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winter gutters

Gutters + Winter: What You Need to Know

A good gutter system will help your home stay safe through every season by preventing water damage – something to be even more cognizant of as winter approaches. If your gutters are not in top functioning order, any amount of accumulating snow could potentially cause damage. While water can create its own issues, ice brings a whole new level of considerations to homeowners. As ice expands, the damage to fascia – the horizontal board that protects the roof and the interior of the home from moisture by blocking its entrance – can be severe and a cracked foundation may require thousands of dollars of costly repairs. Below is a list of best winter gutter maintenance tips to keep your home and gutters in top condition:

Clear debris from gutters. It can be a daunting task, especially in cold weather, but invest the time to remove visible debris from gutters. You may opt for professional assistance, or decide to tackle the chore yourself. Luckily, this can be accomplished without much expense using a sturdy ladder, gloves and a garden trowel or gutter scoop. Special attention should be paid to corners and junctions where leaves are likeliest to gather. Gutter covers are another preventive measure homeowners can take to limit the amount of leaves and debris in gutters.

Inspect. Seams – located in the corner of your gutter system – and anchors should be your focus during inspections. No gaps should be exist between the fascia and the gutter.

Seek out and address standing water or structural damage. Locate any signs of staining, rotting or other water-related damage, or even standing water. If damage is evident, determine the source of the water flow and make repairs as needed. If visible mold exists, rely on a professional for solutions.

Check downspouts and flow. Gutters should be redirecting water, in a downward slope, at least 10 feet from the foundation of your home. Confirm that water is not pooling close to your home, which could ultimately wind up leaking into your basement.

If this sounds like something you’d rather leave to the professionals, that’s what we’re here for. Contact Garage Doors of Indianapolis with your gutter maintenance needs.

 

couple looking at paint smaples

Choose the Right Garage Door Style to Match Your Home

With dozens of home styles currently on the market, why shouldn’t you select a garage door that’s as unique as your home?

Whether you’re remodeling or undertaking a new build, it’s possible to find a complementary garage door style, whether it’s traditional, contemporary, Craftsman, Colonial or mid-century. With further customizations based on materials, hues, and finishes, your garage door can be a perfect fit for your home and lifestyle.

Garage Door Styles

The style of your home sets the foundation for the type of garage door you should ultimately choose. Building a modern townhome, condo or house? Or are you planning a remodel of a Park Tudor or a 1950’s-style ranch?

Make sure the aesthetics of your new garage door fits your home. Consider the following garage door styles:

Craftsman: The clean lines of a Craftsman or Mission style home demand the same styling in a garage door. These doors are distinguished by the raised panels and streamlined windows. Look for carriage house garage doors among these styles.

Modern/contemporary: If you live in a contemporary or modern home, garage door choices have significantly expanded in recent years. Not only do you have numerous options in material construction, you have garage door styles that range from minimalist to bold. These options can include long panels that seem to disappear into one sleek surface. They also include designs with or without window panels.

Traditional: If your design aesthetic — or at least that of your home — aligns more with Colonial, Victorian or Cottage, you can choose from traditional garage door styles in addition to more recent variations. If you’re remodeling a historic home, you may want to engage an architect or a professional garage door installer experienced in historic buildings. By focusing on windows and fixtures, you can choose a garage door that is cohesive with your home. In some cases, it may be appropriate to select a custom or semi-custom garage door.

Midcentury: With a mid-century design aesthetic, you can opt for a combination of contemporary and traditional characteristics. You can choose from among garage doors with slightly grooved rectangular panels, for example.

Materials and Colors

Give your garage door an even more distinctive look by choosing from various materials and finishes. For example, wood pairs well with more traditional home designs like Victorian, Craftsman, and Colonial. With modern homes, you can broaden those options to include fiberglass or metals like steel and aluminum.

Customize your garage doors even further with color and finishes. With wood, those options can include a wide range of finishes from painted white or a deep mahogany stain. Metal garage doors also are available in a wider range of colors, including bold blues, barnyard reds, cool greys and deep greens.

With so many garage door styles available, your home’s curb appeal will definitely get a boost. Contact Garage Doors of Indianapolis to explore options!

person cleaning gutters

3 Ways to Approach Gutter Cleaning

Even if you don’t have massive oak trees surrounding your home, your gutters could be susceptible to a buildup of drifting leaves, season after season. If your gutters haven’t been cleaned lately,  they could be at risk of being damaged.

