Overhead Door of Albany Blog

When To Professionally Service Your Garage Door

Posted by Bob Gates on Sep 30, 2014 @ 09:07 AM

garagedoorguy99In many other articles we have outlined the basic maintenance you can perform on your door. Using these tips can help you extend the life of your garage door and thus protect your investment.

There is a point, or points, when you should call in a professional to do a complete safety inspection and have your garage door tested for safety as well.

When we receive phone calls from customers one of the most frequent questions we ask is approximately how old is your door. Depending on your answer we have others questions that may need to be asked but for the most part we are attempting to determine how many cycles your garage door has gone through.

One cycle is a complete up and down. Since many garage door issues arise with the springs and the counter balance system as a whole cycles are very helpful. The formula we use is fairly simple and you can use it too.

We assume, based on industry standards and our experience, your door completes a minimum of 2 cycles every day. We have found that using 14 cycles per week is pretty accurate. This means that over the course of the year your door goes up and down 728 times and we round that up to 1000, to be safe, accounting for weekend use and those times when the door gets used more than twice a day.

The springs we install are rated for 10,000 cycles so they should last approximately 10 years if they are cared for annually and your door doesn’t have any catastrophic damage (like driving through it or it coming down on top of something).

If you tell us your door is 5 years old we assume 5000 cycles, 7 years – 7000 cycles and so on.

In a perfect world we would like to come out and Lube, Adjust, and Inspect your door at least once per year. This means that you’d always be under our 1 year parts and labor warranty along with the knowledge your door is safe to operate. We can also make recommendations or at least keep you informed of arising issues if any. If your door is so equipped we will also run tests on your garage door opener.

We also know that this maintenance is an investment and you, as the homeowner, just want your door to go up and down when needed. We’re also aware that it’s an item not generally on your radar until it stops working at which point you have it repaired or even replaced in some cases. It’s a lot like your furnace or other large appliance in that regard, we get that.

Using the 1000 cycle per year average we would urge you to have your door inspected every 2500 cycles. A lot can happen over 30 months especially with the change of seasons we experience. Definitely have us over more frequently if you have young children.

As always we do not recommend any homeowner take on the responsibility of adjusting their own door and under no circumstances should you attempt anything with the counterbalance system. I have personally read online forums and viewed some online videos on how to make these repairs or adjustments and although they are thorough they still do not convey the importance of experience and some even leave out the most basic safety requirements. With the average service call being around $85-$120 why would you take the chance to begin with. 

1000 cycles per year, that’s what we use, and now you know.

You Overhead Door of Albany Team

Topics: garage door service, garage door springs

Your Shed and Our Garage Doors

Posted by Bob Gates on Sep 8, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

The typical Monday morning conversation turned into something I personally hadn’t considered.

This Monday was extra special as the NFL football season just wrapped up the official Sunday opening. Ken, our General Manager, is an enormous Dallas Cowboys fan and I always treasure the banter after they lose. I’m not a Cowboys fan by the way. My team, well, let’s just say they went to the Championship 4 years in a row and came away with exactly no rings.

shedAnyhow, I was explaining that next summer I have decided to tear down my existing backyard shed and was constructing a larger more stable structure to house and secure the “stuff” I have accumulated. Apparently a backyard full of items under tarps does not fit in with my wife’s idea of landscaping.

One thing I know for sure is that I will be installing a garage door. I need a large opening so I can drive my stuff in and out. Quite frankly I have also grown tired of replacing the shed door every 3 years or so anyway so a nice Overhead Door brand Garage Door, custom made for my application is in order.

Ken asks me how much headroom am I going to have. Not an unusual question from a garage door guy and I have to humor him because, again, the Cowboys just lost and I probably owe him that. I told him I would end up with at least 14” of headroom. He then says will you be using the rafters for storage? Of course I reply, don’t we all? The rafters are a great place to store stuff you don’t use all the time and eventually provides a nice location for you to find things you’ve been missing for decades, right?

He then tells me I don’t want a traditional sectional garage door. The tracks and springs are going to be in the way and the maintenance on a door in a small structure that could heave and twist would be difficult overtime. So I say, what other option do I have that’s affordable? He recommends a rolling steel door and continues to let me know that the it can be installed either inside or outside, has no hinges, a slender maintenance free track system and, most importantly, a concealed spring that is out of the elements.

