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History of Garage Doors

Before the advent of the “horseless carriage” people stored their transportation in carriage houses which protected their horses and buggies from the elements, but with the advent of the automobile it became preferable to keep the family car somewhere other than a smelly shed, ergo the evolution of the family garage. Of course the first garages were simple structures usually with plain swing-out double doors that didn’t hold up very well against all kinds of weather.

Contrary to popular perception the automatic garage door is not a recent innovation. In 1921 Mr. C. G. Johnson’s patent was approved for the first automatic garage door. Five years later his patent application was approved for an automatic garage door using an electronically activated key pad. Johnson’s invention led the way to the first overhead door which lifted upwards and folded parallel to the garage ceiling.

Through the intervening years there were many innovations in door style and design and materials beginning with wood and later polystyrene insulated wood, galvanized steel, fiberglass, composites and vinyl-covered aluminum. Always looking for greater convenience, ti was probably inevitable that the automatic garage door opener would come next. People could stay in their cars and drive in protected from the elements and secure in their homes.

In succeeding years it became apparent that there were risks and dangers to children who could be seriously injured or killed by automatic doors, so in 1993 the Consumer Product Safety Commission initiated a federal law that required all automatic garage doors to be equipped with photo-electric sensors. Sensors work by detecting any object under a garage door and reversing themselves and returning to an open position. With the advent of state-of-the-art sensors. Serious injuries from automatic garage doors are a rare occurrence.

What to do About a Noisy Garage Door

The bad news is that your overhead garage door is noisy and makes strange sounds when it is in operation; the good news is that the conditions which cause this are usually easy to fix. Normally, this task should take an hour or less. Sometimes the fault will be more serious and you should call a professional service such as Aaron’s Garage Doors her in Nashville, Tennessee.

Noisy garage doors are usually caused by worn rollers, loose hardware, parts that need lubrication or an opener in need of anti-vibration pads—all simple fixes.

  • Tighten accessible parts. This includes the door and track hardware. Use a deep socket and ratchet. Be sure not over tighten. The metal can be thin, and it is possible to pull the nuts through.
  • Check for worn rollers and hinges. If the roller are worn than can be replaced with nylon rollers, which will last. Replace the roller one at a time, but do not attempt to replace the bottom bracket rollers – call a trained professional since these are under spring tension.
  • Hinges do not usually wear, but check them and if the opening holding the hinge pin has become enlarged, the hinge should be replaced.
  • Check the opener chain; if it is not tight it will make a clanking sound and the door will move jerkily. Tighten the chain per your instruction manual.
  • Lubricate. Grease the opener track if you have a track drive, or the screw threads if you have a screw drive. Use a silicon spray for the hinges. Do NOT use WD-40 as it is a solvent, not a lubricant. Lubricate about twice per year.
  • If noise is coming from the bracket, you may want to install anti-vibration pads. Mechanically isolate the bracket and insert one pad between the bracket and the ceiling and another between the screw(s) and the bracket. Use a washer to buffer the lag screw and drive the screw with a socket wrench.

Tips on Heating Your Garage

Many people use their garage for multiple purposes. The winters in the middle Tennessee area, including Nashville, can be cold and, unless the garage is heated, the work space it represents becomes unusable. This issue can be resolved by installing a heater. This discussion is focused on natural (or LP) gas heaters.

Insulate

The garage should be insulated, otherwise the heating system will be ineffectual, and the money invested in it will be wasted. The walls should have four inches of insulation; the ceiling should have six inches of insulation; and the garage door should be insulated.

Heating System Choices

There are two types of natural (or liquid propane – LP) gas heaters that can be considered: 1. A forced-air heater that mimics a conventional furnace. 2. A low intensity infrared heater that radiates heat. Do not use a high intensity infrared heater (they glow ‘red’) as they are not suitable for residential use – their ratings are for commercial use only.

They each have pluses and minuses. A few facts to help in your decision:

  • A forced air heater will be about half, perhaps a little more, of the cost of the infrared heater; it is less expensive in up-front cost.
  • An infrared heater is normally less costly to operate. It is cheaper over time. How often you use the heater affects the economics.
  • A forced air heater will stir up dust and sawdust. This could be a disadvantage if the garage is used for staining and painting, such as you might do in a woodworking environment.
  • It will take longer to feel warm with an infrared heater as it heats objects before it heats the air. As the concrete floor and your drywall warm. You will feel more comfortable as the heat is uniform.
  • A forced air heater warms the garage more quickly, but the air will be warmer at the ceiling and cooler at your feet – it heats the air.
  • You should not stand close (less than four or five feet) to the infrared heater. It is very warm close in.
  • If the garage door is opened and closed, it will take longer to heat the garage back up with a forced air heater – it heats the air.

