Simple Steps to Keeping a Garage Door Opening Smoothly

Move that Door Right Along—Smoothly on the Track, That Is!

The automatic garage door: it’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it? Well, if not aesthetically, then certainly practically. What we’re really talking about is how beautiful it is to have a door that opens with the push of a button. Who wants to climb in and out the car every time to open and close the door? Not us and, we’re pretty sure not you either.
But if your door and its opener fails, that means you’ll be you getting out of the car in the rain to open it. Nobody should have to endure that fate or—even worse—the fate of having a messy garage exposed to the neighbors because it’s taking you too long to close the door manually. Fortunately, there’s a few easy maintenance tips you can perform to make sure your door keeps working smoothly.

Keep A Lookout

Many garage door problems can be identified before they really become a big deal simply by taking the time to do a visual inspection of the door every other month or so. You’ll want to keep an eye out for things like broken springs, frayed wires and rust spots. Make sure the track isn’t bent or skewed out of shape, either.

Keep It Well-Oiled

Your garage door should be a well-oiled machine. We’re being literal here. A properly lubricated garage door won’t get stuck while it’s moving, and it’ll keep the wear and tear on all the parts of the door to a minimum. You’ll want to use a proper lubricant for the door. A spray lubricant such as WD-40 is your best bet. Lubricate the tracks, hinges and rollers of the door two times a year.

The Eyes Have It

For safety purposes, all garage doors manufactured since the early 1990s have to include a photo eye and reversal system to keep people from getting trapped under a closing door. If your door doesn’t have one of these, stop and contact us so that you can get one installed. If your door has one, you’ll want to periodically test it to make sure it’s working properly. To test the door, get a long object such as a broom and push the close button on the door. Wave the object in front of the eye. Should the door keep moving, wait till the door is closed and then clean the photo eye with a soft cloth. If that doesn’t fix it, you may need a new eye.

Even if you’re diligent about maintaining your garage door, you’ll still need a professional to repair and replace it when it breaks. Contact the Overhead Door Company of Portland to get your door in top working order.

How Your Garage Door Could Help Sell Your Property

Sell Your Home on Its Garage Without Even Cleaning It Out

Your garage door is more than a simple portal to your driveway. In addition to keeping your lawnmower safe, your door acts as your home’s most prominent calling card on the real estate market.

House-hunting homeowners could very well base their decisions on how nice your garage looks, and they may not even wait until they get inside to pass final judgement. Here are three little-known ways your garage door might be the key to selling your home

Going for Classic Style with the Ranch Look

Garage door treatments are commonly used to make homes appear more upscale. One way to give your property an element of laid-back, rustic aesthetic is to upgrade to a door that features naturalistic wood paneling. Many people find that these traditionally-styled building elements are a step above the standard fare because they add a bit of warmth to an otherwise imposing entryway.

Upgrading to the Hyper-Modern Aesthetic

You don’t have to decorate your home as if it’s an art gallery to feel like you’re living in modern times. Today’s garage door styles include a number of alternative materials, like tempered glass in clear or frosted tones. You can even install metallic doors that offer a bit more protection while still leaving plenty of room for customization.

Don’t Forget the Trimmings

Any aspiring home decorator is bound to make mistakes, but some faux pas are so heinous that they might actually lead to buyers asking for a discount. If your garage door is fresh and new, but its surroundings look like something out of a horror film, you’ll find it difficult to convince people that your property is worth the investment. Make sure that any garage renovation you undertake includes the area around the door itself. Reface brick or siding as needed, and upgrade your lighting to accentuate the new door.
Of course, remodeling isn’t all cosmetic; the seals around your door’s frame may be replaced, and the pavement leading up to it may require a resurfacing. These minor details are extremely important. No matter how good you are at choosing aesthetic elements that wow people and increase your home’s curb appeal, buyers are fickle. If they discover that you’re hiding a broken door mechanism or misaligned panels behind those well-maintained planters, you shouldn’t be surprised when you just can’t seem to get your asking price.

Ready to turn your garage door into the kind of gateway that sells homes? Check out the Overhead Door Company of Portland’s blog for more tips. You can also contact us directly for help with your most dire remodeling or repair emergencies, so feel free to reach out anytime.

