Prepping Your Garage Door for The Arizona Summer 2016

The famous Arizona Summer is right around the corner and it’s time to make preparations for your home to be able to endure the extreme conditions. One of the areas that would benefit from making proper preparations is your garage. There are plenty of ways to equip your garage to be able to shrug off anything the summer can throw at it.  We are going to outline those in a 2 part blog over this week and next week.

  1. Make Sure Your Garage Door is Clean: Making sure your garage door is clean can prevent a lot of dust build up. If you have a metal garage door you can use a thin layer of car wax on each side of the door to repel dust and particles. Checking metal garage doors for rust is also a wise maneuver. If you have a wooden garage door, check for rot and make sure the door is in good health.
  2. Make Sure Your Garage Door Tracks, rollers etc are Clean and Lubricated: Any moving part of your garage door system should be clean and well lubricated. Make sure you use quality oils as the heat can dehydrate and dry the oil, leading to more friction being endured by your systems important moving components. Avoid WD-40, while popular and prevalent, it is not heavy duty or long lasting enough to adequately lube your garage door components with.
  3. Check on The Condition of Your System: Wear and tear on your garage door system is inevitable, but it should be tracked and accounted for. Eventually repairs will be necessary. If you notice that your garage door system isn’t in good condition, it may be time for professional repairs or replacement BEFORE the summer kicks into full swing. Prices go up for labor and installations in the summer.
  4. Make Sure Your Garage is Properly Ventilated and Insulated: No matter what you use your garage for controlling the temperature should be a priority. Some people who use their garage as a social area should consider installer a small air conditioner, but for those who use their garage for traditional purposes would benefit by keeping the temperature down. Insulation should be sufficient enough to keep the temp down to a level that won’t damage any belongings being stored or take a toll on your vehicle.

Assessing Cost Against Value 2016

Garage door installations and replacements are not cheap endeavors and getting the most value out of your hard earned dollar can go a long way in improving your home’s value and functionality. Paying a little bit more upfront can greatly raise your overall dollar to value ratio and save you major headaches in the long run. If you go about the process right, your garage door can pay for itself and then some with the rise in your property’s value as time passes. Garage door replacements are one of the top four home improvements when it comes to return on investment (ROI) coming in at 83.7 percent according to Remodeling magazine in 2014.

There are a number of ways outside of the ROI that garage doors can increase the amount of money you keep in your wallet. Older garage doors are usually not insulated and can let heat in the summer and cold air in during the winter which can greatly increase your cooling and heating costs which will help your investment in your new garage door pay for itself in an accelerated fashion.

An older garage door can also be a security risk if it isn’t functioning properly. A malfunctioning garage door can leave your home and family exposed to invaders and the risk of burglary or worse. Getting a fortified garage door installed will greatly reduce the inherent risk most garage doors carry and leave you resting easy when your and your loved ones lay your heads down for the night.

As you can see from the brief summary above, there are many ways that your garage door investment can pay for itself and then some. With the added functionality benefits of a high end modern garage door added to your home, you can rest easy, save money and watch your property’s value climb!

Having Garage Door Opener Issues?

Replacing your garage door opener is an annoying and potentially costly experience.  That said, if you are experiencing problems with your garage door don’t give up on it too quickly as there may be steps you can take to remedy the issue before you decide to shell out a significant amount of money to outright replace your garage door opener.  You may only have a minor problem that isn’t very obvious. Here are two steps you can take to check your automatic garage door in the event that you are experiencing issue that interrupt it’s function.

Check the condition of your garage door:

The first thing you should check if you are having problems with your automatic garage door opener is the actual alignment of the garage door itself.  The best way to do this is to try and manually open the door. If you find it difficult or hear grinding then your door may be out of alignment with its track. This can not only produce annoying grinding noises, it can leave your garage door system damaged and unable to function properly. While it may seem easy to write off, noises produced by your garage door opener or track system that were not apparent in the beginning are telling you that something has changed for the worse.

Check the condition of the automatic door opener:

If you are able to open the door manually without issue then the next step is to check on the condition of the automatic door opener. Check to make sure all of the  lights are on before trying to operate the unit. If you find that the lights aren’t all on as they should be, check to make sure it’s properly plugged in and powered and check you circuit breakers.  If the lights are on and it is malfunctioning, try resetting the unit and unplugging it before plugging it back in and trying again. Often times resetting the unit will fix the problem, but if it doesn’t it may be time for a repair or replacement.

