Garage Door Security: 10 Tips

With the times that we are living in and the rise of crime. I figure everyone should know a little about garage door safety. Below are ten tips that can help you with keeping your garage/house secure.

  1. Garage Door Security

    Don’t leave the garage door remote in your vehicle  Why? If a thief breaks in to your car and steals the remote he has a way into your home.

  2. Invest in a keychain remote opener – Stop using that remote you clip to your visor and get a keychain remote opener that you can leave on your keys.
  3. Secure your garage door emergency release – simply use a zip-tie will do the trick.
  4. Keep it locked – Put a deadbolt on the door between your house and garage; is it really that much of an inconvenience to have to use a key each time you come home?
  5. Make sure the door from your garage into your house is as secure as your front door – Ensure you have a strong, sturdy door made out of solid-core wood or reinforced steel and install an Anti-Kick device on it!
  6. Don’t leave your garage door open – It amazes me how many people in my neighborhood just leave their garage door open all the time. It’s just inviting someone to pop their heads in and grab something. I don’t care how safe you think your neighborhood is, good neighborhoods are the first place criminals like to drive through to case houses.
  7. Install a wide-angle peephole in the door between your house and your garage – You’ll at least be able to see what’s going on if you hear a strange noise; rather than opening the door to find out.
  8. Frost or cover your garage windows – Don’t do thieves any favors by enabling them to see when your vehicle is gone, a better idea would be to replace the door with one that lacks windows.
  9. Padlock the throw latch on your garage door when you’re out of town – If you don’t have a manual lock on your garage door, you can use a c-clamp tightened down on each side of the door track to effectively “lock” down the door. It’s similar to those small window track locks you can buy for your home interior windows.
  10. Don’t neglect maintenance on the mechanical parts of your roll-up garage door and keep an eye out for corrosion. Don’t forget the door from your garage to your house; check the frame, locks, hinges and any replaceable items.
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Bottom Rubber and Stopmold- Pointless?

Stopmold and bottom rubber may seem like a totally pointless part of your garage door. Just another part that takes money out of your pocket, time out of your schedule, and is a pain to fix. Although not important to the function of your garage AHHHHdoor, it does serve a purpose. How many times have you heard your wife- or heard of a friends wife- screaming in the  garage from seeing a mouse? Or how many times have you gone in your garage the morning after a storm, to find there is water all over your garage floor? Having these pests and unwelcome elements can cause damage to your items inside, and can be a mess. This is where stopmold and bottom rubber could be your best friend. They serve in pesky bugs and creatures, as well as rain, snow, and wind outside instead of in your garage causing annoyance and damage. The great thing about rubber, its very simple to know when it needs replaced. When you start noticing teeth marks in your boxes from mice, more bugs and spiders in the corners, or rain seeping under your garage door during a storm, its time to replace your rubber seals. All that is required to fix it is taking out the nails that hold the seal in place, and nail up a new piece.

What is your garage door type?

What is your garage door type?!? That might seem like a silly question. Why? When we think of a garage we generally think of only one type. The most common type is the sectional garage door, but there other type to choose from. It is true we all want to be like our neighbors and if the Jones’ have a sectional garage door, then we should have a sectional garage door. Here is a brief overview of the basic garage door types. Depending on the use of your garage or the style that you like. You never know you might prefer one type over the other.

Retractable Doors

Retractable Grage Door

A large proportion of the door swings outwards as it opens and then slides away into the ceiling of your garage, pivot points are located at the top of the door, consequently you are unable to park too close to the garage door.

These doors are fairly easy to install with spring assemblies being fitted to the side frames and tracks to the top which support the top of the door, the latter being secured a couple of meters into your garage.  They are however the easiest type of door to automate with any electric opener being suitable.

Security is generally pretty good with manufacturers often fitting four latches, but when automated these latches are disabled and the door could possibly be forced open at the base depending on set-up, however, an automatic de-latching system is available to counter this problem.

