Archives for Garage Door Maintenance

Avoiding Garage Door Scams

Many people these days keep more than just their cars in their garages so when your garage door breaks, you often need it fixed quickly. Unfortunately, this has left a lot of homeowners vulnerable to garage door scams over the years. These scams hurt both homeowners and legitimate business, by giving garage door technicians a bad name, so we wanted to shine a little light on garage door scams this month to help you avoid them in the future.

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Great American Entrepreneurs and Their Garages


What do you do use your garage for? To park your car? Maybe to store a few things? If you’re handy with tools, maybe that’s where some of them reside. But the garages of our homes aren’t just boring empty boxes, waiting to be filled by the things we can’t keep inside the house. Since garages became a standard part or accompaniment to American homes in the mid-20th century, they’ve become the incubators, the safe space, and the meeting place for some of the most inventive and influential creators of our time.

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Are Insulated Garage Doors Worth The Money?

Should You Spring for an Insulated Garage Door?

If you are building a new home or replacing an older garage door, one question you will face is whether or not to opt for an insulated garage door. You won’t be surprised to learn that an insulated garage door is going to cost a couple hundred dollars more than the non-insulated variety, but we’re here to tell you: especially in the Chicagoland area, that couple hundred bucks up front is going to save you money in the long run. Here are the three main reasons we encourage all of our customers to purchase insulated garage doors for their Chicago-area homes.

  1. 2283-steel-garage-doorsAn insulated garage door will help your energy costs in winter and summer. The exterior walls and roof of your home are insulated – so why shouldn’t your garage door be as well? After all, the garage door makes up a large portion of many homes’ facades. An insulated garage door will buffer your home from outside extreme temperatures – both hot and cold – and, as a result, will help keep your energy bills lower. As an added benefit, the vehicles you keep in the garage will be easier to warm up on those particularly icy mornings.
  2. An insulated garage door is quieter than the non-insulated option. This is especially pertinent if there are living spaces – even possibly a bedroom – over the garage. The insulation absorbs sound, making for less racket as the door goes up and down.
  3. An insulated door is sturdier than a non-insulated one. If anyone in your house might be tempted to, say, toss a tennis ball against the garage door or use it as a backdrop for goalie practice, we definitely recommend an insulated door. They stand up to dings and dents better and just aren’t as fragile as uninsulated doors.

So now that we’ve gone over the pros of an insulated garage door, the next question is whether you should go with a pan-style polystyrene, and sandwich-style polystyrene, or a sandwich-style polyurethane insulated garage door.

Pan-Style Polystyrene

Polystyrene is the same material that cheap coffee cups or disposable coolers are made from. The polystyrene is cut in blocks and secured to the interior of the garage door. It provides some insulation of both heat and sound and gives a slight bump to durability. The downside of pan-style polystyrene doors is that polystyrene itself is not the most durable substance.

Sandwich-Style Polystyrene

These garage doors are made with the same material as those in the “Pan-Style” category, but the polystyrene is “sandwiched” between two steel doors, providing greater insulation, stability, and protection for the polystyrene itself. These doors are a great middle-of-the-road choice.

Sandwich-Style Polyurethane

There’s no question about it: if you want optimal temperature and sound insulation and the sturdiest door possible, you want to go with polyurethane insulation. Polyurethane is a foam that is sprayed between the two outer layers of the garage door. The foam expands to fill the available space. It hardens, sticking to the shell of the door. Unlike the sheets of polystyrene that are cut to fit into place, the polyurethane foam fills every nook and cranny between the steel doors, providing exceptional insulation and greatly increased stability.


Whichever Option You Prefer…

We are thrilled to offer a Winter-long (2016/17) deal of $50 off your replacement or brand new garage door!

At AR-BE, we have a variety of stylish insulated garage doors of all three types: pan-style polystyrene, sandwich-style polystyrene, and sandwich-style polyurethane, as well as non-insulated pan-style doors. You can browse our style options on our website. Alternately, feel free to give us a call today and chat about how we can help you beautify your home, while also enhancing its functionality and value with a new garage door.

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Maintain a Burglar-Proof Garage

How To Keep Thieves From Breaking Into Your Garage

Keep Your Garage Burglar-Proof

A Chicago-area garage door is statically known as the most common entry point for any theft when they are trying to enter your home. By knowing this, you are now given a head start to proofing your own garage door so that these would be burglars are kept out. There are a variety of different creative ways that you can keep out criminals.

