How to Fix a Dented Garage Door
How to Fix a Dented Garage Door
A garage door helps keep families, employees and anything you have in storage safe from theft, inclement weather and extreme temperatures. To ensure your investment stays in top shape, it’s important to monitor the condition of panels and pay close attention to wear and tear. Whether you accidentally backed your car into your garage door or a bad storm resulted in dents, it’s possible to repair garage door dents with the help of the professionals.
Determine the Extent of the Damage
There are numerous methods for repairing a dented garage door. The first step is to determine whether your panel interferes with opening and closing. Garage door assemblies handle high levels of tension, so remove any personal belongings, vehicles or merchandise from the area before trying your opener.
If your garage door is unable to open or close correctly, contact your local garage door professional immediately.
Not all garage door materials are repaired in the same way. Panels consisting of aluminum or steel are generally easier to fix compared to wooden surfaces. A certified technician will help you decide the best route for repairing a dented garage door panel according to manufacturer specifications.
Garage Door Dent Repair Methods
If your garage door can still open and close, professional dent repair services can take as little as a few hours to complete. Here are a few common methods for repairing a dent in your garage door.
Hammering Out the Dent With a Mallet
Aluminum garage doors are known for their malleability. With the help of a local technician, you can erase small indentations by tapping sections back into place. A professional may use the following steps to repair your dented garage door panel:
- Wash the dented surface with soap and water.
- Locate a wood block and mallet.
- Move to the opposite side of the indentation.
- Place the wood block over the dent.
- Tap the section with a mallet until it sits flush with surrounding panels.
Deep dents may require the use of fine grit sandpaper and auto body filler for smooth results. Your local experts will discuss your options for exterior paint coats after the surface is dry.
Fixing Dents in a Garage Door With Suction Cups
Similar to automotive repairs, some technicians use suction devices to correct garage door dents. Metal doors respond well to this technique, as dings and bumps are pulled outward in a set direction. Suction cup methods are great for small-scale jobs and take minutes to complete.
Using Heat to Repair Dented Garage Door Panels
Metal garage door panels shift back into place with rapid heating and cooling. A garage door dent repair might involve using aluminum foil, a heat source and a can of compressed air to reshape the damaged panel. The process involves these steps:
- Wash the dented panel.
- Allow the surface to dry.
- Stretch aluminum foil over the dent.
- Heat the aluminum foil with a lighter (about one minute).
- Quickly remove the aluminum foil.
- Spray the dent with compressed air (30 seconds to one minute).
- Carbon monoxide pops the panel back in place.
Replacing Your Garage Door Panels
For major repairs, it’s best to have a technician install brand new panel sections. Your local expert can contact the manufacturer of your garage door assembly to find replacement panels in the exact same shape, size and color. For your safety, always have a trained professional perform panel replacements, as some projects may involve adjusting high-tension springs and cables.
Contact RCS Garage Doors for Dent Repair and Replacement Services
Looking to fix dented garage door panels for functionality and curb appeal? RCS Garage Doors is your premier source for residential and commercial repairs and replacements with a vast service area throughout North Carolina. With 20 years of industry experience, no one looks after your investment like the team at RCS Garage Doors.
For more information about our repair services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.
When Should You Replace Your Garage Door?
Your garage door should be strong enough to guard your home against the weather and keep thieves out. Upgrading this part of your house can increase your home’s curb appeal and even raise its resale value.
It may be time to invest in a new garage door if your door is not as durable and attractive as it used to be. To save money, you could repair a part of the door to make it work more efficiently. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, there are options to improve or upgrade your garage door. Use this guide to determine when to replace the garage door.
How Do You Know If You Need a New Garage Door?
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your garage door, you might want to consider a new one. A brand-new unit is a wise investment for your property, especially if you’ve had problems with your door in the last couple of years. Consider upgrading your garage door if you’re experiencing any of these conditions.
1. Your Garage Door Is Noisy
A garage door should be reasonably quiet as it opens and closes. Older doors tend to make noise due to dirt or debris. While some of these sounds are harmless, they could be a sign that your door needs a replacement. Ignoring these issues for too long could damage your garage door beyond repair and may even damage the door opening.
Besides your door, the garage door opener could also be noisy, especially if there’s debris or rust around the chain. Upgrade the opener to one that has a smoother operation, like a belt-drive system with an AC motor.
2. Your Garage Door Is Sagging
Due to moisture and UV damage, wood garage door panels could rot, decompose or lose their color if you haven’t properly maintained them. The sagging panels may reduce the aesthetic appeal of your house, and they typically need to be replaced. If the door isn’t made of wood, sagging could be a more severe issue.
Open the garage door manually to check the balance of your door. If it’s off-balance, it could have a broken torsion spring. If you notice these issues, you may want to replace your garage door before it shuts down and you have to request emergency service.
3. Your Garage Door Isn’t Safe or Secure
A garage door comes with safety features like the automatic reversal system, which prevents the door from closing when a person or object is in its path. If this system doesn’t work, you should upgrade to new hardware to protect your loved ones from injury.
You should also replace your garage door if you’ve had a break-in recently. Old garage doors can be a weak point in your home, especially if thieves figure out the opener access code. If you upgrade to a smart garage door opener, you may have the option to receive a randomly generated access code on your phone every time you need to unlock the door.
4. Your Garage Door Is out of Style
You may want to change your garage door to update its appearance. A brand-new door increases the value of your home and makes it stand out from other houses on your block, especially if your current door has chipped paint or rot on the panels.
You should consider how your garage door looks in tandem with the rest of your house. A garage door makes up a significant portion of your home’s exterior and can even be a focal point of the house. You can use the garage door design tool to upload a picture of your house and try out different styles while you shop. If you choose to upgrade your garage door, increase its technological features with a smart garage door opener that connects to your smartphone.
5. Your Garage Door Is Costing You Money
Wear and tear on your garage door could affect how smoothly it opens and closes. While you can change out a part whenever it breaks, if your door needs constant maintenance, it may be worth it to replace the whole system.
