Considering DIY Garage Door Repair?
Here are a few reasons you might want to reconsider…
A sign in a Pennsylvania bicycle repair shop reads:
$ 50.00 per hour
$ 75.00 if you watch
$ 100.00 if you help
$ 200.00 if you worked on it first
There’s a lesson here and it is that the bicycle repairman has learned from years of experience that some things are more complicated than they look, more dangerous, and in the long run, more expensive. DIY attempts to perform door work might well carry the familiar warning ‘don’t try this at home’.
Of course homeowners can and should inspect their doors, apply lubrication, and look for obvious signs of wear. This includes things like listening to doors and operators in motion, or checking to see if the perimeter weatherstripping is doing the job, all the while using common sense as you would with any large moving object.
List of safe DIY Garage Door Inspections
- Park your vehicles outside, close the door and see if it moves smoothly.
- Disconnect the door from the operator and move it by hand. Does it stay closed? Does it drift down from the open position?
- Look to see if it sits level on the garage floor.
- Does it clear the header when in the fully open position?
- Check to see if the photo eyes are clean and properly aligned.
- Inspect the sections inside and out; worn or damaged sections can mean that the door no longer provides security for the home, and could cause property damage and serious bodily injury.
- Is the operator plugged in correctly?
- Make sure the track is fastened securely to the jambs, look for frayed cables, broken springs, worn rollers, and loose fasteners.
Be mindful of the fact that to the untrained eye it’s easy to miss something that is worn, loose, or broken.
Doing these things should be a regular part of household maintenance. If you are handy around the house go ahead and snug up a loose fastener, tap that nail that holds the weatherstrip to the jamb, clean and lube the door as necessary. When a serious problem arises, however, it’s best to turn to an expert for help.
3 Serious Reasons to reconsider DIY Garage Door Repair
- Tools. An experienced garage door repairman will have the proper ladders, specialized tools, and the correct parts needed to fix most problems. He will also have things the homeowner won’t have and can’t buy at a big box store: cold rolled steel winding bars of various sizes, aircraft cable, special cable pulleys, operator parts, spring stock and gauges, torches and much more. Hammers, screwdrivers and pliers are good for small jobs around the house, but of little use, and can cause injury, when performing proper garage door repairs.
- Training. Another consideration is that with overhead garage doors things must be done in the proper order. What’s the first step to take to adjust, replace, or wind a spring? Are repairs made with the door in the open or closed position? How would you attach a new cable to a spring, drum, or bottom fixture? If you attempted to do the work yourself, how would you test it to see if it was okay? Tested it safely, that is. The garage door spring is among the most dangerous repairs and can result in serious injury, or even death, if not done correctly.
- Ladders. It sounds simple, however, each year thousands of people are injured or killed in home-related accidents. And, almost without exception, the number one leading cause is always falls. The Home Safety Council says falls account for roughly 6,000 deaths annually. While you’re always susceptible to a fall, you should do everything you possibly can to avoid situations where falls are particularly dangerous. This includes climbing ladders to fix garage door issues.
The old definition of an expert was someone who came from more than 50 miles away and was carrying a briefcase. Mark Twain joked that an expert was just a regular fellow from the next town over. Our factory trained technicians are close at hand, have a truck full of parts and specialized equipment and have something else in their tool kits – Safety. In most trades, a pinch, a cut, and a bump on the head are all common on-the-job injuries, and as a result workers quickly learn from experience how to do things the right way, the safe way. In our business training and experience are top priorities.
Safety is a serious concern at all large major companies. Some multi-national corporations go so far as to cease production at every facility they own if there is an accident with injury anywhere in their system. Full reports and appropriate instructions are sent to all parties at every location and orders are issued before operations are resumed. That’s serious. Being safe is a priority for them and good word of advice for a homeowner.
If you decide to do the work yourself remember that you can fall, and things can fall on you. As well, DIYers working on a garage door can and do sustain cuts, bruises, broken bones, eye injuries, even electrical shocks, all as result of not having the right tools, parts, and experience.
Above all else, safety is the key factor in making the decision to use a professional.
Be safe, DDIY. Contact Your Local Garage Door Expert Today.
