How to help small businesses in Long Island during shelter in place

By now, the coronavirus has completely changed day-to-day life for our entire community, and although we remain open for business, it still feels like all the things we love to do have been put on hold. It’s a difficult time, for sure, but it’s also a time when we can show our support for local businesses. And they need it. Now maybe more than ever.

At All Island Garage Door, we love being a part of the community and care deeply about our neighbors and the small businesses we serve – not to mention the people who help us do our job better every day – from the servers we’ve gotten to know when we go to lunch, to the people who keep our trucks up and running.

Over the past week, we’ve been looking for ways we can support small businesses while they are closed. Below is the list we came up with and we thought we’d share it with you.

Go holiday shopping. In March. Here’s how you do it: First, make a list of all of your favorite local shops, then get online and see which ones take online orders. If they do, now is the time to do your Christmas shopping. Just think of how much time you’ll have come December. Here is a fantastic article about shopping local while sheltering in place.

Buy gift certificates. One day, in the very near future, we’re going to get back to a new normal. When that happens, we’ll be more than ready to visit our favorite businesses in person again. Purchasing gift cards is an investment in their future. It’s also cash for them now that you can redeem later, so it puts money in their pockets at a time when they need it the most.

Take advantage of online exercise. Reduce stress and get some exercise with an online class offered by your local fitness facility. Many YMCAs, big gyms and little studios have set up classes offered on Facebook and zoom.com. Plenty of these are free, but you if take an online class on a regular basis, you may want to send the instructor or facility a donation. You can do this easily through Venmo.

Support local charities. The coronavirus has really put local nonprofits and charities to the task. Consider going online to find out what your favorite charity needs and help out. Check out Long Island Cares for ways you can donate to help feed those in need. Need a friend to quarantine with?  Contact Animal Care Centers of NYC to foster a cat or dog while the shelter is closed.

One the greatest things about a crisis is that it shows how capable the Long Island community is doing extraordinary things. Stay well, from all of us at All Island Garage Door.

Spring cleaning for your garage 

We can’t think of a better time than now to clean out the garage. Not only is it the perfect time of the year to get your garage ready for the warmer months ahead (they don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing!), it’s also fantastic way to clear your mind during this stressful time, as we come together (and yet, remain at home) to end the spread of COVID-19.

Keeping things clean is top of mind these days, indeed. And not only does a clean home and garage help keep you and your family safe and healthy, but studies have shown that a clutter-free environment leads to less stress and more happiness. Now, who wouldn’t want that?

So if these next few weeks mean more down time at home, why not add cleaning out the garage to your list of things to do? Our list below can help get you started.

Get in the game! It’s helpful to approach garage cleaning with positivity. Don’t look at it as a chore you have to do, but a chance to clear out the old to welcome in the new. Take a look at the forecast and pick a nice sunny day to start your project. Make sure to have a great playlist of motivating music on hand, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

Plan accordingly. When it comes to cleaning your garage, you’re going to want to do it right. That means planning for a top-to-bottom thorough cleaning of your entire garage from the floor to ceiling, and yes, the garage door, too. For this, make sure to stock up on all cleaning supplies before you begin so you can get everything done without having to run to the store.

Clean everything. And everywhere. Start by removing everything from your garage. Remove cabinets, shelving, all equipment like bikes, lawn mowers, and shovels. Use tools to remove cabinets and shelves from walls, and pile everything outside of the garage.

Then, clean beginning with the ceiling and ending with the garage door (more on that later). This is also a great time to inspect your garage for any cracks or leaks and make plans to repair.

Decide what to keep. This is the time to remember the Marie Kondo rule of letting items go if they don’t “spark joy.” Take a look at what’s in the pile from your garage and ask yourself if it’s something you really need. If it’s not, you’ve got some choices to make. You can toss it, recycle it, sell it, or donate it.

Make sure you have a plan to get rid of the unwanted items quickly. Here’s where things can get tricky. If you place the items you don’t want to keep back in your garage, there’s a good chance they’ll stay there. If you’re selling items, have an account ready if you’re selling online, or drive it immediately to the consignment store.

