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Options for a New Garage Door Opener

Garage door openers provide a safe and convenient way of getting in and out of your garage. Once you have a garage door opener installed, you’ll be hard-pressed to open or close your garage door manually. These units come in a wide variety of forms, which can make choosing one a difficult task for the average homeowner.

Fortunately, the following guide highlights the different types of garage door openers available. Read on to discover the benefits that each design offers.

4 Reasons to Hire Professionals to Install Commercial Security Doors

You need vigilance to keep a commercial facility safe from intruders who mean harm. When you’re responsible and careful about your building’s security systems, the rewards are many. Staff and customers enjoy a safe space, vandalism and theft decrease, and your insurance company and lawyers are appreciative. Assemble an expert team to assess your facility’s security needs. Dedicated commercial-security experts are invaluable allies in your efforts to define site vulnerabilities and develop your facility’s security protocols. Commercial-door professionals are equally as necessary to your plans. Here are four reasons why.

Burglar-Proof Your Garage Door

While an attached garage can be an incredible convenience for many homeowners, especially during winter when colder outdoor temperatures can leave car batteries sluggish or even dead, your attached garage may present a disadvantage when it comes to home security.

You may never dream of leaving your house or going to bed without locking your front door; unfortunately, some garage doors are so easy to open from the outside, it can be like leaving your front door standing open.

Fortunately, making your garage door safer doesn’t need to be an expensive or complicated process. Read on to learn how you can make your current garage door more burglar-proof, when you should upgrade your garage door for security reasons, and some other steps you can take to quickly, easily, and inexpensively reduce the risk that your home will be burgled.

The Differences Between Commercial and Residential Garage Doors

Unless you work with garage doors in a professional capacity, most garage doors probably look pretty much the same to you. While all garage doors have the same essential function, each category of door is different. One of the most important distinguishing categories is whether a door is commercial or residential. In everyday life, you can easily differentiate a commercial from a residential garage door due simply to the type of building it’s attached to. The importance of this separation mostly comes into play when repairing or replacing garage doors. Some DIYers who have experience with one of these types of doors may assume that they can figure out tasks for both types of garage doors. Unfortunately, this assumption can have consequences that affect the door’s warranty and function as well as the building’s security, efficiency and safety. In this blog, we explain the main differences between commercial and residential garage doors and why these categorizations matter.

Appearance

When it comes to garage door appearance, aesthetic appeal tends to be more important for homes and other personal residences than for commercial or industrial buildings. Because residential garage doors compose a significant portion of the building’s facade, these doors tend to be made to have a greater visual impact. To enhance appearance, residential garage doors may have extra design features like windows, designs and multiple color options. These features can ensure that the garage door looks like an integrated part of the residence’s facade and reflects any unique architectural features of the home. Since functionality is more valuable in an industrial setting than appearance, commercial garage doors tend to look plainer. Most commercial doors are conventional roll-up or flat designs in a basic color like white. Any custom design changes tend to be in door color.

Height and Width

Perhaps the most obvious difference between commercial and residential garage doors is their size. The standard for residential garage doors is seven feet high and between eight and nine feet wide. Some residential garage door options extend as tall as 12 feet high for homeowners with RVs, but these doors are special order. The size of a commercial garage door depends on its application. If the garage door is part of a trucking depot, for example, it needs enough clearance for semi-trucks to easily drive in and out. In an industrial setting where oversized machinery is used, a commercial door may need to be even larger. While homeowners can install larger commercial doors on garages that they design themselves, most do not due to the cost difference, which we’ll discuss in a later section.

Materials

Residential garage doors come in numerous materials, from wood to steel. The correct material choice for a particular home’s garage depends on the homeowner’s preferences and budget. Some of these materials have great curb appeal, like wood, while others last significantly longer, like steel. The climate where the home is located may also factor into the choice of material. For example, a home in a tornado-prone area is more likely to have a sturdy metal door rather than a fiberglass one due to the risk of dents and breakage from debris. Commercial garage doors are generally made of either aluminum or galvanized steel. These materials are highly durable, so they offer the security and longevity often prioritized by commercial clients.

Opening Capacity

Residential garage doors are designed to be opened a few times each day. The predicted lifespan of the garage door opener is partially based on this estimate of how often the door will be opened. These openers can wear out much more quickly if opened many times a day over a long period. Commercial garage doors, however, are intended to be opened and closed frequently. These doors may operate more quickly and efficiently. The average commercial door opener can withstand heavy usage for at least as long as a residential door opener can withstand daily usage.

