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Signs You Need Garage Door Repair

signs you need garage door repair

Garage door have you worried?

We use our garage door every day, many times a day but rarely do we bother to think twice about them. 

Your garage door requires regular monthly checks and maintenance measures. These protect you, your family, and your property. More than 13,000 garage-related injuries occur every single year.

Waiting until disaster strikes can cost you an expensive emergency repair. Hire a licensed professional to carry out your garage door repair or routine maintenance. This can save you money and time in the long-run.

Let’s discuss the anatomy of your garage door and what signs to look for to determine whether you need garage door repair.

The Anatomy of Your Garage Door

Your garage door contains one of the following types of springs: extension or torsion. 

Extension springs run perpendicular to the door on both sides and stretch when your door moves downward. Torsion springs consist of a steel bar across the top of your garage door that operates under tension.

When you are considering a repair, you should be careful to replace both at the same time. One broken spring indicates the other is close to needing repair.

But why do your springs break?

Poor installation or maintenance may be to blame. Or you may experience extreme weather fluctuations in your area.

Knowing what to look for when you need garage door repair is essential for ensuring you and your family’s safety.

Signs You Need Garage Door Repair

Noise

Garage doors are noisy. There’s no denying it. But if your garage door is making squeaking or scraping noises, it may be time to consider garage door repair.

Also, amplified noise needs addressing by a professional. Excessive or unfamiliar garage door noise suggests loose parts or a need for lubrication. 

Non-responsive Remote Or Door

If your garage door refuses to open or close in response to your use of controls, you need garage door repair. 

There are many reasons this problem occurs. These include:

  • a poor connection between the door and the remote or control panel
  • door malfunction
  • the need for battery replacement

If the problem persists, it may mean an issue with the door itself such as damages springs, cable issues, or broken safety sensors.

Sections of Your Door Sag

Experts recommend you test your garage door’s balance monthly. 

How can you do this?

Disconnect the opener from your garage door. You will then need to higher or lower the door to about midway by hand and leave it in this position.

If your door rises or falls, there is an issue with the tensions spring or another part of the door.

While you can check for a problem in this way, you should not try to test or repair these parts on your own. Call a professional to perform your garage door repair.

Shaking Or Inconsistent Movement

Your garage door should run smooth at all times. 

If your garage door is shaking broken parts may be the cause. A repair might solve this problem, but be aware you might need a garage door replacement.

Slow Response Time

A garage door should begin to open or close in response to you pressing the opener within one or two seconds. It should then move without delay and without shaking.

Observe the length of time your door takes to respond. If there is a delay in this time there may be a problem with the opener or the door itself. 

Door Off The Tracks

The tracks on either side of your door are there for the safe operation of your garage door. Unfortunately, your garage door might come off these tracks. This occurs when the door undergoes damaged or in poor condition.

Garage doors that fall off their tracks cause approximately 2,102 injuries per year.

A professional technician can conduct your garage door repair. 

Your Energy Bill Increased

When we see an increased energy bill, our first course of action is to blame the air conditioner or heating systems in our homes. These systems do not always the cause your energy bill to soar.

Older garage doors or broken garage doors often drain more energy than necessary.

Consider replacing your door or undergoing a garage door repair for an energy efficient home. Companies design newer garage door models with energy efficiency in mind.

Checking Your Garage Door

There are parts of your garage door you can check on your own. You should always hire a profession technician to conduct your repair.

Springs

You can check the springs of the door in the same way you check to see whether or not your garage door sags. Manually open or close the door midway and monitoring if it remains still. 

If the door moves, springs may need repair.

Do not attempt to adjust or replace a spring on your own.

Cables

If worn strips or frayed cables hang from the sides of your door, you run the risk of the door breaking.

To avoid injury or damage to your property, call a technician.

Hinges

Observe your hinges, looking for dents or breaks. If you find any of these signs, you will need to replace them.

Rollers

Inspect your rollers for noise and smooth movement. If they are noisy and the movement is uneven, your garage door may require lubrication or replacement.

 

If your garage door exhibits any of these signs it could result in injury to you, your family, or your property. 

Conduct monthly inspection and maintenance measures on your garage door not only as a safety precaution but as a money-saving measure.

