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Here are some good reasons to replace your old garage door opener

Does your garage door opener look like something used by Fred Flintstone? Do you have to go through all sorts of contortions with your opener Read More

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4 Risks to Look Out for During Garage Door Safety Month

Did you know that June is Garage Door Safety Month? Started by the International Door Association (IDA) and Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA), Garage Door Safety Month aims to bring awareness to the safety risks that garage doors can pose. To help ensure you and your family are using your garage door safely, we have complied four common garage door safety risks and tips to avoid them.

Falling Garage Doors

When garage doors are well-installed, they’re also balanced in a specific way, so homeowners often don’t realize how heavy they are. In most homes, the garage door is the largest and heaviest piece of moving equipment. It can cause severe injury if it were to fall. Here are a few tips to help prevent a garage door from falling:

  • Never try to enter or exit your garage while the door is in motion.
  • Perform a monthly reversal and balance tests on your garage door – Check out IDA’s Garage Door Safety & Maintenance Guide for more information on these tests.
  • Ensure that everyone in your household is familiar with your garage door’s emergency release.

Pinch Hazards

Pinch hazards are one of the most common types of garage door injury. Garage door springs, rollers, tracks, and panels can all badly pinch a finger or hand if not handled properly.

To avoid this type of injury, never place your finger in between door sections, near tracks, or around rollers while the door is in motion. If you have young children, you may want to consider pinch-resistant door panels.

Garage Door Remotes

Your garage door remote makes entering and exiting your garage quick and easy, but it is important to make sure you are handling your garage door remote safely, especially if you have children. Make sure that your children know that your garage door and remote are not toys. If possible, keep your garage door remote and wall control push button out of reach of young children – at least 5 ft from the ground.

Lastly, make sure the garage door is visible when you’re operating your remote or wall control. Never open or close your garage door when you cannot see the door.

Do-It-Yourself Repairs

Some homeowners may prefer to perform their own garage door maintenance rather than seek out the assistance of a professional. While some maintenance is DIY friendly, installation of a new door and any fixes to rollers, springs, cables, and tracks should always be left to a licensed garage door repair professional. Remember that a properly installed garage door is much safer than an improperly installed one.

When maintained properly and handled with care, garage doors do not pose a threat. Remember to follow these garage door safety tips and have your garage door serviced regularly. If you are in the Portland or Vancouver area and your garage door is due for a check-up, contact our garage door maintenance experts today!

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How to Open Your Garage Door During a Power Outage

An unexpected power outage can quickly make everyday tasks inconvenient. If you have an electric garage door opener, a loss of power can cause the opener to malfunction or stop working altogether, leaving you locked into or out of your garage. In the event of a power outage, use the following steps to safely and easily open and close your garage door.

1. Locate Your Garage Door’s Manual Release

Almost all residential garage doors have an emergency bypass that allows you to open and close the door in the absence of power. Most manual release triggers are a rope with a red handle on the end, located near the center rail. If possible, familiarize yourself with your garage door’s manual opening process before you need to use it. If you are confused about the location of your manual release, refer to your garage door opener’s manual or contact a Portland garage door repair professional.

2. Place Your Garage Door in Manual Mode

Once you locate your opener’s release, it is time to put your garage door in manual mode. With your garage door in the down position, give the release lever a strong pull. Many emergency release levers require a good amount of pressure to engage. If door is still difficult to open, lower it back down and give the release cord another solid pull.

3. Lift the Door

With the garage door in manual mode, it is now time to lift it. Use both hands to lift the door all the way up and have a tall piece of wood on hand that will be used to prop the door open. Even if your garage door seems to hold in place when lifted, any vibration could cause the garage door to shift and fall. If your garage door is large, you may need the help of a family member or neighbor to lift it safely.

4. Keep Your Door in Manual Mode

If the power is going to be out for a significant period of time, it’s a good idea to keep your garage door in manual mode. If you are planning to stay in this setting for a while, make sure to pull the release rope down toward the back of your garage so that it does not get caught on the tracks.

