Time for a Garage Door Opener Safety Check?

garage door opener safety check

Featuring convenience a homeowners’ garage, haven for automobiles and expensive toys, is more important to us than we would have otherwise thought possible. But the one thing keeping our belongings safely stored inside, is also the one thing that often goes unnoticed, at least until something goes awry: the garage door opener.

Garage door openers are designed to control the opening and closing of the garage door, either through a wall-mounted switch or radio transmitted remote, approximately 1,500 times over the course of a year depending on the homeowners’ schedule.

Due to the strain of controlling a door weighing 150 pounds and up, they or one of their countless components may become defective, which can unfortunately create significant safety hazards. Hazards that when left unchecked can quickly lead to the occurrence of an accident. The following facts demonstrate these risks:

  • Typically the largest, not to mention heaviest, moving objects within your home many of the garage door’s components are held under an immense amount of tension.
  • According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries caused by the improper use (or a malfunctioning) garage door account for approximately 20,000 emergency room visits per year.
  • Although severe injuries or worse can occur due to entrapment (caused when the door fails to automatically reverse); the majority of these ER visits are the result of pinched fingers.

While safety hazards are very much real, routine garage door opener safety checks, along with preventative maintenance are two great ways to ensure the safety of everyone in the home as well as those outside the home. They can also help you avoid getting stuck with costly repair bills when things go awry.

When performing the following inspections, inspectors should never attempt to fix any defects they may encounter, as the door and all its components including the garage door opener can pose significant hazards. Garage door and garage door opener repair is NOT DIY friendly!

Garage Door Opener Safety Check | Tests

Test the Door’s Balance and Alignment

Once a month, you should test the door’s alignment, and balance of your garage door. To do this, you will need to first disengage the garage door opener from the door itself, which is actually quite simple. Simply pull the red manual release rope straight down and then back.

Once you have done this, attempt to open the door, all the while taking note of how the door feels as it’s opening (i.e. does it feel light, easily moves without sticking, sticks during movement). If it sticks during the test, the door is not properly aligned, which puts undo strain on the garage door opener.

If the door is out of balance immediate repair is required!

Test the Safety Reversal System

In addition to testing the door’s overall balance and alignment, you should test the safety reverse of the garage door opener, as this prevents the door from continuing to close should someone or something get in its path.

With the door fully open, place a 2×4 flat (or similar size object) on the floor, centered directly under the floor. Operate the door in the down direction. When the door hits the object, it should automatically stop, and immediately reverse direction. Never attempt to stop the door using your hands or an object.

If the door fails this step immediately seek professional help!

Test the Photoelectric Sensors

Photoelectric sensors, aka safety eyes, located at the base of each side of the garage door emit an invisible beam. If the beam is broken, the sensors will instruct the opener to immediately reverse the door’s direction, rather than continuing to close. Proper alignment and functioning is imperative.

To test these sensors, operate the door and as the door is closing, roll a ball across the path of the sensors. The door should immediately stop and reverse direction. Malfunctioning or misaligned photoelectric safety sensors have the potential to cause severe injuries to occur.

If your sensors failed this test immediately contact a technician!

Safety Advice for Homeowners

  • Never attempt to adjust or repair springs on your own. These components are held under extreme tension, and can snap forcefully, causing serious injury to occur.
  • Never allow children to play with the garage door openers’ wall-mounted switch or radio-transmitted remote. They are NOT toys. You should also teach them about garage door safety.
  • Never try to enter or exit your garage while the door is in motion. Should the safety revere not be working properly, this could cause you to become entrapped under the door.

 

5 Garage Door Advantages I Bet You Didn’t Know

garage door advantages

It goes up…it goes down – multiple times a day. But, I bet you didn’t know, that your garage door can provide many more advantages than just operating at the press of a button. Until now…

Advantage: Provides Guaranteed Value

A new, stylish garage door, has the potential to net you a 88.4 percent return on investment when it comes time to sell your home; making it a great way to add guaranteed value. Replacing your door ranks as one of the most popular home improvement projects.

Advantage: Protects Against the Elements

From torrential winds and rains during monsoon season, to the random windstorm, your garage door plays a vital role in the protection of your home’s integrity. Reinforced steel garage doors are also available. These doors help to protect against relentless winds that threaten to damage.

Advantage: It Looks After You

Photoelectric eye sensors – mounted about 5 to 6 inches above the floor – cast an invisible beam across the garage door opening. These sensors provide an extra layer of protection against accidental entrapment. If their beam is broken, for any reason, the door would automatically reverse.

Advantage: Provides Convenient Access

Garage doors and garage door openers when combined provide a level of convenience that is unrivaled by many of today’s smart-home gadgets. Many homeowners enjoy the freedom of using these systems to get into their homes every day; which is why it’s so important to maintain them.

