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The Benefits of a New Garage Door

May 23, 2014

Benefits of a New Garage Door from Mammoth DoorWhen did you last replace your garage door? When you first moved in? Never? If you’re like many homeowners, chances are you’ve still got the same garage door(s) that were on the house when you moved in, or it has been so long since you replaced it that it no longer functions smoothly and looks worn out. In addition to improving the overall appearance of your home, there are a variety of other benefits to getting a new garage door:


Improved Security

While appearance is certainly a big factor, the security of your home is even more important. Older garage doors are easier to break into; especially those made out of light wood (which can weaken further over time) and even metal ones without insulation. Most new garage door models now use advanced locking systems that are difficult to hack. Additionally, a well-fitted garage door makes it more challenging for intruders to wedge it open for entry.


Better Durability

Going along with security is greater durability. Garage doors installed in previous decades are notoriously poorly insulated (in fact, many lack it entirely). If your garage door is made out of wood, you may find that it is warped or damaged thanks to years of exposure to the elements. Modern doors come with layering options for better insulation, soundproofing, and endurance through all kinds of weather. And if your garage is attached to your house, a new garage door can actually help lower the heating and cooling costs of your home in general.


Added Personal Safety

The rise of automatic garage doors has greatly reduced personal safety hazards, but it is important to make sure it has up-to-date photoelectric detectors. This means that the garage door will automatically stop and open if anything is detected below it, preventing injury to you and anyone else walking into your garage.


Increased Home Value

As with most other home improvements, getting a new garage door can up your home’s value on the real estate market. Whether you’re looking to sell now or in the distant future, you’ll attract more buyers with a quality garage door that looks appealing and is low maintenance. With it, you’ll also be able to price your house at a higher rate.


More Use of Your Garage

Many garages become ovens in the summer and freezers in the winter, so using them as productive spaces is not always feasible. But installing a properly insulated and sealed door can create a far more comfortable environment in your garage that is suitable for a workroom, rec room, play area for your kids, etc. You can also store more belongings in there without worrying about them being affected by extreme or fluctuating temperatures.


Less Maintenance

Even if your old door functions well, how does it look? Is the paint peeling? Is there rust? Getting a door made out of steel, fiberglass, or even a quality, sealed wood means less maintenance on your part. Over time, your new garage door will pay for itself.

Steel vs. Wood: The Garage Door Showdown!

July 24, 2013

2013_July24Choosing a garage door is a big investment – and we hear often how it’s hard to choose between a steel door, and one that is wood. What are the benefits of each, and how can you decide which option is a better fit for you?

Steel doors are a popular choice since they are strong, secure, and a great value. Because they are more easily manufactured, they tend to be a less expensive option. They come in a wide range of styles and colors, so it’s usually easy to find a steel garage door option that fits your home’s design and your budget. The painted finish on a steel door tends to be very durable – some manufacturers even offer warranties on the paint!

Wooden garage doors have been popular for as long as garage doors have been around – and wood offers homeowners the most in terms of personalization and decorative options. Because wooden garage doors are custom manufactured for the most part, they tend to be pricier than steel alternatives, but they can be matched to your home’s wooden front door and trim, which is appealing to many homeowners.

So both options are great… but what are the downsides?

If your garage door gets a lot of use (or if you have children), steel doors can be susceptible to dents and scuffs. Most of these kinds of dings can be repaired by your local garage door company, and regular cleaning can keep scuffs, rust spots, and other issues under control.

Wood doors require more maintenance, as a stained and sealed finish is going to need to be touched up from time to time. Also, wood being what it is, wooden garage doors do expand and contract with changes in temperature, so make sure you have a garage door professional helping you with choosing and installing the door, as well as performing regular maintenance and check-ups.

There really is no “wrong choice” when it comes to selecting the material for your garage door – both options have their benefits and downsides, but in the end you will have a garage door that’s designed to look how you want it to look, and to function how you need it to function. It’s all in the aesthetics – if you really want a wooden garage door to fit with the design and other finishes of your home, go for it! Just be prepared to keep an eye on the finish, and give it some care every so often. If you like the affordability and color options that steel doors can offer, go that route! Just make sure that the door you end up with fits in with your home’s exterior, and you will be happy for years to come.

Common Garage Door Issues – And Solutions!

July 21, 2013

Issue: My garage door makes squeaking noises when it opens or closes

Solution: Try using a lubricant specifically formulated for garage doors on your springs, rollers, and hinges. All of these “moving parts” can cause noise or squeaking – just be careful that you don’t lubricate the track! If this doesn’t fix the noise issue for you, call a garage door professional to take a look at it and rule out any other issues.

Issue: My garage door cable shows signs of fraying

Solution: Call a garage door professional immediately! This is potentially a very serious problem – since your garage door operates on springs and cables with high tension, trying to fix a cable or springs yourself can cause serious injury. Always let a garage door professional handle issues with your cable or springs.

