Why do I need a backup battery for my garage door opener?

If you’ve ever suffered from a home power failure, you know that they are incredibly inconvenient. This is especially true if you’ve ever lost power in your home and not been able to open your garage door. In these cases, a backup battery for your garage door might be the perfect solution.

What is a Backup Battery?

A garage door backup battery is a small, 12-volt battery that will operate your garage door in the event of a power outage. The top garage door brands that now offer this option include Genie, LiftMaster, Mastercraft, Linear, and Chamberlain.

Most of these garage door systems have the backup battery inside the motor housing, and a few have the battery sitting on top. When there is a power failure, your system should continue working for as long as 24 hours as long as your battery is fully-charged.

Why a Backup Battery For Your Garage Door Makes Sense

Even if you don’t have a backup battery with your current garage door system, you can either add one or purchase a new system with an integrated battery.  A backup battery in your garage door is a good idea for several reasons.

  • Bad weather: You are no longer at the mercy of the weather and potential blackouts or brownouts.
  • Emergencies: If you have any sort of emergency when there is a power outage, you can still get out of your garage.
  • Fire: If a fire in your home knocks out electricity, your battery backup will allow you to open your garage door.

Keeping Your Backup Battery in Top Shape

Once you have your backup battery installed, you’ll want to make sure that it remains fully charged and functional so that it will work when you need it. Your garage door opener may have a warning signal that tells you when battery life is low. If not, unplug your garage door and test your backup system every few months just to be safe.  Fully recharging a backup battery should take about four hours.

Contact Bailey Garage Doors today for all of your garage door needs!

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What You Didn’t Know About Today’s Garage Doors

Garage doors aren’t an everyday purchase, so it may be as many as fifteen years since you’ve looked at garage door options. This newer generation of garage doors is stronger, better insulated, and more secure than their forebears. They also require a lot less maintenance while giving you broader choices in just about every area.

Materials

Garage doors in the “old days” were often made from wood. Now, most are made from steel backed with insulation. Steel panels range from 24 gauge (the strongest) to 28 gauge, and most are embossed with a subtle pattern or smooth finish. Baked-on primer and a polyester topcoat are two things to look for if you want the maximum rust protection available. Warranties on steel garage doors start at 10 years.

Plastic is an even newer option and may become the most popular one. Like their steel counterparts, plastic garage doors are lightweight and durable with minimal routine upkeep. Unlike the older wooden doors, and even newer steel ones, they aren’t subject to rot or corrosion. Plastic doors also have the advantage of operating much more quietly than doors made from other materials. Plastic doors can carry a warranty of 20 years or more.

Insulation

An insulated garage door is the optimal choice for homeowners in areas of the country that experience three or four seasons. If your garage is attached to your house, or if you have living space attached to your garage, you’ll also want to consider an insulated door. It helps cut down on cold, tamps down noise, and makes the door more immune to denting. Newer model garage doors have what is essentially a steel door “sandwich” – thick layers of steel on the outside with a core of insulation. A thin steel or plastic backing attaches the insulation to the outer steel layers. This “sandwich” construction makes for a very strong but lightweight garage door.

Style

A garage door can make up a significant portion of your house’s exterior. Every major garage door manufacturer offers a range of style options. From basic panels to more decorative ones, you can choose the elements that work with your budget and home style. Even color options have been updated. Where you used to have to choose from basic, light neutrals, many companies are now offering deeper colors and a more refined color palate. If none of the many options are quite what you’re looking for, a custom garage door design can be ordered from most companies.

Contact Bailey Garage Doors today for all of your garage door needs!

What Are The Most Common Problems With Garage Doors?

Maybe you tried to leave for work today only to have your garage door refuse to open. Perhaps your garage door doesn’t open and close as smoothly as it once did. There are a variety of issues that people may experience with their garage doors, but many can be traced back to a few root causes.