Along with money on repairs, you may pay more in energy costs with a worn-out garage door. Older doors may have gaps in the panels or around the sides that could leak in cold air during the winter. Insulated doors help regulate the temperature of your garage, putting less strain on your HVAC system. Check the energy efficiency of your garage door if you notice an increase in your energy bills.
6. Your Garage Door Doesn’t Work
A garage door should open and close when you press the remote on the opener. If it moves slowly or doesn’t move at all, you should consider replacing it. Over the years, a slow garage door may get slower and eventually stick on the track.
Any of the heavy moving parts on your garage door could cause it not to work anymore, and sometimes it’s easier to replace the whole system than to figure out why it isn’t working. This is especially true if the door is damaged from harsh weather or impact.
7. You’re Selling Your House
If you’re putting your house on the market, keep in mind that a garage door replacement yields the second-highest return on investment (ROI) for a home remodeling project in North Carolina. While most homeowners focus on renovating the bathroom or kitchen, a new garage door may get you more money for your house. Invest in this remodeling project to give potential home buyers an excellent first impression of your house.
How Often Should You Replace Your Garage Door?
Do you need a new garage door? It depends on the age and reliability of the door. A sturdy garage door will last for decades in moderate weather conditions and with proper maintenance. Consult with a garage door professional for recommendations based on your specific situation.
Generally, if you need a new garage door, you should get it installed in the spring while you’re doing your spring cleaning. Consider these reasons why you should replace your garage door between March and June:
- If harsh winds, snow or hail from the winter beat against your garage door, you can replace your damaged garage door after the snow melts.
- Instead of taking on a renovation project in the summer, when the weather is warm and you have activities planned, you can get your house ready for this season by installing a new garage door in the spring.
- The weather is pleasant in the spring, allowing the garage door technician to work in moderate conditions while keeping your home at a reasonable temperature.
- Garage door companies tend to have promotions on their garage doors in the spring.
If you need to replace your garage door, you should do it before the cold winter or the hot summer. An attached garage often shares a wall with one of the rooms in your interior, so the temperature in your garage can affect the whole house. Installing in the spring may also help you prevent the need to call a technician in the middle of winter because of an emergency.
Can You Replace Just a Section of Garage Door?
You can repair a part of the garage door instead of replacing the whole system. If you have a stable door, you may be able to save money by having a professional fix a broken spring or a cracked panel.
If your door doesn’t open or close, try replacing the batteries in the opener remote before calling a technician. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for information on how to replace the batteries if you need assistance. If this doesn’t work, inspect the door and call a professional. They can complete the following repairs safely and effectively:
- Adjust or replace the torsion springs: If your garage door feels heavy or it’s off-balance, the springs are probably worn-out. Be sure to call a professional to install new springs because garage door springs can snap without warning and cause severe injury if not handled properly.
- Replace a cracked panel: Wooden garage doors are vulnerable to moisture damage, and vinyl panels could lose their color after exposure to the sun. In some situations, you may be able to change out a cracked or warped piece instead of replacing the whole door to enhance your home’s curb appeal.
- Replace the garage door sensor: If you’re having issues with the safety sensor — the component that activates the automatic reversal system — try cleaning it first. Any obstruction, even an accumulation of dust, can affect its functionality. After cleaning it, try opening and closing the door. Call for a photo eye inspection if it’s still not working.
- Upgrade the garage door opener: You can order a new garage door opener without getting a garage door. Wi-Fi-enabled openers are compatible with older garage doors as well. Consider upgrading your garage door opener for a quieter and smoother operation.
- Replace the broken cables: Your garage door comes with torsion springs, extension springs and safety cables that hold it in place. If any of these cables break, the door may stop moving or the metal parts could rust. Contact a garage door technician to repair broken cables before they cause further damage.
- Put the garage door back on the track: If your garage door is off the track, you may need to tighten loose hardware to get it to move again. You could also get a damaged track replaced if it’s not working correctly. If this is the case, close the garage door manually and schedule an inspection with a professional.
How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
Garage doors could last up to 30 years if you properly maintain them. Here are some tips for prolonging the integrity of your door that you should do at least once a year:
- Lubricate all moving parts: The moving parts in your garage door are metal. To prevent rust and allow the garage door to move freely, spray lubricant on the springs, track, chains and handles.
- Tighten up the hardware: If you keep your garage door tracks and hinges tight, you can prevent debris and damage to your door from loose parts. Use a screwdriver or a socket wrench to tighten up the loose bolts you notice on the moving parts.
- Test the door’s balance: A garage door that’s off-balance can damage the rest of your property. To test the balance of your door, disconnect it from the opener and move it manually. If you discover an issue as you open and close it, contact a professional to inspect it.
- Inspect the rollers: Check your rollers about twice a year for damage. These parts should last for several years, but if they’re damaged, they could affect the operation of your door. Get damaged rollers replaced so you won’t have to replace the whole garage door.
- Install new weatherstripping: The insulation of your garage door is essential for protecting the inside of your garage from snow, rain and air leaks. Seal any gaps you notice under the door to keep your garage comfortable throughout the year. You might have to get the weatherstripping replaced under the door if it’s broken or worn.
- Test the auto-reverse feature: To ensure your garage door is reliable for years to come, test the auto-reversal system. Place a piece of wood or a brick in the way of the photo eye sensor. When you close the garage door automatically, it should reverse once it notices the block. If it keeps going, contact a technician to have it serviced.
- Clean out the tracks: In the winter and spring, use a broom to sweep out debris, cobwebs or animal nests in the way of the tracks. Avoid using water or cleaning chemicals that could damage your metal tracks.
- Inspect the garage door: Try operating your garage door both manually and automatically. Listen for any unpleasant noises coming from the door, and check that it isn’t getting stuck as it moves. Contact a professional if you have any concerns about the door.
- Care for the panels: Once you know your garage door is functioning correctly, you should check its appearance for worn-out or chipped pieces. Reseal or paint wooden panels, and wash metal or vinyl with mild soap and warm water. You should also inspect the door for dents or rust stains after a harsh storm and replace panels if necessary.
