How to Fix Cold Weather Garage Door Problems
Those frigid Toledo winters can take a toll on your home in many ways — including making it more difficult to open and close your garage door. There are several weather-related issues that can prevent the system from operating efficiently. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up stuck inside or, even worse, outside of your garage, which is something you don’t need when the temperature dips below the freezing mark!
In this post, we’ll explore some of the more common cold weather garage door problems you’re likely to encounter. We’ll also provide some helpful tips on how to correct them — or even prevent them from occurring in the first place.
My Garage Door Is Broken. Can I Fix It Myself?
We use our garage doors all the time. In fact, some of us use them more frequently than we use our front doors. After all, when you’ve just parked your car in the garage, it’s quick and convenient to enter your home via the garage — especially when you’re carrying bags full of groceries.
However, all this use results in considerable wear and tear. Over time, that inevitably leads to your garage door breaking down. If a breakdown has just happened to you, then you might be wondering whether to call a garage door pro or try to fix it yourself.
Knowing When It’s Time to Replace Your Garage Door Springs
Your garage door is one of the hardest working components in your home. Just think about how often you raise and lower it. For many homeowners, it serves as a veritable front door.
But all that heavy lifting inevitably brings wear and tear to your garage door. Some of its many moving parts are bound to break down eventually, and there’s a good chance your springs will be the first parts to go.
Do I Need Annual Garage Door Maintenance?
Homeowners typically have their heating systems, cars and many other household items inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Why not the garage door? It can be easy to forget that your garage door is the largest moving object in most homes and has many expensive moving parts that need proper maintenance. Most people open and close their garage door hundreds of times every single month, which leads to the natural wear and tear associated with heavy use.
While it can be easy to forget about your door, life would be extremely inconvenient without it. That’s why annual garage door maintenance services are beneficial to any homeowner with a garage.
Garage Door Maintenance Checklist
When do I need maintenance on my garage door? It’s a fair question. It’s important to realize that your garage door requires regular maintenance. Even the best garage door has parts that will wear out eventually, and the sooner you see signs of a problem, the better chance you have of correcting it before it becomes a major repair.
It’s tempting just to wait until something goes wrong to get someone to service your garage door, but that could be costly and inconvenient. So, what should your garage door maintenance schedule be?
Signs Your Garage Door Needs Maintenance
A garage door is one of the most often used appliances in a home, but all that raising and lowering can begin to take a toll over time. Make sure you avoid expensive garage door repair costs by signing up for regularly schedule garage door maintenance.
How to Prevent Melting Snow From Causing Damage to Your Home
We all know that snow and ice can be damaging to our homes, but what are the best ways to prevent this damage? Is it inevitable, or can a homeowner take action to prevent it from occurring?
Protect Your Home From Melting Snow
It is possible to avoid damage from melting snow. Here’s a look at how to do it:
- Clear wood areas: Snow settles onto wood, and, if left there, it can create lots of damage. That goes for the wood along the threshold of your front door and garage door as well as for wood decks and other wooden surfaces at your home. You don’t want to wait for the snow to melt only to find a surprising amount of damage. Take action to clear away snow and ice, and make sure your wooden surfaces remain damage-free through the coldest months of the year.
- Clear gutters and downspouts: In fall, make sure to keep your gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and other debris. If your gutters and downspouts are filled and overflowing, melted snow won’t be able to run through and down them. If melted snow isn’t able to drain properly from your roof, it can cause a great deal of water damage. Make sure to take care of this clearing task before the first snowfall of the winter.
- Clear roofs: Invest in a snow rake and use it to clear your roof before snow melts. This helps prevent the aforementioned water damage that can occur. Also, lots of snow can get pretty heavy on top of your roof. In time, this weight can reduce the integrity of your roof and cause more serious issues. Take the time to remove snow before it melts, and help prevent costly repairs that can come if you choose not to.
