How to Improve the Look of Your Home With Your Garage Door
How to Improve the Look of Your Home With Your Garage Door
To many of us, a garage door is a utilitarian fixture we’d never think to replace unless it was damaged. However, updating your garage door, which can comprise up to 30% of your exterior facade, is an outstanding way to boost your home’s curb appeal. This investment, in turn, will enhance the resale value of your home, as it’s one of the first things potential buyers notice.
Whether you’re trying to bring a cohesive quality to the exterior of your home, accent an existing feature or totally transform your facade, changing your garage door is an excellent place to start. In this article, we’ll provide tips on how to improve the curb appeal of your house, which includes choosing the right color, style and surrounding decor for your garage door.
How Changing Your Garage Door Can Make Your House More Attractive
Updating your garage door — whether you’re giving it a fresh coat of paint or replacing it completely — can boost the curb appeal of your home in the following ways.
- Completing the design of your home: If you’re trying to finish or revamp the entire exterior design of your home, a new garage door could be the perfect finishing touch you’re looking for. Whether it’s a new color, design or material, it can tie the whole look of your home together or give the front of your home that extra something it needs.
- Upgrading the style of your home: If you purchased your home a long time ago, and you want to make it look a bit more modern, a new door can provide that refreshing touch you’re looking for with its material, color, texture, style and design. You can pick something that reflects your current tastes.
- Restore the original look of your home: Perhaps your home has experienced a lot of wear over the years, and you’d like to restore it to its former glory. Updating your old, worn-out garage door along with your front door can make your older home look as good as new.
As a garage door relates intrinsically to a home’s curb appeal and functionality, it has a high return on investment.
Choosing the Right Color
Below are the five most common colors for garage doors.
- White: This is a popular, go-to shade for many homeowners and makes a door look crisp and bright. Keep in mind, however, that white will show marks much more noticeably than a darker color.
- Soft gray: In the decorating world, gray is the new neutral color. This pale, soft shade is the perfect color for various reasons — it blends with the background with many colors of bricks and keeps the focal point on your home and front door.
- Dark gray or black: Black has always been a popular option for garage doors. While dark gray and deep black-blue have recently become trendier alternatives to jet black, the best choice for your home will depend on various factors, including the style of your home and the color of your brick. To achieve a contemporary look, paint your garage door and window trim the same color. Black window trim is particularly fashionable at the moment, and it hides dirt better than lighter doors. If not done correctly, though, it can make your home look stark.
- Taupe or beige: The color of your bricks will often determine the right color for your garage door. If the color of your brick is in the taupe/beige family, picking the same color for your garage door will help it blend in well.
- Walnut brown: If you like warmer tones in general, but are considering a darker color for your garage door, deep walnut brown is an excellent choice. When done right, walnut brown can make your door look like it’s expensive wood.
If choosing a dark brown color, be careful, as many shades of brown can make a house look dated. It is crucial to pick the right “walnut brown” color. Here are some other useful tips for choosing the right color.
- You don’t need to match the color of your garage door and front door. In most cases, it’s best to keep the front door the focal point. This statement is especially true if your front door is a bold color like yellow, blue or red. In this situation, matching white or gray is the best option.
- Choosing a garage door color that’s the same as your house can be a good idea. It can make your home look bigger and doesn’t make the garage door the focal point.
- Avoid multiple colors. This look is dated and will detract from its curb appeal.
- Get inspiration. Browse sites like Pinterest and Houzz to get ideas for how to dress up garage doors. You can also take a drive around some neighborhoods.
Choosing the Right Style
If you’re planning to buy a brand-new garage door, you’ll have lots of choices in terms of designs and material, and the one that’s best comes down to your preferences and tastes. If you’d like a rustic appearance, for instance, wood panels can give your home a classier, warmer look. If you’d like something more modern, on the other hand, geometric cuts and clean lines can give your home a minimalist, sleek appearance. The style you choose may also depend on how you’d like to use your garage.
To help you out with your decision, we’ll cover the most common garage door styles and the impressions each type tends to make.
- Glass and aluminum: This sturdy, high-quality choice features a sleek surface and is a great option for those looking for a simple and modern look. Your door can be all aluminum or incorporate glass as well — certain modern doors feature an aluminum frame and a center of glass crossed by beams of aluminum. This choice is excellent for modern, simple tastes and, if you intend to use your garage as a workspace, keep in mind these doors allow in natural light. But even if you’re going to use your garage to park your car and keep out the elements, this garage door style will give your home a geometric and sleek appearance.
- Steel: Like aluminum, steel garage doors are sleek and modern-looking, but they’re also remarkably durable. Insulated steel is among the strongest, sturdiest materials you can pick to keep your garage safe. What’s more, it has the added benefit of efficiency. Unlike most other types of garage doors, steel garage doors help insulate your home and keep temperatures inside comfortable.
- Wood: This classy, traditional choice offers the unique benefit of authenticity and provides a rustic, rich feel other materials can’t duplicate. If your home is in a rural area and you’re looking to give it a rustic, traditional feel, a wood garage door could be a great choice. Choose a wood material and stain you like and that suits your home — just be sure to protect the doors with a waterproof adhesive sealant.
- Carriage house: This style of garage door provides your home with a look that is both sophisticated and rustic and will help it stand out in the neighborhood. You can make these doors especially attractive with side detailing, windows, handles and other accessories.
- With windows: If you’ve never had a garage door with windows, this may seem like a strange feature. However, windows can transform your home’s appearance and significantly improve your curb appeal. While windows may not be the best choice for every home, if your garage door takes up a large portion of your home’s front facade, windows can help break up the surface and add some variety. Base the location and design of your windows on those of your front windows or the windows in your front door — this will help draw the design together.
Choosing the Right Decor Around the Garage Doors
Once you’ve decided on the color and style of your garage door, you can continue your garage entry makeover with some other customization options.
- Greenery: You can add topiaries or potted plants on either side of your garage door. Shrubs, tall plants and other types of greenery are great ways to add an additional flourish, and you can customize the plants for each season or change them whenever you feel like it.