Everything You Need to Know About R-Values and How Your Garage Door Lowers Your Energy Bills


How to Choose Garage Doors that Minimize Heat Loss

Without the right type of door, your garage can be a big source of heat loss. An understanding of insulation and R-value helps explain how garage doors impact the overall energy efficiency of your home.

What is R-Value?

R-value is a measurement of the thermal resistance of a material. The higher the value, the better the material is at resisting heat transfer. The R-value of an insulated garage door tells you how much heat it will keep inside your home.

U-factor is the opposite measurement of R-value and indicates how well a material conducts heat. Knowing both of these numbers when shopping for garage doors can be useful, but R-value is usually the figure given by manufacturers.

Where Energy Goes

Air leakage is the major source of energy loss in your garage. If you don’t have an insulated door, heat flows out from your house, through the garage and into the environment. Even doors with a high R-value can let out a lot of heat if they’re not sealed properly when closed. This causes your furnace to work harder and use more energy to maintain a consistent indoor temperature.

A well-insulated garage door also won’t do you much good if the wall between the garage and the house doesn’t have insulation. The garage may not lose heat, but it will continue to flow out of the house, leaving interior rooms uncomfortably chilly. A poor seal around the connecting door that leads to the garage will let even more heat out.

Conserve Energy With the Right Garage Door

Upgrading to a garage door with a high R-value can slash energy bills by as much as 30 percent. Ask the manufacturer for an R-value of the door as a whole to make sure that you get an accurate measurement. Some companies only measure at the center of the door, and this can result in an artificially high reading. Once you find a door you like, have it installed by a knowledgeable professional who can maximize its energy-saving potential.

If you suspect that your garage door is the cause of your high energy bills, get in touch with the Overhead Door Company of Portland. Our Thermacore doors use a combination of metal and foam to insulate your home against heat loss and maintain a stable temperature inside the garage. Other insulated models are available to match the style of your home. Visit our website today to learn more about our offerings or stop by our showroom and see our garage door collections in person. Choose your favorite design and start enjoying a warmer, more comfortable home.

Do You Need to Give Your Overhead Door an Insulation Upgrade?

Traditional American Home

Adding insulation to your garage door can add comfort and reduce costs

The garage door makes a valiant effort to protect your vehicles and home from the elements, including harsh winters, pounding rain, blistering sun, and the sights and sounds of a busy street. However, most standard garage doors can only do so much. Insulation is a relatively inexpensive way to reduce energy costs and muffle street noise.

According to Home Advisor, the garage is the largest uninsulated area in most homes. The loss of heat in the winter and cool air in the summer can put a significant burden on your climate control. Insulation also provides protection from unwanted moisture, which can contribute to mold, mildew, and other forms of water damage. Additionally, insulation provides another barrier between your home and all of the little critters that want to come inside.

The process of applying insulation to a garage door is fairly straightforward, but selecting the best insulation for your needs is important. Batt insulation is a popular choice because it is capable of insulating against both moisture and air. Foam board is another popular and convenient option. Reflective insulation is great for garages that must endure an overabundance of heat. The aluminum foil covering does a terrific job of reflecting that heat.

The installation process typically involves cutting pieces of insulation to fit in the frames that surround each individual door panel. Depending on the fit, fasteners, glue, or tape can be used to secure the insulation. If you have a flat garage door, you can secure foam board or reflective insulation to the surface of your garage door.

Most insulation application projects are fairly simple. However, with larger and heavier doors, adding extra insulation can add a significant amount of weight. The extra bulk can strain the opening mechanism of your door if it is not adjusted properly to the added weight. For this reason, consulting a professional is highly recommended. You don’t want to lower your energy bill only to find that you’ve irreparably damaged the opening mechanism of your overhead door.

If you are interested in learning more about insulating your garage door, contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland. We can answer any questions that you may have about the benefits of garage door insulation and the process of applying insulation to your garage door.

