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Why Install an Insulated Garage Door?

Cold weather months are on their way to the Northeast.  Your garage door is the largest moving object found in your home.  There are a number of reasons why you should install an insulated garage door.

  • Transfer of cold or hot air.   If your garage is attached to your home unheated  air will pass directly into the living areas of your house.
  • Do you spend time in your garage?  Insulated garage doors keep the interior of your garage much more pleasant during extreme temperature months.
  • If you have a living area above your garage, the hvac load will be reduced with an insulated garage space.
  • An insulated door has a quieter operation and is much more appealing to the eye than non insulated models.

When you are considering a new garage door, be sure to check out the R-value of the model and style.  Give us a call and we will answer any questions you have about the value of buying an insulated garage door.

 

r value chart

 

What is R-value?

R-Value is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction  industry. Specifically, R-value is thermal resistance to heat flow. Many manufacturers use R-values to show the energy efficiency of their product. This number is calculated based on the thickness of the insulation and its chemical properties.

The higher the R-value number, the better the insulating properties of the material. However, an R-16 value is not twice as good as an R-8 Value. R-16 does not offer twice as much thermal resistance or twice the energy savings of an R-8 value.  A value of R-16 offers a 5% reduction in heat flow and a 5% improvement  energy efficiency than a value of R-8, not 50%.

Instant Curb Appeal for your Home

What is your first impression when you drive up to your home?  Is it inviting and pleasing to the eye?  We are talking about what real estate professionals and architects call “Curb Appeal”.  If you are thinking of selling your home sometime in the next few years you should be very aware of your homes curb appeal.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your home’s first impression such as landscaping, new paint, remodeled entryway, new driveway, hard surface walk ways, etc.   Most of these projects require a rather large budget and can take quite a lot of time.

A New Garage Door Upgrade

If your home is like so many others with the garage facing the street it commands a large part of your homes first impression.  A new garage door can be the most cost effective upgrade you can do to increase your home’s curb appeal.  Another advantage to replacing your garage door verses the other options mentioned is that it can be done in one afternoon.  Instant curb appeal!

coplay coachman

Give us a call and let us give you some ideas for your home’s instant curb appeal.

Commercial Overhead Garage Doors

Commercial overhead garage door product information provided by one of our suppliers –  General Doors Corporation.  They have a complete line of products for pretty much every commerical overhead door application.  This is just a sampling of their insulated door product line.

24 Gauge Insulated VB (vinyl back)

Industrial & Commercial Steel Garage Doors by General Doors Corporation are designed, engineered and manufactured specifically for the rigors of everyday use. All of our doors are built tough with the proven strength of deep ribbed, box girder construction eliminating sag, resisting wind load and reducing impact damage. A strong continuous exterior of galvanized steel provides optimum security, while the double coated, baked enamel finish promises years of low maintenance, good looks and worry-free durability.

general 2

 

Steel Raised Panel (SRB)

Compare the Steel Raised Panel (SRP) Commercial model with any other make of steel door. The manufacturing quality and superior appearance are readily apparent after installation and for years to come. Engineered for widths up to 20 feet and heights up to 14 feet, this door combines the beauty of our raised panel design with the rugged construction details needed for any commercial application.

Our 24 gauge door construction is…

17% thicker than 25 gauge
31% thicker than 26 gauge

The SRP is 2-1/8″ thick pan-type door constructed with full 24 gauge steel.(.022 thickness)

  • 1-3/8″ thick Polystyrene insulation with a vinyl backing.
  • R-Value of 6.85, U-value of .85
  • Steel is rust-proofed with hot dipped galvanizing, pre-painted on both sides with a primer, and finished with a top coat of baked on polyester for an exterior paint thickness of 1.0 mil.
  • Finely detailed wood grain surface with deeply embossed panels for a sharp, well defined appearance.
  • Raised panel sizes of appropriate proportions and spacing ensure all door sizes have an authentic raised panel look.
  • Tog-L-Lock fastening system provides strength to joints without burning or piercing the metal.
  • Resilient vinyl weather strip attached to the door bottom with an aluminum retainer minimizes air infiltration.Rivet-free door surface creates a smooth, uniform look.

 

srp-commercial

 

Advantage Commercial

General’s Advantage Commercial Door is a three layer product, made with a 1-3/8” thick polystyrene core sandwiched between two 26-gauge pre-finished steel skins with a thermal break. The steel is protected by a G60 galvanizing layer topped by a heavy duty two-coat baked–on polyester paint system. Available in widths up to 18ft, and heights up to 14ft.

  • Sandwich-type construction with 1-3/8’’ polystyrene insulation, pressure bonded between two skins of 26 gauge (.017) G60 steel
  • Steel is rust-proofed with hot dipped galvanizing, pre-painted on both sides with a primer, and finished with a top coat of baked on polyester for an exterior paint thickness of 1.0 mil
  • Three layer construction provides a calculated insulation value of R-6.7, along with exceptional strength and substantial, solid feel during operation
  • Finely detained wood grain surface with deeply embossed panels for sharp, well-defined appearance
  • Raised panel sizes of appropriate proportions and spacing ensure all door sizes have an authentic raised panel look
  • Double tongue and groove joint for the tightest section fit possible
  • Thermal break between steel skins
  • Also available in a flush versionHeavy duty hardware and commercial grade 14 gauge full leaf hinges are standard
  • Three year hardware warranty

 

Commercial garage door

The Dangers of Replacing Garage Door (Torsion) Springs

Much like the shocks on your automobile, which are supposed to be replaced every 50,000 miles, garage door springs, or torsion springs, have a relatively short life expectancy. Garage door springs age in dog years and are meant to be replaced every five to six years. The potential dangers of failing to replace your garage door springs can have catastrophic consequences. Once the springs break, the massive weight of your garage door (typically upward of 250 pounds) crashes to the ground, crushing everything in its way.

