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 to Adjust a Garage Door Spring
Your home’s garage door is a complex system of moving parts working simultaneously to provide you with convenient, reliable and secure entry to your home. With consistent daily use, it’s common for several parts of your garage door to succumb to normal wear and tear over time.
Most at risk are springs and cables, which are under an extreme amount of tension, weight and pressure. If these parts fray or loosen, you may find that your garage door does not want to open when prompted, will only partially open or may hang at an angle. To properly repair your door, you’ll need to tighten your garage door torsion spring or adjust the cables.
Different Types of Garage Door Springs and Cables
Of your garage door’s system, the springs and cables are among the most important pieces contributing to smooth, safe movement. These parts use force to counterbalance the weight of the door and control its overall motion and tension, allowing the garage door to easily move up and down. When making repairs to your garage door, it’s important to understand what type of cable and spring system your door has. Most doors either have torsion or extension spring and cable operations.
- Torsion Springs and Cables: Of the two types of springs, torsion springs are the most commonly used in today’s garage doors. Torsion springs sit at the top of the garage door and slide into a channel while the door is in operation. These springs are available in several sizes based on the garage door’s weight, height and track radius. Along with the torsion spring are cables that are attached to the bottom of the door with a loop at one end and stop at the other.
- Extension Springs and Cables: While an older garage door spring option, extension springs are still popular because they’re less expensive than torsion springs. They occupy less overhead space because they’re installed on either side of the door and extend when it’s opening and closing. Extension cables are available in standard options that are attached on each side of the door or as safety cables that are threaded through the spring. If the spring every breaks, the cable will catch both ends and prevent it from flying throughout the garage.
How to Handle Problems With Garage Door Torsion Springs and Cables
When your garage door springs and cables are too loose, you’ll notice your door struggling to open — the door will be too heavy for the opener to raise and lower alone. Before you break out your tools and try to begin any garage door spring tightening tasks, it’s important to note that because the springs are under extreme weight and tension, it’s remarkably dangerous for inexperienced homeowners to make repairs or garage door spring adjustments themselves.
A garage door’s springs, drums, brackets and lifting cables work together to make your door function properly, and you’d need to know how each works in conjunction with the others to attempt a repair. Without the right tools and knowledge, you could cause serious injuries to yourself and those around you.
A malfunctioning spring can cause your garage door to slam shut on anything in its path. This exact situation has caused many lacerations, broken bones and even deaths. That’s why it’s essential to trust your garage door spring repair to a qualified service professional.
A garage door professional will examine your door for any potential problems before using the proper tools to perform a repair. They’ll secure the door in place and tighten the spring to ensure a proper fit. While the technician is tightening your garage door torsion spring, they can also adjust the cables if needed by moving them further down the frame, securing them into a new hole and using pliers to make sure the cable bracket is taut.
For Help With Your Garage Door Spring Adjustment, Call RCS Carolina Garage Doors
Making adjustments to your garage door can be hazardous for inexperienced homeowners, so when you need to tighten your garage door springs and cables, trust the highly trained and knowledgeable technicians at RCS Carolina Garage Doors. We have over 20 years of garage door repair and maintenance experience throughout North and South Carolina, including the Charlotte, Huntersville and Matthews areas.
To learn more about our garage door spring adjustment and repair services, call us today at 704-523-8063 or complete our online contact form to request services.
Garage Door Won’t Open or Close
When leaving for work this morning, was your garage door refusing to either open or close? While an uncooperative garage door is inconvenient for homeowners, it’s common for them to experience problems opening and closing due to the constant strain, pressure and weight they’re under.
The most typical reasons your garage door won’t open or close are related to mechanical issues or a garage door opener motor malfunction. Some of these garage door issues can be easily repaired with a few adjustments, while others are more complicated or hazardous for homeowners to replace themselves and require the assistance of a local garage door repair company.
Common Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open or Close
If you’re trapped inside your garage or stuck outside of it, note whether the garage door either won’t open all the way, won’t open with the remote or if the motor is running but the door won’t rise. If your garage door won’t even open manually, you have a serious problem. To determine the cause of your garage door malfunction, it’s best to understand the possible cause of why it won’t open or close and try several safe troubleshooting methods to attempt solving the problem.
