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.
What Could Be Wrong With My Garage Door?
What Could Be Wrong With My Garage Door?
With so many moving parts, it can be difficult to tell what’s wrong with your garage door when it’s stopped working. Though you can solve some common garage door problems on your own, others may require a professional to fix safely.
If you’re having problems with your automatic garage door, you need to know what’s causing them before you decide on a course of action. Here are seven things that could be going wrong.
1. The Photo Eyes Aren’t Aligned
Today, most garage doors have two small photo eyes attached to either side of the garage. These devices transmit a beam between them and can detect when that beam is interrupted. The photo eyes prevent the garage door from closing if they sense something blocking the way.
If the photo eyes aren’t perfectly aligned, they’ll prevent the door from closing. You can check their alignment using a laser level.
2. A Spring Is Broken
All garages have either one or two torsion springs. These springs hold the weight of the door and allow the motor to pull it open. Though torsion springs are strong, they don’t last forever. After a certain number of cycles, the spring can break, making a loud snapping sound.
If you have a broken spring, you shouldn’t try to open the door or replace the spring yourself, since doing so can be extremely dangerous. Instead, call a repair technician to help.
3. Something’s Blocking the Way
Though it may seem obvious, your garage door won’t close if something is in the way. If you see your garage door start to close only to open again, check to make sure no objects are blocking the door.
If all seems clear, check the photo eyes — you may need to clean the lenses.
4. The Transmitter Is Broken
First, make sure you’re in range of your house. Transmitters only operate within a certain range, so they won’t work if you’re too far away. Second, try replacing the remote’s batteries.
If neither of these solutions work, check the antennae hanging from the motor inside your garage and make sure nothing’s blocking it. If the antennae appears damaged, you’ll need to call a professional to replace it.
5. The Track Isn’t Aligned
For your garage door to open, the track needs to be aligned properly. If the door still runs but sticks in a certain spot or makes a squeaking noise, this could be a misaligned track.
If the door doesn’t open at all due to an alignment issue, call a garage repair professional to help.
6. The Limit Settings Are Incorrect
If your garage door closes fully only to open again, your system might have incorrect limit settings. These settings help the door determine how long it takes to reach the ground. If it hits the ground early, it will respond as if it were hitting an obstacle and open automatically.
Check your owner’s manual for details on adjusting the limit settings and call for help if necessary.
7. The Tension Springs or Cables Are Broken
Your garage uses tension springs or cables to lower the door safely. When a cable breaks, the door may shut very quickly and make a loud noise when it hits the ground.
As with torsion springs, broken springs and cables can pose a serious danger. You shouldn’t try to open the door until a professional can replace the cable safely.
Need Help With Garage Door Repairs?
It can be hard to tell what’s causing your garage door to malfunction. If you need help diagnosing the problem, Blankenship Garage Doors can help. Whether it’s a simple fix or a serious emergency, our team can find the issue and fix it quickly and safely. Reach out to us today.
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: Bend, OR’s Most Trusted Garage Door Repair Specialists
For the most experienced, friendly and efficient garage door repair and maintenance services throughout the Bend, OR, 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?
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 Bend, OR, 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 Bend, OR, 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.
Bend, OR, 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 Bend, OR, 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 Bend, OR 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.
3 Ways to Prepare Your Garage for Spring
3 Ways to Prepare Your Garage for Spring
Winter months can be harsh in Central Oregon, and the cold temperatures, precipitation and winds can take a toll on your home. Come early spring, you may see some wear-and-tear on your home, especially when it comes to your garage doors and the inside of your garage. Take advantage of the milder climate to restore your home’s curb appeal and make any necessary repairs.
How to Prepare Your Garage for Spring
At Blankenship Garage Doors, our focus is your garage. In addition to sprucing up the appearance of your garage after a harsh winter, we recommend running maintenance checks for safety and proper functioning. Your garage door should look good and run flawlessly.
Consider your spring garage maintenance, updates and upkeep an investment. Proper care will ensure safety and longevity while keeping your home secure.
You can prepare your garage for spring in three easy steps:
- Clean your garage, both inside and out.
- Run maintenance checks and make repairs.
- Consider how to best protect your garage from spring storms.
Restoring your garage’s appearance is one of the first things to check off your spring to-do list. A harsh winter can impact your home’s condition, and your garage may look quite different than it did a year ago. Clean-up and reorganization goes a long way: With the proper care, your garage door can last about 30 years.
Give Your Garage a Spring Cleaning
Giving your garage door some special attention is a good starting point. In Oregon, your garage door is exposed to all the elements — sun, rain, snow, wind, dirt, rust, oil and debris throughout the year, particularly in the winter. Build-up from residue and dirt can get into the tracks of the garage door as it opens and closes and cause mechanical issues.
