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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Some Old and New Tips for Garage Door Security

dog_garageSometimes, good advice bears occasional reiteration. When it comes to keeping your home safe from intruders, you can never have enough tips and tricks up your sleeve. Your garage door is the largest portal into your home so it’s vital to secure it in every way possible against those who would use it as a way to gain unlawful entry.

Here are a few hints and tips to maximize the protection offered by your garage door. Some of them you will have seen before and some of them will hopefully be new to you. Feel free to take away the ones you think are most useful and be proactive in keeping would be intruders at bay.

Automatic Door Opener Security Tips

#1 Don’t let a car break-in become a home intrusion. Always remove your garage door opener remote from your car and take it with you, either into your home or wherever else you are going. If thieves break into your car and find the remote, they may well use it to gain access to your garage and take away whatever you have stored in there. Worse yet, from your garage they may try to get inside the rest of your home.

#2 Keep your door opener remote on your key fob or chain. This is the best way to avoid leaving the remote in your car inadvertently. If the remote control for your door opener is attached to your car keys, you be highly unlikely to leave it in your car by accident.

#3 Invest in a door opener which uses rolling code technology. With rolling code protection, your door opener remote transmits a brand new code every time you press the open or close button. With more than 100 billion codes, it’s highly unlikely that even hi-tech thieves with code grabbing devices will be able to get your garage door open.

Tips for Physically Securing Your Garage Door

#1 In case you are ever unfortunate enough to have someone break into your garage, a wide-angle peephole, installed in the internal door of your garage will let you investigate without opening the door. If you hear unusual noises coming from your garage, you can just use the peephole to see if you have any unwanted visitors.

#2 If your garage door is one with windows installed, it can pay to replace clear glass with a frosted design. This prevents would be burglars from seeing what’s inside your garage. Most housebreakers are opportunists and if they can see items worth stealing, are more likely to try and force your garage door.

#3 If you have an automatic door opener, the emergency manual release can be a weak point for security. This emergency release is often situated fairly close to the garage door. A cunning intruder may be able to trip the manual release by using a coat hanger, or something similar, inserted through the small gap between door and frame. To stop this from happening, secure the emergency release with a couple of cable ties. This will make it impossible for anyone to trip the mechanism from outside.

Many homes are broken into daily via the garage door. If you follow the tips described here, you can greatly reduce your chances of joining the list of people whose homes have been violated.

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7 Steps to Fixing Your Peeling Garage Door

weather stripIf you have a painted steel garage door you may, at some point find the paint starts to peel from the surface. Unlike wooden surfaces, steel doesn’t accept paint readily and if the wrong type of paint was used, or the garage door surface wasn’t prepared sufficiently, the paint can eventually lose adherence. However, although unsightly, it’s not the end of the world and you can easily patch up your paintwork and have the door looking attractive again.

7 Simple Steps to Fix That Peeling Paintwork

Before getting under way with the steps to fix your steel door paintwork, here are the items you’ll need:

  • Paint roller and tray
  • Paint brush
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • Putty knife
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Medium grade sandpaper
  • A sponge and a cloth
  • A garden hose
  • Acrylic-latex exterior garage door paint
  • Steel primer

Step 1: Use your metal putty knife to scrape all peeling, bubbling or chipped paint from the surface of the door.

Step 2: Use the sandpaper to roughen up the bare door surface in the areas where you scraped the paint away.

Step 3: Using a solution of two gallons of warm water with 1/3 of a cup of trisodium phosphate added, wash the door down with the sponge. This is where you need to have the rubber gloves on, to protect them from the soap solution.

Step 4: Rinse the door down using the garden hose.

Step 5: Use your clean, dry cloth to wipe all moisture from the bare areas of the door.

Step 6: Coat the bare areas of the door with the steel primer. Give the primer at least a couple of hours to dry before continuing with the next step.

Step 7: Finally, paint the entire garage door with a coat of acrylic-latex exterior paint, using the roller and tray.

An Extra Tip

Before you carry out step 7, it can be a good idea to test the exterior paint on a small section of the door. Just use your paint brush to apply a small square of paint. Leave it to dry for a couple of hours and then stick a strip of masking tape to the test square and peel it off again immediately.

If the paint comes away from the door on the masking tape, you will know that is hasn’t “taken” and will peel again or bubble after you have painted the whole door. The reason for the paint failing to stick is probably one of the following:

  • Outside air temperature is too warm or cool
  • The air is too humid
  • You have tried to use the wrong kind of paint

Take a look on the paint can to find the temperature range recommended for applying the paint. If the actual air temperature is outside of the stated range, wait until the temperature is correct and test once more. If the paint comes away a second time when you apply tape to it, you should probably get some advice from the store where you bought the paint.

By following the seven steps above, you can soon have your peeling steel door looking great again and adding to the curb appeal your home deserves.



