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WINTER GARAGE DOOR PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Image of a snowy home with a garage and table outside
Winter garage door problems can often be resolved quickly or avoided entirely

When cold winter winds blow and snow starts to fall, even a short walk from your car to your front door can feel like a tortuous experience.

So your garage becomes your safe haven from outdoor chills. But when your garage door stops working, that short walk can turn into purgatory.

Don’t let your garage door fail you during the coldest months of the year.

Follow our tips to prevent the most common winter garage door problems.

Garage Door Freezes to the Floor

When you drive through a snowy driveway, your car’s tires track in snow and water into your garage.

If your weather seals aren’t tight at the beginning of the winter, stray moisture can adhere to the rubber at the bottom of your garage door.

The frozen moisture sticks the weather stripping to the bottom of the garage door.

Then, when you open your garage door, the force can rip the weather stripping from its place.

To avoid breaking your weather stripping, sweep snow away from the bottom of the garage door as often as possible.

You can also spray a bit of cooking spray to the bottom of the garage door to keep it from attracting water.

Thickened Grease

Grease is designed to work well even when heat builds up between moving parts.

It gets slicker and more lubricating when temperatures rise, allowing the rollers and track to move smoothly when your garage door opens and closes.

During the winter, however, temperatures can drop so much that the grease hardens and makes a poor lubricant.

To solve this problem, remove the old layer of grease with a grease solvent and a firm bristle brush. Make sure to work into small cracks. Then wipe the solvent off and apply a silicone-based lubricant.

You should reapply lubricant at least once a year to prevent moving parts from grinding together and causing damage.

Broken Gears

When the garage door freezes to the bottom of the driveway, it may struggle against the gears.

The force holding the garage door to the ground fights against the gears as they try to move the door upward. If you don’t notice that the garage fails to open, the gears could fail.

In this case, you’ll have to call a garage door repairman to make necessary repairs and even replace broken parts.

Grit in the Garage Door Drive Track

During the winter, many people use salt, sand, and grit to help melt snow from the roads.

You may track in the grit on your tires as you enter your garage every day. Or it could blow in during winter storms. In either case, the grit from the ground tends to bury itself in cracks and crevices.

You should be wary of grit in the drive tracks of your garage door (the two tracks on either side of your door that guide it into place as it lowers and raises).

When small debris get into the drive track, they can cause the door to jam. Solve this problem by brushing the drive track often, especially after new snow falls.

Contracting Metal

When the temperature drops, the metal in your garage door contracts.

This affects the tracks, rollers, springs, and screws in your garage door system. Since the metal takes up less space, there is more air between the moving parts in your garage, giving the pieces more opportunities to scrape against each other and get damaged.

To prevent further winter garage door problems, apply more lubricant in the winter than you would in the summer.

Use lubricant on the springs, the screw drive, and the torsion ball bearings.

Prevent Problems Today

Don’t let your winter garage door problems get you down. Apply these simple maintenance tips to keep your garage door functioning properly all year long.

Need help? Call AA Garage Door at 651-702-1420 now.

TOP 8 THINGS EVERY MAN SHOULD HAVE IN HIS GARAGE

Image of tools on a garage wall
Find out the top 8 things every man needs in his garage

Not every man is a handyman, but every man should have the tools in his garage he needs to get household chores done.

When you own your own home, you can’t rely on a landlord to make basic repairs for you. And after all, a man’s home is his castle.

So keep your garage stocked with the basics you’ll need to make minor repairs, complete major projects, or just create a space that’s all your own.

1. A Good Light Source

Garages can be dark and dingy. Buy a bright light that you can hang directly over your workspace.

Fluorescent fixtures work well because the bulbs last a long time and they tend to be big enough to light a large space.

Make sure your lights are bright enough to illuminate your work space during the day and night.

2. Bench Space

You’ll need a clear space to get your projects started.

If you have a small budget, you can find an old, sturdy table for your garage. Or, if extra space is an issue, choose a specialty workbench that folds up against the wall.

