Making Your Garage Door Beautiful

Keeping Your Property Safe: 3 Security-Gate Accessories That Enhance Overall Performance

Although you might feel safe at home, the truth is that burglaries make up a majority of the crimes conducted in the U.S. A burglary happens approximately once every 18 seconds, and your house, in all honesty, is not as secure as it may seem. Be proactive and take action to install security systems that will keep burglars out. Security gates, in particular, have been known to be rather effective deterrents. If you’re still concerned about how secure your home is, you can further amp up the performance of your security gates with these three additional accessories.

Motion Sensor–Triggered Security Cameras

Burglars are much less likely to target a home when they know that they might be caught on camera. This is especially true because video evidence can be used to determine their identity and can be used in court. To further secure your property, install security gates that come with motion sensor–triggered security cameras. You’ll be notified whenever anyone accesses the security gates. The security cameras basically log who goes in and out of your property.

In addition, the security cameras will record just about any type of activity that happens near the gates. If someone tries to dismantle your gates or tries to break them, they’ll be caught on camera. Look for security cameras that can capture high-resolution videos. In addition, cameras that come with night vision will give you a better look at who the culprits may be.

Motion Sensor–Triggered Lights

The last thing that most burglars want to do is draw attention to themselves—especially at night. All burglars want to work undetected. There’s nothing better to deter burglars than motion sensor–triggered lights. These lights should be installed at the highest point of the security gates and should be angled downward so that the burglars cannot hide in any shadows. Installing the lights at an elevated position also prevents the burglars from being able to damage or break the lights.

Look for motion sensor–triggered lights that are as bright as possible. You want the lights to attract the attention of people passing by. Some experts recommend installing colored lights, as colored lights will also work to attract attention during the daytime. You can choose a wide array of different colors. Bright colors tend to attract the most attention and are highly recommended as a result.

Rolling Code Technology  

While you can manually input a key into a keypad to open the security gates, some gates can also be opened by remote keys. These remote keys basically send out a code to the security gates. If the code matches, then the security gates will unlock and open. Prevent burglars or other criminal masterminds from being able to access your security gates by paying extra for keys that rely on rolling code technology. These keys constantly upgrade and change the code needed to unlock the gates so that your ability to unlock the gates cannot be replicated by another key or with a software program.

Even if the security gates rely on rolling code technology, you still need to be diligent in making sure that you don’t give the pin code for the keypad to strangers or anyone else you don’t completely trust.


Most security gates are relatively secure to begin with. They already act as a strong deterrent to prevent burglars from targeting your home. Still, if you don’t feel safe, or if you own a lot of expensive items, there is no harm in installing any of the additional accessories and features mentioned in the article. These accessories will only improve overall performance and increase the amount of security that the gates can provide. 

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Weigh Your Garage Door Like a Champ With These Tips

Do you know how much your garage door weighs? There’s a good chance you don’t, but you’re not alone. In many cases, not even the manufacturer of your garage door may have this information on hand. Garage door weights depend on a variety of variables, including door size, panel thickness, steel gauge and much more.

You’ll need to know your garage door’s weight if you plan on replacing the extension or torsion springs, since having springs rated at the wrong weight could be dangerous. The following offers an in-depth guide on weighing your garage door using an ordinary scale.

You’ll Need an Analog Scale for This Job

That digital bathroom scale you have lying around won’t be up to the task of weighing your garage door. As it turns out, digital scales tend to register weights in such a way that you won’t be able to pick up minute fluctuations in the door’s weight as it settles. For that reason, you’ll need a properly calibrated analog scale to get the job done.

Although an ordinary household bathroom scale is more than adequate for the job, an industrial floor scale offers better durability and more precise measurements. It’s an alternative to consider if you have one of these scales lying around.

Don’t forget that if you have a large single garage door or double doors, you’ll need a scale placed at each end of the door. Make sure the scales are positioned at least a foot away from the edge of the door opening.

