What’s The Difference Between Torsion & Extension Springs?

What’s The Difference Between Torsion & Extension Springs?

As a homeowner, you’ve probably never researched the parts of your garage door, but you’ve most likely heard of a garage door’s torsion or extension springs. These are two different types of springs that are responsible for managing your garage door’s counterbalance system. The counterbalance system uses force to offset the weight of the door, allowing it to safely and reliably raise and lower. To manage the counterweight, the system uses either a torsion or extension spring.

So if both springs perform the same function, what’s the difference?

TORSION SPRINGS VS. EXTENSION SPRINGS

While there are several different types of springs that can be used in your garage door’s counterbalance system, the two most popular options professionals use are torsion and extension springs.

Torsion Springs

Torsion springs are the most common and more modern garage door spring option. They are available in several sizes and lengths that are calculated based on your garage door weight, height and track radius. They are large springs that are installed on the top of the garage door, and when they are operated, they slide into a channel where lifting cables are attached. To lift and lower the door, torsion springs wind and unwind in a controlled motion. Benefits of torsion springs include:

  • Sturdier and longer lasting: While torsion springs are more expensive than extension springs, they are more durable and last 15,000 to 20,000 cycles.
  • Less wear: When raising and lowering your door, torsion springs offer a steadier movement that keeps the door better balanced and creates less stress on parts. With torsion springs, your garage door opener doesn’t have to work as hard to open and close the door.
  • Safer: If your garage door spring ever breaks, the torsion spring will create a loud sound but remain inside its shaft, while extension springs can snap off and cause property damage as well as injury. 

Extension Springs

Extension springs are older technology, but they are still a common option for many garage doors because they are less expensive than torsion springs and are an ideal solution for small garages. They don’t occupy much overhead space because they are installed on the side of the door versus overhead and extend whenever the door is operating.

While a popular spring option, extension springs are less recommended by professionals because they only last 10,000 cycles, require more maintenance than torsion springs, operate with a jerking motion that results in additional wear and tear and can be a safety hazard when broken — they can snap away causing personal injury or damages. However, despite these drawbacks, extension springs are generally safe when the safety cables are installed, and they are properly maintained.

TRUST STAPLEY ACTION GARAGE DOOR WITH YOUR GARAGE DOOR NEEDS

Whether your garage door utilizes torsion or extension springs, the experts at Stapley Action Garage Door are available to maintain your system or perform safe, fast and effective replacements. If you’re unsure of what type of spring system your garage uses, feel free to consult the expertise of our trained technicians — we are happy to answer any questions you may have and make recommendations about which option works best for your daily needs and budget.

If you’re looking for torsion spring replacement in the Phoenix area, call the professionals at Stapley Action Garage Door with your garage door installation and maintenance needs. Since 1986, we’ve been the most trusted garage door sales and repair company in Arizona and throughout the Mesa and Flagstaff communities. We also offer a large selection of high-quality and attractive Clopay® garage doors. Schedule garage door services today by filling out our online form or calling 480-655-1255 to speak to one of our specialists.

Spring Cleaning Maintenance For Your Garage

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With the arrival of spring, you might’ve opened your garage to realize that this space has become a haven for overflow and unorganized storage — old boxes and toys, seasonal decor, home improvement tools, vehicle fluids, lawn and garden equipment and more. While cleaning and organizing may seem impossible, you can easily reclaim the space in only a day or weekend.

Start by establishing a clear objective or vision to reorganize your garage to fit your daily needs. For example, do you simply want more organized storage for tools and decor, or do want to repurpose the space into a workshop or hobby area?

Once you have your objective, start by sorting through all of the items currently stored in your garage and place them into three categories — keep, donate and toss. Get rid of any toys your children have outgrown or no longer use as well as broken items, expired chemicals and anything you haven’t used in the past two years.

Now that you’ve decluttered, you can begin simple cleaning and garage organization.

SPRING CLEANING GARAGE ORGANIZATION TIPS

Once you’ve organized your garage clutter, you can clean the space to keep it attractive and safe — sweep up debris, hose the floor and scrub with a gentle cleanser. If you need to remove any grease, oil, paint or rust stains, use a natural or heartier cleaning chemical. 

To begin organizing your garage, measure the dimensions of the room — including the size and location of windows, doors and light switches — to help determine the type and size of storage best suited for the space. Also, record the area your car requires. For effective and proper organization, keep frequently used items, such as bicycles and trash or recycling bins, easily accessible. Also, categorize similar items like yard tools, seasonal decor or sporting equipment, so they stay together.

The next step is to decide on the best storage options and find a new place for everything:

  • After you’ve categorized the items you kept, determine where each category should be stored. Consider how often you use each item and the storage space available.
  • Use built-in cabinets and clear, modular storage versus cabinets with doors. With open shelving and clear bins, you can quickly scan the items stored in each space and be discouraged from hiding clutter behind shut doors.
  • For organizing tools, sports equipment and gardening tools, consider vertical storage like a wall-mounted pegboard or wire grid.
  • To utilize wasted ceiling space, install overhead garage shelves that are mounted to the ceiling for seldom-used items like camping gear and outdoor or holiday decorations.
  • Keep any items or storage units off of the floor to free up foot room and car space and avoid unsightly, disorganized piles.

After cleaning and organizing your garage, create a schedule to maintain your organization efforts and remember to promptly put away items after they’ve been used.

FOR ALL YOUR GARAGE DOOR NEEDS, CONTACT STAPLEY ACTION GARAGE DOOR

For over 30 years, Stapley Action Garage Door has been assisting home and business owners of Phoenix and the surrounding communities with all of their garage door design, repair and maintenance needs. 

We provide the finest and largest selection of Clopay® residential and commercial garage doors in the area, and we invite you to visit our storeroom to view our entire catalog. Schedule garage door services today by calling us at 480-655-1255 or completing our online contact form. You can also fill out our online estimate form to receive a free project quote.

Bring Curb Appeal To Your Home From Your Garage

You can instantly increase the value of your home by upgrading your old garage door. While homeowners often jump at the chance to makeover their kitchens and bathrooms, many are quick to forget one of the most important aspects of the home: curb appeal. Replacing your garage door gives the front of your home a facelift. Additionally, new garage doors can offer up to a 98 percent return on investment.

front of home

How Garages Impact the Look of a House

Maximizing your garage door curb appeal can be tricky. The garage encompasses one-third of your front yard curb appeal, so it’s important that the door you choose creates balance, enhances aesthetic contrast and restores charm to your home’s exterior. Each of these can be achieved by selecting a garage door material and design that accentuates the front of your home. With additional lighting techniques and a little accessorizing, a garage door makeover can supercharge your curb appeal.

Garage Door Damage Minimizes Curb Appeal

The expert technicians at Stapley Action Garage Door understand that you want to make the most out of your investment. Unfortunately, ignoring certain warning signs can turn a repairable problem into a costly breakdown. It’s likely that all garage doors will incur minor damage throughout their lifespan and lower the curb appeal of the house. To help protect your home’s value, we offer these helpful tips on assessing physical damage:

  • Small dents and scratches: Though small dents and scratches can be annoying eyesores, larger blemishes can be a cause for serious concern. Rust can enter into deep scratches, eventually making the garage door prone to breaking. Tend to all scratches as soon as possible to restore the beauty of your garage door.
  • Large dents: Sizeable dents can also affect the long-term integrity of your garage door system. Any trauma can cause the door to become off-balanced and place excessive pressure on the tracks. Eventually, this will lead to a costly breakdown.
  • Warps in wood: For owners of wooden garage doors, be mindful of warps or cracks that may appear. Over time, these imperfections will permanently alter the structure of the door, requiring a full replacement.
garage construction
Garage Door Installation. Worker use a ruler to verify correct installation of metal profile

Should You Replace a Garage Door System by Yourself?

