Choosing a Secure and Efficient Exterior Door for Your Home

Tips For Keeping Your Garage Door Safe

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Keeping Your Garage Door Safe

Your garage door is made of a complex set of components to allow a small electric motor to raise and lower a door hundreds of pounds in weight. It includes a number of features to prevent serious injury should something malfunction. Periodic inspection of the mechanism by a residential garage door repair company is important, but there are some safety checks you should do in between visits. Here are the three areas you should check regularly to make sure that they are keeping you and your family safe. Garage Door Springs Safety Cables Critical to the garage door mechanism are the two high-tension coiled springs that counterbalance the weight of the door. They allow the electric motor or you to open and close the heavy door. Should one of the springs break or become disconnected at either end, it could fly across the room and do serious damage to the garage, car or anyone in its way. To prevent this, safety cables keep the springs from going anywhere in case of a failure. Check these cables to make sure they are safely in place: Locate the two springs running parallel to the ceiling. Look for the braided steel cable running through each spring. Check that one end of the cable is attached to the bracket on the ceiling and the other to the metal track running along side of the door. Check that the safety cable is not frayed, bent or kinked. If you spot any issues, call the garage door company to replace the defective cable. Motion Sensors Near the floor on either side of the garage door are two small infrared sensors pointed at each other. When working properly, an invisible infrared beam runs between the two sensors. While the garage door is opening or closing, should something or someone interrupt the beam, the door should stop moving and automatically raise. This prevents the door from closing on something, such as a child playing in the garage. Check the sensors to make sure they are working correctly. Raise the garage door. Lower the door and, while it is still moving down, roll a ball across the infrared beam. The door should stop immediately and raise. If the door does not stop immediately and raise, check that the infrared sensors are pointed at each other. Check that the wires are connected at the back of the sensors. Follow the wires as they go to the back of the garage door motor. Bend the brackets slightly to aim the sensors at each other or reattach the wires if these are the problems, and try the door again. If the sensors still fail, contact the garage door company to service them. Pressure Sensor An additional safety mechanism to prevent the door from closing on something is the pressure sensor. This is built into the motor. As the door lowers, the motor detects when the it meets resistance. When it does, the door should stop immediately and raise. Raise the garage door. Place a chair in the way of the door closing, being careful to straddle the infrared beam so it doesn’t trigger the motion sensor. Lower the garage door. It should stop and reverse the moment it touches the chair. If the door continues down slightly before reversing when it...

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Spruce Up The Downstairs: Tips For Replacing Your Basement Windows With New Vinyl Units

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spruce Up The Downstairs: Tips For Replacing Your Basement Windows With New Vinyl Units

When you’re ready to get rid of your old cast-in-place or other type basement windows, you need to have a plan for framing in new windows and for meeting modern building codes. Here’s what you need to know: Vinyl windows work well in a basement setting. Because of the tendency of basements to be damp, vinyl windows are a good choice as replacements for older-style metal units. Vinyl-framed windows don’t rot, aren’t prone to insect damage, and stand up to snowdrifts or drenching rain. However, many old metal basement window frames leave much to be desired as material on which to fasten new vinyl windows. It’s possible to squirt out a layer of sealant and stick a vinyl window in an old metal frame, but you’ll need shims to make it square, and you’ll have nothing on which to attach interior trim. Instead, take the time to remove the old metal components and reframe the window openings with wood. You’ll need the right tools to do the job well. This video shows the basic steps involved in replacing old basement windows with new vinyl ones. You’ll want to have the following tools handy if you plan to DIY: Metal-cutting saw Reciprocating saw Table saw Angle grinder Drill with bits for wood and concrete Concrete chisel and smoothing tools Caulking gun Mallet Sanding tools Paintbrush or rags for sealant You’ll need to cut into the metal frame, pry it loose, and then smooth down the concrete where the metal was attached. You’ll seal the exposed concrete and allow it to dry. Then you will start fashioning the parts for the wood frames. The wood components of the new frame will depend on the location and size of your new vinyl windows. A skilled carpenter can help with this part, or call in professional window installers to help you finish your basement improvements. A professional installer will have the quality tools necessary to replace your old, rusting metal windows with new vinyl units that are square and attractive. Special considerations for basement windows. Using flanged vinyl windows takes a bit more care, but they will give you an additional barrier against moisture and pests. Flashing is sometimes necessary if there are flooding issues or a nearby downspout can’t be relocated. If your basement will have living quarters, your local code may require you to have an egress window installed in the basement. Each ordinance is different, but most require you to have an easy-to-open, easy-to-locate door that serves as an escape hatch in the case of fire, flooding, or other emergency. Your local window installation contractors will help you build the right frames and install the right egress windows in your basement to improve the look and safety of your...

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