Understand the Installation Requirements

Understand the installation for whichever system you choose as they are different. Infrared heaters should be seven feet about the floor and four inches below the ceiling. Do not have objects directly under the heater. A forced air heater does not as stringent set of requirements. Ventilation is required for both. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions or have a certified technician perform the installation.

Garage Door Flooring Tips for Installing PVC Floor Tiles

This is a do-it-yourself guide for covering your garage floor with interlocking PVC floor tiles. Interlocking PVC tiles make this process straightforward; think of it as adult Legos. The tools and materials needed for this project are:

  • rubber mallet
  • utility knife
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • chalk
  • kneepads
  • Interlocking PVC floor tiles

Interlocking PVC garage floor tiles come in many colors. You could co-ordinate with the colors of your overhead door from Aaron’s Garage Doors here in Nashville, Tennessee, or with the color of your home, for example. The tiles can be easily installed on the garage floor without adhesive. Laying the tiles is a three part procedure:

Part 1 – Prepare the garage. Design a floor pattern with your chosen colors. Grid paper is a useful tool for this. Calibrate the grid paper to the size of your garage floor and map out your new design. Thoroughly clean the floor; make sure the floor is completely dry before laying the tile. Condition the tiles for 24 hours before placing them. The room temperature needs to be mild, 65 to 76 degrees F. Establish center points for the walls and establish chalk lines on the floor from those points, dividing the floor into quadrants.

Part 2 – Center the tiles. This is the most important part of the task. Start at the center and lay four tiles – one in each quadrant. Use the rubber mallet to lock the tiles in place.

Part 3 – Complete the tiling. Expand the flooring by snapping additional tiles around the perimeter of the square formed in the second step. Complete one circumference at a time, consulting your grid design as you go. At the walls, trim the tiles with the utility knife. Leave a quarter of an inch gap at the wall. This allows for expansion.

If the floor is likely to get wet, or to suffer spills, apply a sealing coat. This can be purchased wherever you bought the tiles. Use a long handled roller to apply. The new tile floor will enhance your workspace.

How to Check a Garage Door’s Balance

Garage door systems can be very dangerous to work on unless you are specifically trained to do so. This is due to the size of the door (it is the largest moving part of a home) and to the amount of energy story in the torsion springs which bear the load of the heavy doors. The procedure given here is a diagnostic only. To have any work performed on your system, please call an overhead door specialist such as those at Aaron’s Garage Doors here in Nashville.

Of the routine maintenance tasks on a garage door, checking the balance of the door is among the most critical. An out of balance door will fail sooner than it should and replacing springs can be one of the more costly repair jobs.

When checking a garage door’s balance, what is actually being done is checking how well the springs are counterbalancing the weight of the door. Id springs are old and/or fatigued, the door will feel heavier. An automatic opener will continue to work and you will not know there is a problem unless you check, or the door fails. The door should be checked about once per year for normal use; twice per year if it used more often:

  • Make sure the area around the garage door is clear. You will need to move across the length of the floor.
  • Pull the emergency release cord to disengage the door from the opener so that you can move the door by hand.
  • Raise and lower the door a few times. You should be able to feel any undo friction. If there is excessive squeaking (nails on a chalkboard!) you hinges may need to be lubricated.
  • Close the door and raise it to knee height. The second roller from the top should be at the radius of the track – the point where the track curves to move the door from vertical to horizontal. If the springs are good, the door should maintain this position. Slight movement is passable, but if the door moves to the ground the springs should be replaced.
  • Re-connect your garage door opener.

Garage Door Opener Safety and Features Explained

Garage doors have come a long way in recent years. Garage doors of today are available in a wide variety of various materials to suit any need and budget, and are stronger and more durable than ever. Garage doors today also come with longer warranties, since they are designed to last. Perhaps most importantly, garage doors today are quiet; no more garage door noise that wakes the neighbors when you arrive home late!

Modern garage door openers are better than ever before as well. With modern features such as keyless entry, there’s no need to worry about locking yourself out. And with safety features that have drastically reduced the number or garage door-related accidents in recent years, modern garage door openers are safer than ever.

Here is a basic overview of some features that are available in a new garage door opener.

Features

  1. Emergency Release – This allows the garage door to be opened and closed, should the power go off, or if something malfunctions.
  2. Speed – Some garage door openers today are built for speed. This is an important feature for those who don’t like waiting for the door to slowly open in the mornings!
  3. Lights – Garage door openers also sometimes come with lights that can be put on a fixed timer, or set to automatically turn on.
  4. Battery Backup – An important feature should the power go out – your garage door opener will flip to the battery backup allowing you in and out of your house, even in the event of a power outage, without having to manually open and close it.
  5. Keyless Entry – Most garage door openers today are designed to be opened with a single-button remote. You can even have a keypad installed outside the door, to allow family members to access the house easily without having to worry about keys.

