FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Garage Door Repair
How Does My Garage Door Work?
Isn’t it interesting that something as large as a wall can easily be moved up and down with just one hand and little effort? This is because of the torsion spring. The torsion spring is a torqued spring that is tightly wound and has tremendous energy and pressure built up in it. At the push of a button the garage door opener will open it, or when you pull on the door if it’s a manual-opening situation, the torsion spring winds or unwinds to provide a counterweight to the door. This allows you to easily open or close a door that weighs hundreds of pounds.
The action of the garage door opener and the torsion spring allows a trolley to slide back and forth on rollers on a track installed above the garage door. This pulls or pushes the door with it through use of a chain, belt or screw that moves when the garage door opener is activated.
That’s really all there is to it. If your garage door is not opening or closing correctly, the problem is usually that a torsion spring has broken or become worn out, or the trolley has somehow jumped the track so that the door cannot roll up or down properly. The problem could also be with the garage door opener, but it’s usually easy to tell if it is.
If you can hear the garage door opener trying to work but nothing is happening, it’s probably not the garage door opener that is the problem. Also, if you disable the garage door opener and you cannot open or close the door manually, you definitely have a problem other than the garage door opener.
Why Do Garage Door Springs Break?
Common Reasons Why Garage Door Springs Break
Have you ever pulled into your driveway after a long day at the office only to find that your garage door doesn’t open when you hit the button? Yeah, not a fun thing to have to deal with! Especially when you have no idea what went wrong or malfunctioned.
When your garage doors stop working it is likely due to the spring breaking—a totally common issue that is easy to have professionally fixed, so no worries! The spring can break for a handful of reasons.
How Long Should They Last?
Tires on your car do not last forever, and the same goes for your torsion springs. So, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect that your springs will last for, on average, 10,000 cycles, with a “cycle” referring to each time the springs have to lift the door up and down. So, if all you typically do is go to work and come home, you’re only racking up two cycles per day – so that door might last 15 years or longer. However, If you are a family of six and you are using the garage door to go in and out on a daily basis, you may only get 5 years of life on the same springs.
Why is My Garage Door So Loud?
Have you ever been rudely awakened in the middle of the night or early in the morning by a loud and squeaky garage door? If your bedroom is above the garage, you’re probably more than a little bit familiar with this, but some garage doors are so noisy that even people at the other end of the house can hear it when anyone comes home or leaves. Believe it or not, though, this really isn’t normal, and you don’t have to live with a noisy garage door. An improperly maintained garage door can cause it to become loud and squeaky. More importantly, a noisy door is a sign that your garage door isn’t lubricated enough, which could lead to more serious damage later on. Luckily, with proper maintenance and lubrication, you can prevent the noise and extend the life of your garage door.
What a garage door professional can do to make a garage door quieter
1. Replace your chain-driven garage door opener with a belt-driven one.
2. Replace your steel rollers with quieter nylon ones.
3. Replace your extension spring system with torsion springs, space permitting. Torsion springs are installed above the top of the door and make a lot less noise.
4. Perform a full inspection to verify that your garage door is working properly.
Why Wont My Garage Door Go Up Or Down Fully?
Safety Sensors Out Of Alignment
If you notice that the garage door opens normally but doesn’t make any attempt to close when the remote is pressed, the first thing you’ll want to do is visually inspect the photo eyes. Over time, these eyes can get dirty, causing the light from the beam to be blocked. They also can eventually become misaligned, causing the eyes to not match up on both sides.
When cleaning the photo eye, you should take care not to scratch or damage the eye since it’s made of glass, like that of a camera lens. The photo-eye itself is small, only a few centimeters in diameter, but it can get dirty rather easily. To clean it, you’ll need a soft cloth and a mild, streak-free cleaner. Gently wipe away any dirt or residue that has built up on the eye and be careful not to oversaturate as excessive wetness can cause dirt to stick to the eye more quickly.
If your photo eyes are clean and the door still isn’t closing, the next thing you’ll need to do is check the alignment of the eyes. The eyes should be pointing in the same direction and at the same angle. If they’re off, they won’t register that the other one is there, and it’ll assume something is in its path, causing the door to stay in the open position. When checking the alignment, measure the height of each photo eye from the ground. Use a level to make sure they’re pointing directly across at each other at the same angle. A laser level will make this part a little easier, but if you don’t have one, a regular level will work as well.
