What information do I need to get the correct door?

I. Essential (basic) information:

  1. Width and Height of door opening.
  2. Headroom – distance from the top of door opening to ceiling or other obstruction.
  3. Side-room – distance from sides of door opening, to the left or right, to any obstruction.
  4. Backroom – distance from header (inside, above door opening) away from the door opening to any obstruction.

II. Additional information:

  1. Style (model), color and window options.
  2. Center or side (standard) lock.
  3. Spring option (torsion or extension) – torsion recommended.
  4. Track configuration – 15” radius (standard), 12” radius, hi-lift (up to 36” on residential doors), low-headroom, and available on commercial doors: high-lift above 36”, vertical-lift and follow-the-roof pitch. Also, vertical track mounting options are: bracket, continuous tapered angle or reverse angle.
  5. Windloading: you may live in a county which requires doors to withstand certain high wind pressures. Safe-way has several windload-certified models available to fit most needs. Please contact your local dealer for requirements in your location.

Can I install/repair my garage door myself?

Installation and repair of garage doors mean dealing with inherent dangers associated with certain parts. For example, the counter-balance springs store a large amount of kinetic energy, which is used to lift your garage door to the open position. Injury or death could result from a mistake by an untrained handyman or the use of the improper tools. Therefore, Safe-way recommends calling your local dealer to obtain a trained door technician for all but the most minor repairs.

How do I tell if my springs need adjusted/replaced?

  1. With the door in the closed position, disconnect any opening device, such as an electric door operator. Lift the door manually halfway, stop and release. If the door moves smoothly and stays in the position released, proceed with step two.
  2. Open the door fully, then release. If the door moves smoothly and stays in position, proceed with step three.
  3. Pull the door back to the halfway point and release. If the door moves smoothly and stays in position, your springs are adjusted to correctly balance your door. Safe-way recommends this procedure periodically. If your door fails in any three of these tests, please call your local SWD dealer to come and inspect/ adjust or replace your spring or track.

Can I paint my steel garage door?

Absolutely. Safe-way recommends a high-quality exterior latex (water-based) paint, whether sprayed, brushed or rolled on, to change the color of your door. Proper preparations such as thorough cleaning and de-glossing are essential for a lasting finish. See your quality paint dealer for product suggestions. We also carry touch-up paint in bottles or spray cans to match your door’s original color.

**Note Presidential and Presidential Premium Steel Carriage Doors with vinyl overlays must be painted with “Sherwin Williams© Vinyl Safe© Super© or Durations© Paint” ONLY, to avoid warping or delaminating of the overlays. Not using this specific paint formula will void all stated warranties. For More information download the Presidential brochure in the Steel Carriage Doors section of the web site by clicking on the “Features and Options” tab.

How do I finish my wood garage door?

Finishing instructions for all wood doors:

1. All six sides (front, back, top, bottom, left, fight) of each section should be finished using the same method. If the outside of the door is painted, the inside should be painted. If the outside of the door is stained, the inside should be stained.

2. When painting a door, the finish coat base should be the same as the primer coat base. A latex based finish paint is recommended for use with a latex based primer, and an oil based finish paint is recommended for use with an oil based primer. Minimum one coat primer and 2 coats finish.

3. Any exposed beaded or v –groove openings that could pocket water need to be sealed with a high-quality, polyurethane caulk or similar quality caulking material after the finish is applied.

4. When staining a door, select a quality exterior penetrating stain (transparent, semi-transparent or solid) that is mildew resistant, UV resistant and water repellant.

5. When warehousing or storing doors prior to installation, caution should be taken to protect the wood parts from direct exposure to moisture conditions.

6. Avoid film-forming finishes, such as varnishes and urethanes, which do not penetrate the wood.

7. Unfinished wood parts should never be left exposed to the natural elements.

8. It is preferable that finishing be undertaken prior to installation.

9. Where concrete floors are used, the garage door should not be installed until after the floor has been poured and adequate time has elapsed for the moisture content to dissipate.

10. Where the building is to be plastered, the garage door should not be installed until after the plastering is completed, and the majority of the associated moisture has been dispersed.

**Note** Painting a wooden or carriage-house door a dark color may void the warranty as undesirable effects such as warping or de-lamination may occur. A copy of the finishing instructions can be downloaded in the wood carriage house section of the web site by clicking on the ” Features and Options” tab.

What kind of maintenance is required on my garage door?

Regular cleaning of your garage door and touching-up scratches or chips that can occur will keep it looking good for years. Mechanically, periodic visual inspections and manual operations should give you advanced warning of potential trouble. Some typical things to look for include loose bolts or brackets, frayed lift cables, damaged or misshaped track, door hanging straight and level, “tight” spots as the door moves, chipped paint (especially on wood doors), squeaky hinges or rollers, bottom rubber seal for cracks or splits, etc. Once a year lightly lubricate hinges at their points of rotation and the roller ball bearing and/or shaft with good quality spray lithium grease (use the nozzle straw to direct the spray exactly where needed). Clean the track where the rollers travel, but DO NOT LUBRICATE! We recommend any repairs needed to the lifting mechanism (spring, cables, etc) be referred to your local Safe-way dealer.

What is a windloaded door and do I need it?

Certain counties around the country, by law, allow only tested and certified windload garage doors to be installed. These doors have been constructed with extra reinforcing to withstand certain higher-than-normal wind pressures and still function. Safe-way produces several models for several different windload pressure requirements. Your local Safe-way dealer will know what the local building codes are for your location.

I want to add a garage door opener; what do I need to know?

That your door operates smoothly, and balances in the half open position. This is very important or your operator will have a reduced life span. Most operators require 110 volt power; a receptacle will need to be handy at the back end of the raised door, where the power head is mounted. The door size, type and whether your door already has an operator reinforcing strut or if not you need to add one. If there is anything special about your door, such as high-lift. The amount of space above the highest point the door travels. Most operators require approximately 2” for a track to be mounted, this could be a chain, belt or screw drive depending on your preference. The operators power unit will need approximately 24” of clear space beyond the door in the open position.

My door has become difficult to open; can I install an opener to help?

Before installing any garage door operator, your door needs to be in proper working condition. Make sure to periodically test the door manually, and that all adjustments are completed by trained technicians.

I have an operator - do I still need spring?

Yes, a garage door opener will only work properly if the door is in good working order when manually operated. Failure to do this may lead to reduced life span and severe consequences.

How do I open my garage door if the operator isn’t working?

Most operators now have a release cord hanging from the arm connecting the operator to the door, when pulled, this frees the door for manual operation. Caution should be used as some units allow the arm to swing down, also releasing a door with broken springs may cause an uncontrolled closing.

My garage door opener stopped working properly, what could be the problem?

Check the simple things first, does the door operate in a smooth manner manually, check the circuit breakers, power to the unit, that the photo-beams are properly aligned, if the problem persists than the trouble is most likely in the operator devices. Most repair work can be completed by your local garage door service center. We have included these handy links to Liftmaster and Genie for more in-depth information.