Value

As mentioned in the “Height and Width” section, there is a significant cost difference between residential and commercial doors. Commercial doors cost much more to install and to repair than residential doors because commercial doors are:
  • Designed for commercial-level security
  • Fitted with an industrial opener than discussed in the previous section
  • Often custom sized according to the building schematics
This difference in price is one of the reasons why so few commercial doors are used residentially. When you approach an issue involving a garage door, take a moment to evaluate the type of door, especially if you’re replacing or installing a new garage door. In most cases, even if you have relevant experience with the type of door in question, you’ll want to consult with a garage door expert on the project. For commercial and residential garage door service, repairs and installation, trust Shank Door. With over 50 years of experience in the garage door business, they can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

6 Ways to Improve Garage Door Safety

It’s hard to imagine that your garage door could pose a safety hazard under the right circumstances. Nevertheless, countless people find themselves seriously injured due to a malfunction or a lapse of judgment when dealing with their garage doors. Injuries caused by automatic garage doors are responsible for a significant number of emergency room visits each year.

This isn’t to say that garage doors are inherently dangerous, but they must be treated with plenty of care and caution. The following tips will help ensure that your garage door not only remains in excellent condition but also stays safe enough to use without injury.


Keep Your Hands and Fingers Away From Pinch Points

Your garage door features a variety of joints and crevices that could serve as pinch or crush points. These include areas where garage door panels join together. It’s all too common for homeowners to inadvertently place their fingers between panel sections while attempting to manually pull down the door, resulting in serious hand or finger injury.

If you ever need to manually close or open your garage door, it’s much safer to do so using the garage door’s attached handles or by grabbing a safe gripping point as indicated by the garage door manufacturer. It’s also a good idea to avoid placing your hands and fingers between cables, hinges and other sections of the garage door that could pose a crush or pinch hazard.

Keep an Eye on Your Garage Door Cable

Like other parts of your garage door, the cables can get worn out with enough time and usage. Rusted, frayed and/or kinked cables are often a ticking time bomb, with each day bringing them closer to the brink of failure. Steel cables in these states lack the structural integrity needed to support your open garage door.

If your garage door cables appear to be in bad shape, you should have them replaced by a professional as soon as possible.

Maintain and Test Your Safety Sensors

A typical garage door weighs anywhere from 250 pounds to 400 pounds — that’s a lot of weight for your automatic garage door opener and your garage door springs to support. As your garage door closes, the last place you want to be is in its immediate path, since the sheer weight alone could pose a crushing hazard for anything or anyone underneath.

For this very reason, just about every garage door opener comes equipped with a built-in auto-reverse feature. This feature uses a pair of infrared safety sensors to detect objects within the garage door’s path, allowing the door to automatically reverse direction and avoid crushing any objects that happen to be in the way.

It’s important to have your safety sensors checked and tested on a regular basis to ensure that this feature remains functional. Over time, the safety sensors can get covered in dirt and grime, which could allow the garage door to reverse on its own.

Have Your Garage Door’s Balance Checked

Keeping your garage door properly balanced is also important for preventing injuries. A garage door can lose its balance due to a gradual loss in spring tension, often resulting in one side of the garage door falling farther than the other. This causes the garage door to get hung up in its own tracks as it opens or closes. Too much tension due to improper spring adjustment can also cause the door to drift open.

If your garage door appears crooked or you’re having a hard time opening and closing your garage door, you may want to have your technician check its balance. If necessary, the technician can also rebalance your door, restoring it to its safe operation.

Leave Spring-Related Repairs to the Experts

You may be tempted to adjust or even replace your own garage door springs, but there’s a good reason why you should leave these tasks to the professionals. For the average do-it-yourselfer, performing maintenance on garage door springs can be a dangerous task due to the potential for injury.

Torsion springs are especially dangerous to handle since they’re kept under tremendous tension. A sudden breakage can easily result in serious injuries, especially if it occurs during the middle of an adjustment or removal.

If you need new springs, you’re better off having your garage door technician take care of the installation and maintenance. Your technician will have the tools and training needed to safely deal with your garage door springs, plus you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the job was done correctly the first time around.

Don’t Skip Out on Regularly-Scheduled Maintenance

Skipping out on regularly-scheduled maintenance for your garage door not only makes it unsafe to be around, but it can also shorten its overall lifespan. A properly designed and well-maintained garage door can last for several decades. It’s usually a good idea to have a technician take an up-close look at your garage door at least once a year.

For more information on improving garage door safety, get in touch with the helpful pros at Shank Door today.

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