Tips for Garage Door Safety Month 2020
It’s June, which means it’s Garage Door Safety Month! Here’s a friendly reminder to ensure that you and your family maintain a safe home environment. Your garage door may not seem like the biggest threat, but many individuals are hurt by garage door malfunctions each year. Fortunately, you can help prevent these accidents. Start by taking a look at these garage door safety tips.
1. Check Door Balance
Your garage door should move up and down with ease when it’s balanced. If you neglect its maintenance, however, it can become unbalanced. You’ll notice this problem if your garage door seems unevenly weighted. You can test your theory and determine a solution with a few tricks. It’s smart to conduct this check every few months to stay safe.
Turn off your garage door’s opener. Then, slide it up and down the tracks a few times to see if it glides smoothly. Let go at a certain point to see if the door stays put. If it moves, you’ll know there’s a balance problem. You may need to replace your garage door’s springs — it’s best to contact a professional for this project.
2. Look for Wear
You should check your garage door for wear and tear. All garage doors endure damage over time, especially when it comes to severe weather. If yours has cracks or dents, it likely doesn’t function as it should. Plus, any moisture buildup can lead to mildew and rot. It’s more common for wooden doors to take on water-related decay, but you should make time to check for these issues no matter your door’s material.
You can use a flashlight to illuminate your garage door’s cracks and crevices. If you notice any prominent damage that may affect your door’s performance, you should have an expert take a look.
3. Test Door Sensors
Your automatic garage door can prevent injuries, but only when it works correctly. A garage door that comes with sensors and functions properly can sense when there’s an object around or underneath it. It won’t close unless the item moves. However, if the sensors are damaged, missing or misaligned, your garage door could shut abruptly even if there’s an obstruction. Your sensors can help you avoid such risks.
Look at your garage door’s sensors to see if there’s an LED light. Do you notice any blinking? If you do, it’s time to readjust them. You can use a screwdriver to secure the bracket around the sensor. Once it’s secured, the sensor should be ready to work correctly.
4. Consider a Tuneup
How do you keep your garage door safe and operating as intended? An annual garage door tuneup can answer this question. A professional can inspect your door to ensure that it works properly. They’ll check hardware and cables to make sure every component is secure. An expert can also replace different parts that could’ve worn down over time. Opting for regular tuneups is one of the best steps for keeping a garage and garage door system safe.
Contact a Garage Door Specialist at American Overhead Doors, Inc.
If you want to ensure that your garage door works reliably, contact us at American Overhead Doors, Inc. today. Our garage door specialists can conduct a check and provide specific recommendations that enhance your safety. Whether you need a spring replacement or a new garage door entirely, we’re here to provide reliable service for anyone in the state of Connecticut.
American Overhead Doors is currently running full operations at this time! This includes all sales, service and all Installations. As of now our showroom is by appointment only– however we have 2 great sales reps that will accommodate all schedules.
Until further notice our parts department is closed for all in house sales. We can ship out parts, just call and we can price it up for you.
We are cleaning daily and have taken all advisements from the CDC and CT authorities on employees staying home if sick.
All of our installers and service technicians are required to wear protective masks, gloves, and call ahead for a contactless service or installation!
Please don’t hesitate to call for service or sales. If at home – take some time to think about that new spring project that we can help with!
We wish everyone safe healthy days ahead.
– The American Overhead Doors, Inc. team
Guide to Buying an Insulated Garage Door in Connecticut
Let’s face it — Connecticut weather is unpredictable. Especially in the spring and autumn months, outdoor temperatures can spike or drop in a heartbeat. With an insulated garage door, you can always be sure you’re pulling in to a comfortable garage, no matter the season. An insulated garage door has many benefits that make it worth the cost. There’s also a lot that goes into choosing the right one for your Connecticut home, which is why we’ve put together this insulated garage door buying guide.
Benefits of an Insulated Garage Door
Does an insulated garage door make a difference? Yes.
An insulated garage door is energy-efficient, convenient and comfortable. Insulation helps you better protect your garage door, and creates better conditions for both your car and anything else you store in your garage. The door itself may give your home more peace and quiet and can increase your curb appeal. All these benefits make an insulated garage door a fantastic investment.