Never conduct repairs on your own. Hire a professional to conduct your garage door repair. This professional will identify your problem and perform the correct repairs in the correct ways. 

The Benefits of Professional Maintenance

the-benefits-professional-maintenanceIn a perfect world, all of us would schedule routine maintenance for our mechanical appliances, accessories, and vehicles. The reality, however, is that we don’t. As a result, these hard-working machines wind up in a bind from time to time, often requiring a costly repair or replacement in order to make it right again. Your automatic garage door is no exception.

The downfall to this wait-until-disaster-strikes approach is that those expensive emergency repairs and big-time malfunctions are largely avoided with a little, cost-effective maintenance along the way. When you add to that the fact that many manufacturers make “proof of professional maintenance” a requirement for any warranty obligations, it makes, even more, sense to hire a licensed professional to maintain your garage doors.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional to Maintain Your Garage Door

Here are some of the benefits of establishing a routine, professional maintenance schedule with a professional garage door company.

More reliable operation

First and foremost, routine maintenance proactively addresses any latent issues and ensures everything is functioning as it should. This means your garage door will work more reliably, quietly and efficiently day in and day out. An annual or bi-annual inspections mean your sensors are less likely to get out of whack, the door will remain balanced and on track, tracks will be clean and all moving parts will be adequately lubricated.

Catch small issues before they grow into bigger ones

Nothing lasts forever and that’s true for garage doors, too. However, annual maintenance means catching small issues you might not notice on a daily basis before they turn into big issues that lead to expensive repairs, replacement parts or an avoidable replacement of the entire kit-and-caboodle. While maintenance appointments will cost a nominal amount here and there, those big-ticket – often avoidable – repairs and replacements cost a whole lot more.

Enhance garage door function

While the licensed professional goes about his business, he’ll be looking at your garage with an objective eye. If it seems like the insulation could be beefed up, he’ll make recommendations and even tell you how to do it if you prefer to handle the job yourself. Perhaps the weather stripping is shot, in which case he’ll recommend replacing that as well. These may seem like small things, but they make a big difference – especially if you spend time in the garage working on hobbies or watching the game with neighbors.

Keep you and your family safe

Garage doors are dangerous – they’re heavy, cumbersome and can cause accidents if they’re in a state of disrepair. This is especially true for manual garage doors or outdated models that don’t have built-in safety features. The technician tests the door’s safety mechanisms to make sure they’re functioning properly. He will also let you know when it’s time to replace your garage door and can make recommendations for the right make and model for your taste and budget.

Get in on great deals and offers

We take pride in our commitment to superior customer service with each and every customer. Even so, long-term relationships matter. When you establish a routine maintenance schedule with a local garage door company, it’s inevitable that you’ll be the first to know about great deals and offers as they’re available, and many companies pass down discounts to regular customers when the garage door needs to be replaced or requires an expensive repair. This all adds up to major savings over the lifetime of your garage door(s).

Interested in establishing an on-going relationship with Bay Area garage door professionals? Contact us here at R&S and we’ll get you on the books. We’ve provided decades of reliable, customer-centric garage door and commercial door maintenance and repairs. (925) 671-7606.

4 Garage Door Fixes You Should Do Yourself

4-garage-door-fixes-you-should-do-yourself

While there are some general maintenance and garage door housekeeping tasks that are perfect DIY projects – like cleaning up the moving parts and tracks, upgrading or replacing the insulation, or lubricating the moving mechanical parts, there are other repair and replacement chores that are best left to the professionals. There are two reasons for this.

First, even today’s lighter and more flexible garage doors still weigh hundreds of pounds. Their size makes them cumbersome, unwieldy and unpredictable – and this makes for pretty dangerous situations. Secondly, most garage door manufacturer warrantees are only guaranteed if a licensed, professional garage door installer performs the heavier-duty repairs and maintenance tasks. Doing it on your own – meaning you can’t provide receipts for professional service later on – will most likely void your warranty.

Let the garage door professionals handle the following 4 garage door fixes

Here are 4 garage door repairs that are best left to professionals.