- Fill foundation gaps and cracks: When frozen precipitation finds its way into gaps and cracks in your foundation, it can expand and contract as it freezes and melts — which of course leads to foundation damage. Before the season of frozen precipitation, consider having a foundation company come and fill these gaps in order to prevent costlier damage down the line.
- Promote general drainage: The reason we need drainage around our homes is that water can be incredibly damaging — and we need efficient paths for it to travel away from the home. If you don’t have gutters and other home features that promote drainage, it’s time for you to consider them. While it costs money to have gutters installed, this initial cost is far less than what it takes to repair water damage to your roof and other parts of your home. Drainage also helps with ice dam prevention. Ice dams form when winter precipitation freezes at the edge of a roof, preventing drainage of anything upslope from the ice dam. Ice dam removal helps you gain better drainage and avoid damage from melting snow.
- Safety first: No matter what you do, always operate with safety in mind. For example, many of these tips include getting up on your roof, sometimes when that roof is covered with winter precipitation. Don’t get on the roof if there’s any chance of slipping and falling, and make sure you’re always taking all possible precautions. Nothing is worth an injury or a risk to your life.
Trust Quality Overhead Door for Your Repair Needs
Need help fixing water damage to your garage door or entry door? It’s always a possibility when you live in the Toledo area.
When you do need support for your garage or entry door, call on the team at Quality Overhead Door. Since 1982, we’ve been serving Toledo area homeowners with garage door repair and similar services. When you need installation, repair or maintenance for a garage door, entry door or storm door, count on the knowledge and experience you’ll find at Quality Overhead Door.
Contact us today about your installation, repair or maintenance needs.
10 Signs That a Contracting Company May be a Scam
When you start to engage with contractors about working on your home, you may begin to wonder: Am I being ripped off? While navigating bids and contractors can be a challenge, it’s not impossible if you know what to look for.
Here are tips on how to detect a scam and protect you, your home and your pocketbook.
When the contractor shows up to give you a bid and they offer a discount price that’s only available right then and there, politely decline and say you’re exploring your options. Professional contractors understand that the work is a significant investment for a homeowner, and they should encourage you to get as much information as possible before making a final decision.
Ask for Cash
A contractor should have no problem accepting a check for work. If they insist on cash for any reason, it’s a sign that they’re either trying to avoid paying taxes on the money or that they’re in some kind of financial bind. Either way, you don’t want to be involved with them. Insist on paying with a check for your own record-keeping purposes.
Home improvement work often requires a permit. If your contractor tells you that pulling permits is a waste of time, or that it’s not important to the process, that gives you a good indication of the care and attention to detail they will provide when delivering service on your home.
When a contractor starts to talk about impending danger at your home, they’re probably using scare tactics to get you to move forward with an expensive service. If a contractor says your garage door is about to cave in at any moment, that’s an exaggeration meant to get you to move forward with a replacement. Professional garage door service technicians will provide a more measured analysis.
Some home improvement projects come with high price tags. But, if you get a visit from a contractor you don’t know and they quickly quote you thousands of dollars for recommended service, you should shop that bid around. Make sure you get a second opinion before investing thousands of dollars into a service you don’t need with a contractor you don’t know.
Any contractor worth their cost is going to be able to provide referrals. If you ask for referrals, they should be able to provide them quickly. If you feel that the contractor is obfuscating, consider this a warning sign and explore your other options before moving forward with them.
Few contractors will ask for payment in full upfront. If they do, that should be a warning sign for you. While it doesn’t happen often, there have been cases where a contractor gets full payment and then disappears. Most professional contractors will ask for a portion of payment upfront, along with a written guarantee signed by both parties.
Don’t let a contractor give you a low bid to start, then raise the price after citing “unexpected circumstances” once the work begins. Make sure the written guarantee you signed includes language on how you’ll handle change orders and price increases. This should protect you from uncontrolled price escalation, and it helps hold the contractor accountable to work responsibly during the project.