1. Promotes Energy-Efficiency
Your home’s walls, ceilings, windows, floors and doors all create what’s called a “home envelope.” The barriers that keep the extremes outside allow you to heat and cool your home throughout the year. The more energy-efficient your home envelope — the better its insulation and the less it leaks air — the more money you’ll save.
The garage door is the largest entry point to your home and an often overlooked section of your home envelope. Part of the reason for this is that garages aren’t usually considered living spaces, so they have different construction standards. Any garage attached to the rest of your house shares at least one wall with another room. You might even have a bedroom directly above the garage.
So, even if you’re not piping heat into your garage, your home is still losing warmth. As warm air seeps in through a non-insulated garage door and into the outside world, your heating system works harder to compensate. Likewise, in the summer, your air conditioning quickly escapes through your garage door.
An insulated door keeps warm air in during cold weather and heat and humidity out during warm weather. According to one study, a garage with a non-insulated metal door will be about 30 degrees on a 20-degree winter day. On the same day in a garage with an insulated door, the temperature will be around 42 degrees. With one below freezing and the other above, an insulated door can make a huge difference in how you heat your home and help you cut down your energy bill, too.
2. Increases Durability
Over the years, garage doors take quite the beating. With regular use, the bottom panel of the door is making contact with a concrete slab many times a day. It might also be the victim of your kids’ backyard sporting events or take some flak from airborne pebbles on a windy fall day. Dents on your garage door can affect your home’s curb appeal. It’s crucial to look for a sturdy garage door that can withstand daily wear and tear.
Insulation adds extra rigidity to a garage door, which results in more durability. Many insulated garage doors have a solid panel of insulation sandwiched between two layers of steel or aluminum. Others are injected with foam that expands as it hardens, filling the space between the metal panels. Both of these types of insulation make a garage far less susceptible to dents.
The internal hardware of your garage also fairs better thanks to the milder internal temperature in your garage. Extreme temperatures can affect springs as well as the lubrication of rollers and hinges. A machine-operated garage door opener will also have a longer lifespan when it’s not exposed to cold temperatures or high heat.
3. Reduces Noise
If you work early or late hours, you might be concerned about waking your family with the sound of your garage door opening and closing. Garage doors have a lot of moving parts, and with anything that moves, some noise is expected. When the sound suddenly becomes bothersome, the first step should be to check the hardware. Worn out rollers can cause grinding, while a loose chain or track can produce a jerking sound.
If there is no direct problem causing the noise, however, the door itself could produce an annoying sound. A lightweight non-insulated garage door tends to be the biggest offender. Panels may shake as they move along the track, causing a rumbling sound. Insulation can absorb vibration and dampen noise, which is a major plus if you choose to upgrade to insulated doors. Also, their thick insulation and tight construction nearly eliminate hollow space and loose material inside your garage door panels, which also limits noise.
An insulated garage door can also create a quieter environment, even when the door is not in use. Just as an insulated door serves as a defensive barrier against the elements, it also stops soundwaves in their tracks. Anything from a car speeding by or a leaf blower buzzing to a dog barking can disturb your home. While you won’t wholly sound-proof your home by insulating your garage door, the extra padding helps muffle these sounds.
4. Protects Your Car
The whole reason we have garages in the first place is to shelter your car from the elements. A garage protects your car from ice and snow in the winter and shades it from the harsh summer sun. When the temperature in the garage is not much different from the outdoors, your car may still be suffering.
Winter is tough on car batteries because the oil starts to thicken and makes it more difficult for the engine to turn over. Cold weather can also prevent your battery from recharging properly. When a car is parked in a cold garage, the tire pressure will go down. A warm, comfortable garage can improve the life of your car and keep its parts working like they are supposed to.
5. Enhances Comfort and Convenience
The easiest way to make a garage warmer — without racking up a higher heating bill — is to insulate your garage door. How much warmer is an insulated garage door? One homeowner with a Clopay® garage door saw amazing results from the Intellicore® insulation system. Before the new door, the average temperature inside the garage was an average of 21 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. With the insulated garage door, the average temperature saw an average of 49 degrees above the outside temperature.
