Garge Door FAQ
- Q. Why should I use a professional installer?
A. We firmly believe that the installation of a garage door is not a do-it-yourself job. A garage door is the largest moving object in your home and because of the large number of small parts, its installation is highly technical. Connecting the springs can be particularly dangerous and proper installation is critical to the performance of your door. One of the other services a professional installer can provide is the disposal of your old door, if you are replacing a door.
Professional installers can typically install a door in a few hours and are careful to make sure safety requirements are met. Installations by most homeowners typically span several days and cause much frustration. In addition, incorrect installation can void certain warranties, so we recommend a professional handle the job for you.
- Q. Is 25 gauge steel thicker than 24 gauge steel?
A. No. When comparing strengths of steel, remember, the lower the gauge number, the thicker (and stronger) the steel is.
- Q. Why should I choose an insulated door if my garage is uninsulated?
A. A garage door opening is a very large hole in your garage. Insulated doors will help to reduce the amount of outside temperatures that enters your garage, thus keeping it more comfortable for you. This is important for a number of reasons:
1) If your garage is attached to your home, any air in the garage can travel through the doorway to your living area.
2) If you use your garage as a workshop, your comfort will be a top priority.
3) If your garage is below another room in your home, air can travel through the ceiling of the garage into the floor of the room above. An insulated door will keep temperatures in the garage fairly stable to reduce the temperature fluctuation in the room.
4) An insulated door is generally quieter and has a more attractive interior than an uninsulated door.
- Q. What are the benefits of a steel door over a wood door?
A. 1) Steel doors are low maintenance. Typically a wood door needs to be painted as frequently as the wood trim on your home due to weathering.
2) Steel doors have longer warranties than wood doors.
3) Steel doors can be insulated, making them far more energy efficient than wood.
4) Steel doors are pre-painted and most are available in your choice of three colors. Wood doors are unfinished or primed, both of which need to be finish painted upon installation.
- Q. What is required for installing an electric operator?
A. In the event that an electric operator is installed, the top section must be reinforced with a strut or 14-gauge angle iron spanning the length of the top section.
- Q. I want to replace my old door, but don't know how to dispose of my old one. Will my dealer take care of that?
A. Most dealers will haul your old door away after the new door is installed for a small additional fee. Discuss this with the salesperson when you get your estimate on your new door.
- Q. When I replace my existing door, can I keep my old track?
A. We recommend replacing your track when you replace your door because each brand of garage door has been specially designed to work with a specific type of track. In addition, replacing your track is an inexpensive way to insure that your entire garage door system is as safe as possible. By replacing your track you also ensure that your door warranty will apply, in the event that you have a problem.
- Q. I have a one-piece door now. Can I replace it with a sectional door?
A. Yes. Your professional garage door installer can install a sectional door for you by installing track and springs to accommodate a sectional door. Depending on the construction of your garage, other modifications might be necessary. We would advise you to ask your installer to evaluate the job prior to installation, so that any modifications can be performed before installation.
- Q. I'd like to purchase an steel door, but need a color other than those you offer. Can I paint the door once it's installed?
A. Yes. All steel doors are prepainted with a tough topcoat that is perfectly suited for painting after installation if another color is desired. To repaint, use a high-quality latex exterior house paint. Because the paint must be thoroughly mixed before using, mechanical mixing is recommended to assure that no settling on the bottom of the container remains.
The surface must be completely dry prior to painting. Painting should be done in the early morning to reduce uneven drying from the sun. Avoid painting when temperatures are below 50°F. Apply a uniform coat at the manufacturer's recommended dry film thickness.
If the door has been installed for a long period of time it should be cleaned and prepared prior to painting. First, wash your steel door with (a) One cup of Tide (or other common detergents which contain less than 0.5% phosphate, dissolved into five gallons of warm water, or (b) One cup of household ammonia dissolved into five gallons of water (room temperature). NEVER BLEND CLEANSERS OR DETERGENTS WITH BLEACH.
The garage door may be washed with either solution and the use of a well-soaked cloth, sponge, brush (with very soft bristles) or low pressure spray washer are recommended. Once the door is washed, thoroughly rinse with clean water to eliminate the possibility of residue. To prepare the door for painting, lightly sand or buff surface imperfections such as minor scratches, which have not left the metal substrate exposed in order to create a smoother surface. Care must be taken, however, not to expose the substrate. Rusting is greatly increased when the metal substrate is exposed.