Advantage: Works with Your Smartphone

Can you imagine opening and closing your garage door right from your phone? With smart-home technology built-in, many garage doors today allow you to monitor your door’s operation, using your smart phone or tablet. This security features provides much peace-of-mind.

The Pros of Having a Garage

the pros of having a garage

{Image Source: www.pixabay.com}

The pros of having a garage are numerous. Living in Las Vegas, I’m sure you know how it is to step out of your house on a 90+ degree day, just to go start your car. And if you have leather…forget about it! After running the engine for five minutes or so, the car is usually cool enough for you to stomach getting into, let alone driving to your destination.

For those of you that maintain your car on a do it yourself basis, you probably know what the inconvenience of working on it outside is like, especially when you have to slide under it and you get burnt due to the hot sidewalk. A garage can change all that as well as provide you with the following benefits:

The Storage Potential

A garage opens up an enormous amount of additional storage space. If you own it; you can store it. Besides storing the obvious (your car) a garage provides ample space for storing landscaping equipment, tools, bikes, annual decorations and everything in between. When you run out of floor space, make sure to look up at the walls and ceiling for more storage space.

The Property Value

Adding a garage is a reasonably good investment according to remodeling magazine’s 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report.” If you invest $52,382, which is the national average, on this addition you can expect to recoup 64.8 percent or $33,938 of your investment at resale – or refinance. Already have a garage that you want to replace the door on?

Midrange garage door replacements, which on average cost $1,595, can net you 88.4 percent or $1,410 of your initial investment at time of resale. This a 5.9 percent higher rate than an upgrade garage door replacement. Whichever of the three options you choose, you can feel confident knowing that you’re making a good decision, economically speaking.

The Potential

Who said a garage had to be boring? Garages are like a blank canvas. Their usability options are endless. With the space they provide you can turn them into workshops, gyms, home offices, day cares and the list goes on. Want to liven them up? Try painting the walls a cheerful color. And don’t forget the floors. Many options for garage flooring exist today including epoxy flooring.

Garage Door Replacement: Is It Worth It?

garage door replacement

[Source: pixabay.com]

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value survey, replacing your garage door isn’t just one of the more affordable options for improving your home, it’s also one of the ones that will virtually pay for itself. Thus taking your curb appeal to a whole new level!

The survey, currently in its 13th year, compares the cost for 36 popular home improvement projects with the value those same projects retain should you ever decide to sell your home. The results are then broken down for homeowners and consumers alike.

The Findings

The survey, which looks at the resale value in 102 states throughout the United States, determined the average cost for replacing a mid-range garage door to be $1,595, and found a $1,410 value of the project at home sale, which equates to an 88.4 percent return on investment. This data is up from last year.

The survey further determined that an upscale garage door replacement costing $2,944 would net you a value of $2,429 at home sale, equating to an 82.5 percent return on investment, which is slightly down from last year’s figures.

These figures make garage door replacement the third-best (mid-range) and second-best (upscale) home improvement projects in terms of return on investment (ROI). The survey based its findings on two different categories of steel garage doors: insulated and non-insulated.

Upgrade Today: Garage Door Replacement

At Precision Garage Door in Las Vegas, NV, we offer an extensive array of garage door replacement options for you to choose among – all of which have been manufactured from some of the most renowned names in the industry. Just some of the doors we sell include:

  • Steel Doors
  • Fiberglass Doors
  • Rolling Service Doors
  • Full View Garage Doors
  • Insulated & Non-Insulated
  • Carriage House Garage Doors
  • Custom Designed Wood Garage Doors

By offering free in-home estimations for new garage doors, our expert garage door sales team works hard in pairing homeowners with the perfect garage door replacement. If you’re looking for a home improvement project that will virtually pay for itself upon resale, think garage door replacement.

Keyless Entry Systems for Every Door You Own

 

For some, it’s a daily battle, as they frantically search their house for those items they desperately need and use. Retracing their steps and overturning couch cushions, to their dismay, provides no relief.

It’s when they are just about to throw in the towel that they finally spot the object they seek at the bottom of their purse or buried deep in their jacket pocket. What, you may be wondering, were they looking for? And why was it so important?

The same thing you too were probably looking for just this morning – your keys. The item you require daily. Considering that most of us just toss our keys somewhere different every day after a long day at the office, it’s easy to forget where we put them.

There’s a Better Way

With a keyless entry system, you’ll never need to use your keys again, thus making your day less stressful as you won’t need to frantically search the house in the morning looking for your misplaced key.

Whether you’re interested in a system for your garage door, entry door, or even the vehicle you drive the capabilities available in today’s innovative keyless entry systems are simply astounding.

