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The Benefits of Garage Insulation

the benefits of garage insulation

Garages aren’t just for cars anymore.

In fact, 2/3 of Americans use their garages for all kinds of other things, like bedrooms, storage rooms, or extra living spaces.

But even though most people use their garage as an extension of their house, they don’t treat it like one.

No matter what you use your garage for, garage insulation should be your top priority.

Why Should I Insulate My Garage?

It Saves Money

With cooling and heating costs only rising, an insulated garage will lower your utility bill and help you save money.

An uninsulated garage can’t retain warm or cold air. In other words, if you try to heat it up during the winter, the warm air will seep out through the walls, and if you try to cool it down in the summer, the cool air will escape, as well.

Most garages are connected directly to the rest of the house. If your garage isn’t insulated, it will actually suck hot or cold air from the rest of the house, making you spend more money on heating and air conditioning.

Garage insulation will keep the garage from drawing air from the rest of the house, so your electric bills will go down while your house stays comfortable. This is especially worthwhile if you have a furnished room over the garage, also known as a FROG room.

It Keeps Your Items Safe

Insulating your garage also protects the items you store inside, including your car (if you still keep it there).

Hot weather is one of the main reasons a car battery dies. A car battery contains liquid, and hot weather evaporates the liquid and causes the battery to stop working.

Cold weather can also negatively affect your car battery. If the temperature in the car battery gets too low, the chemical reaction inside the battery slows, often meaning the car fails to start.

Insulating your garage will keep the temperature inside from getting too hot or too cold, keeping the items inside undamaged.

Do I Have to Insulate the Whole Garage?

If the only reason you want to insulate your garage is to lower heating and cooling costs, you don’t necessarily have to insulate the entire garage.

All you really need to insulate are the walls touching other parts of your house. This could also include the garage ceiling if you have a FROG room above it.

You can also use weather stripping kits around the garage door threshold. You can apply these kits yourself, and they will help keep things like drafts, rain, and snow out of your garage.

If you want your garage insulation to protect your car or if you’re planning to use the garage as another bedroom or living space, you’ll want to insulate the whole thing.

How Do I Insulate My Garage?

There are a few different ways you can insulate your garage, and they all depend on your garage insulation goals and your budget. Some of these options may also require a contractor.

Batt Insulation

This insulation is made of cotton-fiberglass material. It is very light, which makes it easy to use. All you have to do is hang it between the wall studs with nails or staples.

Because batt insulation is made of fiberglass, it is not good to breathe in, so you’ll want to cover it with drywall if you’re planning to use the space a lot. You can hire a contractor for this job, or because drywall is fairly easy to install, you can do it yourself, as well.

Blown-in Insulation

If your garage already has drywall but doesn’t have insulation, you can insulate the insides of the wall with blown-in insulation. This means a contractor will cut a little hole in your wall and blow a cellulose material through the walls.

When they are done, the contractor will fix the hole they made. This method is quick, but it may be more expensive than batt insulation.

Other Alternatives

If you use batt insulation but don’t want to put up drywall, you may be able to get by with thick, foam board. This is not ideal, and you will have to check with building codes and make sure it’s completely fireproof.

After you get the insulation installed, take some time to make sure everything is sealed correctly. Caulk cracks between the drywall, where the drywall meets the floor, and where the drywall meets door or window frames.

You should also weatherstrip the access door to the house to prevent any car exhaust from seeping into the house.

What About the Garage Door?

The garage door is the tricky part. Obviously you’ll want to weatherstrip the garage door, as previously mentioned, but actually insulating the garage door is a little bit harder.

There are ways you can insulate your garage door on your own, but they are not usually good longterm options. Because the garage door is meant to open and close a lot and folds in many different places, batt insulation or spray-on foam insulation won’t work well.

Even if you find a kind of insulation that is specifically meant for garage doors, it will often flake off or break apart after a while.

Unless you want to insulate your garage door, again and again, you should look into buying insulated garage doors. These are garage doors that are made fully insulated.

However, if you aren’t planning to use your garage as a living space, you probably don’t need to worry about the garage door.

Whether you try to insulate your garage door yourself or buy one that’s already insulated is completely up to you and your garage needs.

