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Old rusty garage lock

How to Remove Rust From Your Garage Door

Regardless of your garage door color, you may notice that it has turned a rustic orange color as spring approaches. How did this happen?

The salt you spread on driveways stews during winter, slowly eating away at your garage door. Over time it can compromise the structural integrity of steel, aluminum and wood doors. But these simple maintenance tips can help you restore it.   

Cleaning boosts curbside appeal and extends the life of your garage door. The only cleaning supplies needed for any garage door style is a bucket, warm water and a standard grease fighting soap or detergent. But you might also want to consider using white vinegar and water with a medium soft-bristled brush on steel and aluminum doors, since the respond well to this technique. Where additional tools are concerned, hard bristles can scratch the door surface, so opt for a softer brush.  

Cleaning steel and aluminum doors

It’s not ideal to start your cleaning projects during freezing temperatures. But once your driveway is clear and the day is warm, inspect the bottom of your garage door for rust or corrosion and:

  • Brush the door with soap and water, starting at the bottom where the rust is concentrated
  • Rinse thoroughly and let dry
  • Dip an old cloth in white vinegar (do not use cider or spiced vinegar) and wipe the rusted areas with a steel wool pad. Repeat this until the surface is shiny again
  • Apply a primer corrosion inhibitor, Zinc Chromate, which will prevent further rusting

Cleaning wood doors

Salt can cause wood to swell and expand, leading to splits and cracks. You can avoid damages to your wood door with these cleaning tips:

  • Wash door with soap, water and a clean cloth
  • Brush design elements (areas around knobs, recessed panels and windows) with an old toothbrush, which is soft and paint-friendly
  • Once dry apply wood staining protection or repaint

Anyone in your home can clean the garage door, including the kids. If the damage is beyond your ability to repair, call an expert. Garage Doors of Indianapolis offers full repair services for residential and commercial garage doors in the greater Indianapolis area. Contact us to schedule a service visit.

Organized Residential Garage Interior

Garage Renovations Rank Among Top Home Projects of 2017

What is the state of your garage today? Is it a two-car space with barely enough room for one car? Or is completely overflowing with boxes, sports gear, and lawn equipment to the point you can barely squeeze a motorbike into the chaos?

If so, it may be time to seriously consider a garage renovation, which is widely considered one of the top renovation projects for homeowners in 2017. These updates make the space more enjoyable and appealing to prospective buyers.

The New York Times describes garage makeovers as the “Final Frontier in Home Renovations.” Following updates to kitchens, bathrooms, and basements, homeowners are focusing on garages as an untapped opportunity to expand their home’s living space.

Realtor.com says upgrades to garages, like a simple garage door replacement, is one of the top renovations that could pay off for your home this year.

Stunning garage renovation options

Garage renovations can be as simple or extravagant as desired. If you’re simply looking to make your garage more organized, your project could fall into the $2,000 to $5,000 range. On the hand, if you’re truly looking to expand it into a living space that blends seamlessly with the rest of your home, it could cost as much $20,000 or more.

A finished garage can boost the value of your home and attract buyers, depending on the current value of homes in your neighborhood.

Here are several garage renovation goals worth considering:

Make room for two (or three) cars. You may simply want to organize your garage so that it performs the function for which it was built: to contain vehicles. In this case, you need to take an inventory of its contents and decide which are worth holding onto.

Do the hard work to downsize. Check out tips from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up if you need some extra motivation. For everything else that remains, consult a specialist to help you with options for clearing the space and storing the contents effectively. Vertical shelving, for example, is a good solution for tools, bikes and lawn equipment.

Extend your living space. If you like to have friends and family over to hang out, you may consider using your garage as an extension of your home. This could be a great project to take on, especially if you already park your cars outside. Living space expansion typically involves downsizing–just don’t work at cross-purposes and rent a storage unit for unused items.

Garage door renovation will likely involve sourcing for insulation, drywall, heating, flooring, furnishings and a garage door replacement to complement the upgraded interior.

