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How to Reattach a Garage Door After Using the Emergency Pull

Reattaching a Garage Door After Using the Emergency Pull

Homeowners pull emergency release cords for a number of reasons. Maybe your opener malfunctioned in the middle of opening the garage door. Maybe the sensors on your garage door are sensing an obstruction when there isn’t one. Maybe you lost power.

Many think that reconnecting the door after pulling the release cord should be incredibly simple, but some people have trouble reconnecting the door to the automated garage door opener and getting the door back on track.

When you pull the emergency release, you engage a quick release mechanism that allows you to operate the garage door manually. You may have to manually open and close the garage door during this process, so be sure that you are physically able to handle doing that before beginning.

Some newer garage doors will automatically reengage after an emergency release cord is pulled.

If yours does not auto-reengage, you’ll have to take a few steps:

Step 1:

Check to make sure all sensors are working properly. If you see blinking lights on your garage door sensors, chances are that there is an obstruction. Check your surroundings and make sure no obstructions are present. You should see solid colors only.

Step 2:

Pull back on the emergency release cord until you see the lever connected to the cord attach itself to the automatic garage door opener. You should also hear it click into place. Make sure you do not pull too hard in this step, as you may unintentionally damage the cord or the opening mechanism.

Step 3:

Try opening and closing your garage door using the opener. The problem should be fixed.

In case these steps do not work for you, reference your garage door opener’s manual for troubleshooting suggestions. If you continue to have issues, call Garage Doors of Indianapolis and arrange for a technician to check the door and opener.

How To Keep Your Garage Cool During The Summer

The hot days of summer can be a problem for your garage. Here’s how to beat the heat.

Extremely hot days will make your garage chores a drag, and can even make spending time in the garage dangerous. Whether you enjoy spending time there working, building or you’ve made it a recreation area, the last thing you want is for your garage to be an oven.

Why Is It So Hot In There?

Before we explore how to get cooler temperatures in your garage, let’s look at what’s causing the problem in the first place.

Reasons for a garage that’s too hot include:

  • Garage positioning: if your garage faces the sun it’s exposed to intense heat
  • Colors: darker garage doors absorb heat
  • Air Flow: does your garage have a ventilation system?
  • Insulation: how your garage is insulated could be contributing to extreme heat

Keeping these potential problems in mind, here are some solutions to consider:

1. Park Your Car Outside

Heat from a recently-driven car can fill your garage with hot air quickly. If you leave your car in the driveway – even for a little while – that could provide an easy temperature fix.

2. Schedule Your Garage Time Wisely

Spend time in the garage when the temperature is most comfortable. Early morning garage time is likely the best, allowing you to get your work in before the day’s temperatures rise. Stay out of the garage between 3-6 p.m. on a hot day.

3. Upgrade Your Air Flow

Think about a dedicated garage ventilation system. You have two options: passive or active ventilation. Passive ventilation – usually spinning turbine vents – is normally installed on your roof and doesn’t require much energy. Active ventilation is more involved but is more efficient at removing hot air out of your garage.

4. Simple Solution: Get A Fan

Perhaps the most affordable option to increase ventilation in your garage is to get a fan. A simple oscillating household fan, a ceiling fan or a box fan will likely do the job.

5. A Little Bit Better But Expensive

The most effective – but likely most expensive – option is to install air condition in your garage. Your garage can be fitted for an air conditioning unit, but for larger garages, you might consider a high-BTU portable air conditioner. If you decide to go this route, be sure your garage is properly insulated.

6. Change Your Colors

Dark colors absorb heat. Your garage can generate less heat if it is a lighter color on the garage door and exterior.

In both the heat of the summer and Indiana’s winter cold, Garage Doors of Indianapolis has served Central Indiana since 1979. Local owned and operated, we give careful attention to each and every customer.

Contact our team of garage experts today for all of your residential or commercial garage needs.

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!

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 the 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.

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 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. Weatherstrips 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 with 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.

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.

Garage air conditioning unit

Should You Air-Condition Your Garage?

Warm, dry days are ideal for working on projects in the garage, because you can open the door to let the breeze in or the dust out. But once temperatures reach 80 degrees, a garage can feel uncomfortably stuffy.

If you plan to spend a lot of time tinkering in your garage this summer, you may be wondering how to keep your workspace cool. Air-conditioning could be the answer, if you’re willing to insulate your garage and spend money on the right option for your space.

Insulate first

Fiberglass insulation batting is sold in widths that fit snugly between wall and ceiling studs, so adding insulation is relatively easy. But then you’ll have to cover the insulation with drywall or plywood (check your local fire codes to determine the appropriate way to cover the batting).

You might want to replace the garage door with a new high-efficiency polyurethane door containing insulation, and add weather stripping around windows and doors to seal air leaks.