Garage Insulation Keeps You and Your Things Comfortable

What’s the point of insulating the rest of your house if the garage sucks away or transfers hot and cold air? Insulating your garage will help you lower your energy, save money, and even protect your possessions. It is a good choice no matter what you use the garage for.

Getting ready to make some changes in your garage? Contact us and we will get you on the right path!

7 Safety Tips That Help With Garage Door Maintenance

7 safety tips that help with garage door maintenance

Most people only know something’s wrong with their garage door when it stops working thus requiring garage door maintenance. 

No one wants to get home at night and realize their garage door doesn’t want to open. Then begins the personal struggle: fix it yourself or call a professional. Fixing it on your own can be potentially dangerous, and it can be tough to figure out just what the problem is. If you call a professional, the costs can rack up quickly.

Luckily, there are some steps any homeowner can take to prevent their garage door from breaking suddenly.

With these garage door maintenance tips in your toolbox, you’ll never be taken by surprise by a garage door suddenly malfunctioning. Use these measures to keep your garage door in great working order.

Ready? Let’s go through our 7 safety tips that help with garage door maintenance.

Why Garage Door Maintenance Matters

You might be thinking, “well, if I can just call someone to fix it, why should I maintain my garage door?”

What people don’t realize is that garage doors can be dangerous if they aren’t well-maintained. A door that suddenly breaks, fails to open, or closes randomly can not only cause damage to vehicles, but it can injure people as well.

This applies to self-repairs as well. Trying to fix your garage door alone isn’t a good idea if you don’t know what you’re doing. No one should hurt themselves doing DIY repairs if it can be avoided. However, doing some quick checks on your garage door is fairly harmless and actually prevents future injuries.

By maintaining your garage door, you’re keeping you and your family safe.

1. Use your eyes and your ears

With garage door maintenance, your eyes and your ears are great tools for diagnosing issues.

A well-maintained garage door won’t sound loud and noisy — in fact, it will sound rather quiet when it closes. Loud creaks and groans can indicate issues with the garage door, so if your opener makes a racket it might be a good idea to do some DIY maintenance.

2. Keep your garage door balanced

Your garage door has a balance system that keeps it from coming down too quickly or not far enough. If the door is out of balance, it might slide down with a lot of force, potentially damaging anything underneath it. This also puts a lot of wear on the door, causing it to break early.

It’s fairly simple to check your garage door’s balance. Before you do anything, make sure that the opener is disconnected. Usually, you can disconnect the opener by pulling the release handle, which is generally a red cord.

After that, pull your garage door up manually until it’s halfway open.

If your garage door stays in place at that position, it’s balanced. If it slams down or keeps moving upward, it’s unbalanced in one way or the other.

Unfortunately, if your garage door is unbalanced, you will need a professional to adjust it.

3. Keep moving parts oiled and greased

Just like with any other machine, doing garage door maintenance means you keep the moving parts in working order.

There are tons of moving parts in a garage door opener and they all need lubrication to work properly. The rollers, springs, and hinges need it, as well as the opener chain.

If you live in a cold climate, you might need to use specific oils and greases made for low temperatures. Also, try not to over-oil or over-grease any parts — while not dangerous, it’s a mess that can get on people’s clothing.

4. Inspect your sensors

If the garage door isn’t closing properly, there may be an issue with the LED sensors at either side of the entrance.

Check them for dust or obstructions and clean the lenses if they’re dirty. If that doesn’t work, check the LED lights themselves. If either one isn’t working, the door won’t close anytime soon. Adjusting the sensors so that they match up should cause the door to successfully close.

If not, it’s time to call the professionals.

5. Adjust the door’s force

Most people don’t know that you can actually change the force of the opener. This affects how hard the door comes down.

What this system is useful for is detecting objects beneath the garage door. If the force is too high, the door will crush anything beneath it. With a weak force, however, the door won’t actually close at all.

An easy test is to put something like a wooden board or a rock underneath the door. If the garage door detects the object and opens again, the force is probably fine.

However, if the door refuses to close at all, or if it smashes down on the object, it needs some adjustments.

6. Childproofing

While not technically garage door maintenance, this is a safety concern nonetheless. If you or your friends have children, it’s useful to figure out ways to childproof your garage door.

Never leave the garage door opener where a child could get hold of it. It might seem like a toy to them.

