Monthly Archives: November 2010

Garage Door Security Tips


Everyone should know something about garage door security. Garage doors are a common weak point when looking at security in a whole-home approach and an easy target for thieves. Garage door are not only a weakness, but provide criminals a shelter once inside. To the casual passerby an open garage with a work truck pulled up to it doesn’t look out of place or scream break-in.

Securing your garage door doesn’t just mean the roll-up door; you have to look at every entrance point as vulnerability. Not that any loss to your family isn’t devastating, but one that occurs through a preventable measure just shouldn’t happen. Here are some important things you can do to secure your garage.

Automatic Garage Door Openers

When the first generation of automatic openers came out they all featured the same code. You can imagine the security risk by having one of these openers. Thieves could just drive a neighborhood pushing their purchased transmitter and if you had the same brand as they did they gained instant access.

The second generation of openers increased their security by featuring dip switches that could be set by the owner to a unique combination. While this did increase security, most owners would leave the default setting on and guess what? Again, instant access. Another security risk of the second-gen openers is that a code grabber could be utilized to gain access to your system. A code grabber device works by locking onto your signal and memorizing it. Then, all a thief would have to do is re-transmit the code and they were in.

Modern automatic garage door openers now feature rolling-code technology, where your remote will transmit a brand new security code each time you press your remote. There are over 100 billion codes, so the likelihood of a code grabber working is very slim. Be sure that your opener features this rolling-code technology. LiftMaster, a well known manufacturer of garage door openers, has their Security line that features this technology.

Top 10 Tips

  1. Don’t leave the garage door remote in your vehicle – If a thief breaks in to your car and steal 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 – Follow our article here and learn how easy it is throw some zip-ties on your emergency release and still retain its intended function.
  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 like the Door Devil 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. No matter 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. Garage windows are available in tinted or seedie glass which makes it harder to see in the garage – Don’t do thieves any favors by enabling them to see when your vehicle is gone.
  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.

Test your own security by putting yourself in a criminal’s shoes. How would you break in to your garage? What are the weaknesses of your security system? Do you have an external keypad? Try removing it and taking out the batteries out, can it be manipulated to open your door? How can you be sure if you don’t try it out? It will definitely make you rethink your security. Test your system for vulnerabilities! Take a few minutes and share this with your friends and family!

Don’t be the victim of a garage door break-in this holiday season!

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Blast from the Past

How about a “BLAST form the Past” from the 50’s? How great are these 1955 Crawford garage doors?

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Thanksgiving Day

“When we exist without thought or
thanksgiving we are not men, but beasts.”

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Garage Doors: Don’t blow me over!

Being the largest opening on most homes, the garage door is typically the most prone to failure under high wind pressure including hurricanes, tornadoes and storms in general. Pressure of the wind can easily damage the garage doors in the course of a tornado that allows rain water and wind to enter into the home. This can lead to considerable damage to the contents in general as well as the structural integrity of your home. The garage door is usually overlooked whenever fortifying the structure against high winds.

Substantial building failures and strong winds have convinced storm-prone towns that residents must be prepared to use passive or active reinforcement systems for their garage doors. An active system is that specific kind of reinforcement that must be installed before a high-wind event whilst passive systems are built into the product and don’t require any activation from the owner. For the house owner in hurricane-prone areas you will find only a couple of real options: either a new garage door which has a built in passive reinforcement system or a garage door reinforcement kit.

The method of completely replacing the garage door is usually an expensive process so a garage door reinforcement kit will be a great choice should your budget for improving your garage is low. Although a new garage door is quite expensive, a brand new door offers a much more secure and safe solution in front of a high wind.

If you’d rather select the cheaper option, that is to bolster your garage door you can protect your home in one of the following methods: first of all fit pressure or impact-resistant devices, such as shutters, panels, accordion fold shutters on the garage doors or install pressure/impact resistant garage doors that don’t need shutters. If your existing door is impact resistant but it’s not wind pressure rated, install an approved garage door bracing system to improve the wind pressure resistance. When adding a garage door bracing, first ensure that there’s enough and relevant documentation that the product has been tested at a certified testing laboratory. The product should be designed to withstand both positive and negative wind pressure.