We do not recommend that you attempt to fix or replace your garage door and system on your own. There are a number of dangers associated with do-it-yourself garage door repairs that can lead to serious injury and cause permanent damage. Each garage door is unique, requiring specific parts and tools to responsibly fix problems that arise. Any time you attempt to take apart your garage system, you risk serious injury or death from a falling door or broken torsion springs.

It’s vital that your garage door installation is completed by trained professionals offering a warranty on parts and service. Instead of choosing “cheap” DIY solutions that may cause irreparable damage, rely on the knowledge and experience of trained professionals. Stapley Action Garage Door’s team of garage door specialists will provide you with affordable and reliable garage door parts, installation and service.

Selecting Garage Door Material

If you’ve decided to replace your worn-out garage door, it’s time to choose the material that’s best for your unique needs. Before deciding on the design and appearance of the door, it’s important to determine which material will offer you the most long-term benefits. Garage doors in Mesa need to endure seasonal variations in weather throughout the year, which range from mild wind and rain to sweltering three-digit temperatures.

First, consider three of the most common garage door materials used: steel, wood and aluminum.

Steel

There’s a reason steel garage doors became a popular option for homeowners. Arguably the ideal material to construct garage doors from, steel provides extended durability. Unlike wood, steel will not rot or warp. Though these doors are subject to damage and corrosion, the limited precipitation Mesa receives makes a steel garage door an attractive option for long-term, low-maintenance reliability.

There are over a dozen factory finishes available for steel garage doors, including wood-look finishes. With a variety of panel designs, textures and paint colors, a steel garage door accents both modern and contemporary home styles.

Wood

Durability, customization and visual appeal have made wood garage doors a popular choice for homeowners. Offering unlimited design possibilities, a variety of woods can be stained or painted during production or finished onsite. Raised, recessed and flush panel natural wood garage doors will dramatically enhance your curb appeal. If you want your garage door to match your front door, wood can make it happen.

Aluminum

While wood offers a classic look, aluminum garage doors provide modern curb appeal. Make a bold statement with painting and glazing options. Increase the uniqueness of your aluminum garage doors by adding clear, tinted or translucent glass panels. Though glass and aluminum are susceptible to scratches and dents, these stylish doors will stand out from every other home on the block.

Synthetic Garage Door Materials

To lower their maintenance costs, some homeowners are choosing to forego the traditional garage door materials for the benefits in appearance and performance synthetic materials offer. Along with our wonderful selection of wood, steel and aluminum garage doors, we also offer collections of fine composite and synthetically made doors.

Wood Composite

Would you like the look of a wood garage door without the maintenance? If so, a composite garage door may be right for your home. Unlike real wood, composite wood will not warp or require touch-up painting. The composite is also stronger and more affordable than solid wood garage doors.

Fiberglass

As a reasonable alternative to steel, fiberglass garage doors are steel doors that are sealed with a fiberglass coating. Fiberglass doors are available in faux wood designs, giving you the appearance of wood with the increased durability of steel. Lightweight fiberglass doors require limited maintenance, and their environmental-resistant properties allow them to retain their appearance for years.

Vinyl

Before considering a traditional material like wood or steel, consider the many advantages of a vinyl garage door. Although it may not have the sheer durability of steel, vinyl makes up for it in endurance. This material is more resistant to dents and scratches. While steel may rust and wood may rot, vinyl will endure. Its ability to withstand everyday wear and tear makes maintaining your vinyl garage door effortless.

If you’re looking for a lightweight garage door that will add a subtle touch of style, vinyl is a great choice. Typically, vinyl doors retain their color throughout the entire thickness of the door, making damage harder to notice. Though the appearance of a vinyl door is impressive, it cannot be refinished like steel or wood.

modern slate

Deciding on a Design

Along with a reliable material, the garage door you choose needs to match or complement the look of your home. When selecting a new garage door, one of the top priorities for homeowners is appearance. Since this part of your home directly impacts your front yard curb appeal, it’s important that the design of the door complements your exterior. For example, a clean-lined modern home should feature a simple garage door design to highlight a streamlined aesthetic.

Let’s look at three popular garage door styles:

  • Traditional: Traditional garage doors feature multiple panel designs that add a classic look to your home. Standard short and long raised panels will add depth to the door. Flush panels are flat with a slight texture that subtly complements the overall appearance of the home without drawing significant attention to the garage itself.
  • Contemporary: For clean and functional garage door curb appeal, choose a contemporary design. These doors are ideal for owners of modern homes that want to stray from the traditional panel doors.
  • Carriage-house: Carriage house doors are both charming and practical, combining a rustic appearance with modern convenience. Though original carriage house doors were made of wood, they are now made from a variety of materials and can be customized to your desire. These unique garage doors are perfect for enhancing your front yard curb appeal in an elaborate yet trendy way.

The best way to determine which design will look best on your house is to see it in place. Clopay’s garage door design tool allows you to see how different garage door designs will look against your home. Take a look at these other great garage door design ideas, and let one of Stapley Action Garage Door’s friendly associates show you our fantastic range of residential garage door styles.

coachman

A Touch of Style

Instead of viewing the garage as a space separate from the home, embrace it as a focal point. One of the best ways to dramatically increase your curb appeal is to skillfully blend your garage in with the rest of the home’s aesthetic. With a little attention to the details around the exterior, you can give your garage doors a makeover that will make your home the talk of the block. Remember the following tips for help along the way:

  • A little paint can go a long way: Painting your garage door to match the color of your siding, or leaving it white, is recommended. However, you can also unify your exterior color scheme by painting your garage door the same color as your front door.
  • Landscaping is a great addition: If you’d like to reduce your garage’s negative impact on your curb appeal, landscaping will help. Line the walls of your garage with plants that soften the edges. Surround the walkways around the garage with midsize shrubs and flowers, or illuminate them with landscape lighting.
  • Balancing your design doesn’t take much: Give your garage a subtle cosmetic boost by purchasing small items that will balance your design. Additions like tasteful door handles, molding detail around the garage and new house numbers will lend extra elegance to your new door.
  • Not all garage door accessories need to be permanent: Adorn your garage door with outdoor lights, trimmings and other festive decorations. No matter how modest or extravagant your ideas may be, your garage door is the perfect platform to spruce up for any season.

Adding Windows

Adding windows can increase the curb appeal of your garage door. They can be coordinated with the existing exterior windows and make the garage feel like an extension of — not an addition to — the home. You can also customize the windows by using tempered or insulated glass and experimenting with various shapes and sizes.

Natural light is always an advantage, even in your garage. Windows are ideal for those who use their garages for more than parking. Utilizing windows will help cut down on the wear and tear incurred by your garage door, sparing you from excessively opening and closing it every time you need extra light.

As with any renovation, there are potential drawbacks to selecting a garage door with windows. Glass is susceptible to damage, which may create a future repair cost. Windows are less energy efficient as well, which may be a disadvantage if you use your garage for storage or as a workspace. Windows also allow others a view into your garage, decreasing your privacy.

Still undecided on whether or not your garage doors need windows? The expert designers at Stapley Action Garage Door are here to help. Browse one of our modern collections and see if windows fit into your garage door design ideas.

Exterior Lighting Techniques

Now that you’ve turned your garage door design ideas into a reality, it’s time to shine a spotlight on your new and improved front yard curb appeal. Exterior lighting enhances your home’s appearance and ensures your curb appeal isn’t lost in the night. One way to set the tone for your home is to add lighting to the soffits above your garage doors so that the doors are always on display.

Whether you use solar and floodlights or recessed and wall-mounted lighting, there are plenty of lighting techniques that can give your garage doors added curb appeal. Attractive lights can double as décor that complement the exterior. Alternatively, you can hide lighting within your landscape or soffits to illuminate the area without distractive fixtures.

Lighting placement is also key. External garage lights can also increase safety and security around the home if placed correctly. When planning your design, consider how the lights will showcase the garage area while providing maximum visibility for you and your family.