Do the same with items you’re donating. And if you’re giving things away, make sure the receiver is picking the item up sooner than later. Tossing it? Know when your city picks up bigger items or arrange a pickup if it’s required.

Air it out. If you’ve hosed down your garage floor, or if you’ve used powerful cleaning solutions on your garage’s floors and walls, make sure to well-ventilate before closing the garage door. Strategically place a box or shop fan in the garage to help air it out quickly.

Clean the garage door. First, gently hose the garage door down on both sides to eliminate cobwebs, dirt and other residue, then use a sponge, gentle soap (dishwashing soap works fine), and warm water to really scrub down the door. Don’t forget to pay special attention to windows on your garage door. You can clean them with any window cleaner, but for stubborn stains, we recommend using a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water.

Inspect your garage door. This is as important as keeping your garage clean and one aspect you don’t want to forget to do. Make sure there’s no rust on your garage door parts including the garage door springs, hinges and on the tracks. You can also apply a spray lubricant to the garage door springs and pulleys, but for any more garage door maintenance, it’s best to leave it up to us professionals.

This is also a good time to check your garage door opener. Clean the opener’s “eye” and properly lubricate its chain drive.

Consider what you need next. Do you need a better garage organization system? If so, maybe now is the time to add slat wall, cabinets, and maybe even a workspace if your garage is large enough. We like Organized Living’s garage activity organizers, and if you’re thinking simple and smaller scale, check out IKEA for durable, low cost storage.

Here are some great ideas to transform your cluttered garage into one of the most organized places in your home.

Reward yourself. Make sure to have a reward waiting for you once you’re ready to call it a day, like a favorite dessert or beverage or treat yourself to a night of Netflix (go ahead, you deserve it!)

The benefits of a smart garage door opener

Where would we be without our smart phones? Today our smart phone can do everything from remind us about an important meeting, track our fitness goals, and even monitor our sleep. With so many capabilities at our fingertips, it’s no wonder that now we can even control our garage doors right from our smart phones, too.

When you invest LiftMaster MyQ,  wi-fi enable garage door opener, a world of new benefits open up. You can monitor your home from your smart phone device, close the garage door when you’re away, and open the garage door for that Amazon Prime delivery you’ve been waiting for. Forget your remote? No worries. Your wi-fi remote has you covered.

Take a look at some of the fantastic things you can do with your wi-fi garage door remote:

Monitor your home while you’re away. Wi-fi garage door remotes add a layer of security and peace of mind when it comes to protecting your home from thieves. By setting up your phone to receive push notifications, you’ll be alerted when the garage door opens. You can also turn on and off your garage door’s lights even when you’re away.

Close the garage door…from anywhere in the world. Have you ever left home for a road trip, only to wonder, 200 miles later, if you remembered to close the garage door? With a wi-fi controlled garage door opener, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you can close the door from anywhere in the world.

And open it from anywhere, too. If you are expecting a deliver but can’t be there to meet the delivery driver, you can arrange for them to place the package in the garage by opening it when they arrive, and then securely close the door when they’re finished. In fact, with MyQ you can download the Key by Amazon app and synch it to your MyQ account to ensure your Prime packages are safe and secure.

Never worry about forgetting your keys again. If you forget the key to open your garage door – or misplace your remote, you can relax, because you can easily open and close the door from your phone. Just don’t forget that!

So welcome to the age of technology! Contact our team to learn more about LiftMaster’s MyQ garage door opener.

Don’t fall victim to a garage door scam

In recent years , bogus garage door companies disguised as local companies – often with names very similar to real ones – purchased millions of dollars in ads with Google. People thinking they were contacting reputable garage door companies like All Island Garage Door, were instead booking services with phony companies.

Sometimes, the clients wouldn’t realize what they’d done until it was too late, after they were charged way too much and with jobs left unfinished. That’s when they’d call us, unhappy, thinking they’d been dealing with us in the first place, and we’d have to tell them the bad news.

Luckily, Google started cracking down on these bogus garage door dealers a couple years ago, making it more difficult for them to purchase ads but there are still phony garage door companies out there preying on innocent people.

