Winter Maintenance For Your Garage Door Opener

The last thing you want to deal with come wintertime is a garage door that won’t open and close. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your garage door opener is up to the challenge before the colder temps arrive.

From depleted batteries to a garage door that won’t open due to ice and snow, winter in St. Charles can be a challenging season for your garage door and opener. Before they start working overtime during winter, use our checklist below to make sure your garage door opener is up to the test.

Lubricate. One of the most important steps to making sure your garage door opener is ready for winter involves lubricating the garage door’s hinges and rollers. This is critical so that the garage door opener will operate smoothly. You can pick up a spray or other light lubricant at your neighborhood home improvement store.

Check the backup system. In the event of a winter storm, you’ll want to make sure your garage door opener back-up system is working properly. If it is, you’ll be able to open and close your garage door via the remote or touch pad even if the power goes out.

You’ll find details on how to test the back-up system in your garage door opener’s manual. For most, you can unplug the garage door opener from the outlet and test it to see if it still works with the remote.

Replace light bulbs. Not only should you replace the light bulbs in the garage before the cold weather sets in, you should go ahead and replace the garage door opener bulbs as well. Although most bulbs last about 10,000 hours, we recommend erring on the side of caution even if you think you’ve got a little ways to go before the bulbs stop working. You don’t want to be left in the dark in the garage on a cold winter night.

Replace the remote batteries. One of the quickest and easiest ways to get your garage door opener ready for winter is by replacing the batteries in the remote. Ideally, these should be replaced every two years or so, but bear in mind that cold weather will drain all batteries quicker.

A couple ways to tell if the batteries in the opener’s remote need to be replaced is by looking to see if a low battery light is on (if your model includes this feature) and by observing how quick the remote is to work. If it takes a few presses on the button to open the garage door, you probably need to replace the batteries.

Check the garage door. You’re going to want to make sure the garage door fits well in the frame and that there aren’t any gaps on the ground where snow and freezing water can get in. Should ice and snow get into the garage, particularly where it opens, it can cause the garage door to freeze shut and your garage door opener won’t work.

Be prepared. In the event that your garage door opener won’t work in the winter, be prepared. Have a broom and a shovel within easy access so you can clear snow and ice from the garage door. And for car safety during winter, have a pair of jumper cables or a power jump starter in your car, as well as a heavy blanket.

Still not sure if your garage door opener is ready for winter? Give the team at Martin Door a call. We can do a complete check so that it’s up to the test and ready for the colder months ahead.

How to wash your garage door

Have you ever wondered how to properly clean your garage door? After all, it’s not your average door, and cleaning incorrectly could lead to damage.

Truth is, it’s easy to clean your garage door and all you need are items you probably already have at home. There are, however, a few things to remember.

Take a look at Clopay’s great article with a step-by-step on cleaning your garage door.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The team at Martin Door wishes you and your loved ones a very safe and happy Thanksgiving! 

We’re open Wednesday from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and closed Friday

Why You Should Buy Your Garage Door from a Local Company

While it may be tempting to buy your garage door from a big box store, it’s usually not a good idea. Sure, you can complete your purchase with a click of a button, but we recommend saving your online splurges for things like dream vacations and holiday gifts.

Purchase your garage door from a local garage door dealer instead. Here’s  why:

Exceptional customer service. At Martin Door, we are on a first name basis with our customers. From the first call to the installation to regular maintenance appointments, our team and technicians are dedicated to providing excellent customer service from day one. You simply won’t get that from a big box store.

Emergency garage door service. You shouldn’t have to wait when you have a garage door emergency. That’s why we offer emergency service and repair for our customers. Big stores simply don’t have the capacity nor the knowledge to provide this to their customers.

Design know how. The team at Martin Door works with architects, builders and owners of homes of all kinds of styles. We can offer advice on what garage door styles will look great on your home because we have a deep understanding and appreciation of St. Charles home design.

Excellent garage door selection. We carry the complete line of garage doors from Clopay. And we can order and install any garage door that you find at a big store.