But I can’t afford that. He tells me that the value line of rolling shed doors can be built in almost any size and are only marginally more costly than a traditional door and when you factor in the low maintenance they really are the best choice. Plus your rafters will always be exposed.

Imagine that! A product I knew we carried but never really considered them for this application.

If you are building a shed or have an existing opening and would consider a roll up door for your shed let us know. We’ll come out and look at your opening free of charge and give you a quote. According to Ken you’ll be surprised. 

Your Overhead Door Team

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Topics: Doors for my Shed,, Shed Doors,

Delivery Truck Doors - New Program Announced

Posted by Bob Gates on Sep 4, 2014 @ 09:25 AM

truckdoor2Overhead Door of Albany makes it easier for delivery drivers to get their truck doors repaired.

ALBANY NY, Sep 05, 2014 - Small business owners providing delivery service rely on their trucks to support their families. The door on the back of the truck is how products get delivered. With this in mind Overhead Door of Albany has re-designed the truck door repair process to make sure you can be where and when you need.

We have been testing a new drop off and pickup program has been very well received by many local companies. Should you run into a situation with your truck door all we ask is that you give us a call and let us know when it is convenient for you to stop by so we can look at it. The new program allows us to give you a quote on the spot. Once you approve the quote we can schedule a time for the repair, and in some cases, we can do the work while you wait.

We have taken the appropriate steps to stock all the most common components of truck doors. Rollers, hinges, tracks, and cables being the main issues. Additionally, we are now stocking bulk springs in various sizes so no matter what your door calls for we have the ability to make the springs on the spot. We also have dedicated technicians that can come to you depending on the severity of the issue. We have created a dedicated page on our website, monitored around the clock, for contacting us with questions or to request after normal business hours. You can find that here: http://albanyohd.com/doors-on-trucks-and-trailers (copy and paste into your browser if not clickable)

Overhead Door of Albany has beed the area leader for garage door sales and service for decades. We are proud to announce the new truck door program.

(518) 348-0444

Unloading Your Garage Door

Posted by Bob Gates on Aug 18, 2014 @ 03:50 PM

ForkTruckRead this post with the understanding that I just completed a couple of hours helping unload a tractor trailer full of garage doors. There is no easy way to do this. By easy I mean using a forklift or some other fancy schmancy piece of machinery to offload such product.

It is all done one or two pieces at a time and in most cases requires two good sturdy people. It also requires a couple of staffers in the back of the trailer.

Your garage door is stacked neatly inside this trailer wrapped in cardboard wrapped in shrink-wrap and some styrofoam to insure it has a nice comfy ride. This also insures we receive it factory fresh and damage free. It rides in there with about 100 of it’s closest friends but once unloaded they only have a day or two to say their goodbyes to each other as they make their way to your home.

I’m getting off track.

Once we swing open the doors we’re presented with a series of steps. Prior to that we have been told what is coming on “the load” so we’ve carved out nice little nooks for each job. 

As we begin to take pieces off the truck we first identify them by their unique number. We check off each piece as we handle it and stack it in it’s nook. The typical employee can easily handle an eight to nine footer by themselves unless there are windows and in that case they are much weightier so we use a team lift on those. Anything 10 foot to 18 foot or longer certainly requires two people and we walk them to their spot singing “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho” while they are hoisted on our shoulders.

As each door section is placed we also inspect the packaging for blemishes. If we find something that doesn’t look near perfect we then unwrap the section and do a visual check for possible damage. Our factory does a fantastic job of packaging so this is rarely an issue but does happen from time to time.

The typical time for just the garage door sections on “the load” takes about an hour and a half to unload but it doesn’t end there.

Next we unload all the springs for each door once again checking them off carefully. Then comes all the hardware and lastly the track, tubes, and struts where necessary.

Every other load we receive our garage door openers by the pallet and with the way most of the trucks are configured from the factory we rarely get to use a forklift for these. In that rare case we can a hearty “Yippee!!” is heard throughout the warehouse.