Expand your garage. Perhaps you want it all: capacity for another vehicle, motorbike, and workstation. An expansion project gives you the opportunity to rethink the space and add extra touches that can be transformative, like an epoxy floor. Just make sure you are ready for a functional change. It would be a shame to invest in a beautiful expansion project only to clutter it.

Technology upgrades. The Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in a new level of automated convenience. More than likely you already have a keypad attached to your garage. You can now program the garage to open automatically with an IoT device when your car pulls up. Security cameras and other technology devices can be installed in the garage and monitored virtually as well.

A garage door professional can explain a variety of options available for homeowners–it’s definitely worth a conversation to learn more about maximizing the use of underused space and expanding your home.

Contact us today to discuss your garage expansion.

Garage Door Half Open

How Often Should I Have My Garage Door Serviced?

You should have your garage door serviced at least once a year if no other issues arise. Service technicians prolong the life of your garage door with preventative maintenance: lubricating areas of the door, tightening bolts and screws and adjusting spring tension. Although your door may work just fine without it, annual service will prevent issues in the future.

It’s also a good idea to conduct your own monthly check. Take these things into consideration when doing an overview of your garage door:

  • Determine if the door can be opened manually from the outside without the opener
  • Check for broken glass if your door has windows
  • Listen for unusual noises, such as clicks or a whine when opening and closing the door
  • Ensure that your door is able to completely close without issues

The information you provide to service technicians can help them diagnose and fix issues faster. Following are two tests that you can conduct yourself.

The photo eye is the mechanism in your garage door that keeps your children, pets and belongings safe if they are in the way of a closing garage door. It forces the door open to prevent accidents.

Check the eye’s effectiveness using a broom or other long object — not an arm or a leg –by placing it under the door close to the ground as it closes. The door should reverse and open back up. If it does not, keep people and pets away from the door and consult a garage door specialist.

Evaluate your door’s alignment by first disconnecting the opener. (Liftmaster provides a very helpful guide for disconnecting and reconnecting your opener, so do your research to know what you are doing beforehand).

The door should rise and lower manually. If opening it requires excessive force, or does not open relatively smoothly, there may be an issue that needs to be resolved. Next, raise the garage door halfway and let go. If it moves up or down, the door is out of balance and you should call a service technician.

If all goes well, you will be able to reconnect your opener after this test, and know that your garage door is good to go!

Garage Door Trends for 2017

Smart design and function that raise home values  

In yesterday’s down real estate market, garage door updates were one inexpensive way to raise home values–garage door replacements, in fact, produce a 83 percent return on investment, according to U.S. News & World Report. That fact isn’t changing. As we head into 2017, however, homeowners can also take advantage of design, material and smart technology improvements driving innovation in garage space design and function.

On deck for 2017

 

Statement pieces

A garage door’s color and design can make or break your house’s aesthetic. That’s why you don’t want to stray far from its current colors and shapes; these elements can create a powerful effect even if you have opted for a neutral instead of a current bold, trendy color.

Extending accent colors and shapes from the home to the garage allows you to make a cohesive and interesting statement. Accent colors featured on shutters, window trim and the front door are excellent starting points and references to start brainstorming; you might want to consider using lighter or darker shades for the garage.

Your house will inform not just the color, but also garage door design elements, particularly angles, arches and patterns that can be applied to windows and panels.

Flexibility

Lines are blurring between indoors and outdoors; patios and decks now function as livable spaces, and the same concept has finally reached the garage. It’s not just a place to park your car anymore–garages are being outfitted with movable walls, outdoor furniture, screens and insulation to make them inviting and usable year round.

Look for garage door details to also appear in interiors via transparent walls and glass doors that replace windows in offices, living and dining rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.

More light

Because garages are used for a variety of purposes, they are being designed to let in more light. Big windows that produce brighter, better lit spaces are popular options.

It’s not just physical light that is a trend; lighter-weight material give garage doors a modern, sleek look without the weight of wood, steel or glass. These materials are good-looking substitutes and practical, inexpensive choices. They require little maintenance and ease wear-and-tear on parts. Try:

  • Aluminum instead of steel
  • Polycarbonate instead of glass
  • Fiberglass instead of wood

Smart technology

Convenience and user-friendliness are two concepts driving many tech-based improvements to our daily routines, including how to enter and secure your home. Smart phones, for example, can open and close garage doors, reveal their current position and cite the person who last opened them.