On days when the temperature drops below freezing, stepping out of your car into a toasty garage can make a big difference. You’ll feel more comfortable and endure less cold before and after your daily commute. As you transport groceries to the kitchen and get your kids in and out of the house on chilly days, you’ll appreciate the convenience of a warmer garage.
The added warmth also creates a vestibule effect. Many restaurants use a vestibule to cut out the blast of cold air that enters the room when the front door opens. Likewise, your garage is essentially a vestibule for your home. When the temperature in your garage isn’t much warmer than it is outside, you might send a wave of cold air indoors whenever you enter your home. An insulated garage door can make the living areas near your garage more comfortable.
You also might treat your garage as an extension of your living space. You might use the area as a workout room or work on your DIY projects. Some people work with power tools in the garage, while others use the space as a game room outfitted with a pool table. If you do a lot in your garage, you’ll appreciate the extra warmth and prolonged use time an insulated garage door can provide.
Types of Garage Door Insulation
Two main types of insulated garage doors are available from Clopay. Some of their models are available with polystyrene insulation, while others use Clopay’s proprietary Intellicore® Polyurethane Insulation. A selection of garage doors, including the Coachman, Grand Harbor, Gallery and Modern Steel collections, allow you to select from either form of insulation. Both types offer some unique advantages:
Polystyrene Garage Door Insulation
Garage doors insulated with polystyrene are called double-layer doors. Polystyrene is the same material you’ll find in an aftermarket garage door insulation kit. Polystyrene comes in thick rigid panels which would be inserted between the steel or aluminum panels of your garage door. The main advantage of a polystyrene insulated garage door is that it costs less. It will do far more to protect your garage than a single-layer door, and you’ll get the same advantages of increased durability, sound dampening and a better indoor climate.
Polyurethane Garage Door Insulation
The best insulated garage doors are made from Polyurethane. Polyurethane insulated garage doors are called triple-layer doors and have increased insulating power. It’s a highly energy-efficient material comprised of polyurethane foam. This foam is injected between the outer layers of your garage door. The foam then expands to fill the entire garage door, making it almost completely solid. It bonds to the steel surface, making the door more durable and less prone to dents. It also provides the best climate control and superior sound isolation.
Insulated Garage Door R-Value Explained
If you begin shopping for an insulated garage door, you’ll probably notice that each one has an R-value listed in the description. R-value is a measurement used to understand a garage door’s insulating abilities. Technically, an R-value represents the ability to slow the transmission of heat. The higher the R-value, the slower the transfer of heat, and the better the insulation. A high R-value slows the heat leaving your house in the winter and the heat radiating from the sun in the summer.
It can be helpful to look at the R-value of the rest of your house to see how your garage stacks up. The International Code Council provides minimum recommendations for R-values in a home within different climate zones. Connecticut is in Climate Zone Five, where they recommend that a ceiling have an R-value of at least 38. A wall should have insulation with an R-value starting at 13 or 20, depending on the type of wall and the way insulation is placed.
When you look at Clopay’s garage doors, you’ll notice they have R-values ranging from 6.3 to 20.4. When you consider the size of your garage door, you should treat it almost as if it’s another wall of your home. If you live in places with lots of weather fluctuation and have an attached garage, you should insulate your garage door.
That’s why we recommend an R-value of at least 14 for garage doors in Connecticut. Here in the northeast, we see a huge fluctuation in temperatures. We can easily have subzero temperatures in the winter and 101-degree weather in the summer.
Our extreme New England weather patterns call for plenty of padding throughout your entire home envelope, and your garage is no exception. If your garage shares a wall with the main living space or sits below a bedroom, it’s essential to have a high R-value. If you spend a lot of time in your garage or use it as another living area, we recommend an R-value of at least 16 for your insulated garage door.
Are Insulated Garage Doors Worth It?
How much an insulated garage door costs depends on several factors. The size of your door frame, the model you select and the type of insulation you want will all influence the price you pay. In general, buying a garage door is an excellent investment for your home. A recent study found that homeowners recoup 98.3 percent of their garage door cost after selling. An upscale garage door can even recoup more than 100 percent of its original value.
