How R-Values Help You Save Money On Energy Costs

Spend Less to Heat and Cool Your Home or Business by Being R-Value Savvy

There’s more to effectively heating or cooling a home or business than having a well-designed and properly installed heating and cooling system. Without the right insulation, much of the heated and cooled air that’s generated by such systems can easily escape, which forces them to work harder. When these systems work harder, they must use more energy, and that results in more expensive energy bills. Insulation helps enormously in this regard, and one of the most crucial aspects of choosing insulation is understanding the importance of R-value.

What is R-Value?

R-value refers to the capacity of insulating material to resist heat flow. To understand this, it helps to understand heat in general. Heat travels, and that’s precisely the problem that must be solved when heating or cooling a home. In the summer, heat flows into a home; in the winter, it flows out.

Heat travels by three means: radiation, convection and conduction. R-value addresses the latter, conduction, which is the transfer of heat through a material. Put simply, the higher the R-value, the better the insulation is at preventing the transfer of heat. By using insulation with a high enough R-value, you can prevent much of the heat loss that would typically happen during the winter. Similarly, insulation with an adequate R-value largely prevents hot air from coming into a home during the summer, which helps to keep it cooler.

Seal and Insulate Your Home or Business

When most people think about insulation, they think of the attic and walls of a home, which is where most heat escapes from or gets into a home. Entry points into a home, including doors and windows, are also common sites for the loss or entrance of heat into a home throughout the year, so it is crucial to ensure that they are properly installed and sealed to minimize this risk. Weather-stripping comes very much in handy in this regard, but if you want to drastically reduce heat transfer through doors, you should consider buying doors that are enhanced with high R-value insulation.

Invest in Insulated Doors

On a cold day, stand near a door in your home or business. Whether it’s the garage door, the front door or another door, you will probably notice a detectable drop in temperature when you stand right by it. If so, it’s not insulated enough and is allowing heat to escape. This issue can be remedied by purchasing doors that are properly insulated. Now that cooler, wetter weather has arrived in the Portland area, now is the time to do so. Overhead Door offers a wide array of insulated doors for homes and businesses, including our ThermaCore residential line, which offers R-values of 9.31, 12.76 and 17.5. Learn more by visiting our website today.

Maximize Savings and Comfort by Winterizing Your Garage

You might be prepared for winter; you have snow tires on the cars, you’ve caulked around the windows to prevent cold air from sneaking in and you’ve added weather stripping to all your exterior doors. So you might be toasty warm inside your heated space, but have you thought about what’s going on in your garage? Whether you use your garage as a gym or workshop or simply keep it as a space to store your car, you’ll save money and protect your valuable possessions by winterizing your garage before the first freeze.

Pad the Cave

Insulating your garage can help keep it from becoming a frozen tundra and provide a buffer of warmer air next to your home. This means the air inside your home will stay warmer without as much effort, so you don’t have to blast the heat as much throughout the winter. If there’s a draft under your garage door, replace your weather stripping. Scrape off the existing weather stripping and make sure the surface is clean and dry. Align the new weather stripping with the garage door down. The door should flatten the rubber flap slightly when it’s closed.

If the temperature inside the garage drops below freezing, it can freeze any water left in equipment hoses and affect your power tools. Insulate the walls of your garage as well as the garage door to keep the temperature more stable. You can buy kits designed for insulating garage doors or replace the door with an insulated design.

Open Sesame

Having a garage might not be very beneficial to you if the door won’t open. Cold weather can affect your garage door by changing the sensitivity of the closing force. To adjust this, first make sure there is no space beneath the door when it’s closed. Adjust the force by accessing the door closer using a ladder. There should be adjustment screws that let you change the position of the closed door. These screws can be adjusted with a screwdriver until the door opens and closes properly. Click here to learn more about adjusting the door close force.

You know how you don’t really want to move all winter long? Your garage door can feel the same way when the cold weather makes the lubricant thick and sticky. From the inside of your garage, apply an oil-based lubricant like motor oil to the rollers, tracks and springs. Open and close the door a few times to get everything moving again. You don’t want your door to stick on that day that you’re really in a rush to leave the house.

Keeping your garage warm takes some time. If you aren’t sure what you’re doing, hire a professional to take a look at your door. Contact the Overhead Door Company of Portland to ensure that your garage is properly winterized before it gets cold outside.

The Top Six Overhead Door Design Trends of 2015

Overhead garage doors make a statement about your home or business. Imagine pulling up to your home or commercial property and knowing that your overhead garage door is the envy of your area. So what are trendy homeowners and business owners choosing for their overhead designs this year? Take a closer look at these top six overhead door designs and decide which may be the best choice for you!

1. Go bold – Why not go all out and install a new overhead garage door that really turns heads? One of the latest design trends is to have a garage door that stands out from the rest of the house. Doors with custom designs, intricate hardware or playful geometric shapes are very popular this year.

2. Choose color – Not to be outdone by colorful front doors, overhead garage doors are now available in a variety of fun colors. Some homeowners prefer to match the color of the front door with the garage door, but others like to mix it up a little. Whether you decide on a traditional color like brown or a bright color like red, garage doors are a perfect place to show off your style.

3. Wood wins – For a classic look, you can choose a garage door with wood grain paint in a wide range of natural tones. The best part is the actual overhead door is still constructed of sturdy steel while the façade provides a real wood appearance. Check out some actual examples on different wood styles here.

4. The bigger the better – Many properties are remodeling now to accommodate large vehicles, boats or campers in the garage. With garage doors getting bigger and wider now, customized overhead doors are a great way to upgrade your office or home’s look at the same time.

5. Technology triumphs – In today’s world, you don’t have to fiddle around for old clickers or remember a key code. Nowadays, most garages will open and close by utilizing the internet on your cell phone. On top of that, new garage doors are equipped with soundless belt drives, battery backup systems, monitors and special side mount capabilities.

6. Green sustainability – Contemporary offices and homes are continuing to look for ways to be aesthetically pleasing without impacting the environment. Many overhead garage doors are constructed with sustainable products while still providing fashionable finishes. You may be surprised to discover that many environmentally-friendly doors are now available at affordable prices.

Whether you’re trying to upgrade your home’s curb appeal, remodel your office’s garage or plan for an extreme overhead door makeover, contact Overhead Door Company of Portland for some helpful pointers. With so many options and designer choices, sometimes an objective opinion can make a big difference in your final decision.

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.

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.