No Physical Address
Not every service provider needs a brick-and-mortar location, but it does indicate a commitment to the industry and customers, as well as stability in operation. If your contractor does not have a brick-and-mortar location that you can visit or drive past, make sure to check references and learn more about how long they’ve been working. No storefront could also be a sign of inexperience.
Poor Communication and Organization
If your contractor is difficult to get hold of, or if you find that communication is lacking or unprofessional, they may not be a contractor you can count on. Take a look at the quote they provide. Is it on an official letterhead? Do they have a professional website and email address (Not just Gmail or another free provider)? These may seem like small things, but they can provide an indication of what to expect when working with them.
At Quality Overhead Door, we are your trustworthy source for garage doors, garage door openers, entry doors, awnings, fireplaces and other products for your home. When you need service you can count on in the Toledo area and throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, trust the team that’s earned an A+ from the Better Business Bureau and the Angie’s List Super Service Award.
Contact us today about your home and its needs!
How to Care for Your Garage and Prevent Costly Repairs
Your garage door is important to the convenience, access and safety of your home. Make sure your garage door is working at its peak potential by following these garage door care tips.
Maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs related to your garage door. While most homeowners don’t know where to start with garage door maintenance, there are actually a few easy tasks that will do a world of good, including simply cleaning your garage door.
Here’s what else you can do:
- Visual Inspection: About once a month, you should inspect your garage door’s hardware, rollers, pulleys, springs and cables. Look specifically for clear signs of wear and damage, including loose hardware and worn or frayed cables.
- Balance Test: Disconnect your automatic opener using the release lever, and then manually lift your garage door. It should lift easily and smoothly with little resistance, and it should remain open. Any sign that your door is challenging to open manually, or that it does not stay open, could be an issue with the door’s balance.
- Check the Reverse: All garage doors are equipped with a reverse mechanism that’s required for compliance. This mechanism ensures that people or objects under the door when it is closing are not crushed. Test this mechanism by placing a 2×4 or another object in the threshold of the door. Try to close the door. It should reverse when making contact with the 2×4. If it does not, your mechanism is not working properly and should be inspected by a professional.
- Check Photo Eyes: Your photo eyes are what create the beam across your garage door’s threshold. When this beam is broken, the garage door automatically reverses. This is meant to protect your car, people or objects from getting crushed by the door. Test it by using a broom to break the beam’s path while the garage door is closing. If the door does not reverse, you should call a professional to address your photo eyes.
- Test Force: With the garage door closing, hold out your hand and catch the door’s bottom edge. With just a little force and effort on your part, the door should automatically reverse. This force setting is meant to prevent the door from closing on people or objects. If it does not immediately reverse, or if it requires added force or pressure to reverse, the setting isn’t working properly.
- Add Lubrication: Your garage door’s rollers, tracks and hinges need lubrication to remain at peak operation. If your garage door is not operating smoothly or quietly, those are signs you need to add lubrication. The application of garage door lubrication requires balance. You want to add enough lubrication that your door operates the way it should, but you don’t want to add so much that the lubrication begins to capture dust, debris and dirt.
Check for Warning Signs
Check for Warning Signs
How do you know when you’re experiencing a garage door issue before a full breakdown? Watch and listen for telltale signs that you have an impending garage door emergency. Notice these warning signs early, and you can avoid the inconvenience and cost of emergency garage door repair:
- Unexplained Operation: If you notice your garage door raising and lowering at strange times, there could be a number of reasons. It may be that your photo eyes are off, and that your garage door is reversing when you try to close it. It could also be that your reverse mechanism is malfunctioning. It could also be some sort of issue with your garage door opener. A professional garage door technician can quickly diagnose the root cause of these issues and make recommendations on how to fix it.
- Excess Debris: Is your garage filling with leaves, dust, dirt and grime at a higher volume than usual? This could be an issue with the threshold seal and weather-stripping of your door. This issue is about more than just keeping your garage clean. If that dust, dirt and grime begins clinging to your tracks, rollers and other garage door components, it can create serious issues for your garage door’s operation.