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How to Maximize the Life of Your Garage Door

garage doorHow long should you expect a garage door to last you after installation? The answer to that question depends a lot on how much care you lavish upon it. A great many homeowners with garages tend to forget about their garage door once it’s in place and only pay it any mind when it starts to get noisy, refuses to open and close smoothly or when something breaks.

With just a little care and attention though, you can maximize the life of your garage door and 20 years is certainly not an unrealistic lifespan. However some of the key hardware components will certainly need replacing in this time.

How Long Should Garage Door Hardware Last?

Most of the hardware which keeps the door to your garage working is designed to last between five and seven years. These hardware parts consist of springs, cables, rollers, bearings, drums, hinges and brackets. By paying some attention to these items once a year, you can extend their life and that of your door. The important tasks to perform annually are:

  • Inspect the cables for any signs of fraying
  • Lubricate the door hinges
  • Check the door’s balance
  • Open and close the door manually and check that it’s running smoothly up and down

Checking the balance of the door is, of course, particularly important if it’s equipped with an automatic opener. Automatic openers are only designed to guide a balanced door up and down. If your door is out of balance because of fatigued springs, the opener has to work hard to physically take the weight of the door and “pull” it open. This will seriously shorten the life of your automatic opener.

Your door springs will probably need replacing once during a ten-year period, even if no other parts require replacement. The second time you need to replace the springs, which will hopefully be after ten years have passed, you should also replace the bearings and the rollers as a matter of routine.

Checking the Bearings

Ideally, rather than waiting for the second spring change, you should check the end bearings every two to three years. A visual inspection will suffice. All you need to do is look on the outside of the door tracks where the end of the torsion tube sticks out from the end bearings. If the ends of the tube are covered with greasy black smudges, it means the bearings will have lost some of their lubrication. Another way to check is to climb up on a step ladder and check the horizontal part of the tracks just under the end bearings. If you see any metal shavings that have collected there, you know for sure that the end bearings need to be replaced.

To close this post, here are a few words of caution. If you do identify that the end bearings of your garage door need replacement, do NOT try to work on them yourself. This is definitely a job for your local garage door repair service. If you carry out the simple checks and tasks described here and get your bearings and springs replaced when necessary, your garage door should be good for 20 years, if not even longer.

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A Guide to Repairing Garage Door Windows

garage_door_window_panelsIf you have a panelized garage door with some windows in it, there’s a possibility of having a window break at some point. Fortunately these windows are easy to repair and if you’re just a little bit handy, you can do this yourself.  Just carry out the following simple steps for repairing two types of garage door window.

Tools You Will Need

A few simple tools are all you need to carry out these repairs, along with a replacement window of course. Here’s the list of tools and materials:

  • Power drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Some plywood or other thin wood strips
  • Some masking tape
  • Some all-weather caulking
  • Putty knife
  • Wood chisel
  • Work gloves

Repairing a Window in a Frame

Some garage door windows consist of glass or Plexiglas encased in a frame. Here are the steps for repairing this type of window.

1) Undo and take out the screws from the outer side of the frame.

2) Have someone push the window towards you from the other side of the door so you can remove it.

3) Place the replacement window and frame on a sheet of plywood or some wood strips on the ground with the outside(the wider side) of the frame face up.

4) There will be a template provided with the new window. Place this template on the frame of the new window and line-up the guide marks with the window frame edges.

5) Fasten the template to the replacement window with some lengths of masking tape.

6) Using the drill and 1/8-inch bit, drill holes through the frame using the template as a guide.

7) Fit the window into the opening with the wide side facing outward and the edges with rubber seals facing inward.

8) Fasten the frame to the garage door with screws through the holes you drilled.

Replacing Window Inserts

The second type of window is made up of glass or Plexiglas inserts which fit into the framework of the garage door. The following steps explain how to replace this type of window in your garage door.

1) You will see some small tabs holding the insert in place in the frame. Alternatively the insert may be held in place with wood stops. If the window has tabs, carefully straighten them with your putty knife. If the window has wood stops, pry them gently away from the window opening using the tip of the wood chisel.

2) Wearing your gloves, cut away the caulking bead at the edges of the window opening with a sharp utility knife.

3) Remove the Plexiglas or glass from the window opening.

4) Use the end of your wood chisel to scrape off any caulking which remains at the window opening.

5) Run a regular bead of fresh caulking along each edge of the window opening.

6) Gently push the new Plexiglas or glass panel into the window opening.

7) Use your fingers to bend the tabs back against the front of the panel. If wood stops are used in place of tabs, run another bead of all-weather caulking around the external edges of the window opening and refit the wood stops.

That’s all there is to it. Of course if you really don’t fancy doing this task yourself, a local garage door installation and repair expert will be able to replace the glass for you.

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