How to Manually Open Your Garage Door When the Power Is Out
At some point, every homeowner with an automatic overhead garage door will need to know how to get the garage door open when the power is out. While some overhead garage doors come with backup power sources, most still require manual operation in the event of power loss. Learning how to properly open or close a garage door without power is critical for your safety and the structural integrity of your garage door, especially during the winter.
If you ever find yourself in that dreaded situation where the power is out but you need your garage door to open, follow these steps to safely opening your garage door without the help of the trolley system.
Guide to Garage Door Window Options
Glass garage door window inserts add style and class to any type of residential garage door. Garage windows let in natural light and enhance a home’s curb appeal by increasing the garage door’s aesthetic value. But choosing the right design and type of glass inserts for your garage door can seem overwhelming given the countless options on the market. That’s why we’ve put together a brief guide for choosing garage door windows.
Decorative Hardware Options for Garage Doors
When it comes to curb appeal, sometimes it’s all about the details. Choosing the right garage door style in the perfect color can do wonders for a home’s exterior, but simple details are what ties an entire look together. The right accessories can take almost any garage door from boring to beautiful, but how do you determine which accessories are best for a garage door and where to place decorative garage door hardware?
Fortunately, there are some objective rules you can follow when choosing and placing decorative hardware for garage doors. Adding garage door handles and hinges can improve a home’s overall appearance and perceived value if done tastefully and appropriately.
Basic Garage Door Decorative Hardware
Traditional garage door hardware accessories usually come in the form of subtle, classic pieces that give garage doors a more polished, put-together aesthetic. Most garage door hardware suppliers provide the following decorative pieces:
- Handles: Decorative garage door handles are popular options for carriage-style garage doors and any other style that opens from the center, such as a regular set of double doors. You should place handles no lower than shoulder height on garage doors and ensure they’re securely fastened. These decorative pieces not only add charm to garage doors but are also highly functional if installed properly.
- Hinges: Adding hinges to the sides of a garage door — or set of doors — adds rustic elegance to a home’s exterior. You typically place decorative hinges on the sides of a garage door where the door’s normal hinges are — usually near the top and bottom of the door. Decorative hinges are popular additions to carriage house garage doors and barn-style garage doors due to their old-fashioned beauty.
- Clavos: Clavos are essentially decorative nails. They look like bolts, also a popular decorative hardware option, except they’re designed specifically for decorative purposes. Clavos add subtle flair to any type of garage door and are especially popular in garage doors with arched tops, rustic styles and industrial designs. As with handles and hinges, clavos come in a variety of different shapes, materials and finishes.
- Ring Pullers: Ring pullers are a popular alternative to decorative garage door handles that give a home’s exterior a unique twist on the traditional garage door. Usually fastened to the same place one would normally put handles, ring pullers make a garage door stand out and add charm to a home’s overall look.
Garage door locks are another way homeowners can add decorative touches to their garage doors without overwhelming the doors with too much accessorizing. Depending on the style of garage door, decorative hinges, handles locks and other hardware can make an overwhelming difference in a home’s appearance.
Tips for Adding Decorative Hardware to Your Garage Door
A garage door’s design is entirely up to you — and there’s no “right answer” to where to put garage door handles. However, keeping the following design principles in mind will ensure that the end results will be as aesthetically appealing and style-appropriate as possible:
- Decorate according to the style of the garage door and house, so no garage door handle hardware looks out of place.
- Don’t overdo it — let decorative garage door hinges and handles enhance the look of the door instead of overwhelming it.
- Use proper placement. Any hardware placed on a garage door should make sense from both aesthetic and functional standpoints. Talk to a garage door expert for more advice on how to outfit any style with garage door locks and handles.
Quality Overhead Door is a leader in providing beautiful and durable garage door styles to customers in Ohio and Michigan. Browse our selection of residential garage doors today or contact us for more information!
