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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.

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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