The Capabilities of Keyless Entry Systems

The best part is the ease in which they work. With a companionable smartphone – something that never seems to get misplaced – app, it’s never been easier to access the inside of our garages, homes or cars.

Some of the available keyless entry systems on the market today even utilize facial recognition or biometric technology which allows you to provide entry into your home to whomever you have approved.

There’s even a system, which debuted at CES 2015, that has been designed to allow you to start your car with your smartphone. Seriously what will they think of next?

Holiday Gift Ideas For The Garage

Garages and garage doors might be last on your mind when it comes to holiday gift giving but actually there are a few items you may want to consider. Here are some garage-related gift ideas for this holiday season!

Smart Garage Door OpenersThe Smart Garage Door

These days just about everything can connect to the internet. The garage door is no exception. Garage door openers with Chamberlains MyQ or Craftsmans AssureLink technology (just to name a couple) will monitor and open/close your garage door from just about anywhere via your smart phone or tablet. Starting around $130, this may just be the perfect gift for those on the go.

The Gift of Organization

If you have someone in your life who loves to work on cars or simply work on projects in their garage, a rolling tool cart could come in real handy. Tool carts come in a wide variety from simple three tiered carts to multi-drawer units depending on how extensive of a tool collection one may have.

Garage Art

Vintage automotive signs, decals, posters, clocks and banners are great ways to spruce up the bare walls of a garage. Especially if your garage is the gathering place for your neighbors and friends. Sports art and memorabilia are also great ideas for decorating the walls for a garage.

Garage Games
Garage’s are perfect place for some games like dart boards or Nerf basketball hoops. Of course if you’re really ambitious and have the room, pool tables, ping pong or foosball tables make a great addition to any garage!

If you have ideas on gifts that are garage-related, we’d love to hear from you! Happy Holidays!

NASCAR Winds Down Exciting Season

With four drivers vying for the coveted NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, all eyes will be on Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday. Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Kevin Harvick look to out muscle each other in a race to the finish at the Ford EcoBoost 400.

Of the four, Ryan Newman is perhaps the most surprising as he has yet to win a race this season. But NASCAR’s newly revamped playoff system (and a last-lap push of Kyle Larson into the wall in Phoenix) has allowed him to compile enough points to contend for the championship, even if it was just by one point over popular driver, Jeff Gordon.

Newman doesn’t even have to win on Sunday, he just needs to finish higher that the other contenders. If he is able to come away with a victory, Newman would be the first win-less driver to win the cup.

Regardless of the outcome, this years championship race promises to be exciting. So many stories develop with each NASCAR season it will be very interesting to see how this plays out. Payback is always in question when the green flag drops, especially in races as intense as this one with so much riding on the line.

Of course we here at Precision Garage Door in Las Vegas always pull for Liftmaster sponsored driver Jamie McMurray, who finished a respectable 14th in his last race in Phoenix after over-coming many challenges during the race. Although currently the 18th ranked driver in the Sprint Cup chase, McMurray looks to end the season on a high note next Sunday at Homestead.

This Halloween, Make a Haunted Garage!

October is just around the corner and with it comes many peoples favorite holiday, Halloween! Trick or treaters will soon be donning their costumes and going door to door for treats and fun. Instead of simply greeting kids at the door, why not convert your garage into an awesome haunted house. Here’s some ideas for using your garage space for a great spooky experience.

Clean Up
Of course the first thing you want to do is to clean out any obstacles or items that could be dangerous such as sharp objects or flammable liquids. Make sure there are no oil spills or slick spots that someone could slip on. Take out any low hanging items such as bikes on hangers, etc. Hang sheets or curtains over shelves to hide them.

Make a Plan
Create a floor plan layout of how you want to set up your haunted house. Have a clear enter and exit area. Thick cardboard is excellent for partitioning off sections of your garage. Each section or room should have it’s own ‘scare’ such as a pop-up ghost or caged madman. You may want to add things like short crawl ways with tubes or boxes for kids to go through. Keep lighting in mind, but of course you never want it too well lit. Simple darkness is the best way to make imaginations run wild so use that to your advantage.

Adding Decorations and Props
A quick trip to the local Halloween store will give you plenty of props and decorations to use. Sometimes subtlety is the best like rubber spiders hanging from the ceiling that you can barely see. Tall, creepy, looming figures stashed in a dark corner are great for giving chills. Avoid things that may break if knocked-over. Keep in mind the age group you will have going through your haunted house especially if you have very young children in your neighborhood.

Lights and Sound
Purposeful lighting and a scary soundtrack will help enhance your haunted garage. As we said before, darkness itself is scary for most kids but you may want to add fun lighting like a strobe or black light. Also use lights to cast scary shadows on the walls.