In most garage doors, the torsion springs provide over 90 percent of the lift needed to make the garage door operate smoothly. And after years and years of lifting and going through drastic weather changes, the torsion springs tend to weaken and a break becomes inevitable.

So, the options seem pretty straightforward; responsibly replace the springs on your garage door to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, or keep the springs in place beyond their expected lifespan and hope your insurance covers the damages.

I think the choice is clear.

The problem is, when people want to replace the torsion springs on their garage doors, they think it would be easy, and cheaper, to replace it themselves.

Cheaper? Maybe.

Easier? No way.

Replacing garage door springs is a dangerous task and is a job best left to professionals. Torsion springs are tightly-wound heavy duty springs that, if detached incorrectly, could cause major and unnecessary injuries to yourself or anyone in close proximity.

To quote one online DIYer: “(Despite) many years of dealing with garage projects, I did not hesitate for a minute in determining that the springs on a garage door was something I did not want to handle. Why? It’s dangerous. Those springs are under an enormous amount of tension, and one slip up could easily cause serious injury.”

Furthermore, the massive size and weight of garage doors poses other dangers. If you aren’t able to lift a garage door by yourself, you should not attempt to replace torsion springs. And since lifting a garage door is a nearly Herculean feat, and few of us are professional body builders, handling garage doors is likely to cause serious injury.

Purchasing torsion springs is yet another problem. First, as a necessary preventative measure to stop potential injuries, it’s very difficult for the average Joe to walk into a store and buy torsion springs. Torsion spring providers have chosen to make it difficult to purchase torsion springs in order to avoid lawsuits with regard to accidents. Thus, many times, they refuse to sell to unskilled persons. Meanwhile, garage door repair companies have easy access to parts and really should be utilized whenever a garage door repair issue arises.

If it’s time to replace the torsion springs on your garage door, please avoid unnecessary, dangerous work and contact us at Jason Steich Overhead Doors.

How To Save Money on a New Garage Door

If you are considering replacing your old garage door here are a few things for your consideration that could save you some money on a new garage door

These tips are for those of you on a budget.  If you are fortunate enough to have an unlimited amount of money to spend on your new garage door,  you should not have to read any further.  In that case your biggest problem will be having to choose among the almost unlimited styles and colors of doors available.  We will cover that topic for you in a later post.

Can You Install the Door Yourself?

If you have a bit of skill in this area and some time on your hands, you might consider buying your door and installing it yourself.  This can lead to some savings.

Downsides to a self install:

  • You might be surprised at the amount of savings you will receive.  Many reputable garage door companies will be getting the garage door and all the hardware at a reduced cost, so the installation costs you save might not be as much as you would expect.
  • Preloading  and releasing the tension on a torsion spring can be extremely dangerous to the uninitiated.  We do not recommend the homeowner try this.
  • Getting the job done right, and maintaining your warranty.  A good local overhead door company will provide a guarantee on their work, should anything go wrong later.
  • Disposing of your old door.  The overhead door company that installs your new door will haul off your old door as part of the installation cost.  Removing and recycling your old door can be a problem for DIY’ers.

Shop around – get some quotes.  This is much easier to do than the first option and is a no brainer.  You should get a couple (or more) quotes from local overhead door companies.  Get some references while you are at it.  Make sure your quotes are for the same product and services.

Don’t pay for features you don’t need

  • Insulation. If you live in a very temperate climate, you might not need as much insulation in your door that you would in harsher climates.  Be aware that insulation also provides noise reduction as well as temperature control.  An uninsulated garage door will create more noise during operation.
  • Style.  There are some really beautiful custom and carriage style doors available.  Yes, they would look great on your house, and even though a new custom door can totally change the curb appeal of your home, if you are on a budget, you might want to consider a more standard model.
  • Garage door openers.  If your door is lightweight and you won’t be operating it more than a normal amount, you probably won‘t need an industrial type door opener.  Belt drive openers will provide a quieter operation but will normally cost more than a chain drive model.  If you don’t have a room over the garage, you might not be too worried about the extra noise.   The more expensive models will have a batter backup system to allow operation when you experience a loss of power and an automatic closer when you drive off and forget to close the door.  You should review these options and choose those that you feel  you have to have if you are on a budget.

Pick a reputable garage door company.  If you are not careful, you could save a little money up front, only to shell out a lot more later if the garage door is not a quality product or the installation is not done properly.  Steich Overhead Doors have been in business in the northeast Pennsylvania area for more than 30 years, and we will gladly give you a competitive estimate.  Guaranteed no sales pressure. Give us a call at 215-795-2500.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.