While simple in practice, these easy steps can prevent making an expensive and uniformed decision in a moment of frustration which could save you further damage, injury, and money. Taking the educated approach is always best, which is why we encourage all home owners to become familiar with their automatic garage door openers. You don’t realize how important your garage door opener is until you no longer can enjoy the proper use of it.

 

Garage Door Styles: Steel vs. Wood

There are several options out there when it comes to garage doors. All have their own pros and cons and offer differing advantages. We’ll briefly describe the differences between wood and steel garage doors and hopefully help you make an informed decision about the type of garage door you are going to have installed.

Steel:

Steel doors score points right out of the gate due to the fact they they are very low maintenance.  The fact that steel doors are coated with protective paint is a big reason why these doors do not require a lot of maintenance. Steel doors are also very durable and will remain sturdy for a very long time. Another advantage is the fact that steel doors can be more efficiently insulated for the elements outside.  There are disadvantages to steel doors such as limitations on size and customizability. If there isn’t any insulation installed behind the door, it can easily become dented. Speaking of insulation, it is wise to insulate your steel garage door as they are not very efficient at maintaining a thermal barrier between the indoor and outdoor environments. Keeping your garage from being too hot or too cold is good for your vehicles and any belongings that you store in your garage. Extreme temperatures on either side of the spectrum can damage materials by melting them down or freezing them to the point that they may warp and crack. You will do a lot to keep your vehicle on the road exponentially longer. Some use their garages as social or work areas, which puts even more importance

Wood:

Wood is a more elegant and luxurious option that most use when they are going for a certain look and feel. Wooden garage doors are almost solely an aesthetic option when chosen as they do not offer functional advantages over steel garage doors. They do offer a higher degree of customizability and are more flexible when it comes to sizes that can be installed. Wooden garage doors do require a lot more maintenance than steel garage doors. Wood doors are also 3 to 4 times more costly than steel doors, so you are getting less functionality for a lot more money. Wood garage doors are better at insulating than steel garage doors, but insulating them is a good idea because they will raise the energy efficiency of your home while also making your garage much more comfortable throughout the years.  Wood garage doors are heavier than steel doors and will cause your automatic garage door opener to work harder which can and will shorten it’s overall serviceable lifespan.

Whether you are looking for a cosmetic upgrade, solely focused on the look of your home or if you are looking for an efficiency and performance upgrade, On Track Garage doors services can help you with your garage door needs and we guarantee your satisfaction. Call On Track Garage Door Services today at (480)641-23010

Don’t Let Your Automatic Garage Door System Get Hacked!

We live in an age where technology is advancing at a pace that most people can’t keep up with. This phenomenon has led to a knowledge gap between those in the know and those who aren’t that is absolutely MASSIVE. Hackers who have managed to stay on the technological cutting edge are able to access an ever increasing number of personal devices and information and they are finding more and more creative ways to exploit that information for their benefit. From computers to cell phones, almost all of your personal information is available to those who know how to get it and are willing to do so, but that is common knowledge. What isn’t commonly known is how much access hackers now have to your home with the advent of ‘smart’ homes and appliances that are wireless or remote controlled, which could grant them free entry to your home as well as access to your most precious valuables.

Your garage door is one of the appliances that you have that is at risk of being hacked and leaving your home exposed for vandalism and intrusion. This is especially true with older automatic garage door opener models which are easier to access with modified signals because they haven’t been equipped to combat modern technology and techniques.  Newer models of automatic garage door openers have safe guards against pirated signals and will be much harder to hack than their older counterparts. One example of the modern countermeasures in place is signal scramblers that constantly change the frequency that the garage door opener will respond to. The nature of these changes is random, which all but eliminates a hacking thief’s ability to manipulate your garage door in your absence.   It doesn’t take much for the older models to be hacked as you can see in this video in which a hacker hacks into an automatic garage door system with a child’s toy. If all it takes is a Mattel toy designed for children to be able to hack into your garage, most of us are at risk and should be majorly concerned about how easy it can be to have our homes breached. While upgrading your automatic garage door system may seem like a daunting investment, it pales in comparison to what will happen if your home is burglarized. That takes away not only your belongings and valuables, but also robs you of priceless piece of mind and feelings of safety and security.