While you can complete most of these maintenance tasks on your own, you can schedule an appointment with a garage door company to have them inspect the door if you have specific maintenance concerns:
Contact Us for a New Garage Door in Charlotte, NC
If you need a new garage door in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, schedule an inspection with RCS Garage Doors. We can help you decide whether you need to repair a broken part of your unit or replace the whole system. We have a large selection of residential garage doors and garage door openers to enhance your home’s curb appeal. For more information, contact us online or call us at 704-523-8066.
How Do I Know if My Garage Door Sensor Is Out of Alignment?
Garage doors keep our lives on track as we open and close the entrance to our garage. With the click of a button or a quick combination on a keypad, the door raises or lowers, helping protect our possessions. When the garage door breaks down or will not open or close properly, it affects our daily lives.
A common problem with a garage door is when the sensor moves out of alignment. How can you be sure your garage door sensor is the culprit of a broken door? RCS Garage Doors is here to help you understand garage door sensors and how to test their functionality. From there, you can potentially fix the problem yourself or call the professionals to handle the repair.
How Garage Door Sensors Work
Is your garage door sensor not working? First, it’s important to understand how garage doors work before trying to fix an issue yourself. Since 1993, residential automatic garage doors have required safety sensors that prevent the door from closing on a person or object. Every garage door must have sensors that can tell if something is in the way before the door closes.
The sensors act as a key safety feature for automatic garage doors. Sensors can reverse the direction of the closing door if they detect an object in the path of the door. The door will then return to its open position. If the sensors stop working, this creates an inconvenience as well as a serious safety hazard.
How Do You Test a Garage Door Sensor?
Now that you know how garage door sensors work, you can test your sensor’s functionality. Determining if your garage door sensor is bad is fairly straightforward. Once you determine that the sensors are the issue, the solution is often simple enough to perform yourself.
To test your garage door sensor, you will need a common everyday object like a cardboard box. Place the box in the line of the sensors and try to close the garage door. If the door reverses after sensing an obstruction, your door is functioning correctly. If the door closes on the box, you will want to troubleshoot and look for signs to determine what is wrong with the sensors.
Signs to Look For
If your garage door sensors are faulty, you can troubleshoot to identity the root cause. There are a few signs that can help you determine the underlying problem with a garage door sensor. By checking these, you can decide whether to fix the problem yourself or contact a professional. Look for these three signs:
- Light indicators: An easy way to tell if your garage door sensors are out of alignment is by checking if the exterior LED light blinks when you attempt to close the door. Green lights mean the sensors are working, while red lights indicate the sensors are not aligned. If you see red lights, try inspecting the bracket or tightening a screw on the blinking sensor. You’ll know you fixed the sensor if the light stops blinking and your garage door closes properly again.
- Dirty lenses: Sometimes fixing your garage door sensors requires just a clean cloth. The sensor lenses can fail to operate when dirt or spiderwebs block their view of the garage door opening. Wiping off the lenses can help your door function as normal. If your garage is especially dirty or your area is known for dust, you will want to clean your sensors regularly.
- Damaged wires: The wires responsible for connecting the garage door sensor system can undergo wear and tear as a result of regular use, weather and even pests. Rain and wind, pest infestations and the use of tools can all affect the wires. Check to see if the wires have water damage, chew marks or other indications of tampering. If so, you may need to replace them.
After performing these remedies, recheck your garage door with another cardboard box. This test offers an easy way to see if you fixed the problem or if you should call a garage door expert.
Contact RCS Garage Doors Today
If you experience persistent problems with your garage door sensors, call the team of experts at RCS Garage Doors for residential and commercial garage door services. We put our clients first to make sure you are 100% satisfied with our services. With more than 20 years of experience, we are your local garage door professional serving the Charlotte, NC area. We have extensive training and the latest tools to service your misaligned or damaged garage door sensors.
To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, contact us today!
Common Garage Door Problems
You rely on your garage door to safely open and close for your security and home comfort. When you have a problem, you risk your vehicle and everything in your garage. If your car is still inside when your door won’t open, you may have issues getting to work. Whether you have a garage door opening and closing problem or another issue that keeps it from working, find out what’s wrong and if you need a professional repair. When in doubt, call the experts.
Why My Garage Door Won’t Work
Several problems can keep your garage door from working. The issue could be as simple as an unplugged motor or as complex as needing new springs. Your first step is to assess the problem so you can properly describe it to the garage door repair person. If you have a minor issue, you might be able to fix it yourself, but it’s never a bad idea to call a professional for a thorough examination and repair of the problem. You could have more than one thing wrong with your garage door that needs an expert eye to spot.
1. Remote Stops Working
The first thing to do when your garage door won’t close or open is to check the remote. Electronic transmitters in your remote need to have power and proximity to work. If these remotes do not open your door, you may have an issue with the batteries or not be close enough for the garage door sensor to pick up the transmission. Replace the batteries, and always have your garage in sight when using the remote from your car.
2. Wall Switch Doesn’t Work
The wall switch inside your home already has power, but it may not move your garage door. Likely, you have an electrical problem. The circuit breaker for the switch may have tripped. Other sources include bad electrical components such as the switch or needing a door opener motor replacement.
3. Door Changes Direction Before Closing
Look for your door going down, stopping and reversing direction suddenly. You may need to try a second time to close the door. This problem could stem from an issue with the sensor that prevents the door from closing on a person or pet in the way. Since 1993, these sensors have been standard issue for garage doors, but misalignment or debris can cause them to stop the door when it does not need to.
4. Seal Around the Door Leaks
Your garage door should have weather-stripping on all sides to keep outside air from affecting your home’s comfort. In addition to hot or cold air from outside, you can also get water in your garage when it rains. Replacing the weather stripping with a kit designed for your garage door may stop the leak.