- Architectural features: Trim, trellises, pillars and porticos above and around your garage door will enhance its design, making it stand out. Stonework in the driveway or walls can also go a long way.
- Lighting: Lights are one of the final touches to enhance your door’s curb appeal. Not only do lights illuminate the design of your garage, but they also make the space safer and more functional — they’ll provide light for when you return home after dark and will also deter intruders. You can install lights over the garage, build them into the garage door, put them on either side or even along your driveway. A wide variety of colors, designs and materials are available as well. Just like all the other features and accessories of your garage door, the lighting you choose should complement the style and colors of the rest of your home.
Why Choose Blankenship Garage Door as Your Garage Door Installer?
If you’re a homeowner in Central Oregon, and need a new garage door, you’ve come to the right place. For over 20 years, Blankenship Garage Doors has been helping customers throughout Central Oregon pick out high-quality residential garage doors that combine durability, performance and stunning modern curb appeal ideas.
We’re a proud Master Authorized Dealer of Clopay garage doors, a brand that has been leading the industry for the past 50 years. We offer a wide range of these high-quality, award-winning doors at competitive prices, and they’re available in many designs and material options.
If you’re searching for something with a contemporary look, for instance, you can check out our selection of modern doors manufactured from hot-dipped, galvanized steels that combine subtle, distinct beauty with rugged efficiency. If you’d like a wood-look garage door, we also sell beautiful Clopay faux wood doors that emulate the warmth and beauty of authentic wood, eliminating worries about rotting or warping. These doors can also be insulated, which will keep your garage a more comfortable temperature throughout the year. We also sell garage doors made from authentic wood, doors made of glass and aluminum and many others.
If you would like a customized garage door that suits your unique style and functional needs, Clopay offers the opportunity to create a made-to-order residential garage door products. We recommend you first take a little time to browse Clopay’s Imagine FlipBooks to get some inspiration, then use the online Door Imagination System to play around with some customization options and features.
Here are some other reasons to come to Blankenship Garage Doors.
- We’ll take care of your installation. Once you’ve picked out your new garage door, we can perform a quick, flawless installation for you. Since we are a Clopay Master Authorized Dealer, we are able to install any Clopay residential garage door — and guarantee that we’ll complete the job to your satisfaction.
- You can see our garage doors in person. In addition to browsing our online galleries, you can also get a closer look at our products by visiting our showroom. Our showroom is completely stocked and allows you to browse the complete collection of Clopay products. There will also be knowledgeable staff on hand to answer any questions you might have and provide expert guidance. You can contact us to schedule an appointment.
- We sell LiftMaster garage door openers to suit your budget and needs. Blankenship Garage Doors boasts a comprehensive selection of LiftMaster belt-drive and chain door openers that feature the cutting-edge MyQ technology, which allows users to monitor and control the openers using a smartphone, tablet or computer, regardless of their location. They also come with useful features like efficient, powerful P3 motors, battery backup for power outages and several other security and safety innovations. Our LiftMaster garage door openers are compatible with all Clopay products.
- We install garage door openers. For your garage door opener to function properly and not pose a safety hazard, proper installation is a must. Our team consists of experienced, knowledgeable garage door technicians who can install every garage door opener product from LiftMaster. We also guarantee all the projects we install, so you can use your opener with complete confidence.
- We offer timely maintenance and repair services. Even products as high-quality as LiftMaster’s garage door openers require an occasional tune-up to keep them working at maximum efficiency. As your Central Oregon LiftMaster dealer, we can perform routine maintenance on your opener and also handle any repair tasks. If it’s an emergency, we can even come to your location before or after hours.
Visit our site to browse our vast selection of residential doors.
What Could Be Wrong With My Garage Door?
What Could Be Wrong With My Garage Door?
When your garage door isn’t working properly, it can be a major frustration for everyone in the household. Doors that won’t open at all, open and close at the wrong times or won’t close all the way — many different garage door issues can cause these problems. Sometimes there are easy fixes you can perform yourself at home if you know what to look for. Other times, it’s best to call in the pros. Let’s go through some simple garage door troubleshooting, so you know when to call for professional help and get your garage door up and running again.
How to Detect Common Garage Issues
If your garage door isn’t working, it could be due to a wide variety of causes. Often, the cause is something simple, so it’s best to start by checking over a few important parts of the garage door to try to determine the problem.
Check to make sure that the unit is plugged in to a power source in the garage. Sometimes, the power cord will accidentally get unplugged, cutting off the power to the whole setup. Next, check your remote and batteries — fresh batteries installed the right way might make all the difference. You can also check to make sure the disconnect switch is not enabled. This is the knob or pull cord you can use to manually open the door when the power goes out, and it sometimes may accidentally get pulled.
Some garage doors, especially older models, have manual locks as an added safety feature. Check to see if your door has a manual lock and if it was accidentally locked. Look for a metal bar about halfway up the garage door.
It may also be that when using your remote transmitter, you may be too far out of range. Many people try to open their garage door from too far away. Try pressing the button right in your driveway to see if it works closer up. Another issue related to the remote is the frequency. If you somehow are on the same frequency as your neighbor’s garage door opener, your door could be opening and closing when they push their remote button. If you suspect this is the case, check your manual for instructions on resetting the frequency.
If the problem is not related to the power source, take a look at the photo eyes. These are the sensors on either side of the door used for detecting if anything is in the way of the garage door — an excellent safety feature when working correctly. However, if the photo eyes are out of alignment or if the lenses are blocked or clogged, they won’t work effectively. Make sure nothing is in the way of the sensors.
Look at the tracks for the garage door and check for any bends or gaps between the rails and rollers, as this can signify a serious issue. Also, check the torsion springs or tension springs and cables. Broken springs often make a loud noise when they break and can be dangerous to work with. If you notice broken springs or cables, call a professional garage door repair company right away. Keep kids away from the broken garage door and park outside until the problem is fixed.
Reasons Why Your Garage Door Might Not Work
Now that you know some common signs to look for to determine what might be wrong with your garage door, let’s cover some common reasons why the door might not work.