I consider myself a pretty smart dude and, for the life of me, cannot find an easier way to accomplish this weekly project. Or at least an easier way that makes sense. It’s a little hard to explain but for a visual think of a 53 foot by 10 foot by 10 foot giant game of jenga that has to be unassembled one piece at a time.

For now we will keep doing this as we always have because it makes the most sense and rest assured that the quality assurance you expect is done by the people fully vested in your garage door installation or service experience.

Topics: garage door sales

Control Your Garage Door with a Smart Phone?

Posted by Bob Gates on Aug 7, 2014 @ 02:47 PM

albanyohd.comIt’s not a typo, you read it correctly, and it’s true.

First there came the electric Garage Door Opener, then came the remote control, then came cars with built in transmitters, and now you can control your garage door opener with your smart phone.

Available on both Apple and Android devices these apps allow you to remotely control your garage door from pretty much anywhere. Over the past few years we’ve seen the introduction of this ability from a few different manufacturers but it required you to purchase a specific unit. That’s all well and good but what if your opener is only a few years old or in good working order? This would most likely leave you waiting for your opener to need replacement or to come up with some oddball reason to give your spouse to get one of these new motors.

Well wait no more my friends. We now have, in stock, ready for pickup a system that allows almost any garage door opener to be connected to your smart phone.

The setup is fairly straightforward and we have tested them in our locations and they work swimmingly. What’s more is if you run into an issue there is fast and friendly tech support just a phone call away.

Now as for installation, we leave that up to you. Since installation requires access to your phone as well as inside your home we don’t offer installation at this time but that shouldn’t deter you.

Once installed you’ll be able to open your garage for a neighbor needing to borrow your post hole digger, a plumber or contractor, or just if you feel like it. The apps also let you know if the door is up or down and for how long.

You can also connect a light to the system as well as an outlet or two if you have a need to remotely turn on an appliance or table lamp in your home. Pretty cool stuff. 

The way it works is by connecting a device to your home network that connects via Wi-Fi to this new system. Once connected the software/firmware connects your device to the Internet allowing it to communicate with your smart phone. Totally secure since part of the setup requires a unique serial number from the back of the purchase device. No two are alike.

** This does work with almost any opener but there are few that are not listed but of those a couple even we have never heard of. Give us a quick call and we should be able to qualify your motor over the phone.

** You will need to have a wireless network in your home.

Call us today and show off to your neighbors and freak out your kids!

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

albanyohd.com

Topics: garage door openers, electric door opener

The Showroom is Open

Posted by Bob Gates on Aug 4, 2014 @ 04:07 PM

AlbanyOHD.comAt the core of how we’re different than the “other guys’ is our ability to come meet you at your home or place of business. We offer free onsite visits along with garage door estimates and design consultations. On top of that we have a pretty neat little tool that allows you to upload a photo of your home and overlay a new garage door image so you can easily visualize what a new door installation would look like.

That’s all well and good and proves that we’re happy to pay you a visit at no cost but coming into our showroom is something entirely different. Recently we’ve undergone a showroom re-design to update our facility with the latest and greatest offerings from Overhead Door.

When you stop by it gives you a chance to see a working door and a few different types of garage door opener models actually in action. It’s different because you can lay your hands on them and hear the different sounds a garage door should make when in perfect working order. Most folks find it more enlightening than originally thought.

If you stop by you also have the ability to meet our staff, find out how friendly we are, and get a sense of the culture of our little company. Taking a seat in one of our sales offices you’ll find that we’re here to answer questions, all of them.

We can discuss style, look, and the other values you’re looking for and can create a no obligation quote for you on-the-spot. 

Sure we can provide the nuts and bolts over the phone or via email too, just like the other guys prefer, but that doesn’t tell the story of who we are.  We understand that price is almost always the main concern so doing your due diligence and getting multiple quotes is always a good thing. You can rest assured that we’ll give you up front honest information to assist in the purchasing process even if you choose not to buy from us.

You’re going to have a relationship with your garage door for 15 years or even longer. Don’t you want the same relationship with the company doing the work?

You’re not just buying a product you’re also buying the company behind the brand. We want to be that company.