The button on the wall for opening the garage door should always be high up on the wall, far over the height of any child. It’s also important to understand how the emergency reverse function works. Educating your children on this feature is vital for their safety.

7. Update your garage door

It’s much tougher to do garage door maintenance on old, outdated garage doors.

Many of these aged doors lack the modern safety features that new doors have. For example, older doors might not reverse until the door actually hits the object. If the object is a person, then it’s already too late.

While it can be costly to replace, the added security and function of your new garage door will surely be worth it.

Regular garage door maintenance creates a smooth-running door and a safer environment.

If there are issues, don’t hurt yourself trying repairs — call our trusted garage door technician and we will help you get your door working.

Safety First

safety-firstHow safe is your garage? You might be surprised to learn that it’s not as safe as you think. According to expert statistics, there are more than 13,000 garage door or garage-related injuries every single year. Some of the most common include:

  • Getting pinched or crushed between the sections of the garage door (7557)
  • Garage doors that fall off their tracks, typically the result of old springs (2102)
  • DIY garage door repairs or replacement (1610)
  • Lacerations from sharp edges on the door/track (805)

And the list goes on.

Routine garage door maintenance prevents injuries

The good news is that making one, simple change can have a dramatic impact when it comes to improving garage safety: Observing a routine garage door maintenance plan.

When you sign up with a licensed garage door company to inspect, tune-up and repair your garage door, you gain a partner in the mission towards garage door safety. If your door is outdated and doesn’t have many of the safety features that stop its activity at the first sign of resistance or pressure, we’ll let you know. If your springs are looking old or misshapen, we’ll replace them for you.

Garage door techs will automatically repair or replace parts that aren’t working properly or that are showing signs of wear and can dull down, or point out, any sharp edges or danger zones that might get in the way of precious human bodies or pets. Plus, if you are part of our regular maintenance plan clientele, you get top priority when your garage malfunctions or breaks down, and you also have access to premium price savings.

It’s easy to neglect garage door maintenance until something undesirable happens, so a proactive maintenance approach is the way to go.

5 tips for improving garage safety

Once your garage door is in ship-shape the following tips will also help to improve garage safety:

  1. Secure hazards up and out of the way, or in locked containers. The garage is full of tools and chemicals that are unsafe for pets and children. Make sure these items are secured up and out of the way, or lock them up in a labeled container or cabinet. Don’t forget that ladders are a danger. When propped up against the wall, they pose an irresistible temptation for little ones. Instead, install hooks in the rafters or along the wall and suspend the ladder on the horizontal plane instead.
  2. Eliminate clutter. Does your garage resemble a contemporary obstacle course? This is a recipe for disaster since the more your household members and/or guests have to navigate the clutter, the more apt they are to trip and fall on the hard garage floor. This is especially true for the senior population and those who have to maneuver around cars, toys and other items with a mobility aid. Pick a day when the weather is reasonable and perform a thorough Spring Cleaning (regardless of the season). Read, Garage Spring Cleaning, for tips on getting started.
  3. Have a fire extinguisher on hand. From fertilizer and paint thinner to pesticides and various types of fuel, the average residential garage is a much bigger fire hazard than most homeowners give it credit for. As we mentioned in #1, storing these hazardous chemicals and flammable products in well-marked, locked containers is a good first step. Even so, accidents happen so have a fire extinguisher or two in easy-to-reach locations so you can put a fire out quickly. Also, calendar the inspection date on each one and take it to a local fire protection company to trade it in or have it re-inspected so it’s ready to go when you need it.
  4. Provide adequate ventilation. Garages are notorious for having poor air quality due to the off-gassing of your vehicle when it starts and stops, as well as the various toxins that are stored inside. Make sure the door between the garage and the house is very well sealed, and then talk to your HVAC company about secure ventilation options so noxious gases have a way to escape rather than to accumulate inside.
  5. Upgrade security measures. Garages are a primary entrance for many burglars, especially if you’re in the habit of leaving a window cracked or keeping it in a slightly raised position so pets can get in and out. Read, 6 Tips on How to Make Your Garage Burglar Proof to make your garage more safe and secure.