5. Reattach Your Garage Door

When power is restored to your home, you will likely want your garage door connected to power as soon as possible. Ensure that your garage door is down and give the release cord a solid pull to reattach it. It is important to make sure your garage door is unlocked when you are reattaching, as your door’s lock bar can potentially cause damage to your opener if engaged. Once your garage door is reattached, go outside your garage and use your opener to confirm that the garage door is connected and operating normally.

Important Tips to Remember:

  • Do not use your garage door’s manual release when the door is open. If your garage door is open when you use the emergency release, there is a chance that the door will come crashing down. If possible, only engage the release cord when your garage door is in the down position.
  • Make sure your garage door is locked. When your automatic garage door opener is disconnected the door is not securely shut unless you slide the manual lock bar.
  • Ensure everyone in your home is familiar with your garage door’s manual feature. In the event of a power outage, you want to be sure that every family member is able to operate your garage door safely in manual mode.

A power outage may be inconvenient, but knowing how to use your garage door manually will ensure that the outage doesn’t slow you down. If power outages are frequent in your area, you may want to consider investing in a garage door opener that has a battery backup. For more garage door repair tips for Portland and Beaverton homeowners, make sure to visit our blog.

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Residential garage doors: North America versus Europe

The vast majority—if not to say practically all—of the residential garage doors used in North America are the sectional type. The height of the panels Read More

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Should You Repair or Replace Your Garage Door?

Weather, an accident, or even everyday use can change the look of your garage door over time. When your garage door begins looking worse for wear, you may wonder whether it makes more sense to repair or replace it. Read on for some tips that may help you decide.

Repairing Your Garage Door

If the damage to your garage door is minimal, it may make sense to repair one single panel, rather than replace the entire door. Repairing a panel of your garage door is generally a less expensive and quicker repair. Here are a few scenarios where you may choose to repair a garage door panel rather than replace it:

There is a dent or scratch

If one of your garage door panels is dented or a scratched, you can easily replace that single panel. Garage door panel repairs tend to work well for these smaller, more cosmetic issues.

You’re looking for a quick fix

If you’re not interested in picking out a new garage door, it will likely be a quicker fix to simply order a replacement panel. Once the new panel arrives, some garage door repair companies offer same day service.

You want to save money

If the damage to your door is not extensive, simply replacing one panel will usually be more budget friendly than purchasing a new garage door. If you decide to repair the panels yourself, make sure to reference our blog on the dos and don’t’s of panel repair.

Replacing Your Garage Door

If the damage to your garage door is more severe, you may consider replacing the entire door, rather than repairing the individual panels. There are many different reasons why homeowners choose to replace their garage door, including:

You want a cohesive look

Depending on the color of your garage door and the material it is made of, the panels may have faded over time. If you want your garage door to maintain its uniform look, you may consider replacing the door, as the new panel will likely not match the existing panels exactly.

Your current door is old

If your door is older, replacement panels may no longer be sold for your garage door model. If this is the case, it makes more sense for you to completely replace the door, as custom made panels can be quite pricey.

Two or more sections are damaged

If more than 2 or more of the panels of your garage door are damaged, the cost of panel replacement is likely more than purchasing a brand new door. If your door sustains this level of damage, we would recommend purchasing a new door.

Your door sustained major damage

If your door is majorly dented in an accident or by weather, it may make the most sense to replace the entire door. Panel damage is quite obvious, but damage to internal or lift mechanisms may be less obvious. For safety’s sake, consider replacing the door or hiring a Portland garage door repair company to analyze if the door is safe enough to fix.

Still unsure whether your garage door needs to be repaired or replaced? Contact us by phone or email and one of our garage door installation experts can help you create a plan of action for your specific garage door.

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The 10 questions a garage door dealer is asked most often

Here, in quick succession, are the 10 questions homeowners ask most often when the time comes to purchase a garage door.  There are certainly many Read More

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What to Do When Your Garage Door Spring Breaks

Broken garage door springs are one of the more commonly reported garage door problems. Contrary to what many homeowners think, it’s your garage door spring that supports and lifts your garage door, not the opener itself. This means that a garage door spring is under a great deal of tension and will eventually wear out over time. Your typical garage door spring will last 10,000 cycles, which equates to roughly 7 years of use. Read on to learn how to determine if your garage door spring is broken and decide whether you should DIY or hire a Portland garage door repair company.

How to know if your garage door spring is broken?