You should contact a local licensed garage door installer of approved garage door bracing systems to help you in the selection of the required system for your own home.

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Lessons Learned From A Garage Door Remote

There are many things that we encounter everyday, and if you dig deep enough into each one of them you will find lessons that can be applied in many different ways.  Today, we will see what we can learn from an everyday garage door remote.

1. Things Don’t Always Work To Plan

Anyone who has used a garage door opener knows that it doesn’t always work when you need it to.  For some unknown reason, when you press the button the door just won’t open, but when you get in the car the next day it works like a charm.

Did it get too hot, were the planets in alignment, why wouldn’t it work?  We will probably never know, and that is exactly the same with life.  Have you ever heard the phrase “while we’re making plans, life is happening?”

That phrase has a much deeper underlying meaning: Your plans don’t necessarily change the world around you.  So as you go through your day and everything seems to go wrong, just understand that you can’t control everything and sometimes the only answer is to just go with the flow.  Always make plans, but understand that something can easily go wrong.

2. Sometimes, Persistence is Required

Sometimes, after hitting the button repeatedly, the door will open.  We don’t know why, maybe you weren’t close enough, but after it opens we are happy that it worked.  The same thing applies in life.  Goals are goals because they aren’t easy to attain.  Any easily attained goal might as well be called a deadline.

In the process of reaching your goals, things won’t work.  It took my wife and I five different financial systems before we found a structure that allowed us to budget our spending, cut our bills, and put the maximum amount of money towards our mortgage.  Persistence isn’t just a good thing, sometimes it is required!

3. If It Doesn’t Work, Fix It

If your garage door remote doesn’t work for multiple days, then something is probably wrong.  Maybe the batteries need to be changed or the remote needs to be replaced.  The same thing happens with goals and plans.  If the plan just isn’t working, or the goal just can’t be reached, then you may need to alter it or throw it out completely.

When I was 16, I set the goal of being a millionaire by 21.  I failed at that.  I have new goals now, as well as new plans, because that goal was empty, thoughtless, and backed by poor understandings of the world I lived in.  My plan was broken beyond repair so I had to get a new one.

4. Different Remotes for Different Doors

Admit it, you’ve probably tried it.  Maybe I’m just the weird one with a huge curiosity, but I’ve driven down the road pressing my clicker just to see if it would open other doors.  I don’t have ill-intentions, I just think it’s funny, and it would let me know who would have access to my door.

But alas, no one else’s door opened.  Often times, different goals and plans must be accomplished different ways.  Sometimes you’ll get lucky and you can duplicate success with the same methods.  We have to agree though, the same “night before” the test cramming may have worked in college, but that method may just fail you when that deadline at work arrives.

5. Doors Will Eventually Open

This is the most important lesson to learn.  If you sit in your drive way and don’t press the button, what will happen?  Nothing. You have to try, you must press the button if you want the possibility of the door opening.  If it doesn’t work, press the button again.  If it still doesn’t work, mash the button down really fast, over-and-over, and if it still doesn’t work then maybe it just needs to be fixed or replaced.

If you don’t go after your goals and you don’t make plans, then doors won’t open for you.  You need to try, you need persistence, and you need enough flexibility that you can adapt to reach the end result you seek.  If you do it well enough and long enough, then the doors will open.

The only thing worse than a bad plan is no plan.

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Friday Funnies: Man v.s. Garage Door

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Garage Door: Make it Last!

If you want something to last, it goes without saying that you’ll need to take care of and maintain that something.

In other words, if anything about it dysfunctional, you should look to fix the situation as soon as possible. In turn, such an approach will guarantee a long life expectancy to anything you’re maintaining.

Unsurprisingly, the same philosophy applies to garage doors. Due to the fact that they move frequently, they get deteriorated faster and lack of essential maintenance repairs will wear down your door to a point where it will become completely dysfunctional. If you’d like to repair your garage door, here’s something to keep in mind; you need to be able to determine when it’s is faulty. Knowledge in such an area will help you save money in the long run, since it will allow you to detect problems earlier on, making the repairs less costly and stressful.