Garage Doors Create Enduring Curb Appeal

Let’s face it: Front yard curb appeal matters. Unfortunately, an outdated garage can negatively impact your exterior appearance and turn away future buyers. If you believe it’s time to replace your old garage door, the service experts at Stapley Action Garage Door would be happy to assist you.

Taking a step-by-step approach to choosing the right garage door for your home begins with selecting the material that suits your needs. While materials like steel, wood and aluminum are tried-and-true choices that homeowners have trusted for years, there are other materials available that may cater to your specific needs. Arizona residents shopping for new garage doors should speak with a professional to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each material.

After selecting a material and design, you should consider maximizing your garage door curb appeal with other stylish features. Updating hardware, installing exterior lighting, maintaining the landscape and removing eyesores from around the garage can greatly bolster curb appeal. The moment you step back and marvel at the finished product, you’ll be glad you trusted Stapley to help complete your vision.

The Stapley Action Advantage

Take your garage door curb appeal to the next level. Stapley Action Garage Door knows how important your front yard curb appeal is. Allow our garage door technicians to enhance the beauty of your home with one of the amazing garage doors in our collection. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing homeowners throughout the Phoenix area with high-quality garage doors.

Visit our website to find out more about our products and to learn helpful tips on responsibly maintaining your garage doors. Our satisfied customers will agree: Stapley Action Garage Door has the perfect selection of garage doors that will boost the curb appeal of any home.

Keeping Your Garage Warm For Winter

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A garage is a valuable space for storing some of your most important assets. When you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, you’ll want to ensure your garage stays as warm as possible. When you keep your garage warm, you’re able to extend the lifespan of your belongings — everything from cars to bikes and toys for the kids.

But where do you start with keeping your garage warm? Here’s a list of ideas for making sure your garage is warm and your belongings are well-cared-for this winter:

  • Add weather-stripping: When was the last time you looked at your garage door’s weather-stripping? Weather-stripping is often the first thing to start deteriorating — especially when you live in a climate with direct sun and hot summers or when you live somewhere that experiences cold winters and lots of snow and ice. These natural elements can wear away weather-stripping over time, which of course leads to a garage that won’t stay as warm during wintertime.
  • Insulate walls: You should treat your garage just like you treat the rest of your house: by insulating walls to ensure the space stays as climate-controlled as possible during the coldest months of the year. Also, don’t forget about other spaces where warm air can escape and cold air can sneak in. That includes your electrical outlets, which are easy to insulate. All you need is a few minutes and a small investment in materials.
  • Invest in a heater: One of the best things you can do in addition to insulation and weather-stripping is to add a heater to your garage. You can find small space heaters that deliver just enough warmth to keep your belongings in great shape throughout the coldest months of the year. A space heater can also help reduce your heating costs throughout the house, and your heater won’t have to work as hard to replace hot air that escapes into the garage.
  • Choose an insulated garage door: Perhaps the best thing you can do for your garage and its warmth throughout winter is to choose an insulated garage door. An insulated garage door is a valuable threshold against the cold outdoors when the days grow short and the weather gets frigid.

Where to Find Your Insulated Garage Door

Where can you find an insulated garage door for your Arizona home? At Stapley Action Garage Door, our garage door technicians help homeowners with garage door insulation that keeps their garages warm throughout the coldest months. Insulated garage doors are also more substantial, which can lead to greater durability. You’ll also find that they operate more quietly and deliver insulating benefits during the hottest months, too.

We are proud to serve homeowners throughout the Grand Canyon state. When you’re interested in insulating your garage for winter, contact us today or call us at 480-655-1255 for a huge selection of high-quality insulated garage door options.

Snow Removal Tips For Your Garage

snow

Your garage door is so handy and so convenient — but it also represents an investment that should be protected and maximized. That’s why you should be thinking about snow protection for your garage. When winter comes and the snow starts to pile up, it can have an adverse effect on your garage and its operation.

So make sure you’re thinking through winter preparedness for your garage. Here’s a look at a few snow removal tips for garages to help you get started.

How Can Snow and Ice Damage Your Door?

Keeping your garage safe from snow and ice is extremely important because of the damage that can occur if you choose not to. What type of damage? The following may happen when you let snow and ice build up around your garage:

  • Rubber and vinyl may harden and crack.
  • Wood doors will absorb excess moisture.
  • Tracks can bend or misalign.
  • The weight of your door can shift and become imbalanced.
  • Motors are forced to lift heavier loads.

How to Avoid Snow and Ice Damage for Your Garage

What specific actions can you take to keep your garage and its door operating safely through the winter? Consider doing the following:

  • Only close on a clear threshold: If your garage door has been open for an extended period of time and snow or ice has developed along the threshold, clear it away before closing. If you close your door on snow and ice, the automatic reverse mechanism may kick in. Or, worse, your garage door may close and be unable to open.
  • Watch for ice on the threshold: While your garage is closed, ice can form along the threshold. Then, when you go to open your door, the opener’s motor has to work extra hard to pull the door away from the ice. This can cause damage to your door or your opener, so clear away the ice first.
  • Shovel away snow: The same thing goes for snow. Make sure it doesn’t pile up along the threshold of your garage door. When it does, it often includes branches, leaves and other debris that can hurt your door’s seal.
  • Plow carefully: If you use a plowing service, ask them to leave space in front of your garage door. This may be something they’re already doing, but be doubly sure they’re helping you keep your garage door in top condition.
  • Choose weather resistance: When you can, choose a weather-resistant garage door. Garage door technology has advanced to the point where modern options can withstand the harsh winters in certain climates. If you have tough winters in your area, choose a weather-resistant garage door.

Get Your Next Door at Stapley Action Garage Door

Are you in the market for a new garage door? Find an outstanding collection of top-quality options when you choose Stapley Action Garage Door. As a Clopay® authorized dealer, we can offer garage doors that enhance your home’s attractiveness and deliver the durable, long-term performance you want. Our garage door technicians are able to help repair or replace your residential garage door with customer satisfaction guaranteed. 

Contact us today  or call us at 480-655-1255 about a new garage door for your Arizona home.

Storm-Proofing Garage Doors: How a Wind Brace Works

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If you live in a place that experiences extreme weather of any kind, you need a garage door that can stand up to that extreme weather. Here in Arizona, we experience serious wind and dust storms that can pose threats to structures of many kinds — garage doors included. The same holds for areas that may experience tropical storms, hurricanes or even tornadoes. What a homeowner should do in these cases is take steps to properly stormproof the garage door.

Wondering how to stormproof a garage door? It’s not as complicated as it might sound when you investigate your options and make an investment in the right products or accessories. All you need to do is weigh your options and make the best decision for your home, your garage and your unique needs. Here’s all the information you’ll need to ensure you’ve done everything possible in securing a garage door for storms.

Understand the Storm Threat

Why is it so important to hurricane-proof your garage door? Let’s start with this: A garage door is the entry point for the largest opening in your home. Because of how large of a space a garage door protects, it needs to remain strong in the face of a storm. If a garage door fails during a hurricane or another type of powerful storm, the air pressure under your roof can change — which can lead to the roof failing as well as other structural damage.

Then there’s also the cost of replacing a garage door. Even if a garage door’s failure doesn’t lead to structural damage or roof failure, you’ll still need to go through the costly process of replacing your old garage door and hauling it away. It’s always better to get a durable garage door that can withstand hurricane-strength winds in the first place.

Option 1: Get a Hurricane-Proof Garage Door

If you’re in the market for a new garage door, you can choose a hurricane-proof model that is strong enough to withstand almost any type of extreme weather. Hurricane-proof garage doors often feature twist-resistant components like framing, as well as track systems made of super-durable steel. You can also choose an impact-resistant garage door that’s going to give you similar features and benefits, including steel or fiberglass construction and designs that are meant to prevent damage from objects that come into contact with the garage door.

Don’t forget the windows, either. You’ll want hurricane-proof garage door windows that can also survive extreme weather events. Also, many cities and other local or regional governments have codes in place that dictate minimum standards for wind resistance in home construction — including garage doors.

