What’s Causing Your Garage Door To Jam and How to Fix It

The frustration of a jammed garage door always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times. Save yourself some time and some hassle by quickly identifying and solving the problem. There can be many things that are causing your garage door to jam—some of which are easy fixes, and some may need professional help.

Broken Springs
When your garage door is having trouble closing and making a loud noise, it’s probably the springs. Springs only last a certain number of cycles and are usually the first thing to break in a garage door assembly. This is a repair that should be done by a professional. To avoid causing more damage to your garage door and potential harm to yourself, hire a pro for a quick fix.

Limit Setting
If a garage door closes and then immediately opens again, the limit settings may need adjustment. When the limit setting is off, the garage door assumes it’s hit an obstacle and automatically backtracks. You may need to check your owner’s manual for directions on how to fix this one. There should be a limit switch adjustment knob on your console. If your door isn’t closing, you’ll want to adjust your limit setting down and if it isn’t opening, you’ll want to adjust it up. Start with very small adjustments to avoid your door from slamming open or shut.

Door Off Track
Another common culprit to a jammed garage door is the door getting off track. If you think this might be the case, light and watch the door as it goes through the process of opening and closing. Are there any noises? Does it slow down at one point or stop completely? Or is something stuck in the tracks? There may be something keeping your door from sliding through the tracks properly. To fix this problem, loosen the screws on the track and gently push the track back into place. Retighten the screws and test out your work.

Unseen Obstacle
There could be something blocking your door from closing completely, but there can also be less obvious obstacles. It’s possible some debris got caught in the tracks of your garage door and are blocking it from moving. Or your photo-eye could also be blocked. A photo eye detects if there are any obstacles preventing a door from closing—they are generally for safety reason to prevent any possible injury. The photo-eye is a pea-sized detector that is usually located about six inches off the ground. It can even be blocked by dirt and dust. Check all possible obstacles for an easy fix.

Remote Control
It could be that your garage door is just fine and it’s your remote control that’s malfunctioning. It may need to be reprogrammed, need a new battery, or just be out of range. It’s also possible that the antenna on the moto could be damaged or blocked, preventing the remote from communicating with it.

Pros and Cons of a Heated Driveway

With winter coming, you may be dreading the inevitable snow shoveling that comes along with the chilly season. A heated driveway could be the answer to your problems, however, it’s not without its drawbacks. Learn about what a heated driveway is and what the pros and cons are below.

What is a heated driveway?

Heated driveways come in two options—hydronic and electric coil systems. Hydronic systems use a boiler to pump anti-freeze through a PVC tubing that is installed under the surface of your concrete. These tubes are arranged in a spiral or wave configuration to promote even heat distribution throughout the driveway. The electric coil system uses metal heating cables that are installed under your pavement. These coils are usually controlled by a control unit mounted on your garage wall.

PROS

1. No more shoveling!

The biggest sell for a heated driveway is definitely the convenience they provide. Say goodbye to early morning snow shoveling just to get your car out of the garage! With a heated driveway, you get the convenience of snow and ice being melted quickly with minimal effort. You can program your heated driveway so that it operates automatically when the temperature changes. Shoveling in snowy weather can potentially be dangerous, as you labor in freezing and slippery conditions. Put down the shovel for good and flip the switch on your heated driveway this winter. Wake up to fresh snow, and a cleaned off ice-free driveway.

2. Less salt damages.

Ice buildup usually requires that you pour rock salt on your driveway and walkways. Salt, calcium chloride, and deicer can get rid of ice and snow, but they can also be harmful to the environment and to your concrete. Salt can get trapped in concrete and cause deuteriation—to your pavement and even to the undercarriage of your car.

CONS

1. That price adds up.

Heated driveways can be very costly. First, the installation is not an inexpensive process. Once it has been properly installed, the operating costs add a pretty penny to your winter utility bills. Operating a heated driveway takes a decent amount of energy. Usage is the biggest expense. Repairs can also be costly, as reaching your heated coils under your driveway is not an easy task.

2. Installation and repairs are a pain.
If you can install your heated driveway when you are first laying down a new driveway, it isn’t much of a problem. However, if you want to install a heating element into an already existing driveway, you will have to tare up the concrete in your driveway and repave it. Repairs can also mean digging up and repaving, depending on the repair needed. It’s no easy (or cheap) task. Installation and repairs are best done when you are already redoing your driveway anyway.

