage door. For most homeowners, this is up above towards the ceiling of the garage, along the mid-point of the garage door. Higher-end models and some heavier models use a side-opening system, which will be located along the side of the door. 
  • Pull the emergency cord. You’ll see a red cord or a cord with a red handle or knob at the end. This is an emergency cord. When you pull it, it disengages the door frame from the automatic system. The lever that connects the door to the chain/rail is spring-loaded. you’ll hear and feel a distinct “click” when it disengages. Do not be afraid to pull the cord firmly. You should see the lever move and lock into the disengaged position. 
  • Lift the door to open and close it. Most garage doors are made from light, durable material, and are professionally balanced so that they can raise/lower easily. Use both hands and begin lifting or sliding the door into the open position. If it is a struggle, do not strain yourself. Pull the emergency cord again in case you weren’t successful the first time. If you’re sure the door is disconnected from the chain, and the door won’t lift easily, contact a garage door technician 
  • Never let go of the door until it’s fully open/closed. Your garage door won’t stay open on its own unless it’s completely open, or completely closed. If you need to let go of it in a partially open position, use a two-by-four or a solid item to hold it in position or lower the door until it’s firmly closed again. If your garage door is a single panel, you may need to keep a two-by-four or similar structural support to hold the door up while you move the car in and out of the garage, or have someone hold the door up for you, to keep the door from falling down again. 
  • Watch your fingers. If your door is comprised of multiple panels that slide up and around the curve of the track, watch your fingers. It’s easy to lose track of the door and it’s painful to have your fingers pinched between the panels. 
  • To re-engage the automatic function. Once the power has been restored, pull the cord again and watch the lever move back into the engaged position. Push your automatic opener button in the garage or use the remote and the garage door should be back to normal again. 

Keeping the garage door properly lubricated is always a good idea, but it will definitely pay off when you need to manually open and close the door.  

Make garage door safety a priority 

Always keep a safety-first attitude when manually opening and closing the garage door. This is especially important if you have young children.  

Read our posts, Garage Door Safety for an Accident-Free Home, and, How to Teach Your Children Garage Door Safety. They are good to review if your door is in the manual operation mode to ensure the door doesn’t close on an unsuspecting child or pet.

 

Would you like a licensed garage door technician to review how to manually open and close your garage door? Contact us here at R&S Erection of Vallejo, or give us a call at (707) 644-5537, to schedule an appointment. We’ll go through it with you, using the exact steps required for your garage door make/model until you feel confident you can operate it safely on your own.

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! 

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.