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How to Choose A Garage Door Company

Here are a few tips on how to select a Garage Door Company when you decide it’s time to repair or replace the garage or overhead door on your home or business.

Find a local company.  It is always best to deal with a local Garage Door Company.  They will know the climate and the conditions the door will be subjected to and can select a product based on insulation and wind load needs.

Determine how long they have been in business.  Just because a company has been around for years does not guarantee you will get a great product and service, but it does normally guarantee they will be there later if and when you need them.

Ask for local references.  Check out local review sites such as the Better Business Bureau, Yelp or Angie’s List for comments on the company.  Just be aware that one or two negative comments should not rule out a company, but be wary of those with many complaints.

It’s a good idea to make sure the company has a state registration number.  This lets you know that they are registered to conduct business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Also being a member of professional industry associations can also provide additional trust.

Ask about product and service warranties.  Find out the manufacturer of the door you will be getting and what they warranty.  Check for additional or special options and safety features, insulation, etc.  that may be available.

Compare prices.  Don’t think that the lowest price will always provide the best solution to your garage door needs.  Be sure you compare quality along with the final price.

Get an estimate in writing.  An estimate should detail the work to be done, the materials needed, the labor required, and the length of time the job will take.

Once you make a decision, get a contract signed with all the products and service spelled out.  If you don’t understand something be sure to ask for clarification.  A reputable company will not mind explaining what they do and the services they provide.

And lastly, beware of high pressure sales tactics.  Steich Overhead Doors has been in business in the Bedminster PA. area for over 30 years and we rely on our satisfied customers and not pressure sales tactics to sell our products.  We will be happy to provide you with a list of customers we have done business with in your area.  Just give us a call at 215-795-2500.

Garage Door Openers

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Steich Overhead Doors would like to showcase one of our premier garage door openers from Linear.

We recommend using this model  for custom garage door applications that require more power for the larger, heavier doors.

linear opener

Here is the information on the opener from Linear’s website:

The Model LCO75 3/4 HP Deluxe Dual Lamp Garage Door Operator is Linear’s most powerful door operator yet. It can be used in light-duty commercial installations or in residential applications with heavy carriage house style garage doors. The LCO75 has a maximum duty cycle rating of 13 operations per hour; 50 operations per day, far more than other operator designs.

The LCO75 can be used with Linear’s belt-drive or chain-drive rail systems in 7-foot, 8-foot, and 10-foot lengths (10-foot rails available in chain-drive only). The rails are pre-assembled and pre-tensioned for quick and simple installation. The standard “T-rails” can be converted to stronger “I-rails” with Linear’s bolt-on Carriage House Conversion Kits CHCR-7/8, CHCR-8, and CHCR-10.

To make installation even easier, all the controls and indicators are on one side of the operator. Easy access is provided for the open and close limits, open and close door force settings, transmitter learn/erase button, and RF signal/interference indicator. The built-in diagnostic system flashes the operator’s dual courtesy lights to indicate six possible trouble conditions.

The LCO75 includes infrared safety beams, a 3-button Model MCT-3 transmitter, a lighted deluxe wall station with vacation mode radio disable switch and courtesy light control button.

Ratings

  • 115 VAC, Single phase, 3/4 HP only
  • Maximum duty cycle: 13 cycles per hour, 50 cycles per day
  • Maximum door height: 14 feet

Features

  • All steel frame
  • Noise-reducing technology for quieter operation
  • Commercial grade rail system
  • Easy external limit adjustment
  • Quick release door arm for manual operation
  • Automatic reconnect trolley
  • Standard door speed is approximately 9 inches per second
  • Standard rail and chain assemblies for 8, 10, 12, and 14 foot doors
  • Motor thermal overload protection
  • Torque sensing reversing
  • Solid state control circuitry
  • Deluxe lighted wall station
  • 3-Button MegaCode transmitter
  • Built-in MegaCode format receiver
  • Includes infrared photo eye safety beam
  • Dual courtesy lights

Rail Options

  • 12-foot rail (includes HCI12 12’ chain I-rail)
  • 14-foot rail (includes HCI12 12’ chain I-rail and HCI+2 2’ chain I-rail extension)
  • CHCR-10 (Bolt-on I-rail conversion kit for carriage house doors, fits HCT10C 10-ft chain drive T-rail)

Warranties:

  • Lifetime – Motor
  • Lifetime – Belt
  • 5 years – Chain
  • 5 years – Mechanical parts
  • 1 year – Electrical

Overall length

  • LCO75 with HBT7C/HCT7C: 126.5″
  • LCO75 with HBT8C/HCT8C: 141″
  • LCO75 with HCT10C: 161.5″
  • LCO75 with HCI12: 193.8″

 

Specifications subject to change without notice

Garage Door Openers

Today’s garage door openers are equiped with the latest technology to insure safety and provide years of service.  Steich Overhead Doors supplies a complete line of overhead door automatic openers.  Belt, Chain, Jack Shaft, I-Drive are available in various models and sizes.

