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How to Know When to Replace Your Garage Door

Garage doors can last a long time. However, you should be on the lookout for signs that your garage door needs replacing. In this article, we’ll discuss how to know when to replace your garage door.

Your garage door has fungi, mold or mushrooms growing on it.

That’s a clear sign that your door is rotting. When the rotting gets to the nuts, bolts and hinges, you could have an unstable and potentially dangerous garage door on your hands. Keep an eye out for signs of mold, fungi or mushrooms – aka rot – so you can monitor this situation closely.

There are chipped or broken areas of the garage door.

If the wood is beginning to splinter or break at its edges, that’s a clear sign that your door is in need of replacement. You should examine the bottom edge of the door. If the portion of the door that sits on the garage floor is beginning to tear or break away from the rest of the door, then your garage door puts you and your family at risk. Get it replaced.

You have loose or broken cords and wires.

If you have loose or broken cords or wires, you should not operate the door at all. The door is unsafe to use. Get it replaced as soon as possible. The cords and wires play an important part in the safe operation of a garage door and if they are loose or broken, they don’t have the proper support to do their job safely. When replacing the door, the technician will make sure that the cords and wires are connected appropriately.

Your garage door is shaky or unstable.

If you notice when the door is in operation that it seems to be shaking and unstable as it goes up or down, then you should consider replacing your door. Why? It means that some part of the door is off balance and not working properly. A garage door needs to operate smoothly. If not, replacement if your safest option.

Your garage door makes excessive noise when opening or closing.

If you hear excessive noise when operating the garage door, that’s a sure fire sign that something is wrong with it. Excessive noise can come from multiple sources. It could be the motor having issues, the door could be unbalanced, the springs could need replacements or it could be something else equally as serious. At this time, it’s important to call in an expert and consider replacing the door entirely.

Your garage door hesitates when you operate it.

When you push the button on a garage door, it should operate without hesitation. If a garage door hesitates when the button is pushed or starts to go up and then goes back down, then you have a problem with your system. Not only is this inconvenient, it’s dangerous. Your door should operate reliably or you are not safe.

Of course, there are other signs that your garage door needs replacement. We went over some of the basics. If you have any of these problems, we suggest you contact Texas Garage Repair. We are available 24/7 at 512.518.6606. Give us a call and our technicians will be glad to help.

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Tips for Installing a Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers are installed differently depending upon the manufacturer’s specifications. In general, you should have a garage door technician install your garage door opener. In this article, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for installing a garage door opener that you may want to remember if only to tell that you’re garage door technician is doing it right.

Check the garage door first –

You want to make sure the garage door is in good working order before you replace the garage door opener. Make sure the garage door springs are fine. If not, you may not need a new garage door opener. You may need a new garage door. Call in a professional to finish the assessment and let you know what you do need.

Choose the right horsepower for your garage door opener –

Making sure that you choose the right horsepower (hp) is essential. You don’t want a garage door opener that’s got too much hp or too little. For a single garage door, you want to choose a 1/3 to 1/2 hp opener. For a double garage door, choose 1/2 hp and for one that’s wooden or has a faux wood overlay, which can be really heavy, it’s best to go with the 3/4 hp. (Note – putting in a higher powered garage door opener isn’t going to open your door faster. Garage door openers go at a set speed.)

There are three types of garage door opener to choose from. The first is a chain drive. In this type, a chain pulls the door open and closed. These are the least expensive but the loudest. Screw drives are priced in the mid-range. They are less quiet than the chain drive, but they are more expensive. Screw drives operate on a long threaded rod that drives a mechanism that opens and closes the door. Finally, there’s the belt drive. These are the most expensive and the quietest brands. A belt drive uses a rubber belt to open and close the door.

During the install –

Remember to install the power unit high enough that tall people won’t run into it. 7 feet from the floor is possible is a good height. A garage door opener has a manual disconnect cord. Run that about 6 feet high so any adult can get to it. Put the push button control about 5 feet off the ground so small children can’t get to it.  Also, place it in a location where anyone operating it can easily see the garage door. Always adjust the safety reverse system and the electric eye system so they are in good working order. You’ll want to remind your professional installer to do those things too.