Properly wash down your garage door, both inside and out, and then clean and organize the interior.
- Clean your garage door: All you need is some dish soap, a rag or soft brush, a bucket of water and a hose. First, give your garage door a good rinse with the hose. Second, dip your rag in the soapy water and start washing the door at the top-left corner. Work across and down to avoid duplicating your efforts, and then rinse with the hose again. You should also follow the same steps on the inside of the door.
- Clean the interior: Clear any cobwebs from lights and walls, wipe down all surfaces, and give the floor a good sweep. Wash the floor with hot, soapy water, or a power washer for tougher jobs, and then rinse the entire area with a hose. Adding a coat of epoxy paint to your concrete floor not only looks nice, but can also help resist water, alkali and acids.
- De-clutter: Lay out all the contents on your garage floor and get ready to purge. Divide your items into four piles — keep, sell, donate and toss. Make a list of the items you want to keep and where you want to keep them. Consider making the garage purge a family event to speed up the process and have a little fun.
- Organize: Create different zones that work for you and your family — consider zones for garden tools, car supplies, hand tools, sports equipment and kids’ belongings. Keep like items together and label any storage bins. Frequently used items should be easily accessible. Store those items near the garage door and on open shelves versus closed cabinets. Make sure to keep any chemicals in a locked storage cabinet.
- Create extra space wherever you can: The more things you can keep off the floor of your garage, the better. Consider using peg boards or slat walls to hang garden tools and other accessories. Instead of free-standing shelves, consider installing shelves on the walls of the garage. You can also hang bikes from the ceiling, mount them on walls or store them vertically.
- Certain items should be stored elsewhere: Storing paint, paper goods and pet food in the garage isn’t a good idea. Extreme temperatures can ruin paint, bugs like to hide in paper goods and pet food attracts critters. Also, a refrigerator can be a substantial energy drain on your garage and is probably better off in your basement or elsewhere. Make sure to keep propane tanks outside, as they can spark.
After you’ve cleaned and organized, you can prepare your garage door for spring by running some maintenance checks and tests.
Perform Garage Door Maintenance
Spring garage door maintenance is essential after an Oregon winter, and periodic upkeep will ensure that your garage door operates optimally for many years to come. At Blankenship Garage Doors, we recommend performing maintenance checks and tests at least once a year — twice a year if your garage door is more than ten years old. Periodic maintenance checks will save you money in the future.
Modern garage doors like the Clopay® systems here at Blankenship Garage Doors consist of many different pieces — springs, rollers, tracks, the opener and more. In fact, your garage door is the largest moving piece in your home. If you keep all those pieces in top shape, your system will function flawlessly for a long time.
For efficiency, we recommend you perform garage door maintenance in a certain order — check the hardware, replace pieces as needed, lubricate all moving parts and run system tests.
First, inspect the hardware for wear-and-tear. Although some of the most common garage door fixes are broken cables and springs, and bent tracks, we recommend a thorough inspection of all the items listed below. Look for:
- Broken or rusty metal parts: Metal parts can break or rust over time — it happens. Check any springs, rollers, hinges, tracks, bolts, and screws for breakage or rust. Swap out any damaged pieces with new parts.
- Damaged weather stripping: Weather stripping creates a seal between the door and the ground, keeping water and other elements from entering your garage. Make sure the weather stripping along the bottom of your garage door is in top condition. If not, replace it.
- Loose bolts and screws on the track brackets: Over time, vibrations from your garage door system may loosen bolts and screws on the brackets that hold your tracks in place. Use a screwdriver or adjustable wrench to tighten any loose pieces. By keeping everything tight, you will prevent the tracks from bending and keep your garage door operating smoothly.
- Bending in the tracks: Impact from large objects may also cause your garage door’s tracks to bend – bending can occur when a vehicle hits the door, or a large tool strikes the tracks. If you see any bending, repair your tracks immediately. If there is a lot a lot of damage, a track replacement may be necessary.
- Worn or frayed cables: Cables keep the garage door on its tracks when opening or closing. Over time they can fray or rust, causing them to weaken. Replace any weak cables right away to keep your family safe and your door operating as it should.
- Cracks or damages on the garage door: Take a close look at the material that makes up your garage door and take note of any cracks or damages. For a quick aesthetic fix, consider replacing the door panels. For excessive damage, a garage door replacement may be more cost-effective.
Once you complete the hardware checks, spend some time lubricating all moving parts — hinges, rollers, sheave bearings, torsion springs, roller tracks and locks. You can use common engine oil, WD-40 or Clopay® Garage Pro-Lube to complete this task.
Next, run a few quick checks and tests to make sure the entire system is working together and functioning well.