Issue: My garage door opens with loud noises or in an irregular, bumpy motion

Solution: If you are having trouble with your garage door not raising and lowering in a smooth motion, you are probably due for some maintenance. Your balance may be off, your springs may need to be tightened, there are several factors that could be causing your problem – and most of them are easy for a professional garage door dealer to fix! Call your local garage door company to schedule a service checkup to get things tuned up and running smoothly again.

Issue: My garage door doesn’t open when I use push my garage door remote’s button

Solution: The first thing you want to do is to push the button in your garage – does the garage door perform normally using that button? If so, then you know that the problem is with your remote.  Sometimes the issue is simply that it needs new batteries! If the garage door doesn’t operate correctly when using the button inside your garage, or if new batteries haven’t fixed your remote, you should call your local door dealer to set up a service call. They will be able to troubleshoot issues such as alignment, springs, and more.

Issue: When I try to close my garage door, it goes down most of the way but then reverses back into open position

Solution: There is likely something in the way of your door’s closing properly. Check to make sure that the area under the door is clear of obstacles that could be triggering the door to reverse. Also check that there isn’t anything blocking the photo eye sensors and that they are correctly aligned. Give the bottom edge of your garage door a quick look, as well – sometimes it can have a leaf or other debris stuck to it that trips the photo eye sensors and causes the door to reverse back to open.

Garage Door Safety Testing

June 26, 2013

We all have garage doors – and use them on a daily basis. In fact, the garage door is usually our main entry point into our home. An automatic garage door is a mechanized device, so it is critical that it be up-to-date with safety features and current standards. So how do you know if your garage door is using current safety features? Use these three quick-and-easy tests to find out if your door is performing to safety standards.

Garage Door Reversal Test

Photo Eye Sensors are small devices that sit on either side of your garage door, with an invisible laser beam between them. If the beam between the two sensors is “broken” – or blocked – when the garage door is closing, the door will automatically reverse back to its open position, preventing contact with whatever is obstructing the beam. So how can you tell if your photo eye sensors are working correctly? Perform this easy test – while the garage door is closing, roll a ball (a soccer ball, basketball, etc) across the threshold. If the ball triggers the garage door to reverse direction back to open, your sensors are working correctly! If the door continues to close (and does not reverse back to open), contact a garage door professional immediately.

The Dollar-Bill Test

Your Photo Eye Sensors only work if they’re installed at a proper height – they should be no more than 6 inches above the garage’s floor. To test the height, pull out a dollar bill. A dollar bill is 6 inches at its widest – so stand the bill tall, and make sure that the Photo Eye Sensors are not sitting above that height. If the sensors are installed higher than 6 inches above floor level, a person, pet, or child could get under the beam and not be detected (and therefore not trigger the automatic garage door reverse). If you think there may be a problem, contact your local garage door professionals for a safety check.

Sensitivity Test

Every month, you should be checking your garage door’s sensitivity to make sure that the settings allow for automatic reversal when needed. Luckily, this is also a quick and easy test to perform. Simply place a 2-inch thick piece of wood (a scrap works great for this) in the door’s path, and then trigger your automatic garage door opener to close the door. When the door hits the wood, it should automatically reverse itself back into the open position. If this doesn’t happen, your opener needs to be adjusted. Contact a garage door professional to have your settings adjusted so that this important safety feature continues to work correctly.

Performing these three easy tests takes very little time, but they are critical to do on a regular basis. Making sure that your garage door continues to function safely will allow for your peace of mind – garage door safety is a critical aspect of keeping your home safe and secure.


Is Your Garage Door Ready for Stormy Weather?

June 21, 2013

The rain is pouring down, the thunder is booming, and lightning bolts illuminate the skies. You’ve finally made it home from work, and you hit the garage door opener button in your car to open your garage door. We’ve all been in this situation, and the very last thing you want to happen is for the garage door to remain closed and unresponsive as the rain continues to fall outside your car. Your garage door undoubtedly plays a critical role in your daily life, and you want it to keep functioning properly and seamlessly, especially when the thunder rolls in and the rain pours down.

As the weather heats up, Spring and Summer storms often become severe – and can frequently result in power outages. Are you prepared? If your garage is the main entry point into your home, once the power goes out, your automatic garage door opener will also be affected. This moves from a “hassle” to a “really big deal” when the garage door is how you (or your family, children, etc) access the house, and don’t routinely carry keys – which is more common than you’d think!

If you are inside your home, you can always use the pull-chain trigger in the garage that will disable the automatic opener and allow you to operate your garage door manually. This comes with its own set of hassles, though, since you will need to re-activate the automatic garage door opener when you are finished raising and lowering the door, or your garage will be unlocked and unsecured if you leave it in manual mode (without re-activating the automatic opener). So how do you prevent this problem?

Consider installing a garage door backup system – this provides battery backup for your garage door, allowing several open/close operations on battery power. This would completely eliminate the issue, allowing you to enter and exit the garage as necessary. This also allows you to keep your garage secure – if you engage manual mode, raise the door, exit the garage, and close the door, how do you then lock the garage door in closed position? You have to re-enter the garage through the house or an exterior door (not the garage door), and activate the automatic opener once again.