Liftmaster Model 8360 is a premium series DC battery backup chain drive opener.  The information on this model is from their website.  http://www.liftmaster.com.  Here are the detailed specifications for this recommended model:

The LiftMaster® 8360 is rugged, reliable, and features an integrated Battery Backup System that ensures your garage door opener, as well as the safety and security features, will continue to work even when the power is out. It is also equipped with built-in MyQ® technology enabling you to close your garage door or turn lights on or off using a smartphone or computer – from anywhere in the world.
This model has earned the Good Housekeeping seal.
  • Equipped with MyQ® technology that lets you monitor and control your garage door and house lights remotely by using a computer or smartphone (LiftMaster® Internet Gateway accessory required). The LiftMaster® Internet Gateway is only compatible with LiftMaster® garage door opener models 8360, 8550 and 8500 (which have a yellow learn button)
  • Auto-force feature constantly monitors garage door system and adjusts forces to temperature fluctuations, floor height, and door track movement
  • The Smart Garage Door Opener® lets you electronically program security codes from the Multi-Function Control Panel or the powerhead
  • Whole-garage lighting with adjustable light time delay; compatible with CFL bulbs
  • Energy-efficient operation consumes up to 75% less power in standby mode
  • HOMELINK® compatible with QuickTrain™ technology
  • Meets all UL325 requirements

SAFETY & SECURITY FEATURES:

  • The Protector System® safety sensors project an invisible light beam across the garage door opening and automatically reverses the door if anything interrupts the beam while door is going down
  • Sensing technology will stop the door from closing if contact is made with a person or object
  • Opener lights turn on automatically when The Protector System’s infrared beam is broken
  • Security+2.0™ rolling code technology eliminates frequency interference and assures a new code is sent every time the remote control is used
  • Patented PosiLock® system ensures the door remains securely locked when it is closed
  • Alert-2-Close warning system provides audible and visual warnings that the garage door is about to close when using the Timer-to-Close or remote closing features
  • Manual release handle in case of power failure

Garage Door Servicing Tips

We recommend you service your garage door at the minimum of two times a year.  If you live in the Montgomery County or Bucks County Pennsylvania, you can call us at Steich Overhead Doors for a complete garage door checkup.  We will come out and make sure everything is working properly and tighten, adjust and repair whatever is necessary.

There are some fundamental things that should be checked on your garage door system.

  • Bottom door seal
  • Torsion spring or extension spring
  • Panel hinges
  • Trolley and track alignment
  • Safety photo sensor alignment
  • Keyed lock
  • Wall push button
  • Opener drive screw/belt/chain
  • Remote control programming
  • Overall alignment and balance
  • Adjustment of door travel  limits
  • Adjustment of door opener force settings

If you decided to call a pro to service your garage door it is a good idea to have some information available before you call.  This will help the service company make a more efficient and successful trip.

You will need to know the exact size of your door and whether it is insulated or not.  If you have a garage door opener, determine the manufacturer, make and model.   Lastly, take a look at your photo sensors at the bottom of the door opening and see if you can find a make and model number for those as well.

Taking some time before the call can save you time and money if your garage door needs servicing.

Garage Door Panel Replacement

Garage Door Repair

Your garage door is normally the single most important element of your home’s curb appeal.  Routine maintenance of your garage door is important and takes only a few minutes of your time.  Proper maintenance will guarantee worry-free operation for many years and will prevent damage and possible safety concerns.

Can I Do This Myself?

Many garage doors are constructed in a panel design.  What happens if one or more of these panels gets damaged?  You can save money by replacing the damaged panel rather than the whole door.  Replacing panels can be a fairly simple garage door repair that you may want to consider doing yourself if you have some DIY skills.  If you do not want to tackle this job on your own, you can call us at 215-795-2500 or contact us  by email and we will do the replacement for you.

