It’s Garage Door Safety Month, Here Are Some Safety Tips

With Garage Door Safety month kicking off in just a few days, it seems like now is the perfect time to offer up some tips on making your garage a safer place. Automatic garage door systems have added a large degree of convenience and functionality to our lives and homes, but they do carry inherent risks that could leave you or a family member in a precarious position.  Avoid any unnecessary risk or injury by applying the following tips to your garage and garage door.

  1. Keep your automatic garage door remote control out of reach of children. Placing the opener switch that is mounted in your garage in a position that can’t be reached by kids is also important.
  2. Don’t let children play with your remote to your automatic garage door opener.
  3. Learn about your automatic garage door opener by reading the manual and further your knowledge about the safety features and fail safes built into your system.
  4. Check on the components of your garage door system monthly. Keep tabs on the condition of your entire system to ensure proper functionality.
  5. Check on your safety sensors and make sure they work properly by placing and object in the path of the closing door. If the door reverses course and moves back to the open position your sensors are in good working order. If the sensors can’t ‘see’ each other your garage door should not be able to close.
  6. Explain the dangers of getting your hands and fingers caught in the apparatus of your automatic garage opener system. Getting a finger or hand stuck can lead to serious injury and damage that is potentially permanent.
  7. Make sure your garage door is all the way closed before leaving. This will allow kids or pets to have a path out of your house as well as giving animals and intruders an easy path into your home.
  8. If you leave on vacation, unplug your garage door system to save power and ensure that nobody can access your home through your garage.
  9. Make sure you have customized access codes. Never keep the manufacturers code as your active code.
  10. NEVER leave your remote in your car or with a valet attendant. Using your smart phone as a remote is a good solution to this.

Hopefully this has been an enlightening entry on garage door safety that sees you go into this upcoming garage door safety month and beyond with increased awareness and safety levels when it comes to your automatic  garage door system. Be safe and we wish you and your family a wonderful Garage Door Safety Month from our team here at On Track Garage Door Services!

Automatic Garage Door Components

Garage doors are an integral part of most homes and the garage door is the biggest point of access that most home have. Automatic garage doors are a convenient evolution that have been widely adopted across the country for decades and come standard on most new homes. This entry is going to go over the components of automatic garage door systems in order to arm you with the knowledge needed to truly understand you automatic garage door system. Knowledge is power and this knowledge can give you the power to keep more money in your bank account as you will be able to approach maintenance from a place of understanding instead of wondering.

The tracks are located on both sides of the door and guide the door as it opens and closes. There are vertical and horizontal tracks present that your door travels along when activated.  The tracks are attached to the wall and ceiling. The tracks have springs attached to them with the extension springs are located on the outside of the vertical track and the torsion springs are above the garage door. The size of the actual springs will be dictated by the size of the garage door. The torsion spring is pulled to a tight state when the door is closed and that tension is used to help the motor open the door.

Sensors are located near the ground on each side of the garage door opening. They use lasers that are sent between the two sensors and when a clear connection is present where the sensors can ‘see each other’ the door will operate properly. If the sensors cannot see each other the garage door will not close as the sensors are picking up an obstruction that would interfere with the garage door closing correctly. This is both to ensure that your garage door is not damaged by closing on an object as well as a safety measure in case a person or pet is in the path of the closing door.

 

Keeping Your Automatic Garage Door in Top Shape

An automatic garage door is a very common luxury that is found on most homes in the United States. While they are fairly simple in concept they possess just enough complexity to necessitate regular care and maintenance in order to keep them working efficiently and quietly.  Before we go into various ways you can keep your garage door in top shape it should be pointed out that you should never attempt to fix your garage door unless you are a professional. A trained, licensed and insured technician will not only provide the skill and expertise needed, but you will be covered in the event that anything should go wrong. That said, let’s briefly outline ways you can keep your automatic garage door system healthy.

  1. Make sure your system’s components are lubricated: A coating of lithium spray or silicon spray will go a long way in keeping your automatic garage door system operating quietly. Proper lubrication also will significantly reduce wear and tear due to friction. WD-40 is not recommended because it is not a long lasting solution.
  2. Keeping your tracks clean: Keeping the tracks of that guide your garage door clean is important because dust can easily collect on them and that can create a residue that can erode your springs, rollers and bearings.
  3. Check/Replace weather seals: The weather seals on the bottom and sides of your automatic garage door can wear down over time and when they do they allow more and more air from outside to make it into your home.  Weather seals typically last in the 5-10 year range, so odds are you will not need to replace them, but checking them is always a sound idea.