5. Door Won’t Close All the Way
A door that does not close all the way may not have the correct adjustment for its close limit. Alternatively, you could have something blocking the path. Safety sensors may also have problems that prevent the door from fully closing. In rare cases, rust may cause the door to bind as it goes down, preventing it from fully closing.
6. Door Does Not Fully Open
While a door that does not close all the way is a problem, so, too, is one that will not open. If your door does not open all the way, you have an issue that needs repair. Damaged rollers or an up limit that needs readjusting could keep your door from opening completely at any time of the year, but sometimes, the weather will affect your door’s ability to open.
Cold weather can stiffen the rollers, keeping them from working as they should in raising your door. You may need to make seasonal adjustments to the opener’s sensitivity. However, most garage doors manufactured in the last 15 years take the effects of the cold into account, and this problem occurs more rarely in newer models.
7. Door Sags
Wooden garage doors or those that have gotten older may start to sag as the stress of opening and closing over the years takes its toll. A consequence of the sagging is the door becomes harder to move.
While you can have a sagging garage door repaired with tension rods, you may want to consider replacing it for an updated model that will move smoothly and give your home a fresh look.
Garage Door Troubleshooting
If you see any of the previous garage door problems in your home, you can troubleshoot the situation to determine what precisely might be wrong and whether you need to call for professional repair.
1. Why Does My Garage Door Slam Shut?
If your garage door slams shut suddenly, you have a dangerous situation on your hands. It is dangerous for you and your family to be near the door when it closes so quickly. Since this problem stems from the mechanisms supporting the garage door, get a professional to repair the job. You may need the springs or cable replaced. Do not try to do this work yourself.
2. What Causes a Garage Door Not to Close?
If your garage door does not close, first check for something blocking the sensors. After clearing out any possible obstacles, see if the door works. If it still doesn’t close, you may need an expert to make adjustments to the system. If you have poorly aligned sensors, a repairperson can put them back into their correct alignment to make your garage door safer to use. Should the problem be with the motor or the lift mechanism, you should let an expert handle those issues, too, so you get it fixed the first time.
3. What Causes Door Seal Problems?
If your door seal needs to be replaced, you could do the job yourself, but it can be a difficult task. If you get the wrong kit for weather-stripping your garage door, you could end up with a leaky door or not enough material to finish the task. Choose someone with professional experience to select the type and amount of sealing material to fix your door.
4. Why Does My Garage Door Not Open Fully?
For a door that does not open or open all the way, you may have electrical problems with the motor. If you do not hear the motor operating when you try to open the door from the wall switch and remote, the motor or the power going to it could be the problem. These need professionals to work on because you don’t want to risk getting yourself shocked.
For doors that don’t open during the winter, ask about seasonal readjustments of your opener. You may also need sensors or the opener adjusted for a door that won’t open or open completely during any season.
Contact RCS Garage Doors for Garage Door Repair Today
Don’t attempt dangerous repairs of your garage door. If your door doesn’t open or close, contact us at RCS Garage Doors for service. Your home, vehicle and garage contents depend on the reliability of your garage door. Don’t let your problems with it cause more issues. Get the help you need now from our experts at RCS Garage Doors.
Buyer’s Guide to Insulated Garage Doors
It’s easy to forget about your garage door. It’s an item that we use daily but think about rarely. Yet from a street-level view, your garage door can comprise a surprisingly large area of the front of your home. While it may be hard to think of your garage door as an important factor in keeping your home heating costs under control or to ultimately improve your selling price if you decide one day to leave your home, your garage door can play important roles in both cases.
For many people whose home has a garage, it’s one of the main entrances into their home. Your garage may connect to the kitchen or perhaps to a hallway. Your family may open and close the garage door six to eight times a day, depending upon the weather and how often you need to get to work, take kids to school or a doctor’s appointment or to go to music lessons or sports activities.
The point is that you use your garage door a lot. If you live in a part of the country where temperatures can get cold in the winter, opening and closing a door so often can result in heat loss. And if your garage door is only made of steel, fiberglass or even wood, the heat loss can go on all day. Many homes have a bedroom or some other room over the garage. You can count on this being one of the coldest rooms in your home.
Conversely, in places where summer days can get to sweltering temperatures, having a well insulated garage door will help keep your house cool, especially that room above the garage. An insulated garage door helps prevent this room from turning into a sauna during the hottest summer days.
That’s why it makes sense to have an insulated garage door. Additionally, an insulated garage door offers many other benefits besides keeping your garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
The Ins and Outs of Garage Door Insulation
When it comes time to purchase a new garage door, one of the many questions you may come across is, “Do you want your garage door insulated?” If your garage is attached, think of it as an extension of your home. These garages often have insulated walls to keep in heat so your garage can serve as a buffer between the home and outdoors. However, having an insulated garage without an insulated door is equivalent to leaving the door open.
The heat or cold that can pass through your garage door is enough temperature to draw from your home’s heating or cooling efforts.
Why Should I Buy an Insulated Garage Door?
When you decide to install an insulated garage door on your home, you’re making a wise decision as a homeowner for many reasons:
- With an insulated garage door, you conserve energy — your home loses less heat, and the garage stays warmer. In some cases, the differences between outside temperature and the temperature inside the garage when you have an insulated garage door can be as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keeping a garage warmer or cooler makes getting in and out of the car or working in the garage more comfortable for you, the homeowner. If you’ve decided to use your garage as an extra room in your home or as a workshop, not as a place to park your car, then having an insulated door turns what could be a cold, sterile space into a warm, comforting one. The same is true for the summer. If you live in a climate that can get very hot in the summer, insulated doors can help prevent the heat from penetrating your home and increasing your air conditioning bill.
- Insulated garage doors are less likely to flex and come out of alignment.
- Insulated doors are stronger than non-insulated doors. The insulation strengthens the doors in a way that makes dents less likely.
- Insulation also doubles as a sound buffer which makes opening and closing your garage door a quieter task. It also reduces noise from the street entering your home.