You’ll Also Need to Make Preparations

Before you can start weighing your garage door, you need to take care of the following prep work first:

  • If you have a garage door opener, make sure it’s disconnected from its power source. You can accomplish this either by unplugging the garage door from its power outlet or by shutting off the circuit breaker for the garage door opener.
  • Completely disconnect the garage door opener arm from the garage door. This will insure that the trolley arm won’t snag on the garage door carriage hardware and distort the weight readings in the process.
  • Find the bottom track bracket and the garage door cable on both sides of the garage door. Use a C-clamp or vise grips to clamp the cable to the bracket so it doesn’t move. This will allow all of the door’s weight to rest on the scale.

Weighing Your Garage Door

For this job, you’ll need several large and small 2×4 pieces of lumber for leverage and support, as well as a pry bar. In addition, you may want to weigh each 2×4 first so that you can subtract their weight from the reading you’ll get on the scale.

Here are the steps for weighing a typical garage door:

  • Wedge the pry bar underneath the garage door and then slide a small 2×4 underneath the pry bar. You’ll use the small 2×4 as leverage to lift the door open. Once you’ve cracked the door open, slide a longer 2×4 underneath it to keep door open.
  • With the longer 2×4 in place, remove the shorter 2×4 from under the door. Lift up the longer 2×4 and wedge the shorter 2×4 underneath. Use the longer 2×4 as leverage to lift the door open some more.
  • Slide your scale under the center of the door. Do not place the scale on top of the 2x4s — instead, you’ll keep the scale on the garage floor. Make sure the scale is positioned so you can easily read the dial.
  • Use the longer 2×4 to carefully lower the garage door onto the scale and remove the shorter 2×4 from underneath the longer 2×4. At this point, you can read the weight of your garage door using the analog scale. You may want to give the scale a few minutes to settle so that a more accurate reading can be achieved.

When you’re finished, carefully remove the scale from under the garage door and restore the door to its original working condition by reversing the above steps.

If you have a garage door made from steel or aluminum, you’ll need to take care to avoid deforming the door when it’s leveraged open. Instead of leveraging the garage door open in the middle, you may have to leverage it open from the corners using a set of 2x4s on each side of the garage door. This way, you can slowly lift the door without fear of damaging it.

However, if your garage door appears to be acting up, consider hiring a local garage door repair professional. You may want to investigate the websites of local specialist, such as, to learn more about each company and check out all your options.

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A Guide for Keeping Animals Out of Your Garage

If you have had problems with raccoons, stray cats, rats, or other furry friends entering your garage, you need to find a way to deter them—for good. These small animals can get into your trash or even climb up into your engine block for warmth during the night. Also, they are a hygiene and health hazard. If you have had problems with animals living, storing food, or nesting in your garage, here are some things you can do to keep them out permanently.

1. Repair and seal

Garages are not nearly as tightly sealed as the rest of your home. Broken garage windows are not usually fixed as quickly, and loose garage doors may be tolerated because nobody lives in the garage. However, these unsealed places are entrances for animals. Also be sure to stay on top of regular garage door maintenance, including greasing the tracks and replacing the springs. Overworked springs are not as effective as holding the door firmly in place. A weakened seal around the door can also provide an entrance for animals. Have a professional service your door and check the rest of your garage before winter each year if you have had pest problems in the past. Since these animals seek shelter and food more often in winter, doing the repairs before the snow flies will help.

2. Set traps

Live animal traps with bait can help you catch animals that routinely journey into your garage. These are especially effective for squirrels and raccoons. Do not try to relocate live animals yourself, as some wild animals, even cats, can be a rabies risk. Call animal control to have a trapped animal taken from your property. Rats can be caught and killed with traps and poison. 

3. Clean and declutter

Before winter hits and every spring after the snow melts, move everything out of the garage. If you store boxes of decorations and clothing in the garage, empty these out and repack them to make sure no pests are nesting in them. Sweep the garage out and remove any lingering trash, especially old packages that may have the scent of food on them. Wash out your trash cans, especially if you store them in the garage instead of by the alley or on the curb. You want to prevent forgotten items from becoming nesting spots (like old boxes), and removing things like dirt and leaves can also make the garage less comfortable for animals. 

