Three Ways to Storm-Proof Your Garage Door

Three Ways to Storm-Proof Your Garage Door

Three Ways to Storm-Proof Your Garage Door

Most people know that high winds from hurricanes and other storms can cause devastating damage. Fewer homeowners know that their garage doors can make an enormous difference in their homes’ safety. Storms and garage doors have a complex relationship that depends on several factors.

Your garage door could fail and become damaged if it is too weak to withstand the wind. Why is this such a problem? If your garage door warps, these high winds will enter your home. Once inside, winds can impact your roof and take it off. Excessive winds can also build pressure in your home, causing your windows to blow out. 

Wind Load and Your Garage Door

How much wind can a garage door withstand? Wind speed design requirements depend on your location as well as on exposure, terrain, and direction. Your garage door must be up to code for your safety and that of your home. The wind speed for Risk Category II is between 115 mph and 130 mph. You may need to check your local city codes for the wind speed that your area recommends your overhead door should be able to withstand. 

The Hunter Door professionals will help you find the upgrades you may need to follow the code.

1. Install Garage Door Braces

You can strengthen your garage door quickly by installing reinforced garage door braces on the inside of the existing door. Install these temporary braces before a predicted storm to reap the benefits of this inexpensive option.

2. Attach Hurricane Panels

Hurricane panels attach to the exterior of the garage door and help protect your door from impact damage. If you have an older garage door, you will need to protect it from high winds to prevent damage to your garage and home. 

3. Invest in a Storm-Ready Door

The best and safest option is to invest in a storm-ready door. Installing a hurricane-proof garage door saves you the time of setting up braces or panels before a storm. After all, some storms can hit unexpectedly. We recommend finding a wind-rated garage door suited for your area, so be sure to check with your jurisdiction or installer. 

These storm-proof doors are impact-resistant and can withstand the high winds associated with your region. Upgrading your garage door is one of the most cost-effective home improvements. You receive a high return on your investment because your garage door enhances your home’s safety.

Contact Hunter Door

We’ve staffed our office with trained experts who focus on getting you the information and service you need. If you’re unsure whether your garage door can resist high winds, or if you need help to figure out which option is best for you, please call us at 856-431-3952 or reach out for an estimate

If a storm damages your garage door, it’s essential that you schedule maintenance to restore its reliable function. Garage doors have many complex parts that can malfunction if damaged. Are you unsure of what to look for? Learn more about spotting when your garage door may need repairs by reading this guide.

Insulating Your Garage Door — When It’s Worth It and When It’s Not

Insulating Your Garage Door — When It’s Worth It and When It’s Not

Comfort and energy efficiency are factors that may lead you to consider insulating your garage, but are insulated garage doors worth it? The answer may depend on your situation. At Hunter Door, we offer professional, trusted garage door services in South Jersey, including insulated door installation. Keep reading to determine if you should insulate your garage door. 

Reasons to Insulate Your Garage Door

Should you insulate your garage door? For some homeowners, insulating a garage door can be a great investment. Consider insulation in some of these circumstances: 

  • Using the garage year-round: If you need to use your garage in the winter, insulating can help ensure a comfortable temperature. Keeping your garage warm will also help keep your valuable equipment safe and functional. 
  • Quieter space: Are you doing lots of loud work in your garage? Sounds created by noisy equipment can bounce and reverberate around your garage and into your home, causing quite a disturbance. Insulating your garage will provide a barrier that reduces noise. 
  • Insulating the attic or bedroom overhead: Without proper insulation, your garage may leak cold air into adjacent rooms. If your bedroom is above your garage, poor insulation can lead to some cold, uncomfortable nights. Cold temperatures can also damage the personal items you store in your attic. 
  • Blocking fumes and smells: If air and noise can escape your garage and seep into your home, so can unpleasant odors and harmful chemicals. Insulation can seal the cracks that allow air to permeate surfaces, ensuring your family’s safety. 
  • Protecting plumbing: If plumbing runs through your garage, leaving it unprotected can be very damaging. Cold temperatures can cause a burst pipe that may damage your home and require expensive repairs. If piping goes through your garage, you should insulate it. 