Once you have the eyes cleaned and aligned, test your door to make sure it opens and closes normally. If you’re still experiencing issues with the photo eyes, it may be time to call the professionals to come out and diagnose the problem.
Garage Door Track Is Not Aligned Properly
If your garage door track is out of alignment, it can be a serious issue. The garage door track needs to be aligned properly for your door to move. If you see gaps between the rollers and rail or bends in the rails themselves, you have a problem. The heavy weight of the door can contribute to these issues and make them worse until it becomes dangerous to operate your door.
If the track is not aligned, but the door still moves, there are a few things you can do to attempt to remedy the issue on your own. You’ll know that it’s not aligned if you hear friction or a rubbing noise when the garage door reaches a certain spot on the tracks each time it opens and closes. Sometimes the door may even slow down slightly when it hits this spot.
There could be issues that with your transmitters not to work properly. The most common reason could be that you’re simply out of range of your garage door. Each garage door and transmitter combo have a specific range it will function in. If you’re trying to open your garage door before you can even see your house, then chances are you’re just too far away. Try waiting until you turn into your driveway to hit your transmitter button, and you should have more success opening your garage door on the first try.
Defective or Broken Garage Door Spring
If your garage door all of sudden won’t go up and you’re sure the transmitters are working properly, and power is getting to the motor, then you may have broken torsion springs.
Testing your springs
Curious about how your own garage door springs are holding up? Take these steps to perform your own simple exercise.
1. Pull the emergency release cord (it has a red handle).
2. Lift the door up and down a few times by hand and listen for squeaking. If it happens, lubricate the door’s hinges.
3. Let the door hit the floor, and then lift it about two feet above the ground and release it.
If the door stays put, your springs are still functioning well. If, however, it starts to sag or lower itself, it’s time to consider having the torsion springs replaced.
Why Hire a Professional?
Reasons to Hire a Professional to Repair Your Garage Door
• Friends and family can be hurt if the garage door fails and falls on someone. A broken tension spring or cable can hit someone with enough force to cause serious injuries. If the repair fails and someone gets hurt, you could be held liable.
• Many home insurance companies will only pay for damage if the repair is done by a professional.
• If you try to repair the door yourself and it fails, you may cause irreparable damage. A professional repair is much less expensive than a complete replacement.
• An improper repair may result in an unbalanced door. The garage door will be harder to open and may allow pets and whether to enter the garage.
• If you sell your home and any damage is caused by a faulty door repair, you may be liable. You could be responsible for court fees, medical bills, and repair costs.
• Most professional garage door companies warranty their work. If the door doesn’t work after the repair, the technician will come back and make sure the problem is fixed.
Garage Door Openers
What Are the Features of My Opener?
Garage Door Features
• Remotes. One of the most convenient things about an electric-operated garage door is that you can activate its movements via remote control. Garage doors are generally controlled from a key-pad or wall mount button, where you enter a private code that activates the door to open and close. Additionally, most homeowners use handheld remotes to activate the door externally. Most wall mounts are compatible with single as well as multiple garage door units.
• Manual release. There will be times when you want or need to raise and lower the garage door manually rather than with remote control. In these cases, there’s the manual release mechanism, which allows you to disengage the door from the opener. This way, you can raise the door manually at any given time. For example, if you’re doing work inside your garage that calls for ventilation, the manual release button can allow you to raise the door a couple feet off the ground.
• Security light. Whether you’re coming or going, it’s good to have light from overhead as you walk or drive your vehicle through an open garage door. For added convenience, modern garage door openers will come with security lights that automatically power on whenever the door is activated. This way, you can easily see your way inside when pulling your car into the garage after dark. Unlike regular garage lights, the security light will also power off after a few minutes of inactivity.
• Keychain remote. For remote activation of your garage door from your car or from inside your house, most garage door openers come with mini remote devices that can fit on your keychain. When you’re pulling into your driveway, you don’t have to hop out of your car to activate the door — you can use the control attached to your keychain instead. If you don’t enjoy waiting for your garage door to go up, you can even prompt the door to open from down the street.