Retractable doors are generally available in all materials: Steel, Timber, GRP and ABS.  Pre-framed versions are available.

With this door type fitted you will have a fairly drafty garage and drive-though width will be reduced because of the side spring assemblies, although some manufacturers have an optional mechanism which avoids this.

Canopy Doors

Canopy Garage Door

The door swings outwards as it opens (but not so much as a retractable door) it then slides upwards into the ceiling of your garage leaving one-third of the door protruding outside the garage and taking up less room inside.  You are unable to park too close to the garage door.

Pivot points are located two-thirds of the way down the door, which helps improve the security of the door.  Pre-framed versions are available.

Canopy doors are the easy to install as the entire door mounts to the door frame and no tracks are required inside the garage.  The down side is that automating a canopy door is not recommended – with the exception of Cardale canopy doors which can be automated very well with a specially designed Autoglide opener but it is a little more expensive than normal electric openers.

Canopy doors are generally available in all materials: Steel, Timber, GRP and ABS.  With this door type fitted you will have a fairly drafty garage although the drive though width will not be reduced beyond the door frame.

Sectional Doors

Sectional Garage Door

Sectional doors (made up of several separate horizontally hinged panels) fit to the rear surface of the front brickwork of your garage, and as such need a small amount of clear brickwork to the sides and top of your opening.  The entire door rises vertically upwards and then backwards into the ceiling space.  No door frame is required which increases the available drive-through width.

Good security and good protection against the weather with sealing all around the door, doors with or without insulation are available.  Sectional doors are generally manufactured in steel although some specialist timber versions are available.

Easy to automate as any motor is suitable – a soft start/soft stop opener gives a real touch of class.  Easy to fit as the doors come in kit form and are assembled in approximately 4 hours.

Roller Doors

Roller Garage Door

Roller doors are a single curtain that rolls up into your garage ceiling. They fit to the rear surface of the front brickwork of your garage, and as such need a small amount of clear brickwork to the sides and between 450 and 205mm ceiling clearance above the underside of the lintel. The entire door rises vertically upwards and then rolls up on a spindle in the ceiling space.

No door frame is required which increases the available drive-through width. Good security and good protection against the weather with sealing all around the door, doors with or without insulation are available. Roller doors are either manufactured in Steel or Aluminium and are either single sheet or hinged slat.  Manual and electric versions are available.  Installation is straight-forward but two people may be required to lift the curtain onto the support brackets in the ceiling of your garage.

Side Hinge Doors

A very traditional looking style of door that is manufactured in timber, GRP or steel.  Side hinge doors open outwards and therefore need good clearance when being opened so not great if you have a short driveway or open directly onto a public area.  A good choice if there is no clearance inside your garage to allow for an up and over door.

Security is good if you have overlapping leaves and use bolts at the top and bottom of the door.  Automating this door is possible with the use of a Side Hinge Converter that attaches each wing to the electric operator.

Why Replace your garage door?

When we consider what a a garage door opener is, it is quite a simple device. Motor, springs and chains. Push a button open, push a button closed. That is the main reason they were invented and that is the main reason we get them installed. Because who wants to get out to open the garage door when it is pouring rain outside? Now you might be thinking…”my garage door opener works great, why replace it!?”. If it does great, but keep reading. Over the years there are many additional features( increased safety, security and convenience) that have been added. This just might make you want to replace your garage door.

Whoops! If only....

Safety Reversal

Since 1993 garage door openers have been required to be equipped with a safety reversing mechanism. This feature utilizes two sensors about six inches above floor level on both sides of the door. When any object, such as a child or pet, runs through the light beam created by these sensors while the door is closing, the door immediately stops and reverses.

If your garage door opener does not have a safety reversing feature, or if the one it does have no longer works, replacing the opener is highly recommended.

TOO MUCH NOISE!!!

Noise Control

Does your garage door opener wake people up or otherwise disrupt the household because it makes so much noise? If so, a new opener will almost certainly be quieter.