When you opt for an insulated garage door, you get an attractive entry that will resist damage for years. If you plan on selling your home, the added curb appeal can add to the value of your home. With an insulated garage door, you also get the added value of energy efficiency, which can lead to significant savings over time. Clopay’s Intellicore® Polyurethane insulation is energy-efficient, helping you cut heating and cooling costs.
On average, an Intellicore® garage door keeps a garage 10 to 20 degrees warmer or colder than the outside temperature. The extra comfort alone makes them worth the investment for many consumers. For temperature-sensitive items in your garage, an insulated garage door can preserve their lifespan. Clopay’s Intellicore® doors are some of the best insulated garage doors in Connecticut.
Furthermore, data demonstrates the sound-isolating power of its proprietary insulation material. Clopay engineers compared the sound of a basketball bouncing off a garage door on an insulated versus uninsulated garage door. They found that their Intellicore® door outperformed other models. While a basketball hitting a non-insulated garage door will produce 96 decibels, the same basketball hitting an insulated door makes only 80 decibels. Since decibels are logarithmic, the Intellicore® garage door sounds approximately three times quieter.
Insulate Your Home With American Overhead Doors
If you’re looking to replace your garage door with a beautiful and energy-efficient insulated garage door, come to American Overhead Doors, Inc. We have a vast selection of Clopay garage doors, with many insulation options and R-values to choose from. Upgrade your home and get your garage ready for any weather Connecticut throws your way with an insulated garage door from American Overhead Doors.
Are you ready to start shopping? Browse our collection of Clopay garage doors and even see how the door will look on your house with our Clopay Door Imagination System. When you’ve found the insulated garage door to complete your home, request an estimate to receive prices.
DIY Garage Organization Tips and Tricks
Clutter can pile up in the garage if you’re not careful. Go through the treasures in your possession and get some new garage storage. You can organize this area of the home using the free space on your floor, walls and ceilings.
Do you want to use your garage to protect your car from harsh weather, but accumulated junk forces you to park in the street? Use this guide to discover some brilliant garage organization tips.
How to Start Organizing Your Garage
To help you organize your garage, make a checklist. Here are some garage organization plans to consider. Make sure you have these items on hand before you start your cleaning project:
- Vacuum, mop or broom
- Trash bags
- Baskets or cardboard boxes
1. Schedule Time
Be realistic about how long this project is going to take you. Organizing the garage takes the average person about a day. The project may take longer, depending on the weather or family obligations.
Take out your calendar and find a day you’re available to start organizing your garage. Look at the next couple of steps and figure out how long it’ll take you to complete each task. Knock out the cleaning project on a sunny spring day, or spread it out over a couple of weeks.
2. Sort Your Clutter Into Piles
Clear all your possessions out of the garage and put them in a visible area. Grouping your belongings into the following piles is how to declutter your garage.
- Keep: Store these items in temporary boxes until you know where you want to make their forever home.
- Toss: Throw out these items in trash bags for garbage day.
- Donate: If your items are in good condition, but you have no use for them, consider donating them to a local charity.
As you examine each item, think about how often you use them. Sort your things in categories, like sporting equipment or tools. You should donate or get rid of items that don’t fit in a group and don’t serve a purpose in your home.
If you’re not sure about keeping or tossing an item, put it to the side and work on the rest of the pile. After a couple of hours, go through the heap again and decide what to do with those miscellaneous items.
3. Organize Your Garage Into Zones
Split your garage into different categories and put things in their respective places. Each of the items in your garage needs a special place to call home. That way, after you use something, you can put it back where it belongs.
How to arrange your garage depends on what works for you and your family. You could use any of the following categories to decide where to put your possessions:
- Car supplies
- Sports equipment
- Children’s toys
The items you use the most should be in accessible places. Put the recyclables by the garage door and bring them outside. Keep things that could be harmful to your children or pets in high places they can’t reach.
Organizing your garage in zones also helps your family find their belongings. You know where you put everything, but other members of your household should be able to find them even when you’re not around. Creating space for each item in your garage will make it easier to find and put back their possessions.
4. Brainstorm Storage Options
You could use different types of DIY garage storage to put away your stuff. Use storage space that’s easy for you to access when you need the items in your garage. Here are some ideas to get organized.
