News From Fimbel Architectural Doors

Make your Neighbors Green with Envy: Sustainable Garage Doors

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As a fourth generation manufacturer we are acutely aware that we have taken from mother nature's bounty time and again. From our origins in manufacturing with wood doors to our time in steel and aluminum and beyond to our current processes that utilize composite materials, we know that we must preserve our precious Earth, and we know we have taken and must give back and continue to do better!

All Fimbel doors are constructed to be low maintenance today and tomorrow which means less stress and less waste! Our materials are innovative and developed with both the end user experience and our environment in mind. Our naturally white doors are made to be unfinished, but we offer a vast range of paints and stains in our unique system using water based and eco-friendly ingredients. Additionally, our headquarters and primary manufacturing plant draws 80% of electricity from solar panels on the roof to reduce our impact on Mother Earth.

Our hard word to reduce waste is not only built into the process but also into the resulting product which means less to the landfill and increases our product longevity. Choosing quality partners and instilling practices into our operations to reduce and conserve are critical to our goals.

Much of this vision is credit to Erin Fimbel, our President (and full disclosure: my sister). When she joined the company, an already existing mindset was converted to practices, innovations, and dedication as she brought our deeply held family values to life. Today she is leading us with clarity and commitment to these goals. "Continuous improvement, metrics-driven quality, and an exceptional customer experience will continue to be at the heart of everything we do." she recently stated. "Our family values are reflected in our commitment to our people, partners, and customers. We pride ourselves on doing what we say we will and providing a sustainable and reliable product that we stand behind."

From a sustainability standpoint, garage doors made of wood simply don't make sense. Wood rots, particularly in wet and humid environments, resulting in more frequent replacements. The garage doors made popular in the mid-20th century were made of steel, but steel rusts in the same places where wood rots. It also dents easily and has an undesirable fake wood grain often stamped into the face. Fortunately, there's a better, more beautiful option with our lineup of garage doors.

We use vinyl because it will not rot or rust, and while vinyl experiences seasonal expansion and contraction, it does so without cracking, and we have engineers our way around the obstacle. We even use vinyl to coat our steel section for the platform of our American legends series. Vinyl offers us the ability to make high-end products with the look and feel of a wood door, but our doors are maintenance-free and can survive in harsh environments, like the coast, where a wood door would deteriorate and standard steel would rust.

Every Fimbel door we make is fully insulated to support the demands of the many uses today for garage spaces. We also use top-grade components such as 11-gauge hinges where the industry standard is the thinner 13-gauge material. These are just a few ways we build in confidence to offer you a long lasting, beautiful door.

Through our partnership with One Tree Planted (501c3) we do our part to restore our generous forests and our planet. It is undeniable that mother nature's bounty has provided for the garage door industry and our family since we began manufacturing overhead doors in the early 1920's. Today, every single door sold by Fimbel Architectural Doors plants a tree through the hard work and commitment of our tree-loving partners. Together, we hope to make the world more beautiful and sustainable one door and one tree at a time #OneDoorOneTree.

We know we cannot change the world with only a door, but we can challenge how we operate in all aspects to make the world a healthier place. We do this with a focus to improve efficiency to reduce supply chain demand, retain and empower our Team, and build stronger communities. Our quality allows us to get it right the first time because our goal is to pave the way for the next generation.

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Why Insulation is Important

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Winter is coming! If you are a "Game of Thrones" fan like we are, you might feel extra panic about this statement. But for anyone with a garage, you are likely seeing a to-do list building at that statement! It means we need to clean out the garage of the summer toys and equipment (check out this blog for more on that) and make way for the cars to avoid the winter snow and frigid temperatures here in the North East. It also likely triggers the reminder of increased energy bills and chilly mornings.

Every single Fimbel door we manufacture comes fully insulated because our commitment to the environment and to your satisfaction is built in. The garage can have a large impact on the overall efficiency and comfort of the home. This aspect is often overlooked when considering the home's needs. While every aspect of your garage should be insulted: the walls, the ceiling, and the garage door, we are naturally going to focus on the garage door.


