Is Your Garage Door Winter-Ready?



With cold weather looming ahead, many homeowners begin winterizing their homes to settle down in their warm, cozy sanctuary for the next few frigid months to come. The frequently, overlooked garage door should be one of the top priorities when preparing your home for the upcoming winter months. For many people, the garage door is their primary source of entry to their homes, therefore it is essential that it is functioning at all times. The harsh months of the winter and the below-freezing temperatures that accompany them put a great deal of stress on garage doors, but there are numerous precautionary steps you can take to keep your garage door running smoothly throughout the winter. We here at Philadelphia Garage Doors have collected some tips to help you ensure your garage door will be ready for the winter.

Because the garage door is usually the biggest entryway into the average home, it is especially important to ensure your garage door is properly sealed and functioning during the winter. Failure to do this can lead to freezing drafts throughout the home, and a steep increase in your home’s energy bill. Fortunately, it is not that difficult to see for yourself if you need work done on the sealing and weather strips of your garage door. All you have to do is simply turn the lights out in your garage with the door fully closed, and check if you can see any rays of sunlight seeping through any cracks or gaps along the garage door. If you don’t see any flaws then great, but if you do happen to notice some things that need help, one of our technicians here at Philadelphia Garage Doors will work with you immediately to ensure that your garage door is up to par for the winter.

After the basic inspection it’s time take a more in-depth look at your garage door.  Check to see if any screws are missing, check the condition of any hinges as well as cables. You should be looking for any rust or damage to these, as it can result in your garage door not functioning properly. Be sure to check the door tracks as well and clear off any dirt or debris as that can be detrimental to the performance of the rollers and the door itself. You can actually purchase track and roller and track lubricant to ensure that everything stays lubricated and functions properly during extreme winter weather conditions. One of the most frequent calls we get are for garage door spring replacements, and the cold weather can have a huge impact on the performance of your springs. Our garage door technicians at Philadelphia Garage Doors are on call 24/7 to assist you with any garage door services you may need. Even if your spring breaks at 5:00 am on a Sunday, a technician can still be there immediately to repair your spring and let you continue with your busy day. It is very easy to injure yourself trying to work on a spring or cable on your own due to the high amount of tension and pressure behind them. They can actually snap out and fatally injure anyone on the other end, which is why it is best to leave that type of job to a professional.   

Another major aspect of garage door preparation that most people fail to realize is the potential risk of power outages in the winter due to inclement garagedoorspecialistappointmentweather. You should always be prepared for power outages, especially if you use your garage door as the main point of entry to your home. A power outage will cut off the power supply to your garage door opener leaving you and your family stranded outside with no way to get into your home. To prepare for outages you have a few options. You can get an emergency generator for your entire home, you can get a back-up battery pack that supplies power to your garage door opener only, or, you can simply make sure you carry a key with you during the winter months to guarantee that you’ll have a way into your home other than your garage door if the power were to go out.   
When it comes to your home, it is always best to be proactive. Luckily, if you keep your garage door well maintained there will not be much that needs to be done to get it winter-ready. If you do find that you need assistance with your garage door before winter hits, or any time at all actually, you can give us a call at (215)220-2348. Our friendly, customer-service associates are on standby 24/7 to assist you any time you may need service and will be more than happy to arrange an appointment for you with one of our garage door specialists.  

How to Buy a New Garage Door


There are many reasons why you may be looking to purchase a new garage door, just like any other big purchase you are going to make you need to do some research. For instance if you need a new car you are not just going to drive to the first dealership you see and take whatever they suggest, no you are going to do some research; how many passengers do you need to be able to fit in the car, how much are you willing to spend on gas, do you need a vehicle with four wheel drive and of course how much money are you able to spend on this new vehicle. The same thing stands for when you are looking to buy a garage door. In the next few paragraphs we are going to outline the major factors you must consider when choosing a garage door for your home.
The first thing on the list is choosing a style of door for your home, you want the new door to add curb appeal to your home but you also need the door to fit into the style of your home. There are a few different options out there first is the traditional;


most likely this is the type of door you already have they come in many different colors and you have the option to add window sections to the top.

Next is the carriage house style


these are the types of doors that have a historic charm about them looking like something you might have seen on a postcard or painting, these doors are very much customizable and a nice upgrade from the traditional door.

The last option is the contemporary style door,


these doors look and work like something right out of a sci-fi movie. They are very sleek and most of the time comes in all glass or plastic models.