- Plastic storage boxes: Instead of flimsy cardboard boxes, uses plastic boxes for permanent storage. Waterproof plastic containers are easy to transport and protect your belongings better.
- Labels: If you use plastic bins or drawers, group all similar items together in the same storage unit. Have a permanent marker and white masking tape ready for labeling your possessions.
- Shelves: Install shelves to keep items off the floor. Shelves also help you see and access your possessions.
- Built-in cabinets: Take advantage of wall space with cupboards. You could put items you don’t use every day in these storage units. Lock tools or harsh chemicals out of reach, away from pets and small children in your household.
5. Keep the Garage Clean
After you’ve done a sweep of your garage, you should keep it clean. You’ll be able to maintain your garage better when you do a quick clean once a week. Now that you’ve removed the excess clutter, it’ll be easier to maintain.
Here is how to keep your garage clean.
- Put your car in it: When you park your vehicle in the garage, you’ll have less space for clutter. Make a habit of parking in your garage, so you don’t throw other items in that space.
- Clean the floor: Schedule time to sweep or mop the garage floor. If you have an unfinished concrete garage floor, use a mop to clean the floor. Research care tips for your garage’s floor material if you finished it with wood, laminate or epoxy.
- Put items away after you use them: Now that you have a designated space for all the items in your garage, you have to put them back where they belong after you use them. There’s no excuse for leaving things on the floor or in front of the entry door.
Space-Saving Garage Storage Ideas
As you figure out where to store the items in your garage, put your car in the space. Measure the area around your vehicle to find out how much free space there is for storage. Here are some DIY garage storage ideas.
1. Use Plastic Bins and Containers
Plastic bins help you store your items in different categories. Keep your stuff out of the way with these clever garage storage ideas.
- Opaque storage bins for privacy: Colorful plastic storage bins help you hide items you’d rather keep out of sight, like sports equipment or seasonal clothes. Remember, guests may peek into your garage on the way into your house, so this space should be tidy. Opaque bins keep your valuable possessions out of reach from nosy neighbors.
- Floor-to-ceiling plastic bins: Use clear plastic containers to see what’s inside them at a glance. Organize them on shelves by category or family member. Sturdy plastic bins will protect your possessions from moisture and heat damage.
- Labels: Sticker tags help you know what’s inside your bins. Labeling your containers allows your family members to know where to return things when they’ve finished using them. You could use sticker labels or create labels out of vinyl adhesive with a cutting machine.
- Open baskets: Use baskets without lids to store items that you need to access more often. Narrow bins serve as a great place to store trash bags. Put these baskets on the floor or a low shelf so you can reach them.
2. Take Advantage of Vertical Wall Space
Instead of having all your items on the floor, use the wall space in your garage for extra storage. Here are some garage wall organization ideas.
- Vertical shelves: Install shelves to use as much vertical wall space as possible. You can put wall shelves at any height. Choose from plastic, wood or metal shelving, depending on much weight you need them to hold. Check the instructions from the manufacturer before installing them.
- Track system: A bar along your wall can hold hooks or shelves. You could store rakes, tools or buckets with these versatile systems. Use a track system for items with awkward shapes like landscaping equipment. Track systems can accommodate most of your garage door storage ideas to maximize all the wall space in your garage.
- Wall hooks: Use wall hooks to store bulky items, so they’re not on the floor. Hooks don’t take up a lot of room on your wall, so you have space for more storage. You could store a bicycle on a wall hook.
- Metal shelving units: If you have concrete walls, use metal shelving units in place of wall shelves. Push these shelves against the wall to leave space on your floor for your car and other items. Metal shelving units can withstand the extreme temperatures of uninsulated garages. They’re also sturdy enough to hold heavy weight.
- Pegboard: Install a pegboard on your wall to hang anything you like. This unit is a great place to organize your tools so you can see them all at once. Pegboards are handy for cleaning supplies and other lightweight items.
- Bag dispenser: Mount a bag dispenser on the wall to keep track of old shopping bags. Most bag dispensers stick right onto the wall without needing any extra equipment.
- Cabinets: Mount cabinets onto the wall to store items you don’t use every day. Make sure to lock products with harmful chemicals in these cabinets if you have small children.