These three ways are only part 1 in our series of simple ways you can keep your automatic garage door system in top shape.

 

Ways That You Can Have a Greener Garage

Going green is becoming more and more common and necessary in our society and the trend is finding its way into almost every nook and cranny of our cities and towns.  One place that you can easily start going green is you garage. Garages serve as storage spaces for many substances and objects such as vehicles that emit hazardous fumes that can make it into your home if your garage is attached to the main body of the house.  Below will be listed a few ways you can make your garage greener.

  1. Don’t turn your garage into a miniature hazmat storage unit

As mentioned above, there are many materials that give off toxic fumes that can be harmful to your family and pets.  Chemicals and cars can send these fumes into your home and effect the air quality level in your house for the worse.

  1. Have a Ventilation Fan Installed

If you do need to store toxic materials in your garage, having a ventilation fan installed can do a lot to offset the production of hazardous fumes by circulating them out of your garage and away from your home and family.

  1. Change Your Lighting Fixtures and Bulbs to Greener Models

Installing LED light fixtures and bulbs will conserve a lot of energy and save you money on your power bill. Task lighting is another option that suits those who like to use their garage as their workshop space.

  1. Install an Insulated Garage Door

Most garage doors are very thin and allow air to leak in and out of your garage. The air leaks cause the temperature in your home to fluctuate more quickly and will cause your heating or air conditioning units to activate more frequently.

On Track Garage Door Services in Phoenix, AZ can get you set up with a greener garage asap. We are the Valley leaders in all things garage door. Call us at 480-641-2301.

How Increase your Garage Security

Garage doors can be a target point of entry for would be burglars. There are many ways to fortify your garage and turn it to a strong point of your home instead of a weakness with the potential to be breached fairly easily. We are going to outline ways that you can increase the security level of your garage in a 2-part blog entry.  Part 2 will come next week and there may even end up being a part 3. Without further ado, let the fortification begin!

  1. Do not leave your garage remote in an obvious place: If you are like many homeowners, you probably keep your garage door opener clipped to the visor above the driver side of the car. This makes your garage infinitely more accessible because easy access is a breached car window away. Find a more thoughtful place to keep your garage door opener that won’t be so easily found.
  2. Secure your garage’s emergency release: Almost every garage door is equipped with an emergency release that can be manipulated to allow access without much exerted effort. Using a zip line or similar method to secure the emergency release will eliminate the option of using it to gain entry into your home.
  3. Make sure your windows are covered: If you have windows on your garage, it’s a wise move to cover them to eliminate visibility and a potential burglars ability to scout your garage as an entry point. It will also help keep the temperature in your garage down and keep your vehicles and belongings protected from extreme temperatures.

These are the first 3 tips in our series on increasing garage security. Most of these do not take a lot of time to put in place, but they could save you hours upon hours of dealing with the aftermath of a possible home invasion or robbery.

Your Home May Be About To Be Invaded By Unwanted Guests

Many home owners fear an invasion of termites showing up and nesting in their homes wood structure. The root of this fear is obvious as termites eat wood for sustenance, but one pest that isn’t as notorious but just as damaging: The Carpenter Ant. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood in order to survive, but they do build their nests in wood and are every bit the equal of termites when it comes to terrorizing wooden structures. The carpenter ant colony that is established initially is far from the colony that you will find as time goes on.  As the carpenter ants breed and their numbers increase, so too does the demand for space. Within a relatively short amount of time the carpenter ant colony will spider web it’s way through various areas of your homes understructure until they have established a proverbial carpenter and metropolis.