There are parts to the garage door opener repair or replacement that you could do yourself; however, we recommend that you hire a professional to do them. Why? Garage doors and garage door openers are very sensitive mechanisms and potentially very dangerous. We, at Texas Garage Repair, can repair your garage door opener or replace it quickly and safely. Give us a call today at 512.518.6606.

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Important Garage Door Opener Facts for Homeowners

Garage door openers open and close your garage door. What else do you know about garage door openers? If you answered not much, then this article is for you. Here, we’ll explore some important garage door facts for homeowners.

  • Garage door openers make life easier. It’s so much easier to get into and out of your garage with a garage door opener. For example, you can just open the door from your car and enter the garage with no problem. The same is true for exiting.
  • Garage door openers help you figure out signs that your garage door is in need of repairs. If, when you open the garage door, you hear strange noises coming from the door, then it’s time to call a professional to get a repair. You should always have professionals perform garage door and garage door opener repairs because these mechanisms have lots of parts and are dangerous to work with.
  • Garage door openers work on electricity. They may come with locking and unlocking accessories like switches, remotes, keyed or wireless entries.
  • Garage door openers have a power unit with an electric motor, which is attached to a track. Door openers come with different mechanisms such as chain drive units, belt drive openers, screw-drive openers, jackshaft openers and direct drive units.
  • Garage door openers allow you to open the door differently, depending on the unit. Some are on a wall console. Others are door remotes. There are button remotes of differing types. You can get a sophisticated wireless keypad – some even work on just your fingerprint. Then, there’s the keyless remote.
  • It’s important to get a garage door opener with a manual emergency release mechanism, especially when the power goes out. Otherwise, you’ll be unable to use your garage.
  • Garage doors usually open slowly, but you can get a garage door opener that will allow your door to open faster.
  • You have the choice between AC and DC motors. DC motors are usually quieter. For your best results, look for a motor with .5 horsepower.
  • Get a garage door opener with a vacation setting so if you’re going away for a longer period, you’ll have the added security of knowing your garage door will remain closed and that no one can break into your garage or home while you’re away.

Garage door openers are an important mechanism, one that can help protect your home from break-ins. Now that you know more about them, hopefully you’ll treat them with the respect that they deserve. We, at Texas Garage Repair, know about garage door openers and are happy to help you if they need a repair. Call us today at 512.518.6606 for more information.

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How to Look for an Expert When Replacing Your Garage Door Springs

Oh no! Your garage door springs are failing. You need an expert to come in and fix them. This is not an easy or danger-free job. You want to hire the right person to do this. How do you know who to hire. You need an expert. In this article, we’ll tell you how to look for an expert like us at Texas Garage Repair when replacing your garage door springs.

The first thing we want you to know is that you should not – unless you’re a garage door tech yourself – replace them alone. Garage door springs are set up a certain way and they are very important to the mechanism that is your garage door. They are also what holds it up and, if you do them incorrectly, you could cause harm to yourself and the door.

So, what do you look for? We’ve determined several factors that you should consider before hiring a garage door springs replacement service.

1)      Provide high quality at a low cost repair. The quality of the repair should be stellar especially when it’s the replacement of garage door springs. However, it should not break the bank. A good company will be reasonably priced and give you a high quality repair. No, it’s not too good to be true.

2)      Use the most current techniques. Garage door springs replacements are evolving all the time. Your company should know the latest and greatest techniques for garage door spring replacement. It should also be done in a reasonable amount of time. Usually, the work can be done in several hours. Using the most current techniques ensures that you are getting high quality and a durable garage door spring repair.

3)      Give you a comprehensive quote. What you hear is what you get. You should not have to pay hidden fees and other costs from what the quote was unless they find something else wrong along the way. A good repair technician will check your entire door for issues and not just the springs. That being said, you should be able to trust the quote and if there are any additional costs, you should know up front what they are and why you have to be paying for them.

4)      Have insurance. The company you work with should have liability insurance so that you are not liable if anything goes wrong. This will give you peace of mind.

Now that you know what to look for, we suggest you give us, Texas Garage Repair, a call for your garage door spring replacement. We are available 24/7 and our number is 512.518.6606.