A Hacked Child’s Toy Can Open Any Garage Door In Less Than 10 Seconds
When you think of “hacking” you most often associate it with computers, bank information, and other online accounts, but it’s not just these that can be hacked. What if we told you that a child’s toy can be programmed to open your garage door? Well, it’s true! A popular security researcher, Samy Kamkar, demonstrates how he can hack most garage doors using nothing more than a modified electronic toy. The product is the IM-me, which was marketed by Mattel to replicate texting on a single-use device for young girls, but is now discontinued.
Fixed Code Systems Vs. Rolling Code Systems
It’s important to note this hack doesn’t work against every garage door opener—only ones that respond to “fixed code” transmitters. The fixed code garage door system use 8-12 bit codes—that’s 4,096 possibilities. In modern technology security terms, that’s an insignificant level of security.
More secure “rolling code” systems feature advanced technology that prevents hacking of the radio signal that opens your door by selecting a new code from billions of combinations every time you open your door.
If you value not only what’s in your garage, but the safety and security of your home and family, then you’d better make sure your garage door opener uses a secure system. To ensure your garage door opener is secure, upgrade to a system that uses rolling codes, hopping codes, Security+ or Intellicode. Each time the remote is activated it automatically changes access codes, which prevents illegal entry from any type of access code signal duplication device like Kamkar’s. Current products from garage door manufacturers’ Overhead Door®, LiftMaster and Genie offer up to date security. Contact your local Garage Door Repair company to find out more about these products.
Do You Have A Vulnerable Garage Door System?
In this video, Kamkar explains how to determine if you have vulnerable garage door system.
Cost vs. Value
When replacing a garage door, most homeowners are cost-conscious (i.e. they’re worried about the upfront cost of materials and labor).
This focus on price is understandable. After all, garage door replacements are usually an unexpected expense. One day the door is working fine, and the next day, it isn’t.
However, as with most home improvement projects, you should be value-conscious.
Be prepared to pay a little extra for quality and experience. The higher price is well worth the added expense, since a properly installed garage door essentially pays for itself.
According to Remodeling Magazine, the average return-on-investment (ROI) of an upgraded garage door is a whopping 83.7 percent, ranking it among the top four home improvement projects of 2014. But the true returns don’t stop there:
- Given their size and exposure to the elements, garages often result in excessive heating charges in the winter and exorbitant cooling expenses in the summertime. By installing an insulated door, you can dramatically cut down on your monthly utility bill, helping to speed up the payback period of your investment.
- Garages also represent a major security risk. A well-fortified garage door can reduce the likelihood of theft.
You can further boost these gains with regular maintenance — especially during the winter months when garage doors undergo the most wear and tear. For some simple guidelines, click here.
How Much Should You Budget for Garage Door Repair?
So value (and not price) should be your primary focus. Fair enough. But how much should you actually budget when replacing a standard residential garage door?
Costs vary considerably. The exact price depends on any number of factors, including:
- Materials. Garage doors come in all shapes and sizes, using a wide range of different materials. A basic, un-insulated steel door costs less than a higher-end, custom wood door.
- Workmanship. It’s possible to replace a garage door on your own (as a weekend project). However, DIY garage door replacements often end up costing more in the long run (check out these articles here and here to learn why). You’re almost always better off hiring a professional to complete the job. Ask about what warranties are available.
- Location. Prices also vary by region. This makes a lot of sense given the major differences in architectural styles and climate that exist throughout the country. A typical stone home in Vermont has very different requirements than a stucco home in Arizona. To get a better idea of pricing ranges, type your ZIP code into this free search tool in the footer below.
Value is more important than cost. But if you’re still worried about budget, the best tip of all is to keep your garage door in optimal condition for as long as possible. In addition to the winter maintenance tips mentioned above, you can also conduct an annual DIY checklist. At the first sign of trouble, you may be able to make minor fixes on your own before the problem requires professional intervention.
When you are a homeowner, it is good to have an understanding of how things work so you are able to take care of the upkeep on your own. This can save you significantly with repair costs. A big issue people have is with their garage door functioning when the weather turns cold. Below are a few details to keep in mind.
Is your vacation lock causing your garage door opener not to function properly? Many garage door openers offer a vacation lock located on the wall console. This switch is used as an extra security function and stops all electrical operation of the opener once the door is closed. This button should only be used when you are away from the door for an extended period of time. Be sure to check this switch to see it is in the off position.