Protecting your home and keeping your family safe requires knowledge of your home’s weaknesses as well as knowledge of what potential offenders are practicing.  They are always looking for ways around security measures in order to capitalize, stay ahead of them. Your garage is the most at risk part of your home when it comes to break-ins; protect it by arming your automatic garage door system with a modern opener that is resistant to pirated signals and frequencies. Keeping you and your family safe cannot possibly have a price and if your own an old garage door opener you are almost asking for someone to test it’s security capabilities.

DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself!) Save Your Garage Door!

Garage doors are important access points for both homes and businesses and if an automatic opener system starts malfunctioning or sustains damage, the routine and flow that has been established in your environment can be greatly interrupted. That fact makes it tempting to try to fix any garage door maladies yourself so you don’t have to wait or pay for a professional to come out and do it. While there are some things that are entirely within the DIY realm, there are certain issues you should leave to the professionals because the damage you can do operating in ignorance is much greater than the cost you’ll pay for a trained professional to provide the services. The following are a few of these issues and brief descriptions.

Replacing Springs
Spring replacement can be very dangerous to someone who is untrained and not properly equipped for the task. The tension that the springs hold lends them to being prone to snapping back when being detached from their set position. The tips of springs are sharp and if someone gets caught by one as it quickly snaps they could suffer a laceration or serious cut. Eye injuries are also a concern when dealing with replacing springs. It can be tempting to fix a spring issue yourself because they are so critical for your garage door system to function correctly. You may be fully confident in your skills as a handy man, but it is best to call in a pro to handle this issue.

Replacing Panels
Having to replace one or more panels isn’t really a matter of functionality as much as it is a matter of cosmetics. Hiring a professional for panel replacement is important for many reasons including reducing danger and assessing why the panels actually sustained damage to the point they needed replacing. If you have panels replaced without understanding why your old panels warped in the first place will leave you prone to experiencing the exact same problem. Replacing your panels is not cheap to do and enduring that expense is not something you want to go through multiple times, especially when the potential to repeat the issue is so easily remedied.

Busted Cables
Cables are integral to the successful operation of your garage door. The fact that these cables are under constant tension makes them very dangerous to fix, especially if you are not properly trained for the task. It takes knowledge and experience to accurately place and attach the cables. The danger presented by cables is similar to that of replacing springs. Lacerations, cuts and eye injuries are all concerns associated with cable work.

Replacing Rollers
If you have bent or broken rollers you may want to take care of them yourself because they are extremely important to the functionality of your garage. You should definitely hire a professional because it is a risky procedure to carry out. Getting your fingers or or clothing caught in between the rollers and tracks is very possible, which could result in serious injury.

 

Ensuring Garage Security Before A Vacation

It’s the holiday season which means many of us are going to be traveling and staying away from home for extended periods of time. If you are one of those people packing up to go visit family you should make preparations to secure your home while you are away. Like it or not, the holidays are not all fun and cheer, they are also a very active time for robberies and home invasions. This entry is going to go over some ways that you can secure your garage door before jet-setting to turkey and gifts.

Make sure you have efficient locks- Garage doors are a preferred point of entry for many home invaders because they are usually easy to access. Disable your automatic garage door opener and lock the latch overhead with a sturdy pad lock. Making sure that you have a quality lock is important. Don’t skimp on a few dollars when it could mean the difference between keeping your belongings and losing them to a burglary.

Install motion detection lights- Lights are the biggest deterrent to would be thieves as they utilize shadows and stealth to get away with their crimes. Having motion activated lights will catch thieves by surprise and discourage them from taking the risk of breaking into your home. They may not even need to reach the point of being suprised. If the presence of motion activated lights is known (which could very well be the case as they are pretty obvious) then an potential thief will realize that the inherent risk of breaking into your home is greater than most. others in your area

Bar your garage windows if you have them- Barring your windows in your garage will eliminate one of the easiest entry points to access in your entire home. Keeping the windows covered will keep burglars from being able to look into your garage and being able to take inventory. Taking this step further, keeping your windows covered so it is not possible to see into your garage will prevent would-be burglars from taking inventory of what’s in your garage and finding an alternative entry point to get to your stuff. There may be thermal benefits to covering your windows with blinds or curtains, depending to they type of covering that is being used. Some coverings can keep heat or cool air from escaping your garage, keeping it nice and comfortable for anyone who may be spending time out there.