- Insulated doors can also give you great curb appeal. You can buy insulated doors in a style and color that perfectly complements the exterior of your home. For instance, you can select many different styles of windows to include in your insulated garage doors, which can provide your garage with lots of lighting during the day. When you decide to sell your home, having an attractive insulated garage door will allow you to increase your asking price.
- The moving and operational parts of the garage door and garage door opener operate better when they are kept in moderate temperatures. Extreme heat and cold put additional stress on these parts, making them more likely to have problems.
When you’re looking for an insulated garage door, there are several important factors to take into consideration that will help you decide the level of insulation that you’ll want for your garage:
BTU stands for British thermal unit. One BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
The ability of a material to mitigate the transmission of heat. The higher the R-value (0 to 19), the better the insulation performance.
Think of it this way – suppose you took a snowmaking machine and you blasted that snow at your garage door. If your garage door did not have any insulation, and you tested from the inside, there would be an excellent chance that it would be as cold inside as outside. If the door were insulated, however, it would be warmer, perhaps quite a bit warmer, than the outside door.
The same is true of heat. If you used an acetylene torch on an uninsulated door, it would be as hot to the touch on the inside as the outside. But with insulation, it would be much easier to touch the door on the inside as it would be substantially cooler.
So when you choose material for insulation that has a higher R-value, the better that insulation can stop the conduction of heat. Without insulation with a good R-value, the heat or cold will move from outside your garage to inside your garage and then throughout the rest of your house.
How much R-value do you need? That depends on where you live and how you are using your garage — to park cars, as a workshop, or as another room? Here is a quick guide to R-values:
- 0-4: Minimal to no insulation
- 5-8: Lightly insulated
- 9-13: Good insulation
- 14-19: Excellent insulation – good for those who heat their garages for garage work and want to ensure their garage doesn’t lose heat.
U-value is another way to measure the conduction of heat. It is based on the amount of heat, in BTUs, transmitted through one square foot of material in one hour at a temperature difference of one degree Fahrenheit from one side to the other. The more heat transmitted through any kind of material, the higher the U-value. The lower the U-value, the better the insulation.
The one problem with U-values is that not every door manufacturer uses them. R-values are therefore the better choice when selecting a level of insulation for a garage door.
How Do Different Materials Used for Insulation Affect the R-Value?
Some materials provide better insulation than others. Materials such as polystyrene and polyurethane are the most commonly used types of insulation in garage doors. Though they are very similar materials, they work differently and provide different levels of protection.
- Polystyrene (Styrofoam) is inserted into the garage door in panels which means it cannot be an exact fit. Since it is not an exact fit, there is room for air to get into the garage. Polystyrene, the material used to make many coffee cups and peanut-shaped packing materials, is the kind of insulation that most major retailers use in their garage door insulation kits. If your garage door has two or three layers, you insert these rigid polystyrene panels between the layers. If you only have a single layer garage door, the polystyrene includes a vinyl back that attaches it to the garage door.
- Polyurethane (spray foam), on the other hand, is sprayed into the door, which allows it to expand and bond to the surface. Injected polyurethane expands to fill every space inside the layer into which it is sprayed. This helps create a high level of sound insulation and greater climate control, and it also increases the strength of the door. The R-value is much higher with polyurethane than with polystyrene panels.
Some Tips for Buying a Garage Door
When you’re looking for a new garage door, either insulated or non-insulated here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Get an In-Person Quote If Possible
Not every garage door is the same. If you’re looking to replace an old one with a new insulated model, you can likely get a quote online. But it’s better to work with a knowledgeable representative from a local company. They’ll know the right details to check and can even help you with a possible design. Then they can give you a quote that will be much more accurate. A good sales representative will make sure you get the right garage door for your home.
2. It’s Better to Have Too Much Insulation Than Too Little
If you’re buying an insulated garage door is because you know it will save you money on your energy bill, it’s worth spending the little bit extra to use polyurethane on your doors. Sometimes you can double your R-value by using polyurethane rather than polystyrene.
3. Have an Expert Install Your New Garage Door
Professional installers have the tools and experience necessary to install your new door safely and quickly. A pro will have the job done in about four hours, and they’ll probably take the old door away as well, so you won’t have to worry about that either.
4. Take Time to Select the Right Windows
Selecting the right windows can make a garage door look fabulous. And, as we noted above, it will also bring a lot of light into your garage. Here are a few things to think about:
- Use insulated glass if your garage is heated.
- No homeowner wants someone to peek in through a window in your garage door. Install the windows in the top panels.
- Work with the sales rep to match the style of glass you use to the overall architectural design of your home.
Insulated Garage Doors We Offer
At RCS Carolinas, we offer a wide variety of insulated garage doors from Clopay, one of the best garage door companies in America. Here’s a look at some of what we have to offer:
Our Classic collection has two options if you’re interested in insulated doors — the Premium Series and the Value Plus Series. Both offer a range of R-values from 6.3 to 18.4. Whether you want a lot of insulation or just the right amount, we have the doors that will suit your purposes. You can choose from 14 different colors and a wide variety of window options.
Our Gallery collection features grooved panel steel carriage house doors. These doors can be purchased with or without insulation. Our insulated versions come with R-values from 6.3 to 18.4. A tough outer coating includes a hot dipped galvanized layer, a baked-on primer and a final top coating to protect the door’s steel skin.
The Grand Harbor collection features carriage house doors made of steel and composite materials. They are great for new construction or if you’re looking for a low maintenance replacement for your current garage door. Our insulated version offers an R-value of 6.3, the perfect choice if you live someplace where temperatures are more moderate. It still protects against a cold day or high temperatures. There are available in four colors, and you can use them with a wide variety of architectural styles.
These are only three of the options we offer. We have many others available to suit your budget and your sense of style.
Shop Insulated Garage Doors at RCS Carolinas
If you are looking for insulated garage doors with windows in Charlotte, N.C., look no further than RCS Carolinas. We have been in business for over 20 years helping people find the right garage door for their home or business. We offer doors manufactured by Clopay. Our staff of full-time design consultants and sales professionals will work with you to find the perfect door with a great design for your home.