- Noise: Your garage door is under a lot of weight and tension. It’s designed to handle this weight and tension, but even the best-performing garage door begins to struggle in time. Listen to it raising and lowering. If your garage door is becoming noisier, it may be a sign that the tracks are misaligned, or that another component in your garage door needs replacing.
- Loose Components: Are you hearing rattling or noticing loose hardware, bolts or other garage door parts? Your garage door works best when everything is tight and working smoothly. You can handle the tightening of some bolts and hardware on your own, but call in a professional if you notice loose springs, rollers or other parts. Also, if you tighten hardware and it quickly loosens again, that’s another sign that you have a larger problem.
At Quality Overhead Door, garage door maintenance and garage door repair in Toledo is part of our DNA. We have the team, tools and resources needed to deliver the best in Toledo garage door repair and related services.
Contact us today about garage door repair in Toledo!
Avoiding a Garage Door Repair Scam: 4 Tips to Help You Avoid a Scam
For years, there have been investigative reports on TV that go to great lengths to expose scams in the contractor and repair services industry. At Quality Overhead Door, we want to make sure we do our part to educate our customers of the past, present and future on how to avoid a garage door scam with their next maintenance or service repair.
Below are four tips for helping you avoid getting scammed on your next garage door repair, plus insights on our policies for making sure you don’t get taken advantage of. You’ll also find helpful ideas and online resources to make the process of avoiding a scam as easy as possible.
1) Receive proper bids or work estimates before you have your garage door project started.
A garage door repair that is properly priced may cost over $100, but should not reach into the $1000’s. When you call a local contractor to make an appointment, ask them for a general idea of the cost prior to them coming to visit. Just because someone is standing at your door does not mean you have to hire them to work on your repair — although you may have to pay a visit fee.
Keep in mind these tips during the bid and estimate phase before a repair company starts to work on your project:
- Ask them for a written estimate of your project to review and approve. Don’t feel bad about calling another contractor for a second estimate if you think the bid is too high.
- Never pay a repair technician until the service has been done. Reputable companies will typically request payment once the service appointment is complete.
- Do not pay upfront for the full amount of the project. If there are any sales tactics used by the technician you think are high-pressure, or if they force you to buy additional time and services not included in their estimate, say no or cancel the service appointment.
2) Review the online ratings of your repair technicians.
Many watchdog reporters suggest checking the Better Business Bureau ratings of a repair technician before approving them to work in your home. There are also many other online review websites available today for reviewing contractors that would work on your garage doors.
In addition to the BBB, we also suggest turning to review sources like:
- Angie’s List
Be sure to get a variety of consumer feedback on the performance of the company you are looking to hire. Many of these websites also provide you with alternative service providers if you find your contractor has bad reviews.
3) Make sure the company you hire has a local business address.
If you are hiring a repair company online from a site like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor or Thumbtack, make sure you verify the physical address of the company you have hired. If the company you have hired is truly a local service provider — and not just a third-party referral service for independent contractors — they will likely have a verified business location close to your community. This information can be verified through a series of Google searches or by using a service like Google Maps to find the location of your service provider.
Most reputable companies have a showroom and will welcome you to visit – this will assure you that you are working with a real business and not simply a company using a PO Box in your town.
4) Watch the repair person performing the work.
You do not need to be a handyperson to know if a repair is being done properly, or to see if something is broken by a repair person during installation. Keeping a set of ears and eyes on a repair person during a service call will increase the likelihood they do an honest repair in an efficient timeframe.
What Makes Quality Overhead Door the Right Choice
When we come to your home or business for an install, maintenance or repair call, the only people you should expect on site are our own experienced, Toledo-based staff that has been hired long term by our company.
With longevity in the marketplace — serving Toledo and the surrounding areas for over 30 years — we stand by our work and stand behind the expertise of our team to do the job right. Because of that commitment to you as our customer, we hire no freelancers or independent contractors to work on your doors.