As a family-owned company in Bayport, Long Island we truly care about our community and it troubles us to hear when someone has been taken advantage of.

Don’t fall victim to a garage door scam. Below are some tips to make sure you’re dealing with the real All Island Garage Door.

If searching online, double check the name of any online ads for All Island Garage Door. If the ad is for a similar name like Island Garage Door, or All Island Garage Company, Inc. don’t book services with them.

Ask where they are located. Local garage door companies have a brick and mortar store or at least an office. Bogus ones usually don’t.

Don’t agree to services from somebody in an unmarked van or truck. Most fake garage door companies drive vehicles that have magnet logos or none at all. All Island only uses fully stocked trucks with our name prominently displayed.

Check review sites. When you visit Facebook or Google, you’ll find lots of great reviews about All Island Garage Door. If you search for companies with a similar name, you’ll find none or very bad reviews.

To learn more about fake garage door companies and how you can protect yourself from being a victim to one of their scams, check out this video from IDEA, the Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation.

 

Five easy garage improvement ideas for 2020

Can you believe 2020 is here? If you’re already thinking of home improvement this year,  might we recommend putting your garage on the list?

Making improvements to your garage is always a great investment. Take a look at our list of five easy ways below. And let us know how we can help!

Invest in a new garage door. A new garage door is a great way to increase your home’s ROI, but there are many more reasons to make 2020 the year you invest in one. For example, with a new garage door you won’t have to worry about getting any repairs in the near future. And since they’re custom-fitted to your home, they offer security and are energy-efficient.

Ten reasons to invest in a new garage door

Get organized. If you’re still storing things like recreation equipment and tools every which way in your garage consider making this the year to get organized. We love Organized Living’s garage storage solutions that maximize the space in your garage while making it clutter-free.

Make it multi-purpose. How about making 2020 the year you finally make your garage one of the most multi-functioning spaces in your home? With retractable screens, you can transform your garage into a place where you can work or play, an exercise or party room, or an area for your pet.

Schedule those garage door repairs. Is your garage door squeaking or rattling when it opens and closes? If it is, perhaps now is a good time to make getting the garage door repaired now that the new year is here. .

Spruce it up with customized paint. For a long time, homeowners faced a tough task when finding paint that could be customized while also being suitable for garage door materials like steel and aluminum. Now Clopay can color match Sherwin-Williams color codes on a new garage door prior to installation. We love this paint and it’s beautiful results.

So, here’s to the new year! Let us know how we can help set any of these five ideas in motion for you. We’re looking forward to serving you in 2020.

 

Clopay’s Door Imagination System

Imagine finding the perfect garage door for your home or business without even leaving the house. It’s easy (and a lot of fun) when you use Clopay’s Door Imagination System to choose the best garage door for your home right from your computer. All you have to do is upload a photo of your home or business and start trying on doors until you find the perfect fit.

A new garage door can dramatically change the look of your home, not to mention increase your home’s ROI. But you can’t exactly return a garage door after it’s purchased and professionally installed like you can a pair of shoes. And that’s where Clopay’s Door Imagination System comes in.

What’s also great about the system is that you can see what different window options, panel styles and custom hardware will look best as well. The options are really endless, and when you’ve finally settled on the door you want, you can easily share your images with us, and we can get the ball rolling so you can have your new garage door installed in no time.

Ready to get started? Take a few pictures of your garage door, check out Clopay’s garage door collections, and start designing. Then, send your choice to us and we’ll work with you on the next steps to install your new garage door.

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.

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.

 

10 reasons to invest in a new garage door

Maybe you’re looking for simple ways to update your home’s appearance, or perhaps you want to increase your home’s value or save money or personal security. Each of these goals – and many, many more – can be achieved with a new garage door.

Consider this: The garage can comprise as much as 30% of a home’s façade, so updating it is an excellent, relatively low-cost way to increase the curb appeal of your home. And a better looking home, means you’ll get a higher ROI if you decide to sell it.

Since your garage is such a big part of your home, it’s important to keep it secure. Many new garage doors come with extra safety features. Combine it with a new garage door opener and you’ve got peace of mind, knowing that you and your family – not to mention your car – are safe.