• Smart technology devices. Homeowners are increasingly looking to purchase home automation systems, which allow you to control a multitude of prompts, including the garage door, simply by voicing a request. This way, if your kids have been out playing and you want to let them enter the house through the garage door, you could simply say, “Alexa, open the garage door,” and the door will open.
• Smart Wi-Fi integration. Another cool feature that can be added is Wi-Fi, which makes it possible to control a garage door from anywhere with just a touch of the screen on your smartphone or tablet.
Many say, this is better than a home automation system, because Wi-Fi allows you to control and monitor things from anywhere. You don’t even have to be within a certain distance of your property open the garage door. If you’re at work and want to check on the status of the door, you can access that information on a mobile app.
• Vehicle compatibility. Certain newer cars are being manufactured with built-in smart technology. As such, these vehicles operate much like smart homes, where lights and doors can be activated by simple touch prompts or voice commands. When you have the prompts for your garage door integrated with the smart technology of a vehicle, you don’t even need a keychain remote because door activation can be prompted from the smart system within your car.
• Auto-close. An auto close function allows you to pre-program your garage door to be lowered at a certain time, be it five, ten or thirty minutes later. For example, on hotter days, you might keep your garage door open for a select period of time after you’ve parked and gone inside.
• Soft-activation motors. If you are concerned about the wear that garage door openers endure over time, a soft motor can make operations easier. With a soft-start/stop motor, the door activates with less noise or vibration, which results in less wear and tear as the years go by. As is usually the case, a soft-activation motor can make your garage door last longer and ultimately require less maintenance over time.
• Battery backup. When power lines go down, the experience is more than annoying. When you consider all the electrically powered equipment in your house, a blackout can be a scary prospect. With a battery backup to your garage door opener, you don’t have to worry about the door becoming inoperable when the power goes out. If a storm hits your area and a power failure occurs when your door is only half-lowered, the battery backup will complete the closing function.
• LED lights. On certain remote-control units, LED lights will activate when problems arise with your garage opener. This allows you to stay on top of any maintenance issues that might develop with the system. Therefore, instead of being caught off guard by failing mechanisms, the problem can be remedied at an early stage, before any damage or repair costs spiral out of hand.
• Rail extension. If you live in a taller-than-average house, an extension can be added to the rail segment that will extend up to eight inches off the ground. This way, a larger garage door is no problem at all. A rail extension can be useful if your house features high walls in the garage, too.
• Jackshaft operators. Designed for use in residential and industrial garages, jackshaft operators work on rolling grilles, doors, and shutters. Produced in light, medium and heavy models, the jackshaft operator can be installed by means of wall mounting, shelf mounting or bracket mounting, preferably just below the door shaft. The jackshaft can be placed on either side of the door, where it allows for maximum headroom. Jackshaft operators are ideal for large garages and for garages where conventional installations would be difficult.With all the advances in garage opener technology, you can get a newly improved system with your next garage door opener replacement. Essential features for any new garage door include motion/object detectors and advanced locking protocols.
• Motion sensors. As the heaviest moving part of your house, the garage door can be dangerous if it lacks motion sensors, which detect when objects pass under the door. That way, you don’t have to worry about the garage door being lowered accidentally onto the hood of your car because the sensor will detect the presence of the vehicle and suspend all motion. More importantly, a motion sensor will protect small children and pets from the dangers of a closing garage door. The functions of a motion sensor are simple. When the door is raised, a laser scans the ground exactly where the door would stand in closed position. If anyone or anything crosses that path, the motion sensor will activate and stop the door from moving further. Therefore, if a child or dog runs across the door’s path just as the door is closing, the door halts its decline, so no one gets injured and nothing gets damaged.
• Locks. Remotes are a convenient thing to have on hand until you lose them. Whether a miniature remote device slips from your pocket or gets stolen by a stranger, the locking feature of modern garage doors allows you to prevent a missing remote from being used to enter your house. The locking feature will disable whichever access code has been programmed into your remote and can help keep your house safe from potential burglars.