Why Insulate the Garage?

Since 71% of Americans use their garage as the primary entrance to their home, it makes sense that this transition into the home ought to be a comfortable one. Entering the garage with the car, closing the garage door, and then proceeding to the home creates what's called a vestibule effect. This small action of entering the garage and closing the door prior to entering the home allows the unwanted temperature to remain outside. An insulated door allows for a smoother transition from the temperatures of the outdoors and the conditioned climate of the home's interior.

Even if the garage is insulated and drywalled, utilizing an uninsulated garage door will leave the garage cold. Regardless of whether or not you spend a lot of time in your garage, the positive impact of an insulated garage door could potentially add more than 20 degrees to a garage with an outside temperature of 20 degrees. Starting a car that is 40+ degrees is far more appealing than starting a car resting at 20 degrees.

While creature comforts are lovely and certainly appeal to homeowners on those chilly winter mornings, the benefits of an insulated garage and garage door go beyond comfort. With proper insulation homeowners can save up to 20% on their electric bills and truly bring energy efficiency to their home.


What are the Benefits?

If what you have read so far isn't enough to convince you, let's look at some additional benefits of an insulated garage door.

  1. First things first - back to the creature comforts - when a garage door is insulated properly, you should be getting a more aesthetically pleasing interior to the garage. We offer a high impact, pre-finished white interior. We also offer to add our ⅜' Versatex (smooth, solid vinyl) to the interior to bring elegance to your garage.
  2. An insulated door will reduce noise during opening and closing. You shouldn't hear the rattle and transition through the track system as the sections will be more solid and not only prevent but absorb a great deal of residual noise.
  3. While the door is closed, an insulated door will control noise entering and leaving the garage space. The insulation acts as a barrier to capture the sound, so if your kids are forming a rock band, the neighbors will appreciate the reduced noise.
  4. As the technology of our cars and their batteries continue to change, we know that they function better in a climate controlled garage. Starting your morning off right will be easier with an insulated door.
  5. It helps at resale. We know, thanks to Remodeling Magazine's 2020 report, replacing your garage door with a quality high-end door is a slam dunk on the ROI (Return of Investment) at resale with a shocking 94.5%.
  6. The average age of today's US homebuyer is 47. Which means that many homebuyers today are Gen X and Millennial with a tendency toward sustainability and efficiency. Offering this aspect as an element of your 'smart' home adds value.

What Else is Needed?

For the most part, garage door manufacturers use a foam to insulate their garage doors, but this isn't enough. To get the most efficiency out of your garage door, it is important to understand more about R-Value, making the door weather tight, and insulating the glass sections.

R-Value measures the thermal efficiency (resistance to heat flow or temperature conduction of a product). It is used to represent energy efficiency and stands for Resistance Value and is represented in imperial units. It is calculated by the thickness and physical properties of the product. Simply put, a garage door with sufficient R-Value will keep heat inside the garage during winter and cool air inside during summer. Read more in our recent blog on R-Value.

But this isn't enough. Since the garage door will open and close and must remain mobile around all four sides, it is critical to maintain the perimeter weather-stripping and the bottom seal. Additionally, purchasing a door, such as a Fimbel door, with interlocking tongue and groove sections is very valuable. This design reduces the temperature and the weather from penetrating the garage.

The last suggestion we have to maximize your garage efficiency is to utilize insulated glass on any glass sections of your garage door. Failing this will not only cause issues with the temperature control, but it will also likely cause condensation in conditioned garages. For more on this, read our blog on condensation.


Why a Fimbel Door?

We have been manufacturing garage doors since our great-grandfather began his business in 1924. In that time we have made and insulated doors in many ways, but we know the value of protecting your home, your assets, and your finances. We are here to help you find satisfaction in your home.

Combining innovative materials and technology with classic craftsmanship, we have built two dynamic platforms upon which you can design your dream door. Our American Legends is built on vinyl-coated steel and adorned with smooth, solid overlays in your design choice. The Estate Collection, including our Euro-Dor, Presidential, and Roaring Twenties Series, offers a blank slate built on a hand-crafted wood frame and laminated with smooth, solid material to design nearly any style you wish.