3 Ways to Have a Warm Garage This Winter
A freezing garage is not a comfortable place to work on projects or hobbies. Frigid temperatures aren’t too great for stored liquids or equipment, either. Liquids like paints or glues won’t perform as they should in the cold, and any pieces of equipment containing water could freeze and crack. Don’t neglect your garage during the winter, even if it is an uninsulated area of your home. Luckily, there are straightforward ways to create a warm, cozy space in your garage. You can enjoy this part of the house, even when those cold Toledo and Southeast Michigan winters try to tell you otherwise.
Whether you’re wondering how to heat a detached garage or how to make an attached concrete garage warm, the same principles apply to every garage — or any other room, for that matter. In this post, we’ll show you the best ways to heat a garage in the winter, so you can enjoy peace of mind and work on projects year-round.
1. Determine Where You’re Losing Heat
Before you do anything to winterize your garage, you need to determine where you’re losing heat. That way, you’ll know which areas need attention, and you won’t waste time or money addressing the wrong spots. You’ll mainly want to look for air leaks and areas that need insulation. Air leaks are a major source of heat loss in the home and the garage during the winter. Heat loss can occur through air leaks in windows, doors and walls. Warm air can also leave through materials like glass or uninsulated walls or doors. Common areas for air leaks and heat loss in the garage include the following.
- Walls: A lot of garages have uninsulated walls. Although insulation in itself won’t warm the garage, it will slow the transfer of heat to keep heat from escaping. If you plan on heating your garage, it’s a good idea to install insulation, such as fiberglass batt insulation, between wall studs. Be sure to choose insulation that’s the proper thickness for your walls, and carefully read the instructions to get a secure fit. Also, make sure to seal any tiny cracks or gaps you find in the walls or around outlets or switchplates. Lastly, check for gaps where the wall meets the floor, and seal the area with a foam sealant or caulk.
- Ceilings: Many garages have unfinished ceilings with only rafters overhead. You can reduce heat loss by installing insulation in the ceiling and adding wallboard.
- Windows: If you can see gaps around the windows in your garage or if the windows in your garage rattle, it’s likely you have air leaks you need to seal. You can easily add protection against cold air by installing a plastic film covering over the windows. Installing plastic wrap is an easy and affordable way to prevent window air leaks effectively.
- Passage doors: Air leaks commonly occur under doors, including the door leading to the main house from the garage. Installing a door sweep will close the gap between the door and the threshold and will help keep heat in the garage. You can also use a draft stopper for an easy solution, and caulk the trim around the door on the inside and outside.
- Garage door: Your garage door takes up a large portion of the wall in your garage, meaning there’s a lot of potential for heat loss in gaps under and around the door. If the door is uninsulated, heat can pass right through it. Consider adding insulation to your garage door or replacing an old garage door with a new, insulated door.
Why Should You Prevent Heat Loss?
Sealing air leaks and adding insulation will give you the best results when you add a heat source to your garage. Heat flows from warmer to cooler temperatures, so insulation adds effective resistance to the flow of heat and will decrease heat loss. If you don’t seal gaps, holes or cracks and leave large spaces uninsulated, your heating efforts won’t be as effective. The warm air will slip away.
You’ll also spend less on utility bills when you prevent heat loss in your garage. According to Energy Star, the typical American household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills, and about 30% of that goes toward heating. When you seal air leaks and add the right amount of insulation, you reduce energy waste, utility bills and outside noise, all while increasing the comfort of your garage.
2. Add a Heat Source
After you’ve insulated your garage and addressed any air leaks, you’ll be ready to fill the space with heat. Here are a few no-nonsense heating options to consider.
A mini-split is a ductless heating and cooling system. It has two components — an indoor unit and an outdoor condenser. A conduit connects these two parts. Most homeowners choose mini-splits for heating a single room, and they are ideal for spaces that have no ductwork — like a garage. You can get a mini-split system mounted to a wall or ceiling, or choose a freestanding unit. These efficient units are much less complicated to install than an HVAC system. Since mini-splits have no ducts, you won’t experience ductwork-related heat loss. According to the Department of Energy, duct losses account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning.
