News

New Products: Shaft and Strut Kits for New Shipping Restrictions

Friday, February 16th, 2018 at 6:33 pm by Dan Musick

In my January 19 blog, I explained the changes FedEx and UPS had made for shipping boxes that are over eight feet long. One inch of extra length would cost more than six times as much to ship.

Last week I showed a solution for shipping garage door seals to accommodate products that are over eight feet long.

This week we are showing a way to serve customers who need steel shafts and struts that normally ship in boxes over eight feet. The solution: Junction Kits.

Above you see one of our Shaft Junction Kits from our garage door shafts and couplers page that will fit into boxes that are less than eight feet long. This SH-011-16K Shaft Kit will allow us to ship a shaft for a 16′ wide door in boxes that are less than eight feet long.

Another new product is our Strut Kit. We had earlier developed strut junction kits that are available on our garage door struts page. Pictured above is our strut kit for nine foot wide doors. We have also developed these for wider Clopay doors.

Way to Go FedEx!

Friday, January 5th, 2018 at 9:18 pm by Dan Musick

Image result for fedex

We had hit a quagmire in synchronizing our shopping cart with FedEx website. I told our customer service rep, Kevin Kedzior, about the problem. It seemed insurmountable. In just a few days he brought over two of FedEx’s top software guns, Justin Cagney and Ed Cohen. An hour later all the pieces of the puzzle were aligned.

Just as the best vioinists make their performances seem effortless, so Kevin and his associates made the impossible look like a cake walk. That’s the mark of true professionals.

Way to go, Kevin! Keep up the superb work!

Business Kingdom Purpose

Friday, October 20th, 2017 at 5:09 pm by Dan Musick

Business Focus

Over the years our main focus has been to honor God by being good stewards of the resources He has provided.

I learned this principle from two Christian business men, Bill Pollard and Dick Lauber, elders at a church I attended many years ago. Several years ago I began a Twitter Page expressing my gratitude for them. The purpose of that page is to help other entrepreneurs understand business from God’s perspective.

In the early years of our business the resources to steward included a camera, my writing skills and my son’s internet skills. As the business grew, the resources God provided became more specialized, from photography to video, from html to PHP, from employees and accountants to lawyers and numerous other skills and professions.

One of the more recent treasures God has provided for us to steward is the Convene business network which links Christian businessmen.

Their site states: “We believe two heads are better than one. And a peer team committed to each other’s success is exponentially better. . . . Time is money. At Convene, we can guarantee that your time is well-spent. The people, resources, and materials available to our members help to multiply their time.”

This is my first month in their program; the resources they provide are incredible. One of my first tasks was to help focus the business by establishing a kingdom purpose.

It took time, but I knew the time invested would be worth it. Here it is.

“God has uniquely positioned, gifted and called DDM Garage Doors to glorify God by exemplifying Christ-likeness in our leadership, by praying for and discipling our employees, by sharing the gospel with our customers, and by funding ministries that take the gospel to the ends of the world.”

To God be the glory!!!

 

Way to go, Jorie!

Friday, October 6th, 2017 at 2:23 pm by Dan Musick

In an earlier blog we mentioned Jorie’s and Neal’s wedding. Neal is our warehouse manager and Jorie has helped here with personnel matters, including completing a company policy manual that had been started several years previously. She also helped to see that the orders got to their intended destinations.

At the time she had just finished her education. After a little time to get settled and to look for a career in her field of study she is embarking on a career in human resources in the corporate offices at Aldi Foods.

As part of her going away celebration we brought in scrumptious fresh cooked pot pies from Pie Boss. The owner there is the worship leader at Neal’s and Jorie’s Faith Bridge Church.

In the card we gave her I let her know I trust her husband, Neal, will keep me apprised of all Jorie’s achievements. We expect to hear great things about her.

Best wishes, Jorie. We’re all proud of you!

Flexible Brush Seal – New at DDM!

Friday, August 25th, 2017 at 11:08 am by Sales Team

DDM now stocks Flexible Brush Seal! Made with a flexible plastic, it’s designed as an alternative to the original brush seal with a rigid steel support edge. Several features make it an excellent option for your commercial doors and dock levelers.

  • The price is lower than that of the rigid seal so you save on cost.
  • Flexible plastic allows the brush seal to be rolled into a box. This reduces shipping costs.
  • It is available in rolls up to 200’ or 100’ for three inch brush, allowing for custom lengths.
  • Extra rolls can be easily stored by maintenance departments for quick repairs.
  • Plastic support edge is thermally joined to the brush material, virtually eliminating fraying.
  • Unlike the rigid seals with steel edges, the plastic will not corrode or rust over time.

One minor drawback is that product comes curled up in a box; extra care needs to be taken to assure the material is straight when inserted into the retainer. Also, the 1 3/4″ brush is not available in the flexible seal.