Ready to make garage safety a priority for your home? Contact us here at R&S. Our friendly maintenance technicians will stop by each year to ensure your garage door parts are safe, functioning properly and secure. Don’t forget to ask us about our regular specials, which allow homeowners and landlords to replace outdated garage doors for a highly competitive price.

Garage Spring Cleaning

garage-spring-cleaningDo you like to stick with the spring cleaning tradition? There’s something symbolic and refreshing about opening up the house on a warm spring day, airing everything out and sweeping away the last of the winter clutter so you can welcome a new season.

While you’re at it, we recommend taking that spring cleaning energy into the garage and making sure things are safe, secure, tidy and up-to-date on maintenance.

Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Garage

As with any storage area – or spaces prone to clutter – we recommend using a sunny spring day to remove everything from the garage so you can sort through it. You may find it’s finally time to donate or dump lingering items you weren’t committed to ditching last time you organized – but that haven’t been used since.

As you put things back, ask yourself the following questions:

Are there any lingering holiday items?

Putting away holiday decorations is the gift that keeps on giving. A week after the last box was put up in the attic or on the storage rack, you find a latent photo or door knob cover you missed along the way. Don’t let those miscellaneous items junk up your garage. Instead, make sure you have ample storage space and put it where it belongs. Feel like decorations could be stored better? Read our post on, Solutions for Storing Holiday Decorations in the Garage.

What’s the status on your landscape and gardening tools?

Are the lawn mower blades sharp? Have pruning tools been cleaned and oiled? Landscape season is upon us, so early-spring is a great time to go through your mple gardening tools to give them a once-over. The better maintained they are, the longer they will last. Replace the string on your weedeater, de-rust any rusted metal, sharpen blades and oil any moving parts. You can also bring your tools to most hardware centers or garden supply stores and they can do the tool maintenance for you.

Do the family’s bikes or toys need any attention?

Unless you’re an avid biker, odds are the family bicycles and other toys can use a little attention as well. Clean and oil chains, check brakes, fill up tires and repair or replace tires that look worn or are punctured. Have the kids come outside and make sure their bike seats and handlebars are at the right height for newly acquired inches, and verify helmets still fit.

Could you be using more overhead storage space?

If the garage floor seems cluttered to you, look upwards and see if overhead storage is being used the way it could. Read, Stretching Your Garage Space to the Max, for ideas on how you can safely and accessibly store items up and over, rather than on the floor. With newly acquired square footage, you may have room to convert a corner of the garage into a man cave or hobby area.

When’s the last time your automatic garage door was tended to?

Most people neglect their garage doors but, like any machine, they require routine maintenance in order to run smoothly, quietly, efficiently and reliably. There are plenty of maintenance and DIY fixes you can do on your own, but some tasks should be tackled by the professionals. If you like to save a little money by performing maintenance tasks yourself, read, Four Garage Door Fixes You Should Do on Your Own. If not, schedule a maintenance appointment with a local, licensed garage door company. In many cases, your garage door’s warranty will depend on proof that you’ve maintained it as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Is it time for a garage door replacement?

If you have a manual garage door, it’s absolutely time to replace it. Those heavy, cumbersome and spring loaded doors are very dangerous – especially when it comes to children and pets. The same is true if your automatic door is more than 15-years old or if it’s seriously damaged or dented. A new garage door will reward you with impeccable performance and comes equipped with all the safety features your family deserves.

Would you benefit from a garage door screen?

How often do you like to hang out in your garage during the warmer months? If it’s a space where you or your children spend time, we highly recommend installing a garage door screen. They will make it feel as if you gained an instant home addition – and make garage life more comfortable – less wind, no pests or flying insects, fewer leaves to sweep up and a little more privacy – while still gaining a view of the outdoors and enjoying the fresh air.

One weekend day tending to some garage spring cleaning will pay off in a neat, organized and pleasant garage space – and a freshly maintained door that will perform as it was intended. If you need professional assistance with garage door maintenance, repairs or replacement – give us a call here at R&S – (925) 671-7606 – or contact us directly online.

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.

What Your Garage Door Says About You?

You wouldn’t think that a garage door says a whole lot about the people who live inside, but it does. After more than 50 years in the garage installation and repair business, you’d be surprised what we know by examining a garage door.

5 Things We Can Learn About You Through Your Garage Door

Here are some of the things your garage blabs to the world about you and other house occupants.

