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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.

Commercial Garage Doors with Safety Posts

Commercial Garage Door Tips to Keep Your Employees Safe

Your employees are not likely thinking about getting injured when they show up to work every day — even if they work in a high-risk environment. However, as an employer, supervisor or manager, it’s something that should be on your mind on a regular basis.

With OSHA recently hiking penalties for workplace safety violations, companies are on alert about maintaining safety at the workplace. Back in 1970, when OSHA was formed, about 140,000 employees were killed on the job every year. While those deaths have dropped to 4,836 in 2015 — a significant improvement — too many employees are still working in risky conditions, OSHA officials say.

Of the workplace injuries and fatalities reported over the years, some have involved malfunctioning commercial garage doors. In one case, a 32-year-old employee in Nebraska died from his injuries after a 1,200-pound commercial garage door fell on him. In New York, a 62-year-old mechanic died in a similar accident.

Safe installation and operation of commercial garage doors

Many workplace accidents can be avoided with properly functioning commercial garages that are regularly serviced, maintained and operated. Here are key features and tips to keep your employees safe.

Invest in doors designed for safety. Ensure that you have commercial garage doors that are designed to prevent hazards. If necessary, upgrade to new doors to make sure you’re in compliance with overhead door regulations or the latest industry standards for safe operation. The operating controls should be located in an area that prevents employees from risks in the event of malfunctioning doors. Ask the garage door specialists about various safety features, such as sensor switches on the door drive motor that automatically reverses door direction when resistance is detected. Some garage doors also require constant contact of a button to open or close a door.

Schedule regular inspections. As with other equipment and machinery, commercial garage doors have many parts that, if defective, can result in accidents. These can include sensors, springs, support rails, and opener systems. Have qualified technicians regularly check the condition of these components and assess the proper operation of the door.

Train employees. Along with keeping regular maintenance and repairs of the garage door, it’s essential to ensure that employees are properly trained in its operation. The training should include an overview of potential hazards. The company that installed your garage door should provide this training, which can include tips as simple as keeping a safe distance from the garage while operating the door. The worker who was killed when the door was free falling was standing underneath it. Your workplace safety program should be comprehensive, taking into account all areas of your operations. In addition, written guidelines should be easily accessible to all workers. Make sure that you have a system for enforcing safety regulations.

Immediately handle repairs. If any portion of the garage door is hit by machinery or suffers any other damage, as was the case with the Nebraska accident, immediately rope it off or place barriers around it to prevent continued use. Schedule repairs even if it appears that the damage is minimal.

Smart Garage

Smart Garage Doors That Make Outdoor Living a Breeze

It takes more than just extra square footage to expand your living space–smart features are expanding from the home to the garage to help you create the environment you want with the touch of a smartphone.

Garage door openers are the “most active and frequently-used smart home device,” according to the Chamberlain Group and Parks Associates. With 14 percent growth expected in the smart home market from 2016 to 2022, garage door innovations are likely to snowball as well.   

What smart garage door functionality is possible?

Internet of Things (IoT) applications are giving homeowners the ability to make their property more secure, ease/simplify mundane tasks and even control expenses. Computer, wireless and mobile technologies are enabling a range of solutions to hit the market, including smart door locks, network security cameras and smart thermostats and meters. The technology allows for mobile alerts and notifications, digital logs regarding access activity, monitoring and remote control from mobile devices.

Brands like LiftMaster and Chamberlain are integrating home and garage functionality so that you can:

  • Open and close via smartphone and voice activation. Ideal when someone is locked out, traveling, lost the remote or just has their hands full: you can control access wherever you are.
  • Turn house lights on as garage door opens. Not only is it easier for you to walk into a well-lit house, house lights are a deterrent to possible intruders–especially when they suddenly switch on.
  • Remote-control temperature. Climate control is key, whether you are storing hot, cold or humidity-sensitive items in your (well-insulated) garage, or you want to make it enjoyably habitable.   
  • Access/use the garage even when the power goes out. Some garages shut down without electricity, and it may not be easy or possible to get in. Backup batteries and batteries that charge from the house make opening and closing the door a snap.

Interested in learning more about your smart garage door options? We’d be happy to show you around the Garage Doors of Indianapolis northwest showroom or contact us for a consult.

Man installing a garage door

How to Install a Garage Door–and When to Call an Expert

Changing the look of your home could be as easy as changing your garage door. And depending on the door type and features, it can be a DIY project. What does the work entail? We’ve laid out the steps below.  

Detach the door. Your old door may have specific removal instructions, per the manufacturer’s manual. But in general, you want to separate the door from the pulleys, remove each door panel and unfasten the tracks.

Be prepared for the weight. Doors made of wood, glass, and steel are heavier than the aluminum and can be cumbersome. Take care to disassemble the door in pieces, so that you aren’t holding more than you can handle.

Get the right dimensions and lay new tracks. You need to know the height and width of the door opening, of course, but overall depth and capacity above the door should also be noted–this is the fly space, providing enough room for an open door. Shoot for about 12” above the door and enough clearance to encompass its height, with at least 20” buffer.