1. Problems With the Remote
One of the most common garage door problems — and easiest fixes — has to do with the remote, or transmitter. The remote may be out of battery power or have improperly installed batteries. It also could be out of range of the main unit or on the wrong frequency. If you and your neighbor have accidentally used the same frequency for your garage door transmitters, it could cause problems for you both. Luckily this is a fairly easy fix — check your manual for instructions on changing the frequency or call a pro for help.
If the issue isn’t batteries or frequency, something could be obstructing the signal between the remote and the main unit. The antenna might need cleaning if too much dust or debris has collected. Make sure the antenna is pointed in the right direction and isn’t broken. Also, check around the garage for new growth on trees. Sometimes, branches or other obstructions can get in the way of the garage door signal. You might need to trim some branches to get a clear signal.
2. Out-of-Alignment or Blocked Photo Eyes
Any garage door installed after the early 90s has small photo eyes on both sides of the door entrance. These sensors were developed as a safety feature and may have tiny green flashing lights that indicate they’re working. The photo eyes send an invisible beam to each other to check for anything in the way of the door when it’s closing. If anything is in the way, the sensors will send the garage door back up.
Over time, the sensors can become dirty or clogged, insects could build a nest or web over them or a small item from the garage could simply be in their way. Any of these obstructions keep the photo eyes — and garage door — from doing their jobs. Even if the sensors are clean, the alignment could be off. If they are not aligned correctly, the sensors can’t send signals to each other, and the garage door likely will not be able to close. The photo eyes need to be aimed at each other and placed at the same height and angle.
3. Incorrect Limit Settings
Similar to the photo eyes, the limit settings tell the garage door how far to go down before being fully closed. If these settings are off, when the garage door closes fully, the opener may think it’s hitting something that’s in the way, causing it to send the door back up. If the settings are too far in the opposite direction, the door may not close all the way.
The limit settings are usually adjusted by turning knobs or dials on the garage door motor, and it may take several adjustments before the settings are correct. It’s a good idea to make small adjustments and check again as you go. An experienced garage door professional can make these adjustments quickly and easily.
4. Misaligned Tracks
If the garage door is completely off of its track, it may be obvious that’s the problem. However, sometimes the track is just slightly misaligned, which can still cause issues. Tracks that are bent or misaligned will prevent the door from opening and closing properly. This issue may cause the door to get stuck along the way or make squeaking noises while moving. A damaged track on one side will put pressure on the other side, likely leading to damage on the opposite track too. Once the tracks are damaged, the heavy weight of the door can cause the problem to rapidly get worse, making for a dangerous situation that you shouldn’t try to repair by yourself.
5. Broken Springs
Your door may have extension springs or torsion springs, both of which can break and need repair. A broken torsion spring will stay in place in the shaft but will make a loud noise when it breaks. Extension springs can break apart or fly off from the garage door, causing severe damage or injury if they hit anything or anyone. Whichever type you have, these springs do the heavy lifting required to move the door and eventually wear out.
You’ll have one spring on each side of the door, and if even one is broken, you’ll need a repair. Replacing both springs at the same time will save you money in the long run, reducing the chances of a second repair shortly after repairing the first spring. If you have a broken spring, stop using the garage door immediately and call in the pros to help. A garage door with broken springs can be incredibly dangerous.
6. Broken Cables
Garage door cables can wear out and break on their own, but more frequently, they break around the same time as the springs. Just as with the springs, when a cable snaps, it’s dangerous to be in the way. When a spring breaks, the cable is the only thing holding the door up, so it can snap quite easily. A broken cable is also a serious issue that requires you to stop using the garage door and contact an experienced garage door repair service.
7. Stripped Gears in the Opener
If the gears inside the opener are stripped, the door may make a humming sound and fail to open when you press the button on your remote. You can still use the door, but you’ll need to open it manually. It’s possible to find replacement gears, but you’ll often need to replace the entire opener. Replacing the opener is a job for the professionals.
8. Power Loss
If your garage door isn’t connected to its power source, it won’t open and close unless you move it manually. The same is true if the power source is off or damaged.
You may have accidentally activated the disconnect switch, cord or knob, which disconnects the door from the motor. If when you press the button to open or close your garage door, you hear the motor running, but the door doesn’t move, the disconnect switch may be activated. To reconnect your door to your motor, open the garage door all the way, and reattach the hook to the motor. If you can’t safely figure out how to reconnect the door and motor, call a garage door repair professional.
If you press the button and the motor doesn’t run at all, it may have lost power. This could be because a cord is unplugged, the outlet broke, the power in your house went out or a widespread power outage occurred. To fix this issue, follow the same process you would when any other device loses power. You may need to plug a cord back in, replace an outlet, flip a circuit breaker, call an electrician or notify your power company of an outage.
Why You Should Trust Blankenship Garage Doors to Repair Your Garage Door
Any of the above garage door problems can cause major frustration. As a preventative measure, you should perform an annual inspection to identify any potential issues before they get worse. Start with a visual inspection of the whole garage door system, looking for anything that may need a closer look, cleaning or repair. Next, open the door, watching and listening for any strange noises or imbalances in the way the door goes up.
During your inspection, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact a professional like Blankenship Garage Doors. Some fixes are easy — like new batteries for the remote door opener — but many garage door repair jobs are best left to experienced professionals.
Online videos and how-to articles make home repair look easy, but these resources are often made by seasoned experts. In reality, repairing a garage door is often no easy task and can be downright dangerous if you don’t have the right experience. Professional garage door technicians know how to complete repairs correctly and safely. They can also complete quickly, saving you loads of time as well as frustration.
Professional garage door repair technicians know how to check all power sources and secure garage door parts before proceeding with any repairs to ensure the safety of everyone around. Garage doors have many complicated parts that can be difficult to repair and pose unique safety hazards. It’s also important to note that if your garage door is under warranty, the warranty may be voided if you attempt some of the repairs yourself. It’s best to keep your warranty and save yourself the hassle by having your garage door repaired professionally.
At Blankenship Garage Door, our team of highly trained technicians have years of experience, so you know they’ll do the job right. We guarantee all of our work and even schedule repairs outside of normal business hours to provide the most flexibility and convenience for our customers. Schedule an appointment that works for you, and our technicians will arrive on time and fix your broken springs, rollers or cables or other problems. We’ll get to the bottom of your garage door issue and fix it right the first time.