Reasons to Opt Out of Garage Door Insulation

Garage door insulation isn’t for everyone. Consider holding out in these situations: 

  • Absence of heating or cooling: Insulation isn’t an all-in-one fix, but rather a supplement to increase the effects of other temperature-controlling strategies. If you aren’t doing anything to control the temperature, insulation won’t have any effect. Insulation helps retain heat, so if you aren’t actively heating the garage, there won’t be any heat to retain. 
  • Detached garage: If your garage is detached from your home, it won’t leak cold air, odors and noise into living spaces, making insulation less necessary.

Is Garage Insulation Worth the Investment? 

There are some scenarios in which garage insulation is definitely worth the investment, especially for New Jersey homeowners. When the cold hits, garage insulation will help keep your home warm. If you use your garage all year long and pump heat into the space, an insulated garage door can retain that heat and help reduce your energy bill. While garage door insulation isn’t for every home, many New Jersey households can see some real benefits. 

Contact Hunter Door to Request an Estimate Today

At Hunter Door, we offer great rates on the best professional garage door services in South Jersey. To learn more about our insulated garage doors or request an estimate, contact Hunter Door today!

How Does Winter Weather Affect Your Garage Door?

Black home from door with windows

How Does Cold Weather Affect Your Garage Door?

Cold weather can cause several garage door problems, so your garage door may not always operate reliably. Low temperatures cause the metal to contract, often resulting in damage to garage door springs and tracks. Other common problems include garage door swelling from moisture absorption and lubrication issues.

When winter sets in, it’s ideal to secure your vehicle and other valuables behind a properly functioning garage door. Read on to learn about the top five ways winter weather impacts your garage door.

1. Ice Can Freeze Your Garage Door Shut

During the winter, varying temperatures and weather conditions cause water to melt and freeze frequently. As a result, ice can develop quickly in many places around your home, including underneath your garage door.

Your garage door sticks in cold weather because water pools and then freezes at the bottom of the door. A garage door that is frozen shut will take time to thaw before you can get back in. That is why it is crucial to remove snow and water from around your garage door as soon as you notice it.

2. Low Temperatures Can Cause Lubrication Problems

Lubricants are designed to help your garage door open smoothly and easily. But low temperatures cause grease to harden, which makes the door more likely to get stuck and not open properly. Without proper lubrication, the parts and door opener become strained and are more likely to malfunction.

Using lubricants with low-temperature viscosity ratings during the winter is one of the best ways to prevent lubrication problems.

3. Wet Weather Can Cause Your Garage Door to Swell

Consistent wet weather conditions can cause your garage door, frame and jambs to swell from moisture absorption. With swollen components, your door is more likely to get stuck, so you can’t get in and out. By keeping your gutters clear, you can prevent water runoff from contributing to the swelling.

4. Low Temperatures Can Cause Springs to Become Brittle

Low temperatures cause your garage door springs to become brittle, which means they will break more easily. The best thing you can do to keep your springs in good condition when temperatures drop is to ensure they are properly lubricated.

5. Cold Weather Can Cause Metal to Contract

Cold temperatures lessen the space between molecules, which makes metals contract. This contraction can warp your garage door tracks and cause misalignment, making it difficult for the door to operate correctly. Lubricants can help, but if problems persist, you will need to contact a professional.

Contact Hunter Door for Garage Door Service

When it comes to your garage door, cold weather can cause significant damage. If your garage door has been impacted by cold weather, contact the experts at Hunter Door today. Whether the springs have snapped or the track has become misaligned, we will repair your door quickly and thoroughly to get it back to peak operating condition.

In addition to our repair services, we also carry garage door products, including Clopay® garage doors, LiftMaster garage door openers and entry doors. Request an estimate for any of our products and we will get back to you promptly.

