- The Various Types of Garage Doors Service
- Garage Doors Installation
- General Repair and Maintenance Services
- Garage Door Opener Types and Service
- Roller, Track and Cable Services
- Other Reasons for Having Your Garage Door Serviced or Repaired
Today’s garage doors are energy efficient, quiet, fast and dependable and can be integrated into the Internet of Things will little effort, enabling them to be operated from half a world away via your smartphone. But while the humble garage door of your grandparent’s day has come a long way there’s one aspect of it that hasn’t changed: the need to have it serviced. In fact, with garage doors becoming ever more sophisticated the need for regular maintenance and servicing is more important than ever.
The Various Types of Garage Doors Service
Most Calgary homeowners are aware of the need to occasionally replace broken springs on their garage door. But garage doors service is much more than just swapping out broken springs and below we’ll delve into the details regarding the many different types of garage door services.
Garage Doors Installation
This is the most basic of all garage door services and involves the selection and installation of the right garage door for your home. Those who think all garage doors are the same are mistaken and choosing the wrong type of door for your home could lead to aesthetic, security and energy-related issues you never anticipated. So, what are the different types of garage door? Here are a few of the most popular:
Nothing beats a steel door as far as safety and security are concerned. Add insulation to that steel door and you’ve got a tough, attractive and energy efficient door that will make your home safer, warmer and more valuable. If steel doors have a drawback it’s that they are not always the right choice at the seashore or on the lakefront because they are susceptible to corrosion.
The classic wooden garage door survives to this day largely for two reasons: They’re affordable and people like natural materials. Of course they’re also easy to paint and the solid wooden panels provide decent insulation. On the first point a factory built wooden door will cost about ⅓ less than a factory built steel door (though custom wooden doors can get very expensive). And on the second point you’re just not going to dissuade some people from their natural materials and that’s completely understandable.
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In recent years garage doors with glass panels have become all the rage, especially on contemporary homes with non-traditional profiles. And it’s easy to see why. Glass doors provide a level of curb appeal and sophistication you just won’t be able to achieve with other materials. If there’s a downside it’s that, depending on the type of glass you choose, you could be compromising your privacy, especially at night when the light is on inside the garage.
Garage doors installation or garage doors replacement are always best left to qualified professionals. Indeed attempting to install your own garage door will often lead to operational issues down the road and likely invalidate any warranty on the door.
General Repair and Maintenance Services
The following are common types of garage doors repair and maintenance services offered by most garage door companies.
Replacing Broken Springs
Most folks don’t realize that it’s actually the springs that do the heavy lifting on their garage door. The “opener” is really more of a “starter and regulator”; that is, it gets the door moving and then makes sure it moves up and down the track in a nice smooth fashion. But it’s really the springs that are providing the raw power needed to lift the several hundred pounds of wood, steel, glass or other material. There are two types of garage door springs in use today: torsion and extension springs.
- Torsion springs sit parallel to the door on the wall above the opening. They release their energy by uncoiling to lift the door and when the door is lowered they are forced to coil back up again, storing energy as they do. There is typically one torsion spring and it can store massive amounts of energy. If it snaps when someone is next to it the results can be fatal. Which is why it’s always crucial to have qualified professionals handle any repair or maintenance work associated with torsion springs.
- Extension springs sit perpendicular to the garage door with one spring above each of the tracks running back into the garage along the ceiling. As their name implies extension springs store energy by extending when the door is lowered. They then release that energy by contracting as the door is lifted. While a single extension spring doesn’t store nearly as much energy as a torsion spring they can still be dangerous to be around on those rare occasions when they snap.
The best way to get the most out of your springs and other garage doors parts is to schedule regular maintenance of your door. This will ensure the springs are always properly lubricated and tuned and will stave off premature failure. If a spring does break you would be wise not to attempt to fix it yourself but instead call properly trained professionals to replace the broken spring.
Garage Door Opener Types and Service
The garage door opener is what separates the modern garage door from the manual overhead door your grandparents had on their house. The garage door opener allows you to exit and enter the garage without ever getting out of your car and in that sense it’s one of the most valuable and underrated conveniences of the modern home. Garage door openers are not indestructible however. They need to be inspected regularly to ensure safe, smooth operation and on occasion they will break down, necessitating repairs or replacement. Garage door openers typically fall into one of the following categories:
Chain drive garage door openers have been the standard for decades and are still the most popular form of garage door opener installed today. One of the reasons for their continuing popularity is their low cost. But they should not just be dismissed as a low cost option. They have genuine merits including the fact that they are extremely dependable.
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The belt drive has been steadily gaining market share as more and more homeowners have become aware of their smooth, quiet operation. If you have a bedroom above the garage in your home you might want to consider installing a belt drive garage door opener as it will make a significant difference in the noise level in that bedroom. In addition, adjusting or replacing a belt on one of these openers is a pretty simple operation.
While the overwhelming majority of garage door openers in Calgary today are AC powered openers, DC powered garage door openers are gaining in popularity. Largely because they tend to be quiet, small, fast and open and close the door smoother than AC powered openers. You can also get them with variable speed controls and battery backup systems. The battery backup is particularly handy if you live in an area prone to blackouts. With the battery backup you’ll still be able to get into your garage and close the door behind you even if the rest of the house is dark.
By scheduling regular garage doors service you’ll ensure you won’t be met by any unexpected breakdowns of the opener. Should something happen to your opener however the prudent course of action is to call in the garage door service professionals. Primarily because attempting to fix the opener yourself will likely invalidate any warranty.