We have outlined a few here for you to apply to your own garage door, that will help you maintain a safe and secure home.

Replace Your Garage Door Remote 

Leaving your garage door remote on the visor of your vehicle is a very common and understandable practice. You have it right there for you when you enter and leave your garage to easily open or close it. But what you may not know is that it gives the burglar an opportunity. If your vehicle is the one that is left outside the garage, the burglar can break into your car and then into your garage.

The simple and easy solution to this occurrence is to replace your garage door remote with a smaller one. You can now purchase miniature sized remotes that fit perfectly in your purse or key chain. Allowing you to keep your remote on you at all times—away from potential thefts. 

Find Your Lost Remotes

As you replace your old remotes try to remember if you have ever misplaced previous remotes in the past. Most of the time you may not need to worry about this, but for those of us who may have lost some it is of the utmost importance. Sure chances are that the remote may be lost forever but why risk the chance that it might fall into the hands of a theft? 

Motion Sensor Lighting

In today’s world home security equipment has advanced enough to give us optimal safety. Motion sensing light fixtures are made available for you today giving you the same effect that a home security sticker does. With motion sensing lights installed, any movement in front of your garage door will be picked up and the lights will expose anyone who may be there.

Do not opt for any fluorescent light bulbs if you do decide to install motion sensors. These type of bulbs can take a while to light up completely, especially in the cold winter months of Chicago.


Turn Your Garage Door Manual

You can easily un-plug your garage door opener at any time. This automatically turns it into a manually operated door. This would be an ideal thing to do when you are leaving for an extended period of time for work or on vacation. By eliminating the possibility of a burglar hacking into your garage door, you can add an additional layer of security. Locking a padlock or a latch so that the door cannot be moved no matter what the theft may do. 

Install Automatic Timers

We all can make mistakes from time to time. Leaving the garage door open after get home and forgetting about it entirely is one of the most common. Thefts have adapted and become more intelligent. Noticing when this occurs they have been known to sneak into your garage and hide until they can move later on that evening or they can quickly come in a grab something and walk out immediately.

With an automatic timer, you can set your garage doors to close after a set interval of time after you pass through your laser sensors. Giving ease of mind, and securing your garage and home. 

Purchase An All New Residential Garage Door

The best and most effective way that you can keep a burglar out of your garage and home is to purchase an all new residential garage door. Updating you garage door with a dependable service gives you the latest in garage door security and performance. Consider purchasing and updating your residential garage door in Chicago today, and keep you and your family safe!

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Save Energy In Your Garage With 18 Improvement Tips

Garage MaintenanceInsulating your home is seen as one of the most important home care endeavors you can do. Just as important, your garage door requires you to insulate it also. If you do not properly perform garage door repairs, than you open your home up to cold winter air seeping through and into your home. If you neglect to take care of these simple tasks, you can cost yourself hundreds on wasted energy costs.

We have come up with 18 different tips that will help you improve your garage doors insulation.

  1. Over time your garage door will become old with wear and tear. Even after performing essential maintenance doors will deteriorate over time. Installing a new garage door can eliminate any worry you may have and fix any issues you may be facing.
  1. Insulate all the windows that you may have within your garage. These are prime locations for cold air to come into your garage area.
  1. Lay down quality garage mats onto your garage’s floor to help prevent the cold air from coming up from the ground. Bare garage floors can feel frozen in the winter months, these type of mats can eliminate that.
  1. Install the correct type of insulation into the walls of your garage to maintain a warm interior and to block the cold air pressing against your exterior.
  1. Check the entry way door that you use to enter and exit your garage from the side for proper insulation. Purchase a sealing kit at your local hardware store if you feel air coming through.
  1. Look over the floor and walls of your garage for any cracks. If you find any cracks be sure to fill them in with caulking.
  1. If you have an attic or second level to your garage check to see that it is completely insulated so that any warm air that rises does not escape through the roof.
  1. Examine the roof of your garage to check for any damage, deteriorating, or leaks. Replace any area of the roof that requires it to help reduce your energy costs and keep warm air inside.
  1. If you have any pipes that run through the garage and into your home for plumbing be sure that they are covered with pipe insulation. Heated pipes can be dangerous to touch and can emit high temperatures, while cold pipes can give off a lot of cold air.
  1. Insulate your hot water heater tank that you may have inside your garage with the correct insulation.
  1. Check your weather stripping on your entry and garage doors to ensure that they are working properly and replace any that are needed.
  1. A small space heater can be a terrific way for you to maintain a warm temperature in your garage without needing to leave your house door open and risking losing your home’s heat.
  1. Check any electrical outlets to see if any cold air is seeping through them and replace any covers that may need it.
  1. If you have a skylight in your garage check that it also has been sealed with caulking or a commonly found window kit to block the cold air out.
  1. Insert insulated door stops along your garage doors bottom to help decrease cold drafts that blow into your garage.
  1. Replace any damaged sheetrock around your garage with adequate thickness to give your garage an added layer of insulation.
  1. Make sure you always close all your windows completely and properly.
  1. Organize and maintain your garage’s interior so that heat can flow throughout the interior.