If you are home when your garage door spring breaks, you will likely hear a loud noise. This sound can be very startling and homeowners often mistake it for something else. Depending on what kind of spring your garage door uses, you may find the spring and cable hanging down or on the ground, or notice a breakage in the spring. Here are some other signs that you may be dealing with a broken spring:

  • The top of your garage door is bent
  • The garage door falls faster than normal
  • When you pull the emergency release rope, the door is too heavy to lift
  • Garage door moves in a jerky manner or appears crooked

If you’re interested in troubleshooting a potential torsion spring issue, make sure to check out our blog that features tips for troubleshooting 3 common garage door spring issues.

Your garage door spring is broken. Now what?

If you determine your garage door spring is indeed broken, follow these 3 steps:

1. Remove Your Car from the Garage

Before any spring repairs happen, make sure your car is out of the garage. In order to do this, you will likely have to use your door’s manual release. The door will be heavy, so make sure to enlist a family member or friend to help you. Once the door is open, make sure to prop it up with something sturdy so that it doesn’t fall.

2. Determine What Type of Spring Your Door Has

There are many different types of garage door springs, but the two main types are extension springs and torsion springs. Extension springs are mounted on the side of the garage door and torsion springs are located above the garage door opening.

3. Decide Whether You Want to DIY or Hire a Professional

Depending on your experience with garage door repairs and the severity of the issue, you will determine whether or not you should hire a professional.

Can you DIY a garage door spring repair?

In general, you shouldn’t attempt a spring repair unless you have extensive garage repair experience. Some garage door spring fixes are more suited for DIY, such as maintenance tasks like lubrication and tightening loose screws around the springs. But when it comes to changing a garage door spring, we recommend that you contact a garage door repair professional.

When should you call a professional?

Repairing or replacing garage door springs can be a dangerous job. Both torsion and extension springs hold a great deal of pressure and have the potential to cause severe injury if not handled properly. Hiring a professional for your garage door broken spring repair is the best way to ensure the problem is resolved quickly and safely.

Broken garage door springs happen! With competitive repair prices and same day service, our experienced technicians in Portland, Oregon can get you back up and running in no time! Facing a different garage door issue? Visit our blog for other helpful garage door maintenance tips or contact us today for advice!


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Screw, Belt, and Chain: The Best Type of Garage Door Opener

Automated garage doors have reached peak popularity, and a lot of do-it-yourself home crafters are customizing their opener options based on a variety of needs. Between noise, speed, and longevity, homeowners have a lot of variables to consider. In general, there are three types of garage door opener drives: screw, belt, and chain.


No specific one is “better,” but each has distinct advantages. While much of a garage door opener’s viability can be determined by choice, several qualities stick out. To choose the right opener type, you should know the advantages of each.


Screw Drive Openers

Screw drive openers use a trolley and threaded-steel rod to retract a garage door. The threaded-steel rod rotates along a motor, using a simple system to provide long-lasting movement. Overall, they’re preferred by people who want fewer parts to handle. They’re a little sensitive to temperature, however, making them less effective in warmer areas. They may also be more expensive than their belt and chain drive opener counterparts.


Chain Drive Openers

Chain drive openers are “classic” garage door opener mechanisms. A chain drive opener pulls a door along a track, relying on a bicycle-like chain to control a J-arm. Chain drive units might create some metal-to-metal noise, but they’re pretty reliable. They’re often used in detached garages, rather than garages which are situated below upstairs rooms. Modern chain drive openers offer quieter start-and-stop features, DC motors, and other mechanics, making them viable options in the modern home improvement world.


Belt Drive Openers

Belt drive openers are quiet, sleek, and quick. They use the same mechanics as chain drive openers, but using a belt to reduce any noises and vibrations. Belt drive opener belts are normally made of steel-reinforced rubber, fiberglass, or polyurethane. While viable in any home, they’re often purchased by luxury homeowners due to their price. 


So, which opener is the most efficient? If you don’t live in a harsh climate, a screw drive might be the most cost-efficient option available. If you want a long-lasting option, however, consider picking a chain drive opener. Chain drive openers have existed for decades, and they’re incredibly flexible where maintenance is considered. If you can splurge some money, go with the belt drive opener. It’s a quieter, sleeker version of the belt drive, though it’s a bit more expensive.


