Ten Tips the BBB Offers on Hiring a Garage Door Repair

ab_seal_100_wideI came across some very helpful tips when searching for a reputable garage repair company. It seems no matter where you are the economy is not what is used to be. This makes people do things that they wouldn’t normally do, and that includes shady business practices. They say the best defense is a good offence, I say “knowledge is power” but you have to gain it to use it.

Here are Ten Tips the BBB offers on hiring a garage door repair firm:

  1. Check out free BBB Business Reviews at bbb.org or by phone at 800-646-6222. Use the BBB’s Online Directory to find reliable Accredited Businesses. Remember, good garage door companies come in all sizes. Large marketing campaigns or big ads do not always mean a bigger company, or one that provides better service.
  2. Be wary of business phone lines that are answered generically, such as “Service” or “Door service.” Some businesses operate under many names and have to answer the phone in a non-specific manner. Ask the receptionist for their business name and address. If they won’t provide this information, you may not be dealing with a local business.
  3. Keep in mind that any business can buy multiple phone lines. Local numbers don’t always mean you’re dealing with a “local” business.
  4. Ask at least three companies to come to your home and evaluate your needs. Comparison shopping in this manner allows you to consider differences in price and varying opinions on what should be repaired or replaced. Be sure to ask questions and also ask if there’s a service charge involved for coming out and providing an estimate.
  5. Get everything in writing. Ask for an estimate before agreeing to any service. You may want to sign an authorization form after you approve the estimate. Be sure to review and understand the services, products, costs and disclosures before any work is performed.
  6. Request references with names and contact information from consumers who have recently had work performed by the company. Be sure to take the time to contact those references.
  7. Take note of marketing techniques such as advertising discounts or the promise of lowest prices. Remember, the only way to know if you are getting a fair price is to comparison shop to see what other businesses are charging for the same service. Keep in mind that a company offering the lowest price may or may not offer the best service.
  8. Some companies state that they can provide same day service. This may certainly be a benefit; however, it’s important to weigh convenience against waiving your ability to shop around and compare prices.
  9. Any advertisement that makes any type of rating claim (i.e. rated #1 in customer service) should also list the independent third party that provided the award or designation, along with the date it was received.
  10. When purchasing a new garage door, keep the records for the manufacturer brand and model number of all door components (door sections, hardware, track, springs, etc.). Also, request a warranty card and owner’s manual and read these thoroughly. You may need this information if you have questions about the warranty or product liability.

With Winter Comes Salt

Clean That Floor!

Clean That Floor!

It seems that as the winter progresses we tend to accumulate more salt on our garage floor. Even if we are not an avid user of salt we tend to track it in from the city streets. So what can we do? Well first we do not want to have salt in out garage, why? Salt corrodes and if we allow it to be there for an extended period of time it can damage our garage floors, especially if they are concrete. As well if we have a wooded garage door this can do damage to our garage door. What is the solution? Well we have to clean it of course. How?

The easiest way to clean the garage floor is with a pressure washer. This will help break apart what a normal hose can not. Though we are using a pressure washer we may need to use a wired brush to get up what the pressure washer leaves behind.

Summer Tips: During the summer try to treat your garage door floor by either painting it or adding a sealant. This will protect the floor and make it easier to remove salt in the future.

When to Call a Professional

We all want to be “Mr. Fix-it” but there are times when we have reached our know how limit. It is best to call a professional once every two years to ensure the smooth operation of your garage door and garage opener.

Garage Door Repair

Garage Door Repair

Spring balance. If you believe there is a balance problem with your springs, calling a professional is vital. The garage door springs assist the motor in raising and lowering the door, which can weigh up to a few hundred pounds. When the door is struggling to stay up or down, it’s time to call a professional for help. Balancing your garage door springs on your own can add to the problem because of the heavy reliance of the door on the springs. During a routine maintenance visit, a professional can check and balance your springs.

Force adjustment. A garage door professional can also check the force adjustment on the motor. When the door comes down, it’s set to spring back up if it feels pressure, so you want to make sure when the door comes down that it pops back up if it feels any resistance.  Force adjustment keeps you, your family, and your car safe.

Rail lubrication. It is recommended to have a professional grease the rail on the motor. While homeowners can do this on their own, sometimes they use the wrong grease, which could cause problems with the operation of the garage door.

Cable jumps. A cable jump occurs when the garage door cable comes off the drum, which is the spool-shaped object it’s wrapped around. A jump usually occurs when the door encounters a foreign object, such as a car bumper, rake, shovel, bike, or toy. One side of the door drops down further than the other, which causes the spring’s tension to shift to one side. You can diagnose a jump by determining if one side of the door is hanging higher than the other when the door is halfway down. Homeowners with cable jumps will also notice loose pulleys or cables along the rails of their door.

Winter care. In the winter, your garage door might not move as easily as it did in warmer weather. A professional can improve the operation of your door by adjusting the force of the motor. This is usually a simple fix and only takes a short visit from your garage door professional.