 

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

AlbanyOHD.com

Topics: garage door service, Overhead Door, garage doors, garage door openers, garage door sales, electric door opener

I Backed Into My Garage Door

Posted by Bob Gates on Jul 29, 2014 @ 12:22 PM

Overhead Garage Door Repair Albany NYI think maybe when all cars or trucks on the road are required to have backup cameras this issue may go away entirely.

This does happen and more frequently than you’d think. When a vehicle and a garage door try to break the laws of physics and attempt to occupy the same space the car normally wins as evidenced in this photo.

Hopefully this will never happen to you but with garage door damage of this magnitude there are some safety concerns we’d like to let you know about before you try to inspect or even make a temporary garage door repair yourself.

It may be difficult to remain calm when this happens but please take just a second before you slowly move your car forward again. If the garage door rollers have become separated from the tracks the door may “fall off” the opening. With that in mind you don’t want to do any more damage to your vehicle nor injury to yourself when getting out of the car.

*** Once out of the car we recommend you immediately call a qualified service company for assistance.

A garage door is far heavier than most people realize and a door that is or has the potential to fall off its supporting components is not something to be underestimated.

If the garage door is still securely supported by the tracks do not attempt to bend the door panels (steel doors) back by yourself. For one it will be very difficult and two; assessing the way the bent panels will affect the supporting components when pushed or pulled on can be hard to determine.

There are two things that will be dangerous (I do not use that word lightly in this situation) when the door is in this condition. The spring(s) and the cables will probably still be attached to each other but not correctly. This means that there is still a large amount of tension on both the garage door springs and garage door cables. Releasing the tension must be done in a specific order for safety. Even if one of the cables is loose there is a good chance the other is not. Please do not attempt this.

If you’ve only just tapped the door and have creased or dented a single panel there is a good chance you can get a single panel replaced. In our picture here it would take more duct tape and bailing twine than possibly available to fix it so a replacement would be necessary.

All kidding aside we want to help you stay safe should major damage be done to your garage door of any kind. Remember to steer clear of the cables and springs specifically until you can get a professional on site.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

Overhead Garage Doors in Albany NY

Topics: garage door service, Overhead Door, garage door springs, garage door rollers, garage door sales, garage door cables

Garage Door Clearance Happening Now

Posted by Bob Gates on Jul 25, 2014 @ 01:54 PM

Overhead Door of Albany NYVery few people have a garage as large as ours. The garage we use can be categorized as more of a warehouse. Although true we do get 6 vehicles inside every night, out of the elements, we also have a large portion of our inventory stored here as well.

About once a year we peruse the warehouse counting and re-organizing our products to make sure we know where things are and each item is in it’s place. Typically this time of year is when we put a full court press on this project.

What does this all mean to you? Well, this is also the time we “uncover” garage doors that we’ve attained through special deals, accumulated special orders that were never picked up and even a few doors that came in the wrong color or even size in some cases.

These garage doors are like the island of misfit toys looking for a new home.

The last thing we want to do is to have to count them all again next time. We’d rather make a deal with a customer to move some out and get you all fixed up at bargain prices too! So let the dealing begin.

Here’s what we need. Send us the size of your garage door to clearance@albanyohd.com. Take the 3 measurements seen on the graphic on the left here. (Please measure in inches) Once we have that info we will send you some options of what we have that will fit your opening along with an estimate on what the cost will be in relation to what it would’ve been if we special ordered a door for you.

No obligation of course. If we can make a deal great, if not we can both say we tried.

** All door sales are first come first served and come with all the appropriate warranties for the door series. Doors are all new, in original packaging unless otherwise noted on your quote.

Happy Measuring,

Overhead Door of Albany

Overhead Door of Albany NY

Topics: garage door service, garage doors, garage door sales

What Size Garage Door Opener Do I Need?

Posted by Bob Gates on Jul 14, 2014 @ 10:47 AM

We get this question frequently and there are some things to consider. For this post we’ll talk specifically about residential garage door openers.