Request Service With Blankenship Garage Door
When your garage door needs maintenance or repairs, hire the very best. The experienced staff at Blankenship Garage Door are ready to take your service request and schedule a repair appointment that works for you. We’ve been providing premium service to both residential and commercial clients in Central Oregon for more than 20 years. Just fill out our quick and easy online service request form, and we’ll get back to you to schedule a convenient appointment to get your garage door back on track.
How to Keep Your Children Safe Around Your Garage
How to Keep Your Children Safe Around Your Garage
When your child was born, you probably went a little crazy covering electrical outlets, locking kitchen cabinets and placing cleaning products high out of reach. Every parent knows the basics of childproofing their house, but when was the last time you thought about childproofing the garage?
It’s easy to overlook garage safety when you’re thinking about child safety. After all, it’s not like they play in there every day, right? If you haven’t considered your garage door to be a safety hazard, you aren’t alone. In fact, 82% of Americans admit that they tend to neglect maintenance and safety when it comes to their garage door.
The truth is that your garage — especially the garage door — presents a number of potential dangers for children. Just because their toys aren’t out there or their playroom is on the other side of the house doesn’t mean that their curious minds won’t lead them into the garage when you aren’t looking.
Just as you childproof your house, it’s important to take a few minutes to find and eliminate dangers your children may face in the garage.
Where should you start?
Checking If Your Garage Door Is Safe for Your Child
One of the biggest dangers in the garage is the door itself. These days, garage doors are equipped with sensors designed to prevent the door from coming down on top of a child, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to let your guard down when kids are around. Routine checks of your garage door and opener are critical to keeping the door — and your child — safe. So how can you practice good garage door safety?
1. Make Sure Remotes Are out of Reach
Many homeowners have a wall panel to open their garage door when they’re coming out of the house, as well as remotes in their vehicles to open and close their garage door when they’re pulling in or out of the driveway. All of these remotes should always be kept out of reach of children.
Children love anything with buttons. They love anything that controls movement. To them, a garage door remote will probably seem like a toy. If you allow them to play with the remotes just to push buttons and watch the door go up and down, you teach them that the remotes — and the door itself — are toys. This doesn’t mean your child should never be allowed to open or close the garage door. As they get older, teach them the proper way and time to use the remotes. Allow them to open the door as you pull into the driveway, then put the remote back on your visor or wherever you keep it in the car.
The other reason to keep garage door remotes out of reach of young children is that they can open the garage door without your knowledge and end up out in the yard or, even worse, wander away from your home. Keeping remotes out of reach of young children is the equivalent to putting childproof handles on doorknobs around your home. In other words, it keeps your child contained to the areas of your home where they can safely play under your supervision.
2. Perform Regular Maintenance
Perhaps you’ve heard that the best way to remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarm is to do it twice a year when you change your clocks over for daylight savings time. This is also a good rule of thumb when it comes to performing regular checks on your garage door. Twice a year, give your garage door and opener a thorough going over. Check the spring, the hinges, the tracks — anything that moves when the door opens or closes. Clear away any dirt or debris that has built up around the door and grease some of the moving parts if needed. Also, look closely for cracks or dents in the door itself. While a small crack may not seem like a big deal, it can expand over time and compromise the quality of the door.
3. Buy a High-Quality Garage Door
The saying “you get what you pay for” applies here. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, it’s tempting to choose the cheapest option. You’re on a budget after all. But cheaper garage doors are made from cheaper materials, which means they may be more likely to break or malfunction. The last thing you want is to purchase a door that’s going to fail and put your family at risk.
4. Check Auto-Reverse and Sensors
While you’re performing maintenance on the door and openers, take a close look at the sensors on either side of your door. These sensors are designed to sense an object or person in the path of the door so it won’t close on top of something — or someone. This feature comes standard with garage door openers today, which can provide peace of mind for homeowners with young children. However, it also requires regular maintenance checks to make sure it works when you need it.
Also, take a few minutes to test the auto-reverse feature by sticking a box or another object in the path of the door and then set it to close. If the door starts to come down and then reverses when it senses the box, you can be confident it’s still working. If the door crushes the box, then you may have a problem with the auto-reverse feature.
If your garage door doesn’t have an automatic opener, then you won’t have an auto-reverse feature to rely on in an emergency. Consider having a garage door opener with auto-reverse installed for your child’s safety and your own peace of mind.
How to Check Garage Door Safety Sensors
If you test the auto-reverse feature with a box, and the door fails to reverse when it detects an object underneath, then there may be an issue with the door’s safety sensors. To narrow down the source of the problem, there are a few things you can check on your own.
1. Sensor Alignment
Both sensors have an LED light on their exterior. If one or both of them is blinking, this means their alignment needs to be adjusted. You can do this by tightening the screw that holds the sensor to the metal bracket attached to the wall or, in some cases, bending the bracket back into place. Once the sensors are realigned, the LED light should go off.
2. Clean the Lenses
If the sensors are aligned but the doors are not engaging the auto-reverse feature — or they refuse to go down when there’s nothing in the way — then try cleaning off the lenses on each sensor. Use a soft, dry cloth to do this. Never apply water or any cleaners to the lenses.
3. Move Debris
If the sensors are still not working, look around. Are there leaves piled up near the sensors? Perhaps someone stacked boxes too close to the lenses. If there are piles or objects near the sensors, move them and then test the door to see if the objects were simply interfering with their function.
4. Dry the Sensors
If all of those things still aren’t working, stop and think. Did you wash the car in the driveway or leave the garage door open during a downpour? If so, the sensors may be wet. Give them an hour or two to dry and then try closing the door again.
If you try all of these steps and your auto-reverse feature isn’t working — or your garage door won’t go down — contact a reputable garage door repair company for help!
How to Keep Your Garage Safe
Maintaining the integrity of your garage door and its opener is only half the battle. Your garage provides a lot of opportunities for little hands to find their way into things that can hurt them. So how can a parent keep their child safe?