3. It can damage your concrete.

With heating tubs under your driveway, concrete can be stressed. When temperatures outside and temperatures below the surface differ drastically, your driveway can be damaged or even cracked.

 

10 Ways to Prevent Garage Break Ins

1. Secure the emergency release.
Using a coat hanger to pull the emergency release is a common break in tactic for intruders. Foil this plan by securing your emergency release with a zip tie. Or get rid of your latch all together.

2. Keep your opener out of sight.
Though it may be convenient to keep you garage door out in the open in your car, it can become an open invitation to breaking into you garage. Bring your garage door opener inside with you or hide it in your car—try under your seat or in the glove compartment.

3. Cover garage windows.
Don’t give bulgers the advantage of being able to see into your garage. If your garage windows aren’t tinted or frosted, keep them covered.

4. Install an alarm.
This seems like an obvious solution, but many houses have alarms within the house itself and don’t bother with the garage. A simple alarm system could save you some trouble.

5. Have a sturdy garage door.
Certain door will be easier to break into. When shopping around for your garage door, make sure you know it’s durability.

6. Light it up.
Break ins are less likely to occur when there is light. Whether you keep a light in your garage on or install motion sensing lights, this will likely deter criminals from entering.

7. Be noisy.
Just like light, noise can keep away intruders. They are much less likely to enter a place where they here noise. Keep a radio playing in your garage to scare off any unwanted visitors.

8. Keep the door from your garage into your house secure.
If an intruder does break into your garage, keep them from going farther by keeping the door to your house secure. Don’t assume that your garage door will do that trick, block all possible entry points.

9. Install security cameras.
Installing a security camera is easier and cheaper than it sounds. A bonus of having a camera set up—if you hear a suspicious noise coming from the garage, you can check the camera instead of investigating yourself.

10. Padlock your garage door.
When you’re going to be out of town, put a padlock on your garage door. This will add a little extra security and peace of mind for you.

 

How to Fix an Uneven Garage Door

How to Tell If Your Door is Uneven

In some cases, you may be able to tell just from looking at your garage door if it needs an adjustment. But there are a few other less obvious tells such as—making a strange noise when opening or closing, unable to open or close correctly, or taking a longer than usual to open or close. All of these things could mean that your door is out of alignment.
If you think your garage door is uneven, test it out. You can conduct a simple test by detaching the door from the opener and manually opening and closing the door. Lift the door by hand to the halfway point and carefully release it. If the door remains supported, it does not need an adjustment. However, if the door slams shut or open, it is out of balance.

 

Fixings Tips

To fix an uneven garage door, you may need to adjust the garage door springs. Springs can stretch and cause a shift in your garage door alignment. Torsion springs are mounted above the garage door and will run parallel with the door. These may need to be replaced or just tightened.
There may be an even simpler solution—try pushing the door back to adjust it. The vertical track may go out of alignment and just needs to be shifted back. This could also be caused by a loose lag screw. After pushing the door back into position, check and tighten any loose screws. Your door should then hang evenly and work correctly.

 

Cleaning Out and Organizing Your Garage

Cleaning and organizing the garage seems to always be on everyone’s to-do list. But doing it once in a thorough fashion can help you to keep it clean and organized long term. Follow these tips to make the most of your garage space.

Take Your Time
Cleaning out your garage can be a daunting task. Don’t plan on finishing all the cleaning and organizing in a few hours or even a day. Set aside time to do it right, which will save you time in the future. Clear out your entire garage to start.

Cleaning Your Garage Floor and Walls
Once you’ve cleared your garage, clean it out while it’s free and clear. Quick tip—use a leaf blower to remove any debris, dust, or dirt from the garage floor. Then take to the walls with some soap and hot water to scrub off any unwanted marks or debris.

Optimizing Storage
No matter you garage size, make the most of the space you do have by optimizing your storage. Use the walls vertically and the ceiling space whenever possible. Place regularly used items in an easily accessible place and place items that are not so frequently needed in less convenient spaces.

Throw It Out
One of the easiest ways to keep your garage organized is to minimize clutter. A garage can often serve as a catch-all for unwanted and unused items. When you come across something that you haven’t used lately, ask yourself—do I need it? When was the last time I used it? When would I use it again? Clear out the clutter and get rid of some of those unnecessary odds and ends.