A propane heater is an excellent option for heating a garage because it offers a ton of warmth, it’s mobile and it’s an affordable way to add heat. Space heaters, including propane heaters, generally range between 10,000 British thermal units (Btu) and 40,000 Btu per hour. Select a propane heater that’s the right size for your garage. To figure out the correct heater size, take the following steps.
- Measure your garage: First, measure the height, width and length of your garage.
- Calculate the total cubic feet: Next, multiply the length by the height and the width to get the total cubic feet of the area. For example, if your garage measures 10 feet long by 8 feet wide and 12 feet high, you’ll multiply all those numbers together and get an area of 960 cubic feet.
- Estimate the temperature increase: Estimate how much you wish the temperature to increase. To do this, research the lowest area temperature and subtract this number from the temperature you wish to maintain. For example, the average low in Toledo in January is 22 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want your garage to maintain a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need a temperature increase of 46 degrees.
- Calculate the Btu you need: To finally calculate the Btu you need, first multiply the total cubic area by .133. Next, multiply that number by the temperature increase and round to the nearest thousand. Using the examples from above, you would need a heater with about 6,000 Btu.
When using a propane heater, make sure to set the heater on a flat surface away from flammable materials.
Electric Space Heater
A portable, electric space heater offers a straightforward solution to heating your garage. Space heaters are readily available, easy to move around and come in a range of sizes to meet any budget. Although a portable space heater may not be enough to heat your entire garage, it can support another heat source on a bitterly cold day or warm up a specific area.
Most space heaters work by convection, which is the circulation of air in a room, but some depend on radiant heating. A radiant heater gives off infrared radiation that heats objects located in front of it. A radiant heater may be the most efficient option for a garage if its primary use is to store the car, or if you only spend a few hours in there at a time and can work in front of the heater. Since radiant heaters only heat part of the room, they don’t waste energy heating up too much space.
When choosing any space heater, make sure to purchase a newer model with new safety features. Also, select a heater you can control with a thermostat to reduce energy waste.
3. Fix Your Garage Door
Many garage doors are thin metal, which does nothing to keep warm air inside the garage and cold air out. Your garage door can be a major source of heat loss in the winter. If your garage door is not well-insulated, it can also defeat the purpose of your other heating efforts. A chilly garage door will make your garage more uncomfortable and put extra strain on the heating and cooling system inside your home. By insulating your garage door, you’ll help prevent cold air from transferring through the door and will be able to keep the garage an average of 10 to 12 degrees warmer. Here are some options for winterizing your garage door.
Install a New Weatherstrip
The first step to insulating your garage door is to put a weatherstrip on the bottom edge. If you have an older garage door, the gasket may be cracked or worn. The gasket is there to seal the door and block drafts, so you must have a functioning gasket in place.
To choose the right weatherstrip gasket size, you’ll first need to measure your door width. Once you have the right-sized materials, you can remove the old weatherstrip using a tool such as a scraper or putty knife. Make the area as clean and smooth as possible to help the new weatherstrip adhere. After application, the gasket should seal when the door is closed, but also allow the door to open without any issues.
Make sure to check for gaps around the garage door frame as well, and apply a self-adhesive strip to fill in small gaps where needed.
After weatherstripping your garage door, you’ll be ready to apply insulation. You can purchase a garage door insulation kit, which should include all the supplies you need. You have several insulation materials to choose from, such as foam board or fiberglass batt insulation. Be sure to measure your garage door before you make any purchases. If you have an oversized door, you may need to buy two kits. No matter what type of insulation you choose, the process generally involves cutting the insulation to fit the garage door panels and securing it with an adhesive.
Replace the Garage Door
Depending on the condition of your garage door, your best option may be to replace your garage door with a new, insulated one. Replacing an old, uninsulated garage door with a new door is a good investment. It will help you keep heat in your garage all winter long, and it will help reduce cooling costs in the summer. Overall, a quality, insulated garage door will save you money in the long run.