As garage door professionals who have spent decades helping home and business owners find the right garage door, we can think of tons of reasons a new garage door is a great investment. Below, we’ve narrowed it down to our top ten.

Enhance the look of your home. Styles change. That’s not only true for fashion and cars, but for garage doors as well. Take a look at Clopay’s newest residential garage doors and you’ll see some amazing classic and modern designs that would make any home look great.

If your garage door is older, it likely has some dents and maybe some chipped, peeling paint. Sound like your garage door? It may be time to invest in a new one.

Better safety. Your garage door is one of the hardest working doors in your home. Over time, garage door springs and other key components to your door can get worn out and break. Sometimes, this creates a dangerous situation. If your garage door is older, purchasing a new one may be more cost efficient than replacing old parts, or having a professional come out to service it often.

Make it multi-functional. We love that garages are being used for more than our cars these days. A new garage door can help transform your garage into additional living space. Clopay’s Avante and Modern Steel garage doors create a fresh, contemporary space, while garage door screens let a little of the outdoors in.

Note: If you want to make your garage a space for hobbies like woodworking or painting, a playroom, or a workout room, it’s best to have it insulated so you can use it all year long, and the easiest way to ensure this is with a new garage door.

Quiet, please. You know an old garage when you hear one. They creak and squeak every time they close and open. That’s the sound of old garage door parts being pushed beyond their capacity and it’s never a good sign. Plus, who wants to be woken up from sleep by a garage door opening or closing? New garage doors are quiet, and they help to reduce noise coming from the street as well.

Increase your home’s value. This is a big one, especially if you’re getting ready to put your house on the market. In fact, a new garage door is one of the single most important, and easy ways to make your house look better on the outside, so when potential buyers show up to look at your home, they’ll be more motivated to make it their own.

And your home’s ROI, too. In addition to increasing your home’s value, garage doors are great investments. Studies have shown that when it comes to increasing your home’s ROI garage doors are one of the best investments you can make.

Better energy efficiency. Older garage doors that are warped and cracked are likely to let in drafts, and if they’re letting in cold (or hot) air in, they’re letting it out, too. If you have a garage that shares a wall or a ceiling with any room in your house, having an insulated garage door — fitted by experts — is even more important. New garage doors are guaranteed to fit, and that means you’ll save money on your energy bills.

No unexpected repairs. Few things will ruin your morning like a malfunctioning garage door when you’re pressed for time. Broken garage door springs and other faulty garage door parts are par for the course when you’ve got an old door. They’re not only inconvenient, they can also lead to pricey repairs. Newer garage doors are under warranty, and when they’re installed by professionals with decades of experience, you’ll avoid calls for repairs – especially with regular maintenance.

Increased security. An old garage door that no longer fits securely can be a welcome sign for thieves, many who gain entry to the home through the garage. To protect your family, the items in your garage and home, and your car, make sure your garage door is secure, or better yet – purchase a new one.

Lower insurance premium. After you’ve got your new garage door installed, reach out to you insurance company. Chances are, your rate will be readjusted and lowered because you’ve increased the safety and security of your home.

Ready to get started? Use our Design Your Door feature to see what garage doors will look best on your home. Then give us a call. This is a great time of the year to invest in a new garage door!

Seven Ways To Make Your Garage Safer

How safe is your garage? If you’re not sure, maybe it’s time to do a quick check with help from the list below. It’s doesn’t take much time – or money – to make sure your garage is a safe place for you and your family. With easy to install items like garage cabinets and smoke alarms, your garage can be made safe for your peace of mind.

Below are seven ways to make your garage safer:

Store your power tools someplace safe.  Make sure your power tools are properly stored and kept out of reach of children. Consider investing in cabinets for your tools, and secure them with locks. Additionally, any saws or other electric tools should always have their safety locks on and should never be kept plugged in.

Do an electrical safety check. Check of your garage outlets and make sure they aren’t overloaded. You’ll also want to make sure your garage’s electric wiring isn’t outdated and in need of repair.

Keep fires at bay. Make sure you install a smoke alarm in your garage, or if you already have one, check to ensure it’s working properly. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the garage, too.