When you install a new door, make sure to install the corresponding vertical and horizontal tracks–they’ve been designed with appropriately spaced gussets, which allow the door to open and close at specific distances. Without these pre-sets, the door can get caught along the jambs, increasing pressure and instability.   

Attach brackets and rollers. Put the framework in place, whether it be mounting brackets on the wall or door jamb and sliding the rollers onto the tracks.

Place panels and secure from the bottom up. Weatherstrip the bottom panel and level it, laying it into the door frame and securing according to manufacturer instructions. From here, attach hinges as necessary, which allow the door to fold as it rises/falls.  

Spring the door and test it. Attach the springs to the pulleys in the final step and test the door–it will probably take two or more people to hold it steady while lifting it slowly, making sure the tracks are even, parallel and smooth.

There are a lot of pieces to manage in garage door installations, not to mention the need for exactness and adequate support. For many, the project requires calling in garage door experts to do the job. Here’s why you may want to do so.

Why and when you need a professional tech to install your garage door

The process–and doors themselves– can be cumbersome. Here at Garage Doors of Indianapolis, we may send two or three techs for an installation, depending on the door type, because they can weigh up to 400 or more lbs. The doors must be secured and tracked in various positions, which calls for a degree of expertise and manpower. It’s not a one-man job.

Your safety is at risk. Do you know what could happen if you don’t use the correct/level tracks, install hinges in the wrong places or have incorrect spring tension or counterbalance? Lack of awareness of how the pieces play together could result in door falls that harm to your vehicle–or yourself.   

Lack of security. Even if the door functions properly, is it secure? Most high-tech features that customers find desirable include electrical wiring or computer programming that complicate the installation process, requiring expertise to make sure it is tamper-resistant.   

You gain warranty, service, and support. Not only is the door covered by a manufacturer warranty, most garage door companies back their product and workmanship. We offer 24 hour emergency service, annual maintenance, and regular repairs.

 

Interested in updating your garage door? Contact us to schedule a consult and/or installation.

Flood Sand Bags in Front of Garage Doors

How to Prevent Flooding in Your Garage

Neglecting your gutters can cause a flooding problem in your garage. Gutter traps guide the rain and snow from your roof to the ground protecting your home and its foundation.  Without gutter traps, the water will fall next to your house creating a pool near the foundation structure. Clogged gutters traps interfere with the operation of your garage door and can damage your home. If your garage gutters are not clear, then rain run-off water will trickle onto your garage door as it makes it way to the pavement. If you own a wood garage door, the moisture can cause swelling and operational issues.

Your garage door can freeze shut during the winter if too much water leaks and pools around the foundation and under door leaks due to blocked gutters. So what should you do?

Clean your gutters and route the water away from your house. Weather strips are tight seals between the bottom of your door and garage floor; they protect your garage from minor flooding. Replacing weather stripping will keep snow, rain, sleet and other weather elements out of your garage. Weather stripping wears away after years of friction and exposure, so make sure to stay on top of repairs.

Inspect the foundation for cracks and damages. When your home settles it shifts. This can cause the foundation to crack slightly. On rainy days the small cracks in your garage can make it flood easier. When the water seeps p through the cracks, it erodes and widens the space until the water pours through your garage.  Consider sealing them with waterproof paint or vinyl concrete patch.

Install adequate drainage. If your yard slopes toward your garage the water may pool up faster than it can drain. You may need to install french drains or trench drain along your driveway or in front of your garage. This way, you channel the water away from your home.  Keep in mind to direct the drain away from your neighbor’s yard or public sidewalk.

Install flood vents. Allow water to flow through your garage unobstructed so that water doesn’t exert pressure on your doors or foundation. The flood waters might not rise high enough to reach your home’s living space.  However,  a minor floor can have enough pressure to crush your garage door.

Use flood barriers and sandbags. This technique is used to redirect water away from your property and toward the street via sandbags. This option will not completely seal your garage, but it will reduce flooding during massive downpours. Stack the sandbags in a pyramid-shaped wall near the flood zone area. You will not need a fortress of sandbags around your property. It can cause more damage. You can purchase flood barriers or “quick dams” and place the products around your property. Quick damns expand once in contact with water. The swollen barriers can reach several inches high in a few minutes.

Understand what type of water is flooding your garage. If the water is contaminated or sewage, for example, then contact your local professional for help. However, if it’s fresh water from pipes then:

  1. Stop the water from spreading
  2. Remove wet items and allow them to dry
  3. Use towels, mop, or a wet vac to remove the water

If your garage has an overwhelming amount of water, don’t use an extension cord as the connection – it can shock you. Consider renting a sump pump from a hardware store. You have to remove all of the water, even if it’s an inch, to prevent mold growth. Dry out the area and disinfect it. Use a good disinfectant to get rid of bacteria that might have come up through sewers, toilets, etc.  Clean the walls, wood, and non-upholstered furniture that sat in the flood water.

Need help repairing your garage door and restoring your garage space? Garage Doors of Indianapolis is available for emergency and regular repairs for commercial and residential garage doors. Contact us to schedule an assessment.

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