8 Benefits of a New Garage Door
The life span of a garage door with proper maintenance can be up to 30 years. However, many factors can decrease that life span, such as a lack of maintenance, repair issues, or environmental factors like humidity and severe weather. In the Olympic Peninsula, rain and wet weather conditions can lead to multiple issues for garage doors. Having proper insulation and ventilation for your garage door can save you money in utility costs and increase the value of your home.
From left in the morning to coming home at the end of the day, your garage door is the last thing you see of your home and the first thing that welcomes you back. So it’s also valuable to make it a beautiful and functional statement piece. To enjoy these and other benefits of a new garage door, call a professional from Olympic Garage Door to find the best option for your home!
8 Benefits of Buying a New Garage Door
Since 89% of homeowners use their garage to enter their home regularly, it’s clear that garage doors play a large role in most families’ daily lives. When your garage door’s performance begins to decrease, you may ask yourself, “Do I need a new garage door, or can I wait a few more years?” It’s best to address serious issues as soon as possible with professional maintenance. Sometimes, no amount of maintenance can fix the problem, and that’s when you should replace your garage door.
Benefits you can look forward to with a new door include the following:
1. Increases Home Value
One advantage of a new garage door is that it adds value to your home, whether you are looking to sell immediately or in the future. For garage door replacements in the Pacific region, Remodeling magazine’s 2021 study reveals that homeowners recoup 95.2% of the remodeling cost at resale, which is higher than the national average. New garage doors have a high return on investment (ROI), especially in the Pacific Northeast, and have the bonus of attracting buyers to your home.
If you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future, a new garage door can make getting in and out of your house much easier. While you may not see an immediate monetary ROI, investing in a new garage door increases the practical value you gain from your home, making life easier and safer for you and your family.
2. Improves Curb Appeal
In the 2019 Remodeling Impact Survey, responders reported that 31% remodeled their garage door for beauty and aesthetic reasons. Although the garage is primarily a functional feature of your house, an unsightly garage door can detract from even the most beautiful exterior decorations and landscaping. Anything from chipping exterior paint and rusty chains to loud, unpleasant noises can diminish the appeal and value of your home, both to buyers and visitors.
The beauty of a new garage door can make you feel better about your home. In fact, the same 2019 survey notes that homeowners who replace their garage doors tend to find more enjoyment from being home and feel a sense of accomplishment from the project. Many homeowners may not put much stock in how their garage door makes them feel, but replacing your garage door can lend a surprising boost to your happiness with your home.
3. Adds Extra Security
A new garage door can provide an extra barrier between your family’s belongings and thieves. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that burglaries represent 16.1% of property crimes, with 62.8% of all burglary offenses occurring at residential properties. Older garage door models can be an open invitation for thieves, particularly if they know what’s inside or that your family keeps the door to the house within the garage unlocked. While it’s best to lock all your doors, installing a new garage door can add an extra layer of security to your home.
An essential component to garage safety is to hide or keep the garage door opener inside your house rather than in your car. While it may be more convenient to keep it in your vehicle, it’s also convenient for thieves to locate and open your garage. You can also keep your garage safe from break-ins by adding privacy film on the windows to prevent people from seeing inside. Thieves are less likely to break in if they can’t see anything valuable that would make it worth their risk.
4. Requires Less Maintenance
Getting a new garage door can save you time and money on costly and frequent repairs and maintenance. New doors run smoother, have better features and don’t require as much upkeep. An old garage door can run into maintenance issues easily due to old, rusted parts or insufficient care and upkeep. The most common maintenance issues for old garage doors include:
- The door won’t close or open fully.
- The springs break or are too old.
- The rollers and bearings wear down over time.
- Dirt or debris block or obstruct the photo eye sensors.
- The garage door remote stops working.
As with most large home maintenance issues, the best course of action is to get professional assistance with major repairs. The benefit of having a professional work on your door is that they can alert you to any possible issues before they happen and help you decide when it’s time to replace your door.
5. Reduces Heating and Cooling Costs
Your garage should be a livable space — maybe not for sleeping in, but you should be free to perform basic tasks and store vehicles and other items in it. If the extreme heat in the summer and frigid cold temperatures in the winter keep you from spending any time or storing items in your garage, consider replacing your garage door.