Commitment to our community. We care about our community, and that goes for our fellow local businesses, too. Investing in a garage door from the Martin Door team means investing in your neighbors. You’re helping keep jobs here in St. Charles and the local economy strong.

Ready for a new garage door? Give us a call!

Your easy fall garage door maintenance checklist  

It’s getting cooler outside, and you know that that means (or at least what we’re going to say!)… it’s time to check your garage door and make sure it’s ready for the weather ahead. This season, we’ve kept the list simple, but what’s on the list is important. Trust us, you don’t want to deal with a garage door repair during the busy holiday season or when it’s bitter cold outside.

Take a look at the list below to ensure garage door is ready for winter.

Garage Door Replacement. If you’ve been planning on investing in a new garage door for your home this year, now is the perfect time. There are a myriad of benefits to replacing your garage door in the fall – from better energy efficiency to increase security to not having to worry about costly repairs.

Garage Door Springs. You’ll want to check your garage door springs now to make sure they’re working properly. Try pulling your garage door’s release handle when the door is down completely. Then, lift it part of the way up and let it go down on its own. If it comes down quickly you may need your garage door springs adjusted or replaced.

Also check that your garage door springs are lubricated. Sometimes, especially in older garage doors, the lubrication can dry up or harden which can cause your garage door springs to not work optimally.

Check the seal. The bottom of your garage door should seal to the ground. This is essential to keep drafts out of the garage – as well as any pesky critters! If there’s room between your garage door and the ground, it may be time to replace your garage door or the garage door seal.

Replace the rollers. We recommend replacing your garage door’s rollers every five years, and they should be checked at least once every year. If you haven’t done this yet, make sure to do so before the weather gets cold. Look for worn, cracked or chipped rollers. If you see any, give us a call to have them replaced.

Clean the garage door. If your garage doors are fiberglass, you can wash them down with a good all-purpose cleaner. If your garage doors are made from wood, take a look to make sure there are no warped or water damaged areas, especially if your wood garage doors are older.

It doesn’t take long to complete these fall garage door maintenance items, but it can really save time and money in the long run. We’re happy to check your garage door, too. Just give us a call to set up an appointment with one of our experienced technicians at your convenience.

Adding a garage to a 120-year-old farmhouse

There’s something special about old farmhouses. But what happens when a beautiful, older home needs a new garage door? Clopay has it covered. Take a look at this great article and beautiful photos of a 120-year-old farmhouse that was completely renovated and fitted with a garage door by Clopay.

Allie Lundeen says the garage is “a game changer. We now have a heated garage to pull into during the winter, overflow for large family gatherings, and a great spot for the pets to go!”

5 reasons to replace your windows

One of the best updates you can make for your home is to invest in replacement windows. It’s a decision that goes the distance, from increasing your home’s value to adding safety and security, to making your house more comfortable and quieter.

At Martin Door, we are proud to carry replacement windows by ProVia, an industry leader known for high-performing windows that are as beautiful to look at (and through!) as they are efficient.

Here’s our top five reasons to replace your windows:

Better home security. If you’re looking for ways to make your home safer, consider replacing your windows., especially if yours are older. Not only are new, replacement windows expertly fitted for security, but they also feature new, ultra-secure locking systems. And if your current windows are stubborn to open, this can be a safety hazard, and another great reason to replace them.

Increased home value. Thinking of selling your home? If so, replacing your windows before you put it on the market could increase its value. In fact, replacement windows can yield a nearly 75% return on investment when you sell your house. Like an older roof, old, worn-out, poorly fitted windows are a big reason prospective home buyers pass on a home they’d considered buying.

More curb appeal. Like a new garage door, investing in replacement windows is a great way to elevate the look of your home. ProVia’s Aeris windows, for example, combine the beauty of wood with the benefits of vinyl window. Endure windows by ProVia allow you to customize so your windows to match your home’s aesthetic perfectly, and ProVia Aspect windows are high-performing and available in a myriad of colors and sizes.