Do you need help choosing? Garage Doors Plus, LLC has served its customers for years, and we’re ready to outfit your home for safety, style, and security. Contact a representative today, and check out our spring replacement, cable replacement, and garage door opener maintenance options.

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3 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal with Garage Doors

When you think about your home’s curb appeal, your garage door might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the right garage door design can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your home. Read on for ideas to boost curb appeal using the color, material, and style of your garage door.


Boost Curb Appeal - Color

Sometimes a simple color change is all you need to breathe new life into your garage door. There are many theories of color when it comes to garage doors, but it’s up to you to decide which one fits best with your home’s style. Here are 3 of the most common ones:

  • Matching – You can choose to match your garage door to the color of your home, causing it to blend in. This is perfect if you want to draw less attention to your garage door.
  • Subtle Contrast – This color theory has become a popular choice for homeowners in Portland and Vancouver. If your home is grey, consider a deeper, slate-toned door to make your garage door stand out in an elegant and sophisticated way.
  • Bold Color – For the more adventurous homeowner, the sky is the limit when it comes to garage door color. From warm red to cobalt blue, there are many colors that can complement your home’s style while making a statement.


Boost Curb Appeal - Material

In addition to color, the material your garage door is made of can have a huge impact on your home’s overall curb appeal. Garage doors come in a variety of materials including steel, wood, simulated wood, fiberglass, and more! If you’re looking for a more modern feel, opt for something like an aluminum and glass garage door. If you want to emphasize the warm and farmhouse-like quality of your home, a wood garage door is perfect.


Boost Curb Appeal - Style

Another way to boost the curb appeal of your home is to consider the style of your garage door. Decorative trim, pillars, and stonework can all add visual interest and change the overall look and feel of your garage door. Here are a few ideas to spice up your garage door’s design:

  • Hardware – Faux handles and fleur-de-lis hardware can transform any garage into a carriage house.
  • Window Trim – Adds visual interest to your door by breaking up larger window panes into smaller sections.
  • Plants – From climbing ivy to potted plants, greenery is a great way to make your garage door blend harmoniously with the rest of your home and yard.
  • Light Fixtures – Lights above or on either side of your garage door can help to brighten the area while also adding an elegant touch.

Feeling inspired to update your garage door? We’re here to help! From garage door installation to custom garage doors, we can help you take your Portland or Vancouver home’s curb appeal to the next level.

Looking for even more garage door inspiration? Visit our blog for design ideas, troubleshooting tips, and more!


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Transform Your Garage With Lifestyle Screens

Whether you use your garage to store cars or as a hobby room, you understand the difference between having the door closed for privacy and security or open for fresh air. There is an in between solution toward keeping your garage space sealed against bugs and unwanted views while allowing for a nice breeze to come in. Lifestyle screens are a fairly new innovation toward making your garage more useful than ever before.


Your Garage as a Usable Space

Although some people only use their garages as a storage space, it can be a functional room and addition to your home. With proper screening, your garage can be used as a gym, workshop, hobby area, or even a patio of sorts. With proper equipment or furniture which can be easily moved into place or out of the way, your garage can be used with the screens when needed and still be a place to safely store your car as needed.


Integrating a Screen with Your Existing Door

Garage door screens are designed to work with and compliment your existing garage door. The screen moves out of the way when not in use so your garage functions as designed when needed, and allows for the security of your regular garage door. When you want the area to be opened up to the outside, the screens move into place to separate you from bugs and mosquitoes which may be lurking outdoors.


Planning the Screen to Match Your Home

Just like a regular storm door, garage screens are available in a variety of styles as needed to fit the décor of your home. A door within a door system allows ease of access should you need to go in or out without removing raising the entire screen. The frame is made of strengthened aluminum for strength, covered with a wet-painted shell for beauty and the color of your choice. The screen doesn’t require an additional opener but instead uses a counterbalance to assure the ease of use by hand.


For more information about garage screens from Garage Door Plus, LLC and our function in your home, contact us at 612-760-7551 or visit us online. You’ll find our staff to be friendly and helpful while helping you determine which garage screen system will best suit your needs.

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