The original style of garage door opener opened and closed with a chain drive. If you can see something that looks like a bicycle chain near the motor unit of your opener, consider replacing it with a screw drive or belt drive garage door opener. Even a newer model chain drive unit will likely be quieter than an older model.

Security

Older garage door openers were vulnerable to thieves. Because their remote controls functioned with a fixed code, someone with a special device could sit outside your house and find the code, allowing them to open the garage door.

New garage door openers have a “rolling code” feature, which changes the code every time the unit is used. Bad guys can no longer duplicate the code and get into your garage uninvited.

No Keys

We all know how easy it is to loose our keys. Isn’t that one of the most common phrases we hear “Honey! Have you seen my keys?” Older garage door openers did not offer keypads that could be mounted outside the garage. This handy feature allows you to enter a code into the keypad that will open the garage door. No keys required.

You may be able to buy a keypad to install with your existing garage door opener. If not, though, this might be a good reason to upgrade. Newer keypad units even eliminate the need to remember a code. They operate by touch, using fingerprint detection to open the door. Ease of access with one less thing you can lose.

Battery Backup

One of the big inconveniences of a power outage is often the inability to operate the garage door opener. Garage door openers are now available with battery backup systems that will kick in automatically when you lose electrical power.

Broken Garage Door? Let’s fix it!

We have all had trouble with hour garage door, from faulty batteries to garage doors that refuse to lock. Our garage door is supposed to keep the trouble from getting in, but in some cases it can be the thing that causes us the most  trouble. I came across some excellent information that I would like to share. Here’s how to solve garage door dilemmas. Excerpted from the Popular Mechanics book When Duct Tape Just Isn’t Enough , published by Hearst Books/Sterling Publishing.
Read more: How to Fix Stuck or Broken Garage Doors – Popular Mechanics

8:189 || ON A ROLL

ON A ROLL

The power to your garage is out with the door shut, and you need to get your car out or you’ll have to take a bus.

THE QUICK FIX
You’ll notice a cord–usually with a red handle–dangling down from the guide track that the opener uses to open and close the door. This is the manual override. Once pulled, it allows you to open and close the door with your own power in the form a little elbow grease.

8:190 || FROZEN OUT

FROZEN OUT

Cold weather has stiffened the mechanism of your garage door opener and caused it to lose power.

THE QUICK FIX
Most garage door openers made in the past 15 years have pressure adjustments for both raising and lowering. Check and adjust these settings seasonally to keep things running smoothly. 

8:191 || ROLLUP DILEMMA:

ROLLUP DILEMMA

That sagging garage door is getting harder and harder to open.

THE QUICK FIX
Garage doors, especially older, wooden models, are as susceptible to the ravages of time and gravity as the rest of us. If your aging doors are a little saggy, square them up with the tension rods positioned on the back of the door. The rods are placed diagonally from top to bottom corners and can be tightened at a turnbuckle to straighten out the door–do a little at time to allow the door to adjust to the change. If your door isn’t already equipped with tension rods, you can buy them at home centers. 

8:192 || DOOR LINES:

DOOR LINES

Your dream car is parked in out of the elements, but it’s not secure because the garage door won’t lock.

THE QUICK FIX
Most garage doors have two horizontal bars that move out from the center of the door into slots along the side of the door in the door track, effectively locking the door in place. Over time, these bars can shift slightly out of position so that they are no longer correctly aligned with the locking slots. To realign the bars, unscrew the guide brackets on the edges of the door so that they are loose enough to move, and then reposition them so that they smoothly guide the locking bars into the locking slots. Lubricate the lock mechanism with machine oil and you’re done. 

8:193 || BLACK BLOT

BLACK BLOT

After working on the car, you find a big oil stain on the driveway.

THE QUICK FIX
Pulverize a scrap piece of drywall with a hammer (any new home construction site will have dumpsters full of waste pieces of drywall). Crumble the pulverized drywall with your hands and sprinkle on the stain. Leave it overnight, and rinse off in the morning. Reapply and brush in with a bristle broom in cases of stubborn stains.