Exposed metal must be treated to prevent rust from forming. To do so, sand the general area lightly and use a primer* specifically designed to protect any exposed galvanized steel from corrosion. After the door has been properly prepared, it must be coated within 24 hours with a high-quality latex exterior house paint, taking care to allow the surface to completely dry prior to painting.
*Glidden Galvanized Metal Primer® 5229, PPG Galvanized Steel Primer® #6-209, or equivalent primers specifically designed for galvanized steel surfaces.
- Q. Are special size doors available? I have a custom-built garage that features an unusual size door.
A. Yes. We carry residential doors in widths beginning at 6' wide and continuing to 20'*. We can make any width between 6' and 20' in two inch increments. In addition, virtually any height between 6'6" and 12' is available in three inch increments. The only height that is unavailable is 7'3".
*not all models are available in this range of widths
- Q. My garage has very little space (headroom) above the door. What is the minimum headroom required to operate a sectional door?
A. Standard headroom applications require 12" to 18" of space between the bottom of the opening header and the unobstructed ceiling. However, our specializes in custom-built applications. A variety of special track options are available and make it possible for many unusual garages to be fitted with doors. By using low-headroom track, it is possible to install a door in an area that has as little as 61/2" of headroom.
Other special track applications include:
1) Vertical lift track, for use in situations where the ceiling is extremely high and the garage door has room to lift straight up.
2) Follow-the-roofline track, which is used when the ceiling of the garage is pitched at the angle of the roof, making it desirable for the door to follow the same angle, thus providing additional overhead room and
3) Hi-lift track, which is used when the ceiling is unusually high, but the door must still retract to a horizontal position.
- Q. I'd like windows, but I'm concerned about security?
A. There are many parts of our country where security is a large concern. Because of this we carry secure windows for your garage doors. Windows are tempered, translucent windows that feature beautiful etched designs to compliment the style of your home. In addition, they offer more security than standard garage door windows because they feature baked-in translucent ink. This allows light into your garage, but masks the contents from potential intruders.
- Q. I've been comparing R-values of various doors and am surprised at the variance among them. Can you explain this?
A. Many manufacturers use R-values to show the energy efficiency of their product. This number is arrived at through a calculation that looks at the thickness of the insulation and its chemical properties. Therefore, most of the R-value numbers you see, reflect only the R-value of the section...not of the installed door. A door's insulating capabilities can be greatly affected by the door's construction.
For that reason, Insulated doors have a 5-step system that works together to maximize energy efficiency. Our double thermal break and tongue and groove construction are critical parts of that system and help to keep your garage as comfortable as possible.
- Q. How do I know if my door is properly balanced?
A. There are several tests you can perform to tell if your door is balanced:
1) You should be able to raise your door in 1' increments and the door should stay in place where you stop it.
2) When the door comes down, it lowers in a controlled manner and doesn't slam.
3) When the door goes up, it is at a controlled pace.
4) The bottom of the door should align with the bottom of the header when the door is in a raised position.
- Q. Do I need a lock on my garage door?
A. If an electric garage door opener has been installed on your door, it may not be necessary to have a lock. Newer electric openers function as the lock, making it improbable that an intruder would be able to lift your door from the outside. If you have an older opener, check to see if your door can be lifted from the outside.
DASMA, the trade association for the garage door industry, discourages homeowners from attaching a lock when an opener has been installed, because too frequently, a child or other family member will accidentally lock the door. If someone then tries to open the door using the electric opener, the opener will pull against the lock causing the door to be damaged.
If no opener is installed on your door, you should certainly have a lock installed.
- Q. What type of spring is better...extension or torsion?
A. There are two types of springs used on garage doors today...extension and torsion. Most people are more familiar with extension springs. These are the springs that are attached on either side of the door and stretch along the horizontal part of the track when the door is closed. Torsion springs are typically located just above the top section of the door and are mounted to the header. They are wound springs and do not expand or contract when the door is moved.