You’ll want to choose a garage door with high thermal resistance, or R-value. R-value measures the effectiveness of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the more effective it is at stopping heat flow, and the more you’ll lower your energy costs. Aim to select a garage door with an R-value of at least 10 to reduce the transfer of air. You’ll also want to choose a door with an R-value of 10 or higher if you keep your car in the garage. Thermal resistance will help protect your car and stored items like paints and vehicle fluids from harsh temperatures. If you use your garage for a home gym or office, it’s worth investing in a garage door with an R-value of 16 or higher so you can be comfortable spending a lot of time in there.
- Canyon Ridge Collection with 2″ Intellicore® Insulation: Canyon Ridge garage doors are as beautiful as they are durable. These doors, which consist of tough steel layers, polyurethane insulation and a gorgeous faux wood overlay, have a 20.4 R-value.
- Coachman Collection with 2″ Intellicore® Insulation: Coachman garage doors feature a charming, wood-like appearance, but consist of durable steel and polyurethane or polystyrene insulation. The R-values of these Coachman garage doors range from 6.5 to 18.4.
- Gallery Collection with 2″ Intellicore® Insulation: Gallery Collection doors are steel carriage house doors you can choose with decorative windows or hardware. Insulated Gallery doors have R-values ranging from 6.3 to 18.4.
- Modern Steel Collection with 2″ Intellicore® Insulation: Modern Steel doors are perfect for contemporary or modern styles, are available in an array of attractive finishes and are easy to maintain. Insulated Modern Steel doors have R-values ranging from 4.4 to 18.4.
Reach out to Quality Overhead Door
Did you know sealing air leaks and adding insulation to your garage and other rooms in your home can help you save up to 10% on your annual energy bills? If you live in Ohio or Michigan, you’re no stranger to cold winters and the utility bills that follow. There’s no need to tackle cold winter weather on your own. At Quality Overhead Door, we’re here to help you keep your garage warm with quality products and installation.
As a family-owned and -operated company, we’ve been serving Toledo and Southeast Michigan and putting our customers first since 1982. If you have questions about garage insulation or improving the heat in your garage, reach out to us at Quality Overhead Door today!
Best Practices for Keeping a Cool Garage in the Summer
There’s a lot of information out there about how to make your home energy efficient, and buying new appliances, upgrading fixtures and plugging air leaks are just a few of the suggested ways. If you live somewhere prone to hot summers and cold winters, you’ve probably spent a lot of time — and possibly money — accomplishing these tasks. But, if you’re like most homeowners, your repairs and upgrades have been focused on your primary living space, and you’ve probably overlooked one crucial area of your home — the garage.
Tips to Make Your Garage Door More Secure
While most homeowners mainly use garage doors as a convenient entrance to their homes, these fixtures also provide significant home security. With aging door systems and vulnerable access points, your home’s garage door could be an easy entry point for potential home invaders. About 10 percent of home burglaries occur through the garage door. While this statistic is intimidating, you can reduce your chances with proper garage door security efforts.
How to Clean Your Garage Door
When is the last time you cleaned your garage door?
If you’re like most homeowners, then cleaning your garage door probably hasn’t made it very high on your list of priorities. We get it. There’s a lot going on. On average, Americans are working longer hours than ever before. Finding the time to maintain your home just doesn’t seem to come as easily as it used to — but why is cleaning your garage door important to do?
Garage Door Safety Tips
Your garage door adds convenience to your home life, acts as a storage space and keeps your car safe from weather. But the garage door also poses a potential danger. Thousands of people are injured every year from garage doors. It’s important to know what risks they pose and how to avoid potential injuries.
Follow our garage door safety tips below to keep yourself, your family and your pets safe at home.
Garage Doors and Pet Safety
Your garage door is a very useful thing to have at home. When it begins pouring rain on your way home from the grocery store, you can get your groceries inside without getting wet. When you forget your house key, you can still get inside.
We love our pets, and we want them to stay safe at all times. Garage doors, however, can pose a risk to pets, and pets, in turn, can pose a risk to garage doors.