Option 2: Bracing a Garage Door

You can also choose a wind brace for garage doors if you’re not in the market for a completely new door. A wind brace kit helps you retrofit your garage door for greater strength in the midst of a wind storm or hurricane. Wondering how a wind brace works? It simply provides additional structure and hardware that promotes the integrity of the existing garage door in case of high winds.

A garage door wind brace costs about a third or half of what a new garage door might cost, so be sure to weigh the benefit carefully before making a decision.

What’s the Best Choice for You?

Only you can answer the question or what’s best for you and your home. If you have a fairly new garage door that you would like to strengthen and keep in good shape as long as possible, a wind brace kit might be the best option. If you have an aging garage door that needs replacing anyway, you may consider a storm-resistant option that eliminates the need for a bracing kit.

Need Guidance?

At Stapley Action Garage Door, we work with homeowners in Mesa and throughout the Phoenix area who need guidance when making important decisions about their garage doors and about their homes. Are you considering a hurricane-proof garage door? Are you trying to decide between a new garage door and the additional strength of a bracing kit? We would be glad to talk through your options or even to visit your home and provide an expert recommendation.

When you choose Stapley Action Garage Door, you can rest assured you’re getting service from the best of the best in the Mesa, Flagstaff and other surrounding areas. Our experienced and knowledgeable garage technicians work quickly and effectively to meet your needs and ensure you have the high-functioning garage door your home requires to operate at its peak potential. For garage door installation, repair or maintenance, or for other services like wind bracing, trust the expert team you’ll find at Stapley Action Garage Door.

Contact us today or call us at 480-655-1255 about hurricane-proof garage doors or wind bracing kits.

The Dangers of Repairing a Garage Door Yourself — What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

tools

As homeowners, we all have this lingering desire to take care of repairs and maintenance on our own — to become masters of the DIY lifestyle. And that’s wonderful in cases where the repairs or maintenance are easy and safe to accomplish. But it’s not quite as good of an idea when attempting DIY repairs can pose a serious threat to the homeowner’s safety.

This certainly holds true when it comes to repairs for a garage door. The dangers of DIY garage door repair are numerous and should be taken seriously before you engage in a project. Here’s a look at the reasons behind the dangers of repairing a garage door.

The Need for Knowledge

There’s no replacement for knowledge and experience when it comes to repairing a garage door. One of the most common things to happen when a homeowner conducts DIY repairs is that they end up making a problem worse. Of course, when you make a garage door repair issue worse, it costs you time and money.

When you choose an experienced and knowledgeable garage door repair technician, however, he or she can quickly diagnose the issue, make recommendations and then execute on the chosen repair or replacement.

The Need for Tools

Checking your garage door and making needed repairs requires a unique set of tools that aren’t typically present in the home. Why? Because most homeowners wouldn’t have a use for garage door-specific tools most of the time, and buying those tools wouldn’t be worth the investment.

When you choose professional garage door repair and maintenance, technicians should arrive with the proper tools ready to go. Professionals have the tools, and they also know how to use them.

The Three Most Common Garage Door Accidents

While any number of things can go wrong during DIY garage door repairs, three accidents stand out as the most common. The following possibilities should also serve as good reasons for you to pass on DIY garage door repairs:

  1. Falls: Not only do garage door repairs ask you to work on a stool, ladder or another elevated surface, but the nearness of the ceiling can put you in situations that make falls more likely. When you fall, you could injure yourself or someone else, and you may also damage equipment that’s either nearby or being used at the time of the fall.
  2. Springs: This is the greatest danger homeowners face when working on their own garage doors. Torsion springs are under an immense amount of tension and pressure. It’s the tension and pressure that make your garage door raise and lower with ease — but they may also turn garage door repairs dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Professionals know how to handle torsion springs and how to prevent them from becoming projectiles that could cause serious damage and danger.
  3. Collapses: Garage doors weigh hundreds of pounds. And, when you’re inexperienced and trying to perform DIY repair, the likelihood of a garage door and its hundreds of pounds collapsing on you shoots through the roof.

As noted, so many things can go wrong with a garage door, and many of those things can get worse — or become dangerous — when an inexperienced homeowner tries out DIY repairs. So, rather than making things worse and putting yourself in harm’s way, lean on a professional’s experience and knowledge.

What Can You Do on Your Own?

While garage door repairs can be dangerous for DIY enthusiasts, garage door maintenance is much easier. For example, from time to time, you might need to lubricate the rollers and tracks. This helps reduce the amount of friction when a garage door raises and lowers, and it should also help a garage door operate more quietly. Storm

You can find plenty of instructions on how to correctly lubricate a garage door and its many pieces. While it’s not a good idea to execute DIY repairs, many DIY maintenance tasks are tasks you should put on your calendar and do on a regular basis.

Get Professional Support From Stapley Action Garage Door

At Stapley Action Garage Door, we are your source for expert garage door installation, repair and maintenance in Mesa, Flagstaff and the Greater Phoenix area. We offer a team of experienced and highly knowledgeable garage door technicians who work quickly and effectively while also respecting your time and property. We understand that garage door issues are urgent and demand a fast response. That’s why we react quickly to all calls for garage door repair in Mesa, Flagstaff and communities surrounding Phoenix. Trust your home and its garage door to the best service providers possible when you call on Stapley Action Garage Door.

Contact us today or call us at 480-655-1255 about garage door repairs in Mesa AZ. 

Are Your Garage Door Springs Broken? Here’s How to Find Out

are-your-garage-door-springs-broken

Most people use their garage door more often than their front entranceway. In fact, expensive and impressive front doors open and close far less frequently than heavy, utilitarian garage doors. These endless cycles of lifting up and down eventually take their toll on your garage door’s moving parts.

Garage door components experience considerable stress and tension. Think about all the parts in a garage door system. There are fixed pieces like panels, bearing plates and tracks. Then there are moving parts such as hinges, rollers, locks, pulleys and cables. They all experience various degrees of stress. Eventually, they’ll show wear and tear as does any other household item.

But the real stress in your garage door package is on your springs. Your garage door springs are under constant tension, and they’re designed that way. They’re also designed for a limited lifespan, which is measured in cycles.

average-lifecycle-overhead-doors

A garage door cycle is one complete up and down turn. Most overhead door systems are made to last about 10,000 cycles. That can be anywhere between seven and 12 years, depending on how much you use your door. The average lifecycle before something snaps is usually nine years, and that becomes even shorter in cold climates.

Want to know how to check your garage door springs for wear and tear? We’ll provide you with the basics on why they wear out, when they break, how to tell if your garage door springs are bad and what to do to prevent bad springs.

Cold Weather Effects on Your Garage Door Springs

Cold climate locations are hard on garage door springs. Winter conditions cause steel in your springs to contract, making them brittle. Extreme cold causes more tension on your already-stressed springs, meaning they’re far more likely to snap.

A quick variance between heat and cold makes things worse. This happens when you expose your cold garage to a warmed-up car with a hot engine and exhaust system. Thermal transfer happens as heat always runs to cold. Your garage door springs experience a sudden temperature change, altering tension. The same thing also occurs when you open your warm garage and let in freezing outside air.

There’s something else hazardous going on with your garage door springs in the winter. You might have a heated garage, and the combination of outside cold and inside heat creates humidity. This condenses on your cold, metal springs and turns into liquid water. We all know what happens when steel stays wet. It rusts, further weakening your spring strength.

There are early signs of broken garage door springs, but you’re unlikely to find out until something goes off the rails. But this doesn’t have to be the case if you learn to tell when your garage door springs are bad. Just as there are certain spring failure causes, there are specific ways to check garage door springs. Before you learn how to spot a bad garage door spring, it’s necessary to know about the different types.