Install a security camera – Security cameras are majorly beneficial in guarding your home from invasion. If the camera is plainly visible it is obvious that your home is under surveillance that is being documented and saved. Even if the camera isn’t activated (which it definitely should be) it will serve as a major boost to the overall security of you and your family’s home. In the event that a criminal is brave or stupid enough to make an attempt at burglarizing your home, you can rest easy knowing that you will have video evidence from several angles.

These are just a handful of steps that you can take in order to fortify your garage while you are gone on your much deserved vacation. Having piece of mind will free up mental space that you can fill with anything you desire while you are enjoying your getaway. Who wants to stress about work while they’re on vacation!?

Best Type of Garage Door Opener For My Home – Differences

best garage door opener for my home differences

Looking to install a new garage door opener but not sure if you should choose screw drive, chain drive or belt driven garage door openers? If the answer is yes, awesome, you have made it the right place. In this article we will discover the advantages to each type of garage door opener to help you make your decision a little bit easier. So let’s get into it.

Screw Driven Openers

What are screw driven garage door openers? Screw drive openers relies on a trolley to move along a steel-rod, which connects to and rotates with the motor to open and close the door. It doesn’t need similar pulling and pushing force that chain driven and belt driven openers do. This is one of the best garage door openers because of the smoothness of the operation and less noise. Also, this type of opener doesn’t rely on a chain or belt that can break and ware out over time.

Pros: Screw driven units have very few moving parts and are easy to maintain.

Cons: Screw drive openers are sensitive to temperature shifts and should only be used in places where there are not dramatic shifts in temperature. Also, they are more noisy than belt driven units and cost a little more to install than either of the other types.

Chain Driven Openers

What is a chain driven garage door opener? Chain driven garage door openers are the most common style of opener that uses a track to run along. They use a bicycle like chain to force the trolley into the J-arm which pushes and pulls the garage door up and down.

Pros: These are the most common types of openers and are very affordable. Also they are being made with new technologies that make them quieter as time goes on and technology develops further.

Cons: They are more noisy than screw driven or belt driven units and have slight vibrations with metal-to-metal noises. Most popular with homes that have detached garages. Although some owners of these types of units like the noise because it lets them know when someone is entering the home. Chain driven units are a very economical option for nearly any home owner.

Belt Driven Openers

What is a belt driven garage door opener: Belt driven garage door openers are basically exactly like chain driven openers except for they use a belt instead of a chain which greatly reduced the noise levels and vibrations throughout the home during operation. The belts are made from steel-reinforced rubber, fiberglass or polyurethane.

Pros: Quietest garage door openers available on the market.

Cons: Cost more than chain driven garage door openers.

In Conclusion: Belt Driven openers have the lowest noise, Chain driven openers are the least expensive and screw driven openers are the most reliable with the least moving parts. In this case we would choose screw driven garage door openers as the best type of garage door opener for your home.

Garage Door System Types

There are many different options out there when it comes to garage doors.  This blog entry will be covering the pros of 3 different types of garage doors in order to help anybody who may be in the market for a new garage door make an informed and confident decision.

Chain Drive Doors:

The most common and tried and true option on the garage door market,  chain drive doors are moved along a track and a bike-style chain that is used to move the trolley that the door is attached to.  These doors tend to produce noise due to the nature of the operation and metal on metal contact.  This lends them to being preferred for garages that are not attached to the main home.  These doors can be made quieter with upgrades to the base system.

Screw Drive Doors:

Screw-drive garage door systems utilize a trolley that travels along a steel rod that is threaded and is rotated by a motor when the door is opened or closed.  No belts or chains are needed for this style of garage door. The simplicity in the design of this garage door system is a reason why they are desired. A lower number of moving parts in contrast to other types of garage door systems allows the potential for repairs and replacements to be significantly lower.

Belt Drive Doors:

Belt drive doors are the luxury choice of garage door systems. The carry a low noise level because they use a belt instead of the chain used in Chain drive style doors. The lack of metal on metal contact significantly lowers the noise level.  The belts are usually made from rubber, polyurethane  or fiberglass. The efficiency and low noise level make these a premium style that carries extra cost for the extra benefits.