Erie, Colorado is located just to the east of Boulder and north of Denver close to Interstate 25. The town is named after the Pennsylvania hometown of one of its founders, Richard Van Valkenburg, a Methodist preacher. During the 1860s most residents of the area were farmers or small time merchants who depended heavily on stagecoach deliveries for mail and freight. Life for these early settlers was one of isolation and hard work.
Development of the area was largely driven by the discovery of coal in the surrounding hills. At first surface coal was gathered and distributed to locals via horse and wagon but the opening of the Briggs Mine in 1871 ramped up coal production and helped convince the railroad companies to extend a line to Erie so they could pick up the coal their locomotives required to operate. The town then became a transfer point for travelers headed to Boulder or other destinations along the Front Range. Since there was no direct rail service these passengers had to de-train in Erie and wait for a stagecoach.
Despite the presence of the railroad and coal industries however Erie remained a fairly sleepy town whose population was just over 1,200 as recently as 1990. In the mid-90s however the town suddenly caught the eye of developers and in just a few short years 5,000 new residents moved here. Since the turn of the 21st century growth has accelerated with the population tripling between 2000 and 2010.
As a result of this explosive growth many of the town’s homes are 10 - 20 years old, just about the number of years the average garage door system can be expected to last. That means many local homeowners are now seeking out garage door repair and replacement services.
The Lowdown on the Garage Door Opener
If the garage door opener was a modern athlete he would be that guy with the huge reputation and fat contract who spends most of his time sitting on the bench. That’s because while the opener gets all the attention it actually plays only a small part in opening and closing the door. It gives the door a shove to get it going and then acts mostly as a moderator making sure the door opens and closes in a controlled manner, while the torsion or extension springs do the heavy lifting.
Openers typically last anywhere from 10 - 20 years depending on how often the door is used. There’s no warning light on a garage door motor that tells you it’s about to fail, you need to keep your eyes open for the signs that include:
- The door hesitating after it’s prompted to open.
- The door needing you to get out and supply the ‘shove’ the motor is supposed to supply.
- Unusual noises coming from the door during operation.
If the motor is showing signs that it’s about to quit it’s a good time to assess the overall state of the door. Replacing the motor might be a viable option but if the rest of the system is also worn out you should strongly consider replacing the entire system with a new, energy-efficient overhead door.
There are two types of garage door springs at work in today’s overhead door systems:
- Torsion springs: The torsion spring is a coiled spring. The spring releases its energy and recharges itself by coiling and uncoiling as the door opens and closes. The amount of energy stored in a torsion spring is vast and as such repair or replacement of the torsion spring should only be done by qualified professionals. DIYers have died working on torsion springs.
- Extension springs: If your garage door doesn’t use a torsion spring it uses extension springs. Extension springs work by extending and contracting as the door closes and opens. There are typically 2 extension springs on a quality garage door.
Often in a garage door system the springs are the first component to fail. This is often puzzling to homeowners who know a thing or two about garage doors because, in theory, the springs should last about as long as the motor. So when they fail after only a few years in the new house homeowners are left scratching their heads. In fact such a development is not really very mysterious, it’s usually a matter of the developer trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of the home sale by installing cheap springs in the garage door, knowing most people won’t think to check.
If your garage door springs have failed prematurely it’s probably best to simply replace them with quality springs. If however the springs and motor are failing simultaneously you’re better off replacing the whole door system.
Having Your Garage Door Repaired
Whether you’re experiencing a burned out motor, failed springs, a stuck door or any other type of problem you’ll want to make sure you call a garage door company you can trust. A Better Garage Door has been part of the community for more than 23 years and in that time we’ve earned a reputation for providing high quality work at reasonable prices. We’re the company more local residents call for garage door repair and replacement than any other because we know the kinds of doors installed in area homes and always arrive on the job with the right tools and parts.
If your overhead door is on the fritz you’ll want to have it repaired quickly. We know every corner of the region and will have someone out to your home promptly to assess the situation and affect repairs. Our technician will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the work before proceeding and explain to you exactly what the problem is.
Every 10 - 20 years you’re going to be faced with the prospect of replacing your garage door. Some will attempt to squeeze additional years out of a failing garage door system but eventually the law of diminishing returns kicks in and you wind up just wasting money on a door that should be replaced. In addition there are some dedicated DIYers out there who will attempt to save money by installing a new garage door system by themselves but, as mentioned earlier, no one without proper training should go anywhere near torsion or extension springs.
Some homeowners will want a custom look for their new garage door. If that’s the case we can help you create the perfect customized garage door for your home regardless of when it was built or what style it is. From Victorian to ultra-modern we’ll match you up with a garage door that will look like it was designed by the architect to be part of the house.
A Better Garage Door and Erie: An Enduring Partnership
From the classic single story homes of Cheesman Street to the spacious new residences lining Carlson Avenue Erie is a town rich in architectural diversity. While the town has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years it’s never lost sight of its values and the attendant vigors of honesty and hard work. At A Better Garage Door we’re proud to serve this vital community and provide its citizens with high-quality, affordable overhead door services. And smiles... we're big on smiles.