A new garage door can give you monthly ROI through your heating and cooling costs. With better insulation from the cold and heat, a newer garage door can increase your energy savings and decrease your energy footprint, making your house more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Having better insulation can be especially important if there are rooms above or adjacent to the garage. With better temperature control in the garage, your heating and cooling systems won’t need to work as hard to control the temperature of those rooms.
6. Decreases Safety Hazards
Garage doors can be a safety hazard in your home if they aren’t functioning properly. The most important feature of garage door safety is the photo eye sensors that detect movement under the garage. If the sensor is triggered by a person or animal running underneath the garage as it closes, the garage should immediately halt and reverse. If these sensors are not working correctly, the door can come down and harm people, property and animals.
Another safety measure to check for is the auto-reverse function. If the photo eye sensors don’t detect movement, but something is blocking the door from closing fully, it will auto-reverse as soon as it hits the object in its path. Installing a new garage door with these enhanced security features can ensure that young children, in particular, are safe from harm.
In addition to mechanical issues, old garage doors can also pose health risks. Because the Olympic Peninsula has a wet climate, particularly in the rainy season, mold can become an issue in garages that are not well insulated. Mold thrives in areas that are moist and dark. A poorly ventilated garage can cause mold buildup, which can be costly to repair and potentially life-threatening.
7. Performs Better
A squeaky, noisy garage door that disturbs the whole house can be a nuisance. A new garage door is better in practical performance compared to an old one, even a old door that received proper maintenance. Newer models run quieter and faster than older ones, making a marked difference for your convenience.
Newer garage doors also need less maintenance and upkeep and have improved safety features, like better sensors. They won’t get stuck or locked up as frequently as old ones, and you can be sure the improved safety features are functioning well with simple at-home checks.
8. Enhances Utility
Having a new garage door can open up a range of possibilities for better utilizing your garage space. People often use garages for storage and workstations, especially at-home carpenters and mechanics who need the space to move large items in and out. Having a properly insulated garage door that protects from the elements will make the space more functional and usable. You won’t have to worry about your stored items or equipment suffering damage from extreme temperatures or retaining moisture from outside humidity.
When to Buy a New Garage Door
Why buy a new garage door? Even if your garage door doesn’t have any major issues, underlying issues may make a new door a necessity. Replace your garage door when you encounter significant issues that a professional cannot fix or repair, including the following:
1. Significant Wear and Tear
Over time, garage doors can become worn down from wear and tear. Something as simple as frequency of use can affect your door — for example, if you use your garage door four times a day, it will likely last longer than those who use it eight or more times a day.
Weather factors can also influence the wear of your garage door, with significant rain and snow potentially leading to rusting and warping of the door. Mechanical failures become more common as doors age, with springs and lift cables needing more frequent replacement or maintenance over time. Even a slight track misalignment can progress to the point of serious damage to your garage door. With evidence of this kind of wear and tear, you need to replace your garage door.
2. Failure to Open or Close
Coming home after a long day and not being able to get inside due to a faulty garage door can be frustrating. If your door isn’t opening or closing properly, there are a few culprits for the cause:
- Faulty opener: An old or faulty garage door opener can lead to safety and security risks. Faulty openers can lead the auto-reverse feature to malfunction, putting anyone who walks under your closing door in danger. Thieves can also override old or outdated opener systems, giving them easy access to your home.
- Broken remote: Your remote could be out of batteries or become disconnected from the motor unit. More seriously, the motor unit may be burned out, calling for a complete replacement.
- Misaligned sensor: An obstructed sensor can impact the opening and closing of your door. Anything from dust and debris to more serious mechanical failure could be the cause.
You can solve some issues like dirt and debris yourself. Call a professional if you think your door needs any more serious repairs.
3. Damage to the Door
While small dents and scratches may not be very noticeable from the street, even minor dents can impact a door’s functionality. Having a dent in your door can prevent its smooth and unobstructed movement along the tracks, resulting in issues from misalignment to total door failure. In some cases, you might fix it by replacing one of the panels, but it’s usually better to replace the whole door.
If you notice any serious dents or the door encounters significant trauma from weather, sports balls or vehicles, call a professional to assess the damage and limit opening or closing the door until it is replaced or deemed safe for use.