To learn more, please find a dealer by using our dealer locator. We look forward to offering you more! 

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Condensation and your Garage Door

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Over our 97 years in manufacturing, we have learned that condensation can be an issue in many garages. While many associate the presence of condensation with a manufacturing defect, it is important to understand the issues surrounding condensation and how it may impact your garage and garage door.


What is condensation?

Condensation occurs when the moisture in the air is in contact with a cold surface and water droplets accumulate. It often occurs in a warm garage with high humidity, which is the concentration of water in the air, and a colder surface such as the glass section of your garage door. Essentially, it is characteristic of a warm, humid garage and a cooler garage door surface due to a colder exterior temperature. The lower the outside humidity, the faster the interior humidity will be drawn out causing noticeable droplets. People often assume the windows are leaking, but in reality, it is quite likely condensation.


Why worry?

More garages today are conditioned, often heated, as opposed to garages of the past, so this issue is unfamiliar to most. Understanding the impact of a conditioned garage and the environmental region can preserve the longevity of your door and the garage. Consistent condensation can cause structural damage to various aspects of the garage and the garage door.

Unlike the entry door to the home, the garage door will not maintain the same controlled conditions as the garage holds more humidity and additional variables than the entry door.

Condensation can present itself from a variety of conditions. The geographic and environmental impact can play a part if additional moisture is brought in regularly from wet or snow-covered cars or boats. Use of a humidifier or refrigerator or freezer units can contribute to more condensation. It is not only what is in your garage that can impact the humidity and condensation. It can even present more prominently when the laundry room is located nearby the garage. While there are many other factors to consider such as the ventilation and vapor barriers in the garage, we have solutions!


What to do?

Now that you are educated on how condensation presents itself, we have some suggestions to mitigate the situation. We highly encourage the use of insulated glass on a glass section of your garage door. This decision alone can remedy the issue of condensation on your garage door. The insulated glass helps to balance out the humidity and temperature ratio and reduce condensation.

We also suggest utilizing quality weather-tight seals around the door, wiping snow and rain from cars, managing the appliances and heating systems, and opening the garage doors at intervals to balance out the humidity and temperature. If condensation persists, we suggest reaching out to your home builder or find an HVAC professional with whom to consult.


What door do I need?

You have a lot of options in the market today, but your best bet is a Fimbel door. Using advanced materials and technology together with classic craftsmanship, our doors are built to be beautiful and built to last. In this video, you will get a closer look how to buy a garage door, but here are the basics:

  • Our vinyl-coated steel platform on the American Legends offers the Carriage Style design we love with a smooth, clean appearance of the surface and overlays. Our standard offerings come in four sections with a customizable top section to accommodate any height and design preference.
  • The Estate Collection, built on a single sheet of smooth, white Versatex offers vast design capabilities. While nearly every aspect of these products can be customized from the height and width to the top section to the profiles on the face to whatever your heart desires, our standard offerings are three sections with big, beautiful windows.
  • All Fimbel tops are engineered to keep your door free of defects when properly installed and maintained.

Either construction method will bring you a low-maintenance, long-lasting, gorgeous door that will serve your garage needs both inside and out.

To find out more about our products, please use our dealer locator to find a dealer near you! 

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Investing in the Garage Door

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Garage doors have come a long way. For decades they simply stood sentinel to welcome vehicles and hide our belongings. Today, 71% of families use the garage as the primary entrance to the home, and the role of the door has changed. Now we see design innovation and manufacturing excellence furnishing garages with absolute beauty and supreme function. At Fimbel ADS we are committed to carrying forth the quality and craftsmanship our great-grandfather built our family business upon while blending in the marvels of today's manufacturing capabilities. You will not find a more beautiful or durable door in the market, and we are sure it will only bring satisfaction to your life.

