Why DIY Isn’t Always The Best Option For Garage Door Repairs And Replacements

DIY Garage Door Isn't the best
DIY Garage Door Isn't the best

If you are someone who has done plenty of projects and do-it-yourself repairs and updates in your home, you may think your garage door is no different. In an effort to equip people with the best information on whether this is a DIY or hire an expert, here is what you need to know.

 

When you purchase residential garage door products from a licensed professional, you have all the benefits of professional products. These include sturdier construction and better materials than what you will find with box store counterparts.  In addition to the heavier duty construction, you have a licensed professional completing the work. This ensures you have a professional that is well versed in the installation, assembly, and set up of your garage door products.

 

Probably the most impactful aspect to hiring a professional for garage door repairs and replacements is the warranty aspect. While your purchase in a box store will likely come with a warranty, it can be a very cumbersome process working through replacements and warranty application. With certified professionals in your corner they carry the warranty from top to bottom. You can expect a warranty on all aspects of your garage door product from installation to parts and labor by leaving it to the experts. This is sure to save you time and headaches.

 

If you’re thinking about updating your garage or in the need of repairs, give Sunwest a call at (714) 528-5670 to discuss your project with a team member.

Wayne Dalton 9700 Sunwest Garage Door

If you’re looking for a project to boost your curb appeal, look no further than your garage door. A key element in any home’s appearance, a new garage door boasts a 91.5 percent return and lucky for you — come in a variety of colors and styles for full customization.

It can be overwhelming having so many choices. So, to find the most compatible style of garage door in California, we recommend starting with your home’s architecture.

Is your home fairly traditional? Or, is it more on the contemporary side? Distinguishing the two will affect how your garage contributes to the overall design of your home.

 

Striking a balance of aesthetic and durability

The Wayne Dalton carriage house garage door is a personal favorite of our team at Sunwest. It’s versatile yet stylish, which makes it ideal for just about any architectural style. Its design complements a variety of homes including craftsman, traditional, French country, Tudor and Victorian.

The model also comes with foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation, improving your home’s thermal efficiency while tackling common garage door problems like noise. The added strength of the high tensile steel panels doesn’t take away from the rich appearance of wood tones and the colors come in a variety of choices.

How to nail one of the most crucial elements — design

Wayne Dalton carriage house garage doors are hand-stained for a natural look and available in over 6,000 colors. Depending on the specific model you’ve chosen, there may be additional features to further compliment your home’s architectural style.

A common strategy for choosing a garage door color is matching the garage door to your home’s trim. For a bolder statement, opt for a darker hue like green or black. To create warmth, pair reds and browns with natural materials like stone.

If you’re still unsure about the color, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to help you determine the right style for your home.

Another element to consider is hardware. Decorative kits typically come with four hinges and two pull handles while double-car garage doors come with two kits. Additional accent pieces like arrows and spears are available to complement each collection.

 

Customizing your garage door with upscale windows

Windows are determined by the number of window panes in the door. Typically, this is will be eight for a single-car garage door and 16 for a double-car garage door. You also have the option of single or double arch windows.

The Wayne Dalton line features various options for glass as well: clear, obscure and 1/2 clear insulated glass for improved thermal performance. Something important to keep in mind, though. Not all windows are available for all door sizes.

 

Making the most of your home investment

With a Wayne Dalton carriage house garage door, you’ll quickly become the envy of the neighborhood. Because of its many styles, windows and hardware options, it’ll keep your home looking its best for years to come.

If you’re experiencing garage door problems or simply looking to renovate your home, the experts at Sunwest can get the job done. To discuss your project with a team member, give us a call at (714) 528-5670 for a free estimate today.

Is your garage door stuck or malfunctioning? Identifying the root of the problem can be tricky, but our team at Sunwest Garage Service has created a 4-step process for identifying (and even solving) common issues before scheduling a visit. To save yourself some time and possibly some money, we recommend following these four troubleshooting steps before calling.

Step 1

Q: I’m experiencing motor problems. It’s not responding and seems dead.
A: Check the wall button. Does the light turn on in the machine?

Step 2

Q: The garage door motor isn’t coming on at all.
A: You’ll want to test the outlet.

Step 3

Q: How do I test the outlet?
A: First, you’ll need a blow dryer. Unplug the motor and test the plug. If the blow dryer doesn’t work, it’s an issue with the electricity — not the garage itself. From there, you’ll need to reach out to an electrician.