4. Poor Energy Performance
Since a garage door can significantly impact a household’s energy output, having a poorly insulated garage can result in higher overall costs for utility bills and issues such as mold and water damage. Some insulation issues are fixable with repairs or additions, but old garage doors may not support these techniques.
If you discover your garage is at fault for your home’s poor energy performance, a new garage door can be an investment in future savings down the road and a greener choice for the environment.
Browse Our Showroom to Find Your New Garage Door
Olympic Garage Door services Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, and other areas throughout the Olympic Peninsula. We offer an extensive showroom staffed with professionals and a vast selection of new residential garage doors. A qualified technician will perform a site visit to your home to assess your property’s unique needs, answer your questions and oversee proper installation. At Olympic Garage Door, we also offer continued maintenance services to keep your new garage door functioning well over time.
Browse our selection of garage doors online or visit our showroom to speak with a knowledgeable team member. To learn more about our products and installation, call us at 360-452-3859 or fill out a contact form for a detailed estimate.
Do I Need an Insulated Garage Door in Port Angeles?
If you live in or around Port Angeles — an area with a relatively temperate climate — you may be under the impression that an insulated garage door just isn’t necessary for your home. You may believe the only benefit of an insulated garage door is to help protect against extremely hot or cold weather outside, neither of which Port Angeles really has. However, the insulation inside a garage door actually provides many other benefits for homeowners, regardless of where they live.
This article compares the different types of garage door insulation and talks about the wide variety of benefits insulated garage doors provide.
Types of Garage Door Insulation
There are two primary types of insulation found in garage doors: polystyrene and polyurethane.
Polystyrene, a synthetic aromatic polymer, is made from styrene, a monomer that is more commonly known as Styrofoam. This is the brittle white material you commonly see in shipping boxes to protect the contents inside.
Polystyrene is pre-formed to the garage door panels and is generally attached inside the panels with glue. It fits better and retains its shape better than open-cell polyurethane over long periods and doesn’t deform, degrade or lose its insulating abilities.
However, polystyrene doesn’t fit as well in the corners of the door panels, leaving pockets of air. Furthermore, some manufacturers choose not to glue the polystyrene to the garage door panels, so it doesn’t help make the panels more rigid. Generally speaking, polystyrene does not insulate as well as polyurethane, which we’ll discuss next.
Polyurethane, a polymer made of organic units connected by urethane links, is sprayed into every panel of a garage door, which creates a tight fit that makes the panels more rigid. Although more expensive than polystyrene, polyurethane doesn’t significantly increase the cost of an insulated garage door.
3. Intellicore (Clopay)
Intellicore is a proprietary polyurethane foam from Clopay that it injects into its garage doors. This foam, which expands to fill the whole structure, creates garage doors that are exceptionally durable and strong. This dense insulation also means that the door is quieter and has excellent insulating abilities, with R-values exceeding 20. We’ll explain what R-values are in the following section.
If you’ve been shopping around for garage doors, you’ve probably come across R-values and U-factors, both of which measure insulation.
R-value measures how well a material can resist heat flow and it is determined by the material’s composition, density and thickness. The higher the R-value of a material, the more effective it is at insulating. When calculating the R-value of a multilayer installation, all you have to do is add the R-value of each layer.
Different insulation types can have different R-values. For instance, the R-value of a garage door with 2-inch thick polystyrene insulation is often different from one with 2-inch thick polyurethane insulation.
One common misconception about R-value is that insulation with an R-value of 16 is two times as effective as insulation with an R-value of 8, but this is not accurate. While an R-value of 16 is more effective than an R-value of 8, the difference is significantly less than twice.
U-factor is an alternative way to measure the amount of heat that is transferred through a material. Many manufacturers have started using U-factor because it takes into account every component of your garage door, including the hardware, panels and frame. If a door has a U-factor rating, you can be certain that the rating is for the whole door, not just the insulation itself.
U-factor measurements range from 0 to 1. Unlike R-values, a lower U-factor rating indicates higher, not lower, efficiency. So, a door with a 0.25 U-factor rating has better insulating ability than a door with a 0.50 U-factor rating.