3. Add Ceiling Storage
If you run out of floor and wall storage, install any of these garage storage solutions onto your ceiling.
- Ceiling ladder lift: Instead of leaning your ladder against the wall, create a lift mounted from the ceiling. Organize your garage in such a way that it’s easy to access when you need it.
- Overhead storage racks: If you’ve used all the storage space on your floors and walls, consider building up. Easy-to-install metal storage racks can hold hundreds of pounds. Make sure to allow enough space for your garage door and garage door opener. You could store seasonal items or luggage in these storage racks.
- Storage pulley system: A storage pulley system gives you access to bins in high places without the need for a ladder. You could use a pulley system to store items that you want out of sight, but that you need to access more often. Consider using this system for gardening equipment or seasonal decorations.
- Overhead loft: You could use the extra space from your high ceiling by creating an overhead loft. Make sure you have enough clearance for your car to store items you don’t need to use as much, like camping equipment.
Unique Garage Organization Tips and Tricks
Since you’re doing this yourself, you have more flexibility with what you use to store your items. Here are some exciting, one-of-a-kind ways to save the items in your garage.
- Store your bike with a hook or pulley system: You could install a hook on the ceiling or wall for flexible space for your bike. You could also use a pulley system to bring the bike to the ground for easy transport.
- Use magnetic storage: Metallic shelves, tracks or cabinets can be home to small items like tools to put them in a visible location.
- Merge like items: You should group similar things to save space. If you’ve bought several boxes of nails, buy one storage container for all of them.
- Create a drop-off zone: At the end of a long day, it’s easy to throw your stuff on the couch or living room floor. If your kids play sports or you often work in the yard, create a place to dump your stuff when you’re tired. Make sure to put the items away when you’re ready so that you could avoid making a mess in your garage again.
Adding Finishing Touches to Your Organized Garage
When you’ve organized your garage, consider what you could do to enhance its appearance even more. You may notice some paint chips on the wall or some scuff marks on the floors. Think about how you want to use your garage. Is it where you park your car or a place to work out in the morning?
Here are some finishing touches on how to clean up your garage.
- Deep clean: When deep-cleaning your garage, wear gloves in case you come across any bugs or harmful chemicals. Dust the garage from top to bottom, starting with the ceiling and ending with the floor. Wipe the walls and doors with warm water and mild detergent. Mop the floor or hose it off, allowing a couple of hours for it to dry.
- Flooring: Look at your garage and figure out how you want to use this new space. If you don’t have much extra room to spare in your house, the garage could be a great place to set up a gym or an office. To create a more inviting place, add an area rug to the garage. If you’re going to use it as a home for your car, you could leave the floors bare. Most garage floors only need an epoxy finish to restore their shine.
- Repair or replace the garage door: Your garage door has taken some hits over the years. If you’ve had issues with opening your garage door, consider getting it repaired. If you’ve had your garage for a while, you should upgrade to a new garage door and garage door opener.
Finish Your Garage With a New Garage Door From American Overhead Door in Connecticut
A sturdy garage door can protect your clean garage. As a Clopay Master Authorized Dealer, we specialize in providing high-quality garage doors in Connecticut. Browse through our collection of residential garage doors to upgrade your living space. You should also get a new LiftMaster garage door opener to go with your new door. For more information, give us a call at 860-347-1507 or contact us online.
Signs Your Garage Door Needs Repairs
Garage doors are a vital component of every home — they protect our cars and homes while boosting curb appeal. However, despite using garage doors every day, we almost never dedicate any time to examining their condition — unless, of course, something goes wrong. In this article, we’ll discuss some symptoms that commonly indicate when you should have your door repaired. (more…)
Guide to Buying a Contemporary Garage Door in Connecticut
Garage doors play a prominent role in most homes, both functionally and aesthetically. It needs to work reliably day in and day out. It has to survive the elements and inclement weather. It has to be able to take some abuse, whether from getting smacked with soccer balls or being bumped with a car. And, of course, it must suit the look and feel of your home’s exterior. There’s more than you might imagine behind buying a garage door, so we’ve put together a guide to help you pick a contemporary garage door in Connecticut. (more…)