  1. You like to draw attention to yourself. If you have a fresh and brightly colored garage door, odds are you’re feeling pretty bold and confident. In fact, you feel so good about yourself – and your home’s garage door – that you don’t mind if the whole world takes a look. In fact, your boldly painted red, blue or yellow garage door is more like your way of saying, “Look at me, world!” as you boldly stare back.Helpful Tip: Just make sure you keep that paint well-sealed and/or refreshed because while a dilapidated neutral-colored door is always a bit of an eyesore, your peeling red paint is a much more garish display of decay.
  2. You’re not overly observant. Sometimes, our garage door maintenance routes take us back and forth through the same neighborhoods. The first time we see the garage door up, we figure it’s a fluke or perhaps a homeowner is busy working outside. The next time, and the next – we realize that the homeowner is driving away, clicking the remote access closer, and not paying attention to the fact that the door isn’t closing. Whoops!Helpful Tip: First, we highly recommend waiting until your garage door is all the way closed before driving off. Second, if the door won’t close, odds are there is something in the way and/or that the laser eyes are a tad bit off – both of which are easy fixes.
  3. You’re a neat Nelly. It’s not just the garage door that says this about you; it’s your house, the window trimmings, the landscape and everything else. The paint is fresh and the lawn and shrubs are tidy. When the garage door is up, the neighbors are in awe at the organization they see on display – there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. Yours is the garage that everyone wants to have – but hardly anybody does.Helpful Tip: We applaud the time you spend keeping things in order, but we recommend giving yourself a break once in a while and letting the professionals take over. A licenses garage door company will be happy to perform routine garage door maintenance at a very reasonable price, leaving you more free to get out there and have fun once in a while.
  4. You’re a renter. When the yard is verdant and well-maintained, and the house is in good shape – but the garage door is outdated and a bit dilapidated, we figure you must be a renter. While you’re doing a great job of maintaining what you can, there’s a point where an outdated garage door gives you away. Replacing a garage door isn’t something most landlords volunteer to do, and it isn’t an expense most renters volunteer to take on. Thus, rental homes often have garage doors that are seriously out of date.Helpful tip: Contact a licensed garage door company and have them give you a free estimate for an automatic garage door replacement. Even bottom-end units are attractive and reliable, and they sure beat the look and (dys)function of an outdated door. Then, staple it to a copy of our post, Garage Door Safety 101. It will serve as a reminder that the outdated garage door on your home is actually a bit of a safety hazard.
  5. You know your stuff when it comes to garage doors. If you’re paying attention to the world of garage doors, you’ll show it off by replacing weather stripping or seals before winter weather strikes, or upgrading the insulation before you turn it into a hobby shop or man cave. You may even have certain luxuries, like a garage door screen, the converts your garage into more of an indoor/outdoor living space when the weather gets warm.Helpful tip: While we applaud your DIY ability, there are some garage door repairs you shouldn’t do yourself. Know when to contact the professionals so you don’t make a regrettable error.

Feel like your garage door isn’t saying the right thing about you? Contact us here at R&S and we’ll see if we can help.

Solutions for Storing Holiday Decorations in the Garage

solutions-for-storing-holiday-decorations-in-the-garage

Feel like holiday decorations are exploding from every nook and cranny in your garage and closets? Perhaps it’s time to re-think your storage solutions. These days, garage storage is as much of a science as it is an art form, and there are plenty of tricks at your disposal.

We assure you that if you work out the storage kinks ahead of time, putting away your holiday decorations will be much less depressing than it already is. Before you get started, we recommend using a clear weather day to de-clutter and clean out your garage if you haven’t done it in a while. It will make it that much easier to design a new storage system for your holiday items.

7 Solutions to Organize Holiday Storage in Your Garage

Here are some of the ideas, gadgets, and tricks we’ve learned over the years, and much of the advice holds true for any seasonal or themed furnishings, accents and toys.