You can visit our showroom at 8349 Arrowridge Blvd, Suite R in Charlotte, N.C., call us at (704) 523-8063 or request an estimate where you can leave us your contact details and submit your questions or comments. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
FAQs About Garage Door Springs
Your home’s garage door is the largest access point and as such is the biggest security concern. That means you want to be sure it stays in top working order at all times. Besides making sure that the integrity of the garage door itself is maintained, you should also pay attention to the operation of the garage door springs. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the springs, also known as torsion springs.
- Can I replace garage door springs myself? It is both a question of “can you?” and “should you?” If you have the expertise, the right tools, and the ability to accurately obtain the correct replacement parts, you technically could replace them yourself. However, this is one of the most dangerous repairs to do on a garage door, so most people prefer to leave it to professionals.
- Why do replacement garage door springs come in a two-pack? Both springs on your garage door are getting the same amount of wear and tear, so if one has broken, you should go ahead and have both replaced as the other is not far behind. As a side note, if you happen to have a garage door that was installed with just one torsion spring, ask about converting it to two as it is a better option overall and isn’t that much more expensive to replace two than it would be for just one.
- If the new springs look exactly the same and are same length, do I have the right ones? Maybe, or maybe not. There is more to garage door springs than length and appearance, so when in doubt, consult with a professional. Using springs that aren’t rated for your garage door could result in problems down the road even if you do manage to get them installed.
- How often should I have the garage door springs replaced? Garage door springs don’t have a “best by” date – their lifespan goes by how many cycles they have been put through. If you use the door quite frequently, you’d be looking at 3-6 years; infrequently perhaps as much as 9 or 10 years. Regular maintenance visits are the best way to keep an eye on them so they can be changed when they show signs of wearing out.
If you have additional questions about garage door springs or you would like to have yours inspected and/or replaced, give us a call at RCS Garage Doors. If they have broken and you need the repair done quickly so your home is secure again, don’t forget about our 24/7 emergency response service. We look forward to serving all your garage door needs, including repairs, maintenance, and replacement garage doors.
How to Avoid Emergency Garage Door Service This Winter
Winter is tough – even if you love snow! You know what else might agree? Your garage door, especially if you have a mishap and find yourself needing emergency garage door service. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to hopefully prevent a problem that disrupts your day. Here are a few tips:
- Call for Maintenance– Getting your garage door serviced before winter or at least before you need to call for emergency garage door service is a good way to avoid needing to make that call. A professional will test the garage door balance, lubricate the moving parts, replace the weather stripping (if needed), inspect and replace the rollers, check the cables, clear the tracks, and take a host of other preventative measures to make certain your garage doors are ready for action regardless of the weather.
- Have Your Vehicle’s Brakes Checked- Winter is not the time to have your brakes fail. Well, no time is really, but if you are finding it takes longer to stop than usual, that’s only going to be worse on slick, icy roads. It might surprise you how many emergency garage door service calls result from damage caused by driving into the closed door before it can rise completely.
- Keep Driveway Clear- Even great brakes can’t help if you hit a patch of ice on your driveway and slide into your garage doors. While you are at it, be sure to keep snow away from the garage door itself so it doesn’t interfere with the safety feature.
- Listen to the Door- Every time your garage door cycles, you should be listening and watching for anything unusual. If the door is moving in an uneven fashion or making odd noises, call for service, as the next time it might not open or close at all.
If you would like to get your garage door serviced to avoid a problem later or if you are in the middle of an emergency garage door service situation at your Charlotte, North Carolina home, give us a call at RCS Garage Doors. We have 24/7 availability so you won’t have to head off to work or go to sleep worried that your home isn’t protected because your garage door isn’t secure. We guarantee we will arrive on time and take care of repairing your door to your complete satisfaction.
How Do I Know If I Have a Broken Garage Door Spring?
If you’re like most people, your garage door gets more use than your front door. It’s the primary entry and exit point of your home, which means your garage door is going up and down several times a day, an action you typically take for granted as you push a button on your way in or out.
Then, one morning, your garage door doesn’t open. Suddenly, it’s not as simple as pushing a button and backing your car out. Now, you have a problem, and you need to find a solution.
While there could be several reasons for a malfunctioning garage door, one of the most likely explanations is that your door has a broken torsion spring.
What’s that, you ask? And what am I supposed to do about it?
Don’t worry. Most homeowners don’t know much about the mechanics of their garage door, and that’s OK. In fact, in 2014, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reported an estimated 18,000 garage door-related injuries. To avoid being included in this statistic, it’s better to leave garage door repair to professional repair companies, which means homeowners don’t need to be experts about their garage door.
However, if you own a home with a garage, it’s essential to understand the mechanics of your door, so you can easily identify a problem. By doing this, you’ll have an easier time figuring out whom to call, and you’ll have your door operating back at its full capacity even sooner.
What Is a Garage Door Spring?
You’ll find the garage door’s spring along the top of the door inside your garage. It’s substantial and very evident. It connects to cables that wind up when you activate the garage door opener — where these cables are and how they operate depends on what kind of automatic opening system you have. This spring is essential to the functioning of your garage door. As the cables turn, the tension increases on the spring, pulling the door up. If it becomes broken or damaged in some way, it won’t operate properly, resulting in a door that doesn’t open correctly — or open at all.
Springs on a garage door should be durable. In fact, on average, they should last through 10,000 cycles of opening and closing your garage door. However, just like anything else, over time they can wear out or become damaged in some way. Ideally, homeowners should have a professional garage door repair service come out to service the springs on their garage door. This service doesn’t need to happen that often, but as your door starts to age, it’s crucial to take notice of how it’s operating and have it properly maintained.
The good news is, out of anything on a garage door, the springs are the most likely part to break, which can make it simple to diagnose when problems arise. The bad news is, a broken torsion spring on a garage door can turn into a safety hazard. So, if you discover your door isn’t opening as it should, the first thing you’ll want to check is the condition of your spring — especially if your door is getting older and you haven’t had it serviced recently.
