Home security is a top priority for homeowners and renters alike. Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars on home security systems. Doors and windows can be secured by locks and even iron bars, but homeowners often puzzle over what to do with the garage. Below are some tips for making your garage door more secure.
It may seem like a given, but many homeowners (and renters) do not possess garage door locks. These simple devices can be purchased for around $10 and are relatively easy to install. Like other types of locks, a garage door lock requires a key for entry. For additional security, lock the door between the garage and the home. This simple task can further deter anyone who managed to gain entry to the garage.
Garage windows serve to let in natural light as well as adding a little style to any structure. Clear garage windows, however, cannot prevent peeping eyes from discovering what treasures lie within. Homes are less likely to be targeted if belongings are easy to view. Keep your items hidden (more or less) by frosting the windows in the garage and garage door.
Would-be burglars go to great lengths to remain unseen. A motion-detecting light can help thwart criminal activity in two ways. First, it illuminates the area so that their activity can be seen more easily. Second, and perhaps more importantly, when an exterior light is turned on, it sends a message along the lines of, “I see you.” Criminals often walk away if they think someone is watching them. Install a motion-sensitive flood light over any area that could use added security.
Home surveillance can include much more than a video recording. Many systems are viewable remotely, meaning that a garage door can be monitored from the office or vacation destination. Most of these will notify you when movement is detected. Some systems have microphones and speakers, allowing the residents to communicate with visitors.
Garages provide a way for residents to both store a vehicle and access the home. While a garage door is highly convenient for the home’s occupants, it may also be seen as a convenient access point for intruders. Consider the points above to help make your garage door more secure. For more helpful information about keeping your home secure, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog.
Many American families enjoy a wide array of conveniences such as power tools, televisions, and toasters. Each device, however, has inherent risks. Homeowners take necessary precautions, both indoors and outdoors, to avoid floods, fires, and other mishaps. Home safety should also include the garage. Here are some tips for preventing injuries caused by garage doors.
Garage door companies aim to minimize the risk of injury to homeowners. One way such businesses achieve this is to offer various safety mechanisms for the garage door. A key safety feature is known as “auto reverse.” This feature means that the door will stop closing (or opening) if it encounters a physical obstacle. Motion detection sensors will cause the door to open if a potential obstacle crosses the path of the garage door. Garage doors should come equipped with a manual release, which allows the homeowner to open and close the door by hand if necessary.
Every month, take inventory of which garage door components seem to need extra attention. Look for rust on any metal parts. Commonly worn areas include the rollers, springs, and cables. A garage door should always run smoothly, even if it is old. Check for unsteady movement or unusual sounds. Wipe clean any very dirty areas, and ensure that metal joints are well-lubricated. If you notice something suspicious, contact a professional for an evaluation. Even if the issue proves minimal, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Garage door manufacturers recommend that a door be serviced every six months. Doing this will allow potential problems to be corrected before they become a safety issue. The professionals at Giel Garage Doors can determine when belts and bolts have become “too worn.” Our experts often check areas where a homeowner may not have considered. Preventative maintenance should only be performed by a professional. The garage door opener is a delicate, powerful system. Avoid mishaps by leaving maintenance and repairs to the experts.
We want our homes and property to be functional, beautiful, and safe. Homeowners vigilantly monitor home security, fire hazards, and other safety concerns. A garage door is generally used several times a day. Like a home entry door, a garage door must be maintained, and repaired when necessary, to maximize safety for the family. The process above will help prevent injuries caused by garage doors.
As the weather cools, many homeowners find themselves preparing for winter. Homes are cleaned, and vehicles are serviced. Include the garage door in your home maintenance this year. Below are some ideas for fall maintenance to get your garage door ready for cold weather.
Somewhere in the back of our minds, most of us are aware that garage doors have moving parts and should be lubricated. The reason why doors need lubricant is because moving parts (especially the metal ones) create friction when rubbing together. Increased friction means increased strain on the garage door opener and can lead to mechanical issues. Moving metal parts should be greased every six months with a lubricant designed specially for garage door openers.
Weather stripping is a key feature on garage doors. It serves both to protect the garage from drafts and to cushion the door itself. Each year, weather stripping is exposed to harsh conditions such as heat, cold, wind, sun, and rain. Everyday use can also cause wear. Check for areas that are cracked, chipped, or are detached from the door. Repair or replace damaged weather stripping in order to better protect your garage from the elements.