• Rolling code technology. Recent advances in coding technology have made it possible to program garage door openers with rolling codes, which change from one code to another every few seconds. This way, the code within your key fob is fresh every time you use it. This prevents thieves from hacking your fob and gaining access to your house through the garage door.
• Force guard control. If garage door safety and preservation are more important to you than speed, force guard control will slow the door’s movement down to a minimum of force. This means the door uses less energy to raise and lower, and the door also impacts the ground with less of a force. This can help ease wear and tear along the rail segments and minimize the brunt the door might otherwise face through daily usage over a given span of years.
• Vacation settings. When you’re away from home for days or weeks, it’s good to have the peace of mind in knowing that your garage door is secure. On modern garage door openers, certain settings can ensure the door is locked completely, without exceptions, for the duration of your absence. This renders it impossible for burglars to gain entrance into your home with stolen remotes or hacked codes because all sensors are deactivated while you’re away. As a further act of precaution, a zip-tie can boost the security of the garage door handle. This can prevent thieves from opening your garage door with coat hangers, which could otherwise compromise a door lock within seconds. Whether you’re a first-time garage owner or you’re having a broken garage door opener replaced, the installation of an opener can be a huge undertaking. Therefore, it’s important to know what you might be getting into if you consider doing a garage door opener replacement or installation yourself.
That said, it’s always best to hire a professional — someone with experience in handling and testing opener systems — to handle the installation work for you. Here’s why:
• The DO-IT Yourselfer. A residential garage door can weigh as much as 600 pounds, making it crucial to have sufficient manpower to get a door standing properly and synchronized with the tracks. Furthermore, the alignment of rail segments can also involve complicated handy work.
Hypothetically, the only way to successfully carry out an installation as a novice would be to read the instructions thoroughly, several times over, and then take each step slow with constant double checking. Realistically, unless you’re an experienced handyman who easily adapts to various home-improvement projects, garage door opener installation work is best left to the professionals.
• Let the Pros Do It. The professionals who perform garage door opener repairs and installations daily know everything there is to know about the fitting and setting of new openers in garage units of all sizes. Whether you request the installation of a single or double-door, seven-foot or eight-foot opener, they have the proper equipment as well as the experience to safely and correctly install your garage door opener.
Belt Drive Garage Door Openers Vs. Chain Drive: Which is Better?
When it comes to garage door openers there are two types that make up more than 95% of all sales: belt drive and chain drive. They both have their pros and cons. People who swear one type is better than the other. But is one type of garage door opener really better than the other, or is it just a matter of personal preference? Here we’ll examine the pros and cons of each type of drive mechanism and try to determine if belt or chain drive really makes one opener better than the other.
Determining the Best Garage Door Opener for Your San Diego Home
Belt Drive Pros
• Noise – One of the things that make the process of raising and lowering your garage doors is how noisy the chain drive mechanism can be. A belt drive however nearly eliminates noise from the process which is one of the main advantages it has over the chain drive. In this regard there isn’t much of a contest. Belt drive garage doors are much quieter to operate.
• Strength – Belt drives will do a fine job of lifting practically any type of garage door. Drive belt construction has made great strides in recent decades, to the point that they’re now used on much more applications, including heavy machinery and vehicles; which should tell you something about their durability as well.
• Speed – Belt drive garage doors will lift an average weight door slightly quicker than their chain counterpart. So, if getting into your home a few seconds faster is important to you, you’ll want to go with a belt drive system.
• Ease of Installation – Any drive mechanism whether chain or belt, is going to eventually need replacing. When that time comes replacing a worn or broken belt can be a significantly easier process than replacing a broken chain drive.
• Availability – Belt drive garage door openers are available through garage door installation and service companies.
• Ease of Maintenance – Belt drives do not need to be lubricated the way chain drives do.
Belt Drive Cons
• Strength – How can the same issue be both a strength and a weakness? Because while belt drive garage door openers will typically lift the average 1 car garage door with quiet ease, they may struggle a bit when it comes to lifting heavier, 2 car garage doors, or for that matter heavy wooden doors.
• Performance – While belt drives will operate just fine under most conditions they may slip when operating in extreme heat or during times of very high humidity.