Signs of a Damaged Garage Door Spring
If your door isn’t opening correctly, spend a few minutes inspecting it to see if you can figure out the problem. Sometimes, your spring may be damaged or worn out, but it won’t be broken. Other times, there will be a distinct break. Either way, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover a problem with your garage door spring. Typically, there are two ways to identify damaged or worn-out springs:
1. Balance Issues
If you have a hard time closing and opening your door — but it does still move — your door may be out of balance. You can also identify this problem if your door falls quickly after it lifts several inches, or by the door moving up and down on the track more slowly than usual. Whether it becomes faster or slower may depend on what has caused it to become unbalanced. Another telltale sign of balance issues is excessive noise as you raise it up and down.
Issues with garage door balance don’t always result from a problem with the spring, but they can aggravate an existing problem or create one if you continue to operate the door despite balance problems. Eventually, if you don’t address suspected balance issues, they can put extra strain on the spring and cause it to break or become damaged.
2. Excessive Squeaking
Over time, your springs can become worn and start squeaking. While all garage doors make some noises now and then, if you notice loud noises that haven’t been present in the past, it may be a sign that there’s a problem. Applying some lubricant to them can sometimes take care of the problem, but if you do this and there are still noises, it might be indicative of a more significant issue.
Signs of a Broken Garage Door Spring
Sometimes, a damaged spring may be a little bit harder to identify because it isn’t broken. In those cases, it takes some exploration to find the problem. That’s not usually the case with a broken spring. Trust us — if your spring breaks, you will know it. When a garage door torsion spring snapped, it will make an extremely loud, distinct bang — akin to the sound of a gunshot — because of the tension and pressure that build up in the spring. Because the torsion spring spirals around a shaft, you’ll also hear the sound of the springs as they move around that shaft. The noises are loud and distinct, and you’ll immediately be able to look up and see the break above your garage door.
If you weren’t in the garage when a spring broke, it might take some looking around to identify the problem. First, check to see if the spring is visibly intact. If there is an obvious break, you have your answer. However, sometimes the break won’t be clean, or the problem will be that the spring stretched out instead of snapping.
While looking at the spring itself can yield the most obvious answer, the garage door will also give some clues about the state of your spring. Take some time to look at the door to see if:
- The top half of the door appears misaligned
- The door opens a few inches and then slams down again
- The cables attached to the springs are dangling
- The door seems to be off track or crooked
Any of these can be signs that your spring is damaged or broken. Later, we’ll talk about the importance of calling a reputable garage door repair company to repair and replace a broken spring. But, being able to identify the source of your problem can save you — and your repair tech — a lot of time and energy, which means you can get your garage door repaired and operating smoothly again in less time!
The way a door opens or closes can provide clues that a garage door spring is broken or damaged. While many people find they cannot operate their door when the spring gets damaged or broken, sometimes people can still get their door to move. If you are able to safely move your door without doing further damage to it, your door’s movements can be helpful in identifying your problem. In general, you should look for these common signs that your garage door spring has snapped.
- The garage door jerks as it goes up and down.
- The door is crooked as it moves along the track and may become stuck in progress.
- The door won’t open, even when you activate the emergency release.
- The door falls rapidly when you put it down.
- The top of your garage door became bent when you tried to use the opener.
- There is a gap between the rings in your torsion spring.
- The door opens a few inches, then the safety mechanism stops it.
- The door goes up more slowly than usual.
- You override the electronic opener and the door is extremely heavy when you try to open it manually.
How to Open and Close a Garage Door With a Broken Spring
When your door still appears to be functioning — even partially — it can be tempting to ignore the problem. However, you should never ignore the signs of a broken garage door spring. Even if the door can still open and close enough for you to get your car out, allowing this problem to persist will result in further damage to your garage door and your garage door opener. If the damage is extensive, you may end up having to replace your garage door and opener, which is a much more expensive proposition than replacing a spring.
However, once you’ve identified the signs your spring is broken or damaged, you may have to wait for a little bit until a professional garage door repair company can make it out to your house. During that time, you may need to open and close your garage door. If you do, follow these tips to keep your family safe and prevent further damage:
- If the door is in the open position, DO NOT use the manual override to disconnect it from the opener unless you have several strong, able helpers to catch the door and guide it safely down the track. If you detach the opener without help, this could cause your door to come crashing down, potentially damaging the door or, even worse, hurting you or another family member if they are in the way.
- If the door is already open and you cannot close it safely, place something along either side of the track to “catch” it if the door falls while it is up. Choose something sturdy that can take the weight of your door. Remember, when you don’t have the use of your automatic opener, your door’s full weight is not spread out between the spring and the cables. It is all in the door itself. Make sure everyone in your household is aware of the problem, as well as the potential dangers, and ask them to stay away from the door until help arrives.
- If your garage door is closed when you find a broken or damaged spring, it’s best to keep it closed until a qualified garage door repair professional can arrive to evaluate the damage. If your car is inside the garage and you cannot wait for a repair person, never attempt to override the automatic opener unless you have several strong helpers to lift the door and keep it from falling on you or your car.
The bottom line is this: It’s essential to be able to diagnose a problem with your garage door. It can be helpful to you in figuring out the steps you need to take to address the problem and finding a reputable garage door repair company to come out to fix the problem. However, the safest thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to secure the door as well as you can, then call for professional repairs.
Leave Repair and Replacement to the Pros
If you searched online, you’d likely come across several websites claiming they can instruct you in how to repair or replace your garage door spring. And, if you’re like most homeowners, it can be tempting to save a few dollars and turn this into a DIY project. But, with the statistics out there about garage door-related injuries, it’s just not worth the risk to you or your family. Why?
1. It’s dangerous.
Your garage door is heavy. When the spring isn’t working, it can’t take the weight of the door. If the door comes crashing down, it can hurt someone in its path.
2. It’s difficult to get it right.
Because a broken or malfunctioning spring is a safety hazard, there’s no room for error. If you don’t install it right, someone could get hurt, or you could end up damaging your garage door. Saving money is never worth the risk of hurting yourself or someone you love. If you suspect you have a damaged or broken garage spring, it’s time to call the experts.