Overhead Door of Albany NYWhat size is your door? This question really has many variables. If you have a Traditional Steel door that is one sided, non-insulated, and without windows it could weigh as little as 150lbs even if it’s 16 feet wide and 7 feet high, much less if it’s smaller. So the real question would be 2 part. What size is your door and what type it is? A typical door for the Northeast will generally be insulated and in most cases be a steel front and back with the insulation sandwiched in between. The extra layer of steel combined with the insulation makes the door more than twice as heavy as the Traditional Steel. Even so, if your door is balanced correctly a 1/2 hp motor would be all that’s necessary. If you can lift your door manually with relative ease than the springs are doing their job and thus the motor is only lifting that relative weight as well.

If you have a custom wood door that has had some wood veneer installed making it much heavier than most we may recommend a 3/4hp motor but not why you may think. Wood doors when cared for properly will last a very long time. Even with this care (painting, staining, adjusting, etc.) they will absorb and release moisture during the seasonal changes. This added weight can make the wood door run slightly different at certain times. If the springs were adjusted when the door was installed and now some years have past it almost certain the door weighs more now due to water weight. A 3/4hp motor has the additional power to compensate for these changes and the settings on the motor itself will not need seasonal adjustment.

The overwhelming majority of garage door openers we install are 1/2hp and in almost every instance we use those powered by DC motors to insure quiet performance.

When it comes down to the drive system (chain, belt, screw) we almost always recommend the chain drive models because of their historic reliability and ease of adjustment if needed. Contrary to popular belied a belt drive is not substantially quieter than chain drive. The noise you hear comes from the motor not the drive system. DC motors are far quieter than AC so if noise is a concern always choose the DC motor.

So logically it would make sense that you would get more life out of a larger motor but the historical data shows that in many cases you’re paying more for horsepower you neither need nor use. 

Lastly, please consider the motor warranty. Like most of todays devices garage door openers are packed full of electronics and although they are built and tested to last for years they still are subject to electrical issues from time to time. Having a local company do the installation for you insures you have a local contact, real live expert, should you have an issue.

Our expertly trained staff is available anytime by phone to answer any questions you may have regarding garage door openers even if you’re not purchasing one from us. Let us help you make the most informed decision possible.

Your Overhead Door Team

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Topics: garage door springs, garage door openers

The Ecosystem of 2014

Posted by Bob Gates on Jul 3, 2014 @ 03:24 PM

Snip20140703 2Those of you who follow my blog already know that I read a lot. My preferred subject matter is all over the board so nailing it down to just one type is impossible. Everything from food to technology, sports and no limit hold ‘em to name a few. 

One thing that keeps popping up over the past few years is the use of the word ecosystem. I can recall in my elementary school days building an ecosystem inside a fishbowl with moss, ferns, and dirt. A self-sustaining little system with nothing more than a few hours of sunshine each day was what we were trying to accomplish.

Today this word is thrown around all over the place. Companies like Apple and Google take the lead from what I am seeing. If you own an iPhone you are already aware that once you’ve spent a decent amount of time with your new toy you find that wanting to make a change to another device is a hard decision because you’ve already invested a sizable amount of time learning the phone not to mention the dollars you’ve dropped getting cool little apps and music. Same goes for Google. Those of you who’ve had your Gmail account for any length of time probably would have a hard time leaving since most of your friends, household finances and services are tied to that Gmail address. This also extends to Android phones from Google with their own ecosystem built to keep you on board and evolve enough to keep you interested and up to date on the latest and greatest.

I’m not saying it’s good or bad. I have an iPhone and am somewhat stuck at this point but I’m satisfied with the product for sure.

Here in garage door land we have our own little ecosystem. To all our current customers we’re glad you’re here with us. Being an Overhead Door customer means you are already included in our industry leading warranty programs. You also have access to changing the design of your door through thoughtful accessories and upgrades developed to keep your Overhead Door looking and running great. 

Those of you in the Overhead Door of Albany ecosystem enjoy the comfort of knowing we’re here for you when a need arises. We keep extended hours of operation for your convenience and we have a group of technicians that are fully involved with your satisfaction.

So being in our ecosystem is much different than some of the aforementioned companies. We do a good job for you, you tell someone, we do a good job for them, they tell someone, and so on. Ours is built expressly for you.

Your Overhead Door of Albany Team

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Topics: garage door service, garage doors, garage door sales