After you choose which style garage door you want to install you now need to choose the material of the door. The steel door is the most common, you are able to order the steel garage doors in a variety of colors and they can be insulated or non insulated. The steel garage door is very durable and requires a little bit of regular upkeep. Next is the natural wood door, these garage doors are hand crafted to your specifications. Which means you can paint or stain them any color you choose and pretty much have an unlimited range for design and wood choices. Wooden garage doors do however require a bit more upkeep than normal since they are wood and are dealing with the elements you will need to repaint or stain them almost every year and they are subject to rot, warp or crack. But the beauty of a wooden garage door is totally worth it. A way to get the beauty without the upkeep is to choose a composite or faux wood garage door; these doors give you the same option with paint or stain so you can choose any color of the rainbow your design and wood options become a bit more limited though. Since the doors are not made with real wood but a wooden look instead you can only get a few different types of these doors. Last but certainly not least on the list is the aluminum and glass doors, these doors require the same amount of upkeep as a steel door but are a bit less expensive, also available in a variety of colors the glass gives the garage door a nice modern look while also keeping it light weight.
Now that you have the style of garage door and the material you need to consider if you want a insulated or non insulated garage. It is a pretty simple answer if your garage is attached to your home or not. If you have a garage door that is attached to your home than you would most likely want to choose the insulated version of the door you have picked out, buying the insulated garage door will keep the heating cost down in the winter and the hot air out during the summer months. If your garage door is detached or if you do not use the space directly near the garage than a non insulated garage door would be perfectly fine for your needs.
Now that you have picked out your perfect garage door the only thing left to do is schedule your appointment with one of our garage door installation specialist so we can get your dream garage door installed right away.

Broken Garage Door Spring


One of the most common service calls our technicians here at Philadelphia Garage Doors receives is for Garage Door Spring Replacement, these calls happen all year long but in the winter months there is a increase in calls since no moving machine likes to work in the cold.

The Garage Door Spring breaks it can be quite the frustrating time, especially if you are like me and keep your vehicle housed inside your garage to make starting it easier in the morning. Once the spring breaks there is really nothing you are able to do to get your car out other than run threw the door. That is where our expert Garage Door Repair Technicians come into play. Since we offer 24/7 365 service you can always count on there being an answer to your call no matter what time of day or night it may be.

There are so many different reasons as to why your garage door spring may have broke but we are going t cover a few of the most common and give you some tips on how to avoid this problem from occurring in the future. 

The first and most obvious reason your spring may have snapped is due to old age, yes just like the human body after so many years of rigorous labor your garage door springs become worn out and just snap. They do not however do this with out warring, you see at first the garage door will start to make a screeching sound when you open it, this is your spring trying to get your attention and let you know there is not much left in its life so change me NOW. After the noises start you will also notice your garage door sticking per-say, like when you push the opener button the garage door will not open smoothly like it used to but instead jerk in an abrupt motion and then open up. Anytime you notice your garage is not working normally it is best to give it a quick look over. Just a few seconds out of your day can wind up saving you a ton of money in the future.

The second main reason springs break is misuse of the garage door, not many people think it is possible to abuse your garage but trust us it is. Maybe your kids have been playing with the opener, or you forgot to clean out the tracks the last time you gave your garage a cleaning. There are many reasons how your garage door could be misused and it is important to make sure it is only being opened and closed when needed. Teach your children about the safety precautions and the correct way to operate your garage door, not only will it allow you the peace of mind in knowing you are not going to be wasting money on unnecessary repairs but also that your children will be safe when you are or are not at their side when using the garage door.

Philadelphia Garage Doors is always here twenty four hours a day seven days a week with a skilled technician ready to come right out to your home and assist you with whatever garage door service you may need.

To find out more about our services or to schedule your appointment check out our website.

Click here for your Garage Door Inspection Coupon!

Frozen Garage Door


Even though it has been a mild December winter has not yet bared its cold ugly head, in the next few months we will be dealing with freezing temperatures, snow and ice cold rain. With these weather hazards you need to make sure you follow these helpful tips to ensure your garage door can stand the test of winter.

Whenever there is freezing cold temperatures mixed with precipitation it can be quite the hazard, for driving, unlocking doors and yes opening your garage door. You see we have encountered quite a few garage door repair calls over the last few years due to a frozen garage door. What can happen is when there is moister trapped either inside the garage door panels or at the base of the garage door when you go to use your garage door opener to open the door the frost can cause the garage door to break. Sometimes it will be the garage door cable that snaps or a garage door spring will break and other times the panels will be frozen to the ground and break apart from the garage door causing the entire thing to come crashing down.

In order to save yourself and your garage door this winter we have come up with a short checklist for you to follow.

First if you know there is a freeze coming be sure to check your garage door before opening it, you can do this by looking at the bottom of your garage door to see if there is any ice visible and checking the inside rollers and panels. You will also need to check the outside of the door, which will require you facing the freezing temperatures so be sure to bundle up. If you see the ice you will need to melt it DO NOT use just hot water you can make a mixture of water and vinegar which will melt it away and not freeze back up or use a product called DE-ICER. After the ice is cleared away it is safe to open your garage door.