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10 Garage Door Safety Tips

You can never be too safe when it comes to your garage door. Garage doors injure about 30,000 people annually. Granted – many garage door accidents happen because of faulty garage door equipment. However, one can never be too cautious when considering garage door safety. In this article, we’ll explore 10 garage door safety tips you can use to keep you and your family safe.

  1. A garage door opener remote is not a toy. Do not give your children access to the garage door opener until they are old enough to handle the responsibility of it – like when they are old enough to drive a car.  There’s really no reason for younger children to have access to the garage door opener unless it’s the only way to get into your house. If that’s the case, then a child of 10 or 11 could probably handle the responsibility, but it’s be wiser to reevaluate the way you get into your home for safety’s sake.
  2. Make sure you mount the garage door opener mechanism out of the reach of small children. It should be at least five full feet above the floor and in a location where you have full view of the door so you can make sure the door is opening and closing correctly.
  3. Read through the garage door manual. Make sure you know how to use the garage door’s emergency release feature. You never know when you may need it.
  4. Each month, take some time to visually inspect the garage door. Look at the springs, cables, rollers and pulleys. You are checking for signs of wear and tear. If you notice problems, call a garage door technician like the ones we have at Texas Garage Repair. Many accidents occur each year when people attempt to fix their garage doors themselves.
  5. Again monthly, test the garage door opener’s reversing mechanism by placing a 2X4 board or a roll of paper towels under the door. If the door does not reverse after coming into contact with the object, call us for a repair. Also, if your door opener has not been replaced since 1993, prior to when the reverse mechanism was required, you should upgrade to one that has the reverse safety mechanism. It’s time.
  6. When closing or opening the door, keep an eye on it. Make sure no child or animal is trying to get in during this time. Please don’t make a game of ‘dodge the door’ with your children. It could prove fatal.
  7. Please keep fingers and hands away from any section of the door when it is opening or closing to prevent injury. You don’t want your fingers or hands to get in the way or the door’s operations.
  8. Maintain your garage door annually. Have a qualified professional look over your door at least once a year to make sure it’s in good working order. This will help keep it operating safely.
  9. Don’t get in the habit of leaving your garage door partially open. When activated again, it might travel downward and come in contact with an object in its path. Besides, leaving a door partially open leaves your home vulnerable to security breaches. Burglars often look for open doors to rob.
  10. In that vein, never, ever, leave a garage door opener in your car or with a parking attendant. Burglars like to steal garage door remotes so that they can gain access to your home. Always look the door to your home from the garage so that the burglar can’t get in. It may be mildly inconvenient to have to take your garage door opener with you everywhere, but it’s better than the alternative.

We hope we made you aware that your garage door is a very important and potentially dangerous item in your home. You should treat it appropriately and make sure that it is properly maintained. If you notice any problems with your door, day or night, you can call us at Texas Garage Repair. We are open 24/7 for you. We take you garage door safety seriously.

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Liftmaster Garage Door Openers: 8550 Elite Series

Liftmaster are among the best garage door openers on the market. Known for their reliability and durability, they are a good choice for someone looking for a quiet and smooth garage door opener.  In this article, we’ll review the 8500 Elite Series garage door opener.

The Liftmaster 8500 Elite Series will power up when the power is down. It has MyQ connectivity. This enables you to securely monitor and control your garage door opener and even your home’s lights with a smartphone, tablet or computer. You can receive alerts as email or push notifications on your mobile device so you’ll always know the status of your door and lights. MyQ is a free download and has no annual activation fee.

The Alert2Close feature provides a visual and audible alert to let you know that an unattended door is closing. This is beneficial to make sure that no one is in the way. The TTC (Timer-to-close) feature automatically closes the door after a specified time period. It can be adjusted in the programming. Prior to and during the door closing, the door opener lights will flash and the mechanism will beep.

You can have up to 4 keyless entries with this garage door opener. There’s also a protector system in place. There are safety reversing sensors that detect an obstruction in the path of the infrared beam so the door won’t close if there’s an obstruction there. In fact, as it’s closing, the door will reverse to a full open position and the opener lights will flash 10 times so you know something’s going on. The safety reversing sensors do not affect the door opening.