Benefits of an Insulated Garage Door
While most of us associate an insulated garage door with the interior comfort it provides, we often fail to recognize the many other benefits it offers. These benefits include:
1. Energy Efficiency
Energy conservation advice tends to focus on the inside of the house, including more energy-efficient windows, better insulation and better heating systems. While these things are all important, these tips often overlook the garage, which some people don’t even consider a part of the home. However, as garages often connect to your house directly and have conditioned rooms over them, a well-insulated garage can significantly help with energy savings.
However, garages are usually not well-insulated by default. Since garages aren’t considered living spaces, the standards for building them aren’t the same as the rest of the house. Air leakage and gaps are allowed, which make the garage one of your home’s least insulated parts — and the conditioned air of your home can get out through your garage.
Installing an insulated garage door in your garage will help to moderate your garage’s temperature — even if the rest of your garage isn’t insulated.
While this doesn’t mean your garage will be the same temperature as the rest of your house, it does moderate the temperature in your garage — and these moderated temperatures will, in turn, lower how much energy is required to condition the rest of your home.
2. Year-Round Comfort
If you’re like many homeowners, you use your garage for more than just storing things and parking your vehicle. If you use your garage for work or play, it makes even more sense to invest in an energy-efficient door. By keeping your garage a more moderated temperature, it will be easier to use it for occasional activities.
Even if you’re only in your garage when traveling to and from your car, the added warmth that an insulated garage door provides can make a big difference. If you’re bringing in groceries or moving your kids from your vehicle to your house, it’s much more comfortable to do so if it’s warm.
3. Protection of Your Belongings Inside Your Garage
One of the greatest insulated garage door benefits is that it reduces the chance of your garage temperature dropping below freezing, which can help protect your vehicles. As you probably know, cold temperatures can negatively affect your car’s performance in many ways. Here are some examples of negative ways freezing temperatures can negatively impact your vehicle:
- They can shorten battery life or cause the battery to die.
- They can cause brake, engine and transmission fluids to thicken.
- They can lower the air pressure in your tires.
- They can cause wiring and spark plugs to become unreliable.
In short, the colder the temperature is, the greater the chance that your car won’t run properly.
Moderated temperatures can also extend the lifespan of other things in your garage. For example, substances such as paint, which are typically stored in garages, do not do well in extreme temperatures. Extreme cold or heat can change the paint’s consistency, often making it unusable. Motor oil, cleaning supplies and fertilizers often behave the same way when exposed to extreme temperatures.
4. Less Noise and Smooth Operation
Insulated garage doors tend to make much less noise than uninsulated ones. While quieter operation may not be the most important thing most homeowners look for in a garage door, it is a nice bonus.
If you have an uninsulated garage door that’s making noise, there are many possible causes, including loose chains, worn down rollers or poorly lubricated springs or hinges. However, if you’ve checked all these areas and found them not to be the source of the noisiness, it could be the panels on the garage door itself, especially if it is a lightweight door.
If there is a bedroom or other living space next to or above the garage, this noisiness can be a major disturbance. If your door makes a lot of noise, you may want to consider upgrading to an insulated model. The insulation will dampen the majority of the vibrations — and it can also help dampen sounds coming from outside, as well.
Another reason insulated doors are quieter is that they’re constructed more tightly. The panels consist of multiple layers sandwiched together tightly, meaning there aren’t many loose components to rattle. Furthermore, since they tend to weigh more than their uninsulated counterparts, they’re not as likely to vibrate or jolt on the tracks.
5. Enhanced Durability
Another benefit of an insulated garage door is added durability. When you think of all the reasons a garage door needs to be durable — after all, it needs to stand up to kids, equipment and cars — this extra durability makes a lot of sense.
Insulated doors today are often made with an aluminum or steel frame. Inside this frame is solid-core insulation sandwiched between steel panels — a construction style that creates an energy-efficient, lightweight door that’s considerably less susceptible to denting.
Older, uninsulated doors, by contrast, generally consisted of thin steel sheets wrapped over the frames of the panels. Without insulation, these panels were very susceptible to dents from cars, basketballs, bikes and other items commonly stored in the garage. They were also often scratched by wind-borne projectiles during storms. Insulated garage doors can better withstand all of these kinds of damage.
Are Insulated Garage Doors Worth the Cost?
When considering all the advantages of insulated garage doors, including increased security, durability, comfort and protection, insulated garage doors are worth it for almost any homeowner — no matter where they live.