Safety
Besides just convenience, new garage door openers also offer updated and important safety features.

Important safety features include an automatic reverse mechanism, which allows the door to automatically reverse should it come in contact with something while it is closing. They also include “safety eyes,” which automatically ensure that nothing is blocking the door’s path before it closes. Other available safety features include time reversing systems which automatically reverse the door if it hasn’t closed entirely within 30 seconds.

When choosing a new garage door opener, be sure to ask your garage door installation professional about available garage door opener safety and convenience features.

For more information on a new garage door opener, or garage door installation in Nashville, Tennessee and the surrounding areas contact Aaron’s Garage Doors. Aaron’s Garage Doors provides high-quality garage door installation and services to Davidson County, Wilson County, Williamson County, Sumner County, Rutherford County, Trousdale County, Cheatham County, Nashville and more! Call (615) 456-6654.

DIY Garage Door Repairs and Maintenance That You Can Do

Is your garage door operating in less-than optimal condition? Simple garage door maintenance and repairs can help to keep your garage door operating at its best. Many of these repairs can be done on your own.

Below are a few common repairs that can help to keep your door opening and closing smoothly.

Check Tracks
Damaged tracks are one of the most common issues that garage doors face. Since tracks are constantly being used, they tend to receive a lot of damage. A dented track could make the whole garage door inoperable. Dents in the track can be pounded out with a rubber mallet. Also, check to ensure that your tracks are level. Both vertical tracks should be at the same height. To readjust the tracks loosen the screws and tap the tracks back into place before replacing the screws.

Check Hardware
Loose hardware can be another source of garage door malfunction. A loose screw can cause the tracks to move out of alignment. Be sure to check all the hardware surrounding your garage door to make sure it is tightened properly. Loose screws can cause damage to hinges as well as the wood or walls that they are screwed into. Make sure all bolts and screws on mounting brackets that are located alongside the tracks are tight.

Clean 
Keeping your garage door clean can help keep it in good working order. A garage door track can become dirty and filled with debris, which can prevent the garage door from opening and closing properly. The garage door tracks and the door itself should be cleaned at least once a year. Get rid of hardened grease and dirt buildup on the tracks and the rollers with a concentrated household cleaner. Wipe both rollers and tracks dry after cleaning.

While some garage door repairs are dangerous and should be left to the professionals, certain repairs and maintenance can be done by DIY enthusiasts on their own.

Of course, if you aren’t comfortable making repairs on your own, be sure to call in a professional. And never attempt to replace to torsion springs. Springs are under tension and can be dangerous to replace. Be sure to call a garage door service professional for spring replacement jobs.

Common Garage Door Problems: What to Do When Your Garage Door Malfunctions

Having trouble with your garage door?

Garage door problems are sometimes an indication that it’s time for a new door, but most of the time, minor repairs can be made without requiring a complete garage door replacement.

Here are some common causes of garage door troubles. Find out what you should do when your garage door starts acting up.

Garage Door Openers
Garage door openers are a common source of troubles. Whether your garage door reverses before it hits the ground, or if it simply won’t move at all, a malfunctioning garage door opener can be frustrating! After ensuring that the garage door’s path is completely clear, the next thing you should check is the garage door’s “safety eyes.” Make sure these eyes are not clogged with dust, or out of alignment. If the eyes are misaligned, they usually blink or glow red. Adjust the eyes by loosening the wing nut on the side, and moving the eye from side to side, and up and down until the lights emit a green and yellow steady glow, then tighten the wing nut.

Springs
Garage door torsion springs, and extension springs will occasionally break. Springs are under a tremendous amount of tension and it is dangerous to replace springs yourself. Be sure to call a professional if your garage door springs require replacement.

Cables
Broken cables are a common problem when it comes to garage doors. While the cables themselves may not be that expensive, the process of replacing them can be a precise and difficult task that is usually best left to a professional.

Track
A bent track is one of the most common sources of garage door problems. Tracks can easily become bent and damaged and a small dent or bend in a track can often hinder a garage door from opening or closing. Often times, dents can be gently hammered out with a rubber hammer. Garage door tracks often become caked with dirt and grime, which can cause problems when opening and closing the door. Clean dirty tracks and rollers with a concentrated household cleaner, and dry afterwards.