• Lifespan – Typically a belt will not last as long as a chain will, so you’ll have to replace them more often. On the upside they usually come with a better warranty than chain drive systems.
• Price – Belt drive garage door openers will typically set you back more than chain drive openers, but, as mentioned above, they also usually come with a better warranty.
Chain Drive Pros
• Strength – Whereas a belt drive may struggle to lift 2 car garage doors, a chain drive will have no such problems. There’s also no danger that they’ll slip in the process which means they’re slightly safer as well.
• Dependability/Durability – Chain drives, if properly maintained, will outlast belt drives by a fair degree. They’re also good to go no matter the temperature or humidity.
Chain Drive Cons
• Noise – No doubt about it, a chain drive garage door opener will make more noise than a belt drive. If your garage door is attached to the house near any of the major social areas or under a second-floor bedroom this could be a problem. If the garage is detached it may not be.
• Smoothness of Operation – Chain drive doors will sometimes lift in a slightly shaky manner due to the nature of the chain mechanism. They will also lift your door a bit slower than a belt drive opener might, though the difference of a few seconds overall isn’t much of an issue to most homeowners.
• Maintenance – That “properly maintained” part mentioned above is important because if you don’t have your chain drive lubricated at regular intervals it can begin to rust, work unevenly and eventually fail.
Ultimately, both chain and belt drive openers have their upside so, as with a lot of things in life, it really comes down to your personal preferences. If rock-solid reliability in any weather with any size door is most important to you, you’ll probably want a chain drive system. If you need or want your door to be quiet and run as smooth and fast as possible, you’ll probably want to go with belt drive garage doors. If, however, the upfront cost is your only consideration then its chain drives all the way.
At Good Guys Garage Doors, we have repaired and installed 1000’s of chain and belt drive openers for homeowners in San Diego. We make sure our customers are always fully informed about the pros and cons of each type of garage door opener because our goal is to make sure they get the garage door opener that they want and need, not the one that provides us with the largest profit margin. If you are still unsure which type of opener would be best for your home and family, give us a call on (619) 618-1660 and talk to one of our garage door experts.
Does My Garage Door Need an AC or DC Motor?
You can install any garage door opener on a garage door, however, will it operate correctly? The answer is not always. There are many factors in choosing an AC or DC garage door opener. The first thing I would like to talk about is the most common issue we face as garage door companies. Do you have a one piece tilt up garage door or a sectional garage door? Back in the old days, we were able to install most any garage door opener on a one-piece door. The AC motors ran slower allowing the door to go down at a controlled speed that did not cause any real issues with the functionality of the garage door. Installing a replacement garage door opener on your one-piece door should be a DC motor. Let me explain. The modern AC motors are designed for the newer sectional doors in mind. These garage door openers allow the door to go up and down at a faster rate allowing the consumer a better overall experience. We have noticed that if we put these same garage door openers on the one-piece doors, they run up and down at such a high rate of speed, that it causes the one-piece garage doors to buck and jump due to the design and weight of those doors. Now, when we install a DC garage door opener on a one piece, we noticed that the slow speed of the opener allows the one-piece door to go up and down much smoother due to its slow start – slow stop abilities.
Remember, if you have a one-piece garage door a DC garage door opener is highly recommended. If you have a sectional garage door, you can use either AC or DC garage door opener.
New Garage Doors
What Do I Need to Know About Replacing My Garage Door?
What You Need to Know About Replacing Your Garage Door
Your garage door may be one of your home’s most prominent, visible elements, depending upon the garage’s size and orientation. Because of this, the garage door has an opportunity to boost your home’s style and beauty or, if it’s in shoddy shape, significantly detract from the house’s appearance.
If your home’s garage door has seen better days, consider replacing it. Few home improvements can increase a home’s curb appeal as quickly and affordably as a new garage door.
What are Garage Doors Made Out of?
Garage doors have come a long way in recent years. Taking advantage of modern technologies, today’s doors are built of materials that look great and withstand the elements for many years with little maintenance.
Garage doors are manufactured from steel, fiberglass composites, wood, and aluminum. A door’s main material and construction determine its durability and the maintenance needed to keep it in good shape.
