Get Your Garage Ready for Winter

Colder temperatures are on their way. Are you prepared?

Is your garage door ready for winter?Summer is coming to a close. While you don’t have to worry about your holiday shopping just yet, now is a great time to get your garage in shape for the upcoming colder weather. Even if winter isn’t quite at our doorstep, chilly temperatures in Portland can arrive as soon as the end of September. Instead of waiting until your garage turns into a walk-in freezer, follow the tips below for an early start on your winter prep plan.

1. Host a garage sale. If you’re using your garage as an extra storage room, chances are that it could use a major facelift. Selling some of your possessions while the weather is still warm is an easy way to both quickly de-clutter your space and add an unexpected bonus to your savings account. When deciding on what to sell and what to keep, the general rule to remember is to part with anything you haven’t used in over a year. For more ideas on how to keep your garage organized, check out this guide from HGTV.

2. Embrace vertical storage. From mountain bikes to gardening gear, almost any piece of equipment can be mounted on a wall with an affordable rack, hanger or hook from your local home improvement store. With a minimum investment and an hour of labor, you can double your storage space and reduce clutter.

3. Dedicate a special section to your winter equipment. There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up to a snowed-in driveway and spending your entire morning on trying to hunt down your winter shovel. To make dealing with harsh winter weather a lot easier, make a commitment to store all of your winter supplies – shovels, snow blowers, generators, portable heaters, emergency kits and ice scrapers – within reach.

4. Check your garage door for signs of wear and tear. Because doing garage door maintenance and general repairs is no fun after the cold hits, you’ll want to get it out of the way while the temperatures are still on your side. Start by scheduling a day to inspect and clean the entire operating system. In addition to removing dirt and debris around the chains, test how your door opens and closes. If it seems to lag more now than it used to in the past, schedule a professional repair service to rule out a breakdown in the middle of winter.

Does your garage door need professional attention? Contact the Overhead Door Company of Portland. Visit our website to learn more about our maintenance services and to schedule an appointment.

The Power Is Out: Can You Get Into Your Garage?

The best way to fully appreciate the luxury of an automatic garage door opener is to find yourself in your driveway clicking frantically and staring at it in bewilderment until you realize there are no lights on inside your home. When the power goes out, electric garage doors don’t respond to automatic openers, threats, insults or yelling. To get in, you’ll just have to open your front door. You do carry a key, don’t you? Since power outages often occur in bad weather, there’s a good chance you’ll get wet on the way. If you’re really unlucky, your yard will be muddy, your neighbors will see you flailing and grabbing at trees, and your car will get pelted with hail while you wait for electric contractors to work their magic.

Getting Stuck Inside Is Just as Bad

If your car is already in your garage when the blackout hits, it’ll be safe from hail and wind, but it’s also trapped. A severe storm could knock your power out for days or weeks. Even if you’re an expert in blackout preparedness, there are sure to be a million reasons you need to get on the road. You could open the door manually from inside, but then you’d have to either leave it open until you return, or open it from outside by slipping a coat hanger inside to activate the manual release lever. It’s important to note that if you can do this, so can burglars. If your door is large and heavy, lifting it manually might be too physically difficult for older or smaller family members anyway.

Battery Backups Are the Answer

To prevent getting locked out, get a garage door battery backup system, and never worry about these problems again. With a backup power source in place, you won’t need electricity to get in or out of your garage. Many batteries have three-year lifespans, so you won’t need to replace them frequently. Most modern garage door models include a power backup, so if your door is old and needs to be replaced anyway, the solution is simple. Call your garage door contractor to see what options are available—you’ll thank yourself when the next storm hits.

Call the Overhead Door Company: We’ve Got Your Backup

Overhead Door Company of Portland understands the value of security and convenience, and we can help you enjoy both with a quality garage door and battery backup system that guarantees you won’t get left in the cold when the lights go out. At Overhead, we’ve been installing and servicing premium garage doors for Portland residents and businesses since 1929, and we stand behind every door we install for the life of the product. Contact us today to learn more about our advanced battery backup opening systems, and look forward to a dryer, safer future.