Take care to also remove food sources. Keeping your trash in secure cans is part of that, but you should also remove dead insect bodies or dead mice, as these are still food for scavengers. Also, scrub down stored grills, camping gear, or barbecues—the few peanuts left in the trail mix or the burned meaty bits at the bottom of the grill are attractive to pests.

Finally, clean out all signs of past pest invasions, including droppings. Use a pressure washer on your garage floor and garage door to get rid of any lingering animal smells that might attract them back. Use a repellent for raccoon or other wild animals after you finish your thorough clean. 

4. Clear food out of your car. 

The smell of food is powerful for scavengers. Though you might keep the lids on your trash cans tightly closed, the smell of old fries or even a forgotten bag of groceries in your car in the garage can draw the vermin in. It’s best to completely remove all food and food wrappers from your vehicle every time you arrive home and throw them away promptly in a animal-proof trash can.

If you are still having trouble with pests entering your garage, its best to consult a pest control company and a garage door company to make your garage pest free and pest proof. 

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5 Tips For Winterizing Your Garage

With winter in full force, temperatures are often below freezing. Preparing your home for these temperatures can keep you safe and warm and reduce the chances of accidents and damage to your home. While you are preparing your house, you should not forget to winterize your garage. Here are five easy ways you can winterize your garage, even if the cold weather has already started. 

Check Your Garage Door for Potential Cold-weather Problems

The cold weather can bring a host of programs including broken garage door springs, swelling and contracting doors and frames, or frozen lubricant that can keep your door from opening and closing properly. Before you are met with a creaking door, do a quick check of your system.

Clean out old grease that has started to harden and apply fresh lubricant to all of your moving parts. Check your spring for signs of wear and make sure to keep water falling from your roof in the form of rain or snow away from your door. You may also want to adjust your settings on your automatic reverse to a medium or high setting as opposed to reversing under light resistance. Finally, make sure that your garage door sensors are clean and free of fog by keeping your garage above freezing temperatures. 

Install Garage Doors With Built In Insulation

To keep your garage warm as the temperature drops, you should be sure to install appropriate insulation. This includes insulating the walls and ceiling of the garage as well as making sure your garage door is insulated. There are several doors on the market that include internal insulation. However, instead of basing your purchase on only the R-value of the door, you should also look for customer reviews regarding air leakage and the joints of the system. This is because most stated R-values are measured at the center of a door panel and do not include temperature lost at joints

If you are not in the market for a new garage door, you can also install an after-market insulation kit that can help keep the cold out. 

Seal Windows 

If you have windows in your garage, including in your garage door, you should consider adding a layer of insulating plastic to help keep the cold from coming in. You should also consider lining your window frames with weather sealer to prevent drafts and check the weather sealing strip around your garage door for signs of cracking or brittleness that will reduce its effectiveness. 

Create a Heating Plan

While heating your garage full-time will be a waste of energy and money, you should create a plan for heating your garage when the temperatures drop so low that items in your garage, including the door components, are freezing. This can be as simple as designating a space heater for your garage and clearing a plug to make it easy to install. You can also install a thermostat in your electrical outlet that will automatically turn on a space heater if the temperature falls below a certain level. However, if you use this method you should make sure the space heater has plenty of open space around it to prevent accidental fires. 

Make Sure Winter Tools Are Easy to Reach 

You will not want to dig through your garage to find your snow shovel or your children’s sleds when it is freezing outside. Before the weather gets too cold, set aside a time to move all of your winter gear to an area of your garage where you can easily access it when you need it. 

Every year, you should set aside a time to properly winterize your garage and the rest of your home. Visit sites like to start narrowing down your garage door options.

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5 Reasons To Pick An Insulated Garage Door Over A Basic Model

When it comes time to invest in a new garage door, there’s more to consider than just the style and the material. Considering what’s included inside the door itself, in the form of either empty air or foam insulation, is essential to finding a garage door worth its price. Learn the five long-term benefits of an insulated garage door before you skip over this essential feature in order to save a little money upfront.