You can activate your garage door opener through a wall-mounted door control, remote control, wireless keyless entry or the MyQ accessory. You can program your remotes through the door control or on the Learn button on the garage door opener.

Performance-wise, the 8550 has a P3™ Motor. It’s reliable, durable and powerful. There’s a DC motor belt drive system that’s powerful and ultra-quiet. It’s virtually maintenance free. Equipped with energy efficient operation, the garage door opener consumes 75% less power in standby mode. It has a lifetime motor and belt, 5 year parts and 1 year battery backup warranty.

Security features include the Security + 2.0 that safeguards your household with every click a new code is sent to the garage door opener so the door opens only for you. PosiLock® locks down your door by electronically monitoring it against a forced opening. The Motion detector activates the garage door opener lights once you walk in so you don’t have to fumble around in the dark.

Overall, the Liftmaster 8550 Elite Series gets high marks for security and accessibility. It has a decent warranty and is fairly quiet.  It’s reasonably priced and can be installed easily.

We suggest that you contact us, Texas Garage Repair, for a full install and to make sure the door is working with the opener. We love Liftmaster products and are happy to put one in for you. Call us today at 512.518.6606.

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Garage Door Opener Buying Guide

Buying a garage door opener is no simple task. There are tons of garage door openers on the market today. When you shop for a garage door opener, there are several things you’ll want to consider. We go over those in this garage door opener buying guide. In the coming weeks, we’ll put different garage doors to this buying guide test to see which rate better than others. We hope you enjoy the article and look forward to your feedback on our Facebook page.

Size

Measure your garage door to ensure you buy the proper garage door opener. Garage door openers are sized according to the height of the door. For a 7 foot tall door, for example, a 7 foot garage door opener is needed. Most single-car garage doors can use a garage door opener with 1/3 horsepower. Doors that are 10 feet wide or larger need at least ½ horsepower. They may need to go as high as 3/4 horsepower. Regardless, you should always choose a door opener with a motor that has adequate power to lift the door. When in doubt, go larger.

Drive System

Garage doors have three different drive systems.  First, there’s the chain drive. It’s the most commonly used garage door opener. A chain lifts the door. It goes through the motor and out the other side to lift itself.  A belt drive is identical to a chain lift except that it uses a rubber belt instead of a chain to lift the door.  It’s the quietest and perhaps most expensive version of garage door opener. Finally, there’s the screw drive. A metal bar is threaded through the drive and pulls the door up. It’s a slow process, but less noisy than a chain belt. Now you have to consider the type of garage you have when purchasing the drive system. If you have stable cabinets and garage door shelf units, then a chain drive should be fine because it shakes the foundation of the garage. If you have less stable items in your garage, go with a belt or screw drive system.

Safety Features

A garage door opener controls the heaviest moving object in your home – did you know that garage doors can weigh as much as 600 lbs.? Safety is critical. Since 1993, federal law requires that garage door openers include sensors to prevent the door from striking anybody in its path. Automatic reverse – this stops the door and lifts off any obstruction – is another safety feature you should have.  A computer controlled system monitors the operating speed of the door and compensates for changing conditions like an obstruction or the door closing too quickly. Garage doors produced today use rolling codes for more security. This means that each time the door is opened a new, random code is generated. This prevents code theft and makes sure that your neighbor’s garage door opener won’t open your garage.

All doors have a manual release so that you can open the door when the power is out. Some higher-end model doors have a feature where the door will open just high enough to let a cat or a dog out. Many door openers have a security light that comes on when you activate the system. It stays on long enough for you to get out of the car and get into the house. Many remotes include buttons that turn on the light without activating the door.

Accessories

Wall-control buttons can be simple like a doorbell or complex like a complete control panel. They can prevent  the door from being used by locking it. This may be good to have for when you go away for an extended period. Door-control buttons are mounted inside the garage. They are near the entry of your home.

Another accessory to look at is a keyed emergency release kit. This is mounted on the door and attached to the opener emergency–release mechanism by a cable. If the power goes out and you need to get to the garage door from the outside, there’s a key that unlocks the kit and you can pull the release handle from the outside.