To avoid dealing with this all together you can take a few steps before the temperature drops to make sure your garage door will not freeze up. First you will need to get a water displacing spray; silicone spray or even cooking spray will work. Spray the bottom seal of your garage door and the ground that it touches along with the tracks and panel hinges on the inside of the garage door. DO NOT use petroleum spray because that will cause damage to the moving parts. Next take some snow melt, salt or even kitty litter and put it on the ground not only where the garage door meets the ground but about 2 or 3 inches on each side of the door. Having this down on the ground along with the spray will ensure that even if ice does form it will melt away and not be able to attach itself to the garage door since the spray is on it.

The home made remedies will of course be the cheapest form of prevention but the store bought options will be the easiest since that is what they are made for.

We hope these tips will help our valued customers out but remember our Philadelphia Garage Door technicians are standing by 24 hours a day 7 days a week ready to come right out and fix any garage door problem you may have.

For more information and other garage door tips check out our website.

Get Your Garage Ready For The Winter.


Well another fine summer has come to an end, no more scorching summer temperatures, hours stuck in traffic on the ride to and home from the shore and of course no more vacations (well until the holiday season comes along). It is now time for the kids to go back to school and the temperatures to get colder soon the leaves will be falling and before you know it there will be snow!

So now is the perfect time to get your garage ready for the winter months and colder temperatures here is a bit of a checklist you can follow to make sure your home will remain nice and cozy during the fall and winter.

First and foremost you need to clean and organize your garage, take advantage of the still bearable temperatures and empty the entire garage. Once you have everything out of the garage you can give it a nice cleaning, wipe down the walls, mop the floor I know it seems like a huge task but once it is sparkling you will be happy you spent the hour it took to clean it. After you have finished cleaning the inside it is time to go through all the items you took out of it, what do you need in the winter? Shovels, snow tires, sleds, decorations for the upcoming holidays; these are the things you will need to access in the upcoming months so be sure to put them in last after you have packed up all the other items like outdoor furniture, pool toys, beach chairs and bogie boards and anything else you will not need until next summer.

Now that you have everything organized and put away it is time to give your garage door a full inspection. First you will need to close the door while you are inside the garage, once the door is shut check around the bottom, top and side to see if there are any gaps that cold air could enter through. If you notice a gap there are a few ways to seal it.  There are tons of weather-stripping options on the market and most are easy enough to install by yourself, but if you are unsure on what one will work best for you simply contact your local garage door company and you can have an expert come right out and show you the best weather-stripping options you have. If you are looking for a way to seal up the gaps without purchasing anything you can always use old towels or pool noodles to fill in the gap, just remember these will not keep all the cold air out and you will see it in your heating bill.

After you are done finding any gaps in your door it is time to check out your hardware, hinges, cables and rollers all need to be in tip-top shape to withstand the winter months so do a quick check on these things. Check your hinges are all the screws there? Is there any rust? If you notice something wrong with the hinges you can easily go to the hardware store and replace them or get some extra screws. Next check your rollers on the track of the door clean them of any debris or dirt and spray a little lubricant in there this will make sure your door can open easily once the cold hits. Now time to check your cables and springs do they look worn out or frayed? If the answer is yes then it is time to call in the professionals. Repairing or replacing garage door springs or cables may seem like a simple enough task to take on yourself but please do not do it. Philadelphia Garage Doors employes expert garage door repair technicians for a reason, these springs and cables hold so much tension if not dealt with properly they can cause serious injury. If all of your hardware is in working condition than you are almost ready to call your garage door preparation complete.

The last thing you need to do to make sure your garage door is ready for the colder weather is check your garage door opener! Make sure the batteries are full and all of your remotes work. Nothing is worse than trying to get into your garage in the middle of a snow storm and your opener decides to not open. If you are unable to check the opener yourself our friendly experts will come out and do it for you and also provide you with a free garage door readiness examination while they are there. Never hurts to have a second opinion right.

Philadelphia Garage Doors wants to see how you prepare your garage door for the winter. Post pictures or comments if you have any other ideas on how to make sure your garage door works as well as it can all winter long!

Garage Door Won’t Close


My Door Won’t Close!
This is probably one of the most common phrases heard throughout garage door service industry. You’re late for work/dinner/meeting whatever else it is that you cannot miss and you back out of the garage with the door open of course (don’t worry there are many of people who forget this important step!). You press the remote button and nothing. Press it again and nothing now you are screaming and yelling wondering who you can blame for breaking your garage door opener it because it sure as heck wasn’t you. STOP. RELAX. Take a deep breath. Ok good are you nice and calm now? Let’s go over some easy steps to help fix this problem.