5 Reasons to Have a Garage Door With Windows

Why a garage door with windows is always a smart choice

GarageWindows_iStockIt’s time to replace your garage door, and you’re overwhelmed by the options. When it comes to picking a new garage door, it’s essential to consider your own needs as well as the climate in Portland. One of the most basic decisions you’ll need to make when shopping is whether or not your garage door should have windows. If you’re not convinced that windows are a necessity, check out five reasons why they’re always a smart choice.

Do You Need a Garage Door With Windows?

Garage doors are available in dozens of different styles and configurations. Of course, you’ll be focused on finding a door of the right size and architectural style. As you shop, remember that choosing extra features such as windows can make a big difference in the usability and value of your garage door. Windowed doors can:

Add natural light. Windowed garage doors allow plenty of natural light to enter your space. This means that you won’t have to rely on light bulbs that drive up your electricity bill when you need to find something in your garage during the day. Natural light can also help scare away pests that like to hide in very dark garages.

Show off your toys. If you keep collectible vehicles in your garage, you may want to show them off to the neighborhood. There’s no better way to do so than by choosing a windowed door. After all, windows will allow everyone to see in but will prevent damage from the elements and passersby.

Have a window on the weather. You probably peak outside before you head to the garage to start your car in the morning. However, all Portland denizens know that the weather can change in an instant. Having windows in your garage means that you’ll know exactly what kind of weather you’re headed into every day.

Your garage door makes a big impact on your home’s overall appearance. The garage door accounts for more than 30% of the front of some homes, meaning that it can make a huge difference in the overall look of your home.

Boost your home’s value. Choosing a garage door that improves the appearance of your home does more than just increase aesthetic value. It can also increase the actual monetary value of your home. Remember to choose a door that is both sturdy and attractive to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Choosing a new garage door means evaluating your needs and considering what extra features will improve your home’s usability and appearance. Contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland today to learn more about your windowed garage door options.

Unusual Uses for a Garage Door

Indoor ideas that move the walls

They’re functional, secure and need very little maintenance. Average life expectancy is a generous 20 to 25 years, and they’re available in a surprising variety of styles and colors. You might not consider them a decorating trend, but stylish overhead garage doors are quickly making exciting new moves inside the home.

Open the Wall

It’s easy to think of garage doors as solid enclosures, but imagine glass paneled roll-ups that elevate with the touch of a remote. Even small rooms have big potential with a moveable glass wall, and double-height spaces take on dramatic new dimensions. These custom installations with overhead framing add industrial chic to any decor. Why just open windows on a pretty day when you can raise the entire wall?

Install Flexible Interiors

It can get pretty noisy in the game room when the kids are having fun. How about a wall that contains their recreational enthusiasm with finger-tip control? Overhead glass garage doors are easily fitted to any space, so you can corral the wildest bunch and still keep an eye on the action. Apply this sound-proofing idea in reverse, and that home office in the den becomes a quiet alcove for working while you shut out distractions. If you prefer more privacy, consider carriage-style garage doors. These smart alternatives add flexibility and function to every room.

Repurpose Outdoor Entertaining

If you’re looking for entertainment potential in the backyard, rescue that detached garage or storage shed with a new overhead door. Why build from scratch when a perfectly sound structure is ready for repurposing? Turn an outbuilding into an outdoor getaway with single panel up-and-over doors. These glass beauties tilt out and lift up, aligning with the interior’s ceiling. Their swing-out action creates an awning when the doors are open, so you can duck out of the rain in a hurry. If the weather refuses to cooperate, lower the doors, ignore the elements and still enjoy your party.

The next time you raise those dependable doors in the garage, let the possibilities expand your imagination. Our teams specialize in custom installations here at Overhead Door Company of Portland, so share your inspiration with us. We can unlock all kinds of ideas that open up the best in your home.

Easy Maintenance or the Beauty of Wood?

How about both?