As summer moves toward fall, and we embrace the chills of autumn, making sure the garage is efficient, secure, and safe should be on the honey-do list. For some garages it may be a simple repair or tweek, but rest assured when you replace your door with a quality, high end door, it will be worth it's weight in gold! "Compared with 22 other common home-improvement projects, an upscale garage door replacement offers one of the biggest bangs for your buck and costs much less than many other home improvement projects" according to the Remodeling Magazine's 2021 Cost vs. Value Report. Coming in at #1 with a 93.8% ROI at resale, the garage clearly deserves some attention! 

Before and After: Roaring Twenties Series - Charleston RT12S with custom Faux Stain Factory Finish.

Whether you are building (or rebuilding) your dream home, we want to help enhance your curb appeal, ensure sustainability and energy efficiency, and allow for a low-maintenance lifestyle. With a Fimbel door you can count on more!

The most obvious reason to replace your garage door is to improve the curb appeal of the home. The term applies to the aesthetic appeal of a residential or commercial building as perceived from the street, and it was made popular in the 90's with the release of HGTV's show "Curb Appeal". As you may know, the entry door of most homes only constitutes 8% of the home's frontage while the garage door often consumes 30%, we can see the potential for impact with a new door. With the impressive ROI, utilizing the capabilities we offer through our manufacturing as well as additional options such as finishing and hardware, updating the garage door is a slam dunk! To learn more about designing like an architect, please enjoy the attached blog post where we take you through the process!

Make it Matter:

Your choice today in a quality garage door will impact you for years to come. Not only is the style and design of the door critical to the overall appearance of the home, the longevity of the door, the durability of the door, and the reputation of the manufacturer matter. We have been manufacturing doors since 1924, and we know that the right door with basic, annual maintenance will lead to satisfaction and efficiency for the long haul.

Choosing the right material is critical. Our doors are manufactured with materials that will last. Regardless of geographic location, Fimbel doors offer energy efficacy and durability no matter the proximity to water, snow, or high winds. Whether you choose the American Legends or the Estate Collection, all Fimbel doors are designed to last from the construction to the materials we have chosen because your satisfaction is our goal!

Before and After: American Legends Series - Vanderbilt LV12S with Traditional top.

Make it Your Own:

First choose your style. While there are many, many design options available in our lineup, there are three basic styles of garage doors in our industry: Traditional, Carriage, and Modern.

Traditional garage doors represent the designs of the second half of the 1900's using raised panel and recessed panel designs. Carriage style garage doors will have an overlay look representative of the doors used on barns for a timeless look. Finally, Modern style garage doors can run the gamut but often have clean lines, smooth surfaces, and interesting windows. 

American Legends Recessed Panel; American Legends Carriage Style; Euro-Dor Series Modern.

With Fimbel ADS we can accommodate any of the design styles you desire. Our doors have the sought after look of painted wood without the maintenance. Our Euro, Presidential, and Roaring Twenties series give you the liberty to design to your heart's delight. Our American Legends series comes not only in the classic carriage style but also recessed panel and modern while offering customizations!

Our finishing options give way for your design to take flight with a standard color, custom color, or hand applied faux stain of your choice. Using sustainable paint products and proprietary application processes, our finish will last and bring peace of mind. To find out more about our finishing options, here's another blog post to help paint the full picture for you!

Finishing color and stain options.

Color isn't the only way to make a Fimbel door your own. We offer you the opportunity to design your door down to the smallest detail. Whether you want to customize the top section to allow for more or less light, or you want to redesign the top section completely to incorporate scrollwork or a custom design, we have the options for you.

Another way to make it your own is to add decorative hardware to the face of the door. To simplify the installation and application of the add-on features, we can customize our rails and designs to accommodate their size and even pre drill the holes to guarantee a polished final look. To complete the package for the hardware, you have the option to powder coat the track system in virtually any color though we like clean white and solid black!

Make it Smarter:

Our organization hangs our hat on safety and quality not only in how we make our product, and we want you to feel the benefits of that. Fimbel doors are manufactured to be safety first. You, your family, your home, and your belongings will rest safely behind our door. Our doors are engineered for durability! We know that poorly fitted doors are not only unsightly but also allow unwanted openings. Since we can match nearly any opening, weather, burglars, and bugs will not have access to your home through the garage door!