Step 4

Q: What if the blow dryer works?
A: If it does work, that indicates there’s an issue with the garage door opener. When this happens, give the team at Sunwest Garage Door a call at (714) 528-5670 and we’ll come take a closer look at the situation.

For many homeowners, a remodel tops the list of New Year’s resolutions. When choosing a project, it’s important to focus on boosting your home’s value. While a marble bathroom sounds appealing, a new garage door boasts a return of 91.5 percent and instantly transforms the look of your property.

In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing four ways to update your garage door while keeping in sync with your home’s architectural style.

 

Sunwest Garage Door

Photo courtesy of Wayne Dalton.

Tudor Style Home

The Tudor revival style first appeared in England and made its way to U.S. suburbs in the 1920s. A storybook home, its defining characteristics include bay windows, facades with steeply pitched gables, patterned brick, rounded doorways, stone walls and chimneys.

Many homeowners are drawn to this classic aesthetic but don’t know how to modernize it. To create the happy balance between historical and updated, we recommend using carriage house garage doors. From there, incorporate details like iron hinges and arrows or multi-pane windows.

 

Sunwest Garage Door

Photo courtesy of Wayne Dalton.

Shed Style Home

Traveling forward into the future, the shed style was a favorite among architects in the 1970s. These homes feature multi-directional slopes, wood singles, downplayed doorways and smaller windows.

Because these homes lack symmetry, it can be hard choosing a garage door that reflects this style while remaining true to today’s trends. Because shed style is heavily influenced by geometrics, we recommend pairing your home with contemporary garage doors. And though we’d typically advise sticking with neutrals, incorporating pops of color has become extremely popular in the last two years.

 

Sunwest Garage Door

Ranch Style Home

Another style you’ll find in this neck of the woods is the California ranch. This type of home gained traction in the 1950s and 1960s, and is characterized by one-story, pitched roofs, built-in garages, wood or brick walls, and sliding doors.

This particular style is unique because it has experienced influences from Spanish colonial, prairie and craftsman home. To keep this aesthetic looking fresh, we recommend using traditional (raised panel) garage doors. And to really elevate your home’s curb appeal, incorporate tall plants, trees or shrubs to draw the eye vertically.

 

Sunwest Garage Door

Photo courtesy of Wayne Dalton.

Craftsman Style Home

This last style of home is a fan favorite, recognized by its tall windows and mixture of materials like stone, brick and wood. Craftsman homes are typically one-story and incorporate its surrounding landscape.

But because the craftsman style features multiple textures (which can compete with one another), it’s wise to incorporate sleek styles like fiberglass garage doors. We personally love adding details like paneling and gel stains to transform this style from rustic to contemporary.

 

Ready to Start Shopping?

We hope this information serves as a helpful starting point for your remodel. If you come across any questions or would like to discuss your design needs with one of our specialists, give us a call at (714) 528-5670.

According to the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine, a garage door replacement is ranked #1 in upscale and #5 in midrange projects retaining value at home sale. Meaning, homeowners can expect to recoup up to 91.5% of their investment.

The roles of garage doors have drastically changed over time. And because they occupy up to 30 percent of your home’s facade, they’ve become an important design consideration when boosting curb appeal.

Today, garage doors not only serve the purpose of security and aesthetic but can also improve the energy efficiency of a home. If you’ve been considering taking on this project in 2018, our team at Sunwest can help.

From rustic wood to modern aluminum, there are dozens of styles to choose from. In our blog today, we’ll be sharing seven garage door features that boost your curb appeal.

Architectural Style

First and foremost, a garage door should complement your home’s architectural style. Popular styles range from craftsman, traditional, ranch, modern to European. We recommend starting with the year your home was built. From there, take a look at its style origin and determine the elements you wish to implement or change.

REALTOR® Magazine has a fantastic architecture guide if you need some help. Your new garage door should seamlessly blend into your home’s exterior details.

Garage Door Insulation

Next up is your garage’s insulation. Many people think of temperature when this is mentioned, but it’s more about the durability of your garage door. Manufacturers use specific techniques and methods for creating garage doors. These include single-layer, double layer and premium construction.

Exterior Design

Now that we’ve assessed your architectural style and insulation needs, it’s time to turn your attention to design (the fun part). Your garage really sets the tone of your home. You can create visual interest using window pains, patterns and cross beams to steer from the “boxy” look of a traditional garage.