If you live near a coastal area of the Olympic Peninsula, where the weather is fairly temperate, you may not need an insulated door for its temperature-moderating abilities. However, if you’d like a garage door that’s low maintenance, extremely durable and quiet, then an insulated garage door is a worthwhile investment.
Choosing an Energy-Efficient Garage Door
When buying an insulated garage door, you’ll want to consider several factors, including the material it’s made of and how many layers of insulation it contains.
The material of the garage door you choose is an important consideration, as it has a major impact on the door’s appearance, which in turn can enhance the curb appeal of your home.
Luckily, most garage doors can be insulated, regardless of the material they’re made of. If you want to buy an energy-efficient garage door, you’ll want to choose either a double-layer or triple-layer model.
- A single-layer door consists of just one layer and features no additional insulation.
- A double-layer door features one insulation layer, which is usually polystyrene.
- A triple-layer door features a thicker polyurethane or polystyrene insulation layer sandwiched between another material. This is the most energy-efficient of the three types.
If you opt for the single-layer garage door, the only insulation you’ll get is from the panel materials themselves, which generally provide minimal insulation.
If you choose a double-layer door or triple-layer door, most of the insulation will be provided by the polyurethane or polystyrene layers, meaning the finish you choose can be based on appearance rather than its heat-retaining properties.
Garage doors generally are of one of the following four material types:
- Steel: The most popular option for new models, steel doors are often picked for their wide range of designs, low maintenance and durability. The insulation they provide is moderate.
- Aluminum: A lighter alternative to a steel door, an aluminum garage door can provide your home with an updated, modern appearance. However, it doesn’t insulate well.
- Wood: Wood provides a classic, high-end look, but its insulating ability is not high. Those who opt for wood doors generally do so for their appearance.
- Composite wood: Although composite wood by itself is a poor insulator, composite wood is frequently layered on top of steel and insulation in multilayer doors. This is a great way to enjoy both energy efficiency and the classic look of wood garage doors.
Areas to Insulate
There are three primary areas of your garage that you should insulate. Keep in mind that this is for an ideal situation, and we understand that insulating all three areas is not feasible for all homeowners.
1. Garage Door
The simplest and most affordable place to insulate is the garage door. It only takes a couple of hours, and doing so will save you thousands on energy costs over the door’s lifetime. While we strongly recommend that every homeowner insulate their garage door, it is especially important if you have an interior wall that is connected to your garage.
2. Garage Walls
Insulating the walls of your garage will be a bit more complex and time-consuming. However, your garage may already be insulated since many areas legally require garages to have insulated walls, mainly because people often store combustible materials in garages and most garages don’t have smoke detectors.
However, adding insulation to the walls of your garage is something to at least consider, particularly if you have an interior wall connected to your garage.
3. The Ceiling
The ceiling of your garage is another important place to have insulation, especially if there is a living space directly above. Without insulation in the garage ceiling, the weather will affect the room above more, making it more uncomfortable.
However, keep in mind that insulating the ceiling of a garage is an ambitious project. You’ll need to consider several factors, including airflow and condensation buildup, which may result in mold. We strongly recommend you leave this project to a professional.
Get an Insulated Garage Door for Your Port Angeles Home
At Olympic Garage Door, we offer high-quality insulated garage doors in many different styles, ranging from carriage house designs to sleek contemporary models — and whatever you choose can be personalized to meet your specific needs and tastes. You can also rest assured that all of our doors are made with high-quality steel, aluminum or wood materials, meaning they’ll provide lasting efficiency, performance and durability.
If you live in Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Sequim or any other community in the surrounding area, Olympic Garage Door is the local business you want for all your garage door solutions. To request an estimate, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our form.
What Are the Parts of a Garage Door Opener System?
Garage doors are very convenient appliances. Beyond the fact that they keep your car secure from the elements, most modern doors can be controlled remotely. Despite their convenience, the mechanical elements of a garage door and opener are bound to need maintenance or replacements from time to time. Whether you’re installing a new garage door opener or repairing an old one, you first have to be familiar with the basic parts of the entire system.
Parts of a Garage Door System
So, how does a garage door work? Garage doors aren’t all that complicated in the grand scheme of things. They’re composed of a handful of interconnected parts that perform simple functions on most types of garage doors.