Excellent energy efficiency. One of the biggest reasons to replace your windows is to conserve energy. The older your windows are, the harder your air conditioning and heating units have to work. With new windows, you could save on energy bills and help your HVAC last longer. ProVia replacement windows are known for being incredibly energy efficient. In fact, they are Energy Star Certified.

Greater noise reduction. If you live on a busy street, or simply live for the day when you don’t hear the neighbor’s dog barking when you’re trying to relax, consider replacing your windows. Older windows that don’t fit correctly in their frames can let in outside noise, while new, insulated windows and triple paned glass can keep your home quiet and peaceful.

Ready to learn more about replacement windows? Contact the team at Martin Door. We have decades of experience installing replacement windows on homes all across St. Charles and are here to help you with all your replacement window needs.

Can heat damage my garage door?

We’ve been getting this question quite a bit this summer, since it’s been such a scorcher here in St. Charles, and our answer might surprise you. Yes, hot temps can in fact wreak havoc on your garage door.

One of the most common areas of the garage heat can affect is your garage door opener’s photo eye. When the sun gets bright, the glare can get in the way of your garage door opener’s photo eye, and that can cause the door to fail to open or close when you need it to. Additionally, the hot weather can cause your garage door opener remote to malfunction.

Then there’s the issue of thunderstorms that can get particularly strong in the summertime. Hail and wind can damage your garage door, and storms can also lead to a power outage or power surge that could cause the power in your garage to go out. To avoid this, we recommend using a single plug surge protector.

Humidity can also affect your garage door in the summertime. When there’s more moisture in the air than usual, it can cause garage doors to stick. We recommend lubricating your garage door parts once a month to help avoid this conundrum.

Warm summer weather can also cause wood garage doors to warp over time and the sun can fade garage door color, too. Cleaning and waxing your garage door can help counter fading, as can applying a fresh coat of paint to spruce up the color.

Once of the best ways to protect your garage door in the summer months is to schedule a check up with a technician from Martin Door before the summer gets into full swing. We can do a thorough check of both your garage door remote and garage door parts to make sure your garage door can stand the heat.

What’s Your Garage Door Style?

With so many beautiful garage doors to choose from these days, it can be tough to know which one is the perfect fit for your home. After all, the garage door you decide on will be an integral part of your home for years, if not decades, to come.

To help you choose, we recommend using Clopay’s Design Your Door feature that lets you upload a photo of your home and “try on” different garage door styles, colors and other design options. But to get you started, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you narrow down your search.

Looking for a traditional garage door?

If your tastes lean traditional, classic and timeless, you’re in good luck. Clopay has several garage door collections that compliment traditional style homes. Here are three to consider:

Coachman Collection 

The perfect blend of beauty and practicality, these carriage house doors look like wood, but they are actually crafted of multiple layers of durable, low-maintenance steel and insulation topped with a woodgrain textured composite overlay.

Canyon Ridge Limited Edition Series Collection

Beautiful and unique, Canyon Ridge® Limited Edition Series carriage house doors are constructed with an energy-efficient, Intellicore® insulated steel base and finished with faux wood composite cladding and overlays. The appearance is that of authentic swing-out doors but with the convenience of modern, upward operation.

Classic Wood Collection


Unlock the beauty of natural wood with a handcrafted hemlock, redwood or cedar garage door from Clopay®. These handcrafted wood garage doors feature traditional raised, recessed and flush panels that allow you to choose the best look for your home and its architecture. The addition of a wood garage door from Clopay® can transform the appearance of your home’s exterior and greatly enhance its curb appeal.

Ready for a modern garage door? 

Clopay’s modern garage door styles are contemporary and elegant and look great on any style home.

Avante Collection

Transform your home’s appearance with the modern look of a glass and aluminum garage door. The Clopay® AVANTE® collection gives you the beauty of natural light during the day and a beautiful a warm glow at night. Different glass garage door panel options allow you to choose the right degree of natural light for your home.

Modern Steel Collection

Modern Steel™ Collection garage doors perfectly complement contemporary and mid-century modern home styles. Doors are available with or without grooves in multiple paint and Ultra-Grain® finishes to create the perfect look for your home.