Experts say neglected, clogged gutters could actually lead to leaks in the roof or other surfaces of your home, resulting in water damage that can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to repair.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to tackle those gutters by cleaning them yourself or hiring a gutter cleaning service to do the job. However, selecting a gutter cleaning service may not be the only solution to consider. With the installation of seamless gutters, for example, you can minimize the amount of gutter cleaning altogether.

Take a look at your various gutter maintenance options:

Do it yourself. Cleaning gutters is one of the most popular DIY projects among homeowners. However, it also is one of the most potentially dangerous tasks you can take on. Why? Cleaning gutters involves working on a ladder, which is a fall risk. Sturdy equipment and proper techniques safely speeds the process. As you work, take your time to carefully secure the ladder against a sturdy area of the roof.

Hire a professional cleaning service. The investment in professional services takes the stress and danger out of your hands. Professional gutter cleaners, too, are skilled and work fast. Look for insured companies with a good deal of experience and ask for an estimate upfront.

Install seamless gutters. If you live among tall trees, you may find that gutter cleaning becomes a ritual that rolls around too soon. In that case, you may want to consider installing seamless gutters. These special gutter systems eliminate the need to clean leaves and debris. They are a good option if you prefer to keep home maintenance to a minimum.

Tightly Coiled Springs

What to do if Your Garage Door Springs Break

Depending on construction quality, the average garage door lifespan is typically 15 to 30 years. However, it’s possible that your garage door may not be ready for a total replacement before something problematic occurs — like a broken garage door spring. What should you do if that happens? We’ve outlined steps to take below.

A torsion spring system, or extension springs, keep your garage door functioning properly. With doors weighing as much as 250 to 400 pounds, a malfunctioning spring is not just a security risk–it’s a safety risk as well.

Steps for Garage Door Spring Recovery

Recognize the signs of breakage

Your first clue is a non-functioning garage door, but there are other indicators:

  • The door only goes up halfway or moves slowly when opening
  • The garage door jerks as it’s going up or down, indicating that it’s unbalanced
  • A loud snapping sound
  • The garage door falls down too quickly

When any of these symptoms occur or a broken spring is visible, call your service technician for repair. It’s not advisable to DIY this type of repair because the door weight can cause serious personal injury and property damage.

A professional garage door specialist will determine which spring replacement systems fit your door design. Depending on your system, you may need extension springs, which are mounted on the side of the garage, or torsion springs, which are mounted above the garage door opening.

Invest in longer-life torsion springs

Whether you’re installing a new garage door or investing in repairs, ask the installers about longer life torsion springs — an upgrade that could be worth the expense. Most garage door torsion springs are made to last at least 10,000 to 15,000 cycles, considered the minimum by industry standards. With an upgrade, you could increase the life of your garage door springs to more than 100,000 cycles.

Regular Maintenance

Wear and rust are two of the main reasons garage door springs fail. While there’s not a lot you can do about wear, besides not using the garage door, you can minimize rust by applying a garage door lubricant on the spring coils once a quarter.

Early detection will help you stay ahead of trouble, so make sure to have your garage door inspected by a professional on a regular basis, especially if you frequently use the opener.

Need to schedule a garage door spring inspection? Garage Door of Indianapolis is at your service. Contact us today!

Humidity

3 Ways to Weatherproof Your Garage and Beat Humidity

A humid garage can result in mold, mildew and property damage, and you could battle these conditions year round if you haven’t taken proper precautions. Fortunately, there are some quick fixes that help you gain greater temperature control.

Here are three principles to dehumidify:

Block humid air from entering the garage. You won’t be able to resolve the issue until you make the space airtight, cool and dry. Sealing is a first step because it increases energy efficiency and blocks water, insects, and other pests from entering your space.

  • Invest in an insulated garage door and seal the top, sides, and bottom to preserve inside temperatures.
  • Seal doors and windows leading out to the yard as well.

Keep the space dry. Generally, moist air has nowhere to go in a garage, so the trick is to prevent humidity from happening at all. You can do this by:

  • Wiping down anything wet that comes into the garage.
  • Replacing items that absorb moisture, like cardboard. One of the worst materials to place in a humid garage is a cardboard box. Over time, mold can grow and spread. It’s best to avoid that scenario and opt for plastic storage containers instead.  
  • Test the garage floor to determine if the source of moisture is seepage or condensation. Condensation can form on the garage door floor when warm humid air hits cold concrete. Here’s how to test the root cause: tape a piece of plastic to the floor and see if, 24-hours later, the concrete underneath is damp. Dampness indicates that there isn’t a vapor barrier under the slab–the only way to fix that is to install one under the slab. If it isn’t damp, however, the problem could be condensation, easily remedied by heating the space during colder periods.