Are you a fan of wood garage doors?Have you taken a good look at the front view of your house lately? Is your garage door askew, sagging, looking shabby or impossible to close because of all the stuff in the way? The street appeal of a house isn’t limited to landscaping and the front door. Garages are often the biggest part of a front façade and make a distinct impression to passersby.

A nationwide cost-to-value study by Remodeling Magazine found that Portland residents who replace their garage doors typically recoup over 100% of the total cost of the job. Replacing a garage door with a newer, more attractive style won’t just boost the street appeal of your home; it will also lower maintenance costs, depending on the type of material and style of door you select.


Garage doors are available in several types of materials, including wood, steel, vinyl, fiberglass and aluminum. Doors must be strong enough to withstand all kinds of weather, provide insulation to protect the interior from outside temperatures, and be attractive from the curbside. Although wood and steel are traditional favorites, newer products in vinyl and fiberglass are attractive and easier to maintain than actual wood garage doors. High-quality steel and vinyl doors come in a number of styles that look almost identical to wood without being burdened by the maintenance requirements of actual wood.

Wood is the most expensive material and requires the most maintenance of all. It’s also the most versatile for looks and finish but must be painted or stained, is highly vulnerable to water damage, and provides moderate to low insulation values (typically R-4 but can be as high as R-10).

Steel is strong, long-lasting, relatively maintenance-free and available in attractive designs compatible with a variety of architectural styles. Steel garage doors with wood-grain texture look like actual wood, and higher-end steel doors have two layers of galvanized steel with insulation values up to R-17.

Vinyl is available in classic designs compatible with most architectural styles. Vinyl doors with wood-grain texture look like freshly painted wood but, unlike wood, never peel. Vinyl is tough, doesn’t dent, repels water and is well insulated. A number of colors are available with today’s vinyl, and because of the permeability of the material, the color will stay looking great.

Overhead Door Garage Door Services in Portland

Our founder, C. G. Johnson, invented the overhead garage door in 1921, and we have been serving the Portland area since 1929. We offer technical knowledge, superior products and excellent customer service. We also guarantee our work for the life of your garage door. If you would like to know more about selecting a garage door that suits your commercial building or residence, call one of our associates to discuss your ideas today, or fill out our online contact form.

What’s Hiding Behind Your Garage Door?

Does anyone still park their car in the garage?

Do your garage doors suit your garage use?In the old days, a garage would house a couple of cars, a lawn mower and a few garden tools. Although these are still staples for any homeowner’s garage, it’s also not hard to find people who are using the space to store all kinds of crazy and wonderful things. People need space to live, play, work and store their valuables. A well-built garage and a quality garage door make all of it possible.

The Garage as an Entertainment Center

As American society evolves, the use of the garage for covered parking seems to be fading. In fact, according to a recent survey, only 25% of households in the U.S. actually use their garage to house a vehicle.

In many instances, the garage is converted into a temporary living space. This includes game rooms, man caves, workshops and home gyms. As long as the space can be conditioned, the garage is the most cost effective way to add livable square footage. To keep the interior comfortable, most homeowners install an insulated garage door. Converting the space back into a functional garage is easy and cost effective. No matter what it’s used for, a quality garage door will help save energy by maintaining an even interior temperature.

It’s Just Temporary Storage

When closets overflow, the garage is the next logical choice for storage. This phenomenon continues to grow along with the size of the average garage. In fact, most people just can’t help themselves. When the car is pulled out and they see all that empty space, it’s just too tempting to resist moving all that clutter from inside the house into the garage. After all, out of sight is out of mind, right?

The Strange Things Hidden Behind Garage Doors

If you have something unusual tucked away in your garage, we’d love to hear about it. Whatever your garage is used for, it’s important to keep the contents safe and secure. The Overhead Door Company of Portland is a knowledgeable and professional dealer offering a complete array of garage door products and services. We encourage you to browse our website to learn more about the many advantages of installing a new automated garage door. When you’re ready, contact us by calling 503-252-5111 or filling out our online form.