Dead Transmitter Batteries

First things first: make sure your transmitter batteries are working. If they’re out of juice, they can’t transmit a signal to your garage door, telling it to open or close. Luckily, this is a simple fix – just replace the batteries.

Misaligned Tracks

Your garage door runs on a metal track, and this track needs to be properly aligned for your garage door to move. Gaps between the rail and rollers or bends in the rails are a serious problem. Your garage door is heavy and can make even seemingly insignificant problems with the track worse, making your garage door a danger to use.

Broken Springs

If you’ve checked your transmitter batteries but your garage door still won’t open, you may have a problem with your door springs. Garage doors have either one or two torsion springs that do the heavy lifting of raising your door. If a spring is broken, the door may struggle to open – if it opens at all. A professional garage door repair service should be called immediately, before you try to open or operate the door further.

Broken Tension Springs or Cables

Garage doors also have tension springs, which help the door open and close safely and smoothly. If your garage door is closing much more quickly than normal and hits the ground with a bang, you may have broken tension springs or cables. This is a dangerous situation that should be addressed by a professional garage door repair service. Once tension springs or cables break, there is nothing preventing the door from crashing down onto whatever may be in its path. Call a repair service as soon as you can, and refrain from using your garage until the door is fixed.

Contact Bailey Garage Doors today for all of your garage door needs!

 

Vertical Shelving Garage Storage

Our garages aren’t the prettiest (although beauty is in the eye of the beholder—looking at you woodworkers and mechanics), or the cleanest places in the home, and oftentimes things that don’t have any real place, within the home, seem to just get tossed in the garage, getting in the way. And that’s one utilitarian function of the garage: it’s a place to put things that we don’t want in the house—it’s a place for chemicals, paints, recycled newspapers, the dog’s food, etc. So, knowing that, let’s talk about storage options, the best ways to manage all the stuff.

Vertical Shelving

Garages are well-suited for vertical storage. Oftentimes, garages are simply sheet rocked walls, or even just as simple as wall studs. And, while we need most of the floor space for, say, parking a car (funny that the percentage of people who park a car in their garage is low), we can use shelving, bought or built, to ascend the wall space. Racks and shelving are found cheaply, depending on materials, at your local home center. Metal is always a good lasting option, although it will cost significantly more than shelves of plastic. You can build shelving with boards—2×4 and 2×6’s are cheap and common at the home center—don’t buy expensive grade lumber for this simple project. You can also purchase shelving brackets, or build your own. Simply cut down the lumber using a circular saw, or a chop saw if you have one (If you don’t have any power saw in the home, one important DIY hack is that your local home center, lumber yard, wherever it is you buy your lumber, can make the cross cuts for you—they don’t, at least usually, make rip-cuts, so be aware if you are planning on buying wide boards and then ripping them to a narrower size.) Hang the shelving, using boards at six foot lengths, brackets spaced every two feet, or at every other stud location—every stud if you’re worried about the load.

Remember not to build anything that could get in the way of your garage door opening and closing.

Contact Bailey Doors for all of your garage door needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garage Door and Openers Safety Tips

A garage door and a garage door opener should be dependable. The door should open in most any weather (considering of course you’ve winterized certain components—see the previous two blog posts for ideas on how to do this) because we need the door to be as reliable to our time schedule as anything else in our lives. However, a garage door and garage door opener should also be dependably safe; children, pets, and our belongings should be safe around it. But how do you go about ensuring that your garage door or opener is dependably safe?

Safety Features

New garage doors and openers come with safety features built in. This is a result of legislation. These safety features include a device, which (to give a non-technical explanation) works as an all-seeing eye: there are two devices (the eyes), which are positioned at opposing sides of the garage door, and these eyes essentially watch each other, emitting a beam of light between the two, and, when the beam is broken, the door will not lower to a closed position (unless you override the safety features on the garage door opener). Another safety feature (although one not found on every new garage door) is a unique joint at the connection of separate garage door panels, which prevents fingers from becoming lodged in the garage door, by essentially pushing out anything from the joint as it closes.