1. Set Boundaries and Educate Your Children
It’s never too early to teach children to respect your garage. Don’t allow them to play with remotes or run under the door as it’s opening or closing. Don’t let them hang off of the garage door, its springs or any other mechanical parts. Set boundaries about what they can or can’t touch inside the garage. If possible, keep all of their toys, bikes and other playthings out of the garage to demonstrate to them that the garage is not a place to play. If it’s necessary to store bikes or other outdoor playthings in the garage, keep them away from the door or other potentially dangerous items in the garage.
It’s also a good idea to establish rules about being in the garage. For example, set the rule that your child is not allowed in the garage unless Mom or Dad is present.
2. Keep Paint, Chemicals and Tools out of Reach
If you’re like most people, your garage also doubles as a storage area for paint, cleaning products, gasoline for the mower and a wide variety of tools. There are a lot of things in the average garage that can draw the attention of little eyes and hands, and many of them can spell danger if you aren’t careful. So how can you keep these items away from your children?
Take a close look around your garage to determine what’s there and what could pose a problem for your child. Depending on the age of the children in your house, this may vary, but, as a general rule of thumb, keep anything toxic or sharp high enough that a child can’t reach it. If you don’t already have storage bins or shelving in the garage, this is a great opportunity to clean up and clean out!
3. Avoid Clutter
Speaking of cleaning out the garage, keeping your space free of clutter is also important to protect children. When there’s a lot of clutter in the garage, your child could trip or stumble over stuff that’s in their way. Or, they may injure themselves hunting around for a bike or football hidden under cords or tools that can cause harm. By taking some time to organize your garage — and get rid of what you don’t need — you remove potentially dangerous items and keep your child safe.
4. Keep Vehicles Locked
If you park your car in the garage, it’s tempting to leave it unlocked. After all, who’s going to break into your car inside of the garage? Kids, that’s who! All it takes is 10 seconds for your child to walk out to the garage, climb into your unlocked car and use the remote to open the garage door. And don’t underestimate your child — even a 3-year-old can open the car door and push a button. No one wants their toddler opening the garage door and heading out into the yard or down the sidewalk to explore the neighborhood. By keeping your car locked, you eliminate the ability for your child to help themselves.
5. Keep All Doors Locked
Pay close attention to the door between the interior of your home and the garage. Make it a point to keep it locked to limit access to the garage. If your child is young, consider adding a child-proof handle or lock on the door as an extra measure of prevention as well. Or, if your child is tall enough — or smart enough — to get through a child-proof knob, install a heavy-duty swing bar at the top of the door to keep the door closed.
If your garage also has an exterior door, make sure to keep that door locked whenever you aren’t in the garage. That way, even if your child makes their way into the garage, they won’t be able to let themselves out of the house without you knowing.
If you have a home security system, activate the feature that alerts you any time the door between your house and your garage is opened. If all other preventative measures fail, at least you’ll have immediate notice if your little one escapes!
Trust Blankenship Garage Doors
As a parent, your number one priority is your child’s safety. There are plenty of ways to limit access to the garage and keep your child safe when they’re inside of it. But sometimes, you might need the help of a professional garage door sales and service company to correct a problem or replace an older garage door that has become a safety hazard. Blankenship Garage Doors has been installing and repairing garage doors since 1996 and is committed to helping families in the Pacific Northwest stay safe.
Blankenship Garage Doors offers the personalized customer service of a small repair shop, but our wide network of local contractors means you get the speed and knowledge of a large company each time you call. As a member of the International Door Association and the Central Oregon Builders Association, our goal is to provide high-quality, cost-effective service when you need it most.
When it comes to keeping your child safe around your garage, our experienced team is ready to help you identify potential danger spots and develop solutions that will protect your family. In some cases, you may need to replace a garage door or automatic opener to make this happen. If you’re in the market for a new garage door, our sales team is ready and waiting to help you choose the right door. If you’re ready to purchase a new door, you can get a free estimate today!
Have an existing garage door that needs to be repaired? We can help with that too. Contact us today to schedule service.
Why DIY Garage Door Repair Is a Bad Idea
Why DIY Garage Door Repair Is a Bad Idea
Many homeowners enjoy the challenge of do-it-yourself home improvement projects. Taking on the right job independently can save you money and provide entertainment, as well as a sense of accomplishment. However, some projects are best left to professionals — garage door repair is one of these.
When your garage door stops working, you might be tempted to try and fix it yourself, but DIY garage door repairs can be both difficult and dangerous. Here are four serious reasons you should call a professional instead of trying this project on your own.
1. You Could Make the Problem Worse
Garage door openers are complex mechanisms. Unless you’re trained as a garage door repair technician, you likely don’t have the knowledge and experience necessary to tackle this type of project.
If you try to repair your garage door yourself and accidentally use the wrong parts or methods, you could end up making the problem worse. Some mistakes could even ruin your garage door and require you to buy a new one. It’s best to hire a professional with the experience necessary to get the job done right the first time.
2. You Might Not Have the Proper Tools
Repairing a garage door takes specialized tools and components. If you try to fix the door with what you have on hand, you risk damaging the door, as well as your own tools.
Without the proper tools, garage door repair will be difficult, if not impossible. A good technician can provide all the tools necessary to fix the problem without hassle or risk.
3. You Could Lose Your Warranty
When you first purchased your garage door, you were likely given a warranty for a certain amount of time. That warranty can help you pay for repairs and replacement if something goes wrong before the specified time has passed.
When you attempt DIY repairs on your garage door, you give up any warranty you may have had. This is because warranties are not meant to cover any modifications consumers make to the product after it’s installed. To keep your warranty — and maybe even make use of it — you should only allow a professional repair company to work on your garage door.
4. You Could Get Hurt
The biggest reason you shouldn’t try to repair your garage door yourself is that it’s dangerous. Garage doors weigh several hundred pounds, and it can come down with enough force to cause serious injury. Technicians know how to work with these heavy doors carefully, but most homeowners don’t.