The most common causes of why a garage door won’t open include:
- Broken Springs: Having broken torsion or extension springs is among one of the most common reasons why a garage door won’t properly open. Springs are designed to last a determined number of cycles before finally wearing and breaking. Torsion springs will last up to 20,000 cycles, while extension springs are expected to reliably function up to 10,000 cycles. Once the springs have broken, the door is too heavy to be lifted by the motor alone and must be replaced in order to restore movement.
- Worn Cables: Like the garage door torsion or extension springs, cables are also responsible for controlling smooth, safe and reliable garage door movement. Typically, when the garage door springs break, the cables will also need to be replaced. Due to the dangerous nature of replacing garage door springs and cables, replacement efforts should be performed by a professional.
- Dead Remote Batteries: Sometimes repairing your garage door requires the simplest solution. If you’re pressing the button on your garage door remote but the door won’t raise or lower, then a likely cause is that the batteries are dead. Garage door batteries last approximately two years before needing replacement. Homeowners can quickly and easily switch their remote batteries by removing the back panel and inserting fresh batteries. If the remote still won’t operate the door, make sure you’re within range of the opener. If the door opens with the remote when you’re within 20 feet of it, but won’t raise when you’re down the street, then you’re likely out of the opener’s range.
- Stripped Garage Door Opener Gear: A stripped garage door opener gear is typically caused when the door is too heavy for the opener to lift and there’s too much strain. If this is the case, you’ll hear a humming or grinding noise emitting from the opener as it struggles to lift and lower the door. To solve this issue, either replace the damaged gear or consider upgrading your opener to a model that is better equipped to operate the door.
- Lock Mode Engaged: Another simple solution for solving why your garage door won’t open or close is making sure the lock switch on the opener isn’t engaged. The lock button is likely placed on your wall-mounted garage door panel, and pressing this button for too long will activate the opener’s lock mode. Easily switch this setting off by pressing the lock button.
For Quality Garage Door Repairs, Contact RCS Carolina Garage Doors
For the best, most knowledgeable and reliable garage door repair and maintenance services throughout North and South Carolina, contact your local, skilled experts at RCS Carolina Garage Doors. We have over 20 years of experience serving homeowners throughout the Charlotte area and beyond. We believe in offering our customers affordable, quality garage door services using only the best products and materials available to guarantee lasting, dependable repairs.
Smart Home Garage Doors
The “Internet of Things” refers to the concept of creating a smart world by connecting just about anything with an on/off switch to the Internet. Smart home technology is a growing part of the IoT that involves connecting your appliances and other pieces of hardware in your home — giving you the ability to control them from your smartphone or another device. This includes everything from Nest thermostats to connected coffee makers and allows you to customize your home and automate many of your day-to-day tasks and experiences.
Some of the benefits of having a connected home include
- Convenience – Your alarm clock and can wake you up and notify your coffee maker to start brewing
- Security – Cameras, activity sensors, and programmable lights and locks let you know who is coming and going from your family’s home from anywhere in the world
- Efficiency – Smart thermostats can help you conserve energy by stabilizing power demand during the day and conserving power while you’re away
Benefits of Smart Garage Door Opener Technology
A garage door may seem like an unlikely candidate for an Internet connection. But, as one of the primary entrances into your space, there are many benefits of a connected garage door.
- Control your garage door from anywhere – You can open the door for friends and family and never again spend all day worrying that you might have forgotten to close the door
- Get activity alerts – Your connected garage door can let you know if your kids got home safely after school (and if they closed the door behind them) or that your door opened when it shouldn’t have
- Take full control of access to your home – You can control the garage door, lights and property gates
- Schedule activity – Set specific times for the door to open or close, and for the garage lights to turn on and off. For example, you can automatically close up for the night and turn off the lights in the morning to save electricity
LiftMaster with MyQ
LiftMaster is one option for adding garage door opening technology to your smart home. The LiftMaster device’s capabilities are controlled by the MyQ app, which allows you to access core features like activity alerts and scheduling. Along with the previously mentioned benefits of smart garage door opener technology, MyQ also integrates with an impressive variety of smart home systems, providing enhanced control options. Depending on your existing system’s devices, that could mean anything from adjusting the temperature of your garage to viewing a live video feed to voice control options.