Residential garage doors are equipped with two different types of springs.  A torsion spring and an extension spring.  If your door has a torsion spring(s) (located above the door) it will be under a large amount of tension, and this tension will need to be released before you can work on the panel.  This is more dangerous than relieving the tension on an extension spring configuration.  For this reason we recommend you call a professional to do the door repair rather than having to relieve and reload the tension on the torsion spring yourself.

OK, so you have an extension spring garage door and you’ve decided to do this garage door repair on your own.  Let’s assume you need to replace one panel on your overhead door.  Here are the following steps you will need to take:

  1. Unplug the garage door opener (if so equipped)
  2. Release the lock on the garage door opener
  3. Raise the garage door 5 or 6 inches and secure in this position with two clamps across from each other applied to the roller track.
  4. Release the garage door springs or attach a come-a-long winch to the roller track and the spring and tighten until the cable has an inch or so of slack.
  5. Remove the hardware securing the hinges to the panel you are replacing
  6. Lift out the damaged panel
  7. Replace with a new panel and tighten the hinges
  8. Release the tension on the come-a-long or re-attach the extension spring
  9. Remove the clamps and lower the door
  10. Plug in the garage door opener

If this doesn’t sound that difficult to you then give it a try.  Just be sure to order the correct replacement panel.  They are not universal.  If you have a problem with determining the type of door panel you need please give us a call and we will get you the proper panel for your door.

 

Liftmaster Garage Door Openers Bucks County PA

Steich Overhead Doors is a proud dealer for LiftMaster garage door openers. LiftMaster® residential garage door openers offer a broad selection in performance, features, and durability. All of their models offer the ultimate in safety and security features, and are available with a variety of horsepower levels and drive systems for all types of homes and applications. They are also proven to withstand even the harshest of elements and years of extended use, and are available with innovative accessories designed to make home access even more convenient.

Older garage door openers were not designed with the safety features of today’s models. The following information is from Liftmaster’s website:

Position on Garage Door Openers Pre 1993

We are committed to the highest standards of product safety. Over the years, the LiftMaster® brand has led the industry in introducing innovative product safety features. As a company, we have manufactured garage door openers for 50 years with a safety record that ranks as one of the best in the industry.

In the early 1990s, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) enacted into law new rules ensuring that all garage door openers manufactured after 1992 had external entrapment protection devices, such as infrared sensors or sensing edges, in addition to the internal contact reverse mechanism. Garage door openers made prior to 1993 are safe and reliable if installed, tested, and maintained properly. However, the vast majority of these older units are not equipped with infrared sensors or other external entrapment protection devices, and thus do not meet today’s standards for garage door opener safety. To insure the highest degree of safety and customer satisfaction, we believe it is important that pre-1993 garage door openers are replaced, as opposed to being repaired.

Steich Overhead Doors does not recommend the repair of any pre-1993 LiftMaster garage door openers. We believe this decision will provide you with the latest in technology and more safety, security, and convenience features. We believe this decision is in the best interest of our customers, as safety always comes first.

Please visit us in Bedminister Pa. or call us at 215-795-2500 when you need to upgrade your garage door opener.

 

Garage Doors and Wind Load – Part A

winter and garage doors

Eastern Pennsylvania has experienced some major storms with high winds.  Wind load properties should be one of the considerations when replacing your garage door.  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about garage doors and wind load from our friends at Wayne Dalton Overhead Doors.  We at Steich Overhead Doors are a proud supplier of Wayne Dalton premium products.  We will post additional questions on this topic in our next blog.

Garage Doors and Wind Load

 Does the design of my house affect the design wind pressures on my garage door?

Yes. The least overall horizontal plan dimension of the structure as well as the mean roof height affect the design wind pressures on the structure.
How can I determine the wind speed requirements for my location?
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has developed standards covering wind loads on buildings and other structures. This is the base standard for most wind provisions used in U.S. building codes. The basic wind speed maps from ASCE 7-05 or ASCE 7-10 can help an individual to determine the proper wind speed delineation zones for their area. In addition, some states such as Florida provide a listing of wind speed maps by county. For the specific requirements for your area, contact your local building official.
How do I know if my door is compliant with the wind requirements of the Florida Building Code?
The Florida Building Code has specific design pressure requirement for garage doors (table 1606.2E). Wayne-Dalton goes through the Florida Building Commission Product Approval system for many of its doors. Additional information about the Florida code can be found through the Florida Building Commission.
I am installing a new wind loaded garage door in an older home. How do I know if the building frame can support the wind loads from the garage door?
A qualified design professional such as an architect, structural engineer, or contractor should be consulted to determine if the building frame is adequate to support the loads.
I live in a 120mph wind speed region. How do I determine what wind pressures I need?
Wayne Dalton has developed the WindSafe Safety Level to aid you in determining the wind pressure needed. These tables are based on typical applications. While these are a guideline, they are not intended to cover all situations. Please contact your local building official or a registered architect or structural engineer for the specific requirements in your area. Ultimately, the engineer on record for the structure should provide the wind pressure requirements for all openings.
What effect do windows in a garage door have on design wind pressures?
Windows have no effect on the design wind pressures except in wind-borne debris regions. In wind-borne debris regions, all windows (including windows in a garage door) must be impact resistant or protected with an impact resistant covering unless the structure is designed as a partially enclosed structure.