Press the button on the wall and see if the door will close. If it does close then the problem is most likely the “Lock Out Switch” or “Vacation Switch”. Just about every opener manufacturer puts these on their wall control stations for what reason other than annoy the consumer we have not figured it out yet either. So most wall stations have 3 main buttons the “Open/Close” of course the most common, the “Light” used by everyone unless you can see in the dark!! And last but certainly not least the “Lock/Vacation” the little button you probably always wondered what it was for. Well now you know that this little button has caused quite a few customers to call in panic because they cannot get their door to shut. Simply toggle the button and press your remote the door should come right down and you can be on your way again.

Well if the lock button did not do the trick then it is time to move on with the list. The photo-eyes (or sensors) are mounted on either side of the door near the floor they send a beam of light and if the beam is broken by a broom or roll of wrapping paper that fell into the way then you door will not close. Now unlike the lock button this sensor does have a purpose you see if you or your children or pet decided to walk under the door as it was closing when you crossed the beam the door would stop closing. This ensures that you will not get smashed by your 300 lb door but this also mean that if they are not aligned right or there is something blocking them the door will not close either leaving you stranded screaming at your garage door.

Here is a little check list to make sure they are lined up:
#1 Check & make sure sensors are aligned; #2 Make sure nothing is blocking sensors (garbage bag, broom, etc. – it happens more than you would think); #3 Clean the lens on each sensor – sometimes dirt or grass clippings can interfere; #4 Check wires to the sensors & the one’s going to the power head – make sure they didn’t come loose; #5 Check & see if sun is shining on sensors. Sometimes the sun can “blind” the sensors and cause them to think an object is blocking the opening. If this is the case the sensors may need moved further into the garage.

The next step is to make sure the sensitivity settings are correct. If you’re not comfortable with making adjustments to the opener settings which if not done correctly can make the problem even worse than it already is, then you should call a garage door professional to check the operator. If you are feeling ambitious then you should get the opener manual and find out where the sensitivity settings are if you still have the manual if not most can be found online. Before you adjust the sensitivity disconnect the opener from the door by pulling the emergency release. Check to see how the door balances and moves. If the door is hard to open or close the problem may not be the opener. You may need to call a professional to adjust the garage door. If the door works well manually then reconnect the opener and adjust the close sensitivity. If you put a thick piece of wood under the door & the opener doesn’t reverse you need to increase the sensitivity or someone could get injured.

If all of these steps fail it is time to call the professionals a garage door can be a sensitive machine and tampering with it can cause serious injury to you or someone else so before attempting any of the above mentioned tips make sure you are alone in the garage and everyone in the house knows that you are working on it.

Garage Door Maintenance


First and foremost let’s talk about why it is important to perform regular maintenance on your garage door, since 1990 there has been an average of 20,000 people a year treated for injuries cause by garage doors. The majority of these injuries could have been avoided with a little bit of garage door maintenance. In the next few paragraphs we will discuss a few tips you can follow to ensure that none of your friends or family members will become a part of the statistics for garage door injuries.
When conducting this garage door safety test be sure to inform all members of the household not to go near the door until you are done.
First you should start off with a visual inspection, so stand inside your garage with the garage door closed and look over all the springs, cables, rollers, hinges and pulleys for signs of wear or damage. Check the springs to make sure they are not stretched out, wires are not fraying and all screws a nice and tight. Be observant if something doesn’t look right or sound normal it is a good sign that its not.
Second you will want to test the balance of the garage door, simply meaning does it open evenly. If you have a garage door opener you will want to disconnect it and then manually open the door. The door should be easy to lift with no resistance and open evenly and should remain fully open. If it is hard to open, opens one side easier than the other or does not stay open it is probably out of balance and should be serviced by a garage door professional.
After checking that everything looks ok and that the door is balanced you will want to test the reversing mechanism test, after January 1, 1993 all garage door openers manufactured must be equipped with a reversing mechanism required by federal law. To test the reversing mechanism open the door fully and lay a roll of paper towels in the middle of the opening on the ground where the door would touch when closed and hit the button to close the door, when the door reaches the paper towels it should automatically stop and reverse itself. If your door does not reverse back up it is time to call in the professionals so they can fix the sensors.
Finally you should test the force setting on your garage door only if it is equipped with a garage door opener. Open the door all the way then hit the close button preferably on your remote and out stretch your hand when the door hits your hands try to push back on the door if the door does not easily reverse and continues to close immediately pull your hands away and call your local garage door service provider.
If you are unable to complete any of these steps call your garage door repair company right away, a simple garage door repair can be the difference between life and death. And remember a little lubrication goes a long way, keeping your tracks and rollers lubricated can save you a hassle of more costly garage door repairs.