- Check for hitching and jerking: If your garage door opens slowly or with any unusual movement, such as hitching or jerking, there may be a problem with a system component — possibly the opener, cable or springs.
- Do a sound check: Open and close your garage door multiple times and listen for anything that sounds unusual. You should not hear anything that sounds like grinding. Both creaking and straining sounds are normal in older doors.
- Perform balance tests: First, manually open the garage and make sure it remains secure in the open position. Next, manually lift the door up and down until it hangs in place without you holding it. A well-balanced door will stay suspended somewhere between three and four feet off the ground.
- Run reversal tests with the garage door opener: First, place an object under your garage door and close it to check that the reversing device is operating properly. Next, check your photo-eye sensor by waving an object in its path while closing the garage door. Finally, use your arms to apply resistance when the door is closing. Complete this test last for safety reasons. If it does not reverse, the force settings may not be accurate.
Once maintenance is complete, get your garage ready for the possibility of intense spring storms.
Protect Your Garage Door From Spring Storms
Although spring in Oregon typically brings more sunshine and milder temperatures, you still need to prepare for those pesky storms that bring heavy rains, potential flooding and high winds. Time is everything when preparing for severe weather — do as much as possible ahead of time so that you can concentrate on your immediate needs when a storm hits.
Invest in Wind-Resistant Garage Doors
One important way to prepare your garage for severe weather is to invest in a durable, wind-resistant garage door. Because of its size, your garage door is vulnerable to wind damage. Strong winds can create a pressure build-up, potentially impacting the rest of your home. Wind-resistant garage doors will protect your entire home during a high-wind event.
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we recommend reinforced garage doors from Clopay®. These storm-ready garage doors need no advanced set-up as bad weather approaches. To reinforce the garage door, all you do is lock it — a huge time-saver during a high-wind event or evacuation.
Garage door manufacturers, such as Clopay®, offer stylish options with impact-resistant windows. So, your reinforced garage doors can be attractive as well as functional. Reinforced garage doors also need to meet the wind load requirements in your region. Give us a call at 541-383-2658, and we’ll make sure you are up to code.
Prepare for Power Outages
We all know the power can go out during severe weather, so make sure you can manually open your garage door. Use the manual release lever to disengage your opener from your garage. Consult the user manual as release levers vary by manufacturer. As always, make sure your door is secure in the open position. If you have a newer garage door, your opener may have back-up batteries that will work for a little while.
The best way to prevent your garage from flooding is to seal everything up and redirect water. Replace damaged weather stripping at the bottom of the garage door and fill any cracks in the foundation — you can find concrete vinyl patches at your hardware store. To redirect water, lay sandbags around the foundation.
Strategic landscaping can also impact how water flows around your garage. Hopefully, your lawn grade runs away from the exterior of your home and garage. If your lawn grade runs toward your garage, you can dig a dry ditch that diverts water around the sides of your home and fill it with cobblestones. If you don’t want to divide a section of your lawn in half, an alternative is to install a French drain outside the garage door that creates a runoff for excess water.
Let us know if you have any questions or would like ideas on the best ways to protect your garage from storms — we’re here to help keep you and your family safe.
Choose Blankenship Garage Doors for Your Garage Door Needs
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we’ve been helping homeowners in Central Oregon with their garage door needs for over 20 years. Maybe you want to install a new garage door, or you need replacement parts, repairs or maintenance? Whatever the case, we’ll give you a timely and personalized experience at the best price.
We’re your one-stop location in Central Oregon for Clopay® garage doors — also known as “America’s Favorite Doors” for over 50 years. We offer a beautiful and extensive selection of high-quality Clopay® styles and designs — whatever your preferences may be, we think you’ll find what you’re looking for when you stop by our showroom. And, if you’re interested in a custom garage door, you can look for ideas in our Clopay® Imagine FlipBook or play around with options on our online Door Imagination System. Once you find your perfect garage door, we’ll install it for you.
We also offer and install LiftMaster® garage door openers, which are compatible with Clopay® Garage doors and offer exceptional functioning and durability.
Do you need garage door maintenance or repair?
Our team of technicians at Blankenship Garage Doors is highly trained and experienced. Our technicians offer a range of maintenance and repair services, both big and small, and offer prompt emergency service when necessary. We care about our customers and have performed premium garage door repair and maintenance services for over 20 years.
Blankenship Garage Doors is a member of both the Central Oregon Builders Association and the International Door Association. We’ve developed an extensive network of relationships with both customers and high-quality commercial contractors throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Contact us for maintenance, repairs, parts and installations. We have the knowledge and experience to offer you the best garage door service in Central Oregon. If you have questions or are just looking for ideas, give us a call – we’re here to help with all your garage door needs, no matter how big or small.