 

 

 

Garage Door Safety Tips

 

Thousands of accidents are caused each year by garage doors.  Here are a few garage door safety tips that can protect you against this type of accident.   This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of every safety precaution. Always consult your manufacturer’s installation or instruction manual for safety information about your specific model.

These tips are brought to you by the Door and Access System Manufacturers Assoc.  www.dasma.com.

 Garage Door Safety Tips

1. Replace Old Springs. Your garage door’s springs are arguably the most important and most dangerous part of your door. Springs wear out. When they break, injury can result. If you have an older garage door, have your springs inspected by a professional technician and replaced if needed. If your door has two springs, replace both, even if one is not broken. This will not only prevent any damage caused by the breaking of the second spring, but also keep your door working efficiently.

2. Check Your Cables. Visually inspect the cables that attach the spring system to the bottom brackets on both sides of the door. If these cables are frayed or worn, they are in danger of breaking, which can cause injury. Due to the dangers associated with high spring tension, these cables should be replaced only by a trained technician.
3. Squeaky Springs? Springs can squeak and be noisy. This is caused by normal use and does not necessarily indicate a problem. Before calling a professional service technician, use a spray-on lubricant (recommended especially for garage doors). If the noise persists, call a professional garage door installer for service.
4. A Do-It-Yourselfer, Eh? Installing a garage door can be very dangerous and is not recommended for a novice. DASMA recommends that trained door systems technicians install garage doors. If you attempt the installation by yourself, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully.
5. Safety Cables. If your garage door has extension springs, you need a safety cable that runs through the spring and secures to the wall or ceiling at each end. When your garage door is down, extension springs are under high tension. If the spring breaks, it may cause injury. A safety cable can keep that broken spring contained. If you have extension springs but do not have a safety cable, call your local dealer for a safety inspection.
6. Struggling Door? If your door does not go up and down smoothly, you may have an unsafe condition. Even older door systems should operate smoothly. If the awkward operation continues when the door is manually operated, you may have a spring system that is out of balance. This can cause premature wear and tear on other important door components. Spring systems are dangerous and should be repaired only by trained professionals.
7. Watch Your Fingers! Every year, many unsuspecting homeowners injure their fingers by placing them between the door sections to pull down on the door. According to DASMA Standard 116, if your door lacks pinch-resistant joints, you should have lift handles or suitable gripping points on the inside and outside of the door. Even if your door has an opener, the door must occasionally be operated manually. Never place your fingers between the door sections. If you manually open or close the door, use the handles or the safe gripping points!
8. Tamper Resistant Brackets. Since the bottom brackets on a garage door are connected to the door’s springs, these brackets are under extreme tension. They should be adjusted or loosened only by a trained door systems technician. Many manufacturers now include tamper resistant hardware that prevents loosening of the brackets by a novice.
9. Use the Old Track? When buying a replacement garage door, some homeowners are tempted to save a few dollars by putting the new door on the old track. However, your old track may not fit with your new door, depending on the thickness of your sections, the weight of the door, the headroom required, the location of the garage door opener, and other considerations. The track and sections work together as a system. For maximum performance and long life, you should use the track that is designed for your specific door.
10. Regular Service. Your garage door is probably the largest moving part in your home and is typically used every day. Over time, parts can wear out and break, creating potential safety problems. Although you should provide monthly safety checks and maintenance to your garage door system, an annual visit from a trained door systems technician can keep your door operating safely and smoothly for a long time.
11. Man the Manual. Keep the owner’s manuals for your door and opener hanging near the door for easy reference. Every model of door and opener has specific safety instructions unique to that model. Where is your manual?

