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Want Better Home Security? Start With Your Garage Door

You take steps to secure your home and belongings, from installing an alarm system to switching to motion-sensing outdoor lights. However, many homeowners fail to account for one area that can make the home vulnerable or greatly enhance the home’s overall security: the garage, specifically the garage door.

In this blog, we list important steps to take and habits to establish to turn your garage door into a security asset.

Keep the Door Closed

When you know your neighbors and feel safe in your neighborhood, it’s easy to forget that the garage door is open while you take in groceries or load up your car. However, leaving the door open for long periods of time gives would-be thieves a view into your garage and home.

If you leave the door open while no one is home, you make your home vulnerable to intruders, especially if you don’t lock the door that leads from the garage into your home.

If you often forget to lower the door, install a door timer so that the garage door closes automatically if left open for a long period of time.

Lock the Door When You’re Away

When you’re out of the house you lock your front door, but did you know you can lock your garage door too? When you go out for the evening or off on vacation, use the garage door lock as an added layer of security.

Some doors have an automatic lock, which consists of a pin mechanism in the opener. This pin prevents the door from being opened by force rather than by the remote. Other doors have a manual lock you’ll have to secure on your way out of the house.

Not sure if your door has a lock? Check your owner’s manual or speak to the manufacturer. If you do not have a garage door lock, have a garage door contractor install one.

Maintain the Opener

A garage door that functions well is more convenient, but it’s also safer. If you cannot predict how your door opens or closes, you may have a harder time securing it. At least once a year, visually inspect the opener mechanism.

If you notice any corrosion or other damage, have a garage door contractor assess the problems and make any necessary repairs.

Move the Emergency Release

One of the most common ways that intruders force garage door opens is by accessing the emergency release from the outside. In most garages, the emergency release is a cord hanging from the ceiling. This cord is intended for use during an emergency if your automatic opener doesn’t respond.

Intruders may be able to slide a narrow hook under the garage door or between the garage door and the side of the frame to pull the emergency release.

To protect yourself from this kind of break-in, shorten the emergency release or curl it up and tuck it into a rafter. You should also pay attention to the condition of your door’s weather stripping. If you notice bare or worn out areas, have the weather stripping replaced.

Update the Controls

Automatic door openers that are 20 years old or older use a predictable radio transmitter code. A tech-savvy intruder can duplicate this code and open the door without the remote present.

One of the best ways to protect against this security threat is to upgrade your opener to a newer model. Current models usually use what’s known as “rolling code.” Every time you use a rolling code opener, the radio transmitter information is a different, randomly generated code.

Use these guidelines to enhance your home security and your peace of mind.

Need a repair or door replacement to bolster your garage door security? Work with Shank Door. We offer a wide variety of garage door services to improve your home’s safety.

3 Reasons Why Your Garage Door Is Noisy

By design, the average garage door makes some noise as it opens and closes. The hum of the opener, the clatter of panel bumping into panel, and the squeak of springs all let you know when a family member is leaving or coming home.

However, a few factors could take your garage door’s sound levels up a few decibels. If your garage door rattles, shrieks, and rumbles excessively, you may have the following problems on your hands.

1. Worn Out Rollers

Along each side of your garage door, you’ll find rollers that carry the door up and down the guide rail. Over time, friction and pressure will wear out these rollers, giving them uneven edges and cracks. Rather than gliding smoothly over the rail, the rollers will bump and bounce whenever you open or close the door.

Although roller material and garage door weight affect your rollers’ lifespan, many rollers last about 10,000 cycles, or about 10 years. If you have an older door or if your garage door sees a lot of use, talk to a professional about replacing the rollers.

Keep in mind that some rollers are noisier than others. For a quieter garage door, invest in nylon rollers rather than metal rollers. Although nylon rollers cost more, they don’t have to be lubricated as often as metal rollers, and they absorb sounds more effectively.

2. Chain Drive Operators

Garage door openers typically come in three varieties: belt drive, chain drive, and screw drive. Chain drive garage doors present the most economical and dependable option of the three, so your home likely uses this system.

Unfortunately, chain drive garage door openers are often the noisiest option because the chains bang against the metal rail as they pull your door open or allow it to close. Furthermore, the chain guides deteriorate with age, and as the pieces break off, the chain will bounce and bang louder than ever.

If you have a chain drive operator, consider upgrading to a screw drive or belt drive system. Screw drives feature plastic-lined tracks to reduce noise, while belt drives have fewer moving parts and minimal vibrations.

3. Lack of Lubrication

Many of your garage door parts have to move under a great deal of pressure. Consequently, they rely heavily on lubrication to ensure those movements go smoothly. If you neglect to lubricate your garage door, the parts and pieces may stick and grind against each other, causing unnecessary vibrations.

Ideally, you should lubricate rollers, bearings, and hinges at least once a year. If you wish, you can also lubricate the garage door frame on an annual basis to help your door slide with ease.

Keep in mind that W-D 40 is not a proper lubricant for garage doors. Although the product works well for short-term use, it functions primarily as a cleaner and degreaser. Clean rails allow for smoother movements, but they ultimately need a lubricant to function at their best.

As you shop for lubricants, look for a white lithium grease or silicone spray. You can also opt for an aerosol for maintaining tiny moving parts.

Hire a Garage Door Expert to Replace Your Door

If you’ve addressed all of the above issues and your garage door still generates too much noise, talk to a garage door expert about your door. Your door could be loud for a variety of reasons, including worn torsion springs, damaged hinges, and missing insulation strips. In some cases, the sounds from the garage door amplify through the entire garage structure, and you may need extra insulation to muffle the racket. Your technician can help you pinpoint the problem and may recommend repairs or replacement to ensure smooth, quiet operation.   

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