Providing quality service and repair in the Charlotte, N.C. area, RCS Carolinas is home to a team of experienced, well-trained professionals who are ready and able to diagnose problems with garage doors of all kinds — both residential and commercial.
While we are confident we can repair your garage door and have it working like new, if you decide it’s time to replace your existing one, RCS Carolinas can help with that, too. Offering a variety of Clopay garage doors, our showroom has many great options if you’re in the market for a well-designed, high-quality garage door.
Let us get your garage door working again. Give RCS a call and schedule your service visit today!
How to paint your garage doors
Taking up nearly 1/3 of the front-facing exterior of the average home, the appearance of your garage door has a significant impact on curb appeal. A new coat of paint not only helps protect it from the elements but can refresh the look of your entire house.
Here are the 6 simple steps to giving your garage door a fresh new finish:
Step 1: Check the weather
You’ll need three days of mild weather between 50°F – 75°F with low humidity. When choosing your painting time, plan to work when the door isn’t being exposed to direct sunlight.
Step 2: Gather your materials
The most important purchase for this project is obviously your paint and primer. Select your coatings based on the substrate (material the door is made of), performance (weather resistance, durability, etc.), finish (level of gloss), and color. Keep in mind, most modern doors are aluminum, but some older doors may be made of wood.
One gallon of paint/primer is enough to cover a two-car garage door with some left over for touchups. If you are painting a larger surface or putting a light color over a dark color, you may need more. Ask for help at your local paint store if you’re not sure what you need.
Other tools and supplies:
- Garden hose
- All-purpose cleaner
- Wire brush and sandpaper
- Clean towels or rags
- Painter’s tape
- Drop cloth
- Paint brush and roller
- Step stool or ladder
Step 3: Clean the surface
Using an all-purpose cleaner, thoroughly remove all dirt and dust then rinse any residue from the door with your hose. If there are rust spots, you may need to remove them with a wire brush and sandpaper.
Step 4: Prepare your door and work area
Note: Don’t forget to park your cars outside the garage, and remove anything you know you’ll need that day before getting started.
After the door is completely dry, carefully tape off handles, hinges, windows, edges, etc. with painter’s tape. Place one drop cloth on your driveway to protect it from drips, and one inside your garage to protect the floor. If you’re painting the trim and frame a different color, tape it off, too, and paint that last.
Step 5: Prime
It’s easiest to work on the door from the bottom up. To do this, disengage the electronic opening mechanism so that you can move the door manually, then raise the bottom to a comfortable height so you don’t have to stoop. As you work, carefully lower the door in sections so you are always painting at a comfortable height.
To get a nice even coat, work from the inside of any inset panels to the outside of each section using a brush on the panels and slanted insets, then a roller on large, flat surfaces. Carefully wipe away excess as you go. Let your primer dry for at least 12 hours before applying your paint.
Step 6: Paint
Paint from the bottom up again, using the same method that you used for primer. Allow your garage door to dry for at least 12 hours before painting the frame and trim.
Looking for a completely new look (and new garage door)? Contact RCS Garage Doors to learn more about the styles we offer!
Tips for a quieter garage door
Tips for a quieter garage door
Is it a truck? Is it an earthquake? No. It’s your garage door.
If opening your garage door is a loud, house-shaking, baby-waking event, there is likely a combination of many components that have been worn and shaken over years of use. While you’ll never have a totally silent garage door, there are several factors that can cause significant noise. Some repairs can be DIY, but garage doors can be very dangerous, so many repairs require a professional.
Find the noisy culprits – Open and close your garage door several times to attempt to isolate the sources of noise. Look and listen for:
- Rattling sections of track
- Rollers that jump, drag, or otherwise roll unevenly
- Squeaking hinges and chains
Tighten the nuts and bolts – It is common for nuts and bolts on the door and on the tracks to shake loose after many openings and closings. You can do this regularly to cut down on noise.
Find worn hinges – If you can see an oblong hole where the pin meets with the bracket, the hinges may need to be replaced. Metal shavings around the hinge are also a sign that it is worn. If you feel comfortable, this is a replacement you can do yourself, but improperly installed hinges are a safety hazard, so this is not a beginner DIY suggestion.
Check the garage door opener chain – A loose chain can rattle and cause the rollers to smack against the track. If you still have your owner’s manual, you may be able to tighten this up yourself following the instruction provided.
Lubricate moving parts – This should be done every six months as routine maintenance. Choose a lubricant made specifically for garage doors. This specialty product acts as a liquid but is not tacky when it dries so it does not attract debris that would gum up moving parts. Apply to springs, hinges, tracks, pulleys, rollers and other moving parts. Be sure to hit the torsion bar bearings and all pivot points.
Caution: If your garage door is belt driven, do NOT apply anything to the rubber belt
Soundproof – It is possible to control some of the sound output from your garage door, but many soundproofing solutions require a significant investment of time and money. Here are some options:
- Install noise insulators between the motor block and the slotted metal brace that attaches the motor to the ceiling. These can be purchased from a garage door specialist
- Add a strip of rubber between the track and the garage. The track may be rubbing against the garage, especially if it is made of concrete or brick
- If noise and vibration are loud in a living space above the garage, purchase specialty anti-vibration pads to install between the mountings of the garage door and the ceiling
A garage door professional will be able to complete any of the above measures that you do not feel comfortable doing yourself. Remember, garage doors can be dangerous and you should only do what you are comfortable doing. Garage doors themselves can weigh 200 pounds or more and the springs necessary for their operation are under significant tension.
If the tips above don’t work, hire a professional to get to the bottom of the problem. A professional can also complete more complex and dangerous tasks to fix a door including:
- Replacing steel rollers with nylon ones, or replacing worn nylon rollers, for smoother operation
- Replacing the extension spring system with torsion springs if there is room
- Replacing your chain-driven garage door opener with a belt-driven one