 

Garage Door Springs, Bedminster PA

The spring or springs (there can be one or more) on your overhead garage door is one of the most important components of the complete door assembly.  It is also an item that needs periodic inspection.  Garage door springs do fail, and a failure can be dangerous.

Torsion Garage Door Springs

One of the most common type of garage door spring is called a Torsion spring.   These are found at the top of the door.  A torsion spring is identified by diameter, direction of winding, length and wire size.   A shaft normally passes through the spring but in some cases it may house the spring. It will be mounted to the center or at one end of the shaft. The wire size, diameter and length of the spring will determine the amount of lift available and the life cycle. The industry standard is 10-15,000 cycles for new doors.

You can measure your existing torsion spring using any tape measure.  Spring diameters are based on the inside diameter.  They typically will be either 1 ¾” or 2” for a residential garage door.  Extension springs can go up to 6” for larger doors.  Wire size can be found by measuring the length of 10 coils in the spring and dividing by 10.  So a measurement of 2 .5” will give you a .250 wire size.

Torsion springs are not easily installed.  They require a lot of stored energy during installation and the installation is best left to professionals.

 Extension Garage Door Springs

Extension type springs are found above each horizontal track or along the sides of your door. There will be a minimum of 2 springs required.   These springs are color coded to make it a lot easier to find the correct replacement.  If your spring is not color coded or you can’t make out the color, you can still determine the replacement needed.

They are sized according to the weight and height of your garage door.  Extension springs can wear out over time but can be changed out fairly easily.  In order to achieve the maximum cycle life of your extension spring and what type to buy for a replacement, you will need to know the weight and height of your door.  The taller the door the longer spring you will need.  One way you can find the weight of your door is by placing a bathroom scale under it.  This works much better using an analog scale.

You Might Need a Professional

Use caution when working with garage door springs.  If you don’t have the proper tools, assistance and experience it is highly recommended that you call a reputable overhead door company to install new garage door springs on your home.  Steich Overhead Doors is a family owned business and has been in business for over 30 years in the Montgomery County / Bucks County Pa area.  Our evaluation is completely free and comes without a high pressure sales pitch.  Give us a call.

The Life of a Garage Door

fbook post dec 18

The life of a garage door is much like the life of anything else: there is a conception consisting of designs and blueprints, a birth where the garage door goes through production and installation, an adolescence and teenage years full of growing pains, adjustments and the owner becoming acquainted with the door, a middle age full of dents and blemishes to its façade caused by years of use and abuse, and older years of malfunctioning, which leads to its eventual replacement.

In an attempt to personify these inanimate but useful objects, let’s look at the life of a garage door from its perspective.

The Birth of a Garage Door

I was pieced together by large machines. Robotic arms the size of dinosaurs placed parts on me as I waited in line to be packaged and delivered to my new owner. When I arrived at a large house, which would become my dwelling for life, a few people fit me in a large rectangular hole, and suddenly I was able to slide up and down with the push of a button.

Adolescence and Teenage Years

My new owner doesn’t seem to be particularly bright when it comes to my operations. He frequently forgets to close me when he’s leaving for work and continues to place items within my path, which is frustrating to say the least. Occasionally, when he wants me closed, I’ll randomly decide to slide back open when I’m half way down. This is to get back for some of the abuse I feel he’s giving me. Nonetheless, I feel we’re getting to know and understand one another much better.

The Garage Door’s Middle Ages

My owners’ kids seem to have grown, and become quite abusive. They play hockey in the driveway and decided to put the hockey net right in front of me. They shoot a puck, slapping it toward the goal non-stop. Rarely do these shots make in the goal and instead smack me in the face. This hurts, leaving dents upon dents. I’m beginning to come to terms with my own mortality, realizing that as I age and become slightly less reliable, I will eventually be replaced. This is depressing. I wish I could buy a Porsche and go skydiving.

Time to Replace the Garage Door?

The kids have grown up and left the house for college. My motor is beginning to have some problems, which has required many procedures. I hear there are some new Garage doors that put my antiquated model to shame, and I suppose my owners are contemplating getting rid of me. I’ll admit that I’m not as reliable as I once was, but years of abuse and neglect will do that to you, you know? Anyway, I’m on my last horizontal track and feeling like my replacement is imminent. It’s been a good life though, and I feel I was a reliable source of convenience and security for this household.

Hey folks, when it’s time to replace your garage door, call 215-795-2500 or contact Steich Overhead Doors.  We’ve been in business for over 30 years and have the best service record in northeastern PA.