Some of the integrations available include:
- Connects to Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit so you can ask your devices to check on the status of your door hands-free
- Network your garage door with other smart home devices using IFTTT for enhanced, customized control of your garage
- Works with Nest products to control your Nest Cam and Nest Learning Thermostat from the MyQ app
- Control your garage door from the in-dash touchscreen on your Tesla with LiftMaster
Visit https://www.liftmaster.com/for-homes/myq-connected-home for full compatibility details. The site also has a tool that walks you through the selection of the appropriate LiftMaster devices based on your current setup, making it simple for you to start experiencing the benefits of a smart garage.
Looking for someone to install a Liftmaster Garage Door Opener in your home? Contact RCS Garage Doors today!
Reasons to Replace Your Old Garage Door Opener
Reasons to Replace Your Old Garage Door Opener
Does your garage door opener look like it’s straight out of the ’80s? Do you worry about waking up your neighbors every time you open your garage in the morning to go to work? Do you have to perform a quasi-rain dance to get your door to open or close? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time for a new garage door opener. You can’t underestimate the importance of your garage door opener. Your opener is responsible for opening and closing the largest moving component of your home, which, for nearly 70% of people, is a primary point of entry. Here are some reasons to consider replacing your old garage door opener.
Most older openers use chain drives or steel cables to raise and lower the door. Although strong and reliable, chain and cable drives create a lot of noise when opening and closing the garage door. Today’s opener manufacturers opt to utilize rubber belts instead of chains or cables, allowing for quieter operation. Similar to automobile tires, these rubber belts are reinforced with metal fibers, providing the belts with equal or greater reliability than its chain and cable counterparts.
In recent years, opener manufacturers have begun using DC-type motors rather than AC-type motors, due to their reliability. But, along with being more reliable than AC motors, DC motors are also quieter. AC motor openers begin the opening and closing process with a significant jerk as the motor hits its top speed immediately. This not only is hard on your garage door, but it can also be loud. DC motors begin the opening and closing process slowly, gradually increasing to regular speed, and then slowing down again before coming to a complete stop to prevent the door from slamming.
In the past 25 years, garage door safety has made tremendous strides. Prior to 1993, it was not required for garage door openers to have automatic reversal systems, which resulted in many garage door related accidents and injuries. But in 1993 it became a requirement for openers to be equipped with two automatic reversal systems, one mechanical and the other based on sensors. The first is triggered when the leading edge of the garage door encounters an object or person. Upon making contact the reversal system engages and automatically reverses the door. The second reversal system relies on a pair of photoelectric sensors, one located on either side of the door threshold. The two sensors are connected via an invisible beam of light, which if broken, forces the door to reverse.
Further strides in the name of protection were made in 1996 when it became mandatory for openers to utilize “rolling code” protection. This system prevents anyone from stealing the communication code between your garage door remote and the opener motor by automatically changing the access code each time the garage door is opened or closed. With more than a billion possible code combinations, this system makes it virtually impossible for anyone to break into your garage with a stolen code.
Today’s garage door openers are smarter than ever before. With technology such as LiftMaster’s MyQ®, your garage door opener is now able to connect to the Internet, allowing you to open and close your garage door using a mobile device from anywhere in the world. You can also use this technology to set up mobile alerts, so you can be notified when the garage door is being used or if you somehow forgot to close the garage door. With the ability to control your opener from across the globe and receive notifications about your garage door’s usage, you can travel with confidence.
Want more info?
Don’t hesitate to contact your local garage door experts at RCS Garage Doors with any of your opener questions. We are proud to offer the latest in opener technology from industry-leading manufacturer LiftMaster, and we are sure to have the perfect opener for you.