Different Types of Garage Door Springs

Unless you’re a builder or a true handyperson, you’ve probably paid little attention to the different types of garage door springs. You also likely gave little consideration about how they work. That’s until the day your garage door refuses to budge. Or worse, you might try to close your door, only to see it come crashing to the floor.

garage-door-springs-work-as-counterweights

Springs serve as a counterbalance to gravity’s force. Garage door springs work as counterweights when they’re preloaded with the right amount of tension. Most people think their automatic garage door opener does most of the lifting force. It doesn’t. If you disconnect your electric opener, you should be able to lightly lift your overhead door with finger pressure.

Your garage door springs are preset at a specific stress. Tension is greater when your door is closed than open. When your door lifts, it’s using stored energy to counteract gravity. A perfectly balanced door distributes this condensed energy evenly through your garage door’s travel.

There are three main types of springs you can identify by looking at the track rails or above your closed garage door:

  • Extension springs. These are the most common springs found on older and more economical garage door installations. You’ll clearly see extension springs running parallel to your garage door tracks. They’re attached to a fixed anchor point at one end and a pulley/cable combination on the other. Extension springs are stretched as the door is lowered and store energy to assist lifting it back up. This is similar to elastic bands.
  • Torsion springs. Most modern garage doors use torsion spring systems. They’re cleaner, more efficient and more reliable devices than extension springs. Torsion springs coil around a shaft and are wound as the door lowers. They remain energized while the door stays shut and release energy during its upward travel. You’ll immediately notice torsion springs from the horizontal bar attached to the wall above your closed door. When your garage door is open, you can’t see the torsion bar.

TorqueMaster springs. This is a specific design and a registered brand name. TorqueMaster springs are advanced variations of torsion design. Instead of exposed metal springs expanding along the horizontal shaft, these lifting devices have an enclosed, centralized spring. This gives a cleaner look with less exposure and maintenance.

All three garage door spring systems have their pros and cons, and they’ll all eventually wear out and break. Unfortunately, that can be at the worst possible time. But fortunately, you can do a lot to prevent it by knowing the common broken garage door spring signs.

Common Signs That Your Garage Door Spring Is Broken 

There are a few different reasons you could be having garage door troubles. You might notice your overhead door acting strangely. Quite often, it’s a simple matter of your electronic safety eyes being blocked or out of alignment. Lack of maintenance also causes tracks to gum up, rollers to stick and hinges to seize. But sometimes you have a more serious problem like broken springs.

A word of caution — broken springs are not something you should try to fix as a DIY project. Replacing and re-energizing garage door springs requires specific tools and a great deal of knowledge.

Energized springs contain a huge amount of tension. Many people have been seriously injured or even killed by garage door springs suddenly releasing and striking them. Broken fingers, hands and wrists are common. Eye, face and head damage is also likely.

If you find any of the common signs of broken springs, make sure you contact a professional garage door service company to check your springs and replace them if necessary.

  1. Slow or Partial Opening

If your garage door suddenly starts slowly or partially opening, you probably have a broken spring. Removing one spring from service reduces your lifting power by 50% in a two-spring system, so if one spring is broken, there isn’t enough stored energy in the remaining spring’s tension to normally raise your door.

You might see this as a garage door opener problem. That’s unlikely, as garage door openers are designed with safety devices. They’re programmed to activate at one speed and get the door rolling upward. They rely on the closed door’s highly wound springs to do the early lifting. Once the door is half up, the opener’s power takes over. The reverse happens on the way down.

Slow and partial openings are the main sign of one broken spring. If both springs fail, the door won’t budge at all. It’s rare for both springs to break at the same time, but if one goes, the other will likely be shortly behind. It’s always best to replace both springs at the same time.

  1. Gap in the Garage Door Spring

If your garage door is light and your opener is strong, you might not notice any slow or partial opening. That’s because the other spring still has enough strength to operate, but it won’t for long. The additional strain on a lone spring is sure to shorten its life. It can break without warning, leaving you trapped in or out of your garage.

Spring gaps are restricted to torsion models. When a torsion spring snaps, it unwinds and separates at its breaking point. This shows as a gap about two inches wide somewhere along its side of the torsion shaft. The spring no longer keeps energy and depends on its neighbor to run the operation.

spring-gaps-garage-doors

A broken torsion spring can’t be repaired. It can only be replaced by a trained and equipped professional.

  1. Fast Closing and Jerky Opening

Jerky openings and fast closures are sure signs of a broken spring. Garage doors rely on even spring tension to properly operate. Any tension loss in extension, torsion or TorqueMaster springs lessens the system’s efficiency. It’ll react by harshly raising and quickly closing.

This is because the system is unbalanced. Finely tuned spring systems evenly distribute energy in a progressive and controlled rate. Properly adjusted springs deliver more energy when the door is close to the floor. The energy dissipates as it reaches the top.

When one spring is out of action, energy from the remaining garage door spring is delivered in spurts or fits. Your door will close quickly because there’s not enough spring resistance to slow it. It’ll jerk while opening as energy is expended and reclaimed.

  1. Bent or Crooked Top Door Panels

Noticing that your garage door top panels are bent or crooked is another sure sign of a broken spring. Replacing door panels is much more expensive than replacing a spring. Bent, twisted and broken panels are usually long-term signs that a spring has been broken for some time.

Upper garage door panels are damaged because the missing spring causes your door to go out of alignment. Twisted forces transfer from the track and rollers into the panels themselves. Lighter doors made from thin-gauge steel or aluminum break more easily than heavy doors.

  1. The Loud Bang

Many homeowners hear their spring break long before they notice its effects. Your door springs store a tremendous amount of energy, especially in the lowered position. Conserved energy is held back by the spring and its anchor’s integrity. When one lets go, there’s a tremendous energy release. That causes a large bang as the spring unravels or goes flying across the garage.

If you hear a loud, unexpected bang from your garage, it’s probably a broken spring. Immediately investigate, but be cautious. Do not lift your garage door to enter, provided you have another entrance. Anticipate that if one spring failed, there is a lot more tension on the other. Now it’s in greater jeopardy of failing, too.

If you hear that bang and find a broken spring, don’t wait to replace it. Letting your garage door work on one spring greatly increases the chance of additional damage. You put more stress on your tracks, rollers, hinges and support flanges. You also put more strain on your automatic opener.

additonal-damage-from-one-spring

Preventing A Broken Garage Spring 

You can prevent garage door spring failure by understanding the main causes. Realizing why springs break gives you a heads-up advantage for taking proactive action. The best solution is anticipating when your springs are near the end of their lifespan so you can replace them before they fail. Here are the main failure causes:

  • Fair wear and tear
  • Extreme temperature
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Improper installation
  • Incorrect spring sizing
  • Improper preset tension
  • Misaligned components
  • Manufacturing quality
  • Additional door weight
  • Incidental door damage
  • Lack of lubrication
  • Poor maintenance

Preventing spring breakage is an important part of protecting your home investment. But make sure you protect yourself first. Don’t risk injuring yourself by taking on a spring replacement job. Call a professional garage door repair and service company to do it safely.

Call Stapley Action Garage Door to Replace Your Springs

Your garage door is a vital home component. It serves a practical purpose but also adds to your aesthetic curb appeal. It’s no wonder many builders and architects get fussy about garage door appearance. Like you, they understand how the right garage door adds value.

As a homeowner, you have better things to do than worry about your garage door. Once it’s properly installed, you expect it to cycle effortlessly through its lifespan. Part of home maintenance is periodically lubricating your garage door tracks, hinges and rollers. But don’t forget to have a look at your springs’ condition.

If you notice your garage door acting up when opening or closing, don’t wait until more damage is done. And if you hear that loud bang in the cold winter night, take action.

Stapley Action Garage Door has safely repaired thousands of garage door springs since 1986. We’re the leading garage door service company in the Greater Phoenix and Mesa region. We supply and install a huge selection of attractive garage doors in AZ. And we’re promptly on the job when your springs break.

Call Stapley Action Garage Door today if you need garage door or garage spring repair  at 480 655-1255 or use our convenient online contact form.