Here are some popular designs to check out:

  • Style-Traditional Doors
  • Carriage Doors
  • Raised-Panel Doors
  • Contemporary Doors

Garage Door Materials

Appearance is important, but elements “under the hood” can make just as much impact. If you’re in favor of a contemporary aesthetic, you’ll find that aluminum and glass materials fit. You’ll have the choice of frame finishes and glass types to create a look all your own. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a little more craftsman, you may opt for wood or wood composite.

If you’re looking for something a little more durable, a steel door is your best bet. Steel garage doors can be purchased with different colors and finishes to match your home.

And lastly, if you live close to the beach, you may consider fiberglass or vinyl. Fiberglass is known for its resistance to moisture and insects. It can also mimic the grain patterns of real wood. Vinyl is lightweight and impervious to rot caused by moisture.

Color Palettes

You don’t have to match the garage color to your front door. In fact, many designers recommend not matching them. The goal is neutralizing the garage door, making the entrance to your home the focal point. You can do this in one of two ways:

If your garage is surrounded by gray or beige stone, you can contrast the texture with a lighter tone of the same color.

Or, you can use a contrasting paint color that brings out the details or shutters or window frames (like a deep chestnut or sleek black).

Hardware

There are built-in details that make your garage door stand out, but you have the option of adding decorative elements to really make a statement. Patterned hinges, iron arrows and trim are just a few ways you can add details to an otherwise flat surface.

It doesn’t stop there, though. You can add potted plants and greenery to frame your garage, drawing the eye upward!

Lighting

Exterior lighting is another great way to boost your curb appeal. Look for fixtures that complement the tone and style of your home, bringing the whole look together. Some popular options to consider include driveway lights, uplighting, downlighting and wall sconces.

Ready to Start Shopping for a New Garage Door?

With designers and garage door specialists on staff, we have everything prepped and ready to make your shopping experience a breeze. Give us a call at (714) 528-5670 and we’ll provide a free in-home estimate to cover your project needs!

Anything mechanical eventually breaks down, and your garage door is no exception. However, when the dreaded issue arises, you may be wondering whether it’s time for a repair or a replacement.

Because replacements are often more expensive than repairs, many homeowners prefer fixing problems as they go. Many components are fine to fix, like springs, motors or even panels. But at a certain point, repairing is no longer an option.

Here are five questions to ask yourself when determining if the issue calls for a replacement.

 

1. Is my garage making strange noises?

Has your garage door gotten stuck or started malfunctioning? Identifying the root of the problem can be tricky, but our team has created a quick process for targeting (and even solving) common issues before scheduling a visit.

Step 1: If you’re experiencing motor problems, it’s not responding or seems dead, check the wall button. Does the light turn on in the machine?

Step 2: If the garage door motor isn’t coming on at all, you’ll want to test the outlet.

Step 3: To test the outlet, you’ll need a blow dryer. Unplug the motor and test the plug. If the blow dryer doesn’t work, it’s an issue with the electricity and not the garage itself. From there, you’ll need to reach out to an electrician.

Step 4: If the blow dryer works, that indicates an issue with the garage door opener. When this happens, you’ll need to bring in a professional to take a closer look.

 

If your garage isn’t malfunctioning — but simply making loud noises. You may consider a garage door with polyurethane insulation which helps dampen vibrations (often amplified by steel doors).

Another thing that might help is switching out your metal rollers for nylon ones. To be candid, though, we don’t recommend making these repairs yourself.

We’re experts at motor repair. Whether it’s gears, chains or circuit boards, we’re fully stocked and can fix most problems that same day. The key is knowing what sounds to look for.

If your garage is making screeching or cracking noises, you’ll definitely need to call us in. But, if it just sounds like moving parts, simple material swaps should help.

 

2. Is my garage door, opener or hardware damaged?

Sometimes the damage can be all too obvious. Nothing decreases your curb appeal like a dented, cracked or discolored garage door. If you have a damaged panel, these sections are replaceable.

If your door is wood, metal or an alternative material, give us a call and we can provide some cost-effective solutions.

If the damage is taking place below the surface, you may be experiencing issues with your operator or hardware. Here are some subtle clues to look for:

  • You can’t lift the garage door manually (it’s stuck).
  • The garage door is difficult to open and/or close.
  • The garage door is sagging.
  • The garage door is closing too fast.