The springs used in garage door systems also pose significant danger. To hold up such a heavy door, overhead springs hold a lot of tension. If these springs break during repair, they release that tension and send pieces flying with a force that could be fatal. So, you should never try to fix a torsion spring on your garage door by yourself.
Get Help From a Repair Professional
Because repairing a garage door can be difficult and dangerous, it’s a good idea to get help from a professional instead of tackling the project yourself.
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we’re dedicated to providing our clientele with excellent service. Our experienced team can repair your garage door safely and quickly. Call Blankenship today to learn how.
Garage Fire Safety Tips
Garage Fire Safety Tips
Though many homeowners spend time fireproofing their homes, it’s easy to forget about the garage. However, making your garage fire-safe is an essential part of protecting your family and your home from fire damage.
Garage fires are more dangerous and more costly than fires starting in other areas of the home. In fact, garage fires result in an average of 30 deaths, 400 injuries and $457 million in property loss every year in the United States.
Garage fires also tend to spread faster than other home fires, which makes it even more important to keep them from starting in the first place. Use these three garage fire safety tips to prevent fires and make your garage safer for you and the other members of your household.
1. Follow Guidelines for Electrical Safety
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions are the leading cause of garage fires. The best way to protect your home, then, is to stop a fire before it starts by doing the following:
- Install GFCI Circuit Breakers: Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are usually installed in kitchens and bathrooms to protect people from electrical shock. However, you can also install them in your garage to prevent overheating and resulting fire.
- Avoid Extension Cords: Avoid plugging charging appliances into extension cords, since they can overheat.
- Plug in One Appliance at a Time: Overloading electrical outlets is a common cause of electrical fires. Prevent overloads by plugging in only one charging appliance at a time.
2. Store Flammable Materials Properly
Flammable materials commonly stored in garages include gasoline, aerosol cleaning products, lighter fluid, paint, paint thinner, propane and oil-based cleaning products. These tips can help you use these materials safely:
- Store Flammable Materials Away From the House: Flammable materials should be stored away from the home, in a shed if possible. If you must store flammable materials in the garage, be sure to keep them in approved containers, away from outlets and electrical appliances.
- Don’t Pour Gas in the Garage: You shouldn’t pour from portable gasoline containers while inside the garage. Instead, pour gas outside and clean up spills if they occur.
- Check Your Car for Leaks: Brake fluid and gasoline are both highly flammable. Keep your garage safe by periodically checking your car for leaks.
3. Design a Fire-Safe Garage
Elements of your garage’s construction can contribute to fire safety as well. Try these tips to design a fire-safe garage:
- Protect Connecting Walls: Install 1/2 inch gypsum board on walls that connect to the inside of the house and 5/8 inch gypsum board for ceilings under an occupied part of the house.
- Get a Heat Alarm: Heat alarms alert you to fire. They work better than smoke alarms in garages because they’re less sensitive to dust and humidity.
- Install a Fire-Rated Door: Choose a self-latching and closing fire-rated door from your garage to the inside of the house. This makes it harder for fire to migrate inwards.
- Choose a Garage Door With Fireproof Features: This prevents your door from catching fire and keeps fire from spreading outside, as well.
Prevent Fires With Blankenship
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we believe your garage door should be safe, as well as functional. If you’re hoping to fireproof your garage, we can help. Call Blankenship today for more information on our fire-rated garage doors.
How to Detect Garage Door Scams
How to Detect Garage Door Scams
When your garage door stops working, you need to find someone who can help with repairs fast. Ideally, you would be able to find a reputable repair service right away. Unfortunately, however, some people are eager to take advantage of homeowners in need of emergency repairs, so it’s important to remain vigilant when choosing a repair company.
When you search for a repair service online, it’s possible that you’ll come across scam companies designed to lure in desperate customers and overcharge for unnecessary repairs. In order to protect yourself from potentially costly charges, use this guide to detect garage door scams and identify reputable companies in your area.
Warning Signs of a Garage Door Scam
A reputable repair company wants to build positive, lasting relationships with customers. Scam companies, on the other hand, focus on tricking first-time customers. This means scam companies operate very differently from reputable services.
In your preliminary search for a repair professional, look out for these common scam warning signs:
- Generic or Inconsistent Branding: Many scam companies operate under multiple names to avoid detection. Avoid companies with generic-sounding names or that use different names online than in their advertising.
- Claims That Seem Too Good to Be True: Companies that offer low service call fees and claim their parts come with “lifetime guarantees” often turn out to be scams. Evaluate too-good-to-be-true offers carefully before calling.
- Pressure to Purchase: When you have a reputable technician over to examine your garage door, they’ll likely show you damaged parts and explain any necessary repairs. However, they’ll never pressure you to agree to their suggestions. Pressure to purchase, especially without sufficient explanation, could indicate you’re dealing with a scammer.
How to Avoid Getting Scammed
You can take several steps to avoid accidentally hiring a scammer. By following these recommendations, you can detect scam companies and hire a reputable service instead:
- Ask Questions: When you first contact a garage door repair service, ask for the name of the company and their street address and double check their answers. If the name provided differs from what you expected or if they struggle to provide this information, hang up and try contacting another service.
- Read Online Reviews: Look beyond company websites for reviews — scammers can easily falsify website testimonials. Try looking on sites like Angie’s List for reviews from legitimate users instead.
- Choose a Verified Dealer: Many disreputable companies lack certification. Search for companies with proof of International Door Association (IDA) membership and Institution of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation (IDEA) certification. You can also check a company’s reliability by making sure they’re listed on their garage door manufacturer’s website.
Find a Garage Door Repair Service You Can Trust
It’s an unfortunate fact that disreputable repair services exist across the United States and Canada. By educating yourself and exercising caution, you can avoid scams and find a reputable company to help you with garage door repairs.
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we’re dedicated to providing excellent service to our clients as a proud member of the Central Oregon Builders Association and the IDA. If you’re looking for a garage door company you can trust, call Blankenship today and learn how we can help.
How to Know When You Need Garage Door Repair
How to Know When You Need Garage Door Repair
Is your garage door not operating as smoothly, efficiently and reliably as it used to? Most homeowners use their garage doors every day to easily leave and enter their homes. But with constant use, experiencing garage door wear and tear is normal. The best way to know when you need garage door repairs — to prevent inconvenient and potentially hazardous garage door breakage — is to note any unusual operation or sounds that may indicate trouble.
