Garage doors can be an easy target for thieves to gain access to your home. For most people, when they see a garage door open these days, they think nothing of it. Put a “work truck” in front and your neighbors think someone is just doing work in your house and you let them in.
While rolling code garage door technology now help keep thieves from using code grabbers to open the door, there are other ways thieves can rob you blind.
Here are 5 important tips to making sure thieves don’t view your garage as an easy access point
1) Don’t use the opener installed in your car. If you happen to leave your car out, a theif can break into the car and just open the door easily. Invest in a key-chain opener that you take with you wherever you go.
2) Don’t leave the remote in the car. See above.
3) If you have garage windows, consider covering them or tinting them. This keeps people who are walking by from checking to see if there’s a car inside.
4) Get a garage “padlock” for times when you are gone for extended periods. If you don’t have a manual lock you can use c-clamps.
5) Stop leaving the garage door open. Let your neighbors know that you won’t be leaving it open either especially if this was common practice. If they see it open that should trigger them to make sure everything is alright in your home. Leaving the garage door open is just an invitation – “Hey…rob me!”
When it comes to garage door parts and the age of your garage, the torsion spring is probably the first item to look at. New garage door torsion springs are made to cycle anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 times in a lifetime. Garage door springs break because every time the door opens and closes, the spring wire bends a little. The average lifetime of these springs is about 5 years.
You can extend the life of the torsion springs by using larger springs; in some cases, you could pay double the price for large springs, but they could last 4 times as long! You will also avoid extra work and money spent down the road. It’s always recommended to replace both springs if your garage has two. These tend to wear at the same time. Think of the springs like you do your car tires…only we aren’t rotating them. The springs wear out the same way as tires but you can’t tell just by looking at them that they might be about to break.
If your garage door springs are just squeaking or making a lot of noise, you can simply apply some garage door lubricant to see if that helps. If it doesn’t, those springs are probably near the end of their life. While there are plenty of places out there to purchase your own torsion springs for the garage door and do it yourself, we don’t recommend that. The springs are under a lot of tension since they are tightly wound and can be very dangerous if they break and you are around.
We can help you if you think your springs are almost done with their life or if you can’t open your garage door because the springs have sprung!
Your garage door opener is a fairly simple mechanical part to your home and is only thought of when it breaks down…or the light goes out. But, there are some good reasons to replacing the opener sooner rather than later especially if your opener has been with you for a long time and you’ve gotten a new garage door recently. New garage door opener models are all about safety, security and convenience these days.
First consideration is the reversing mechanism of the garage door. If you haven’t changed your door since 1993, chances are, you do not have the required safety reversal mechanism. These are the sensors on both side of the door close to the ground that when triggered by someone or something passing through, sends the garage door back up. If you do not have these and have a child or a pet, it is highly suggested to get a new garage door opener immediately.
How loud is your garage door when it opens? Is your opener on a chain system that looks like one on a bicycle? If so, consider changing to a belt drive garage door opener which will be much quieter.
If you lose electrical power can you open the garage door? Newer models of garage door openers have battery backups.
No garage door opener? No problem. Some models of garage door openers come with keypads that can be installed outside the garage door. Newer units are way high tech these days and you might not need to remember a code…you can use your fingerprint!
Lastly, older garage door openers have fixed codes on the remotes meaning someone with a special device could sit outside your home and grab the code when you aren’t home and open the garage door. Newer garage door openers have a rolling code which changes each time you open the door. This is as much a safety issue as the reversing mechanism.
Are you ready to join the new century and change out your garage door opener or the entire garage door unit completely? Give us a call!
It’s a dark job—crunching numbers on every possible product-related death or injury Americans incur each year—but someone’s got to do it. Enter the Consumer Products Safety Commission, which tallies annual danger quotients on everything from glass shower doors to Go Karts. It’s not just an exercise in curiosity, of course. It’s about making us safer. Thanks to their work, reversing systems and external entrapment systems (typically an electric eye) have been required on new garage doors for 20 years running. As a result, automatic garage door injuries and deaths have plummeted, but we urge everyone to remember that even doors in compliance aren’t injury-proof! Components can and do break down. That’s why you should test your reversing system and electric eye every month:
- Test your electric eye by waving a hand in front of the beam as the door closes.
- Test your auto-reverse by putting a 2-by-4 under the garage door and seeing if the door reverses when it touches the wood.
Automatic doors with these features are safer in spades, but you still need to check other door components on a regular basis. When, for example, did you last check the cables on your garage door? You don’t need to do these kinds of checks every month, but twice a year is not a bad idea. Just make it a part of your seasonal reorganizing of garage supplies—switching out lawn mowers for snow blowers, garden tools for ice scrapers, and vice versa. Here are some things you’ll want to include:
- Check that the rail is secured to the wall and not bent or deformed.
- Make sure the brackets that hold the axles in place are still firmly secured to the garage door.
- Check for slack in the drive chain or drive belt.
- Listen for strange sounds of popping, creaking, or grinding.
- Look over the garage door springs, cables, rollers, and pulleys for signs of wear or damage.
Remember that repair of some garage-door components such as torsion springs is very risky work—there are statistics on that, too—so don’t be a maverick. If you need help with a checkup or repair, give us a call. We even off 24-hour emergency repair, any time of day and on any day of the week or year!