Get organized. We know how easy it is to keep things stored randomly in the garage, but keeping it organized is one of the best ways to make sure it’s safe for you and your family. In addition to storing your power tools in a locked cabinet, do the same with yard tools and cleaning supplies. 

Keep hazardous materials out of reach of children. Any cleaning products, fertilizer, gasoline, paints and other materials should be kept out of reach of children. Store these materials in a locked cabinet and make sure it’s equipped with proper ventilation.

Floors need to be kept safe, too. Check your garage flooring to make sure there aren’t any cracks, or leaks in the garage’s foundation that have caused leaks on the garage floor. Cracks, leaky walls, water on the floor needs to be addressed right away.

Make sure to use a coating to seal floor cracks. Then, do the same with any cracks in the walls.

Invest in good locks and remote access. Make sure to always lock your garage door, and if you’re prone to forgetting, consider investing in remote access so you don’t have to worry. You could also consider LiftMaster’s myQ Smart Home, which lets you control your garage door from your smart phone.

Choosing the best garage flooring option

All it takes is one look at your garage’s floor to know it’s one of the most important, hardest working places in your home. Your garage door floor has to withstand things like water, salt, and dirt and most are covered in oil, grease and rust stains.

But times are changing. Now, home owners are using their garage for a multitude of purposes from man cave to workout room. And that requires a good-looking floor that’s able to keep stains and puddles away.

One of the easiest ways to transform the look of your garage and to keep your garage floor looking it’s best is to apply a coat of sealer or epoxy, vinyl rolls or tile. All of these options are excellent, but which floor option you choose depends on your budget, your personal style, and how you use your garage space.

Below are our tips for choosing the best garage floor covering for your garage.

Concrete sealers and stains

Concrete sealers are a very inexpensive option and they can be applied quickly. This is a clear coating that covers the garage floor that makes it easy to clean up gasoline and oil spills. It also protects the floor against water damage. Sealers come in matte or gloss and can’t be used over painted floors.

Another similar option are concrete stains. Like sealers, they protect your garage floor. However, they contain pigment to add a touch of dimension to your floor.

Epoxy

Unlike paint, epoxy contains chemicals that bond tightly with prepared surface. The result isn’t just a clean, great looking floor, but also one that is protected against spills, stains and abrasions. Epoxy, if applied properly, won’t chip and is an excellent long lasting solution for your garage.

Look for epoxy coating specifically designed for garage floors at your local home improvement store. Or contact us and we can help you pick out the perfect epoxy coating for your garage.

Vinyl garage rolls

Vinyl garage rolls range in prices, so they can work well with any budget. Made with very flexible PVC, it can withstand car traffic, tire traction and is very easy to clean. It’s also often slip resistant when wet, and are easy to install.

Vinyl garage rolls can be cut to the size of your garage, and can be installed very quickly and easily. In fact, you could use the vinyl flooring on your entire garage  floor or just a portion of it. The possibilities are pretty endless.

Garage floor tiles

Garage door tiles come in a wide variety of materials, from vinyl to plastic to ceramic. The most popular and cost-effective option is vinyl garage floor tiles. These come in a number of different thickness sizes, colors, and are interlocking to offer the perfect fit.

Another popular garage flooring choice is plastic garage floor tiles. Hard plastic flooring is great for garages that need top notch durability like commercial garages or residential garages that get a lot of vehicular traffic. Soft plastic flooring are also very durable but are quieter than harder flooring.

Of course, you could also choose ceramic porcelain tiles for your garage. These aren’t just great-looking, they’re also extremely durable, long-lasting and stain and scratch resistant.  Ceramic porcelain flooring can often be seen in car showrooms, but it’s growing in popularity for homes and businesses.

Before choosing ceramic tiles for your garage, consider how they will be installed. Because they require additional materials and tools, it’s a more expensive flooring option, especially if you hire a professional team to lay the tile.

What about carpet?

Good question. Carpet, whether in roll form or carpet tiles, isn’t a good choice for your garage unless you don’t house your car there. That’s because most carpet does not repel water, oil, gasoline, and other substances usually found in the garage.