Do You Need Garage Door Repairs?
While garage doors are designed and constructed to perform dependably for up to 20 years with proper maintenance and care, damaged hardware can occur over time. As you notice operational issues, address these needs quickly to reduce emergency repair costs and prevent inconvenient events that could leave you stranded outside your garage.
To know whether you need garage door repair, note the following signs:
- Noisy Door Operations: Garage doors usually make noise while operating, so how can you tell when the sounds from your door or opener are unusual? While using your garage door, listen for any unpleasant sounds like straining, grating, rubbing or grinding. These could indicate damage to your garage door opener motor or worn and loose pieces of hardware, like the rollers or springs.
- Door Won’t Open Manually: While you may not have to manually open your garage door often, being able to do so is crucial in cases of door failure or during a power outage. If you cannot easily lift your garage door by hand, then you may have issues with your spring system. Springs are responsible for counterbalancing the weight of your door and ensuring smooth and simple opening and closing. They typically last up to 10 years.
- Slow Door Response: After sending a command to your garage door, it should respond without delay within two seconds. If your door hesitates to raise and lower when instructed, it could indicate that your remote battery is dead, a malfunction with your remote or a damaged opener.
- Sagging or Off-Balance Garage Door: Check if there are gaps beneath the door or if it is visibly sagging. Garage doors with gaps beneath the seal could indicate misalignment, an improperly installed door or uneven spring wear. These damages could lead to minor issues like damaged hardware or serious, unexpected breakages. One way to check the condition of your door is by performing a balance test: unlatch your door from the opener and lift the door halfway on its track. If the door springs open or closed, the door is off-balance.
- Dented or Damaged Door Panels: Damaged garage doors aren’t only unattractive, but can also affect the overall quality and functionality of your system. Dented garage door panels could cause affect your door’s alignment and overall door balance, cause strain on other parts and hardware and damage the track, eventually leading the door to become off-track.
Blankenship Garage Doors: Central Oregon’s Most Trusted Garage Door Repair Specialists
For the most experienced, friendly and efficient garage door repair and maintenance services throughout the Central Oregon area, rely on the professionals at Blankenship Garage Doors. We have over 20 years of garage door servicing experience and are dedicated to providing all of our local customers with the most reliable, affordable and personalized repair solutions. Schedule garage door repair services today by completing our online service request form or call 541-383-2658 to speak to a team member.
Can I Replace a Damaged Panel of My Garage Door?
Replace Your Damaged Garage Door Panel
Early one morning, you’re running late for work and didn’t have time to make any coffee before leaving. Quickly getting into the car and throwing the car into reverse, you lose your train of thought for a moment and back the car right into your garage door. Once you gather your thoughts and retreat to safety, you may wonder how you should attempt to fix the garage door.
Your garage door is one of the most important features of your home. The door provides protection for stored items and facilitates safe entry, so having your door quickly repaired after experiencing damage is crucial. Restoring your garage door to its pristine and sturdy condition after an impact or other incident is simple depending on the damage to your door. Most damages occur on the bottom panels of garage doors and can be easily fixed by replacing the garage door panels.
How to Know When to Replace Garage Door Panels
After your garage door has been impacted or heavily damaged, you may assume the only method to fix the panels is to replace the entire system. However, depending on the extent of the damage, replacing the affected garage door panels may be the best solution. Garage door panel replacement is the ideal repair option for your damaged garage door if:
- The manufacturer of your garage door still produces the make and model of your door. If your home features an older model, obtaining the proper panels and hardware may be difficult and expensive.
- Only one or two panels were damaged. If three or more panels of your garage door were impacted, then replacement may be more costly than installing an entirely new door.
- The damage to your garage door is primarily cosmetic. If your garage door still performs reliably and smoothly, then consider panel replacement if the only harm includes peeling paint, denting, cracks or surface corrosion.
When you trust a professional garage door repair company to inspect your system, they’ll be able to quickly determine the condition of your door and recommend garage door repair and replacement options depending on your needs and budget.
Garage Door Repair vs. Replacement
Sometimes, the damage to your garage door is too severe for practical and efficient repairs and garage door replacement is the best option. To determine if you would benefit from a garage door replacement, consider:
- The age and quality of your garage door
- If additional pieces of hardware are damaged
- If the expenses for repairing your existing door exceeds the cost of purchasing a new garage door
Trust a Professional for All of Your Garage Door Repairs
No matter which replacement and repair option best suits your needs and budget, garage door repairs should always be performed by a professional. Garage doors are one of the largest pieces of moving equipment in your home and operate under an extreme amount of tension. Homeowners who attempt to make repairs themselves could be at risk for severe personal and property injury. By trusting a professional garage door technician to perform quality repairs, you’ll also ensure:
- You’re properly adhering to specific insurance policy repair guidelines.
- The door was repaired safely and correctly according to manufacturer instructions and without damaging other garage door parts.
- Lasting peace of mind, with service and labor warranties often offered by professional garage door repair companies.
Contact Blankenship Garage Doors Today
If you’re a homeowner in Central Oregon, or the surrounding region, call the experts at Blankenship Garage Doors for all of your garage door panel repair and replacement needs. Our highly trained and experienced technicians can quickly and easily perform repairs that will prolong the lifespan of your door, ensure safe long-term use and improve the appearance of your home. Call us today at 541-383-2658 to learn more or complete our online estimate form to request a free service quote.
Do I Need Insulated Garage Doors in Oregon?
Oregon is one of the most scenic and temperate locations in the country to call home. But with such ideal temperatures and weather conditions, do local homeowners need to invest in additional energy efficiency products and upgrades?
One of the main reasons why homeowners are encouraged to check out insulated garage doors is for improving energy efficiency during variable climates. And while Oregon temperatures are rarely extreme with blistering heat waves or freezing conditions, average temperatures throughout the state can reach above 80 degrees or dip into the 20s. During these temperature shifts, you’ll want to ensure your indoor environments are comfortable.