Reduced Heat Transfer

Since most garages are connected to the house, the structure itself is insulated so that the garage doesn’t suck heated air from inside the rest of the home due to the extreme temperature differences. However, all that wall and ceiling insulation does little to nothing if the garage door itself is a big piece of metal that conducts heat quickly through its surface. Insulation slows down heat transfer through the door itself, completing the buffer effect started by the structural insulation.

Even if the garage doesn’t exactly stay warm in the winter, a less extreme temperature difference between it and the house helps keep warm air where you need it the most. Of course, an insulated garage door only works when it’s tightly sealed around the edges to prevent drafts and direct air leaks.

Better Noise Blocking

Listening to the constant rumble of traffic flowing past your home can ruin your peace and quiet very quickly. While not all insulated garage doors are specifically designed to dampen noise, that layer of foam still contributes to its noise blocking ability to some degree. All insulated doors dull street noise by some amount, with models designed specifically for noise blocking offering the best quieting effect. There’s little point in mounting sound-dampening panels on the walls of the garage if the door itself is transmitting most of the noise.

Quieter Operation

Is the noise that’s bothering you coming from inside the garage instead as your door clangs and rattles along while it opens and closes? Pair an insulated garage door with a quieter opener, like a belt-driven model, and you may not notice any noise at all as the door slides shut behind you. Insulated models tend to produce less noise because

  • The core provides stiffness that prevents rattling
  • The same foam also absorbs vibrations to dampen them before they produce noise
  • The door is slightly heavier, preventing it from moving around so much on the track as it extends and retracts.

Stronger Construction

On top of blocking heat transfer and dampening sound, the foam-filled garage door is also quite a bit tougher. When neighborhood kids throw a basketball against the usual garage door, the open space in the middle of the door leaves plenty of room for the outer panels to bend in. This results in a sizable dent in metal doors and broken panels in wooden models. While the foam inside the insulated model isn’t indestructible, it does offer extra support so that minor accidents don’t make such a noticeable mark on the exterior.

Improved Results

Finally, it’s better to choose a garage door built with insulation inside the model instead of going with a single-ply design and adding your insulating foam. Insulation works best when there are no gaps left, and it’s very difficult to install insulation on a finished garage door without leaving any gaps. The insulation layers only last as long as the adhesives as well, and loose insulation will get tangled up in the tracks and cause a lot of trouble. Insulated garage doors cover the inner layer of foam with another vinyl or plastic barrier, preventing it from moving around or getting damaged over the years. It’s also installed in one continuous sheet, unlike the small panels used for DIY insulation.

For more information and options, talk with garage door suppliers, such as those at DSI Door Services North Shore.

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Troubleshooting a Garage Door that Won’t Move

Many people think of their automatic garage doors as a necessity to keep their cars safe from the outside elements. However, the door is rarely thought about directly until it breaks. There are a wide variety of different pieces that can stop working and cause an issue. Sometimes, you will be able to see a broken chain, a bent track, or a damaged roller. Other times, it can be hard to see the problem, like when the garage door runs for several seconds but the garage door fails to move. If this happens to you, then complete the following troubleshooting tasks to see if they solve the problem.

Inspect the Springs

Most people think that the garage door opener, the motor inside, and the pulley system attached to it are what force the door open. However, these parts of the automatic system are not strong enough to pull the down upward. A typical garage door will weigh between 130 and 400 pounds. To help the door move, counterweights are added to it in the form of either torsion or extension springs. The built up energy in these tightly woven springs help to hold the weight of the door as the upward movement of the pulley system forces the rollers to move up the tracks. If the springs attached to the door break or loosen, then the door will not move properly. To see if this is the problem, inspect the springs for damage.