Vent. Circulation helps humid air dry out and/or escape. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to deal with the issue.

  • Open windows and let the sun and fresh air in–and the humid air out.
  • Use an exhaust fan or dehumidifier to specifically draw moist air out of the space.
  • Fans installed anywhere will help, but standing and ceiling fans together can make a big difference.
  • Leave space between storage boxes and use open shelves to let air rotate.

An insulated garage door can make all the difference in maintaining an ideal temperature in your garage. We can show you the best options for your space. Contact us for a consult today!

Garage in Winter

How to Keep the Weather from Seeping in? Seal Your Garage Door.

Whether it is summer thunderstorms or freezing winter air, the elements can seep into your garage and wreak havoc on items stored there. Barely noticeable small leaks can result in mold, mildew and pest infestations because they evolve over time. What’s your best defense? Sealing your garage door in three major places.        

Sealing blocks water, insects and other pests from entering your garage increases energy efficiency and blocks noise, creating a more ideal environment for storage, working or lounging. The goal is to have a cool, dry space that is free of debris and moisture. And though insulated doors are highly effective, a break in a seal could undermine their efficiency.  

Areas to Seal

Main areas that can become vulnerable over time: the space along the top, sides, and bottom of the garage door. There are a few different strategies to try to close any gaps:

Cover the space between the door and the floor. There are two different ways to do this:

  • Seal the garage door bottom
  • Place the seal on the garage floor so that the door rests on top

Line the top and sides of the door. It’s not completely flush, the space between the door and the jamb, because the door needs space to raise and lower. Weatherstriping between these two surfaces, however, smoothes the gap and adds protection.

How to Seal Your Garage Door

You’ll need a few different types of sealants:

Door bottom seal: The strip is made of vinyl or rubber, and it is tacked or fitted to an aluminum track stretching across the bottom of the door. This type of barrier blocks water, dirt and debris, animals and pests.

Threshold seal: Usually made of rubber, a threshold seal adheres to the garage floor. It’s very effective in blocking water and debris, so much so that the barrier might make sweeping out the garage challenging.

Weatherstrip: Garage door weatherstrip wedges between the doorframe and the garage door, and it is easily nailed into place.

It’s that easy to seal your garage door but to get the best results, try installing an insulated garage door. We’ve got a great selection. Contact us for a consultation!

man repairing gutters

When to Replace Gutters or Repair Them–and How to Do It

Homeowners invested up to $500 last year fixing gutters, according to Homeadvisor.com. It’s money well spent, because gutters have the power to protect against headaches, like a basement full of water. They do wear out over time, but it’s possible to prolong life with DIY repairs. What’s involved and how do you know when it’s time to call in a specialist? We’ll give you the 101.

Why gutters are so important

Gutters shield your home from water. By capturing rain as it drains from the roof and directing it away from the foundation, they protect the structural integrity of the house, preserve lower levels and keep it dry. Without gutters, water would collect around the house foundation, creating hydrostatic pressure that forces water into low-lying areas like the basement and crawlspace.

Signs of gutter problems

You know gutters aren’t performing correctly when you see:

  • Sagging
  • Leaks
  • Insufficient drainage

What’s happening in these situations? Let’s take a closer look.

Sagging gutters: add support

Gutters sag, droop and otherwise pull away from the house when hangers, hardware that connects the gutter to roofing fascia board, wear down over time. This is typical aging, and it can indicate a breakdown on either side of the connection. It’s also possible that fasteners weren’t set up to carry the weight of a full gutter: when spaced too far apart, fasteners can’t provide enough support and the gutter sinks.

The problem can be quite simpler: your gutters may be bogged down with leaves, branches and other debris that adds weight and prevents water from flowing freely.

What to do? Add support. Consider replacing or adding spikes to support the ferrule and/or the hangers. It’s also a good idea to clean gutters about every six months and perhaps invest in gutter covers to make the job easier.

Leaks and holes: clean, cover and seal

Regardless of whether your gutter is made of aluminum, copper, steel, galvanized steel, zinc or vinyl, the material can be compromised. Sometimes all it takes is a brush from a branch or tool to scratch the finish and create an environment for rust to thrive. Before long, rust can weaken the material to the degree that a hole develops. Breakdowns also happen in joints where the gutter curves around roof corners.

What’s the fix? Clear the rust away with a wire brush. Once clean and dry, apply roofing cement designed for the appropriate gutter material to cover and extend beyond the hole. Joints are more responsive to gutter sealant, which should be applied internally.