Tips for staying safe

It’s a good idea to explain to children that, if improperly used, the garage door could hurt them. Children shouldn’t be allowed to play with the garage door or with the opener. Never walk beneath a garage door after you’ve closed it—if you must close the garage door from the inside—and you then try to outrun the closing garage door—it may be time to invest in a portable garage door opener, if you don’t already have one at home. Remember that garage door openers operate by electricity, and, if you have a problem with your garage door, that all power should be turned off at the fuse box before any repairs are made.

We hope these tips help you to stay safe around garage doors. And, if your current garage door, or garage door opener, model is without safety features, give Bailey Garage Doors a call today to discuss your options to keeping safe.

Winter Care For Your Garage Door

Wintertime poses certain problems for garage doors. For instance, Snow can accumulate near the bottom of the garage door. The snow melts in the warmer temps of the day, and the water of it flows freely beneath the door’s weather seal, and then when the temperatures drop back down to below freezing, the garage door becomes stuck in ice. It’s a common problem, especially in a climate like ours here in Montana. Make sure to clear away any snow from the garage door. A broom works best. Just sweep away the snow from the door, then shovel it away with the rest of the snow on the driveway.

If the garage door does freeze in place, there’s a few steps to ensure that you don’t damage the garage door in trying to open it. Oftentimes when a garage door freezes to the ground, opening it could cause the bottom weather seal to stay frozen down, whereas the rest of the door retracts upward into the track. Also, the door may unstick from the ice, but retract in such a jarring, off-kilter, way, that the garage door components become damaged, or possibly even damage the track. If you suspect your garage door is frozen shut, it’s best to inspect the bottom of the door before opening it, and, if it appears that there is ice beneath the door, use an ice scraper to unstick it. If you are unsure if the garage door is stuck in ice, it’s best to disconnect the garage door by pulling the manual release cord and attempt to open the door by hand.

The bottom weather seal of the garage door can also be prepped with a silicon spray such as WD-40, or even PAM cooking spray, which will prevent the rubber door seal from sticking down to frozen water. However, silicon sprays should be applied every few weeks, because the effects will eventually wear off. Spray the bottom parts of the door when it is opened. Another option is to use a cat litter or sand along the bottom seal of the garage door to soak up any excess moisture near the door.

Contact Bailey Doors for all of your garage door needs.

 

 

Winter Garage Door Care Tips

Winter weather can pose some problems for your home’s garage door. Often, this time of year, our cars and trucks are parked inside, and out of the elements, but what happens when the cold weather prevents the door from opening? What happens if your garage door freezes to the ground? These things do happen, and, unfortunately, could happen to you just before you’re trying to leave for work, take the kids to school, etc.


Garage doors can freeze to the ground. This poses the obvious problem of a stuck-in-place garage door, one that won’t move up the track. But, the other problem to a frozen garage door, is that if the garage door is frozen to the ground, even just a little bit, and you open it, it may travel upward in the track, and, as it comes unstuck from the ground, it may go ajar a bit in the track. Any deviation of the upward motion of the garage door in the track could lead to damages within the track, and damage may prohibit the door from functioning correctly.

So, what do you do? Well, obviously you shouldn’t shovel snow in a pile at the base of the garage door. Clear that snow out from the base of the garage door, or else, when it melts, it may seep under the closed garage door, and when the temperatures at night drop back below freezing again, the door will freeze solid to the ground.

There are a few other remedies for this. One being to rub a layer of WD-40 on the bottom of the garage door, and, because WD-40 repels water, this will prevent any water from sticking to that surface, thereby eliminating freezing! However, the WD-40 will need to be applied frequently, as it will wear out in time. Another option is to apply a thin layer of salt to the ground at the spot where the door contacts the ground, and this will also prevent freezing and sticking. Salt will also need to be reapplied throughout the winter season as it will dissipate.

Contact Bailey Doors for all of your garage door needs.