The bottom line is you’ll need plenty of work space for tools, projects, and plans.

3. Extension Cords

You might not think about this as much, but you need extension cords and power strips to power all your electronics. And you might not be close to the wall whenever you need a tool.

Save yourself time and hassle by getting at least a 10-outlet metal-encased power strip and a 15-foot cord.

You can also set up a charging station for your power tools so you don’t waste time looking for a spare electrical outlet.

4. Fire Extinguisher

Protect yourself and your family from the danger of fire. Garages contain powerful tools, electrical energy, and gasoline.

Together, they can spark a fire. Have a fire extinguisher on hand and learn how to use it in case of an emergency.

For all the exciting tools a man has in his garage, he needs to be safe too.

5. First Aid Kit

When you’re dealing with power tools, you never know when you might get hurt.

You’re dealing with heavy loads, sharp edges, and hot surfaces. So stay prepared.

Keep a first aid kit somewhere prominent and keep it stocked with antiseptic, bandages, and a cold pack.

6. Tool Chest

The more tools you own, the more important organization becomes.

There’s almost nothing more frustrating for a man than spending an hour looking for a tool in his garage he needs for a 15-minute project.

Try a chest made from quality steel with shallow drawers. You want a chest that uses more space vertically, since that will take up less of your work space.

We recommend finding one that’s 16 inches deep and 26 inches wide. Consider a chest with wheels that you can move around your garage as needed.

7. Wall Mounts

If you get serious about repairs, you’ll likely collect a lot of large tools that won’t fit in your tool chest.

We recommend installing hooks for the tools you use the most often. You can also hang up gardening tools, sports equipment, camping equipment, and other tools that gather in the garage.

Try to arrange your tools by category so you don’t have to wade through odds and ends to get to what you want.

8. Fiberglass Stepladder

When you set your mind to do odd jobs around the house, you may realize that a lot of them require you to be taller than you actually are.

Whether you’re changing a light bulb, putting up curtains, fixing a cabinet door, or repainting a room, you can benefit from a sturdy stepladder.

You can get two-a six-foot model for outdoor chores and a three-foot model for indoor ones, or just get a tall one that works for both spaces.

Conclusion

It’s never too early to start organizing your garage or collecting tools you’ll use for repairs. Take a trip to your garage to see what you need to get started.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR NEXT GARAGE DOOR

Image of house with Clopay Garage door
Do you know what you need from your next garage door?

Unless you have built your own house before, odds are you have never chosen your own garage door.

People usually accept the original, generic garage door on their homes for the sake of avoiding expense.

If, however, you feel you’re ready for your next garage door, you should consider a few things first.

What is your new garage door for?

Do you want to have a more personalized home with a garage door design that matches your aesthetic ideal?

Or do you simply want a door that works well, quietly opening and closing as you wish?

Whatever your reason, we have a garage door buying guide to help you make the best decision. We’ve detailed the advantages of different door features, including the different types, materials, designs, and openers.

You can use our guide to determine what you want from your garage door. This way, you will make an informed decision about your next garage door.

Material

Your garage door’s material goes a long way in determining its purpose. If you buy tougher materials, this means you care more about durability than style. Other materials do better when you have a certain style in mind. Use our guide below to find the right material for your door.

  • Wood: Wood provides an ornate and stylish look to your garage and your home. You can order a handcrafted garage door that matches the overall design of your home. While they enhance aesthetics, wooden garage doors need more maintenance and cost significantly more than other door materials.
  • Aluminum: This lightweight metal works great for larger garage doors. These durable doors resist rust and dents, which makes them better in areas with more extreme weather. However, the best doors are quite expensive. The less expensive ones use other materials to offset costs, but don’t have the same toughness.
  • Steel: Steel offers another very durable option as a garage door. While steel can rust and form dents easier than aluminum, it requires less maintenance than wood. As well, you can add a fiberglass overlay to reduce your overall costs or have a thicker steel. Plus, steel doors can have multiple layers and insulation, which allows it to better protect your garage than other doors.