Steel garage doors. Major home improvement centers sell steel garage doors more than other types. Steel is strong, secure, easy to maintain and relatively affordable. And a steel garage door can look great – some steel doors have exterior surfaces embossed with wood-grain patterns and finishes that mimic the look of wood surprisingly well.
Unlike wood, steel doesn’t crack, warp or degrade from weather exposure. High-tech, baked-on finishes protect steel surfaces from rust and eliminate the need for painting.
Single-layer steel doors, the least expensive type, are stamped from a sheet of galvanized steel. Moderately priced double-layer steel doors have a layer of polyurethane or polystyrene foam for thermal insulation, rigidity and soundproofing (polyurethane has a higher insulating value than polystyrene).
Premium triple-layer “double-skin” steel doors sandwich the foam insulation between steel layers. With these, an interior sheet of galvanized steel strengthens the door, protects the insulation and dresses up the door’s interior face.
The best steel doors are made of 24-gauge steel. Lower quality garage doors utilize thinner 28-gauge steel. Steel door warranties typically protect against rust – but not within 1 mile of the coast
Most steel doors are the sectional, roll-up variety. Sections may have flush, recessed, raised or ribbed panels and may or may not contain windows.
Wood garage doors. Wood doors can be exceptionally handsome. They have the warm, natural look that most other garage doors try to imitate. But wood is vulnerable to weathering, a considerable problem. Because of this, wood doors need to be repainted or stained every few years.
Most wood doors are sectional roll-up doors, though a swing-up wood door that’s meant to be painted can be affordably built in the driveway from a wood framework and plywood. Custom wood doors are typically made of durable softwoods such as Douglas fir, cedar, redwood or cypress, or from hardwoods such as oak or mahogany. Appearance-grade hardwoods are relatively expensive.
Cladwood composites, with resin-impregnated layers, last longer than real wood. In fact, some types are protected by very strong warranties.
Fiberglass and aluminum doors. Though these materials have the benefit of being lightweight, they’re best reserved for special conditions because fiberglass is easily broken and aluminum is vulnerable to bending and dents. Fiberglass can be the right choice in a salt-air climate because it doesn’t corrode.
How to Select a Style Of Garage Door?
If you browse this website, you’ll discover a staggering variety of garage doors and options – from sleek, flush-panel contemporary doors to matched pairs of classic carriage-house doors and high-end elegant glass doors.
All types of garage doors may include windows that are arched or rectangular, frosted or clear and located at eye level or high enough to allow light without views.
Most garage doors are made by major garage door manufacturers, including Amarr Garage Doors, Clopay Building Products, C.H.I. Overhead Doors, Raynor Garage Doors, and Wayne Dalton. These doors are sold through Good Guys Garage Doors. If you don’t see your manufacturer on this list, chances are we can still get it!
How Much Does Replacing My Garage Door Cost?
Prices, like the garage doors themselves, run the gamut. You can pay as little as $800 or several thousand dollars for a high-end premium door that includes all the bells and whistles, including installation. A mid-range, 16-by-7-foot door will typically cost from $750 to $1,500, installed. Premium insulated steel doors run from $750 to $3,500. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value report, the average national cost of a garage door replacement is $3,304.
The best way to get an accurate fix on cost is to have a reputable garage door company come out to measure the opening and check for overhead clearances to ensure proper installation. Be sure their prices include hauling away your old garage door and hardware. If you’re considering an automatic door opener, plan to order it at the same time.
Return On Investment?
Without a doubt, a new garage door can add to your home’s beauty, value and functionality. It can improve security, reduce energy costs, minimize maintenance, quicken the sale of your property and make the neighbors happy. But will it return your investment when you sell your home? This may depend on how much you spend and where you live.
Current data from real estate firms throughout the country show that replacing the garage door raises the value of a home by an average of $2,810, according to Remodeling Magazine’s report. Based on the average cost of $3,304, this means that replacing a garage door is expected to return 85 percent of the job’s cost, nationally. When replacing a garage door in the Western U.S., however, the return is predicted to be 110.8 percent of your investment.
Consider adding an automatic garage door opener at the same time. The beauty of a new door and the convenience of an automatic opener are sure to be a winning combination.