Other Top Blog Posts

Areas We Serve

How to Keep Your Garage Warm During Winter

Keep Your Garage Warm During Winter

Although mainly designed to store cars and other items, garages can be converted into a variety of other living spaces, including workspaces, TV dens and cozy bedrooms. But there’s one factor that keeps many homeowners from repurposing this space — they’re uninsulated. When winter hits, most garages become cold and uncomfortable. However, insulating your garage is a more straightforward process than you might imagine, and doing so can make this space just as warm as any other room in your home.

Table of Contents:

If you’re interested in taking on this rewarding DIY project, check out our tips on how to warm a garage throughout the coldest months of the year.

Keeping Your Garage Warm for Winter

3 Ways to Keep Your Garage Warm During Winter

Turning your garage into a warm and toasty space involves a few steps, all of which should be completed before winter arrives.

  1. Reduce heat loss by insulating walls
  2. Insulate garage door and inspect weatherstripping
  3. Create heat by installing a heater

1. Insulate Your Garage Walls To Limit Heat Loss

Once you’ve sealed all the gaps in your weatherstripping, you can start to insulate your walls. You will want to use fiberglass batt insulation to do this, and it is essential to choose the correct thickness — which will depend on your garage walls. Make sure to read the installation guide carefully before installing the insulation.

2. Insulate Your Garage Door

Even after replacing the weatherstripping on your door, if the garage door itself is not properly insulated, you could still lose a considerable amount of heat.

You can find several specialized kits to help you with this task, which includes fiberglass, foam boards and reflective barriers.

When insulating a garage door, make sure the insulation is carefully cut so that it fits the garage door panels perfectly. Then, use an adhesive to secure it in place. If you’re having trouble with this task or still feel cold after installing the insulation, the best option may be to replace your current garage door with an insulated one.

Some excellent insulated garage doors have been developed and are highly effective at keeping the heat from escaping — which can keep you warm and can save you significantly on heating bills during the winter.

3. Install a Heater In Your Garage

Weatherstripping and insulation can keep cold air from coming in, but they may not be enough when it comes to heating your space. If you want to keep your garage warm, installing a unit heater is a good idea. These appliances do not take up much space and are quite affordable. You can choose an electric or gas heater, and if you want a highly energy-efficient option, you can opt for a mini-split heat pump.

Even with a heater, insulating your garage door and walls is smart. Insulation prevents the heat from escaping and helps your heater be more effective at keeping your garage warm.

7 Steps to Prepare Your Garage for Winter

Preparing Your Garage for Winter

Before winter even arrives, here are a few things you can do to get your garage ready:

1. Clean

Before you can properly winterize the garage, you need to thoroughly clean the space. Take a stiff broom and give the floor a thorough sweeping, removing all dirt, debris, leaves, mulch and insects. Remove all cobwebs, dirt and dust on the walls as well. Once everything is in its proper place, you’ll be able to move around and access the parts of the garage that relate to its warmth, including the garage door, your winter products, pipes, the water heater, the heater and each wall.

2. Inspect the Weatherstripping

Close the garage door, turn the light off and look for any light coming in from the outside. If you find any gaps, this means heat can escape. Inspect your weatherstripping around your door and replace any seals that are damaged or missing. It is normal for it to become cracked or brittle with time.

When removing your existing weatherstripping, make sure to scrape off any remaining sealant, then apply the new weatherstripping with care. Measure and align it properly so that the seal is tight and able to block out cold air and wind. To do this, close the door. Then position the weatherstripping so that the flap is flat against the door.

It’s also recommended that you clean your weatherstripping using a good all-purpose cleaner. When weatherstripping is well-maintained, clean and free of debris, it’s more able to do its job for longer — potentially years to come — without breaking down.

3. Inspect the Garage Door

All garage doors require an annual inspection, and right before winter is a perfect time for this service. Hire a professional to take a look at the door and identify any issues that may lead to a malfunction. If your door needs to be repaired, it’s best to get it fixed before winter arrives — not when it’s 10 degrees outside, and your garage door won’t close.