During the winter, salt and dirt can build up on a garage door, eating away at the finish. Before that can happen, be sure to wash off any existing residue from the garage door. Touch up any areas where the door could use refinishing. Also check the garage door opener and clean any dirty parts, such as the tracks. The onset of winter is also a good time for ensuring the garage itself is clean and organized.
Whether it’s the cooler weather or simply the change of seasons, something motivates people to perform home cleaning and maintenance. Each home feature is important, including the garage door. Avoid costly repairs by maintaining a properly cared-for garage door. Your wallet will thank you. For more helpful information about garage doors, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog.
As the weather cools, many homeowners consider strategies for staying warm while saving money. Insulation is a common decision, often taking the form of double-paned windows, new weather stripping, or actual fiberglass insulation. One area where insulation can be particularly useful is the garage. Below are some ways an insulated garage door can save you money.
Insulation is known to keep warm areas warm and cold areas cold. Walls in homes and garages are often filled with the stuff. The garage door more or less composes an entire wall of the garage, so insulating the door would significantly boost the energy efficiency of the garage as a whole. When the door between the home and garage is open, cold air from the garage mixes with warm air from the house. A warmer, better-insulated garage will bring warmer air into the home. This will lower the home’s heating costs. This principle is also true for air conditioning in the summer.
An insulated garage door can also save money by protecting garage-storage items. A car battery, for example, will have a longer lifespan in more moderate temperatures. This is true also for tires on bicycles and lawn mowers. Canned food and other liquids can be stored more confidently in a better-insulated garage. Wooden items, such as garden tools, are easier to maintain in milder conditions. In a well-insulated area, hard plastics like sleds or storage containers are less likely to crack. Additionally, insulated garage doors recoup an average of 72% of their value when the owner decides to sell the home.
Most homeowners actively pursue avenues for saving money. During the cold months, money-saving ideas tend to involve improving a home’s energy efficiency. One major component of a home is the garage. Adding an insulated garage door can increase heating efficiency. Insulated garage doors also offer protection for the garage’s contents, saving money and providing peace of mind.
A garage is a convenience which is too often taken for granted. It is easy to forget how much we’ve come to rely on them. We quickly remember, however, if the garage door opener malfunctions. When a garage door opener begins to underperform, there are a few ways to correct the problem on your own. Below are some tips for troubleshooting your garage door opener.
Garage door openers are powered by electricity, so there is a possibility that the device is not getting the power it needs. If your opener does absolutely nothing (that is, no noise, no movement,) when the button is pushed, first check the power source. Confirm the garage door opener is plugged in to an outlet and that the outlet is working. To test an outlet, plug another device (such as a night light) into the outlet in question. If the device powers up, it means the outlet is working. Also test any extension cords using the same method, being sure to plug the cord into the power source before testing the output. Voltage readers can also be used. If an electrical issue cannot be solved at the power source, it is best to call a professional for repairs.
The moving parts in a garage door require regular maintenance. Still, mechanical malfunctions can occur. These may include grinding noises, the door or belts off their tracks, and abnormal rattling or jarring. A good first step is to lubricate. Use a designated “garage door lubricant”; WD-40 won’t do the trick here. A spray lubricant will make quick work of cracks and crevices. Be sure to cover the metal joints (including the links of a chain) and springs. Clean inside the tracks using a rag. After lubricating, open and close the garage door a few times to distribute the grease. Since the garage door opener is a complex mechanical system, it’s best to reach out to a licensed professional for more serious mechanical issues.
Garage door openers come with features to ensure safety. The auto-reverse function serves to re-open a door if it encounters any obstacle while closing. Test this by standing a roll of paper towels and closing the door on them. The door should reverse on contact. Doors may also reverse (or fail to close altogether) if the infrared sensor is tripped. The infrared sensors are located on either side of the frame, typically near ground level. Wipe them clean. Dust on the screens can trip the sensors. Sensors can also be tripped by a certain angle of sunlight. You can bypass the sensors by holding down the button at the wall.
Like most machinery, a garage door opener can occasionally misbehave. While many repairs are best left to a professional, you can try a few simple solutions at home. After determining if the problem is electrical, mechanical, or due to a safety feature, try these troubleshooting tips to get your garage door opener working the way it should. For more helpful information about garage doors openers, browse the Giel Garage Doors blog.