With a garage door backup system installed, you can relax knowing that your main entry to your home will continue to operate reliably, even when the unforeseen power outage occurs. Contact a garage door professional to find out what kind of a system would work best for your home and needs, and rest easy knowing that you’ve saved yourself the worry and hassle by ensuring that you will always be able to operate your garage door, regardless of weather conditions or power outages.

Garage Door Safety

June 19, 2013

Garages have evolved over time to fit the ever-changing lifestyles and needs of families and homeowners, and so have the ways in which we access our garages. The automatic garage door opener was once considered a luxury – today, it is considered a standard appliance in our homes. A garage door is typically the main access point into our homes – and therefore, we need to make sure it continues to function with the convenience, security, and safety we expect out of a mechanical device that we use every day.

Two Decades? Too Long!

If your garage door is more than 20 years old, it could be dangerously out-of-date. The idea that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” many of us apply to various household devices could be risky when it comes to your garage door. Any garage door opener that was installed prior to 1993 is potentially a safety risk (as mandates in 1993 tightened safety standards), so have a garage door professional perform a safety check on your garage door, and make any necessary updates or repairs.

Perform Regular Garage Door Maintenance

Keep your garage door properly maintained – and therefore, properly functioning. Your garage door’s moving parts should be clean and lubricated to keep them as safe as possible. Perform regular “balance checks” on your garage door – just pull the door opener release mechanism so that your garage door is operating manually. A well-balanced door that is properly spring-loaded and moving freely on its tracks will lift smoothly, and should stay open when the door is three or four feet above the ground.

DIY Disaster

Never attempt to install or repair your garage door yourself! A garage door is a mechanical object that can be dangerous if you are not familiar with the various fine-tuned parts. For example, the counter balance springs store kinetic energy that is used to lift your garage door. You could seriously injure yourself by mistake if you are using improper tools or methods for garage door repair. Always consult a trained garage door technician for all but the most minor of repairs.

We have made enormous strides in technology – and as a result, garage door opening has become mechanized and automatic. With new technology comes new innovations in installation and safety – and if you are using old technology to operate your garage door, consider having it inspected or replaced to keep it working well (and safely). Regular maintenance will help to keep you from experiencing many minor issues with your garage door, and remember to always consult a professional for all but the most basic repairs to avoid injury.

Choosing a New Garage Door

May 30, 2013

Choosing a new Garage Door is a big purchasing decision since most garage doors, if well-maintained, will last for years. So how do you know how to select the right new garage door for your home? Here are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind:


Opening Size

This is basic – but very important! How big is the available opening for your new garage door? Measure the width and height of your garage door opening to make sure you’re looking at the right size for your garage.


Headroom / Sideroom / Backroom

These are some of the important “extra” measurements you’ll need to know. The Headroom is the distance from the top of the garage door to the ceiling or other obstruction above the garage door. The Sideroom is the distance from the left and right edges of your garage door opening to the wall or other obstruction. The Backroom is the distance from the header (the area on the interior of the garage, just above the garage door opening) to the back wall or other obstruction.


Door Appearance

This is an important one – you want your new garage door to look great and add curb appeal to your home! Choose a style and color that compliment your home, and consider a model with windows to add beauty as well as some natural light into your garage.


Garage Door Options

Consider whether you will want a center or side lock on your new garage door, what type of spring option you’re looking for (torsion or extension – we  recommend torsion), and other issues related to the function of your new garage door.


Track Configuration

You will need to know the appropriate track configuration for your space – whether you will want a 15” radius (which is standard), a 12” radius, a hi-lift option (which goes up to 36” on residential doors), a vertical lift, or other option. If you can’t tell what type of track configuration is needed for your new garage door, consult a professional.


Your new garage door installation is a big decision – these are just some of the variables you’ll need to consider. Consult with a garage door installation professional to make sure you’re getting the garage door you need, and that it is being installed by a trained garage door technician so that it meets safety standards. If you are located in Michigan’s Metro-Detroit region, call Mammoth Door today to let our years of experience work for you and your garage door installation.

Are Your Garage Door Springs Working Correctly?

May 9, 2013

Check your garage door springsOne of the most common problems that we see is malfunctioning garage door springs. How do you know if your springs are about to be… well… sprung? Follow these steps to find out:

  1. Close your garage door and disconnect your electric opener.You’ll want to test your garage door springs by hand, so make sure that any electric garage door openers are turned off before going through the rest of these steps. You’ll want your garage door operating in manual mode to perform this test!
  2. Lift your garage door by hand until it is about halfway up, and then release it.If the garage door lifted smoothly, and stayed in place when you released it, continue to the next step. If not, this can be a sign that your garage door springs are not properly aligned, or that they are due to be replaced.
  3. Lift the garage door the rest of the way (until it is fully open).If the garage door continued to move smoothly, and stayed in the fully open position, continue to the next step. If it didn’t, that is a sure sign that your garage door springs could be in trouble.
  4. Lower the garage door back to the halfway point and let go.If the garage door was still rolling smoothly, and stays in position when you let go, your garage door springs are working and are adjusted correctly. If this didn’t happen, you will want to get those springs looked at – they could be incorrectly adjusted, or could need to be replaced.

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