Request Your Garage Door Service

4. Lubricate Moving Parts

Ensuring all moving parts of your door are lubricated can help your door function properly and may prolong its lifespan. Cold weather can cause moving parts of your garage door to freeze up. Fortunately, lubricating these parts can help keep the door in good working condition all winter long.

5. Make Sure You Can Access Your Winter Products

Place any equipment you will need to access during the winter, such as shovels, snow blowers and rock salt, where they are easy to access. If they’re buried somewhere in the back of the garage, now is an excellent time to bring these items out. This way, you’ll be able to access them quickly if necessary — including those times when your garage is snowed in, and you need something to clear away the snow.

6. Insulate Your Water Heater

If your water heater happens to be in your garage, insulating it may be a good idea. If you own a newer one, chances are it already comes with insulation. If you have an older model, find out its R-value, which measures thermal resistance. Its R-value should be at least 24. If the value is any lower, consider adding insulation.

7. Protect Exposed Pipes

If you have pipes that carry water from the garage into your home, winterize them by shutting them off and purging the water from them. Then use foam or plastic pipe insulation to cover up exposed water lines. A more economical way to do this is with old towels and duct tape.

How to Insulate Your Garage Door for Winter

How to Insulate a Garage Door

As you learned above, insulating your garage door is an important part of making your garage comfortable in cold weather. Below, we’ll go over the steps involved in insulating your garage door and the materials you’ll need to to do so.

Insulated garage doors with an R-18 energy efficiency can warm garages by 12 degrees in the winter and cool them by 25 degrees during the summer, which leads to energy savings. With the cost of the garage door itself, however, it may not make sense to replace the one you have just for the energy savings. You can insulate your existing door, though, and add doorstop weatherstripping and a new bottom seal to increase your comfort and energy savings.

This entire job can typically be finished in about an afternoon. The steps are as follows:

1. Get the Materials

First of all, you’ll need to make sure you have the following tools:

  • A utility knife
  • A saw
  • A tape measure
  • A straightedge
  • A dust mask
  • A hammer
  • Nails

In addition to the insulation, you’ll also want to purchase some vinyl weatherstripping for your garage door. Make sure to get enough to seal both the sides and the top. You will want to get a bottom seal as well, also made of vinyl, to go on your track. If you notice your track has any damage, it should be replaced.

2. Add the Insulation

To insulate your door, you’ll first want to ensure you have the right type of insulation — which depends on the R-value you’re looking for and what kind of door you have. The most common types of insulation are:

  • Foam board panels: These are rigid panels that are typically crafted from polystyrene. They are usually between 1/2 inch and 1 inch thick and are effective without adding much bulk. R-values for this option range between R-3.3 and R-6.5.
  • Reflective insulation: Reflective insulation comes in rigid boards or in rolls, and it has a reflective aluminum covering that is applied to one or both sides. Since it reflects radiant heat, this option is ideal if your garage gets very warm during the summer time or if you live in a warm climate. The typical R-value for reflective insulation ranges between R-3.5 and R-6.
  • Batt insulation: Batt insulation is flexible, and it’s also often used as insulation for exterior walls. It’s constructed from fiberglass with a backing of foil or paper to act as a barrier for moisture and air. The typical R-value range for this insulation type per inch of thickness is R-3 to R-4. One note, however, is that this may not be the best option for garage door insulation if you’re not using a kit.

For most doors, rigid insulation options are the easiest to use. With steel doors, though, flexible insulation, such as batting, can also work because it can be stuffed in the frames that surround the panels.

Once you have determined the insulation you need, you can either go with an insulation kit or just gather all of the supplies yourself. The advantage of a kit is that it includes a more complete set of materials — such as gloves and a utility knife — as well as pre-cut panels you’ll just have to trim down to fit your door.