A common entry point into your home for carpenter ants is the garage. The exposed nature of the wood framing in your garage makes it ideal and easily accessible for the colony starters. It’s fairly easy to miss the initial presence of carpenter ants, but sooner or later you will start to notice fine, saw dust like particles on and around your wood framing. This is the first sign of an invasion! Things are now hostile and you should contact an exterminator ASAP.  While prevention is ultimately the best way to avoid dealing with a carpenter ant invasion, you may be caught off guard. If, in fact, this is the case then your garage may be in need of some structural repair. Hopefully this isn’t the case and you detect the presence of the ants early, but they may leave you in need of repairs to your homes wooden structure. Keep your garage safe and prepared with preventative measures and keep those carpenter ants at bay!

Prepping Your Garage Door for The Arizona Summer 2016

The famous Arizona Summer is right around the corner and it’s time to make preparations for your home to be able to endure the extreme conditions. One of the areas that would benefit from making proper preparations is your garage. There are plenty of ways to equip your garage to be able to shrug off anything the summer can throw at it.  We are going to outline those in a 2 part blog over this week and next week.

  1. Make Sure Your Garage Door is Clean: Making sure your garage door is clean can prevent a lot of dust build up. If you have a metal garage door you can use a thin layer of car wax on each side of the door to repel dust and particles. Checking metal garage doors for rust is also a wise maneuver. If you have a wooden garage door, check for rot and make sure the door is in good health.
  2. Make Sure Your Garage Door Tracks, rollers etc are Clean and Lubricated: Any moving part of your garage door system should be clean and well lubricated. Make sure you use quality oils as the heat can dehydrate and dry the oil, leading to more friction being endured by your systems important moving components. Avoid WD-40, while popular and prevalent, it is not heavy duty or long lasting enough to adequately lube your garage door components with.
  3. Check on The Condition of Your System: Wear and tear on your garage door system is inevitable, but it should be tracked and accounted for. Eventually repairs will be necessary. If you notice that your garage door system isn’t in good condition, it may be time for professional repairs or replacement BEFORE the summer kicks into full swing. Prices go up for labor and installations in the summer.
  4. Make Sure Your Garage is Properly Ventilated and Insulated: No matter what you use your garage for controlling the temperature should be a priority. Some people who use their garage as a social area should consider installer a small air conditioner, but for those who use their garage for traditional purposes would benefit by keeping the temperature down. Insulation should be sufficient enough to keep the temp down to a level that won’t damage any belongings being stored or take a toll on your vehicle.

Having Garage Door Opener Issues?

Replacing your garage door opener is an annoying and potentially costly experience.  That said, if you are experiencing problems with your garage door don’t give up on it too quickly as there may be steps you can take to remedy the issue before you decide to shell out a significant amount of money to outright replace your garage door opener.  You may only have a minor problem that isn’t very obvious. Here are two steps you can take to check your automatic garage door in the event that you are experiencing issue that interrupt it’s function.

Check the condition of your garage door:

The first thing you should check if you are having problems with your automatic garage door opener is the actual alignment of the garage door itself.  The best way to do this is to try and manually open the door. If you find it difficult or hear grinding then your door may be out of alignment with its track. This can not only produce annoying grinding noises, it can leave your garage door system damaged and unable to function properly. While it may seem easy to write off, noises produced by your garage door opener or track system that were not apparent in the beginning are telling you that something has changed for the worse.

Check the condition of the automatic door opener:

If you are able to open the door manually without issue then the next step is to check on the condition of the automatic door opener. Check to make sure all of the  lights are on before trying to operate the unit. If you find that the lights aren’t all on as they should be, check to make sure it’s properly plugged in and powered and check you circuit breakers.  If the lights are on and it is malfunctioning, try resetting the unit and unplugging it before plugging it back in and trying again. Often times resetting the unit will fix the problem, but if it doesn’t it may be time for a repair or replacement.

While simple in practice, these easy steps can prevent making an expensive and uniformed decision in a moment of frustration which could save you further damage, injury, and money. Taking the educated approach is always best, which is why we encourage all home owners to become familiar with their automatic garage door openers. You don’t realize how important your garage door opener is until you no longer can enjoy the proper use of it.

 

DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself!) Save Your Garage Door!

Garage doors are important access points for both homes and businesses and if an automatic opener system starts malfunctioning or sustains damage, the routine and flow that has been established in your environment can be greatly interrupted. That fact makes it tempting to try to fix any garage door maladies yourself so you don’t have to wait or pay for a professional to come out and do it. While there are some things that are entirely within the DIY realm, there are certain issues you should leave to the professionals because the damage you can do operating in ignorance is much greater than the cost you’ll pay for a trained professional to provide the services. The following are a few of these issues and brief descriptions.