If your garage door isn’t working, contact Aaron’s Garage Doors – your Nashville garage door repair and installation specialists: (615) 456-6654. Visit Aaron’s Garage Doors for more information on garage door maintenance.

Garage Door Opener Overview: Which Opener is Right for You?

It may come as a surprise to many people, but the first electric garage door opener was invented in 1926.

While garage door openers have been around for decades, they have become more popular, and increasingly necessary in recent years.

Garage door openers make opening and closing your garage door easier, and more efficient. With a garage door opener, you have the option to open and close your garage door from the comfort of your car; which means you don’t have to get out on those cold days to close the garage door.

Garage door openers have made major advances in recent years; garage door openers of today include additional safety and security features, making them safer than ever. All of these features have made garage door openers a necessary component for any home with a garage.

When choosing a garage door opener, there are a few things you should take into consideration. How important the opening speed is to you, how quiet you would like the opener to be, and which safety features you would like to have, as well as additional special features and remote access options.

Types of Openers
There are four main types of garage door openers, each with unique features. Each of these garage door openers does its job well, the main difference is the level of noise that they make while opening and closing. Read on to see which one is best for you.

  1. Chain Drive: Chain driven garage door openers are among the most economical, and most popular options. Chain driven garage door openers are dependable, but unfortunately, they are also one of the noisier options.
  2. Belt Drive: Belt drive garage door openers use a rubber belt instead of chain. Belt drive openers are a quiet option. They also have fewer moving parts and less maintenance. Belt drive openers generally require a higher initial investment.
  3. Screw Drive: Screw drive openers use a threaded rod to raise and lower the door. Screw drive openers are low maintenance, and feature quieter operation. They run well when kept lubricated.
  4. Direct Drive: Of all the options, direct driven garage door openers are the quietest. They have only one moving part, and don’t require much maintenance. They are the best option for garages with adjacent living spaces.

The Importance of Sprinkler System Repairs and Maintenance

Keep Your Sprinkler System Operating at Its Best

Tennessee residents rely on properly functioning sprinkler systems to keep their landscape nice and green.

While most sprinkler systems are relatively low maintenance, they still require periodic maintenance. Even high-quality systems still require repairs and seasonal maintenance to keep them operating at their best.

It can be difficult to know what can be done yourself and when to call for professional assistance. This checklist can help you to determine which jobs you can tackle, and which ones are best left to the pros!

Common Repairs Needed Even the best sprinkler systems will periodically break down, and require minor repairs occasionally. While it may be best to call in your landscape professional to resolve the more complicated issues such as broken pipes underground, some of the more simple repairs such as clogged sprinkler heads, you may be able to do yourself.

  • Sprinkler Heads Sprinkler heads are composed of many tiny moving parts -which eventually will fail. Over time, they can become clogged, broken, or smashed. Misaligned sprinkler heads can be readjusted, clogged heads cleaned and broken heads replaced.
  • Obstructions Overgrown grass or shrubs can obstruct the sprinkler head and lead to poor coverage for your lawn. To prevent sprinkler heads from becoming obstructed, it’s best to keep your grass and shrubs cut and pruned. An obstructed sprinkler head may simply need to be unclogged, or it may need to be replaced.
  • Broken Pipes Most irrigation systems are built and designed with high quality pipes that won’t be damaged by everyday maintenance and care of your lawn. But over time, it is possible that your pipes will become brittle or broken down and need replacement. Because fixing a broken pipe usually involves digging, as well as special tools, it’s a good idea to call in your Houston landscaping professional.

Seasonal Maintenance for Houston Sprinklers It is important that you provide seasonal maintenance to your irrigation system to help make sure everything is in good working order. Usually by the time your sprinkler system needs some repairs, it’s also in need of some maintenance as well.

  • Winter Winterizing your irrigation system is important to keep your pipes from freezing. For Houston residents, it’s important to make sure your irrigation system is winterized to prevent the pipes from freezing. Drip irrigation systems and sprinkler systems can both benefit from a professional winterization service. This involves blowing all of the water out so that when it freezes, no water is left in the pipes, reducing the chance of pipes freezing and cracking.
  • Spring Spring is a good time to start preparing your system for the long haul that it’s in for when summer arrives! A spring service allows you to ensure your sprinkler system will be good to go for the year ahead, and can help to prevent problems mid-way through. Your landscape professional will check for leaks or geysers, and other potential problem areas.

A sprinkler system is a great way to save time. With a bit of routine maintenance and care, you can keep your sprinkler running smoothly for years ahead.

At Cut Above Landscaping, we are here to help. We provide full-service sprinkler and landscaping services for residential and commercial properties in Houston and the surrounding areas. Contact Cut Above Landscaping today for more information on Houston landscaping services.

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