Other options are well on their way to being adopted, including parking guides, which use lasers to illustrate your path in and out of the garage. People prone to grazing walls and dinging cars will appreciate this feature, which cuts down on potential damage.

Additional safety features are available on remote-controlled, wireless/keyless, smartphone-controlled and Internet-activated remotes. Many garage door companies also provide rolling codes, which are virtually impossible for hackers to replicate.

Energy efficient

An outdoor living space has to be just that–livable, which isn’t possible when your garage is 98 degrees or cold enough to hold items from your refrigerator. Maintaining a comfortable temperature is critical for comfort–and cost.

Insulation is a must. If you have a finished room against or above an uninsulated garage, you are likely overspending/losing money on heat and air conditioning. The warm/cool air is being leeched by the garage space.

 

Insulated door panels and walls are critical. Consider insulated options like aluminum, fiberglass, wood and vinyl, but steer clear of glass.

 

Top Tech Gadgets for the Garage

 

Innovative technology has given homeowners new ways to manage their appliances, thermostats and lighting systems. There’s even a smart oven on the market that knows what food it’s preparing and cooks it to perfection.

Some of the latest technological gadgets can simplify operation of garage doors, as well as make garages more comfortable. Take a look at some of these trendsetting products:

Smart opener

Garage door opener manufacturer Chamberlain has developed an app for Android and Apple wireless devices, MyQ Home Control. With the app and a compatible opener, users can open and close their garage door from anywhere and control individual lights throughout the home.

MyQ can communicate with other wireless devices in a home, too, such as Nest thermostats. And eventually, Chamberlain plans to introduce MyQ technology that will open the garage door automatically, when it detects a homeowner’s car approaching.

Intuitive fan

A powerful new air circulator from Vornado is designed to ensure maximum airflow – it doesn’t just blow air in a straight line, it twists and twirls to move up to 655 cubit feet of air per minute.

Most fans have settings of low, medium and high, whereas the Vornado Energy Smart Circulator has an output control just like the volume knob on a stereo and can be adjusted incrementally. At only 17 inches tall, this powerful air circulator may be the perfect solution for stuffy garages.

Light and sound

A new product from Canadian manufacturer Sengled lets homeowners enjoy adjustable lighting and music in the garage. The combination light and speaker screws into a standard outlet, and using the Sengled app, homeowners can adjust the brightness of the lights and listen to their favorite music or podcast.

Amazon recently released Echo Dot, a smaller version of its Echo, a wireless Bluetooth speaker. With the accompanying Tap, which is about the size of a hockey puck, users can play music on the speaker or ask it to find answers to questions, similar to iPhone’s Siri interface.

Warmth on demand

The QMark programmable digital wall heater can warm up a chilly garage without taking up valuable floor space. Designed for spaces up to 200 square feet, the heater also includes a nightlight and a fan-only function for air circulation. For larger garages, the Berko Architectural Wall Heater heats up to 480 square feet and features a stylish powder-coated steel finish.

Cluttered-Garage-Space

Storage Solutions for the Crowded Garage

It’s tough to keep a garage tidy without adequate storage, but even the tiniest garage can be orderly, with creative use of vertical space.

Check out these storage tips – from simple solutions to major overhauls:

Up, up and away!

Many garages have a lot of unused space above vehicles, but there are devices that can turn that dead space into storage.

Hoist-based storage units are flat surfaces suspended by wires from two or more ceiling anchors. They may have manual pulley operation, or remote-control motor operation, but the principal is the same for both – load the platform with items, and lift the platform into place near the ceiling. It’s an easy solution for storing a power washer, holiday decorations and other items that are seldom used.

Versatile pegboard

Pegboard is one of the most affordable storage solutions for garages – a 4-by-8 panel is about $20 or less, and the accompanying hooks are relatively inexpensive, especially when you buy them in bulk.