Entry Options

Different types of garage door openers have different types of entry options. There are remotes and keyless entry pads. A remote is battery powered and can often attach to the visor of the car. Other garage door openers have keychain remotes, which can be much safer. Sometimes burglars get into the house via the garage door opener on the visor.

If you have guests, you may want to get a garage door with different codes so that they won’t know what your code is. The guest can have a temporary key code when they visit.

You may also want a delayed closing. This allows you to enter and have a few minutes to exit the garage before the door begins to lower.

Installation

Do you want to install your garage door opener yourself? It usually takes about four hours and requires some know-how. We suggest you call a professional for garage door opener installation. We, at Texas Garage Repair, have the knowledge and the ability to install your garage door quickly and painlessly. Call us today for more information. We can be reached at 512.518.6606.

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Summer Garage Door Maintenance Tips

Garage doors are supposed to last from ten to twenty years. This depends on its durability and the care of its owner. Summer garage door maintenance is important. In this article, we’ll give you several tasks you can perform to keep your garage door operating at its optimal levels during the summer months.

  • First off, you should clean the garage door. Especially during the spring months, it’s probably got pollen and other yucky stuff attached to it. Do this with some warm water and dish soap in the solution. You can clean most garage doors easily with a sponge. Make sure to keep the hardware from getting wet so don’t soak your sponge, just wet it. Clean the outside door thoroughly. If you want to clean on the inside you can, but it’s not necessary.
  • Just like when you’re doing your monthly maintenance, visually inspect hardware for wear and tear. Check for bent or loose hinges, broken wheels or anything that looks worn out. Look at the spring lift cables and make sure they’re operating properly. Practice opening and closing the door. Make sure it closes and opens smoothly. If not, you may want to call a professional to take a look.
  • Now you can clean your hardware. Use a clean rag to remove debris, grease or build-up from the track. Lubricate the moving parts of the door with 3-in-1 oil. Do not lubricate rollers, idler bearings or locks. Use graphite to keep the locks in good operating condition.
  • If your door has rust, then you can be sure that moisture is taking its toll on your door. Sand the rust down, apply a zinc-rich primer and paint with a quality exterior latex paint. If there is rust on your hardware, call a professional to have the offending items replaced.
  • While you’re at it, why not paint the surface? Of course, you should make sure that it’s free of dirt, oil, caulk, wax and mildew. Use exterior acrylic latex for the job. Wood doors need to be painted or stained every few years.
  • Make sure your door is safe in a hurricane hot spot. If you live in an area where this is a concern, you should have a tested, reinforced door installed. Due to their size, garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than other exterior openings – especially two car garage doors. You may want to call in a professional to make sure your door is secure in the event of a hurricane or tornado. They will be able to tell you.
  • If you haven’t insulated your garage door yet, now would be a good time to do so. Insulation doesn’t just keep cold out in the winter. It keeps cool air in during the summer. Another good thing to do would be to put a fan in your garage to circulate some air. A freestanding exhaust fan is probably your easiest option. The fan will be at its most effective if positioned opposite the door.

If you don’t do a monthly check up, or even if you do, these tasks should be taken care of during the summer to make sure your garage door is working at its optimal levels throughout the year. You want your garage door to last as long as possible. If you have questions or concerns, call us at Texas Garage Repair. Our number is 512-518-6606. We’re more than happy to help.

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Why You Could Choose a Wayne Dalton Garage Door

Wayne Dalton Garage Doors are an industry leader. They offer more than just a way for you to close your garage door. They allow you to do it in style. Wayne Dalton doors have many options for styles and colors from which to choose that you are virtually guaranteed to find the garage door that fits your needs. The folks at Wayne Dalton know that shopping for a garage door is important. There are multiple considerations in your search. In this article, we’ll show why you could choose a Wayne Dalton Garage Door and be very happy with the decision. Read More

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Carriage Garage Doors – Information and Benefits

Carriage Garage Doors are very popular. They are designed specifically to look like the solid wood doors found on carriage houses in the 1800s. All of the major manufactures carry carriage style doors. Therefore, they come in a variety of different designs. When you factor in different trims and window styles, the number of options is impressive.

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