Garage doors cause thousands of injuries to people every year and your pets are not immune to this potential danger. However, there are many things you can do to teach yourself and your household about pet safety while they are around garage doors.
How to Keep Children Safe Around Garage Doors
If you’re a parent, a grandparent or someone else who often has young people at your home, child safety is no doubt a priority in your life. You should know that garage doors, while wildly convenient, are also home appliances that are under massive amounts of tension. This tension helps garage doors operate properly, but it can also pose a threat to children if your garage door isn’t correctly maintained or fully working.
Garage Doors and Kids
The garage door is one of the heaviest moving objects in any home, and when not used properly, or in the case of a mechanical failure, it can be extremely dangerous. Kids playing in the garage can be in danger of serious injury or even death from a falling garage door. Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, several deaths and injuries from garage doors were reported, and as a result, safety organizations and garage door companies began to research the safety of garage door equipment.
In 1990, federal legislation was signed that ensured safety standards for garage door openers manufactured after 1993. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission required in 1992 that all garage door openers sold in the U.S. must have entrapment-protection technology, such as photo-sensitive eyes or sensors. Many garage doors now also carry the UL325 certification, from Underwriters Laboratory, designating to consumers that the garage door has gone through rigorous testing and standards of safety.
Today, the number of serious injuries and deaths from UL325-compliant garage doors is almost zero. New smart technology may change the way we open and close our garage doors, but child safety continues to be a top priority.
Garage Door Safety Lessons for Kids
When your kids are old enough to be outside without constant supervision, it’s important to make sure they understand garage door safety. Talk with your kids and teach them these easy tips and lessons to keep them safe while playing in and around the garage:
- Before you close the garage door, make sure no people or animals are standing in the garage door’s path.
- Never leave your bike or any other toy in the garage door’s path.
- Only use the garage door opener in an emergency, like when you forget your house key. The remote is not a toy and buttons should not be pushed just for fun.
- If your garage door has a passcode, don’t tell anyone the passcode, even your friends.
- Never hang onto or “ride” the garage door up when it’s opening. Don’t climb on the garage door, even when it’s closed or not moving.
- Don’t touch the garage door when it’s moving — it may be tempting, but little fingers can easily be pinched by the door panels.
- Don’t play right under the pathway for the garage door. It’s best to not take any chances and stay away from where the door comes down.
- Don’t move the photo-eye sensors at the bottom of the tracks. This can throw off a garage door’s safety features.
With these simple garage door rules, your family can prevent serious injuries as well as damage to the mechanisms. Have conversations with your kids about these lessons and avoid dangerous situations in your garage. Emphasize to your children that garage doors and openers are not toys, and you’ll keep your whole family safe.
Teach Kids Garage Door Danger Zones
Besides teaching your kids some basic safety rules, take it a step farther and review your whole garage door system with your kids. Most children are naturally curious and may enjoy finding out just how the door works. Point out the various mechanisms, quell any mischief caused by curiosity and empower your kids with the knowledge of a garage door’s most dangerous areas:
- The springs: Garage doors generally use either torsion or extension springs. Torsion springs are found over the head of the door, while extension springs are found above the horizontal tracks. Find out which kind you have and point them out to your kids. Make sure they know that any type of springs should not be touched or played with, and if they happen to spot broken springs, they should tell an adult immediately.
- The lifting cables: The cables are what actually lift up the garage door and can be found attached to both sides of the door. These cables are under intense pressure, so kids should understand that the cables should not be touched, plucked or played with in any way. Show your kids where these important cables are located on the garage door and stress the importance of leaving them alone.
- The photo-eye sensors: These important garage door components are located on each of the vertical tracks on both sides of the garage door. Sitting just a few inches off of the garage floor, these small electrical components are not necessarily dangerous on their own but are an important garage door part for kids to be aware of. It’s essential children understand that these sensors are a safety feature for the garage door and must be aligned correctly in order for them to do their job. When they are aligned, the sensors produce an invisible beam of light that prevents the garage door from closing and crushing anyone or anything in its path. Make sure your kids know not to play with, cover or move these sensors. Playing with the sensors could cause the beam to be off and would prevent the safety mechanism of the garage door from working properly.