Replacing Springs
Spring replacement can be very dangerous to someone who is untrained and not properly equipped for the task. The tension that the springs hold lends them to being prone to snapping back when being detached from their set position. The tips of springs are sharp and if someone gets caught by one as it quickly snaps they could suffer a laceration or serious cut. Eye injuries are also a concern when dealing with replacing springs. It can be tempting to fix a spring issue yourself because they are so critical for your garage door system to function correctly. You may be fully confident in your skills as a handy man, but it is best to call in a pro to handle this issue.

Replacing Panels
Having to replace one or more panels isn’t really a matter of functionality as much as it is a matter of cosmetics. Hiring a professional for panel replacement is important for many reasons including reducing danger and assessing why the panels actually sustained damage to the point they needed replacing. If you have panels replaced without understanding why your old panels warped in the first place will leave you prone to experiencing the exact same problem. Replacing your panels is not cheap to do and enduring that expense is not something you want to go through multiple times, especially when the potential to repeat the issue is so easily remedied.

Busted Cables
Cables are integral to the successful operation of your garage door. The fact that these cables are under constant tension makes them very dangerous to fix, especially if you are not properly trained for the task. It takes knowledge and experience to accurately place and attach the cables. The danger presented by cables is similar to that of replacing springs. Lacerations, cuts and eye injuries are all concerns associated with cable work.

Replacing Rollers
If you have bent or broken rollers you may want to take care of them yourself because they are extremely important to the functionality of your garage. You should definitely hire a professional because it is a risky procedure to carry out. Getting your fingers or or clothing caught in between the rollers and tracks is very possible, which could result in serious injury.

 

Ensuring Garage Security Before A Vacation

It’s the holiday season which means many of us are going to be traveling and staying away from home for extended periods of time. If you are one of those people packing up to go visit family you should make preparations to secure your home while you are away. Like it or not, the holidays are not all fun and cheer, they are also a very active time for robberies and home invasions. This entry is going to go over some ways that you can secure your garage door before jet-setting to turkey and gifts.

Make sure you have efficient locks- Garage doors are a preferred point of entry for many home invaders because they are usually easy to access. Disable your automatic garage door opener and lock the latch overhead with a sturdy pad lock. Making sure that you have a quality lock is important. Don’t skimp on a few dollars when it could mean the difference between keeping your belongings and losing them to a burglary.

Install motion detection lights- Lights are the biggest deterrent to would be thieves as they utilize shadows and stealth to get away with their crimes. Having motion activated lights will catch thieves by surprise and discourage them from taking the risk of breaking into your home. They may not even need to reach the point of being suprised. If the presence of motion activated lights is known (which could very well be the case as they are pretty obvious) then an potential thief will realize that the inherent risk of breaking into your home is greater than most. others in your area

Bar your garage windows if you have them- Barring your windows in your garage will eliminate one of the easiest entry points to access in your entire home. Keeping the windows covered will keep burglars from being able to look into your garage and being able to take inventory. Taking this step further, keeping your windows covered so it is not possible to see into your garage will prevent would-be burglars from taking inventory of what’s in your garage and finding an alternative entry point to get to your stuff. There may be thermal benefits to covering your windows with blinds or curtains, depending to they type of covering that is being used. Some coverings can keep heat or cool air from escaping your garage, keeping it nice and comfortable for anyone who may be spending time out there.

Install a security camera – Security cameras are majorly beneficial in guarding your home from invasion. If the camera is plainly visible it is obvious that your home is under surveillance that is being documented and saved. Even if the camera isn’t activated (which it definitely should be) it will serve as a major boost to the overall security of you and your family’s home. In the event that a criminal is brave or stupid enough to make an attempt at burglarizing your home, you can rest easy knowing that you will have video evidence from several angles.

These are just a handful of steps that you can take in order to fortify your garage while you are gone on your much deserved vacation. Having piece of mind will free up mental space that you can fill with anything you desire while you are enjoying your getaway. Who wants to stress about work while they’re on vacation!?