 

Your Guide to Adding Value to Your Home by Getting a New Garage Door

There are very few home features that have as big an impact as your garage door. You might be in a subdivision neighborhood where row after row of garage doors feature prominently on façades. Or, your home may sit on a larger lot where your garage is set back and more subtle. No matter where you live, your garage door makes a statement. Curb appeal says a lot about your home’s value.

A new garage door speaks volumes about your home’s attractiveness. It also speaks to potential buyers when your home is for sale on the real estate market. Experienced realtors know well how their clients react when viewing properties. First impressions are crucial. They can immediately convince potential buyers to drop in and walk through or to drive past and look elsewhere

The importance of garage doors for resale value can’t be overstated. A new garage door is one of the top ways to improve curb appeal. Changing your tired and dull old garage door for a chic new look adds value to your home. A new garage door will also make help you sell your home quicker. A faster sale translates to value.

If you were to ask any realtor what home improvements add the most value, invariably they’ll say your garage door. But don’t just take a real estate agent’s word for it. Stand back and look at your home from the street. Does your garage door send the “buy me” message? If not, you should replace it.

But why does your garage door play such an important role in the look of your house and your ability to sell it? It’s because of the amount of visual space your garage door occupies. Think about the ratio of garage door area compared to that other vital architectural component—your front entry door.

Entry-Door

A typical front entry unit is 36” by 80”. That’s 20 square feet. A standard double-sized garage door is 192” by 84” or 112 square feet. Your garage door is five and a half times larger than your entryway. Compound that massive visual space with proximity to the street, and it creates an even greater impression. That’s why you’ll hear home designers, builders and realtors speak about how vital “garage door architecture” is.

So many home designs have their garage door as the largest architectural detail, usually for practical reasons. Large, up-front garage doors enable easy access for vehicles of any size. Setting garages back from the façade takes more space and increases construction costs. That’s why when you drive through America’s newer neighborhoods you’ll be greeted by large garage doors. And all of them give a first impression – some better than others.

Does a Garage Door Increase Home Value?

When you ask a realtor if a new garage door increases home value, you’ll get a resounding “yes.” They’re not just saying that as part of a sales pitch. They can back it up with multiple studies done on how much value a new garage door adds to your home. Every single study reports the same thing. Replacing an old garage door with a fresh, modern looking model provides one of the highest returns on home remodeling investments you can get.

The Cost and Value Report is a trusted and credible publication. They’re now in their 28th year. In studies done in collaboration with the National Association of Realtors, the Cost and Value Report consistently states that replacing your garage door is the single best home improvement project you can undertake. That’s for both upscale and mid-range projects.

These studies look at national averages where return on investment value is rated. These figures vary depending on the reporting area, but every one consistently supports the idea that garage door replacement increases home value. They also report shorter selling times for homes with new garage doors.

Garage-Door-ROI

Expected investment returns vary by city and region. Returns from the Pacific Northwest, Middle Atlantic and California regions reported return ranges from as low as 78 percent on investment to as high as 146 percent. That works out to an average of 115.6 percent or $1,156.00 back on a $1,000.00 investment. Nowhere else can you get that big return on your remodeling money than a new garage door. That includes spending on big-ticket items like kitchen, bath and flooring upgrades.

There’s no doubt a new garage door gets you the best bang for your buck. It costs far less than most other home improvements and has the highest return value. That includes increasing that all-important curb appeal, which makes for a quicker sale. How could you go wrong with that?

Changes in Garage Door Designs

Modern-garage-doors

Modern garage doors are far superior to what was available even ten years ago. Back then, most garage door designs were the plain and simple sectional overhead models. Many were flat steel, but you could upgrade to raised-panels with wood grain embossing. Most were white with painted enamel finishes baked-on for durability.

There were limited options for older garage doors. Upper windows were a favorite upgrade. Some windows even displayed mullions like traditional grids or the now-dated sunbursts. But most older garage doors were designed for a practical job. Little thought was given to architectural aesthetics.

Garage doors built in the past 20 years also used a limited range of materials. Light-gauge steel was the most popular material because of its light weight and relatively high durability. Manufacturers tried aluminum as well, but the material simply couldn’t stand up to the rigors of daily ups and downs. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) was another option. MDF took nicely to paint, but these garage doors were excessively heavy. They also didn’t do well in wet conditions.

Today, the range of designs, materials and options available in garage doors is extensive. In fact, choices can be almost overwhelming for the average homeowner. Current garage door designs are sometimes so aesthetic and sophisticated that it’s hard to tell if you’re looking at a garage door or a carefully crafted architectural wall feature.

Garage doors that are selected to complement your home’s original architecture can be stunning. You can make an enormous difference to a home’s curb appeal by changing just one feature – the garage door. In less than one day you can go from being another Plain-Jane on the block to a head-turner. That’s what the right garage door can do.

A Wide Range of New Garage Doors

Now you have a range of garage door designs to choose from that may not have been dreamed up yet when your home was built. You can choose from traditional designs with tried and proven raised panels. Today, you can also customize the color of your garage door to match your home. You can upgrade to old-fashioned carriage house designs that appear to swing from side to side but, in reality, roll up. Or, you can stick with classic designs.

The clean lines of a modern garage door might be all that’s necessary to create a crisp, horizontal effect while remaining understated. You can turn to real wood for a rustic or country look. Many lightweight and durable materials are available in today’s designs. Nowadays, painting and staining are easy as well as long-lasting.

There’s an endless array of garage door designs on today’s market. You can work with your garage door supplier to have any style or combination of options installed on your new garage door. But occasionally, that perfect design isn’t quite there. In that case, you can have a garage door custom-made to fit your taste.

Customization doesn’t just mean a unique design that doesn’t exist elsewhere. You can take a stock design that you like and have it custom suited to a particular size. You can also choose your own colors and textures. You can even customize accessories like hardware, fittings and exterior accents.

Custom windows are also an option for your new garage door. Windows play an important part in architectural appeal. They add that perfect touch that compliments your garage door and matches your other windows to give your façade a uniform appearance that gives your home its own unique look.

Garage Door Safety, Security and Energy Efficiency

Windows-Garage-Doors

Garage door windows do more than add curb appeal. They play a crucial role in safety, security and energy-efficiency. Windows let light into your garage, so you can safely move about during the day. Appropriately placed and treated garage door windows provide security from prying eyes. And garage door windows designed not let heat escape help conserve energy in colder climates.

Energy-efficiency is important to many homeowners. Although your biggest return on investing in a new garage door comes from the impressive curb appeal you’ll get, don’t overlook another value found in the right garage door – energy-efficiency.

Once you’ve piqued prospective buyers interest with your house’s looks, they’re sure to check if your new garage door is energy efficient. Older insulated garage doors were poor performers. Usually, they had bare Styrofoam glued onto the inside metal panels. This did little more than prevent condensation. It didn’t offer much in the way of preventing heat loss and preventing air leakage.

By choosing an energy efficient new garage door, you’re adding one more positive aspect to your home that prospective buyers will take note of. Today’s top-quality energy efficient garage doors do what they’re advertised to do. They have exceptional R-value, a measurement of their ability to restrict heat flow, and are designed to control air leaks on all sides. Highly efficient garage doors are well worth the minimal extra expense.

Select a High-Quality Clopay New Garage Door

Clopay is one of America’s leading garage door manufacturers. When you hear the name Clopay, you know the brand represents the finest materials and craftsmanship available in today’s garage doors. Your prospective buyers will recognize the Clopay brand. Even if they don’t see the Clopay name from the street, they’ll know it from the design and attention to detail that goes into every Clopay garage door.

Brand recognition does more than reassure you that you’ve installed a quality product that looks exceptional. It subtly suggests you’ve paid attention to every aspect of your home. That starts with choosing from Clopay’s extensive selection of designs. Here are the leading collections of high-quality new garage doors that Clopay offers.