Spring life is determined by how often the door is used. If you’re having troubles opening and closing your garage door, call us as soon as possible. In some cases, we can offer a same-day turnaround.

If your garage is making those screeching noises we mentioned earlier, we can replace any damaged or worn hinges, springs or other hardware — bringing new life to your garage.

 

3. Will I be remodeling my home soon?

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 report, replacing a garage door is one of the top five home improvement projects that generate the highest return on investment. And the proof is in the pictures.

Whether your garage door is cracked or simply discolored, we offer various models and styles to choose from. If you’re looking for something a little more custom, we can help there too.

We’ll pair the architectural style of your home with your design preferences to find a door that’s truly unique.

One of our fan favorites is the Wayne Dalton #8300 model. It has the aesthetic of wood but is made from steel which is much more durable.

 

4. Is my garage operator lacking modern features?

Our society has made countless technical advances. And now, it’s time for garage operators to catch up. If you’re looking for an upgrade, we offer a full line of Liftmaster, Genie and Merantec operators.

We personally love recommending a Liftmaster (used in the garage above) because of its wi-fi capabilities. You can manage it directly from an app on your phone!

 

5. Would I like to upgrade to something more durable?

For a more durable door, we highly recommend boosting your insulation. When we mention this, people immediately think of temperature. But in fact, a traditional steel door is like a soda can while an insulated door performs like a double-wall thermos.

 

Tailored solutions make all the difference.

Ordering garage door products over the phone is pretty risky. Each garage is a little different and our team can help you determine the best (and most cost-effective) solutions for your home.

Whether it’s a repair or replacement, it’s always wise having a professional visit your home and check out the situation first.

 

Let’s set your project up for success.

A family-run company for over 25 years, we’ll never pressure you into buying something you don’t need. We make it a point to serve, not sell — and offer a free in-home estimate at no cost to you.

No obligations and no fine print. Our goal is helping you fix the problem, however big or small that may be.

If you’re ready to jumpstart your repair or replacement, give us a call at (714) 528-5670.

Three ways to reduce garage door repair costs 

Garage Door Repair
Garage Door Repair
When your garage door breaks down, it’s never convenient, and worse, it’s going to cost money to fix it. However, there are ways for you to save your wallet and reduce those pesky garage door repair costs.

Conduct preventative maintenance.

The best way to reduce repair costs is by preventing problems in the first place. The better you maintain your door, the longer the lifespan. The first step in preventative maintenance is looking and listening. Everytime the door opens, be aware of any new sounds or rough movements.
Every year, take ten minutes and lubricate all the moving parts. Pick up spray from a garage door specialist to coat all of the springs. Also, tighten any loose pieces to prevent them from falling out of place.
Test all of the auto-reverse safety features by putting small items in front of the sensors. Clean the door regularly to prevent degradation from the rust or dirt. Take time to remove any debris from the tracks to prevent damage and reduce garage door repair costs.

Complete all the minor repairs.  

Some repairs are simple enough, but if ignored, they can cause expensive problems. Reduce garage door repair costs by completing all the minor repairs.
Whatever you do, don’t continue hitting the opener and praying for a miracle. The added resistance could eventually break the door. There could be a variety of things going on, rollers becoming stiff, the door binds from the rollers being old and worn down to name a couple. In those cases, you would need to replace rollers.
Change out broken or aged springs. If a garage door is struggling to open, then look up and see if it is a problem with the spring. Torsion springs are usually rated for 10,000 cycles, which means it will open and close 10,000 times before needing replacement.
If you open and close your door at least twice a day (if not more), then you will need to replace them in a few short years. Spring manufacturers suggest replacing them every five years whether they are broken or not to avoid being maxed out with no more tension to give.
Just because the garage door is in need of minor repairs, it doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do them.
Yes, a DIY approach to a project may seem cheaper on the surface, but if you install the wrong springs or fail to finish the job correctly, then you might cause a bigger problem.

Find the right company for the job.

When it is time to fix your door or complete a big repair project, be sure to ask the right questions. Big repairs don’t come around often for your garage door, which means you probably are not familiar with the industry or the expected costs of the repair.
Sometimes, a broken garage door can cause a stressful situation, especially if you are trying to get to work or somewhere else important. Ask these questions to help identify the right company and get your door fixed and back to normal without as little interruption to your routine as possible.
  1. How many years have you been in business?
  2. Are you licensed?
  3. Do you have any reviews I can read?
  4. Do you offer any warranties on the work?