Hooks aren’t permanent, so you can reconfigure them to accommodate new items. Get a sheet of pegboard larger than what you currently need, so you have room to expand.

Put cylinders to work

A concrete form – the large, cardboard tubes used to make support pillars – can be affixed to rafters with metal edge banding to create a storage space for fishing rods, and other long, narrow objects.

With a little creativity and a hacksaw, you can transform PVC pipe into a variety of storage solutions – affix bands of PVC to the wall to store long-handled tools, or glue a cluster of short pipes together to make a tall, shallow shelf for everyday items like tape measures and light bulbs.

Stack your vehicles

If you’re an aspiring classic car collector who has no room in the garage for another vehicle, a hydraulic lift might be a solution. The lift elevates one car, allowing you to park another car beneath it, so you’ll need a garage with high ceilings (and a few thousand dollars). Another perk of installing a lift is that it makes underbody maintenance a lot easier.

When you’re ready to get organized, focus on making the most of your vertical space.

Is Your Garage Secure?

In April 2015, police in Hanford, Calif., responded to reports of several burglaries, in which thieves had gained access to homes via the garage. The criminals had broken into cars, stolen garage door remote openers then looked at vehicle registrations in the glove box to determine the location of victims’ homes.

Those crimes are a reminder that homeowners should never leave a garage door opener in their car in plain sight. Ideally, remote openers should be small enough to carry with you on a key ring or in your pocket. Following are a few more tips that can help you improve garage security.

Use strong keypad codes

If you have a keypad entry system for your garage, make sure the code isn’t easy to guess. Your birth date, your child’s birth date or the date of your wedding should never be used as a password, because thieves can easily find that information in public records, or even on your Facebook profile.

Secure the emergency release mechanism

Several videos online demonstrate how easy it is for burglars to break into a garage with a wire coat hanger. They straighten the hanger, leaving the hook on the end, and slip it through the gap between the top of a garage door and the doorframe to pull down on the emergency release lever. Securing that lever with an inexpensive zip tie protects your home against this threat.

Fortify the service door

Once a thief is inside a garage, getting into a home is usually easy – especially if the thief has access to tools inside the garage. Fortify the door leading from your garage to your home by using at least one 3-inch screw in each hinge, securing it firmly to the framing. Add a heavy-duty strike plate and a lock re-enforcer that prevents the door from splitting.

Replace the garage door

A new steel garage door is unlikely to draw the attention of thieves, because they need to be able to break in quickly. An older door that looks rusted, dented or weakened in some other way would be a more likely target.

Use precaution when traveling

If you’re going to be away from home, don’t announce your travel plans publicly. Ask a trusted friend or family member to stop by your home periodically to collect mail and rotate which interior lights are turned on. And if your garage door has a slide-lock, make sure to engage that before you leave town.

Rain on old town

How to Reduce Garage Humidity

A damp and humid garage can cause problems for homeowners, such as mold and mildew growth, rusted tools and corrosion of automotive parts. To keep moisture under control, start with the simplest solutions first, and progress to more costly and labor-intensive remedies if humidity continues to be a problem.

Step 1: Protect your tools

Until you get humidity under control, throw a few packets of silica gel in your toolbox; they’ll absorb moisture and help protect your tools from rust.

Step 2: Keep water out

If your car is wet from the rain, and you park in your garage, that moisture is going to evaporate inside and raise humidity levels. Towel-dry your wet car before closing the garage door. In the winter, don’t allow wheel-well icebergs to melt in your garage. (Usually, these can be removed with a swift kick).

Step 3: Get rid of cardboard

Mold needs a food source in order to grow, and many species of mold thrive on cellulose, a primary component of paper and cardboard. If, like most people, you have cardboard storage boxes in your garage, replace those with airtight plastic tubs.

Step 4: Improve ventilation

If your garage doesn’t have windows that open, consider installing a ceiling fan to keep air circulating. An exhaust fan – which can be installed either in an external wall or the ceiling – can help pull moist air out of your garage, as can a portable dehumidifier.