Reserve Wood Modern Collection

Clean lines and simple forms let the beauty of natural wood stand out. Clopay’s versatile Modern Series lets you mix materials, shape and tone to create a stunning contemporary garage door that blends beautifully with other woods and materials on your exterior.

Garage doors on a budget

If you’re ready for a new garage door but are trying to save a little money, we have great news: you won’t have to sacrifice style with the Grand Harbor Collection. When budget is the deciding factor, this low-maintenance, insulation-optional steel frame carriage house style garage door combines clean lines and classic charm to provide a popular style at a great value.

Looking for something completely one-of-a-kind?

We recommend Clopay’s Reserve Wood Custom Collection 

Working from a professional drawing or just a sketch on a notepad, Clopay can create the doors you’ve only imagined, with windows or without, in wood like Knotty Alder, Spanish Cedar, White Oak, Ironwood and African Mahogany. Each door is handcrafted from the material of your choice using your precise specifications.

We love helping homeowners throughout St. Charles  find their perfect garage door. When you’re ready to replace yours let us know

How to keep your garage door cool this summer

If you think it’s hot outside, just imagine what the temperature is in your garage. During the summer months, garages are often a good five to ten degrees warmer than the temps outside. Without proper ventilation or a good cooling method in place, your garage may not just be uncomfortable – it could be downright dangerous if you’re in it for an extended length of time.

Don’t let summer keep you out of your garage. Instead, follow our tips below to keep it cool this summer.

Park Your Car Elsewhere (for a little while). That’s right. We’re recommending you don’t use your garage to park your car, but only until it cools down. If you park a car that’s just been driven in the garage and close the garage door, the heat from the engine can get trapped inside, raising the temps inside the garage even more.

We recommend parking your car outside the garage (preferable in the shade) and then moving it into the garage when the sun goes down.

Limit Your Time in the GarageYour garage can be a lot more than just a place to put your car. With a little effort (emphasis on the little) your garage can be a workout space, workshop, and even a play area for the kids.

If you’ve got a multi-functioning garage space, or if you enjoy working on your car, consider using the garage in the early morning hours or after the sun goes down during the summer months. Ideally, you should limit your time in the garage between 3-6 p.m. when the temperatures in St. Charles are usually the warmest.

Choose a light-colored garage door. Since darker colors absorb heat, consider choosing a garage door that’s light in color. This is especially important if your garage faces west. Additionally, you can paint your garage exterior walls and roof a lighter color to keep it cooler as well. You could also add trees that will offer shade around your garage, if you’ve got a decent sized area where you can plant.

Use fans. Although fans won’t necessarily lower the air temperature in your garage, they’ll help increase air flow to make it a much more comfortable space to be in. The easiest and least expensive type of fan to use is a simple, inexpensive oscillating fan that you can pick up at any home improvement center. A high-powered shop fan is another great option.

You can place one fan in the window or in the opened garage door area with the fan blowing air outward, while placing another fan in the area you want to the breeze to blow to keep the air circulating.

Invest in a ventilation system. Passive and active ventilation systems are the next step up from the use of fans. Passive ventilation is the easiest and often the least expensive vent system to install and usually consists of spinning turbines in roof vents that get the air moving freely quickly.

Active air ventilation systems are a bit more complex and require installation by a professional.

Air condition your garageIf you spend a lot of time in your garage, or if it’s attached to your home, you may want to think about getting it fitted for central air. If you’ve got a window in your garage, an A/C window unit is another option, provided you’ve got electricity and an outlet near the window to use. Portable air conditioners also work well in the garage, especially because they’re designed to cool a small space.

One of the drawbacks to using A/C in the garage is that it can lead to expensive monthly energy bills. Having the garage set up for central air can be a rather significant financial investment as well.

Insulate your garageIf you’re thinking of going this route, start with an insulated garage door. This alone can help keep your garage cooler. If want to insulate the garage itself, start simple by caulking the windows and your garage door frame. Check to make sure your garage door is fitted properly. If you see any space between the ground and the bottom of the door, give us a call.