  1. Install ceiling-to-floor shelving. In truth, this first tip is one we’d advise to just about everyone. Stainless steel storage shelving systems abound and you can often find them used. They are affordable, require virtually zero cleaning or maintenance once installed and will help to get things up and off the floor, with items stored vertically to reduce the impact on your garage square footage. Once installed, you can make an entire section the “holiday décor” station, or you can use the top- or top-two levels to store holiday and other seasonal items that are rarely used during the rest of the year.
  2. Use a rafter- or ceiling-suspended storage options. One of the best things you can do to store items you don’t use that often is to get them up and out of the way. There are several different rafter- or ceiling suspended storage systems available for this purpose. The higher-end options can be hand or electrically raised and lowered, making it pain-free to load and unload them when you need to.
  3. Bag up the tree. Does your family use an artificial tree? Go online or to your local hardware store and invest in a high-quality roller bag designated to store a tree of your size. That saves the hassle of setting it up and breaking it down each year. When everything is zippered up tight, storage bags are the easiest way to keep your tree looking its best, free from dust, debris or pests. If you have a small tree and/or you’re small enough, the tree can be stored on a piece of plywood resting on the rafters. Otherwise, find a designated corner where it can be stored upright.
  4. Get holiday lights under control. If you use multiple strings of lights to decorate the exterior and/or interior of your home we have several recommendations for you. The first is cheap and easy – use a length of masking tape, folded back on itself to form a tag, and write down how long the string of lights is and where you use(d) it. That makes next year’s decorating that much easier. When it’s time to take them down, carefully wind the lights into a round and store string one in its own plastic bag, then lay those flat in a clear plastic storage bin (more on those next).
  5. Buy clear, plastic storage bins. When it comes to holiday decorations, it’s all about clear plastic bins so you can see what’s in there. In truth, we’re fans of clear storage bins for everything because we’re tired of scratching out and re-writing labels as our items come and go. Again, it’s worth it to invest in quality – and buy the type that snap-and-lock to keep your items pest- and debris-free for the other 46+ weeks they’re being stored each year. Plus, they make it easy to stack and stack without having to worry about collapsing cardboard.
  6. Divide decorations by location. Try organizing your decorations in a way that makes sense, like differentiating storage bins by indoor/outdoor, the floor of the home and/or specific rooms. This helps you with both set up and break down.
  7. Weatherproof your garage. Weatherproofing your garage, by upgrading insulation and ensure your garage is properly sealed, will protect the decorations from significant temperature fluctuations and/or direct weather and moisture contact that can destroy the contents.

When your holiday decorations are sorted, organized and safely stored, it makes decorating and de-decorating a breeze.

Keeping Your Garage Secure During the Holidays

keeping-your-garage-secure-during-the-holidays

Are you heading out of town for the holidays? This time of year is a popular one for thieves because they know that homes are often left empty while occupants are busy at various holiday functions or making their way out of town.

The garage may be your weakest home security link, so make sure your garage and home remain burglar free this season.

7 Tips For Making Your Garage More Secure Over the Holidays

Here are 7 tips to prevent your home and garage from getting burgled.

  1. Perform routine garage door maintenance. If your automatic door is working properly, it’s much more difficult to access without the remote access entry. We recommend performing DIY maintenance – cleaning the garage door tracks, lubricating moving parts, and keeping the area around the garage door free of debris – at least twice a year. Using high-quality seals and weather stripping will also help to prevent access.
  2. Keep your garage door closed. A closed garage door is your first line of defense against garage and/or home theft. An open garage door is an all to commons sight in most neighborhoods. Certainly never leave your garage door open for long periods of time, especially when you’re away from the home. When you leave for work each morning – or head out of town – make sure the garage door closes all the way before making your way into the street. This gives you a chance to go back and shut it again if the automatic safety features cause it to go back up as the result of an errant rake, toy or pile of leaves in the way.
  3. Utilize the lock function. Did you know your automatic door has a lock function? Many homeowners forget this important second-line of defense. Test it routinely to make sure it works. If you have an older door, or the lock function on your garage doesn’t work, you can padlock the throw latch or install C-clamps on each side of the door track, making it significantly more difficult to open the door from the outside.
  4. Don’t leave the remote in the car. It makes sense to leave your remote in the car, doesn’t it? You’ll never forget it and be locked out when you come home. The problem is that if a thief is able to get into your car and take the remote, he has full access to your home. If you have a more modern car, utilize the car’s automatic garage door programming system, making the remote a non-issue. Otherwise, bring your opener with you and make it a habit of clipping it to your key ring so you’ll never forget it. Better yet, buy a keychain remote fob and ditch the visor-clip version altogether.
  5. Upgrade your garage entry door. How burglar proof is the entry door from your garage to your home? Even thieves that make their way into the garage will think twice if your home has a solid-core wood or reinforced steel door with an anti-kick device on it. Always lock and deadbolt the door when no one is home.
  6. Install a peephole. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a wide-angle peephole in the door that leads from your home to the garage. That way, if you hear a suspicious noise in the garage, you can look through it – rather than open the door – to see what’s going on. This is also a good idea if you have younger children or teens who are on their own after school and before you get home from work.
  7. Frost or cover your garage windows. Leaving your garage windows exposed gives burglars a first-row seat view of the garage’s contents. If you have lots of expensive tools and/or toys, your clear window view serves as an invitation. We recommend frosting garage windows or installing blinds or window treatments that remain closed unless you are in the garage.