The best method for enjoying endless relaxation in your home every day is with an insulated garage door. Insulated garage doors are growing in popularity for many Central Oregon, homeowners because of their attractive finishes, superior energy savings and lasting durability.
The Benefits of Insulated Garage Doors
Garage doors are primarily responsible for giving homeowners a safe and convenient entrance to their houses, but a new garage door can also improve curb appeal, value and lifestyle. One of the greatest assets of modern garage door designs is added insulation.
Because garages are not considered living spaces, they’re built using different guidelines and aren’t sealed or insulated as effectively as other areas of your home. Through these construction gaps, air and moisture can easily leak through into your garage. Insulated garage doors have additional layers not included with a standard single-layer door, to better protect, insulate and regulate your garage, preventing outdoor elements from negatively affecting your interiors.
With additional garage door insulation, you’ll also find these advantages:
- Greater Energy Efficiency: Garages allow the warm and cool air from your home your seep out through the cracks, or let outside climates inside. Insulated garage doors prevent this air transference. By reducing the air exchange, your HVAC system won’t have to function as hard or frequently, which will reduce your annual energy costs.
- Exceptional Durability: Insulated garage doors are crafted using additional material layers, meaning these doors better resist normal wear and tear like sagging, dents and weather-related harm. Stronger doors also offer better home protection against severe storms or unwanted intruders.
- Controlled Environments: When it’s incredibly cold or hot, do you find yourself scurrying through your garage to quickly access your car for protection? With an insulated garage door, you can have more comfortable and controlled temperatures and garage environments.
- Improved Protection: Added insulation not only better regulates your indoor temperatures for comfort, but a proper barrier from climate extremes can also protect the items stored in your garage. Chemicals and paint can easily deteriorate, lose potency or become safety hazards, and vehicles can experience difficulty starting when exposed to extremely cold temperatures.
- Better Noise Control: While operating, all garage doors are expected to create noise. But the level of that sound can be lessened with an insulated garage door. The added layers help minimize the amount of noise created by your garage door while it’s opening and closing.
Reasons to Avoid Insulating a Garage Door Yourself
While researching the features of insulated garage doors, you may be tempted to upgrade the insulation of your garage door yourself — especially if you hope to reduce upfront costs or if your door is still in good condition. Adding insulation to your existing garage door is possible, but it may end up costing you more money and inconvenience in the future:
- Standard sectional garage doors aren’t designed to have added insulation installed. These materials are typically added to flat surfaces, and the decorative panels will cause the insulation form to bend, warp or fold.
- Being exposed to elements and regular use means the insulation you add to the door will flake away or unravel, and you’ll have to regularly incur the cost and time to replace the materials.
- Installing insulation will add weight to the door structure. Your garage door opener and hardware, like springs and cables, were designed to work with the existing weight of the door. Added ballast could cause these parts to prematurely wear or break.
Central Oregon Insulated Garage Door Design and Installation Experts
When you’re ready to upgrade the look and functionality of your garage door, check out the selection of high-quality, attractive insulated garage doors available at Blankenship Garage Doors. Since 1996, we’ve been the premier garage door company serving Central Oregon, and its surrounding areas. We’re a proud Authorized Clopay® dealer dedicated to always providing our customers with the most dependable and functional garage door products and services, including installation, repair and maintenance.
Do I Really Need Garage Door Maintenance?
Many homeowners make the mistake of not having their garage doors and openers regularly inspected by a professional, which can lead to costly repairs and inconveniences — like being stuck outside of your garage or stranded inside of it. The garage door is likely the most accessed entrance of your home, and you want to ensure your garage door is working efficiently, reliably and safely.
To keep your garage door in pristine operational condition, garage door professionals recommend having a trained technician perform routine maintenance at least once every year. By having regular garage door maintenance, you can improve safety conditions, reduce and prevent repair costs and increase the life expectancy of your garage door, parts and hardware and garage door opener.
Is Garage Door Maintenance Necessary?
The short answer is yes. With regular maintenance performed by a professional once annually, you have the peace of mind of knowing your garage door is working smoothly and safely. By having preventative maintenance, you also benefit from:
- Cost Savings: On average, having maintenance tasks completed by a professional is less expensive than having frequent, last-minute repairs.
- Improved Safety: When a piece of hardware on your garage door breaks, it’s a safety hazard to yourself, your family and your possessions. Regular maintenance will ensure all safety mechanisms are working properly and that parts are less likely to fail unexpectedly.
- Longer Lifespan: Having a professional inspect all components of your garage door will extend the longevity of all parts and hardware. A technician can identify and replace parts that may be failing, improving the quality and operations of your door.
During our annual garage door tune-ups, we will check the springs for signs of wear or corrosion, tighten hardware, lubricate moving parts, remove debris buildup, inspect cables, check door balance and replace worn weatherstripping. As needed, your maintenance professional will make repair recommendations intended to ensure the safety and efficient operation of your door.
Why Can’t I Perform Garage Door Maintenance Myself?
While there are several preventative maintenance tasks homeowners can perform themselves to maintain the quality of their garage doors and openers — like clearing debris, tightening hardware, lubricating moving parts and noting unusual operational sounds — regular annual maintenance by a professional is important to ensure personal safety and thorough services. A trained and experienced garage door servicing professional has the knowledge to identify early signs of wear and tear and can recommend repairs to prevent hazardous and inconvenient future breakages.
Additionally, several components are incredibly dangerous to maintain without the proper tools and training. Garage doors are under an immense amount of weight and tension, and certain parts — like torsion or extension springs or cables — should be maintained by a professional to avoid personal injury or damages.
Contact Blankenship Garage Doors to Schedule Your Preventative Maintenance Check-Up
If you’re a homeowner in the Central Oregon area looking for comprehensive and knowledgeable garage door maintenance services, contact the experts at Blankenship Garage Doors today. We have more than 20 years of garage door maintenance, installation and repair experience, and we can service any make or model of garage door to ensure the safety and convenience of you and your family.
To learn more about our garage door maintenance plans or to schedule services, call us today at 541-383-2658 or fill out our online contact form to request information.