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Considering a Traditional or Non-Traditional Garage Door Style

A garage door not only adds to the overall curb appeal of your home, but it also provides you with a method of securing it. Your garage door must be attractive and match the exterior style of your home to protect the integrity and value of your property. There are unique styles of garage doors available if you need a replacement. The style you choose will depend on what the exterior of your home looks like, in addition to the specific features you are interested in (windows, handles, or a particular color). Let’s look at some traditional garage door styles and non-traditional options.

Traditional Style Garage Door Style

A more traditional garage door style will usually be made from a material such as wood or steel. Raised panels are commonly used, adding a bit of tone and definition. They are often square or rectangular, positioned specifically to create an even pattern across the door. A traditional door is ideal if you want a clean and simple look. You can also choose different details to add customization, such as color, material type, panel design, and hardware.

Modern Garage Doors

A modern garage door style is often used in a home with a very sophisticated and contemporary look. There is a large emphasis on details like clean lines, and the color may be dark or metallic. The material of a modern garage door may be wood, glass, aluminum, or steel. A modern garage door is easy to spot, as it looks very artistic.

Traditional: Carriage House Garage Door

A carriage house garage door looks like it can open and close by swinging in and out of its garage door opening. It opens up and closes down like other garage doors though. You get the traditional look of this style while having a more modern function. Its design is from a conventional carriage-style home, created with a large garage that would open and close widely enough to allow a horse-drawn carriage to emerge.

Many carriage house garage doors allow you to customize the look with things like windows and hardware. However, you can also choose an amazingly simple garage door that is void of anything but some simple beadboard panels.

Modern: Sectional Garage Doors

Sectional garage doors are common in more modern home designs. They have clean lines and are usually free of additional details or features. Made from aluminum, steel, or wood, sectional garage doors are typically made from four or five horizontal panels that have been joined together with hinges. As the garage door opens and closes, those panels will bend. The benefit of this garage door style is that you don’t need much space in front of the garage door. The folding action keeps everything very compact and close to home. If you’re prone to parking your vehicles in the driveway right up against the garage door’s exterior, this is a style you want to consider using.

Modern: Slide-to-Side Garage Door

The slide-to-side garage door isn’t something you see often, and it’s a more modern concept. It works similarly to how a sectional garage door functions, but it rolls to the side instead of up and down. A lot of people like this option because it’s safe. You don’t have to worry about the garage door coming off the tracks or hitting anything on its way down. In addition, new slide-to-side garage doors have an app that allows you to control them using your smart device.

The only downfall of this garage door style is that you’ll need to keep one side of your garage clear so that the door can move freely in open and closed positions. Also, if you use your garage for storage or don’t have a lot of square footage to work with, you might not like this concept.

Traditional: Side-Hinged Garage Door

This is a very commonly used garage door that has traditionally been used for single-car garages. Split in the middle, the door will open and close by way of hinges attached to the sides of your garage door opening. If your traditional side-hinged garage door were installed many years ago, you would have to open the door manually. Newer models can be equipped with an opener and remote.

Popular in mid-century homes, there are different details that you’ll find on a side-hinged door. For example, some doors have a simple lever handle that looks like something you would find on a regular commercial door. A lock is also a common feature. The building material for these doors is usually metal, and the construction is sturdy overall.

Traditional: Tilting Garage Doors

A tilt-up garage door is a one-piece door that opens and closes by way of pivoting arms at each side of the door. It’s a more traditional door style but can look more modern using various materials, colors, and types. Unfortunately, for several reasons, a tilting garage door isn’t a preferred option anymore. First, when you open and close it, it takes up a lot of space in front of your garage. Part of the door will hide away in the ceiling of your garage, but a substantial portion sticks out of the garage. You will have to leave quite a bit of space in your driveway in front of your vehicles, which might not be possible if you have a short driveway.

Tilting garage doors can be unsafe if they’re not installed properly or are getting older. Because it’s a one-piece design, it’s very heavy. If any of the hardware comes loose or breaks, opening or closing the door could cause the whole door to come down.

Traditional and Commercial: Roll-Up Garage Doors

You won’t typically see a roll-up garage door in a home, but it’s a common fixture in a commercial building. It’s a simple concept: rolling upwards into a large coil at the top and interior sides of the garage. These doors are made of metal and usually don’t have a lot of frills. However, they’re affordable and lightweight, making them ideal for businesses of all types. The only downside is that roll-up garage doors usually make quite a bit of noise when in motion.

Customizing a Garage Door

If you have a uniquely sized garage or a specific style of home that you want to match with your new door, you can work with a garage door company to create a customized garage door. In addition to achieving a specific look, you can have your customized door open and close however you would like, with various features and hardware included.

If you want to learn more about the different modern and traditional garage door styles available, contact Garage Door Doctor. In addition to new garage door installations, we offer emergency repair services, routine maintenance, spring repair, and garage door opener installation. If you live in Bloomington or the surrounding areas, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How Often Should You Lubricate a Garage Door Chain?