Original Brush Seal with Steel Support Edge


Frayed End on Original Brush Seal

Now in stock and ready to ship, our new flexible brush seal is available in four sizes made to fit in our standard side and top retainers.

            1” – STBIF-100S

            1 ½” – STBIF-112S

            2” – STBIF-200S

            3” – STBIF-300S

Storm Shield® Garage Door Threshold Seal

Friday, August 18th, 2017 at 11:20 am by Sales Team

DDM Garage Doors now offers Storm Shield® threshold seals for sectional garage doors. Unlike other garage door weather seals that mount to the jambs, header and bottom of the door, this threshold seal is glued to the floor directly below the bottom of the door to improve the seal under the door.

Advantages of Storm Shield® Threshold

  • Reduces excess moisture in the garage
  • Keeps out small pests
  • Lowers energy costs
  • Resists common garage chemicals
  • Designed for all climates and temperatures
  • American made for enduring quality

Disadvantages of Storm Shield® Threshold

In spite of all its appealing features, there are some disadvantages to consider before purchasing the product.

  • It can’t keep all the water out of a garage, especially if the floor is pitched to the inside of the garage. If water builds up outside the door, it will seep through the ends. And, if the garage floor has not been treated or sealed, water will also flow through the pores of the concrete below the seal even if the threshold seal is properly glued because concrete is porous.
  • The seal will not stick to all garage floors. The floor must be smooth and straight. Holes, patches and cracks will prevent the glue from adhering the seal to the floor.
  • A number of doors will not benefit from these seals. The include steel doors that are bent on the bottoms, uneven floors where there is a gap on one side or under the middle of the door, and wooden panel doors that lift up on one or both ends.
  • The job is not as easy as it looks. We recommend having two people install it. Moving the seal after it has been glued usually causes the seal to regress. Straight, evenly-spaced lines must be made to properly align and seal the product. This can be challenging, but doable.

Types of Threshold Seals

Two styles of Storm Shield® thresholds are available. The original Storm Shield® threshold requires adhesive caulk to adhere to the floor.

 

The newer Storm Shield® 2, or “Peel ‘n Stick,” has an adhesive backing, eliminating the need for the caulk.

Installation Tips

  1. Since the seal comes in a roll, we recommend unrolling the seal a few days before installation to reduce the curl in the material. In cooler weather it is recommended that you warm the material in your home or in the sun to flatten it.
  2. We recommend cleaning the floor ahead of time. If possible, power wash the garage floor a couple days in advance, particularly if the threshold under the door is oily. Make sure the floor is completely dry before installation.
  3. Although applying the threshold to cracked or uneven concrete is not recommended, some customers have been able make it work. However, we cannot guarantee the result.
  4. Some retailers sell this product with a smaller “squeeze tube” of the adhesive caulk. We highly recommend using the larger tube with a caulk gun as this smaller tube may not provide enough adhesive for wider doors. It can also take an hour or longer to squeeze the glue out of the tube.

New Page & Software for EZ-Set Torsion Springs

Friday, August 4th, 2017 at 5:40 pm by Dan Musick

In order to help our customers find the correct springs for their garage doors, we just posted our revised page with new software to make it easier to purchase Clopay, Ideal and Holmes EZ-Set Springs.

In the past we encouraged do-it-yourselfers to measure the springs, but because of gaps between the coils and because of the coatings on the springs, the wire size was often difficult to determine.

Now customers can order by manufacturer and model number. In our most recent blog we showed how to identify Clopay, Ideal and Holmes door by model numbers on the stickers.

If this information cannot be found, we have an additional tab for selecting a spring or springs by door weight. Customers have found our instructions for how to weigh a garage door helpful.

If you have any questions please contact us.

 

Garage Door Sales

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 4:17 pm by Dan Musick

DDM Garage Doors no longer sells garage doors outside of the Chicagoland area. In the past we built wood crates for shipping garage doors over the road. We recently stopped doing this because the $500-$1,000 freight costs were often as much as the price of the door itself.

We also tried shipping doors through the Amarr dealer network; the closest regional Amarr warehouse would deliver doors directly to our customers. We stopped doing that due to frequent complications regarding door features, lead time, and shipping details.

If you are still interested in purchasing a door, and if you are outside the Chicagoland area, we suggest you try a local Lowes, Menards or Home Depot. Their prices are reasonable, but you may have to wait a few weeks for the order. Sometimes local mom-and-pop stores have the door you need at even better prices. There are also a few companies that sell doors on line.

Sometimes it’s better to bite the bullet and hire a professional installer. From past experience we have found that an installing company can better size your opening and provide the best door for your application. I’ve never been impressed with the advice I’ve gotten at home centers.

 

When are leaf bumpers and push down bumper springs necessary?

Friday, June 2nd, 2017 at 11:48 am by Sales Team

Leaf bumpers or push down bumper springs are recommended for use on residential and commercial standard lift applications when using a jackshaft opener on a standard lift track system.