 

 

Are you in need of a garage door repair? We can help. Call us today at (714) 528-5670, and we can provide you with a free estimate.

5 Questions to Ask Garage Door Installation Companies Before Hiring

If you’re looking at garage door installation or garage door replacement, you’ve probably already found that you have quite a few options when it comes to hiring. The garage door installation industry in the U.S. employs about 64,789 people — but not all those people are equally qualified or will give you a comparable experience. So how can you find the right company to hire? Here are five questions to ask before you make any decisions:

  1. Do You Offer Service Plans or Warranties?

    Many homeowners see the word “warranty” and immediately think that they’re protected. But some businesses use service plans, warranties and guarantees to give customers a false sense of security. Actually dig into any warranty that is offered and ensure it’s providing you with the coverage you want and isn’t distracting you from bad service upfront.

  2. How Long Have You Been in Business?

    There’s a relatively high turnover rate for all businesses in the home construction and repair industry, which means that working with a newbie company is a risk. If something goes wrong just a few months down the road, the company could be gone — leaving you with no recourse. If you can work with a garage door repair and installation company that has years of experience and a good reputation in your area, that’s absolutely the best way to go, even if it costs slightly more.

  3. Are You Licensed, Insured and Bonded?

    Garage doors are heavy, and that makes installing them or the electric openers that operate automatic garage doors a sensitive process; garage doors can weigh up to 1,000 pounds on the heavy end, meaning they can cause serious injury if proper care isn’t exercised, and the average opener raises and lowers doors of 150 or 200 pounds more than a thousand times every single year. In order to protect yourself — both from injury or liability should someone else be injured — you’ll want to make sure your garage door installation company is bonded and insured, and that it uses only licensed and highly trained installation technicians.

  4. What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

    Especially at certain times of year, there are an unfortunately high number of door-to-door housing scams being run, and some of these involve garage doors. If a company comes to you, quotes you a low price for a new garage door and then wants you to pay in cash, that’s a huge red flag.

  5. Will You Provide Me With References?

    The best endorsement you can get for a company is a former customer saying they’d hire the company all over again. Ask for a list of references you can contact before you sign any papers, and then do some follow-up on your own with online review sites and the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company you’re considering working with truly has a top-notch reputation.

What else should homeowners know before hiring a garage door company? Add your thoughts in the comments.

Your Guide to Garage Door Springs

Of all the parts that make automatic garage doors work, springs are among the most important. They control the ascent and descent of your door, meaning that a broken one will put your garage door out of commission until it’s replaced. With that in mind, here’s a basic guide to garage door springs for all homeowners.

Basic Types of Garage Door Springs
There are two types of springs your garage door might use. The first are garage torsion springs. These are generally attached right above the garage door (you should be able to see it when your garage door is closed), and work by twisting. They’re often used for heavier garage doors — remember, garage doors can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, though a few hundred pounds is more normal. Extension springs, the second kind, are generally installed in pairs and located on either side of garage doors.

The Lifespan of Garage Door Springs
Garage door springs are very heavy-duty, but they won’t last forever. They generally have life-cycle ratings, such as 10,000, 25,000, 50,000, etc. That may make it sound like springs should last for a very long time, but consider this: One nationwide survey found that 71% of homeowners use garage door openers to enter their houses every single day, and it’s estimated that the average electric garage door opener raises and lowers a 150- to 250-pound garage door over a thousand times annually. All that opening and closing puts strain on your garage door springs, too, and that strain can be exacerbated by a poorly calibrated garage door system or harsh environmental conditions.

Inspecting Garage Door Springs
Because a broken garage door spring essentially means a broken garage door, you can save yourself some grief by inspecting your springs every time you clean your garage (once or twice a year, ideally). Look for any signs of rust or springs that look stretched out. You should also pay attention to the rate at which your garage door descends, because an increase in speed over time may indicate that your springs are wearing down and should be replaced.

How to Replace Garage Door Springs
If you’re wondering how to replace garage door springs, the simplest answer is to pick up the telephone and call a few garage door companies for quotes. Yes, it’s possible to buy garage door replacement parts, including springs, and DIY. But garage doors are heavy, and changing springs can actually be a very dangerous task if you’re not properly trained. It’s possible to learn how to do your own repairs, but it’s not something you should attempt as a weekend project.