Each time that you come and go from your home, you press your garage door button to move your door. Homeowners rely on their garage door opener to function each and every time they need access. However, issues can arise with this area of your home. In order to experience a quiet and smooth transition from open to closed, your garage door chain should be lubricated regularly. This is something that a garage door professional can take care of for you as part of a routine maintenance appointment. You can also take care of this maintenance yourself. Let’s talk more about the lubrication of your garage door chain and how often this process should be done.

The Benefits of Regular Garage Door Chain Lubrication

In order to fully understand why it’s important to regularly lubricate your garage door chain, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this process.

Smooth Transition From Open to Closed

A garage door chain that is in need of lubrication can be very loud. It can also experience some resistance, making the transition from open to closed rattle. Instead of tolerating your garage door shaking and rattling while it’s in the process of moving, you can lubricate the chain to maintain a smooth movement.

Preventing a Malfunction of Your Garage Door Chain

Have you ever pressed the button for your garage door to open or close, and nothing happened? There are a few reasons why this can occur, including a broken or jammed chain. When the chain mechanism is very dry and in need of lubrication, it’s more likely to snap. You’ll need to call in a professional to replace the chain, which is far more time-consuming and expensive than a quick lubrication.

Garage Door Chain Lubrication Frequency

You should routinely lubricate your garage door chain at least twice per year. Depending on how often you open and close your garage door, the frequency may increase. The area where you live can also impact this maintenance schedule. For example, living near the beach or in another harsh environment can put a lot of wear and tear on the chain. This is because of exposure to different kinds of materials like sand, high levels of humidity, etc. Some homeowners will lubricate their garage door chain every couple of months. Ideally, you want to keep up with this maintenance rather than just waiting for your garage door to sound noisy or rattle.

Try to avoid using a product that is overly greasy or oily when lubricating your garage door chain. This type of product will end up attracting a lot of dust and particulates to the chain. If those particles accumulate in all of the cracks and crevices of the chain, it can become more prone to breaking. If you apply too much product, you can wipe the excess away. Avoid spraying lubricant on other areas of your garage door, such as the rollers or the garage door opener.

If you live somewhere that experiences very cold temperatures during certain points of the year, you should choose an all-weather lubricant. Otherwise, certain products will become very thick and gel-like when temperatures outside fall below freezing. Also, avoid anything that can be corrosive to metal.

Steps for Lubricating Your Garage Door Chain

You can ask a garage door professional to lubricate your chain as part of an upcoming maintenance or repair appointment, but this is also something you can easily do on your own. Let’s take a look at the steps you should follow to lubricate your garage door chain.

Make sure that your garage door is completely closed. Unplug the garage door opener from its power outlet. When lubricating the chain, you want to avoid having the door move.

Use an old rag to remove any dirt, residue, or grease from the garage door chain. You can also use a vacuum to remove any debris that has accumulated.

Apply a product designed specifically for lubricating a garage door chain. These products are generally silicone-based for longevity and durability. You can also use WD-40 in a pinch. Spray the top, bottom, and sides of your chain. Spray lightly, as you don’t want the product to drip off the chain and all over your garage floor.

Plug your garage door opener back into the power outlet. Open and close your garage door a few times to evenly distribute the lubricant. You may need to repeat the process if you notice the chain is shaky or loud.

Other Related Maintenance

In addition to lubricating your garage door chain, there are some other related maintenance tasks to consider completing at the same time.

Inspect the Rollers

A thorough inspection of your garage door rollers will determine if there’s a repair or replacement that needs to be made. You want to make sure that the roller doesn’t shift or wiggle at all when you touch it. You can lubricate your rollers with lithium- or silicone-based grease for optimal protection.

Inspect the Hinges

Check your garage door hinges to make sure the attached hardware is secure. You also want to inspect for rust or signs of wear and tear. Hinges can be quickly replaced, if need be, which helps secure your garage door and protect its longevity. Hinges can also be lubricated if they are squeaking when in motion.

Tighten Your Garage Door Chain

Your garage door chain can have a little bit of a sag to it, but it shouldn’t come anywhere near your garage door. You also want to prevent the chain from being tightened too much, which increases the chance of the chain snapping.
If you need to tighten the chain, loosen the nut that is closest to the garage door. The chain should drop slightly. Loosening the inner nut at this point will allow you to tighten the chain using the outer nut. Make sure both are secure when you are finished.

Listen for Odd Noises

Aside from visually inspecting your garage door chain and lubricating it, there are some other issues to listen for. The sound of your garage door chain hitting your garage door indicates that the chain needs to be tightened. A vibrating sound may mean that the bolts holding the chain in place are loose or damaged. Many people mistake roller issues for a damaged chain, so look closely at both of these areas if there are odd noises when your door is in motion.

