Garage Door & Opener FAQ's | Madison, WI | Meinholz Overhead Door

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Garage Door FAQ's

What’s R-Value and is it important when determining which garage door to choose?

  • The R-Value lets you know how well the door is insulated. Yes, R-Value is important when selecting the right garage door for you. Garage doors range from no insulation, to an R-Value of 20+.

What’s the right amount of insulation for me?

  • Every customer is different because everyone’s house/garage is different. The best thing to do would be to talk to a professional and go over what is important to you. They might be able to point some things out that maybe you didn’t notice. They will also be able to help you decide if a non-insulated door, a highly insulated door, or somewhere in between is the right door for you.
  • If you have a non-insulated and unattached garage, it wouldn’t be necessary to go with an insulated door.
  • On the flipside, if you have a bedroom above the garage, or use your garage for work or hobbies, it might be a good idea to go with a highly insulated door.
  • One suggestion I like to mention to customers is that a garage door, if well maintained, can last 20 years or more. So when buying a garage door, try not to base your decision solely on cost. Think of it as an investment.

Can I replace my garage door or garage door springs by myself?

  • It is highly recommended that you have a professional do it. There are a lot of moving parts associated with a garage door, and one wrong move can seriously injure you or someone else. Please call a professional!

How do I know if my garage door is unbalanced?

  • When unattached from the opener, you should be able to lift the garage door with one hand no matter the size. Garage doors are designed so that the springs do all of the heavy lifting. If you are unable to lift the door with one hand, be sure to call a professional to come out and fix it.

What is headroom, backroom, and sideroom?

  • Headroom refers to the distance between the top of the garage door and the ceiling. Backroom refers to the inside length of the garage, from front to back. Sideroom refers to the space between the sides of the garage door and the side walls of the garage.

Should I be doing regular maintenance on my garage door and opener?

  • Yes. It’s recommended that you lubricate your garage door at least once a year. I recommend doing it every 6 months to keep everything running smoothly. Do NOT use grease. Using grease will collect dust and other materials floating in the air such as hair, and will build up over time to create more problems. Use a heavy duty silicone spray and be sure to spray the springs, rollers and hinges. If you have a chain drive opener, you can use this spray to lubricate the chain as well (Be sure there are no vehicles in the garage when spraying the chain as it may drip onto the vehicle).

How much does a garage door cost?

  • There are many different options when choosing a garage door. Therefore it is hard to approximate the cost. There seems to be a common misconception that a double car garage door will cost $2,000. Depending on which options you select, that may absolutely be the case. You can usually get a couple different options for a double car garage door for around $1,000 (This is an approximation).

What’s the difference between torsion springs and extension spring?

  • Both types of springs assist the door when going up and down. Extension springs are mounted above the horizontal track and expand as you lower the door, and contract when you raise it. Like all springs that expand and contract, they lose their strength over time. Often times, one spring will lose its strength faster than the other. When this happens, the door might start jerking because the door isn’t being raised and lowered with the same consistency.
  • Torsion springs are the safer and better option for the overall life expectancy of the garage door and even the garage door opener. They work together, as opposed to individually on each side of the door. Torsion springs are secured onto a 1’’ pipe above the garage door. When the springs are wound, and the garage door is going up, the pipe rotates (also rotating two drums that are secured to the pipe), which makes the cables attached to the bottom of the door wind up. This system stays balanced and runs much more smoothly because the springs are working together.

What kinds of garage door openers are there?

  • The first kind of garage door opener is a chain drive opener. This has been the standard garage door opener forever. It is a very dependable, long-lasting opener.
  • The second kind of garage door opener is a belt drive opener. This is a newer upgraded version of the chain drive opener. The most significant improvement is the noise level. A belt drive opener will be quieter than a chain drive opener.
  • The third kind of garage door opener is a screw drive opener. This is another version of the chain drive opener, but depending who you talk to, is not necessarily an improvement from the chain drive opener. Some of these openers tend to be louder than a chain drive opener.

Which opener is right for me?

  • In almost all cases, a chain drive opener will be a perfectly good option. If your house is set up where there is a bedroom or some other type of room above the garage, I typically recommend going with a belt opener. This will help with the noise. It’s important to know that the noise level is also affected by what type of garage door you have installed as well. A non-insulated door with plastic rollers is going to be much noisier than an insulated door with nylon rollers. No door and opener combination is going to be completely quiet, but there options to help reduce the noise level.

Why doesn’t my garage door remote work?

  • Check the batteries
    This is almost always the problem. Like all battery operated devices, the remote can start acting up (like operating the door periodically) if the battery is losing power. It is recommended that you use name brand batteries when you need to replace them. Also, try not to use rechargeable ones. They might seem like a logical choice but rechargeable batteries offer a little less power than a traditional battery. Even though we’re only talking about a little power, it can have a dramatic effect on how the remote will operate.
  • Check the battery contacts
    If for some reason the contacts look wet, worn or rusted, the electrical current might not be fully reaching the circuit board inside the remote. If this is the case, it’s important to clean these contacts. Try using fine wool steel to do this.
  • Check the eyes on the remote and opener
    When sending and receiving a signal from the remote to the opener, the signal passes through a plastic window in the remote, through a plastic window in the opener. Check to make sure these are clean and not scratched. If the plastic window on the remote is scratched, from dropping it, or having it in your purse, you may need to purchase a new remote.
  • Reset the opener
  • Both the opener and the remotes are like mini computers. If you are having trouble, try to reset both systems. For the remotes, you can do this by taking the batteries out of the remotes for a good 30 seconds, and then putting them back in. To reset the opener, just unplug it from the wall outlet for a good 30 seconds and plug it back in.

If none of these options seemed to solve the problem, you may need to buy a new remote. If the garage door opener you have is older than 15 years, you may want to look at just replacing the opener as a whole.

What do I do if my garage door is opening and closing on its own?

  • The first thing you should do is erase the memory and reprogram your remotes and keypad. Refer to your garage door opener’s owner's manual to assist you with this.
  • If that didn’t solve the problem, here are some other possibilities:
  1. The remote could be the problem
  2. The wiring or wall button could be the problem
  3. The circuit board/motherboard is bad.
  • In order to figure out the problem, you will need to be patient and do a process of elimination.
    First, try to take the batteries out of all of the remotes for a couple of days. If the problem continues, it’s not the remotes. If the problem stopped, try replacing the batteries with new name brand batteries.

    Next, unplug the wires that control the wall button from the opener and give it a couple of days. If the problem stopped, the wiring is faulty or you may need a new wall button. You will need to run a new wire from the opener to the wall button. If a new wire doesn’t fix it, you will need a new wall button. In that case you will need to contact the garage door opener manufacturer to get a new one. If the problem continues, there is something going on with the circuit board/motherboard. You will need to contact your garage door opener manufacturer in order to get a new one. If it’s more than 15 years old, I recommend replacing the opener altogether.