Archive for the ‘Doors’ Category

Window Decals for Visibility and Decoration

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Windows can bring a lot of cheerful sunshine into your home. However, a perfectly clear pane of glass can sometimes be a “pain”. If you’ve ever had a child run into a sliding glass door or a bird fly into a window, you know this all too well. Fortunately, there are solutions that are both attractive and practical.

Celtic Window Decal

Celtic Window Decal

Frosted vinyl decals are available in sizes for every window and glass door. These can feature palm trees, lighthouses, frolicking dolphins, or other pleasant images. You can place decals on just the borders/corners or choose a large design for the center of the glass for greatest visibility. For kid’s rooms, decorative stickers that represent favorite cartoon characters or other interests may be appropriate.

Full color “stained glass” decals or intricately etched film can be applied in sheets if privacy is preferable to having a view. For best results, choose a product that is removable. That way, if you make a mistake during installation you can peel it off and start over.

If you want to maintain the clear appearance of your windows while keeping your feathered friends safe, consider bird decals. WindowAlert stickers are transparent to the human eye. However, they contain a substance that reflects UV light. Birds can see colors in the ultraviolet spectrum and will be able to avoid flying into the glass.

Window and Patio Door Security

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Windows and sliding glass patio doors on the first floor of a residence are among the most vulnerable home entry points. A determined thief can break the glass to get inside. However, most criminals don’t want to attract that much attention. There are many security strategies you can use to inconvenience, slow down, or call attention to a potential burglar.

Connect all windows and doors to a central alarm system. If a burglar decides to enter anyway, the time he has available to locate and carry out anything of value is greatly reduced. Place alarm company stickers on your windows as another disincentive.

Many standard patio door locking mechanisms are merely clasps. These simple contraptions can easily be forced with a screwdriver, pry bar, or even a butter knife. Simply placing a properly sized dowel rod or length of PVC pipe directly in the track of sliding patio door can discourage a would-be burglar. Removing the handles from casement windows is another quick fix

Install sturdier locking devices to serve as a backup. Track grips, pins, keyed sash locks and slide bolts, anti-sliding blocks/wedges, and specialty keyed locks are some of your available options. These are available at any home improvement store.

As a last resort, replace your windows with tempered or wired glass. Although this is an expensive solution, any attempt to break in through the glass will be extremely difficult and noisy. Burglar bars are another high-end solution.

Treating Stains and Mildew

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Wouldn’t it be nice if a fresh coat of paint over a good primer would cover over stains, water marks, and mildew? When the paint is still wet it may appear to cover, but as it dries these stains will seep through and you’ll end up with a fresh coat of stained paint.

Before you prime or paint, remove all stains and mildew. It will take some elbow grease, but cleaning it before hand will save you time in the long run because you won’t have to repaint it. The best thing to use to destroy the spores that cause mildew is regular household bleach diluted with water. You will need to fix water stains at the source before you repair the wall or ceiling.

Water leaches chemicals from wood and drywall. When the mixture seeps through a wall or ceiling, it stains. Mildew is a spore in the air. Given food (paper or paint) and moisture, mildew flourishes on walls.


You will want to mix this two solutions in a bucket. If you are sensitive to bleach, protect your eyes and hands.


Apply again after 20 minutes even if the mold has disappeared.


Allow it to dry throughly before cleaning with TSP substitute. Then prime with a stain-blocking primer and paint.

Garage Doors

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

You should inspect your garage door at least once a year to make sure that there aren’t any worn or loose parts. Clean the rollers, pulleys, and cables; lubricate them with light oil. Also, spray or wipe a Teflon lubricant to the weatherstripping where it contacts the door.

The two extension springs that counterbalance the door’s weight should hold the door steady in a half-open position. If you want to increase the tension, you will need to shorten the lifting cable. You should NEVER service a torsion spring (the large horizontal spring above the door) without an expert there. It is very dangerous.

If the door is operating properly, it should reverse if it hits something. However, if the opener was made prior to 1982, they do not have a backup to this system; so they should be replaced.  Since 1993 all openers have to include a monitored backup system. It is a sensor that passes a light beam across the door opening. What happens is once the beam is interrupted the door will reverse, and if the beam sensor is unplugged the door will not operate. You cannot bypass the beam sensor.

Solving Door Problems

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Loose hinges are the most common door problem. Loose hinges cause the door not to hang right and then they will rub and stick together throwing off the latch mechanism.  Check the hinge screws first. If they are tight but the door still rubs, try sanding down the door’s edge and make it smooth. If you notice that the door doesn’t close easily, it may be warped; you can use a long straightedge to check for warpage. If it is slightly warped you may be able to straighten it with weights, but if it’s really bad, you’ll need a new door. Door latch problems happen for a lot of reasons: loose hinges, swollen wood, sticking latchbolts, and paint buildup.  After you have tried all of the above and the door still won’t shut, it’s probably because the door frame is off. This happens because the house is getting older and it is settling. you can make minor adjustments by filing the strike plate on the door frame. If you have room, align the latchbolt and strike plate by shimming the  hinges. Or, you can drive a few extra-long screws to adjust the frame.