As far as the installation process with a kit, if you’re using the R-8 fiberglass vinyl-faced insulation kit, for example, you’ll follow these steps:

  1. Clean the Product. Wash each panel using a rag and a cleaning spray. Then, rinse them using clean water and let them dry out.
  2. Install the Retainer Pins. Locate the point that is exactly one foot from each of the panel’s edges and exactly halfway between the two horizontal rails. Mark this point, then take off the sticky backing paper and stick the base of the retainer pin on the panel. Two retainer pins should be placed on every panel.
  3. Cut up the Batting. Roll the batting out on plywood with the vinyl facing down. Then, measure the dimensions of each panel and mark these measurements on the batting. However, add one inch to both the height and the width to ensure a tight fit. As the size of each panel might be different along the door, measure them as you go along instead of pre-cutting all of them using a single measurement. Use a utility knife to cut the panels while compressing the insulation with a straightedge.
  4. Insert the Batting. Take the insulation you cut, center it in the panel and push it into the retainer pin until it pops through the vinyl side. Then, put the retainer cap on the end of the pin, and it should snap into place.
  5. Repeat. Continue this process until you have covered all the panels with the insulation.

If you decide against a kit, the installation process will be very similar. You’ll likely just have more to cut, and you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary tools and other materials — such as a way to attach your insulation to the door. Most people go with rigid panels and cut them to the correct size with a table saw or a sharp utility knife.

3. Add the Doorstop Weatherstripping

Now it’s time to seal around the door:

  1. Beginning at the top of your garage door, fasten the weatherstripping to the top jamb. Temporarily secure the stripping by pounding in the nails only halfway.
  2. Attach the side doorstops in the same fashion. The top and side stripping should meet at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Put pressure against the door to see how it might deal with strong winds. Then, adjust the doorstops inward so that it will seal against the door even in high winds.
  4. Hammer in the nails in completely. If you can’t properly adjust the doorstop because your door has too much play — or light is coming through the weatherstripping — take out the hinges and replace them with spring-loaded ones that press the garage door against weatherstripping.

4. Put in a New Bottom Seal

Most garage doors feature a track at the bottom that holds a vinyl seal. The sun can cause this vinyl seal to harden, crack or break off, allowing cold air to enter. To retain this seal, the slots found at each end are often crimped. Open these crimps and take out the old seal, and then put in your new one.

5. Put Your Door to the Test

If your door is correctly balanced, it should stay in place if it is lifted partway and then released. However, because insulation makes the door heavier, the balance may be thrown off. If your door falls down when you release it, call a professional to readjust the tension of the springs. Ignoring this problem may cause damage to your garage door opener.

Benefits of an Insulated Garage Door

Besides keeping you more comfortable, winterizing your garage door provides many other advantages:

  • It can help keep the rest of your home warm. Cold air won’t be seeping into the rest of your living space from the garage.
  • It can lead to energy savings. If heat isn’t constantly leaking through your garage door, you’ll spend less on heating.
  • It reduces rusting. A well-insulated and well-heated garage keeps out humidity, which can help prevent rusting.
  • It reduces noise transmission. If you live near a busy highway or noisy neighbors, you won’t be disturbed by all the noise while in your garage. Likewise, your activities, such as playing a musical instrument or using power tools, are less likely to disturb the neighbors and those inside your house.
  • It can make starting your car easier. An insulated garage may help your car start on unusually cold days, and you’re also less likely to have battery issues.
  • It can help protect your equipment. If a garage gets too cold, the equipment you store there can also get damaged. If you have a power washer with some water remaining in the lines or pump, for instance, freezing and cracking can occur.
  • It can make the summers more comfortable, too. If you live in a climate with hot summers, your insulated garage door can keep your garage a few degrees cooler during the hottest months. This could make a huge difference if you spend significant time working in your garage in the summer.

Prepare Your Garage for Winter With Garage Doors From Hunter Door

Prepare Your Garage for Winter

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of installing insulation for your existing door, there’s an easier option: replacing your door with an already insulated model.