Do you have any tips on how to replace garage door springs on your own — safely — in some circumstances? Join the discussion in the comments.

5 Common Garage Door Problems You Should Know How to Recognize

Garage doors are typically the largest moving objects in the home, weighing up to 1,000 pounds. That means they can lead to serious — even fatal — injuries if they aren’t properly cared for and maintained. What types of problems should you be looking out for? Here are five common problems you should know how to recognize, as well as some tips on repairs or replacement:

  1. Garage Door Spring Adjustments
    One extremely common class of repairs is garage door spring adjustments. There are two basic types of springs you might be dealing with: garage torsion springs are typically mounted above doors, while extension springs are found to either side. The former are generally used for heavier doors, and the latter are generally used for lighter-weight doors. If your door stops in the middle of opening, descends too quickly or hangs crookedly, those are all signs that garage door spring adjustments or replacements are needed. You should inspect the springs themselves on a regular basis, looking for irregular elongation or visible wearing on the springs.
  2. Roller Replacements
    Rollers help your garage door to glide on its tracks; when they become bent or broken, they no longer fulfill that function. One sign that your rollers are in need of replacement is a noisy garage door, but manual inspections can also reveal problems. It’s important to replace rollers before they cause damage to the tracks, as the latter is a much more expensive problem to fix.
  3. Broken Cable Rethreading
    Garage door cables work as part of a pulley system to raise the door. Sometimes, these cables can wear or snap suddenly. The cables themselves are not very expensive, but it can be dangerous to attempt to replace them on your own due to the weight of most garage doors. This is one time it’s smarter to just call the garage door repair company.
  4. Door Panel Assessments
    Garage doors are typically comprised of multiple panels, and these can often be switched out without replacing the entire door. It’s important, however, to get a professional assessment from one or two garage door companies on why damage to a panel has occurred; sometimes what looks like cosmetic damage is indicative of an underlying structural problem that needs to be addressed.
  5. Opener Malfunctions
    Automatic garage doors are raised and lowered by electric openers — and considering that these openers raise a 150- or 250-pound door (on the light end) more than a thousand times a year, it’s no wonder they wear out or malfunction sometimes. Since fixing a broken opener takes electrical training, this is another kind of repair that’s often better left to the professionals.

How to Test the Most Important Safety Feature on Automatic Garage Doors

Garage doors are the largest moving objects in the typical home, weighing as much as 1,000 pounds apiece. That means they can cause serious injury — even death — if they aren’t properly maintained. Most homes are now built with automatic garage doors, meaning that homeowners need to pay attention to the condition both of doors themselves and of garage door openers (the machines that actually raise and lower the doors). On average, an electric opener lifts and lowers a 150- to 250-pound door more than a thousand times each year.

One of the most important safety features in an automatic garage door setup is the auto-reverse system. This is what prevents the door from crushing something or someone beneath it. When problems arise in this system, the fault can lie either with the sensor “eye” that locates objects under the door, or in the opener itself. There are three tests you can perform to check that your auto-reverse function is working as intended. Do all these at least once a year:

  1. Stationary Object Blocking Eye
    Starting with your garage door open, test your sensor by blocking the eye with a stationary object. Since these sensors are generally low to the ground, an object such as a roll of paper towels works well (a bucket or other cheap garden item would also serve this purpose). Press the close button; your garage door should refuse to descend.
  2. Stationary Object Not Blocking Eye
    Next, place an object such that it is in the door’s path, but does not block the sensor eye. A sawhorse is the easiest choice, though a folding chair or small ladder might also work depending on configuration. Press the close button; the garage door should descend until it touches the object, but then immediately reverse.
  3. Moving Object in Door’s Path
    Finally, select a long item such as a broom handle or rake. Press the close button, then wave the object in the door’s path. As soon as the moving object passes in front of the sensor, the door should reverse.

If your door fails any one of the three tests, then you should carry out further troubleshooting immediately. If the problem is with the sensor, you may be able to fix it yourself. Clean the eye and make sure it is pointing in a straight beam underneath the garage door. If the mounting is wrong, you can get garage door replacement parts from a local supplier.

Barring this kind of simple fix, it’s probably time to call the garage door repair company. If you’ve already been looking at garage door replacement parts, don’t let that tempt you to take on a project that’s really outside your expertise; this is one system you want working exactly as intended.