In most cases, two parts of the garage door are likely to be in need of routine repairs. The first one is the opener, and the second one is the door itself. Because the door constantly moves, make sure that the metallic tracks as well as the bracelets connecting the tracks to the wall are firmly in place by tightening the bolts and screws. For these repairs you’re required to work from the inside with the door closed.
It’s also worth mentioning that the tracks themselves deteriorate as well. If they’re still in passable condition, then it’s possible to hammer them into shape using a mallet. However, if they’re beyond redemption, the best solution would be to buy new ones. Also be sure to clean any dirt from the tracks, as that alone may prevent them from working properly.

Last tip I’m leaving you with is to never forget to check the springs because they will need to be serviced from time to time.

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Consider This!

When you are purchasing a new garage door for your garage, you need to take careful consideration before you make your decision.

The garage door that you choose may have a great impact on the way your home looks, and can either complement it or decrease the value of your property. You’ll find nothing better than a good garage door that makes your house look more attractive. There are lots of functions for a garage, from housing your motor vehicle to being an extra workroom or even an extended living area.

This is why it is also important to look into garage doors that provide good insulation. If you are planning to be utilizing your garage for something other than housing your car, then you’ll want it to be as temperature regulated as possible. Even if you’re only likely to be keeping your motor car inside the garage, you must keep it a good temperature so that the engine does not freeze up on cold winters’ mornings!

There are a number of different styles you are able to choose for your garage door that may vary greatly. Each one of these will add its own different appearance and feel. The first style of garage door you can get is one with a flush panel. This means that the paneling of the door is slightly flat and can fit in well with the surrounding wall. You can even choose several types of panel blocks for your garage door. You may choose long raised panels that will give a good sense of depth to the garage door. It is possible to get shorter panels for your garage door, to add even more depth. Different types of raised paneling on the garage door will suit a variety of different styles of home.

Now it will come time to select the material for your garage door. The two most widely used materials are wood and steel, with wooden garage doors coming in first for popularity. There is something so lovely about a wooden garage door, and it is also a very versatile material to make use of. Firstly, you can paint or varnish wood to any stain you need, to enable you to match your home accordingly. Wood is also excellently insulated, and is much more affordable to buy than many other materials. Galvanized steel is becoming a popular choice for garage doors though, as it is less likely to weather over the years, unlike wood. Steel will show up dents and scratches more easily than wood though, whereas wood seems to have more character with a bit of damage!

There are plenty of different garage doors to select from; you simply need to examine the brochure belonging to the garage door company that you are looking at obtaining a quote from. There are also many stores that will have showrooms with examples of the garage door you can buy. Whichever style, pattern and material you choose, your home will certainly look far better with your new garage door!

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Friday’s Funnies

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Garage Door Installation: Don’t Risk It!

Your garage door may be falling apart and not protecting the things you have in there.

Yep, it’s time you’ve decided that the thing needs to be replaced but you certainly don’t want to do it. When it comes time to have a new garage door installed, do you risk it and fight with it yourself, or do you play it smart and hire someone?

Garage door installation can be tricky. It’s not something that you want to do yourself unless you are certain that it is something you can do. These things are heavy and have to be hung perfectly if you want them to be opened easily without tearing up the doorway or the tracks. If you intend to do it yourself, make sure you have a second person to assist you. This is not something for a single person to try to attempt.

Your best bet is to hire someone to perform you garage door installation. The professionals can take care of all the issues. You can rest assured that you will have a working door once everything is installed. You won’t have to worry about if it’s going to be hard to open or close. You also won’t have to worry about the tracks getting bent.

Finding the right company to do your garage door installation is as simple as checking around the internet. By doing an online search of companies in your area you can get a short list of who offers what and much more information than the traditional way of looking for a number in a phone book. Once you have a few numbers make sure that you call and get an estimate for the service. Take the time to ask if they have any references if you can’t find any customer comments on any form of message boards or on their site. More inportantly, make sure that they are licensed to do business in your area and are insured/bonded.

Take your time to do your homework. You don’t want to get a shoddy garage door installation. The last thing that you need is to pay for someone to come out and then still have to pay someone else to come and fix it. If they don’t guarantee their work, then you could be in a world of trouble later.
Garage door installation can be a very hard and tedious job. It’s important to take your time and get someone qualified to come and handle the problem for you.

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