At Hunter Door, we offer an extensive collection of insulated garage doors. Our doors come in a wide variety of colors, styles and degrees of insulation — so we’re confident you’ll be able to find a model that suits your personal tastes and insulation needs. We are a certified Clopay® dealer and also sell industry-leading brands such as ProVia, LiftMaster® and Genie®.

If you live in or around South Jersey, come to Hunter Door for all your garage door needs. In addition to selling high-quality garage doors, we also perform installations, repairs and even custom painting services to ensure your new door perfectly matches the look of your home.

If you have any questions regarding our products, contact us online or call us at 856-482-2325, and our knowledgeable representatives will be glad to assist you. You can also visit our showroom in person, and we’ll help you pick a door that best fits your budget and preferences.

Other Top Blog Posts

Areas We Serve

How Does Summer Weather Affect Your Garage Door?

How Does Summer Weather Affect Your Garage Door?

Summer weather is often marked with high temperatures, direct sunlight and fierce thunder and lightning storms that can affect the appearance and functionality of your home’s garage door and garage door opener. To keep your door in top-notch condition and ensure reliable operation during the summer, it’s best to understand what types of summer weather can affect your door and learn some simple tips to keep your garage door system in good shape.

How the Sun Can Affect Garage Door Sensors

Garage door opener photo safety sensors are a safety feature of your system designed to stop the door from closing on an object in the garage door’s path. While this feature is great for ensuring safe daily garage door operations, direct sunlight can actually confuse the sensors into thinking there’s something blocking the door. During the summer, if your garage door opener closes intermittently, sunlight may be interfering with the photo eye sensors.

To prevent this malfunction, some manufacturers produce shades for the sensors or the other solution is to “flip” the sensors – one is a sender and one is a receiver – swapping the sender sensor and receiver sensor from side to side will also help to eliminate interference from the sun. As always, the trusted professionals at Hunter Door are available to provide advice or can help with inspecting the problem and finding a dependable and affordable solution.

High Humidity Levels Create Sticky Operations

Summer temperatures are often accompanied by uncomfortable and sticky humidity levels. High humidity can make your garage door stick to its perimeter seal especially if the door is painted and even more so if the door has been recently painted. The best solution to a sticking door is to make sure there is no paint on the back side of the perimeter seal – if you find there is paint on the back of the perimeter seal – take careful efforts to remove the excess paint without damaging the soft, pliable flap of the perimeter seal. In certain cases, the perimeter seal may need to be replaced – if you think that is the case, call Hunter Door for some friendly advice on replacing the perimeter seal – available in a variety of colors and sizes. And if it’s not a project you are willing to tackle – we can quickly schedule a service call and have your garage door back to working normally.

Thunderstorms and Unexpected Power Outages

During the summer months, you can often expect surprise thunderstorms that are often marked with power outages. While the materials of the door should protect against the excess moisture and heavy winds, homeowners should know how to safely open their garage door when the power goes out.

If power outages are frequent in your area, then you may consider purchasing a battery backup system for your garage door opener so the door can still safely operate during power outages. Without battery backup, homeowners should know how to manually open and close the garage door by removing the door from the automatic opener using the red emergency cord.

Ask About Our Garage Door Services

Keep Your Garage Door Operating Properly With Hunter Door

When you want to maintain the quality and functionality of your garage door, trust the professionals at Hunter Door with performing regular garage door maintenance — or let us help you select and install a new beautiful and durable Clopay garage door crafted to withstand extreme climates for many years. The experts at Hunter Door have over 40 years of garage door and garage opener installation, repair and maintenance experience, and we pride ourselves on offering the highest-quality products and services with a superior customer experience.

Learn more about our garage door services today by calling us at 856-431-3952 or complete our online form to request services. We also offer free project quotes for all of our customers — just fill out our online estimate form!

Other Top Blog Posts

Areas We Serve