Roller, Track and Cable Services
It may seem like the garage door floats up into position over your car when it opens but it actually rides in tracks. It’s locked into those tracks by way of rollers that extend outward from each side of the door. If the rollers or tracks (or both) are poorly maintained or damaged in some way they could seriously impede the ability of the door to open and close properly.
Typically when you schedule regular service calls on your door the technician will inspect the rollers to make sure all are properly greased, properly seated and that none have become immobilized. If they are no longer rolling then they produce drag on one side of the door that will eventually lead to unbalanced operation and perhaps damage to the track as well. Identifying and replacing damaged rollers is an essential part of garage door service.
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The technician will also inspect the tracks to ensure they are clear of dirt and debris and that they are properly lined up so that the door can open and close as effortlessly as possible. It’s rare that tracks actually need to be replaced but it can happen if a vehicle has struck the track or if the track has been damaged by prolonged use of stuck rollers.
Garage door cables serve an important role in the operation of your overhead door by alleviating excess pressure on the springs and catching the door should the spring break. It’s just as important to have the cables inspected on a regular basis as it is to properly maintain the rollers and tracks. On occasion the cables will snap. When they do you should call a qualified garage door specialist right away to have the cable replaced.
While the garage door panels typically get all the love and the garage door opener typically gets all the press the secondary garage doors parts are just as important and need to be properly maintained and serviced if you are to get the most out of your garage door over the long haul.
Other Reasons for Having Your Garage Door Serviced or Repaired
So far we’ve looked at the main garage door components and why it’s important to make sure they’re properly maintained and always serviced by qualified professionals. The following are 6 more problems that sometimes arise with garage doors in Calgary that will often require professional garage doors service:
1. The Electronic Eye is Misaligned
All modern garage doors have a safety feature called “auto reverse” that senses if something or someone is under the door as it is closing. If it does pick up on a person or object under the door it stops the door from closing any further and reverses the direction of the door. Sometimes however issues can arise with the electronic eye at the heart of this system that necessitate a service call.
2. Issues With the Transmitter
It’s rare but it does happen that sometimes the transmitter will malfunction necessitating a service call from the garage door pros. For instance: if you are certain you are within operational distance of the door but the door is not responding to the “open” command it could be for any number of reasons including issues with the antenna alignment. Or, if the door suddenly opens for no apparent reason there is likely an issue with the transmitter frequency. It could be that a neighbour’s door is programmed to the same frequency, in which case you’ll want to have a pro adjust the frequency of your transmitter.
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3. The Door Doesn’t Stay Open or Closed
Sometimes people will close the garage door behind them when they get home and as they’re exiting their car the door suddenly springs open again. Or they open the door and as soon as it reaches its apex it starts to close again without being commanded to do so. In cases like this the culprit is not evil spirits inhabiting the house but rather the open and close limit settings on the garage door opener. These settings establish the operational limits of the door. That is, they establish at what point the door should consider itself fully open or closed and shut down. If the limit settings are not in harmony with the actual operational limits of the door the door will simply continue to open and/or close because it never reaches the point where it’s supposed to turn itself off. Setting these limits can be a tricky proposition and should always be done by an experienced pro.
4. Bad Weather Has Caused Damage to the Door
Unfortunately, severe weather is not all that unusual in Calgary (the land that gave the “Alberta Clipper” its name). When severe weather events do occur it’s also not unusual for flying branches or other debris to cause damage to garage doors in the form of broken or cracked panels. If a large tree limb come crashing down into the door it may even necessitate garage doors replacement. When your garage door is damaged in this manner it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible because every day the door remains damaged the health and safety of you and your loved ones is in danger.
5. The Motor Runs But the Door Doesn’t Open
If you command the door to open and you hear the motor running yet the door is not opening it is likely that somehow the disconnect switch was enabled. The disconnect switch allows you to disconnect the opener from the door in the event of a power outage so that you can open the door manually. On occasion someone may accidentally engage the disconnect switch without realizing it and when you go to open the door with the opener nothing happens as a result. Disengaging the disconnect is a fairly simple process that likely won’t require the assistance of a pro.
6. The Motor Runs, The Door Doesn’t Open and the Motor Shuts Down
If you commanded the door to open but instead it simply ran for a few seconds before shutting down there are a number of causes that could be in play. When the motor shuts down in such a fashion it’s typically a matter of self-preservation. That is, the motor tried to open the door, couldn’t, and shut down to protect itself. So why couldn’t the motor get the door moving? The most obvious reason would be that someone engaged the manual lock on the door. Many doors have manual locks, especially older models. If someone has locked the door in this fashion the motor will turn itself off to prevent itself from burning out. If, however, there is no manual lock on your door then there could be a more serious issue in play, including misaligned tracks, broken rollers or an issue with the motor itself.
Having your garage door serviced by a qualified pro like those at B&W Garage Door Specialist is critical to ensure the long term viability of your door. Attempting to address most of the issues noted above by yourself will more often than not simply aggravate whatever problem exists, likely create new problems and wind up voiding your warranty. When you Choose B&W to handle your garage door servicing needs you’re getting the most experienced, most trusted garage doors repair team in the Calgary region and one with decades of combined experience installing, maintaining and servicing all manner of garage doors for homes both large and small. Give us a call today on 403-275-6048 to discuss scheduled maintenance or any type of garage doors service.