Design

The style of your garage door can help you personalize your home, even if you want a more practical door. The right style door combines all the features of your home to create a beautiful design. Here are a few ways you can capture the right style for your home.

Match Design with Architecture

Certain garage door designs go well with certain styles of architecture. If you pay attention to the specific architectural features, you can chose a garage door design that enhances them. Here are a few examples

  • Victorian/Colonial: Older style homes do well with a carriage or barn styled door. Wood, or metal that mimics the look of wood, adds a level of sophistication that suits the Victorian era. You can add antique metal hinges and handles with wood panels to give your door an authentic look.
  • Ranch: Ranch garage doors emphasize simplicity, but you can still add design features that enhance the look of your home. Create horizontal lines on your garage with wood slats or banding. Streamline the door and remove any handles or similar distracting features.
  • Modern: Modern styles emphasize the minimalist features of your garage door. The clear lines of metal or wood slats go well with the contemporary look. Square frames with glass panels are also popular.

Add Features that Complement Your Home

Besides creating a door that goes well with your overall architectural design, consider adding little design features that add further beauty to your home. Use these helpful tips to really draw people’s attention.

  • Match details together: If your upper-floor windows use four panes of glass, do the same with your garage windows. Match the handles of your garage with the handles on your front door. If you create unity of design through your whole home, you will have a much more appealing house.
  • Use color to draw attention: You need a garage that goes with your home, but draws attention to its unique design features. Consider matching the color of your door with the trim of your windows. You can still enjoy contrast of the door with the siding, as well as having a unified design.

Garage Door Opener

Of course, material and style depend on a working garage door. New and powerful garage door openers make sure your garage door works quickly and quietly. Modern openers eliminate the rattle of the garage and even store power so you can still use the garage during an outage.

Your garage is an important functional and design feature of your home. However, you can simplify your decision with a proper understanding of the materials, designs, and modern features available for your door. Use our guide to determine what type of garage door
you want for your home.

 Conclusion

When you’re ready to choose your new garage door we’d love to hear from you. Simply call 651-702-1420 and tell us what you need, and we’ll do the rest.

4 THINGS TO KEEP OUT OF YOUR GARAGE

Image of old photo albums
Photos are just some of the things to keep out of your garage

Can’t find a place for your extra paint, old photographs, food storage, or gasoline? Find somewhere, these are 4 things to keep out of your garage.

How often do we stick things in the garage just because we can’t find a place for them inside? A garage can hold a lot of items, but some items are best kept in other areas. Here are four things to keep out of your garage.

1. Loose Files, Photos, and Documents

Sentimental people can build up quite the collection of keepsakes. Drawings from children, notes, lose files, and photos are all things we like to keep. If you want to preserve these memories, don’t keep them in the garage.

Paper products are susceptible to water damage from floods or leaks. Stacks of paper also make wonderful homes for mice and other pests.

Instead of storing papers in the garage, store them in plastic or metal bins inside. If you happen to have a locked metal filing cabinet in your garage, your important documents should be safe from floods and pests.

2. Food and Wine

Food, like paper products, attracts mice and pests when stored in the garage. Exposure to extreme heat, cold, and humidity can cause food to spoil.

Even if you plan on storing canned food like tomatoes, beans, or pears, temperatures above 70 degrees will give canned foods a shorter shelf life. Watch out for winter, too. Canned food that freezes and thaws spoils faster.

After you shop in bulk, store food in a pantry or temperature-controlled basement. Keep wine in a cabinet or refrigerator inside your home. Extremes in temperature will cause wine to expand and leak oxidation.

3. Paint

How many of us finish painting a room and then stick the leftover paint in the garage? It seems like a great place to store paint that we can later use for touch-ups.

But, oil-based paint does not last if you stick it in the garage. Extreme temperatures in the summer cause paints to go bad. Also, metal buckets will rust in high humidity or if left on the ground.

Instead, store paint in a cool, dry place in your home. Many people keep paint in a basement or closet. When selecting a spot to store your paint, just make sure it’s in a temperature-controlled, low-moisture area.