  1. Replacing torsion springs. While you may understand that a torsion spring packs a very powerful punch, there is nothing like experiencing it firsthand – and we don’t recommend it. If the torsion spring snaps off or breaks mid-repair, you will be seriously hurt at best and permanently injured at worst. Fortunately, most garage door manufacturers are migrating away from torsion spring technology in lieu of safer extension systems – but not all of them. Even if you opt to perform a DIY garage door repair, we advise paying the minimal amount it will cost to have a professional come out and perform the torsion spring work for you.
  2. Repairs that require specialized tools. Unfortunately, many garage doors have highly specialized parts that require highly specialized tools. Understandably, most homeowners have no desire to spend hundreds of dollars on specialty tools they’ll only use once or twice in a lifetime. Instead, they’ll try to make their own tools work. This is a bad idea. In addition to the risk of injury, there’s a very good chance you’ll damage the garage door and/or its parts – and these parts will no longer be covered under warranty since you aren’t a licensed garage door professional. Now, your garage door repair just got that much more expensive.
  3. Replacing a garage door. The good news about modern garage doors is that they are multi-layered, which makes them more efficient, reliable and insulated. The bad news is that they are also pretty cumbersome. The doors shift their weight and undulate into a new position with the slightest tip or shift on your end. If nothing else, don’t ever attempt to replace a garage door by yourself – it is definitely a two person job, and preferable three. However, we recommend paying the professionals for both of the aforementioned reasons. You will avoid injury – potentially serious injury – and you can be sure that your warranty will remain in place.
  4. A malfunctioning garage door opener. If the fix is easy, go ahead. If you can’t fix it in your first or second attempt, call it a day and call the pros. Garage doors can be very temperamental. If the repair isn’t automatic, you risk the door coming off its track while you’re up there on a ladder. Wielding a garage door that has fallen off its track, while balancing on a ladder, is darn near impossible and you risk serious injury or even fatality.

Are you in need of professional garage door repair? Give us a call here at R&S. We’ve provided professional, licensed garage door installation and repair in and around the Bay Area for more than two decades.

Garage Door Insulation

garage-door-insulation

Are you thinking about insulating your garage door before the winter hits? Good idea. These days, many homeowners use their garage for more than just storage; it’s a space where hobbyists, fall and winter sports enthusiasts and crafters can escape the bustle of the household and enjoy a little room all on their own.

In addition to increasing the comfort of your garage’s interior, garage door insulation can also save money on your heating and cooling expenses. Since garages are typically under-insulated, they can diminish interior comfort levels in the living spaces adjacent to the garage wall. This means your HVAC system has to work overtime in order to keep your home at the preferred thermostat setting.

Not sold? Consider that trials performed by garage door companies show that a garage door with R-18 insulation can keep a garage at least 10° F warmer in the cooler months and as much as 20°+ F cooler during the hot months. That’s a temperature change worth striving for.

Garage Door Insulation is a DIY Job

Unlike the majority of garage doors and replacements, which are best left to the professionals, upgrading the insulation on your garage door is a pretty simple DIY job.

Note: If your garage door is outdated and/or needs to be replaced, don’t waste your time on DIY insulation. Instead, replace your door with a new, efficient and already insulated version instead. Read, Is it Time to Replace That Garage Door?, to determine whether it’s time to invest in a new model.

If you plan to do the insulation yourself, here are a few tips to get you started.

Decide which garage door insulation kit is right for you

There are a few different options. The first and best, in our opinion, is an R-8 vinyl-faced fiberglass garage door insulation kit. It comes in kits for single garage doors, so you’ll probably need to purchase two or more kits. These panels are the highest insulation options in the DIY insulation market.

You also have the option of purchasing R-4 precut R-4 expanded polystyrene (EPS) panel foam kits. In our mellow climate, the R-4 insulation might be sufficient. However, even here in the Bay Area our nights and winters are cool enough that the R-8 kit is a better option – especially if your garage does double as a recreational or livable space.

Alternately, some homeowners choose to use 1 ½-inch thick foil-faced fire-rated extruded polystyrene. This option will slightly increase the R-value. However, your cuts need to be very exact with this product. If you haven’t done this before, this material isn’t the best DIY bet.

Wash & Dry Your Garage Door

Before getting started, make sure to wash the garage door panels with water and an all-purpose cleaner. Then rinse them with more fresh water and then them dry. A clean garage door will ensure your new insulation panels are installed properly and on a nice, clean surface –as they would be in a new garage door.