Proper garage door repair and care can help you prevent you from paying extra for energy costs. But if you want to eliminate the worry completely, hiring a quality residential garage door installer can take care of all the details for you. Giving you a dependable service and a brilliantly styled new garage door!

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7 Garage Door Preventative Maintenance Tips You Can Do Yourself

Garage Door MaintenanceYour garage door is one of the most frequently used parts of your entire home. With many working parts that vary from heavy to light, these parts can wear down over time. Each component of your garage door plays a major role in its overall function. If one of the parts is not performing to its optimal capacity, then the rest will begin to follow suit. Making your personal care and maintenance of the utmost importance to help prevent garage door maintenance and repairs.

Here are 7 Garage Door Preventative Maintenance Tips You Can Do Yourself.

  1. Use Your Eyes & Ears

The first thing you want to do before you try and do anything is simple. Just look and listen. Operate your garage door and watch it as it moves up and down. Listen to the sounds that it makes as its parts begin to work together. Is anything out of the normal? Is it making a noise that you do not recognize? Are parts like the cables, pulleys, and springs working efficiently or are they shaky and seem about to break?

  1. Fasten Up All Hardware

As we mentioned before, garage doors are used consistently throughout your busy life. Moving up and down all the time can cause some of the fastening parts of the garage door (bolts & hardware) to loosen over time. This does not mean you have a defected garage door; loosened hardware can just happen over time. If one of your bolts is beginning to get loose than your entire garage doors alignment and function can be thrown off.

Grab your toolset and disconnect the power to your garage door opener. Grab the correct size wrench and double-check each bolt that you can see to ensure that they are fastened. By doing this, you will avoid potential significant damage to your garage door and eliminate a possible phone call to get garage door maintenance and repairs.

  1. Check Your Garage Doors Balance

When your garage door is not balanced, the garage door opener will not run smoothly. When it tries to move up and down, it is required to work harder than it should have to. Over time, this will cause the garage door opener to begin to break down.

Disconnect the power to your garage door opener by pulling down the dangling red cord. Once you have done that you will need to pull the garage door up halfway manually. Once you have it lifted half-way let go and see what happens. If the door falls to the ground either slowly or fast—than it is off balance.

This means that the counter-weight system is in need of some maintenance, and although checking this can be done by you—we highly recommend hiring a professional for Chicago garage door spring repair.

  1. Lube Moving Parts

This is one of the most important and yet most neglected tasks you can do on your own. Garage doors have a lot of working parts, working parts that are made of metal. These parts rub and move against each other and as we all know—metal on metal is not always smooth sailing. If you can routinely make a commitment to greasing and oiling your garage door, you can add years of operation to your system.

It only will take you 10-15 minutes to complete. Use white lithium grease on your garage door opener’s chain or screw, and spray a light coat of lubricant on your overhead springs. Increasing efficiency and reducing rust to help you prevent future garage door opener maintenance.

  1. Test Auto-Reverse Safety Feature

Your garage door’s auto-reverse safety feature has two working mechanisms: mechanical & photocell. You can test both of these mechanisms on your own by following these helpful tips.

To test your mechanical feature, you can just place a piece of wood on the ground in your doors track path. When the door begins to come down check to see that when it touches the wood, it reverses direction.

To test the photocell mechanism, press the button to close your garage door. Once the door begins to lower just place your foot across the sensory beams. If the garage door stops and moves back up—than your photocells are working properly.

Did either of your tests fail? It is time for a new garage door opener.