Malalignment: create a steady slope

Your roof slopes for a reason: it allows water to roll off the surface. Gutters, too, need a slope to create a level degree of drainage to and through the downspout. They should angle down ¼” about every 10 feet to create a steady flow. If you have still water in gutters and no obstructions are visible, measure to see if the distance is off.

It’s possible to detach and rehang gutters, but it’s tricky to pitch them correctly and consistently. Malalignments could mean a risk of water damage, flooding and otherwise compromising your home foundation. It’s best to call a gutter specialist to manage the job and prolong gutter life. Garage Doors of Indianapolis has outfitted and repaired greater Indianapolis homes with gutters, particularly Gutter Flo Seamless Gutters, for long life. Need an estimate? Let’s talk.

Light shining on masked burglar with hands up

6 Multi-Point Garage and Home Security Tips

You’re not the only one benefitting from the information available online. Thieves and burglars are tapping into instructional information and videos that demonstrate just how easy it is to break into your home. But you can outsmart them with a multi-point security approach, the most effective way to protect your home today. It starts with the garage, the easiest–and largest–entry point.

Why is the garage so vulnerable? It’s easy to forget to close the door, the door may malfunction and rise when sensing an obstacle, and physical for reasons, the door itself can have weak points or be made with inferior material. We’ve outlined key things you can do to reinforce entry points, deter break-ins and secure your space.

  1. Hold your door to a standard. Is your garage door built to be secure? Make sure you have a solid wall of protection. Glass and steel are strong materials, whereas aluminum can be dented and otherwise compromised, and wood can splinter and weaken without regular sealing and maintenance. Your garage door should be held to a security standard, like LPS 1175 Issue 516 or Warrington’s STS 202 (BRI).
  2. Create a block. Some garage door experts recommend using zip ties to prevent burglars from breaking in with a coat hanger. Zip ties will work, but you may compromise your safety and ability to get insurance claim coverage by disabling the security release.
    A security shield is a better way to block access–it doesn’t let the intruder break through the weather seal to begin with. The shield creates a block from outside the door, preventing contact with the emergency release. It works with modern overhead doors, so styles like the roller, canopy and side hinge will need an alternative option. A garage door specialist can likely make a recommendation.
  3. Surprise the intruder. It’s less likely that a thief can break in when they are caught in the act: light and sound are good deterrents that surprise and buy time. Alone, a garage door sensor might not discourage a persistent intruder. When combined with a home alarm, it creates urgency: the intruder might be startled and pressured, giving police, who could be called by neighbors or home security dispatch, time to respond.
    Make sure to install garage door sensors in positions that spotlight the front door and any side or back entrance. Consider, too, a smart garage security system or adding garage coverage onto your home security plan.
  4. Reinforce (indoor) doors. The lock may be strong but the surrounding area is typically weak, especially on interior doors. The solution? Use a lock reinforcer, a metal plate that supports the doorknob, diffuses the force of impact and makes the door nearly impenetrable around the lock area. Look for reinforcement also for door jambs and hinges, other weak spots.
    Finally, make sure to use a strong lock for the door leading into the house (and to the yard if you have one): deadbolt with an ANSI Grade 1 or 2 rating.
  5. Don’t give them access. This suggestion may seem simplistic, but most people attach the garage door opener to their car’s visor. Thieves are aware of this, so don’t give them the opportunity. Carry the garage door opener with you, either in your purse or a mini version on a keychain, and when you’ll be away for a stretch of time, disarm the remote and padlock the door.
    You might also want to consider window bars on larger openings, since this is typically another access point burglars try.
  6. Keep desirables out of sight. Windows are great design elements, but they also can invite theft just by making your garage interior visible. It is possible to maintain a certain aesthetic while hiding possessions. Consider installing frosted glass or translucent film: both let in light but obscure the view.
    These tips will get you started, but your best resource for garage door security is a specialist. We’d be happy to talk through various options to find the right fit for you. Contact us today!
Garage door decor

Replacing your garage door? Save it for decor!

It can be cumbersome to dispose of an old garage door, and it isn’t always necessary. There are plenty of cool ways to recycle the frame, structure, and material for functional and decorative uses in your home. We’ve compiled a few ideas.

The richness and decorative quality of wood

Wood doors are hearty, heavy and often contain decorative elements. They can be stripped, refinished and repainted for a range of “looks and feels.”