Once you understand the different garage door parts and the functions they perform, you can grasp what causes the door to move up and down, and how. To help you familiarize yourself with the different elements of a garage door and garage door part names, here’s an overview of each of the major parts.
1. Door Opener
Aside from the door itself, the most obvious part of the opening mechanism is the operator. It typically takes the form of a box hanging from the ceiling, with a cord extending to plug into an outlet. The opener is what receives the signal from the switch and remote when you push the button to open the door. It contains the motor, which produces the energy needed to set the mechanism in motion.
Garage doors don’t rely on the motor to produce all the energy needed to lift the door — that would take a lot of power and wouldn’t be the most efficient method. The motor controls the course of the movement, and the placement of torsion springs above the door makes that movement easy.
Springs hold elastic potential energy, which can produce enough power to balance out the door’s weight. That’s why if you lift a garage door manually, you’re not handling anywhere near the full weight of the door.
The tube shaft is the bar running above the door that holds the garage door torsion springs in place. It doesn’t move, but its presence allows the springs to function how they’re supposed to.
The drums are essentially pulley wheels attached to the ends of the tube shaft. When the energy from the springs is released, it causes the drums to rotate. Since the drums connect to the cables, this rotation causes the cables to move.
The connection point between the opening mechanism and the door itself comes in the form of metal lifting cables on each side of the door. The bottom of each garage door cable connects to the bottom of the door, while the top connects to the drum. When the drum rotates, it begins rolling up the cable. As the cables are pulled upward, they lift the door with them.
6. Tracks and Rollers
The garage door components we’ve covered so far lift the garage door. But if that door isn’t kept on a set path, it could crash into the ceiling or go careening off to one side.
Door tracks and rollers keep this from happening. Rollers are essentially small wheels installed along both sides of the garage door. They fit into metal tracks that trace the path the garage door needs to take as it opens and closes. When the mechanism lifts the door, the garage door rollers move along the inside of the tracks to keep the door moving straight up and down. As a safety feature, if your garage door ever comes off this track, it won’t be able to open.
7. Brackets and Hinges
Brackets and hinges both perform a role related to keeping the garage door mechanism connected. Brackets are the metal parts that keep the cables and rollers fastened to the sides of the garage door.
You can find garage door hinges in the middle of the door itself. The door is made up of different door panels so it can fold as it opens, enabling it to transition smoothly from standing vertically to lying horizontally. The hinges are what make this possible, keeping the different panels connected but also allowing them to fold.
8. Weather Seals
The whole point of a garage door is to guard your car and home from the impact of rain, snow, insects and other natural elements. If it doesn’t perform this function, the whole mechanism is ineffective. That’s why garage doors come with weather seals along the sides and bottom of the opening. The door seals bridge the small gap between the door and the walls, insulating the garage from the outdoors.
It’s a good idea to check the weather seals every so often. Unlike the other parts of the garage door, you may not immediately notice if they become damaged. If you do notice, you’ll probably want to replace them with new seals.
9. Safety Sensor
Garage doors are very large and heavy, and they pose a potential safety hazard if not properly monitored. That’s why garage doors come with photo eye safety sensors, which are designed to prevent any accidents.
The photo eye consists of two sensors, one on each side, located on the wall at the bottom of the garage door opening. These sensors face each other, and one sensor projects a beam of light into the lens of the other. As long as this beam is unbroken, the door functions normally. When the second sensor is prevented from detecting the light — which is what happens if something is blocking it — it stops the door from closing.
10. Emergency Cord
Another safety feature is the emergency cord. Though you may have never used it, you’re probably familiar with it. It hangs from the door operator, usually with a red tag at the end to make it stand out. When you pull it, it disengages the opener’s motor.
This feature is useful if you need to perform maintenance on the door without the risk of it opening or closing automatically, or if you need to lift it halfway. You can still lift the door manually with the motor disengaged because the springs will function normally. With the cord pulled, you won’t have to worry about the door moving on its own.
Get Your New Garage Door Installed Today
Are you looking for a new garage door for your home? Olympic Garage Door has your back. We offer garage doors in several different styles and materials, along with top-notch installation service. If you’re looking to repair your old garage door, we’ll do that too!