  1. Clear Tracks

A very straightforward and quick one. Check the tracks of your garage door on both sides to ensure there are no debris or other parts that may interfere with its operation. Random pieces of debris can stick to these tracks, and it may be as easy as wiping or scraping it away.

  1. Keep Exterior Looking New

Of course, you want your garage door to look nice. If your garage door is made of wood, check for water damage or old and chipped paint. If it needs a new coat, sand and scrape off the old and paint on a new layer. If you have a steel door, sand off the rust sports and wipe it down with a mild all- purpose cleaner whenever you are out washing your car.

Applying these 7 different preventative maintenance tasks to your garage door can help you avoid hiring a professional. But keep in mind that some of these tasks may reveal a deeper issue and if that is the case, you must hire a Chicago garage door technician.

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garage door summer maintenance chicago il

Getting Your Home Garage Ready For The Summer

It’s time to get your garage ready for summer in Chicago

The blizzards and heavy Chicago snowfall are now gone.

The hot summer months are coming quickly and just like it is important to prepare your garage door for the winter—it is for the summer time too.



Knowing the right type of garage door maintenance that you will need, can help you maintain your current garage door and garage door opener. But of course, it is always easier to have a trusted Chicago garage door service perform these tasks for you. Giving you professional handle and care without having to lift a finger.

Let us take a look a some of things you can perform yourself or hire for to get your garage door ready for the summer.

  1. Clean Your Garage Door

Over the past winter months your home garage door has been hit with severe Chicago weather. Rain, wind, dirt, mud, and other random substances have been plastered all over the outside. It seems simple, but it will help it look great for many years to come.

Not only that but inside your door, where you keep your tool box, car, boxes, and random supplies has been collecting dust, grease, and dirt. You will want to wash and clean off both interior and exterior of your garage door for optimal maintenance.

If your garage door is made of wood you will want to inspect it for other issues such as rotten or mildew. Add a new coat of paint or water sealant on both sides of the door to prevent future damage.

If you have a home garage door made of steel look it over for any rust that may have accumulated. Any rust that you may come across can be sanded down and painted over with a special type of primer.

  1. Lubricate Your Working Garage Door Parts

Lubricating any of your home garage doors working components is crucial for efficient operation. Ensure that the following parts of your home garage door are properly lubricated with the correct oil type.

  • Rollers
  • Tracks
  • Hinges
  • Opener Tracks

Never use lubricants such as WD-40 and opt for types that are specifically made for garage doors. Place a conservative amount on each area. Too much oil can become a sponge for dirt, dust, and other contaminants. Which will cause your door to operate inefficiently.

  1. Inspect For Worn Out Parts

One of the first things you are going to want to check is the cables. Look to see if you notice any fraying wires or if it looks like it’s going to wear out. If you do need to replace your cables it is best to hire a Chicago garage door maintenance service, as it can be dangerous to do on your own.

You also want to take a glance at your hinges, bearings, rods, and supports. If you notice any damage or if any of these parts are loose, you will need to fix the issue immediately. If you put it off than you may run into a much bigger problem down the road.

  1. Double-Check Fastening

On the back of your roller tracks you will find bolts placed there to hold your tracks firmly. Inspect these to see if they have come loose at all. During the winter months during our blistering Chicago weather, the wind can shake these bolts loose.

This is vital to not only the operating condition of your garage door but for your safety as well. If these bolts were to come completely loose you are running the risk of them falling on your vehicle or worst—another person.

  1. Inspect Your Garage Door Springs

Your home garage door springs must be looked over after every winter. The wet and cold can cause them to rust and they need to be rust-free. They can break over time but it is best to prevent this any way you can. These springs hold and withstand a lot of tension and if one were to break it can fly across the garage harming or damaging its surroundings.

Your springs need to be enclosed in a tube. If they are surrounded by a tubing than maintenance is not required. These tubes will protect them from harmful conditions and contain any breaks that may occur.

Again we cannot stress it enough.  If you do notice your springs need to be replaced contact a Chicago garage door spring repair service.

  1. Weather Proofing & Insulation

The weather stripping that goes along the edges of your garage door requires maintenance as well. These are crucial parts to your home garage door and although they are made to protect against harsh weather. They still need to replaced from time to time. There is no better time for you do this than right after the winter months have ended.