Fimbel doors offer you a low-maintenance lifestyle. The clean appearance of the door should last for years to come with a gentle clean with mild soap and water. No harsh abrasives or undue elbow grease necessary. This aspect may be overlooked, but when we consider the supply chain for cleaning products, the effort to implement the cleaning, and the residual waste moving into the earth, we see our processes make way for sustainability. 

Before and After: Roaring Twenties Series - Hartford RT11A with Traditional Top.

Another way that we encourage sustainability is in the benefits you will feel toward energy efficiency! To get a basic idea, the older the door the more likely it is that money is seeping out through it. Our doors are made with insulation that is laminated and completely fill the cavity inside the door to keep air from moving around and through the door. A well-insulated door will reduce energy costs as well as maintain temperatures set in the garage. We want to help you keep cool air in during the summer and cold air out during the winter!

One of the longest lasting aspects of our doors is the contribution made upon purchase. For every door we sell, we work with our partners at One Tree Planted to plant a tree on your behalf. We know the resources generously given my Mother Nature need replenishing, and we want to pay it forward!

To back this beautiful, energy efficient, and low-maintenance lifestyle, we offer you a robust warranty that will satisfy! Regardless of your geographical location, we offer a warranty for our products coast to coast and proudly stand behind our warranty.

Make it a Fimbel:

Don't compromise aesthetic appeal for practical needs - you can have it all with a Fimbel door. With our designs, you can find the right door to offer you more. If energy efficiency is what you are after, we have you covered. If your geographic location is limiting your choices, we have you covered. If you are driven by value and longevity, we have you covered. Or if you simply want to make your neighbors jealous, we've got that, too! We are here to provide the door to support your lifestyle and desires – no matter your opening or aspiration, we have you covered!

Find a dealer near you by using our dealer locator! 

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Spring Cleaning and Care

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When we build, we build for beauty and durability that will last because we care about your satisfaction as well as our environment. From our processes to our products, we reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can. We run on solar, and we love to help reduce your overall maintenance efforts and costs. This all speaks to our desire to provide a durable and sustainable solution with virtually no maintenance.

Despite our efforts, garage doors pose a threat to all when they aren't properly maintained. The International Door Association made several recommendations that can help provide safety year over year. Please refer to their checklist for the full list of suggested items to be on the lookout for and do seek out a reliable, professional technician to help you with the maintenance.

Find a Professional Technician

In our organization, safety must be the first priority. The first and most important aspect of maintaining your garage door is to understand what you, the homeowner, should keep an eye on and what you should rely on a trained professional to handle.

Professional maintenance should be done regularly and will include comprehensive checks of the rollers and hinges, motor, weather seal, cables, track, and most importantly – the springs. Choosing to tackle these aspects of the door may seem easy enough, but a trained professional is necessary for your benefit and safety. Please visit our dealer locator to find our partners.


Home Maintenance List

Second to safety, we value quality at Fimbel ADS. We believe in regular preventative maintenance to ensure quality, and we believe you should regularly check your door to avoid costly and dangerous situations. Listening and paying attention to the garage door may prevent issues.

Regularly check the mechanisms of the door to be sure they have adequate lubrication to allow the system to glide through the tracks. Lubricate all moving parts (metallic) using non-greasy, non-silicone-based garage door lubricant. If the movement of the sections becomes stiff and begins to make a squeaking sound, they may need oil. Be sure not to oil the tracks, overoil the parts, and subsequently collect residue and debris. You can also check your photo-eyes to be sure the trip sensor is connected. Beyond that - we highly recommend reaching out to your Professional Technician.