The Avante Collection transforms your home’s appearance with a modern look. The horizontal Avante lines use aluminum and glass features that allow natural light through the day to filter through your garage and return to a warm glow at night. The Avante collection also has useful privacy features and a stylish look.

You can also customize colors with Avante garage doors. With the right color, right windows and the right amount of aluminum accents, you’ll be sure to improve your home’s curb appeal immensely.

Canyon Ridge is another Clopay collection that adds beauty to your home with its insulated carriage house doors and faux wood overlays. They’re unique, beautiful and constructed with energy-efficient Intellicore© insulated steel bases.

You get the appearance of traditional swing-out carriage house doors with this collection. The doors look fantastic from the street but have every convenience of modern, roll-up operation. A wide choice of composite exterior finishes is available.

The Classic Collection offers traditional raised-panel appearances in a wide range of design and construction options. They give you the classic look of time-tested door looks made with the best materials. Classic garage doors are made of durable steel and come in insulated and non-insulated models.

Classic garage doors are ideal for areas with strong winds. They’re made with Windcode® reinforcement that meets building codes in hurricane and tornado zones.

Possibly the Clopay Coachman Collection is another perfect option for increasing curb appeal. Coachman doors also feature a carriage house design but are constructed of high-quality steel instead of wood or composites. These garage doors are low-maintenance and long-lasting.

Coachman garage doors have the same charming appeal as the Canyon Ridge collection. They also have a swing out appearance but roll-up convenience. You can also get them with energy-efficient insulation..

For a truly custom application, the Reserve Wood Collection is for you. Clopay can work from a professional architectural drawing or even a sketch to produce the garage doors you can only imagine. Choose from exotic woods like Spanish Cedar, Ironwood, African Mahogany, White Oak or Knotty Alder.

Or, you can step up to Clopay’s Reserve Wood Limited Edition Series for designs that are exceptionally beautiful with high energy efficiency and strength.

Choose Stapley Action Garage Door as Your Clopay Installer

Clopay brand garage doors are your best return on investment for adding value to your home. Clopay garage doors give you stunning curb appeal for a reasonable price. But choosing Clopay as your new garage door brand isn’t enough. You need to make sure your Clopay supplier also installs your new garage door.

Stapley Action Garage Door has been serving the Phoenix Metropolitan area since 1986. Over the years, we’ve installed thousands of new garage doors in homes and businesses. We’re proud to supply and install all of Clopay’s excellent products and to help your home stand out.

Stapley-Garage-Doors

At Stapley Action Garage Door, we’re only as good as our people. We’ve assembled a first-class team of installers, sales and service people. Our experienced technicians provide trouble-free installation and quickly transform your façade from plain to outstanding. 

Contact Stapley Action Garage Door today or call us at 480-655-1255 if you are looking for garage services in Mesa, Flagstaff and surrounding areas. We look forward to helping you take your home’s curb appeal to the next level.

How to Choose the Right Garage Door Opener

garage door opener

When it comes to new home construction in America, a garage is relatively standard.

Consider these 2015 statistics from the National Association of Home Builders:

  • 61% of new home constructions featured a two-car garage.
  • 24% had a garage large enough for three or more cars.
  • 6% had a single-car garage — most which were found in smaller townhouses.

While the number of homes with a garage of some kind is increasing, there are still some considerations for homeowners. What is the best type of garage door? What sort of security features should I include? And, for the purpose of this guide, how to I pick a garage door opener?

Garage door openers are extremely important, and, recently, they have undergone some technological innovations, especially by integrating smart technology.

To help you make choosing the right garage door opener a snap, we have created a complete, expert guide to the opener selection process.

two car garage doors

Think About Noise

Thinking about the noise impact is a smart first step in choosing the best garage door opener for your home. Do you have a room — especially a bedroom — located above your garage? Is there a study or den directly next to your garage? If this is the case, noise could become a problem.

Imagine coming home late at night from a long business trip only to wake up your whole family because you open the garage door. Or, consider a day spent in the home office, under the gun on a big project, only to be constantly startled as your partner takes the kids to school or runs errands.

Many homes today are designed to isolate the garage from more sound-sensitive parts of the house. Some garages are even detached from the rest of the house for just this reason. If this is the case, noise won’t may not be crucial to you — but it might be for your neighbors.

garage-door-opener-noise-impact

Choose the Best Garage Opener Style

Once you determine your noise requirements, select the garage door opener that best meets those needs. There are three common styles of garage door opener, each one offering different advantages and drawbacks regarding noise, reliability, and cost.

Consider these options for openers:

  • Chain drive. This is the most common garage door opener. It is reliable and affordable. Using what is essentially a bike chain to lift the door, it works in most garages and can be adjusted to properly lift both light and heavy doors. Its biggest drawback is the noise it generates. The act of rolling the chain to lift the door creates a good deal of vibration and thus sound. Innovative manufacturers have done well to reduce the amount of noise produced by even the standard chain drive model, so these aren’t the loud machines of a generation ago.
  • Screw drive. Rather than lifting the door with a chain, a threaded shaft connects the lift with the door and spins to generate lift. The biggest advantage of a screw drive is the diminished vibration when compared with traditional chain-driven lifts. It’s a reliable style and isn’t overly expensive, although they are generally a little costlier than chain drives.
  • Belt drive. This is the quietest garage door lift available. However, it’s also the most expensive. Rather than using a chain, a Kevlar polymer belt with textured teeth pulls up the door as it’s rolled by a gear system, drastically reducing vibration. Also, the Kevlar does not make nearly as much noise when it makes contact with the lifting mechanism.

In some exceptional cases, there are a couple of other garage door styles that homeowners can choose from. A direct drive system avoids using a pulling mechanism altogether. This makes the system extremely quiet, but they are rare in the United States. Jackshaft openers are placed next to the door rather than on the ceiling. They are expensive, but they make sense for some garages with tight spaces or insufficient head room.

garage-door-opener-direct-drive

Check Your Power Source

 Your next concern is power. You want your garage door opener to be strong enough to lift your door without causing too much wear and tear on the opener mechanism. However, you don’t want your opener to be overpowered, as it will use more energy than necessary, thus sapping efficiency.

On average, garage door openers come with one of three power ratings, ranging from 1/2 horsepower to 1 horsepower. Here’s a breakdown of each:

  • 1/2 horsepower. This is the standard option for most residential garage doors, especially in newer constructions. Today, garage door manufacturers have done well to design doors with strength and durability that are simultaneously light and well-insulated. If you have a newer, standard width garage door, this will most likely be your best bet.
  • 3/4 horsepower. If you have an oversized door, you will likely want to upgrade the power to 3/4 horsepower. Some homeowners prefer a faster door and increasing the power to 3/4 horsepower will accomplish this.
  • 1 horsepower. These powerful lifts are usually reserved for special doors that are extra heavy. Sometimes, older garage doors made of solid wood will require this kind of lift. Other homeowners who have an extra-large door may need to upgrade to this power level.

Assessing your exact horsepower needs can be difficult. We recommend partnering with a professional who has the experience to identify where a higher horsepower motor might be beneficial and where it might be overkill.

5-power-rating

Understand Remote Control Security

Remote controls are a huge convenience and one of the most used aspects of a garage door lift system. They are also pretty simple devices. Simplicity is good — there are fewer things that can go wrong. But, simple means easy to access, and some garage remotes don’t offer sophisticated protections from outside interference.

There are essentially two issues to keep in mind when thinking about remote control security technology:

  • Protect against outside interference. If you live in a more densely populated residential area, it’s likely that you won’t be the only person with a garage in the vicinity.

Your remote — along with the remotes of your neighbors — can interfere with each other, especially if they are the same brand. Without standard protections, your neighbor might be accidentally opening your garage door at the same time that they are opening their door.

To protect against this kind of interference, manufacturers have begun to implement dual-frequency technology, which causes your remote to automatically switch between frequencies to ensure your remote is uniquely connected to your garage door opener.

