Garage Door Springs 101

garage door springs

Garage door operation depends on several crucial components, especially the springs, which work to lift and lower the heavy door. With a limited lifespan, measured in cycles, the springs are the most frequently replaced part on a garage door. Once they reach their breaking point, they will likely snap, rendering the door inoperable until professional repairs have been made. Here is everything you need to know about them.

Spring Type

The two types of garage door springs are torsion and extension.

Torsion: Mounted on metal bar directly above door opening, torsion springs twist and coil, providing force as the door is lifted either manually or via a garage door opener. In this position, they are under tremendous tension; tension that is released as the door closes. The industry standard for torsion springs is 15,000 to 20,000 cycles.

Extension: Suspended above the vertical tracks on a cable pulley system, extension springs expand and contract, counterbalancing the weight of the heavy door as it moves up and down the tracks. All extension springs should be paired with safety cables! The industry standard for extension springs is about 10,000 cycles.

Understanding ‘Cycles’

The industry standard for extension springs is about 10,000 cycles, whereas, you can typically expect anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 cycles from a torsion spring. Cycles can vary depending on spring material and quality. Opening and closing your garage door counts as one cycle. If you operate your garage door four times a day, which is the national average, you can expect a lifespan of approximately seven years.

Other causes for spring failure include lack of maintenance, rust and corrosion, and extreme weather fluctuations. They can also break due to damage sustained from a vehicle colliding with the door (it happens more often than you’d think!) Because the lifespan of springs varies from one house to the next, high-cycle torsion springs are also available. These springs are rated for 20,000; 30,000; or even 50,000 cycles.

Always Contact a Professional

Garage door springs are under a lot of pull. Once they break, the door cannot operate safely, and should not be used until the springs have been replaced – a job best left to an experienced professional. Professionals have the experience and equipment to do it safely and efficiently. Many companies even offer same-day or 24-hour emergency repair for broken springs.

Advertisements

Take Back Your Garage

take back your garage

Follow these tips to achieve your dream of a Pinterest-worthy organized garage.

Step One: Declutter

The first step to organizing your garage is to take everything out of your garage – after ensuring no rain is forecasted that day. Then, sort items into three groups: sell/donate, trash, and keep. Be ruthless during this process. If you come across an item that you’re unsure about, it may help to answer the following questions:

  • Do I love it?
  • Do I need it?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Do I own more than one of this exact item?

While you’re sorting through the clutter in an all-out effort to take back your garage, there are some items that should be stored anywhere else, but the garage. These items include paint; propone and other hazardous materials; pet food; paper products; and large appliances like a spare refrigerator or freezer.

Paint: Extreme cold or heat can ruin it. Store paint in a low-moisture, climate-controlled area, rather than the garage. Responsibly dispose of any left-over paint you don’t plan to use in the very near future.

Propane: A spark could ignite the fumes. Propane tanks should always be stored outside – away from the house. Always ensure the valve is fully in the “off” position after using the tank. Propane tanks also require responsible disposal.

Pet Food: Mice and other pests consider pet food – whether open or unopened – an open dinner invitation. This includes birdseed. Store pet food in sealed containers and place in a climate-controlled area.

Paper Goods: Another thing that may attract mice and other pests is paper goods (e.g., toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc.). It’s a good idea to store these items in your pantry instead.

Refrigerator or Deep Freezer: In areas that are not climate-controlled, these appliances will battle against the ambient temperature to keep your food and/or drinks cold, thus using more energy than if they were stored in the house.

Step Two: Storage

Now that you’ve thrown away the junk and sold or donated anything of value that is no longer useful to you, you should have a better idea of how much storage you need, and what kind. Your objective in this step is to get as much as you can off the garage floor and onto the walls or shelves.

Storage-solutions ensure that there is a place for everything and that everything goes back in its place after use. Before going out and purchasing storage-solutions or the materials to make your own, it’s important to determine whether you prefer to store items behind closed doors, on shelving units or a mix of both.