Gate Control Types of 2015

Garage Door Opener

Automated Gate Controls on the Market

Choosing a gate for your home or commercial property is a great way to protect your assets and family. Of course, the gate itself is only part of the equation. You’ll also need to choose a control solution that makes sense for your needs. Get to know them so you can choose the best for your home or business.

How to Choose a Gate Control

Everything from card readers to keypads to remote solutions is available for gate control. With so many options out there, it can be tough to decide which format is best for your needs. Reviewing the chief features and benefits of each major type of system is a great way to determine what you’d like to buy.

Keypad entry systems offer

•    easy access whether you’re in your vehicle or on foot,
•    the ability to program different entry codes for different purposes,
•    simple, straightforward operation, and
•    wireless control and configuration options on some models.

Card-reader entry systems offer

•    a high level of security,
•    an ideal entry solution for small businesses and homes with several household employees,
•    integration with other security solutions and
•    simple, foolproof operation.

Remote entry systems offer

•    the ability to open your gate from anywhere in your home or business,
•    enhanced security,
•    integration with other security solutions and
•    gate monitoring from your smartphone on some models.

A contractor who specializes in garage doors and gates can help you find a compatible control no matter the type of gate you use. If you’re looking for a new way to open your gate, contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland for more info.

Making Your Driveway Look Good and Other Secrets to Garage Door Landscaping


Do you have a plain, solid color garage door? When you look at the front of your home, your garage door takes up a large percentage of visible space. No matter how beautiful and intricate the rest of your house and landscape is, a huge bare space is going to command all the attention. To turn that boring expanse into an attractive part of your landscape, you just need to add a few flourishes that break up the monotony and pull the look together. Here are a few tips to help you make your plain garage door more attractive and improve the overall appearance of your home’s exterior.

Upgrade Your Driveway

If your driveway is yet another large, plain space, it can compound your garage door problem. Fortunately, you can easily change that by installing a decorative concrete coating. Concrete can be stained, stamped and patterned in a variety of ways that complement your landscape.

Decorate Your Driveway

The more attention your driveway gets, the less noticeable your plain garage door becomes. Plant colorful, lush flowers, grasses or groundcover along the sides of your driveway. If you don’t have a green thumb, or your planting space is limited, add a few garden statues or lawn ornaments to frame your garage.

Planters: Practical Landscaping Magic

Large, heavy planters make great mobile design elements that add color and dimension to large spaces. Place them at each side of your garage door or in front of upright sections. You can also mount hanging planters from your garage eaves. Attractive trailing plants can become effective focal points that transform plain spaces into perfect backgrounds.

Overhead Door Company of Portland, OR

If you have an old, outdated garage door, landscaping may not be enough to improve the look of your home’s exterior. When the door itself is beyond hope, we can help. At Overhead Garage Door of Portland, OR, we’ve been installing and servicing thousands of quality garage doors since 1929. We can help you choose a new garage door that complements your home’s architecture and adds a stylish touch, and we’ll provide exceptional maintenance services for the life of the product. Contact us today to explore your options.

Critical Access Gate Upkeep Steps You Didn’t Even Know You Were Missing

Are your garage doors ready for the shifting seasons?

Maintaining your driveway gate preserves home security

Having an automatic gate that controls access to your property adds a layer of security by allowing you to decide who can come and go. Regular maintenance ensures that gates function the way they should to provide continual, reliable safety for you and your family. Perform these critical upkeep tasks at least once a year to maintain optimal operation.


Changing weather conditions, pest damage and regular wear add up over time and can cause access gates to deteriorate. Inspect your gate at least once a year for rust and damage to electrical wiring as well as evidence of nests, hives or webs. Fixing cosmetic issues is usually a DIY job, but if you find any serious problems with electrical connections or pest infestations, it’s best to let a professional tackle the job.


All moving parts of your gate need regular lubrication to prevent them from wearing down. Hinge pins should be lubricated using heavy grease and a grease gun. Use the same heavy grease and a sturdy cloth to maintain the slide chain. If your gate uses an actuator arm instead of a chain, keep the shaft in good shape by applying silicon-based lubricant.