  • Protect against security breaches. While accidental interference is an inconvenience, it’s not the worst thing that could happen. You also need to be on guard against intentional security breaches, and hacking a garage door opener isn’t that hard for the tech-savvy burglar.

Consider this story from Wired. In 2015, a security technology professional demonstrated how, by using a simple child’s toy, burglars created a device that could unlock any garage door with a “fixed” security code.

6-childs-toy

Fixed security code systems are the simplest remote-controlled lifts available. They have a unique code — not unlike the combination on a padlock — that pairs the opener with the remote. This toy was hacked to transmit every possible numerical code in seconds, essentially turning the toy into a universal remote for “fixed” systems.

However, aware of this security flaw, newer remotes use “rolling” security codes. This would be like having a padlock that changes the code from over a billion possibilities every time it is opened.

According to the Wired article, Liftmaster garage door openers made “rolling” codes standard on all models after 1992. Therefore, if you have a garage door opener that is older than that, your garage may be at risk. If you are unsure if your garage door uses “fixed” or “rolling” code technology, a quick consultation with a professional should offer an answer.

7-rolling-codes

Install Battery Back-Up for Convenience and Safety

Garage door openers are electrical tools. Like your refrigerator or television, they aren’t going to be much use if you don’t have power. Many newer models feature battery back-up, however. That means, at least for a period of time, you will still be able to use your garage door even if your home is without power.

Even without it, you can always open your garage door by hand using the manual release. The manual release is the pull cord that typically hangs from the opener. By pulling this cord, you will be disconnecting the door from the lift mechanism. Because garage doors have ultra-strong springs installed to minimize the amount of motor power needed, you can also lift a detached door by hand.

There are certain emergency situations when even this additional step could become a safety issue. There are times when you need to exit your home, and do it quickly. While every family should have an emergency exit plan, the truth is, under pressure, exiting your home should be as easy as possible. This is especially true if you need to take your car with you as you exit. Batteries are an easy remedy to this eventuality.

Make Sure Your Garage Light Is Versatile

The vast majority of garage door openers come with lights installed. That way, any time you are pulling your car in your garage, you will have a light, even if you haven’t turned one on by hand.

Not all garage door lights operate the same way. The oldest versions only turned on when you activated the garage door opener. While this is convenient in most instances, there are cases when you may need light but aren’t activating the opener.

To compensate, many newer models come with a motion-activated light. With these, if you happen to be entering your home and the garage door is already up, the motion of your car will turn on the light. Similarly, if you enter your garage to get a tool and never open the door, the light will turn on regardless. If you happen to leave your garage door open, the light will eventually turn off.

Because of the kinds of things most people store in their garages — mowers, yard equipment, snow blowers and power tools — having a responsive light is an excellent safety feature. You don’t want to suffer an injury fumbling around for a light switch.

Safety Features Are Essential

There are other safety features to keep in mind, and, if you have a family, safety is likely your top priority. Though it isn’t clear why, there was a huge jump in the number of garage door injuries between 2014 — where the stats had been holding steady for over a decade — to 2015. In 2014, the nation saw 9,094 injuries. In 2015, that number jumped to 17,782.

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Because of the power of a garage door opener and the weight of a garage door, many of these injuries are serious.

Garage door manufacturers and installers care about the safety of you and your family, so they have developed highly sophisticated technology to avoid these types of injuries.

There are three types of garage door safety technologies that will help prevent injury:

  • Entrapment Sensors

These types of sensors come in a number of different forms, but regardless of the form, they are designed to make sure nothing is obstructing the threshold of your garage when you close it. Often, they’re a laser sight beamed between two lenses on either end of the garage door threshold. If that laser is obstructed, even for a second, the garage door will automatically stop closing.

A sensor like this is especially important if you have children or pets. Say your kids are playing basketball in the driveway, and someone closes the garage door. If that basketball then crosses into the garage, there’s a good chance a kid is right behind it. Luckily, once that ball crosses the security beam, the door will stop in its tracks.

  • Door Reversal

While entrapment sensors are a great way to make sure doors never come into contact with an obstacle or person, on the off chance that a door does, it is essential that it also features door reversal.

This sensor will activate if anything is obstructing a garage door as it lowers. If it feels an obstruction, the door will automatically reverse and open again. These features are sensitive enough that many will activate when hitting a sports ball without popping it.

Beyond protecting loved ones, door reversal can prevent damage to your car. Entrapment sensors are usually placed close to the floor of your garage.

If your car is parked halfway into your garage — to unload groceries, for example — it is possible the entrapment sensor will be unobstructed between the front and rear tires of your car. If you then forget the car is there and attempt to shut the garage door, nothing would stop the motor from continuing to push the door downward, causing catastrophic damage to both your car and the door.

While a door with reversal technology may still cause a small ding on the roof of your car, the cost of repairs will pale in comparison to what damage could be done without such technology.

  • Constant Contact Control Buttons

A constant contact button isn’t standard on every door because they can be an inconvenience some homeowners would rather do without, but it’s an important feature if you have a young family.

Rather than pushing the wall-mounted button once, a constant contact button requires you to hold the button down the entire time your door is opening or closing. When constant contact control buttons, people are looking at the door while it closes, thus helping to avoid accidents.

This feature can easily be added to a preexisting garage door opener system or removed, meaning it is easy to change if you suddenly find you need it or are ready to return to a standard style button.

Smart Homes Require Smart Garage Doors

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Smart garage door openers with internet connectivity are the latest trend, and, for many, they are the ultimate security and convenience feature.

Imagine leaving for a vacation overseas. You’ve set the thermostat. Your mail is being held at the post office. You have set the security code on your front door. As you leave your car in the long-term lot at the airport, you suddenly get the feeling you forgot to close your garage door as you left.

With an Internet connected garage door opener, you can check on your smartphone or device to see if the door is open or closed. If it is open, with the touch of a button, you can close it remotely. Even if you don’t remember to check until you’ve arrived at your exotic location, you still have the power to open or close your garage door.

The best part is, even though this kind of smart technology is powerful, it is simple to install and use. Take MyQ® technology from Liftmaster, for example. Simply connect your opener to your home’s Wi-Fi, and then download the app. You will receive email and text alerts while having complete control over the door and lights in your garage right at your fingertips.

You can even integrate your garage door into your larger security and home lighting system. That way, you can check the security of your home on vacation, even turning on the lights at night to help deter burglars.

A Garage Door Opener in Mesa, Flagstaff or Phoenix, AZ

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If you live in the Phoenix or Mesa, Arizona areas, and you are ready to start exploring a new garage door opener or you are building a new home and still need to make a selection for your garage, look no further than Stapley Action Garage Door.

Since 1986, we have been committed to being the best garage door company serving Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale Chandler and other Phoenix, Arizona communities. We’ve done this by committing to unrivaled service, professionalism, and the highest quality garage door products.

We work in both the commercial and residential garage door sectors, meaning we have a wide range of experience. With such a diverse background, we have the know-how to tackle each and every garage door issue we come across. We provide the same attention to detail whether you are looking for a budget-friendly garage door system or you want the top of the line luxury option.

We partner with Liftmaster garage door openers because we believe in their product, and we never want our customers to settle for second best. We can stand by their products because they stand by them. Take some time and explore the residential opener options we offer to find the product best suited for your needs.

Our service team is available for advice or questions, even if you aren’t looking to purchase a new garage door opener at this time. We take professional, courteous service seriously, and we are always looking for new partners.

If you are ready to work on a new garage door opener installation in the Phoenix area, whether in a new home construction project or as a replacement for an aging opener, contact us today for an estimate. One of our professional sales representatives will be more than happy to guide you through the installation process while helping you decide which garage door style and features are best suited for your home.

You, your family and your home deserve the best in quality, safety, and convenience. Let us help you choose the perfect garage door opener in the Phoenix, AZ area today!

For more information contact us today or call us at 480-655-1255 to get started!

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