Door Sensors Need Alignment
One of the issues that could be occurring is that the photo eyes are out of place. Something as simple as a trashcan bumping them can cause this to happen. Usually the fix is as simple as readjusting the photo eyes into the correct alignment and the opener will operator again.
When the weather begins to change and the temperatures begin to drop, your garage door springs are more likely to break when reaching their life span. When this occurs, it is important to contact a professional repair service. Operating a garage door with a broken spring can be very difficult to do and can cause further damage to the garage door opener. The spring is a vital part to making your garage door system function properly and should be kept in good order at all times. Only trained professionals should perform repairs of this nature, for the spring holds an extreme amount of tension that can cause serious injury if mishandled.
How to Figure Out the Problem
When your garage door opener is not functioning properly, always be sure to check the basics. First, be sure that if your wall console offers a vacation lock, this is in the off position and is not engaged. Secondly, be sure that the sensors are in place. If there are led lights blinking, it is possible the photo eyes are out of alignment or they have been damaged and need to be replaced. Finally, inspect your garage door for a broken spring. If you believe your garage door spring has broken and the door is in an open position, call a professional repair service immediately. Do not pass under the door under any circumstances.
Regularly maintaining your garage door has many benefits and should be done on an annual basis. This includes testing the balance and alignment of your door and the safety reversal of your opener. Make sure you read through the owners’ manual to find out any other maintenance that may be required.
Some people believe that an attached garage will add more value to a home in today’s housing market. Others say that a detached garage is more desirable. At the end of the day, homeowners who are planning on adding a garage to their property should decide between an attached or detached unit based on their own personal preference.
People who live further north generally see more value in an attached garage unit. The frigid winters make quick trips out to detached garages very uncomfortable. The need to put on a winter jacket for a quick walk outside in order to get something out of the car is certainly a burden that often results in a preference for an attached unit.
Another reason people value an attached garage over a detached garage is that attached units make the house appear larger – especially on structures that have the garage doors placed facing the rear. Viewers from the curb will only see the garage as part of the housing structure. Additionally, attached garage units almost always identically match the homeâ€™s exterior design as opposed to many detached units that were built years later with different materials.
Finally, an attached garage unit tends to offer much more convenience. This is especially true for homeowners who like keeping an extra freezer or refrigerator in their garage. It is much easier to open a door directly into the garage to grab a tub of ice cream as opposed to having to walk outside to retrieve a few scoops. In addition, unloading a packed car is much easier with an attached garage.
Despite the fact that attached garage units tend to provide more convenience, a shield from bitter weather and girth to home structures, many people still prefer detached garage units.
Lots of homeowners feel safer with a detached unit because they are further away from the gas emissions and other hazardous fumes that often inhabit garages. A running car in a garage can emit toxins like benzene that may drift into the home.
Other reasons to feel safer with a detached garage include limited entrances into the home. Although attached garage units can be built with safe and secure doors, it is always possible for a burglar to sneak in through a garage window. If the door from the garage to the house is unlocked, there is no stopping a home intruder. With a detached garage, the potential harm would only be done inside of the garage.
A final reason that detached garages are preferred by certain people is that they provide a different level of privacy compared to attached units. People who like to set up workbenches or build and paint things in their garage can do so with limited distractions in a detached unit. If the space is connected to the home, it can be difficult to have any privacy.
Everybody has different priorities. If privacy trumps convenience, then a detached garage is the way to go. If the idea of having to go outside for every trip to the garage seems bothersome, then an attached garage is the better option.
Either way, all garages must have safe and reliable garage doors in order for them to be effective. The professionals at Garage Door Repair LLC work day and night to ensure that homeowners have a trusted team available if any part of the garage door system breaks or wears out.
Homeowners with attached garages should especially have a team like Garage Door Repair LLC on-call. As noted previously, a broken garage door system makes homes more vulnerable to break-ins. Detached garage owners should also have Garage Door Repair on speed dial. Many detached units have a single entrance â€“ the garage doors. If the garage door system is broken there would be no way to get in or out of the garage.
Garage Door Repair professionals have worked with both types of residential and commercial garage door systems for decades. Their experience, knowledge and reputation for great customer service make them the easy choice for garage door support.