Step Three: Layout

Cabinets: If you’d prefer to store items behind closed doors, consider thick, low-gauge steel cabinets with sliding doors for longevity. Sliding doors are preferable in a garage over swing out because they help to minimize potential dings to your car.

Pegboard: Pegboard (now also available in galvanized steel) with an array of hooks and baskets is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to store your most often used tools. Slat walls or track systems with hooks and baskets are two more viable options.

Shelving: Industrial strength storage units are perfect for storing large items. Combine with stackable clear-plastic bins with lids for loose or small items. Use mason jars or other clear jar for nuts, screws, and bolts.

Workbench: A built-in workbench is the perfect accessory to any garage. You can custom build a standing or fold-down workbench in little to no time … or you can buy one. Painting the top using chalkboard paint allows you to jot down quick measurements.

Overhead Storage Racks: An effective cluster-busting storage solution is overhead or ceiling-mounted storage racks. Installation is very easy and straightforward. Their ability to free up valuable floor space is why so many people choose them.

Use the following rules of thumb as you assign everything a home:

  1. Store similar items (e.g., camping, gardening, woodworking, vehicle maintenance, etc.) together and within reach of where you are likely to use these items.
  2. Put bulky items, like lawnmowers and trash receptacles, in corners where they won’t get bumped or knocked over.
  3. Store seasonal decorations towards the back of the shelving units. Rotate forward during the month you’ll be using them.
  4. Finally, the single, most important tip for ensuring you’re able to park your car in the garage is to keep items off the floor whenever possible.

The Importance of Photoelectric Sensors

photoelectric sensors

To reduce the number of injuries, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) mandated important safety features on all garage doors manufactured on or after January 1, 1993. The photoelectric sensors are a response to this mandate. They are required on both residential and commercial doors.

The photoelectric sensors are your garage door’s eyes. They are made up of a light source (LED), a receiver (phototransistor), a signal converter, and an amplifier. The phototransistor analyzes incoming light, verifies that it’s from the LED, and appropriately triggers an output.

Photoelectric sensors offer many advantages over other technologies. If a child or animal wanders through the beam between the two sensors – installed on opposite sides of the door, about six inches above the ground – breaking their connection, the garage door will immediately reverse direction thus avoiding a potential entrapment situation.

For safety reasons, if you discover your photoelectric sensors are not working, you should immediately contact a local garage door repair professional to come out and service them. In the interim, unplug the opener from its power source, ensuring the door is rendered non-operational.

Some signs that the sensors are not working include:

  • Lights on one or both sensors start blinking
  • Door starts to come down, then goes back up
  • Garage door can open, but will not close when summoned

If your sensors are not working, this is usually because they cannot “see” each other to make the connection they need to, to give your garage door system the okay to close. You can try troubleshooting the problem using the following techniques:

  1. Gently clean the sensors using a microfiber cloth.
  2. Move any stored items that might be blocking either sensor to another location.
  3. If 1-2 didn’t work, see if one of the sensors appears misaligned. If so, try manually adjusting it. This should require minimal effort. If you need to apply force, leave the sensor alone as it might be break.
  4. If the problem persists, contact a local garage door repair professional.

Buying a New Garage Door Opener? Read This First!

If the time has come to replace your garage door opener, either as part of a system upgrade or because the old one has outlived its useful life, you are likely in unfamiliar territory. In this article, we’ll help you narrow down your options, ensuring you’re able to choose the perfect garage door opener for your home.

Garage Door Opener Drive Units

The first choice to make is the way your opener will be operated: either by chain, belt or screw drive.

Chain drive openers are the most common and least expensive units available. As their name implies, these openers rely on a bicycle-like chain to push the trolley connected to the J-arm, which is attached to the garage itself. One caveat is noise. For that reason, chain drive units are typically best suited for detached garages.

Belt drive openers are a good choice if your living quarters are directly above or adjacent the garage. Belt drive units use the same mechanisms as chain drive openers, with the exception that instead of a chain, they use a steel-reinforced rubber belt. These openers are almost silent by comparison with other types of openers.