Measure Each Individual Panel to Ensure a Snug Fit

Don’t take the easy route with a one-size-fits-all approach. There can be slight variations in panel heights and widths that may not be discernible to the naked eye, but will really tick you off when you pre-cut a series of panels based on a single measurement – only the find some of them won’t stay put.

Instead, measure each panel individually – to be safe, add one-inch to both the width and the length as you measure and cut each panel. This way the panels will fit well, rather than loosey-goosey.

Once you’ve installed the retaining pins, fit the panels in place with the vinyl side facing away from the garage door.

Don’t Forget the Weather Stripping

Weather stripping is an essential component for a winter-proof garage. Bring your garage door measurements or the door manual with you so you get enough vinyl weather stripping to cover both the sides and top of your garage door. You will also need enough vinyl bottom seal to fit the track. If your garage door track is damaged, this might be a good time to replace it.

Once your insulation panels are in place, it’s time to install the replacement garage door weather stripping, making sure it will provide a tight fit even in strong wind and weather conditions.

Are you running out of time to complete your DIY insulation update? Contact us here at R&S and we’ll be happy to do it for you. Or, if your garage door is outdated, we’ll be happy to provide you with a free onsite estimate for a new automatic garage door, complete with top-quality insulation.

Tips for DIY Garage Door Installation

tips-for-diy-garage-door-installation

The good news is that YouTube and other online resources have plenty of How-Tos and well-made videos that demonstrate how to fix everything under the sun. Residential garage doors are included in this mix. However, we highly advise that you leave garage door installation to the pros.

Garage doors are heavy and cumbersome. In addition to risking your own personal safety, one slip, drop, or unwieldy movement can yield your new garage door kit unusable, and you’ll be stuck having to fork out the money for another one. Also, it’s important to note that many garage door warranties are written such that DIY work isn’t covered.

Read your garage door manual carefully before moving forward with DIY repairs or replacement. There’s a chance that by not using a licensed, garage door professional will mean you’re out of luck down the road – even if you did the job correctly and the garage door error or malfunction isn’t your fault.

Safety Always Comes First When Installing Your Own Garage Door

Safety is the top priority, so never be cavalier. Read the garage kit instructions carefully and watch a video a few times before attempting it on your own. Also, always work with a buddy or two. Garage doors should never be installed by yourself.

We’ve been called in more times than we like to count to rescue homeowners who have experienced traumatic injuries and/or property damage as a result of their good intentions. Always prioritize safety first!

Tools and Materials to Have on Hand

Your materials list will include:

  • Garage door kit
  • Easy tensioning system
  • Cord or rope
  • Masking tape
  • Operator bracket
  • Garage door lubricant
  • Garage door stop with rubber gasket
  • Shims

Plan to have the following tools within reach:

  • Safety Glasses
  • Stepladder
  • Level
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Cordless drill
  • Locking pliers
  • Sawhorses
  • Socket/ratchet set
  • Rags

Tips for Replacing Your Garage Door

  1. Establish the age and condition of the current door. Older garage doors can weigh as much as 450 lbs. When you consider their weight and breadth, combined with old and/or malfunctioning hardware, you need to be exceedingly careful when removing the old door. Identify which type of spring you’re dealing with – torsion or extension. The former are the safest and easiest to disconnect. Extension springs can be extremely dangerous, especially if they don’t have a cable installed. Consider hiring a professional to at least release your spring for you.
  2. Look for garage doors with modern safety features. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your family from garage door injuries is to replace your old door with a high-end model with built-in safety features. These include things like light-weight doors (no more than 200 lbs.), pinch resistant section designs to prevent pinched fingers or arms (these injuries can even lead to amputation in older doors), containment cables that run through springs and prevent the deadly whip effect of a sprung spring, or automatic door operators that reverse if something is in the way or at the first sign of resistance.
  3. Replace the hardware as well as the door. As long as you are replacing a new door, you might as well replace all the parts so the entire system is new. This will ensure the door works efficiently and quietly and will extend the amount of time until you’ll need to be up on your stepladder again for another repair or parts replacement.
  4. Install new weather stripping. Once the door is replaced, install new weather stripping to improve the door’s seal. In addition to keeping your garage cleaner and free of moisture that can cause parts corrosion over time, you’ll notice that a well-sealed garage door can reduce the amount of money you spend on heating and cooling the interior of your home.
  5. Hire professionals to release torsion tension. Again, garage door springs are not to be taken lightly. If you install a door that has torsion springs located over the door, it is well worth the nominal fee (usually around $50 or so) to have a professional garage door technician come by to release and/or adjust the tension.