Keep your kids safe and teach them about these important spots on the garage door, so they understand just how the garage door works and what parts are most dangerous to touch or move. Teaching garage door safety can prevent dangerous situations for your family and help to protect your garage door too.
How to Ensure Your Garage Door Is Child Safe
Here’s a look at garage door safety tips to help keep your children safe when playing in your garage or at your home:
Practice Basic Garage Safety
The garage can be full of dangerous situations for kids, but a few easy safety precautions can help protect your family. Use outlet covers and cabinet locks, just as you would inside the house, and keep dangerous tools and other devices safely locked away. Make sure all power tools, paints and lawn chemicals and any other dangerous substances are always put away in locked cabinets. Don’t leave rope hanging or lying around, and always safely store ladders to prevent climbing. Unplug any large power tools, appliances and devices when not in use, and always lock your car doors. Be sure to properly dispose of any hazardous materials like old paint, lawn chemicals or pesticides to prevent fire hazards, accidental poisoning and other dangers. Teach your children about other possible dangers in the garage and always keep an eye on them.
Store the Remote Safely
Kids love pushing buttons! The garage door remote can be a very enticing temptation for young children, but they may not understand the consequences of pushing that button. Don’t start a habit of allowing your young child to play with the garage door remote. Make sure your kids understand that this technological accessory is not a toy and should only be used responsibly by adults. When it’s not in use, the remote should be stored safely, out of reach of young children.
Practice Regular Maintenance
Get to know a provider of garage door maintenance in your area. Consider setting up regular maintenance appointments once or twice a year. Your garage door professional of choice should be able to take care of several things, including testing of safety features, visual inspection for loose or damaged hardware, balance test, lubrication test and more. Regular maintenance can identify problems before they spiral out of control, which should help promote child safety and reduce the chances of an accident. Regular maintenance also helps reduce costs. It’s far more affordable to address a problem before it renders your garage door completely inoperable than it is to wait for an emergency when your garage door clearly needs replacement parts.
Check Safety Features
Your garage door includes features that promote child safety. These features are required by law, and you should check to make sure they are working properly. Your garage door should have a reversing mechanism that engages any time your garage door senses an object in the way before reaching its threshold. You can test this out right now. Simply place a roll of paper towels across the garage door’s threshold. Once the door senses the roll of paper towels in the way, it should automatically reverse. If it does not, then this safety feature is not working properly, and you should contact a professional to come as soon as possible to inspect your garage door. A good professional garage door provider can also check your door’s many other safety features.
Choose a Quality Garage Door
There’s one great place to start in promoting child safety with your garage door: purchasing a quality, dependable garage door from the start. You can always find off-brand, cheap alternatives, but these cheap alternatives don’t always deliver the quality and dependable performance you expect out of your garage door and its safety features. By choosing doors from trusted overhead door manufacturers, you’re investing in a track record of success. You can expect to get more for your money and you can also expect the operation of your new garage door and its safety features to be more dependable when you choose a model made by a highly respected brand.
When you follow these safety tips for garage doors, you will feel more confident in knowing that your entire household is safe. When you and your family are aware of the possible dangers of your garage door and how to avoid them, accidents are less likely to occur.
Trust Quality Overhead Door for Your Garage Door Maintenance and Repair
At Quality Overhead Door, we’ve been serving the Toledo area since 1982, delivering the preventative maintenance and offering a huge selection of high-quality garage doors and openers. By providing these products and services, we help ensure your garage door’s safety features are properly working and that your home always promotes child safety.
A garage door can be an incredibly convenient appliance for your home. Make sure its safety matches its convenience when you choose Quality Overhead Door for regular preventative maintenance and replacement garage doors that meet the highest standards of quality. Even if you just have questions, we can be your trusted resource in Toledo and surrounding communities.
Contact us today about your garage door needs and how we can help make your home safer for children.