Do you have any recommendations on choosing garage door replacement parts or hiring garage door companies? Share your thoughts in the comments.

7 Benefits That Come With Replacing Your Garage Doors

If your automatic garage doors are sticky or creaking, it’s possible you can get away with a simple garage door repair service. You might even be able to solve the problem yourself by using a light household oil on the tracks, hinges, rollers and springs (don’t use a petroleum-based product or get lubricant on the opener itself). But sometimes, garage door replacement is simply a better investment. How do you know when to replace garage doors, instead of repair them? While immediate cost should always be a factor, there are quite a few valuable benefits you should calculate into your decision. Here are some reasons to consider new garage doors:

  1. Increased Home Value

    New garage doors can vastly improve curb appeal and the overall appearance of your home. When combined with the appeal of newer, lower-maintenance technology, this means new garage doors can increase the value of your home. In fact, 71% of homeowners who installed new garage doors recently believe their home value went up as a result.

  2. Heating and Cooling Efficiency

    Newer garage doors are better insulated and wind-resistant than older models. For houses with attached garages, this can lead to an improvement in heating and cooling efficiency — leaving you with a lower utility bill each month.

  3. Reduced Maintenance

    New garage doors are designed to be almost effortless to care for. A finished metal garage door requires nothing more than an occasional wash with soap and water. If you’ve been flaking and repainting your wooden garage door, this should definitely be considered if you’re debating when to replace garage doors.

  4. Safer Storage

    A new, secured garage door can give you the confidence that anything you store in your garage — anything from your cars and motorcycles to expensive power tools — is safe. Most new garage doors are equipped with security measures so that thieves can’t generate codes to open them.

  5. Restricted Home Access

    In addition to providing access to your garage, most garages also provide access to your home (and many people don’t lock the door between the garage and the house). A solid, secured garage door can give you peace of mind that no one is in your house who shouldn’t be.

  6. Lower Accident Risk

    Garage doors are heavy, weighting up to 1,000 pounds, and can fall and cause serious injuries if they’re not properly maintained. By getting a new garage door, you can be sure that it’s in top condition and has all the latest safety features.

  7. Improved Insurance Outlook

    By making your home more secure against both criminals and the elements, you may find that a new garage door can help you lower your homeowners insurance rates.

Do you have any tips to share on when to replace garage doors? Join the discussion below.

5 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Garage Door in Tip Top Shape

You probably open and close your garage door (or doors) several times a day; a recent nationwide consumer survey concluded that 71% of homeowners access their homes using garage door openers daily. But how much thought do you give to garage door maintenance? These oft-used doors are all too often neglected. By doing some simple maintenance, you can ensure your garage doors are always working smoothly — and avoid the costs of garage door repair or even garage door replacement. Here are five easy steps you can take to maintain your garage doors:

  1. Clean

    Dirt and outdoor pollutants can create a stubborn grime on garage doors if they’re not cleaned regularly. Warm water and a mild detergent work just fine on most doors; metal doors should also get a light coat of car wax, which protects the finish.

  2. Inspect

    Once a month or so, look at your closed door and its corresponding parts from the inside of the garage. Check the door and springs, cables, pulleys and hinges. If anything looks worn, frayed or loose, then it’s probably time for professional garage door service.

  3. Test

    All modern electric garage doors have two important safety mechanisms that you should check periodically. The first is a reversing mechanism. You can test this by laying a board on the ground in the path of the garage door and then hitting the button to close the door; it should reverse as soon as the bottom of the door touches the board. The second is a photo eye, which prevents the door from closing when something is in its path. Push the button to close the door, and then wave an object (not your arm!) in front of the sensor. The door should immediately begin to re-open. If it doesn’t, clean the sensors with a soft cloth and repeat the test. If the test fails again, call a technician.

  4. Lubricate

    Tracks, hinges, rollers and springs can be lightly lubricated with household oil twice a year or as needed. Wipe away any extra when you’re finished, and remember that the openers themselves do not need to be lubricated.

  5. Insulate

    Even if you’re not willing to invest in a fully insulated garage door, you can keep the chill and damp out by installing and regularly inspecting weatherstripping or seals at the edges of your doors.

What have your experiences been like with garage door companies? What do you look for when picking a new home service company? Join the discussion in the comments.