Feel like your garage could use some security upgrades? Give us a call here at R&S and we’ll be happy to help you out.

The Benefits of a Garage Door Screen

the-benefits-of-a-garage-screen-door

One of the major garage door screen manufacturers has a saying, “It’s not just a screen, it’s a lifestyle.” We’d have to agree. While the garage may be a utilitarian storage unit for some households, it serves entirely different purposes than when it was originally designed.

These days, garages are used as hobby shops and sports centrals; they’re used as man caves or in-law units, or they may be temporarily converted into a semi-studio for a young adult child who isn’t ready to flee the nest just yet.

In all of these cases, screen doors can go a long way towards improving the ambiance of the space, conserving energy, improving light and air flow and so on.

Five Benefits of Installing a Garage Door Screen

Garage door screens fit a wide range of garage door sizes. Once the screen is built and installed, you’ll be able to easily move it into place when your garage door is up. There are a few different garage door screens to choose from. Here are some of the most common:

  • Roll up screen doors. These are the least expensive garage door screen and are a good DIY option for homes that will rarely use the garage screen feature – perhaps only a time or two when company is visiting for the summer. They attach to the header and jambs and then a zipper or magnet system works to open and close them.
  • Retractable screen. Most retractable screens are installed using a housing system that attaches at the header. A remote control system raises and lowers the screen.
  • Sliding screen doors. These systems remain fixed in place. Your garage door remote’s additional button can be programmed to open and close the sliding screen door, or you can use a separate remote control.

Each one has its pluses and minuses. Working with a professional garage door installer will help you pick the best one for your lifestyle and needs. If you’ll be using the screen door on a regular basis, it’s worth paying for high-quality screen system so you can enjoy reliable operation day after day.

Here are five reasons we recommend installing a screen door on your garage.

  1. Expand your home’s square footage. When you convert all or a portion of your garage into a living space, you instantly gain square footage. This space will come in handy when you’re hosting a party or large gathering while hosting out-of-town guests, or for providing additional space for adolescents and teens to be ‘home’ with their friends while still retaining a bit of autonomy (while you preserve a bit of piece).
  2. Energy efficiency. By opening up the garage, and using a screen door, you eliminate the need for a portable A/C system or multiple fans. You’ll benefit from air flow and cooler evening- and night-time temperatures. This will save energy, and reduce seasonal cooling costs.
  3. Protection from flying insects. Without a full garage remodel, you can still wind up with a stuffy and cave-like atmosphere in the warmer months, and a screen-free, open garage puts you and your guests at the mercy of flying insects, critters and neighborhood pets. With a screen in place, you can enjoy your garage all day long – even with lights on after sunset – no need for a bug zapper, the pungent odor of citronella or copious insect repellant.
  4. Keep your garage clean. When a garage door is open, the slightest breeze can blow leaves, dirt, pollen, dust and debris into the space. In addition to creating a messy garage, this is all the stuff you want to keep away from your home’s interior, the garage door track and its greased mechanical parts.
  5. Improve security. If you like to leave your garage door open when you’re at home, the screen door is a perfect way to add an extra barrier between its contents and potential thieves that want to make a quick grab. They know that taking the time to open up a screen creates that much more noise, motion and attention – so the screen acts as a deterrent.

Are you ready to take your indoor-outdoor lifestyle to the next life? Contact the team here at R&S and we’ll be happy to provide more information about your garage screen door options.

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.

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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