How it's Made Matters

We believe the little-to-no-maintenance solution is a garage door made with our vinyl material and our vinyl clad-steel; however, we also believe in given you all the information you need to make the right choice, so here's a rundown of some other products:

Basic steel doors do not require much maintenance, but they also tend to live a short life before looking weathered and worn. In contrast, wood doors will last a long time in the right environment, but they require a great deal of maintenance. Maintaining a wood door requires regular cleaning of the exterior to prolong the life of the wood and stain. The finish on your wood door should be inspected no less than every 12 months, and more frequently if the wood door is exposed to direct sunlight (facing south, southeast, or south west) or harsh weather conditions are present. About every 2-3 years it is recommended to sand and reapply a clear topcoat your wood doors with the paint or stain of your choice. Prior to refinishing, you will need to use wood filler to cover any cracks or blemishes and allow it to dry. Sand the door with the grain and with gentle pressure. Allow adequate dry time between each application and be sure to tape off windows and decorative hardware.

We know your time is precious - our only non-renewable asset, so we proudly offer options that will satisfy your lifestyle while sustaining our love of Mother Earth. The time, the resources, the chemicals, and so much more all take from or pollute something we love.

Keep it Beautiful with Vinyl

For our naturally white, vinyl doors, you can expect a lifetime of low maintenance pleasure. Using VERSATEX Building Products, we share a passion for the way we operate with respect for our planet, our product, and our partners. The solid, smooth vinyl material provides the incredible look of wood without the stress.

Similarly, our vast and varied factory finish and faux stain finish, you can count on a warm water rinse here and a little soap there to keep your door beautiful. For our factory finished doors, we use Tricoya which is a composite wood that was made to sustain and perform. We chose to partner with a paint and faux stain manufacturer, AquaSur Tech, not only for their commitment to sustainability but also because they offer an array of colors and a solid warranty against fading thanks to their innovative heat reflective pigments which allow us to bring dark colors to your door no matter the exposure.

Once our factory finish is applied to this material, the pair is ready to impress and endure with limited maintenance over time. The result is a cabinet-like finish on an exterior product. The result is stunning and enduring.


Fimbel Keeps it Easy

To ensure years of trouble-free performance, the face and edges of your vinyl sections are UV-resistant and may be left in their natural, unfinished white color. This technology allows the material of your door to remain in its natural, unfinished state. You can expect a lifetime of ease. No need to repeatedly refinish. You can repair many dents and dings due to our advanced material, VERSATEX. And you can count on the quality and beauty of our doors.

For general situations:

  • Use warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid soap, such as Dawn or Joy. Mr. Clean Erasers also work very well.
  • Gently remove dirt and debris with soap, water, and a sponge or soft cloth.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

For more stubborn situations:

  • After rinsing thoroughly, Soft Scrub, Clorox Cleanup, or Clorox Outdoors can be used. Mr. Clean Erasers using a gentle hand also work very well. Avoid abrasives.
  • The door surface can be wiped with isopropyl or denatured alcohol to remove any soap, cleaner residue, or dust.
    • Apply spray gently
    • Avoid pooling of the alcohol in the seam of the overlays

For dents, dings, and deep scratches: please contact your dealer.

  • DO NOT use solutions containing acid or solvents like MEK, acetone, or Toluene.
  • DO NOT use Simple Green, as it may yellow the face of your door.
  • DO NOT use abrasives.
  • DO NOT use a power washer to remove dirt or stains from the door.
  • DO NOT use heat* or induce heat when field cleaning. Heat guns, heat lamps, and heaters could cause damage and may void your warranty (*heat guns MAY be used by a Professional Technician on some parts and some dents/dings to the VERSATEX - consult your dealer).
  • DO NOT was your Factory Finished door within 30 days of production as the paint needs time to cure.

The final tip is this: DO NOT sell yourself short on your garage door. You deserve to have a beautiful, low-maintenance door that will welcome you home each and every time with a smile and peace of mind. When you find that door, keep it safe by following the suggested maintenance and care!


If you have any questions about cleaning and caring for your door, please feel free to reach out! We do our best to make it easy for you because we want you to relax and celebrate your independence. We know the pride of being a 4th Generation American Manufacturer, and we are proud to bring you more in a garage door! 

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