Use Your Friends
It’s usually not hard to conjure up a couple of friends to be actors for your haunted house. Teenagers that are a little to old to trick or treat are also a great resource which also keeps them busy from creating mischief.

Decorating the Outside
The best way to attract trick or treaters in your haunted garage is decorating the outside. Line the path to your garage with jack-o-lanterns and other scary props such as gravestones or zombie hands sticking out of the ground. You may want to create a theme for your haunted house such as an asylum or haunted castle. Create a story line to tell kids before entering like an escaped madman or wild animal has been living in your garage.

Remember that Halloween should be all about having fun and don’t allow anyone too young to enter if you feel it’s too scary. A just reward for surviving your haunted house should be available as kids exit.

The Pre-Vacation Checklist

Your bags are packed, boarding passes in hand, family pets are taken care of and you are ready to leave it all behind for a great two-week vacation. Not so fast. Have you taken care of everything you need to before you leave? After all, your home will be empty and vulnerable to a break-in. Better take a look at this pre-vacation checklist:

Stop the Mail and Newspaper
Notify your local post office to put your mail on hold while you are gone. USPS actually allows you to do this online. If you have a newspaper delivered, advise them that you will be gone as well.

Tell the Neighbors or Friends
If you have a neighbor you trust or a friend nearby, ask them to keep an eye on your house. Provide them with a way to contact you and let them know when you are leaving and returning. If you have someone that will be house-sitting, it’s a good idea advise neighbors that there will be a car in your driveway they may not recognize.

Turn Off Automatic Irrigation
If you have an automatic irrigation system, you may just want to shut it down while you are on vacation. Busted irrigation pipes are a hard thing to deal with from afar.

Forward Your Home Phone
If you have a land line at your home, forward the number to your cell phone if possible. Never leave a voice message that you will be out of town.

Invest in Light Timers or Home Automation
Making your home look lived in while you’re away can help keep it safe. Invest in light timers that come on at night for at least two rooms. For a little more money, you could always have a home automation system installed to allow you to control lights from anywhere you go with your smart phone or tablet.

DON’T Post on Social Media
While you’ll be tempted to share all the great things about your vacation to the social media world, you never know who’s hand that information will land in. More and more, burglars scan social media networks to look for easy targets. Keep your photo’s to yourself while you are away, the post away when you get home!

Lock Up and Set the Alarm
Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure, especially the door to your garage. If your automatic garage door has a lock feature, use that as well. There are additional steps you can take to keep your garage door safe as well. If you have a security system installed, notify the alarm company that you will be away and give them a local contact in case something happens.

Vacations are for resting and relaxing. By taking these few simple steps, you can have piece of mind your home is safe and secure while you are away.

Which Garage Door Material Is Best?

garage door materialWhen you decide to purchase a new garage door, you’re faced with a number of choices. One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is selecting the material of the door. There are many types of garage door materials and there are few things you should factor in when making a choice. Today we will cover some of the different materials garage door builders use and what to consider when purchasing a new door.

Wood
Wood was once the mainstay material of garage doors but has taken a backseat to newer, cheaper materials. Wood doors used to require a lot of maintenance and they would need to be repainted often. Today, longer lasting paint or stain makes this requirement less of a concern. Most wood doors are built with a hemlock frame and hardwood panels but custom wood doors are often made with douglas fir. While wood doors are pricier than their counterparts, they look great and are often the choice for high-end home builders.

Steel
The most popular choice for garage door builders these days is steel. Steel is a very strong, durable material and requires low maintenance. The face of a steel garage doors can be embossed to look like wood grain or have a smooth finish. Steel doors are often padded with insulation to help with weatherproofing. The downside to steel doors is that they can rust if not properly treated.

Aluminum
Aluminum is a lightweight material that can be used to create doors that have a painted wood look. They are more resistant to rust than steel doors and are built to be dent resistant. The disadvantage for aluminum doors is they can be costlier than other doors.

Fiberglass
For those wanted their door to resemble a wood door but is resistant to moisture and insects, fiberglass is the way to go. A big advantage of fiberglass garage doors is that they are very flexible which means they have less chance of warping with weather changes. However, they are not suggested for colder climates has they tend to break down when temperatures drop below freezing.

Plastic
Probably the least used material for doors is plastic although they are gaining in popularity. The fact that it is such a light weight material means it will put way less stress on the garage door opener. They are also won’t rust or rot which can happen to steel or wood doors. The plastic used is high-density much like truck bed liners and they carry the longest warranties in the market.

Besides the style and look of your garage door, you should also consider safety, durability, and strength before buying a new garage door. Where you live also should be a factor as weather can effect materials differently. We strongly suggest consulting with professional before deciding on which door material to use.