How Garage Doors Can Help Save Your Home From Disaster

With the right reinforcement, your garage doors become a second line of defense

The biggest threat to your home and garage doors during a windstorm is the impact from flying debris. Upgrading your garage door to an impact-resistant material offers protection from these potential dangers: Impact-resistant doors can stand up to high winds and deflect heavy objects being carried along by the storm.

Another way to make your home safer is to brace the garage door and ensure that the track has been upgraded to withstand stormy conditions. A solid bracing system and heavy-grade brackets help keep the door intact during a storm, ensuring safety for the interior. Hurricane panels serve a similar purpose and can be installed on any existing garage door. All of these precautions give your garage door the strength to stand up to storms.

Keeping Out Mud

Storms can also bring about mudslides or landslides that cause cascades of heavy, thick dirt that can damage your home and leave it uninhabitable. Though you should always have an evacuation plan in place in the event of a mudslide, choosing a rugged material for your garage door can help to keep your belongings safe after you’ve left the house. Make sure that the door is firmly closed and that there are no gaps so that the dirt stays outside where it belongs.

Fighting Fires

If a wildfire moves through your area, a properly hung garage door may aid in minimizing damage. Install weather stripping around the edges of the door and test the bottom seal. As long as everything is snug, embers should stay out. If your garage has windows, you have the choice of filling them in or upgrading to fire-rated glass to protect against breakage. If you’re having a new door installed instead of upgrading the one you already have, see if you can get these features as part of the installation so you can have peace of mind right from the start.

When it comes to home safety, the Overhead Door Company of Portland has you covered. Our website showcases the many garage door options we have to offer, including strong, durable doors with custom options to fit your home’s unique style. Contact us today to get started with the installation of a newer, sturdier garage door that can protect your home from a variety of hazardous weather conditions.

Turning Your Home Into a Palace: How to Prepare for Garage Door Installation

Don't let clutter interrupt your garage door installationAs you eagerly await the installation of your new garage door, you can follow a few simple guidelines that will allow the entire process to move forward without any problems. By cleaning up the area and ensuring that everyone stays out of the way of the contractor, the project can be completed in just a few hours. Here are some tried-and-true tips for preparing for installation day.

Move Your Vehicle to an Alternate Location

You should try to secure an alternative location in which to store your vehicle for a few hours. In most cases, you can simply park it on the street. If local code doesn’t allow for this, you can always move it to a parking lot until the installation work is completed. You should be especially careful with luxury vehicles. Minimal damage to the paint or fender of a sports car will likely cost hundreds of dollars to fix.

Secure Valuables in the Immediate Vicinity

If you have items in the garage that are valuable, you should remove them. Expensive gemstones or jewelry pieces that are currently being stored in a chest in the garage, for example, should be removed. Likewise, priceless family heirlooms can be brought into the house to ensure that nothing happens to them. When dealing with money, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Remove Troublesome Odds and Ends

Your garage should be completely free of all items that could potentially interrupt the work. This means you should remove chemicals, paint cans, sharp tools and old pieces of metal or lumber. All of these items can be transferred to the back of the garage. If there are large pieces of equipment hanging on the walls, these should likewise be taken down. You’ll want to prevent expensive devices from being accidentally bumped and damaged during the project.

Block Off the Area to Small Children and Pets

Small children and pets should be brought into the house for safety. Contractors will generally be working with heavy pieces of material and electric motors, and their progress is likely to be slowed considerably if they have to worry about the safety of your little ones. All of the project equipment should be removed from the garage area before pets and children are allowed to run free.

If you need assistance with garage door installation in Portland, OR, the pros at Overhead Door of Portland have the tools and expertise to get the job done right. Browse our site or give us a call for more information. We’re happy to guide you through the process so that your garage ends up being the envy of the neighborhood.

Understanding R-Values and Insulation

garage doors portland

Not your grandfather’s garage anymore

A garage is no longer exclusively used for housing vehicles overnight. In lieu of the expense of embarking on a home addition, many people are making low-cost improvements that will convert their garage into a workshop, home gym, recreation room, game room or play room for the kids.