Fix the Tension

Gates that operate with slide chains will experience a loss in tension over time as the chain stretches out. A small amount of sagging is normal, but too much affects the operation of the gate. If you tighten the chain but still have too much slack, it might be necessary to have a professional remove a few of the links to restore proper tension.

Check the Opener

Just like the openers on garage doors, automatic gate openers can develop problems if not properly maintained. Problems with opening and closing are often caused by something blocking the mechanism. Wild swings in temperature, a malfunctioning breaker and even wet spider webs can also interfere with operation.

Replace the Battery

Battery-operated gates need a fresh power source every two to five years depending on the quality of the battery. If you notice problems with gate performance that are unrelated to physical operation, check the battery and all connections to it to determine if maintenance or replacement is necessary.

The Overhead Door Company of Portland can help you maintain your access gate to ensure continuous security for you and your family. Contact us today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re in complete control of who can enter and leave your property. Should you need a new access gate, our specialists will work with you to create a sturdy, attractive setup that lasts for years.

Keypads or Remotes? The Essentials of Controlling Overhead Door Access

Improve your garage door security

Garage Door Access Hardware that Makes Sense for You

Home and business owners think about aesthetics, performance and security when choosing new garage doors. These are important considerations, but it’s also essential to think about the basics of access. Walk-up keypads and wireless remotes can both let you in, but which option is right for you?

Evaluating Your Access Needs

Just like there is no one solution to every homeowner’s garage door needs, there is no one solution to every homeowner’s garage access needs. What’s best for you depends on your home’s architecture, your personal habits and any special security considerations. A retired couple that hires regular household help has very different access needs than a busy mom who picks her kids up from school every day.

The most important factor you’ll need to assess is how you’ll approach your garage on a daily basis. If you commute on a bike, you’ll need an access system that you can approach on foot or bike. If you drive up to your garage in a car, you may want an access system that allows you to get into the garage without getting out of your vehicle.

In terms of security, you should consider any special situations that might arise when it comes to accessing your garage. Most modern access options offer security features that are strong enough for regular residential use, but they may not be suitable for business or commercial purposes. You should also be sure to talk to a garage door installer about your security needs if you store very valuable items in your garage.

Choosing Your Access Option

When it comes to picking an access device for garage doors, you’ll have two primary options. You can choose a keypad, which requires you to enter a code to gain entry to your garage. Many keypads allow you to create temporary codes that can be used by workers and guests. The other option is a wireless garage door opener that you can use from the comfort of your vehicle. Wireless devices that allow you to control your garage door with your smartphone are also available.

You’ll only use your access device when you want to enter or leave your garage, which is why how you approach your garage should be the driving buying factor. If you’re usually on foot or on a bicycle, a keypad is probably best. If you usually drive, you’ll benefit from a wireless device. Of course, some Portland homeowners choose to integrate both keypads and wireless remotes into their garage door systems. This is a great option if household employees will need to get into the property on foot or if you use both a vehicle and a bicycle on a regular basis.

Ready to choose a garage door access solution? Contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland for help.

4 Overhead Door Maintenance Oversights that Might Be Security Risks

Are your garage doors ready for the shifting seasons?

The Achilles Heel of Home Security

The garage is not the preferred point of entry for most burglars. However, overhead door maintenance oversights can make your home or business a tempting and defenseless target for break-ins by burglars experienced in spotting poorly maintained doors.

Because you never know when an unwanted intrusion or accident will happen, it’s important to address maintenance overhead door issues and do the needed repairs beforehand. Our professionals at Overhead Door Company of Portland identified four leading overhead door maintenance oversights that are easily corrected.

Misaligned Door

Door tracks can get warped or bent over time from simple wear and tear. This can create a host of other problems that can make the door a safety hazard. What’s more, a misaligned door makes it fairly easy for a thief to use a variety of tools to gain unauthorized entry. Although a misaligned door is fixable by a determined do-it-yourselfer, you can injure yourself in the process. It’s best to get an experienced professional for help.

Faulty Opener Issues

Faulty door openers can cause your door to behave erratically. An overhead door that partially opens or closes is one of the more common problems that can create a major security risk. Many faulty opener problems are related to the garage door safety sensors, located at the bottom of both tracks. These are generally easy to fix yourself to avoid calling a service call.