Not sure garage door replacement is the best DIY task for you? Contact R&S and we’ll be happy to send someone out to do the job for you. (925) 671-7606.

 

 

The Dangers of DIY Garage Door Repair

the-dangers-of-diy-garage-door-repair

A few of the most common garage door issues are easy to fix on your own – things like misaligned garage door photo eyes or sweeping the track free of debris. Others are not so simple. Anytime your garage door repair requires disassembly, manipulation of the door, or more in-depth parts replacement/repair we strongly advice calling a professional. We aren’t saying that to get your business, we’re saying that because we have seen more than our fair share of horror stories.

DIY garage door repair can be dangerous and the team at R&S always shudders when we get a call from a client who was injured after trying to repair their own door.

Avoid These Dangers By Using a Professional Garage Door Repair Company

Here are some of the fix-it items that can result in dangers to both you and your garage door.

A malfunctioning garage door opener. If it’s not something simple like the photo eyes causing your opener to malfunction, be very, very wary of trying to fix a malfunctioning opener. The garage door can be incredibly unpredictable, and this is dangerous. If the door happens to get off track, you can be thrown off balance from your stepping stool or ladder, or the sheer weight of the door can cause injury.

The spring of a torsion spring. There are still many reliable garage doors that open using a torsion spring system, rather than an extension system. To operate, the torsion spring is mounted horizontally above the garage door. The spring it wound up with the door is pulled down and that wound up energy is powerful. It’s used on the other side when you open the door, to help energize the door’s lift. If you wind up on the wrong side of a wound up torsion spring when it breaks, the force is violent and serious injury can occur.

Using the wrong tools. Garage doors have very specific mechanical parts and some of them require professional tools. These tools are not typically found in the average homeowner’s toolbox. This can lead to you running to the hardware store to purchase a tool you’ll never use again, or it can lead to you trying to manipulate the part to the best of your ability using the tools you have. This is a bad idea because not only can it lead to potential injury, it can also lead to a broken or damaged part, which puts you right back where you started.

A collapsed replacement garage door. Watch a YouTube video about replacing or installing a new garage door and it all looks so straightforward. The reality is quite different. First, it is at least a two person job, and both parties need to know what to do when. Second, garage doors are very heavy and modern residential garage doors – with their multi-layered construction – are cumbersome. One wrong move and the entire door can come crashing down, injuring yourself as well as the door. Assuming you remain unscathed, that damaged door will no longer fall under warranty because you violate the manufacturer’s recommendations by not using a professional installer. Now you’re injured, have a trashed garage door, and still have to fork out money for a new one and professional installation.

Replacing garage door panels. Here’s one that seems pretty simple at the outset; how hard is it to replace a garage door panel anyway? Well, first you may have problems getting your hands on the correct panel if you door is several years old. A professional garage door repair and installation company, on the other hand, can typically order one with a single call to a vendor. If you are able to get the correct panel, you still run into potential issues like door panels that break while you’re trying to install them, or cracking or chipping adjacent panels when you’re trying to remove/replace the damaged one. Worst of all, if the door manually malfunctions while you are in the midst of the repair, you risk the door opening and/or closing while you are in its path or near the tracks.

A painful fall. The number one leading cause of injury and deaths on the home front is falls. In almost all cases, a garage door repair will require standing on a ladder or elevated platform of some kind. If you get in over your head (pun intended) or make one wrong move, your fall can be life changing. No reasonable labor charge is worth that risk.

Don’t get too carried away in the DIY world. Dedicate those commendable intentions to the more risk-free home repairs – gosh knows there’s plenty of them – and honor your door’s manufacturer’s instructions. Contact a licensed garage door company. You’ll benefit from quick, accurate diagnosis and a timely repair.

R&S Erection of Concord, CA

2424 Bates Ave. Concord , CA 94520
(925) 671-7606 Fax: (925) 671-7621
License # 667038

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925-671-7606

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