Garage Door Efficiency

One of the biggest challenges homeowners face when converting their garage is the enormous thermal gain or loss that comes directly through the garage door. Removing the door and finishing the opening isn’t an option for most people because they want the flexibility to return the garage to its original purpose once the kids have left home or the house is sold. The majority of homeowners who convert their garage soon realize that the best solution is to replace their existing door with an insulated model.

All About R-Values

The R-value rating system was developed in order to provide consumers with an easy way to compare the efficiency of different kinds of insulation materials.

Receiving a physics lesson is about as interesting as watching fungus grow, so we’ll avoid a lengthy explanation of scientific formulas and algebraic calculations. Suffice to say that every substance has a quantifiable thermal conductivity factor know as its “k-value.” The measure of the resistance to heat flow for a particular material is determined by dividing its thickness by the associated k-value. For example, a 1-inch thick piece of fiberglass with a .25 k-value would have an R-value of four.

Since R-value is the industry standard for insulation ratings, some manufacturers have developed unorthodox testing methods in order to inflate their published R-values. Always verify that the material you’re considering was tested in accordance with ASTM C-518, which is the universally recognized thermal efficiency testing protocol.

The Insulated Garage Door Advantage

High-tech garage doors are available with R-value assemblies up to R-17.5, which can help improve indoor comfort and lower energy costs. The rooms that are adjacent to the garage will also maintain a more even temperature. Insulated garage doors tend to incorporate the highest quality components for better performance and longevity.

The Overhead Door Company of Portland, OR, provides a full array of garage door installation and repair services. Browse our inventory of garage doors and learn more about the many benefits of purchasing an insulated garage door at our showroom. You can also visit us online.

Could Overhead Doors Improve Your Warehouse Efficiency?

overhead doors of portland

How your choice of loading-bay hardware may be keeping your shipments out

Tired of your Portland, OR, warehouse operations unfolding as if they were managed by a headless chicken? Stop wracking your brain for solutions and think about the simple factors. It may very well be that your staff, trucks, shipments and equipment can’t move as fast as you’d like because they can’t get in and out of your facility quick enough.

Basic Space Requirements

Sure, your workers aren’t hesitant about using the doors as efficiently as possible when it’s time to punch out or take a break, but it’s not like they have to move loads as they’re doing so either. If you’re working with non-vertical doors on your loading bays, however, you’re making their routine tasks much more difficult than they need to be.

Overhead doors generally feature larger area cross sections than their hinged counterparts. As a result, they can accommodate wider, taller loads, and you don’t even have to back things in at funny angles or rotate pallets through less-than-optimal openings in a display of lift-driving expertise that would be the envy of a ballet choreographer.

Making Routine Operations More Routine

It only takes a few seconds to open up standard doors, prop them in place and start loading. Unfortunately, you have to repeat those same procedures every time you try to accept a shipment off the back of a truck or move stock out of your warehouse. Those precious seconds eventually add up, and even worse, so does the back-breaking labor your staff has to perform each time they try to bring something down from the truck or lift a load up a ramp. It’s no wonder they’re rushing for the break area.

Unlike their normal counterparts, overhead mechanisms can be operated at a button touch. Unless you’re operating out of a super-advanced facility with automatic sliding Star Trek doors, you could probably take advantage of the fact that new doors will let you get to loading as soon as the truck finishes backing in.

Potential Energy Savings

Finally, remember that overhead doors are designed for energy efficiency. Universities have spent plenty of time and academic effort studying the factors that affect overhead door energy loss in an attempt to settle on the perfect system, and they’ve even found that overhead doors could keep cycle times down to less than a minute. In addition to ensuring your workers can operate with increased speed and efficiency, your choice to install a new overhead door that keeps the heat out may also make them feel more comfortable come break time.

Ready to make the change to overhead garage doors? Let the experts at Overhead Door of Portland help. Visit us online to find out more about your options, or call us for a custom assessment.