There may be a problem with your garage door that requires the attention of a garage door professional even though you have routinely lubricated your garage door chain. Reach out to Garage Door Doctor if you live in Bloomington or the surrounding areas to schedule an appointment for garage door maintenance or repair. In addition to emergency repairs and services, Garage Door Doctor will address residential and commercial garage door maintenance, spring repair, and total garage door replacement.

What To Do When the Chain on a Garage Door Opener Comes Off

Most automatic garage door openers are chain driven. The chain is connected to two sprockets that work to drive the carriage or trolley so the door opens and closes. One sprocket is located at the motor and the other is at the end of the rail just next to the garage door itself. Garage door chains require a bit of slack in order for the motor to smoothly open and close the door. The issue is that the constant vibration that occurs whenever the motor runs can start to loosen the chain to where it starts to drag on the rail or disconnect entirely.

If the chain ever does come off, the opener won’t work and you’ll need to manually open and close the door. This is one reason why it’s always a good idea to have your garage door professionally maintained every year as the technician will always check and tighten the chain. Fixing a chain that has come loose may seem like a simple job; however, attempting to fix it yourself can be dangerous. One wrong move, and you can cause injury or even death. If the chain on your garage door comes off, a call to a repair technician is warranted. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being curious about how the technician will repair your garage door. Below are the steps the technician will take to reattach your garage door chain.

Disconnecting the Door From the Opener

The first thing the technician will do is disconnect the door from the opener. There will be a cord with a red handle hanging from the carriage, which is the part that moves the door along the trolley or rail.

If the chain comes off when the door is fully open, the technician will not worry much as the door will normally stay up even after he or she disconnects the carriage from the trolley. However, there is always a chance that the door can come slamming down upon disconnecting the chain. Technicians are aware of these risks, and they have the training and the tools to mitigate them.
After disconnecting the carriage, the technician will then need to close the door by hand so he or she can access the chain. To do this, the technician will pull down on the rope that is connected to the door.

Unplugging the Motor

Once the door is disconnected and closed, the technician will climb on a ladder to unplug the motor from the outlet. This is essential as the technician will not want the motor to suddenly come on while working as it can lead to injury or even death.

Putting the Chain Back on and Then Adjust for Tightness

Depending on how loose the chain is, the technician may simply be able to slip it straight back onto the sprockets. They will make sure that the chain is fully on the sprocket at the motor. Depending on the specific model, the technician may need to use a screwdriver to pry off the cover to access the sprocket.

The technician will then need to take a ladder and climb up to the end of the trolley next to the door. He or she will see a second sprocket at the end of the trolley. If the technician can’t get the chain to easily slide back on the sprocket, he or she will first need to loosen it to secure and retighten it.

The technician will see a bolt that goes through the carriage and attaches to the chain with two nuts threaded on one side of it. The nut that is closest to the opener is the locking nut, and the nut closest to the door is the tension or adjustment nut.

The technician will first need to slightly loosen the locking nut with pliers or a wrench and then loosen the adjustment nut until the chain sags enough that he or she can enable it to slip back onto the sprocket. Once the chain is back in place, the technician will then start to turn the adjustment nut in the opposite direction to tighten the chain. The technician has the experience to know that tightening the chain too much can cause it to break or the opener to not work correctly. He or she will test if the chain is too tight or too loose by pushing down on it with one finger. The chain should only give by about an inch. Any more give and the chain is still too loose, and any less give means it is too tight.

Once the chain is properly tightened, the technician will retighten the locking nut to ensure it stays in place. The technician knows that forgetting this step will cause the chain to quickly come loose and eventually fall off again.

Plugging the Motor in and Testing That Your Door Works Correctly

The last steps are to plug the opener motor back in and then test that everything works as it should. After plugging the opener in, the technician will reconnect the carriage to the trolley. This is done by pulling the red emergency cord back in the direction of the opener until the carriage clicks back in place. When the carriage re-engages, the technician will usually notice that the chain suddenly has a bit more slack. This is normal and the chain will tighten back up as soon as he or she opens the door.

Once everything is reconnected, the technician will test your garage door to ensure that it opens and closes smoothly. If the technician notices the chain slightly dragging on the rail when the door opens and closes, he or she will disconnect the carriage again and tighten the chain a bit more.

If the door opens and closes as it should and the chain doesn’t drag, then the technician’s job is done. If the motor doesn’t work for any reason or the chain immediately falls off again, then the garage door technician will inspect the opener further to determine what is causing this problem.

Depending on the specific cause, you may need to have the chain replaced, or you will potentially need to replace the opener. If the chain constantly falls off, it usually means that the teeth on the sprockets have worn down to the point where they can’t properly grip the chain. As such, you may need to have the sprocket, motor or both replaced.

If you need to have your garage door chain put back on or you need your garage door or opener serviced in any way, the expert team at Garage Door Doctor is always here to help. We specialize in all types of garage door repairs, and we can also help if you need a new door or opener installed. We service both residential and commercial clients, so give us a call today if you need any garage door service in Indianapolis, Carmel or the Bloomington areas.