Furniture. From tables, headboards, and benches, the sturdiness of panels makes them a flexible option for indoor and outdoor furniture.
Artwork. The horizontal and rectangular shape of door panels are ideal for the space above a living room couch or to cover a long space on a wall.
Walls and decorative screens. Remove the panels and hinge them together to screen things out of your oasis. The physical barrier gives you a sound and visual buffer, whether used inside or outside.
Vanity frame. Give a dresser or even a wall a background with character–embellishments, shelves, and mirrors can be added to garage doors to create a statement piece.

A touch of glass

Glass adds light, drama and draws the outside in. Create a “wow” factor by adapting glass doors as:

Interior doors. Open a room and make living space look bigger with a glass garage door. It can offer privacy without sacrificing visibility.
Windows. Getting air is as easy as lifting a glass garage door when used as an outside window.
Cabinets. Glass panels can be removed and placed in wood frames to create a charming cabinet.

Strong as steel

Steel stands up to the elements and weight. Consider using steel door material for:

Shelving. Heavy objects, like books and plants, are easy to contain and display supported by steel panels.
Benches and other furniture. You’ll want cushions because steel isn’t cozy, but it can create a modern furniture fixture, like a bench, desktop or table.

Unsure of how to remove an old garage door? We can help. Garage Doors of Indianapolis has served the greater Indianapolis area with garage door installation, maintenance, and service for more than 38 years. Contact us today!

couple looking at blueprints

Outdoor Living: How to Convert your Garage into Livable Space

Homeowners are on a quest for more space. In the United States, 70 percent of households have outdoor living space, but 71 percent are planning enhancements to up curb appeal, including seating and accessories, according to American Home Furnishings Alliance’s recent study. Their primary motivation? Relaxation. And the garage is one place they are renovating to create it.

There is almost no limit to what you can create in a garage space, but common projects include converting the space into a: sun room, living room, luxury bathroom, kitchen space, studio apartment, man cave, guest house, home office, fitness room and playroom. It’s an exciting proposition–just check out examples on Contemporist and Housely.

Major home changes often require major planning, construction and consultations. What do you need to know and who should you call in to help? We’ll give you the scoop. But first, you need to get creative.

Brainstorm your vision.

Most people enjoy the process of gathering ideas, and they are everywhere: online, in print magazines in showrooms, home stores and designer boutiques. The door often becomes a showpiece in garage door conversions, because it is in a position to make a statement. What are good door choices?

Glass. By far the most popular option, glass garage doors help open up the space, add light and give you more access to scenery.

Wood. A classic choice, wood provides charm. Wood doors often feature design details and styling that create ambiance.

Aluminum. Lightweight and inexpensive, aluminum doors can be fashioned for almost style.

Plan with professionals.

Depending on how extensive the renovation is, you may be knocking down and/or moving walls, adding or moving plumbing and electrical wiring. You need to be sure that weight is adequately supported and distributed, whether you are considering changes to the number or size of windows or trusses propping up a room/attic above the garage.

It is wise to meet with specialists, including general contractors, architects and structural engineers, to gather information, sketch out a plan and define time frame. The job may require more intensive work than you realized. It’s common to:

Insulate and install HVAC: Walls, ceilings and the concrete floors may need insulation to make the space comfortable–and easier on the utilities. This could require raising the garage floor and insulating above the slab, for example. The space will likely need heat and A/C, which should connect to the house’s system for greater control.

Lay plumbing: Putting in a kitchen, lavatory or bar? You’ll need efficient plumbing installed and properly connected.

Creating an entry: How will you enter the garage from the house? Now that it’s becoming an added room, you have a lot of options as to how the home flows into the garage. Generally, partition walls are knocked down for an open floor plan or a new door is installed.

Get permission.

It’s best to start any project with the right information: what the project will entail and how long it will take. Make sure you are covered to proceed with the work. You’ll need to consult and comply with:

  • City permits
  • Zoning ordinances
  • Homeowner’s association Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)

Quite often, on-street parking for a length of time is an issue, so make sure that you go through channels to get approval. The contractor overseeing the project should help guide you in who should be contacted and what permits are necessary.

Secure your space.

By nature, garages provide access and depending on the project, it may be more visible to outsiders–especially if you use glass doors. Installing a home security system if you haven’t already is a good idea. Your contractor, as well, might have additional ideas to secure the entry points.

Ready to explore possibilities in converting your garage door? Garage Doors of Indianapolis is here to help. We have nearly 40 years of experience installing and servicing garage doors in the greater Indianapolis area. Visit our showroom or contact us for ideas.

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