Weather stripping and insulation keep the cold out of the garage during those cold months. They also keep it dry inside your garage protecting your assets. Even the hot summer air can be damaging to what you store in your garage. Check to make sure your garage door is full insulated.


For more information about garage door repair and installation services in Chicago, IL or the surrounding areas please browse our website or contact us today at 800.339.3256.

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old garage door

Garage Door Maintenance: When to Repair & When To Replace

old garage door

Knowing when to repair your garage door versus when to replace it completely can save you a lot of money. But how do you know when it’s time to replace it, or when it can simply be repaired by a specialist? Follow these guidelines to understand what can be repaired on your garage door and what can’t.

Dents and Other Abnormalities

Small dents and dings in a garage door can often be repaired by a specialist. Big dents, however, may require part or all of the garage door to be replaced. To help minimize unsightly dents and dimples in your garage door in the future, have a garage door with a thicker steel gauge installed. You can also consider investing in a bonded insulating core for your door.

Sagging, Slumping or Bent Doors

Some garage doors — especially those made of wood or some other non-metal material — are prone to sagging and slumping. When water repeatedly comes in contact with wood, it tends to warp it. If your garage door is suffering from sagging, the best course of action is replacement. A slumping garage door can result in considerable gaps underneath it, which can result in unwanted critters entering the garage and high energy bills. Doors can also become bent and damaged if they’ve been improperly reinforced.

Higher Energy Bills

A high energy bill can be an indicator that it’s time to get the garage door replaced. Many times, the door will degrade over time, and older doors might not be very well insulated. Installing a new garage door with proper insulation can cut down drastically on energy bills because it will effectively seal out the outdoor elements, which is especially important if you have a living area next to or above the garage. A garage door that’s insulated properly will help keep your home cooler in the warmer seasons and warmer in the colder seasons.

Difficulty Opening and Closing

If you’re having difficulty opening or closing your garage door, any number of things could be wrong, including:

  • The springs could be damaged or broken.
  • The cables along the door could be loose, worn or otherwise damaged.
  • The rollers might need to be replaced or lubricated.
  • Certain sections of the door might need to be replaced.
  • The track that the door runs along may be bent or warped.
  • The hinges might need to be replaced.

In many of the above cases, a garage door specialist can be called on to fix the damaged parts and sections.

Chicago Garage Door Maintenance: Call the Experts

If you’re looking for a Chicago garage door repair company, look no further! AR-BE Garage Doors has been the top name in garage door installation and repair in the Chicago area for the last 68 years. We specialize in a variety of garage door styles and can repair a wide variety of garage doors. We also install garage doors and can repair door openers. Give us a call at 800.339.3256 for a free estimate today!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Garage Doors Openers Remotes And Maintenance

Here are some questions regarding garage doors that we get asked quite often from our customers.

Hope this can be of some help.  Please call us if you have a question or need help with your garage door!



What do I need to do to maintain my garage door?
The rollers and all other moving parts on garage doors should be oiled about every three months.  Call us if you feel you need to have a general overall garage door maintenance service.

Does the garage track need to be greased?
The track should not be greased and should remain dry to enable the rollers to move properly.

If my garage door is off the track can I fix it myself / How do I fix a garage door that’s off track?
We highly recommend that you call a professional garage door repair company to have your garage door repaired.  I can be dangerous to try to fix a garage door if you are not trained.

How do I maintain the exterior finish on the garage door?
To keep garage doors looking great, just wash with soap and water and use a little car wax.

Why is my remote control for my garage door not working?
The photo eyes on the garage door opener need to be clear and properly aligned. Also, check the lock switch on the remote to make sure it is not activated.

Why will my remote only work when I get very close to the garage door?
This can happen when the batteries are weak. Try replacing the batteries.

What do I need to do to erase the garage door opener’s memory?
Look on the back of the opener for a color coded smart button. Press the button and hold it until the LED light switches off. This will reset the memory.

How can I program the remote for my garage door opener?
There is a color coded smart button on the back of the unit. Hold the remote near the unit and press the smart button until it flashes. Hold the button until you hear a double click. For more than one remote, complete this process for each remote.

What are the steps to programming a built in remote on the car’s visor?
This can vary, depending on your vehicle. The manual for your vehicle or the website for the garage door opener can be sources of information about your specific vehicle.


For more information about our company, garage door repair and installation services in Chicago, IL or the surrounding areas please browse our website or contact us today at 800.339.3256.

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