4. Hazardous Chemicals

Never keep hazardous chemicals, such as propane and gasoline, in the garage. Gasoline is unsafe to store near cars and other sources of heat. Without ventilation, fumes can leak and build up in the garage.

Similarly, you might keep your propane-fired grill outside during the summer and wheel it into the garage for the winter. But, if you keep both propane and your car in the garage, you risk igniting fumes from the propane when you start your car. Garages are also dangerous places to store hazardous chemicals because children and pets can get into them.

Where can you store these hazardous chemicals? Store propane tanks in a cool, ventilated area outside the house. Tanks should be set in an upright position away from rain gutters to avoid getting wet. If propane does get wet, it can rust and damage the controls.

You can store gasoline in a shed away from your home. Just make sure the gasoline is out of reach of children.

Conclusion

Don’t worry, there are still things you can keep in your garage! Obviously garages are the perfect place to park your car. In the garage, your car is away from the elements, and it is less likely that someone will break into it. You can keep woodworking supplies, tools, workout equipment, and toys in the garage, too.

But, next time you’re looking for a place to store loose paper, food, paint, and hazardous chemicals, find a place other than the garage to keep them safe.

5 FILMS WITH EPIC GARAGE SCENES

Image of movie clapper board
Many films feature epic garage scenes

More than one movie has made its name by emphasizing cars. The Fast and the Furious. The Italian Job.
The Cannonball Run. Cars. Although more people remember the dramatic car chases in these kinds of movies, the real story often lies with the garage.

Don’t believe us? Consider these famous films centered on cars (or a pair of best friends) and just how telling garage scenes can be.

Batman Begins

. . . in the Batcave.

The Batcave is where Bruce Wayne first faces his worst fear. It’s where he gets the idea both for his superhero identity and for his spotlight symbol in the sky. It’s also where he parks his car.

Granted, most of us can’t afford the sort of garage that Batman has (most of us don’t have caves under the southeast wing of our mansions). But our garages can still say a lot about us.

The most significant part of it, as Batman shows, may be the door. You haven’t reached the Batcave until you’ve burst through the waterfall-or another classy garage door of your choice.

The Batmobile may be more visible. It may be more iconic. But it’s not as symbolic or significant as the Batcave. Bruce Wayne becomes Batman in his garage:

“Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

Back to the Future

How can any car compete with the DeLorean? Even if all it did was open its doors vertically, it would be tough to beat. The fact that it carries Marty McFly through time brings it to the top.

We learn this movie’s focus-time travel-from the garage as well as the car. The garage that doubles as a science lab for a certain wild-haired doctor is where the idea for time travel is born.

The DeLorean brings the adventure about only after the garage has made it possible.

Gone in 60 Seconds

“A brother’s love . . .” That’s why-at least in one movie-stealing cars is okay. Sometimes you have to in order to save your brother’s
life.

There are dozens of cars certain to excite auto enthusiasts in this movie, from vintage to modern models. Admittedly, a lot of the action happens out on the streets or in car dealerships, where the chases and thefts occur.

However, we learn why the action happens from within the massive warehouse serving as a garage for stolen cars. Thieves bring cars through towering garage doors for the sake of saving Kip, Memphis’s young brother.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Sometimes a garage can tell a story even without a car. In Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, for example, two “most excellent” dudes don’t have a car of their own. However, they do have a garage band. And as it turns out, the foundation of the future world depends on the success of the “Wyld Stallyns.”

Unfortunately, Ted may be shipped off to military school in Alaska, wreaking havoc upon the band and the world it has to save.

If Bill and Ted can’t pass a history report, their band won’t be able to end war, align planets, or provide excellent dancing music.

The band destined to do all of these things begins in a garage.

The Place to Be

Whether you are facing your fears, “boosting” cars in 60 seconds, traveling through time, or saving the world without a car, chances are that you’re doing it from your garage. Even if you’re simply helping your neighborhood look classy, that’s “most excellent” too.

Garages say a lot about their owners. It’s true in the movies, so it must be true about you.