How Do Garage Door Sensors Work?

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Those garage doors that magically go up and down save lives, save cars and save peace of mind.

Sensors save lives. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, three children each year are killed when garage doors trap them. It’s true that this is a national average and not Portland specific, but the statistic doesn’t include the number of traumatic injuries caused by similar accidents. In fact, incidents occurred with enough frequency that Congress enacted legislation that requires all garage doors manufactured after 1991 comply with entrapment protection requirements.

In short, entrapment protection comes in the forms of “electric eyes” and door-edge sensors.

Electric Eye

These eyes don’t really see you or your kids, pets or cars. Instead, the electric eye is a beam that crosses open garage door space. Sensors that shine beams are aligned near the bottom of each side of the garage door, and the aligned beams form one solid beam. An unbroken beam informs the door that it can proceed down safely; alternatively, a broken beam tells it to scurry back up because someone or something stands in the way.

Door-Edge Sensors

Two flexible, highly sensitive conductive elements string along the bottom edge of garage doors. During normal, safe operations, the elements don’t touch. If, however, the bottom door edge touches a person, pet or car, the conductive elements meet. This meeting, which occurs with even a slight touch, tells the door it must stop and reverse course.

For the continued safety of your family and belongings, you should perform checks monthly to ensure the system still works properly. Kids on skateboards and bikes and beginning drivers are notorious for accidentally knocking electric eye sensors out of alignment, which prevents the continuous beam that communicates with the door.

Use inanimate objects to test the door. If you have an electric eye, roll a ball, a skateboard or your least favorite garden gnome across the door’s path while it’s closing. You have a malfunction if the door doesn’t stop and retract. If you have a door-edge sensor, place a two-by-four or the same garden gnome on the floor. You know you have a problem if the door doesn’t retract on contact.

Unfortunately, sensors are connected to the logic board specific to each automatic garage door system, so you can’t retrofit sensors to garage doors manufactured before 1991. You can, however, contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland for information on installing new garage doors or to perform maintenance on malfunctioning sensors. Save a life, save a car and save a garden gnome with a garage door sensor that works as it should.

Introducing Thermocore™: Why Our Doors Are Better

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Protect Your Garage—and Your Home—from the Elements

Portland residents love to play up the city’s generally mild weather, and it’s true that our part of the world looks like paradise next to Alaska or Arizona. That said, Portland still experiences the temperature swings that accompany any four-season climate. To protect your home and your wallet from these unpredictable patterns, you need a first line of defense that works even when you’re out of the house. Our Thermocore-insulated garage doors offer protection like no other.

What Is Thermocore Insulation?

Thermocore is an industry-leading brand of “structural insulated panels.” Its products can be found in a variety of locations in residential and commercial structures, including:

• Roofs
• Interior and exterior walls
• Garage doors
• Outbuildings

Thermocore’s panels use special polyurethane foam that protects indoor environments from temperature shocks and drafts. Thanks to stud-less framing, the panels lack the “thermal breaks” that affect similar products made by other firms. In our garage doors, Thermocore’s customized panels fit snugly into virtually any configuration and provide years of energy savings.

Specs and Standards

The most powerful way to highlight the benefits of a Thermocore-insulated garage door is simply to point to the energy savings that the product promises. First, Thermocore’s R-values—the primary measure of energy efficiency—are off the charts: its latest products promise superior R-value readings of 17.5, a level that far exceeds that of competing products. Thermocore doors also promise additional benefits:

• Panel thicknesses of one to two inches
• Heights of up to 32 feet
• Widths of up to 40 feet
• Maximal air infiltration protection at wind speeds of up to 25 mph
• “Sandwich panel” construction that alternates layers of material for maximal insulating power

How We Use It

We proudly use Thermocore insulation for our most durable class of sectional doors. We offer several levels of insulating power:

• Light duty
• Medium duty
• Heavy duty
• Extra heavy duty

No matter which type you choose, you can count on powerful insulating power that keeps hot or cold air out and temperate air in.

Get Great Deals on Insulated Garage Doors in Portland

If you’re sold on the importance of a well-insulated garage door, you’re ready for the fun part. Since just about every Portland-area home is different, we’re proud to make a wide range of garage doors to fit your taste, budget and physical specifications. Contact us at Overhead Door Company of Portland to learn more about how Thermocore garage doors can transform your car’s overnight resting place into a cozy, efficiency-enhancing feature of your home.

Does Your Garage Door Deserve a Leading Role or a Bit Part?

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Finding the Perfect Palette for Your Primary Portal

Garage doors don’t get enough press. Despite the fact that your garage door is the biggest entrance to your home, you’re probably more likely to devote time and energy to sprucing up your front door or futzing with your landscaping. While these are noble pursuits, you can’t neglect the visual impact of your garage. This leads to an important question: Should you use bright colors and flashy designs to set apart your garage door or stick with muted tones that stress its functionality?

Keep Your Door Tones Similar to Your House Tones

It’s no secret that most homes in the Portland area use relatively muted or natural tones that blend in well with our lush environment. As a rule, it’s a good idea to keep the color of your garage door close to that of your home’s exterior without mirroring it exactly. This allows for some visual continuity between the sides and front of your house without taking anything away from its other parts.

Pay Attention to the Trim

Like your home’s interior moldings, your garage door’s trim is a critical component of its overall aesthetic. Use a color that closely matches the color of the rest of the door as well as that of the home’s exterior walls. In practice, this creates a “tri-color” arrangement that naturally leads visitors’ eyes from one place to the next.

Set It Apart from Other Entry Points

It might seem like a minor detail, but your garage door should never be the same color as your front door. After all, you want to create an aesthetic distinction between your much larger garage door and your much more symbolically important front door. Visitors and neighbors will appreciate the contrast.

Multicolor Doors Work in Certain Situations

Note that we say “certain situations.” While homes that feature multiple exterior paint colors may benefit from a multicolored door, monochrome homes generally look too “busy” with multi-hued garage portals. One exception to this rule involves brick homes: If your home’s exterior is mostly or completely comprised of brick, a two-tone garage door may actually bring out the brick’s natural attributes.

Need a New Garage Door? Overhead Door Company of Portland is Here to Help

We hope you’ve come away from this post with a few ideas about how to decorate—and distinguish—your garage door. Whether you choose bright colors, earthy tones or something in between, we’re confident that you’ll settle on a selection that does your home proud.