Step 5: Improve exterior drainage

Check the ground around your home to make sure it slopes away from your foundation at least six inches for the first 10 linear feet. A lesser slope – or a non-existent one – can cause excess groundwater to accumulate beneath a garage’s concrete slab. Add topsoil and adjust the grading, if necessary.

Detached garages may lack gutters and downspouts. Adding those can be expensive, but they will draw moisture away from the structure and help prevent serious water-related problems, like rotting wood beams.

Step 6: Add windows

Sunshine can help dry-up a damp garage, so you might consider adding a new garage door with windows. A skylight that opens brings sunlight into the garage and improves air circulation. Some newer skylights collect solar energy to power their battery-operated opening and closing functions, and windows close automatically when their sensors detect rain.

Old Garage Door

Repair vs. Replacement: Options for Old Garage Doors

Many newly constructed homes have attached garages that can house at least two cars. But older homes – those built when a family usually had one car instead of two or three – may have only detached single-car garages (if they have garages at all).

Sometimes, old garages are so small that they have rarely been used as intended – they became storage sheds, and all the moving parts of the garage door were ignored for years. So if new owners move in and intend to park in the garage, they may need to make some repairs before that can happen.

It’s rare to find an old detached garage that’s wired for electricity, which means garage doors must be manually opened and closed, and rusted parts may make doors extremely difficult to open. Repairing or replacing the garage door can alleviate a lot of aggravation, but deciding which option is best takes some careful consideration.

Overall Costs

Replacing a garage door will be costlier than repairing a broken spring. But the components in old garage doors may deteriorate gradually, requiring repeat emergency repair costs that can really add up over time.

A garage door repair technician can tell you which repairs are necessary and urgent, and which parts will likely need to be replaced in the near future. If you don’t want to worry about parts going bad or potentially being unable to get in or out of your garage, a new door may be the best choice. With a new door installation, the entire track system is replaced, so the door operates smoothly.

Vehicle Size

A garage built in the 1920s wasn’t designed to house an SUV and a riding lawnmower, so the doors tend to be quite narrow. Provided the garage is wide enough, you may be able to reconfigure the entrance to accommodate a wider door. That project can be expensive, but it can also reduce the risk of dents and scratches on your car from bumping into a narrow doorframe.

Aesthetics

Old wooden garage doors may show signs of rot, or may be warped to the extent they always look a little off-kilter. Replace decaying doors to increase your home’s curb appeal and market value.

If wooden doors seem to be in good shape but just need minor repairs, you might want to keep them, especially if their architectural style complements your home’s exterior. A new coat of paint or stain can freshen-up faded doors.

3 Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Close

Here’s a scenario that can ruin your morning: You’re running late for work, you hop in your car, pull out of your garage, hit the button on the remote control for your garage door opener, but the door doesn’t close. You can’t leave the house with the garage door open. At the very least, you’re going to be late to work, as you try to troubleshoot the problem.

Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself in this situation. But if you do, following are some of the reasons your door might be jammed.

  1. Safety Sensor Malfunction

If the door begins to close but stops short of the ground, the problem may be your safety sensors – those gadgets at the bottom of your garage door that keep it from closing on your foot. When sensors are knocked out of alignment, or if one of the sensor eyes is dirty, the door won’t close all the way. Usually, the tiny lights on sensors are solid; if they’re blinking, you can try realigning them.

  1. Faulty Remote

If you can close the door using the wall switch, you might just have a faulty remote control. Remotes may also experience radio frequency interference that disrupts communication with the unit that opens your garage door. Even LED light bulbs near the opener can disrupt the radio signal. Try turning off lights and wireless devices in or near the garage, to test for radio frequency interference. Ultimately, you may need a new opener, or you may need to change the frequency band at which the remote and opener communicate.

  1. Limit Switch Adjustment

Garage door openers have a limit switch that controls how far the door moves when it opens or closes. If, when the door is open, you continue to hear the opener motor running and can’t close the door, that’s probably due to a limit switch problem. Essentially, the motor is running because the opener is still trying to open the door

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