Screw drive openers are an excellent alternative to chain drive units because they’re durable and low-maintenance. The downside is that screw drive openers are somewhat sensitive to temperature. Noise wise, screw drive units tend to be nosier than belt drive openers, but quieter than chain drive units.

Garage Door Opener Features and Accessories

The second choice is to decide which features and accessories you’d like your opener to have.

Horsepower: The higher the horsepower, the more weight the opener can handle, with the least amount of strain. Today’s standards are ¼, ½, ¾, 1 and 1 ¼. Some newer models offer 2. You will need to know the weight of your door to determine the minimum horsepower needed.

Battery Backup: Do you need a battery backup? Depends. A battery backup provides 24-hours of reverse power to operate the garage door up to 20 full cycles during a power outage. If you’re in a region that experiences severe weather, such as monsoons or thunderstorm, you’ll likely benefit from a battery backup.

Internet Connectivity: A relatively new feature is the addition of home automation capabilities to garage door openers courtesy of a Wi-Fi connection. Smart openers allow you to operate and monitor your door remotely via a smartphone app. Some models can also integrate with other smart devices for total home automation.

Keyless Entry Keypad: This convenient and time-saving technology makes it very popular with today’s homeowners. Keyless entry allows you and other family members to open the garage door without a remote or key in hand. You can also set temporary codes for guests or service workers and use one button to close the door when you head out to walk the dogs.

Wall Mount: If the height of your garage doesn’t permit standard, ceiling mount openers, a wall mount opener (also known as a jackshaft operator) may be an excellent choice. A powerful, 24V DC motor delivers relatively no noise.

Rolling Code Technology: In addition to the above, all garage door openers should feature rolling code technology, which selects a new, non-repeating access code from approximately one million possible code options each time you press the button on your opener remote.

Installing Your New Garage Door Opener

If you’d like your garage door opener professionally installed, our experienced, licensed and insured technicians are ready to help. In addition to garage door opener installation, we can with garage door opener repair, new garage door installation, and garage door repair. Contact us today at (918) 938-1338 or visit us at www.tulsagaragedoorrepairs.com for a free quote.

Garage Storage Solutions

garage storage solutions

Looking to organize your garage?

Here are some of our favorite garage storage solutions.

Magnetic Tool Holders: You might already have one of these in your kitchen. Magnetic tool holders, such as this one here, are great for storing hand tools within arm’s reach. No more digging through a tool box to find what you need.

Shoe Storage: The garage door is often a family’s main entrance into their home. If you have a strict “no shoes” policy, a shoe organizer with or without built-in seating, is a great way to stop the pileup of shoes outside your main door.

Overhead Storage: Suspended shelving just above your vehicles or the door itself provides out-of-the-way storage space. Use these shelves to store items you rarely need to access such as holiday decorations.

Shelving Units: To get the most out of your garage, it is worth investing in some high-quality, sturdy shelving units from your local home improvement or warehouse store. Assembled just like a bookcase, shelving units are a good choice for items you frequently need to access, such as lawn chairs and sporting goods.

DIY Recycle Bin Hangers: Keep your home recycle bins from taking up valuable floor space with just a few pieces of scrap wood. This project also makes remove each bin a breeze compared to when they’re stacked on one another. For step-by-step instructions, click here.

Peg Boards: Peg boards are a great option for garage storage. These relatively inexpensive wall boards allow you to store your tools both vertically and horizontally. Hooks and small bins can be purchased for storing power tools, hardware, and materials.

Cabinetry: Cabinets, drawers, and shelves purchased from your local home improvement store make it easy to keep everything tidy. Look for storage that stands on legs to avoid any potential water or rodent issues.

Garage Door Cleaning Tips

  • Set aside at least a full day to get the job done
  • Make organizing a family or household project
  • Sort all items into four piles: keep, donate, sell, and trash
  • Have lots of black garbage bags and boxes ready to be utilized
  • Further sort those items you plan on keeping into broad categories (i.e. sports equipment, power tools, hand tools, holiday decorations, paint supplies, etc.)
  • Paint, propane, and other hazardous materials should never be stored in the garage

Contact Us Today!