Normally, if space allows, a standard overhead rail type opener is used for standard lift systems. These openers pull and push the door directly to raise and lower it. If more overhead space is required, or you desire a nice “clean” look, a jackshaft opener can be used. This type of opener mounts on the header and it raises and lowers the door by turning the torsion spring shaft. For residential systems, we recommend the Liftmaster 8500 or the 8500W.  This opener is designed and mainly used on high lift assemblies, but with the proper steps, it can be used on a standard lift system.

When using this opener with standard lift tracks, the spring bumpers are necessary to ensure safe operation. This is because jackshaft openers rely on the door weight to keep tension on the cable.  These bumpers mount to the back of the horizontal tracks and provide forward/downward force on the door when it is in the horizontal tracks.

 

If the door is in the up position with minimal weight pulling down, there is a slight risk of the opener turning the shaft, the door not moving, and the cable unwinding from the drum. There is then nothing to stop the door from crashing to the floor and causing damage or injury to anything or anyone in its way. To prevent this, the bumpers push the door down from the back. This constant force on the door helps keep the cables taut.

The recommended Liftmaster 8500 or 8500W opener for residential and the model 3900 for light commercial doors both come standard with a cable tension monitor for safety. A common question we get from customers is whether the cable tension monitor will reverse the opener travel if the cable loosens. It usually works, but we do not recommend relying on it 100% of the time. The spring bumpers are relatively cheap insurance to guarantee that the door will work properly and safely.

If you are interested in using a jackshaft operator on your standard lift door, we suggest using these spring bumpers in order to prevent property damage or serious injury.

 

Clopay Pinchproof – The Downside to Unique Hardware

Friday, May 26th, 2017 at 1:00 pm by Sales Team

Great News! Pinchproof Hinges Update.

Yesterday I was at the Clopay Chicagoland distribution center picking up a shipment of Clopay EZ Set Springs. The warehouse manager informed me of several boxes of Clopay pinchproof hinges and parts that had arrived at the center. It was like Christmas!

Because of the blog below and on our site many of our customers had been disappointed. We had been telling them the parts would not be available until January of 2018. Well, all the parts are in except for the end hinge pins and the #4 end hinge. And here’s another plus: the new hinges are made of the heavier 14 gauge steel instead of the lighter 18 gauge. These should last several times longer.

__________________

From May 26, 2017

Just recently, Clopay stopped manufacturing the hinges for their specially designed Pinch Proof doors. One of the most common models to use Pinch Proof hinges is the model 150S (commonly found in the western U.S.). These pinch proof doors were originally developed in the 1980’s to protect against damaging fingers and other foreign objects that could potentially get caught between the door sections. Although some manufacturers had already developed other “Pinch-Proof-type” options, the designers of the Clopay Pinch Proof system sought to create a simpler design that both professional and DIY installers and repairmen can understand. Despite the attempt to develop an option that was both safe and fairly intuitive, these hinges were constructed with cheap steel and have been known to break at a high rate. This is not necessarily the reason why Clopay manufacturers discontinued the part, but it is certainly a disadvantage of the design. Here is a sampling of the Pinchproof hardware:

 

If you have a Pinch Proof door and one of your hinges has broken, you are left with only a few options:

  1. You may be able to find a company that still has these hinges in stock. At DDM, we still have a number of #0 and #4 Pinch Proof hinges in stock, but we no longer have any #1, #2, or #3 hinges. The pins and covers for these hinges are also still available on our website. Because of the nature of the Pinch Proof system, you cannot simply apply one of the standard hinges that we offer. Instead of placing the pivot point directly at the point of separation between the panels, the pivot point of the Pinch Proof hinges are below the point of separation between panels. Refer to the patent drawings below.
  2. You may be able to have a local metal fabrication or machine shop repair the hinge. It may work for a short time, but it will only function as a temporary repair.
  3. Regardless of your initial course of action, you will ultimately be faced with the third option: to purchase a new door. We recommend choosing a door that is designed for and uses standard hardware.

 


Sources below*


While specially manufactured systems like the Clopay Pinch Proof doors may provide a number of benefits for customers, this does not make them inherently “better” than doors with standard hardware. Seeing as the parts for these specially designed systems are often not interchangeable with standard hardware, the manufacturers of such parts offer very few options for customers once the parts are discontinued. Although DDM Garage Doors sells specially manufactured parts such as the Clopay Pinchproof, Wayne Dalton, and Amarr hardware, we generally recommend using systems which have standard hardware.

 

 

*United States Patent and Trademark Office – U.S. Patent 6,006,817

http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=5&docid=06006817&IDKey=EEC703709CED&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect2%3DPTO1%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html%2526r%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526d%3DPALL%2526S1%3D6006817.PN.%2526OS%3DPN%2F6006817%2526RS%3DPN%2F6006817

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect2=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/6006817