A torsion spring is a superior spring, primarily because it offers more safety to the homeowner and better balances the door to provide smoother operation. Single-car doors are equipped with extension springs as part of the standard hardware, but torsion springs are available by request. All double-car doors are equipped with torsion springs.
- Q. How do I paint a wood door?
A. Many homeowners feel that they have thrown their money away when their wooden garage doors rot or break-up because of moisture problems. We guarantees its wood doors for one year, but a properly maintained wood door should provide a "reasonable" length of service to the homeowner.
The following information on proper painting of wood doors comes from the American Hardboard Association. These guidelines were established by the hardboard manufacturers and do not replace our instructions or warranty. For further details on painting, you may refer to Step 22 in our Homeowners Instruction Manual and warranty in the Homeowners Information Packet that comes with every door we sell.
FINISH SELECTIONS Quality: Purchase a good quality exterior paint that is recommended for use on hardboard. "Bargain paints are rarely genuine bargains because they are usually harder to apply, do not cover well and do not last as long as good quality materials. Follow the advice of your paint dealer for the products specified for coating hardboard.
Finish Type: Select finishing systems intended for exterior use on hardboard as follows:
1) Primer: Use a solvent based oil/alkyd or waterborne primer which will seal the face, back and edges of the entire door and is compatible with the top coat to be used.
2) Top Coat Paint: Use either latex or oil exterior top coat paints. The oil paint should be semi or full gloss paint.
NOTE: All paints used should be those recommended by the paint manufacturer for use on hardboard. Stain products are not recommended.
SURFACE PREPARATION The surface of the hardboard skin/panel must be clean, free of dust and dirt, mildew and other contamination. Unprimed hardboard doors should be finished immediately after installation. Primed hardboard doors should be finished within 7 days after installation.
APPLICATION Method of Application: Follow the directions on the finish label paying particular attention to special primer requirements, hardboard surface temperature, rate of spread and recommended application procedures. In general, the finish can be applied by either spray, roll or brush as long as the resultant film is the recommended thickness, is uniform in coverage and properly cured. Avoid application of finish when rain or dew is expected. Avoid painting with latex formulations if temperature is likely to drop below 50°F before the paint fully hardens.
Number of Coats/Coating Thickness: A total film thickness of 4 dry mils (.004") minimum for all surfaces face, back and edges is recommended. This is best achieved by a uniform application of unthinned finish at a spread rate recommended on the label. Therefore, apply the following number of coats to the OUTSIDE, INSIDE and ALL EDGES of the door before installation:
Unprimed Doors: Primer followed by 2 unthinned finish coats. Primed Doors: Spot prime any areas of damage to the factory primer using an alkyd/oil primer. After the primer has dried, apply 2 finish coats. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations relative to the use of a primer and the finish coats or the 2 finish coats.
MAINTENANCE AND REFINISHING Yearly inspection of the exterior of the garage door will pay dividends when re-finishing eventually becomes necessary. If the finish appears in good condition, cleaning and touch up is often adequate. When the finish becomes badly eroded and thin, clean and prime the areas where the substrate is showing through, followed by complete priming and finish coating. If there is no substrate showing through, the finish coating only may be adequate.
- Q. What type of care and maintenance is necessary for my Steel door and hardware?
A. We recommend that you wash your steel door a minimum of one (1) time per year with: (a) One cup of Tide® (or other common detergents which contain less than 0.5% phosphate), dissolved into five gallons of warm water, or (b) One cup of household ammonia dissolved into five gallons of water (room temperature). NEVER BLEND CLEANSERS OR DETERGENTS WITH BLEACH.
The garage door may be washed with either solution and the use of a well-soaked cloth, sponge, brush (with very soft bristles) or low pressure spray washer are recommended. Once the door is washed, thoroughly rinse with clean water to eliminate the possibility of residue.
In addition, lubrication is recommended on a yearly basis for the following hardware: pulleys, rollers, hinges and springs. CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN WHEN LUBRICATING SPRINGS AS THEY ARE UNDER HIGH TENSION. WHEN APPLYING LUBRICANT AVOID ANY CONTACT WITH THE SPRING. Visually inspect springs and cable for wear and binding once each year and contact a professional garage door repairman if damage is suspected.
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