Need your garage door repaired before you can park it inside your newly organized garage? Give the experts at Dynamic Door Tulsa a call at (918) 938-1338 for an initial consultation and free estimate. We offer 24/7 emergency garage door repair, and don’t charge extra for nights or weekends.

Show Your Garage Door Some Love

show your garage door some love

February is a time for love. While it’s traditionally been synonymous with fancy dinners, boxes of chocolates, extravagant gifts, and long-stemmed red roses – why not part with tradition and show your garage door some love this Valentine’s Day? After all, your relationship with your home is one that will last a long, long time.

Here are some ideas you can use to show your garage door some love.

Spiff up the paint

Your garage door is exposed to the elements. Over time, it can fade, chip and rust. Painting the door will do wonders for your whole house. One trip to your local home improvement store will unlock a world of paint options for your garage door. Before laying down a coat, however, it’s important to make sure you’re using the correct type of paint for the application (e.g., metal, wood or composite). Also of importance is the tasks of prepping and priming the door.

Fix or upgrade it

If you’ve been wondering whether to fix or upgrade your current door, consider this – garage doors have a lifespan of approximately 30 years. If your door malfunctions more often than not or it’s nearing its expiration date, it’s probably not worth your while to invest more time and money in having it repaired…yet again. Today’s garage doors are available in a wide variety of shapes, materials, and colors. They will also add enormous curb appeal to your home.

Buy it something pretty

Trending now: Smart garage door openers. Coupled with a smartphone app (iOS or Android), this technology allows you to monitor the status of your door, as well as operate it remotely. It can also integrate with other smart home devices. Other ideas include decorative hardware, window inserts, parking guides, and more. Storage cabinets, peg boards, shoe racks, and workshop lights are also good gift ideas – especially if you use your garage for more than just protecting your vehicle.

Maintain the garage door

Your garage door requires regular maintenance to ensure its operating properly. Failure to do so can lead to damage and may even render the system inoperable. To keep things in working order, you should routinely inspect the door and its components for visible wear and tear, in addition to cleaning any exposed surfaces to remove dirt and grime. Lubricate your door’s springs, hinges, rollers, and locks using a silicone spray. Other tasks may also be required. When in doubt, contact a local garage door company.

Garage Door Resolutions

garage door resolutions

Home improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It’s why so many of us browse Pinterest, pinning DIY projects that interest us, determined to complete them. Despite our best intentions, however, only a tiny percentage of us follow through – especially when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions. Fact: Statistic Brain shows that only 9.2% of people are successful at achieving their New Year’s goals. Are you one of them? If you are, or you hope to be, here are four garage door resolutions you can make to ensure it functions properly all year long.

Resolute to Perform Regular Maintenance

All too often, we take our doors for granted, pressing the button on the remote once to open it and again to close it. Like most homeowners, you probably use your garage door to get into and out of your house; no matter how many times you come and go. That’s why it’s so important to take a few minutes at least once a month to perform a visual inspection. Certain parts, like the rollers, hinges and springs, should be lubricated twice per year (in the spring and fall).

Resolute to Optimize the Space Provided

In order to take full advantage of the space provided by your garage, take the time to browse websites like Pinterest and Houzz; both of which will provide you with a wealth of garage organization inspiration. Not only are many of these ideas easy and effective, many of them will cost you nothing but a little time. We do, however, recommend purchasing some storage containers to avoid the space ever becoming a mess again.

Resolute to Hire a Professional for all Repairs

Aside from preventative maintenance tasks, such as those previously mentioned, you should never attempt to repair any of your garage door’s major components. Many of the door’s components are under an immense amount of tension that can cause injury if improperly handled. Always consult a professional garage door repair company in your area. You will find that most provide free, no obligation, no pressure estimates.

Resolute to Invest in a New Garage Door

Upgrading your garage door can enhance your home’s curb appeal, and according to this year’s Cost vs. Value report, literally pay for itself should you ever decide to sell or refinance your home. If you have a damaged, malfunctioning or unsightly garage door that needs to be replaced sooner rather than later, make 2017 the year you treat yourself and your home to a new garage door.