A garage is usually a space for one to store items and cars. Although, at times homeowners do not realize that it is a place that can serve many purposes. You can make this space a workshop, or even an office. But if you decide to go this route then it is a good idea to invest in something called a garage door screen. There really are many positives and benefits that can come from making this purchase. One being that they are affordable and easy to maneuver. Here are some reasons as to why the addition of a garage door screen is an excellent idea.
Bugs and Pests
When you implement a screen on your garage door you avoid the nuisances that are bugs and other creepy crawly pests. With the addition of a screen, you make it much more difficult for bugs to get into your home.
When you consider the activities that could be done in a garage, it may cross your mind how you are going to keep it cool in the summer. It can get dangerously hot in your garage, so it is only natural to open your door to let in some fresh air. With a screen, you can do this with the peace of mind that no unwanted visitors will creep in.
It is not abnormal for a homeowner to forget to close their garage door when they leave. This will look like an open invitation to any criminal that is looking for an easy opportunity to strike. A screen door will give you peace of mind and deter criminals from breaking and entering.
When you make the wise decision to invest in the garage screen, you can save money by opting out of installing an AC unit. With the extra circulation that comes from being able to safely open your garage door, you have the luxury of having your garage door without having to spend extra on energy.
When the weather outside is frightful, your garage does not have to be. If the winds are blowing leaves and debris, you can know that with the addition of a screen door you will not have to blow out the leaves after a storm.
Your garage can quickly become a dirty, messy place if you let it get out of hand. But like most parts of your home, you can combat this issue by keeping up with it regularly. At times, grease and oil can spill and stain the floor of your garage. Your garage is full of machines such as lawn mowers and vehicles that have the potential to leak fluids from time to time. When you notice a stain, it is vital that you clean it as soon as you can, reducing the risk of tracking it into your home, or worse, someone slipping and hurting themselves. There are a variety of methods that can prove to be successful in removing stains from the floor of your garage. There are several different kinds of stains and a different technique to combat each type.
Oil and Grease
The first step to cleaning this type of spill is to sprinkle either sawdust or cat litter onto the stain to absorb the liquid. Next, let the stain soak for an extended period of time before sweeping it up and throwing it away. After you have properly disposed of the sawdust or cat litter, simply drip some detergent or dish soap on the garage floor and let it sit for just under an hour. For the next step you will need to apply some elbow grease, as you will need to scrub the stain thoroughly for up to 15 minutes. Keep in mind that the older the stain, the more difficult it is to remove.
There are many culprits capable of leaving rust stains, such as nails, hammers, and other tools which are typically found in the garage. To remove these stains, begin by squeezing a lemon directly on the stain and let it sit for approximately ten minutes. Then you need to scrub the stain with a brush and rinse the garage floor with water with pressure. It is possible that you may need to repeat this cycle numerous times.
These kinds of stains can be difficult to remove, although with a few steps your garage can look good as new. Locate a putty knife and scrape away the paint that is loose and sweep it up with a broom. Pour some trisodium phosphate (TSP) on the area and scrub the paint off. Be sure that you are wearing gloves for your own safety.
Your front door should not be the only part of your home that captures the attention of your visitors, your garage door should also make a great first impression and improve your home’s value. The garage door should be the perfect complement to the front door and not compete for attention. When selecting a color for your garage door, be sure to consider the colors of the other parts of your home, such as your roof and the front door.
White. White is by far the most popular color for garage doors. If you were to drive around and look at garage doors you would find that they are both crisp and bright. One of the few downsides of a white garage door is that they get dirty easily. Every little splatter of dirt will be easily shown upon the white surface.
Light Grey. This color is growing in popularity because of its ability to blend in and match with all other colors. It is a neutral color that keeps the attention on other parts of the home.
Black. Black is yet another example of an extremely popular color for a garage door. In the newer neighborhoods that are being built, you can find this darker color becoming more prevalent. To complement the black color, consider painting the window panes the same black color. Not only does the darker color help hide dirt and grime but is both elegant and trendy.
Beige or Taupe. This is a color that is not for everyone and will only work if you take into consideration the various colors around the home. If your home is made from beige bricks or other materials, then be sure to match the garage doors with it.
Walnut Brown. Some homeowners prefer colors that are warmer, but also enjoy the idea of a darker color. If this is you, a walnut brown may be the perfect choice. This can be a relatively inexpensive option, that looks like it has a higher price tag than it really does.