Air-conditioning capacity

Air-conditioner outputs are measured in BTUs, and the larger the space to be cooled, the higher BTU number you’ll need. An air-conditioner with a 21,000-BTU capacity could cool a space of about 1,000 to 1,200 square feet. An appliance that lacks the cooling power to suit a space will overheat and stop working.

Unit types: Window, portable and mini-split

Window air-conditioners have a much higher BTU capacity than portable units, but if you don’t have a window, a portable model might be the next best choice. It still needs to be vented to the outside, which means you may need to drill a hole in the wall. If you’re going to make a hole in your wall anyway, it may be worth the extra expense to invest in a mini-split system.

Mini-splits have an exterior compressor, connected by a small hose to an interior cooling unit. These appliances offer greater cooling power and energy efficiency than portable units and double as a heater in the winter.

Easy solutions

If you decide installing air-conditioning in the garage isn’t worth the hassle, an oscillating fan or ceiling fan may be adequate for keeping you cool during your summer projects. Whatever you decide, you can expand the functional space of your home by cooling off the garage.

Garage Sale Sign

Tips for Holding a Garage Sale

If you’re preparing to move to a new home or just want to get rid of some non-essential items, a garage sale is an easy way to lighten your load and earn a few bucks at the same time. Garage sales don’t take much effort, but keep the following tips in mind as you plan your event:

  • Advertise. Today, advertising your garage sale means more than tacking a hand-drawn sign to the nearest telephone poll. Create a free craigslist ad and include a couple photos of some of the more desirable items you’ll be selling.
  • Have a helper. People are inevitably going to ask questions about items you’re selling and might ask you to demonstrate how something works. Customer service matters, even in your own garage, so make sure you have a buddy who can help you respond to shoppers’ questions or keep an eye on the cash box.
  • Be prepared to make change. Don’t be surprised when people hand you a $20 bill to pay for a $1 item. If you can’t make change, you may miss out on a sale.
  • Hide the good stuff. Put away any valuable power tools or other items that aren’t for sale.
  • Put clothing on hangers. Clothing usually isn’t the best-selling item at a garage sale, but shoppers are more likely to browse through your belongings if you make browsing convenient. Don’t pile clothes on a table – hang items from a clothing rack.
  • Be ready to compromise. Garage sale shoppers know you want to get rid of what you’re selling, so they may try to haggle for a lower price. If it’s a reasonable offer – maybe a few dollars less than what you wanted – take it. The alternative might be not selling the item at all and having to cart it off to a donation center the next day.
  • Sell bottled water. Keep a cooler full of cold bottled water on site and sell it for 50 cents or a dollar per bottle. It’s an easy way to make some extra money, and anything you don’t sell, someone in your household will drink anyway.
  • Collaborate. A multi-household garage sale will always attract more shoppers than a single garage sale, so ask neighbors if they’d like to participate. When several homes hold a garage sale together, there are more people to keep an eye on merchandise, talk to customers and help move items, if necessary.

Home Not Selling? Boost the Curb Appeal With These Updates

Home prices in major U.S. cities were up 5.7 percent in December 2015, and the market is predicted to be seller-friendly this year. If you’re planning to sell your house in 2016, you may have some competition from other homeowners looking to take advantage of a favorable market.

Improving your home’s curb appeal is one of the easiest ways to stand out in a competitive market.

The National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Remodeling Impact Report evaluated the impact of interior and exterior home improvements for people planning to stay in their homes and for people planning to sell. They ranked eight exterior improvements, in two categories: appeal to buyers and biggest boost to resale value.

Top-ranked exterior improvements:

  1. New roof. A new roof topped the list of exterior upgrades most attractive to buyers and most likely to increase resale value. This is also a costly upgrade, so if your roof is a few years old but in good condition, you might want to focus on less expensive projects.
  1. New vinyl windows. Realtors ranked new vinyl windows second in both categories. If you have a large home, new vinyl windows may assuage buyer concerns about heating and cooling costs, because so much of those costs depend on window quality.
  1. New doors. Number three in both categories was a new garage door, and a new steel front door was the sixth most appealing upgrade for buyers and seventh most likely to add resale value. The report estimated a new garage door averages an 87 percent return on investment, and a new steel front door offers a 75 percent return on investment.

If you’re going to replace either the garage door or front door, consider replacing them both, so their color and style match. Garage doors aren’t just white, utilitarian necessities these days — they’re available in a variety of finishes and designs that can add visual interest to a home’s exterior.

Other improvements

4 & 5. New vinyl siding and wood windows ranked fourth and fifth on both lists, and new fiber-cement siding and fiberglass front door also made the cut. A Realtor can help you decide which improvements would be most likely to appeal to buyers in your area and improve the value of your home.