Check to see if the sensor photo cell lights are functioning properly. Make sure the red and green lights are both working and are correctly aligned facing each other. The red light on Overhead Door models should be blinking. The green light does not blink. If either of the lights is not working, check the wiring to make sure it’s connected to the photo cell. For other brands of overhead doors, check your owner’s manual.

Garage Door Remotes

Older model door openers are vulnerable to thieves who can readily buy a handful of replacement remotes, of which one is likely to have your access code. Many thieves use electronic “code-grabbers” that remotely grab your garage door radio signal. Today’s garage doors use technology that generates random rolling codes each time you use the remote. If you’re working with the older technology, consider investing in the new technology to stay a step ahead of the thieves.

Periodic Maintenance Checklist

For added safety and security, the International Door Association recommends conducting a monthly maintenance inspection, which should include:

Door Opener Inspection

•    Do the Reversal Test by opening the door and placing a 2X4 on the floor in the center of the door. Close the door to see if it reverses when it strikes the 2X4.
•    Do the Force Setting Test by holding the door firmly while it closes. If it reverses, you’re good to go.

Door Inspection

•    Visually inspect the high-tension area above the door that houses the bracket and spring. If the bracket is not secure against the wall, or otherwise misaligned, call a professional.
•    Visually inspect the rollers, cables, pulley and track to make sure they are secure, aligned and the cables not frayed.
•    Do the Door Balance Test by disconnecting the opener from the door when the door is in the closed position. Then, manually open the door about halfway. If the door does not remain stationary in halfway position, you may have spring issues that require professional help.

Periodic Lubrication

Use a garage door lubricant once or twice a year to lubricate the spring and the door panel hinges. Avoid using penetrating oils that can be harmful door mechanisms.

Don’t Be A Statistic

According to FBI statistics, 1 in 36 homes is burglarized each year. Don’t become another statistic by inviting burglars to liberate you from your valuable possessions. Tend to these minimal garage door maintenance chores as a practice of habit. They require little investment in time or money.

Looking to upgrade your overhead doors to improve security? Contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland. We offer the latest and greatest in commercial and residential door technology.

Why You Don’t Need a Broken Garage Door to Go for a Makeover


Refresh your Portland home with an updated door style

When you think of giving your home a makeover, you probably picture new siding, bigger windows, some paint or even a new roof. However, upgrading your garage door may do more for the appearance of your home than any other project. Even if there’s nothing mechanically wrong with it, there are several reasons to consider investing in a new garage door.

Create More Curb Appeal

Garage doors represent a significant amount of exterior space and can easily be seen by anyone who passes by. In fact, the garage door is often the first thing that greets visitors when they arrive at your home. Make this greeting a positive one by selecting a new door with welcoming features like wood paneling and arched windows. Create balance by choosing subtle colors that complement the rest of the house as well as the surrounding area.

Freshen Up with a Facelift

As your garage door ages, it can begin to crack, rust, warp or develop imperfections in the paint. This has the effect of making the entire house look old and worn. You might be surprised just how much better everything appears after you invest in a new garage door. This one simple change has a big effect not only on the aesthetic qualities of your home but also on the atmosphere it projects.

Alter Home Appearance

Trends in home styles shift over the years, and when a new design catches your eye, you want to have a garage door that matches the rest of the house. Go for wood if you’re switching from contemporary to rustic, or choose metal doors for a modern look. Durable vinyl is a popular option that looks good with just about any style.

Make a Good Impression

While impressing people shouldn’t be your first thought when looking into a garage door upgrade, you do want to consider how your investment will affect the future value of your home. Installing a new door has the potential to pay for itself if you decide to put the house on the market. Buyers like upgrades, and the same curb appeal that makes guests feel welcome can become a selling point that you can leverage when negotiating price.

When you’re ready to give your garage door a facelift, contact the Overhead Door Company of Portland. We offer a wide range of beautiful garage door designs and can help you choose the best one to enhance the look of your home. Check out our online design center for a preview of available styles, and then give us a call to get started with this simple home upgrade.