Whichever color you choose, be sure to avoid painting your garage door an off color or two separate colors. For more helpful hints and ideas, be sure to scroll though the rest of the Giel Garage Doors blogs. We pride ourselves in assisting homeowners everyday to create the peace of mind that comes from the perfect home.
Like other home components, garage doors function best with regular cleaning and maintenance. In order to preserve beauty and functionality, homeowners are encouraged to wash their garage doors twice a year. In addition to better appearance and functionality, many warranties require doors to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Below are some strategies to safely and effectively clean your garage door.
Preparing for a Wash
Begin the process by removing dirt chunks with a dry cloth. This will minimize the amount of work required when the door is wet. Once visible dirt is removed, wet the inside and outside of the door with a hose. Using a gentle sprayer on the door will ensure the finish remains undisturbed. Prepare for the next step by gathering soft rags or a sponge. As with the gentle sprayer, non-abrasive rags will help maintain the beauty of the door for the maximum number of years.
Washing the Door
Using a cleaning bucket, mix water and a gentle cleaner. Car wash soap and dish soap are commonly used. Many homeowners clean the interior of the door then move to the outside. With a soft rag or sponge, begin washing the door with the soapy water, including the weatherstripping. Once dirt and grime are removed from all areas, gently rinse off the soapy water using a hose. Bleach water can be used on non-wood doors to treat problem areas. Rinse the bucket, rags, and door thoroughly before using bleach water.
Finishing the Process
After the door is satisfactorily clean, allow it to dry completely. Similar to the car washing process, the cleaning of garage doors should end with a wax finish. For wood doors, a wood finish is to be used in place of wax. If there are any places on the wood door where the existing finish is worn or absent, correct this (often with primer) before applying the new coat of finish. For non-wood doors, a liquid car wax is commonly used. As the wood finish or wax dries, cover all exposed parts of the door, which includes the interior and exterior of the bottom piece.
Maintaining a clean garage door can amplify the beauty of a home. Performing a twice-yearly washing and waxing will, in many cases, fulfill the warranty requirements set by the manufacturer. For the owner, regular cleaning will save money by minimizing repairs, lengthening the door’s lifespan, and, often, maintaining the manufacturer warranty. The steps above outline an effective approach to augment the appearance and functionality of garage doors.
Like other home appliances, garage doors endure wear and tear as they are used. Over the course of a year, many garage doors are opened and closed about 1,500 times. This much usage may, in time, create a need for Giel Garage Door’s professional service. Regular maintenance (such as tightening bolts and keeping lubrication on the necessary components) may improve the longevity of the system. Inevitably, though, the garage door will need to be serviced. Listed are some indicators that it may be time to contact your service provider.
Your Garage Door is Noisy
A garage door will naturally produce some level of noise. The noise it creates is a relatively consistent sound, so if it begins to make different types of sounds or if the volume is distinctly different from the regular hum, a professional evaluation may be in order. Listen for creaking, popping, rumbling, grating, grinding, and other unusual sounds. Such noises may indicate abnormalities such as misalignment or worn springs.
Your Door Won’t Open or Close
Garage doors, naturally, are designed to open and close. Many homeowners open and close the door using a remote device, particularly while driving a vehicle. If the door does not open in these instances, first examine the remote before servicing the garage door (see our blog about changing your garage door remote batteries). The functionality of the door may also be tested using the keypad or interior opener. Once it has been established that the garage door simply will not open or close, the next step is to contact a professional to evaluate the situation.
There is a Visible Imbalance
Some serviceable issues are visible. Schedule a service if the door is off the tracks. Another indicator is the sagging of individual sections, which may result from a door imbalance. Test balance by disconnecting the garage door from the door opener then manually opening the door to about half-way. Let go, and, if it moves either up or down, the door is likely off balance. If the door does not move, it is properly balanced. For sagging panels, a balanced door will need closer inspection in order to work its best. Unbalanced doors may also benefit from a professional balancing.
Garage doors are a common feature in most American homes. In order for homeowners or renters to access the garage, the door must function properly. Giel Garage Door’s team of professionals are able to evaluate such situations and provide effective, reliable services. By watching for visible abnormalities, listening for unusual noises, and noting when the door does not open or close, residents may prevent further complications by contacting a professional service provider as soon as possible.