If your garage door has torsion springs, then the springs will sit on a metal bar at the top of the door. One spring will sit on the left and the other will be on the right. If you see large gaps between the sections of the spring or if you see a great deal of rust on the metal, then the springs likely have to be replaced. This is also true if parts of the spring appear bent or if you see a noticeable break. If your garage door has extension springs, then look for springs attached to a ceiling bracket. If these springs appear loose and dangle downward or if they are broken, rusty, or misshapen, then a replacement is needed. Since the springs hold a great deal of kinetic energy, a full break can cause an injury. 

Use the Automatic Pull

Most garage doors have an emergency manual pull system that allows you to pull open the garage door when the opener does not work. To use the pull, you will need to place the opener in manual or bypass mode. Look for a small switch on the opener labeled with one of these terms. Flip the switch and look for a small red handle attached to a hook. You will need to flip the hook or pull on the handle slightly to disengage the pully system. The handle will be attached directly to the garage door springs so you can open and lower the garage door. Pull on the handle at the time to see if the garage door opens.

If the garage door moves, then the vibrations of the garage door opener may have activated the manual mode by flipping the bypass switch or the handle hook. To see if this is the case, flip the hook and secure the pull handle back in place. Secure the switch in automatic mode and press the automatic opener button.

Clean the Tracks

If the garage door did not move when you initially pulled the manual handle, then it is likely that the track is dirty and stopping the rollers from moving. Cleaning the track should solve the problem. Start the cleaning process by using dish soap and water. Use a ladder to reach the tops of the tracks and squirt a small amount of dish soap down each one. Wait five minutes for the soap to move across the rollers and down to the bottom of the track. Use your hose to gently spray water down the track from the top down. Afterwards, use an old toothbrush and a bit of soap to release any noticeable grime on the track.

Try your garage door opener after cleaning it. If the door still does not budge, then use a spray cleaner that is meant to release debris around moving metal parts. An automotive brake cleaner contains chemicals that break down oil and other debris and force it away from the brake pads and rotors of your car. The spray can complete the same type of cleaning along the garage door track and the door rollers. Spray a generous amount of the cleaner along the tracks. If this does not help the garage door move effectively, then contact a repair specialist to diagnose the problem. 

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Removing Graffiti From Your Garage Door With A Solvent: What You Need To Know

Few things are more frustrating than the discovery that somebody has sprayed graffiti on your garage door. Even a relatively small ‘tag’ is unsightly and a constant reminder of vandalism, so most people want to remove all traces of the offending marks. Find out how a solvent could help you remove unwanted graffiti from your garage door, and learn how best to use these chemicals to deal with this unsightly problem.

How solvents work

Put simply, a solvent is a chemical substance that will dissolve another material. Chemists generally work with three types of solvent. These are:

  • Oxygenated solvents, which have high solvency power. Examples include alcohols, ketones and glycol ethers.
  • Hydrocarbon solvents like paraffin, which work well when you don’t need strong solvency and you want effective separation from water.
  • Halogenated solvents, which normally consist of chlorinated chemicals.

Solvents make cleaning easier. These chemicals can break down and disperse dirt and dissolve stains. Some solvents also stop cleaning chemicals evaporating, so they can get to work quicker and more effectively. Many solvents can help you clean graffiti off your garage door, but you need to know which product to choose.

Choosing different types of solvent

Graffiti vandals often use a variety of inks and paints when they spray on surfaces like your garage door. You should choose the right solvent according to the age of the graffiti, the type of garage door and the ink or paint the vandal used.

Most people keep a bottle of mineral or white spirits at home. This is a type of petroleum distillate that painters use to thin paint. It’s cheap and easy to use, but has limited use with graffiti. White spirits will normally only work on light, fresh paint.

Naphtha is also a petroleum solvent, but this chemical is stronger than white spirits. Naphtha will dissolve dry, hardened paint. The chemical can also break down crayons that other thinners struggle to deal with.

If you’re dealing with markers, isopropyl alcohol is generally a good option. The chemical is popular as an external medicine, but this solvent can also break down shoe polish and ink.

Lacquer thinner is perhaps the most effective solvent against graffiti. Acetone can soften and dissolve most types of paint and is highly effective against graffiti. However, acetone can soften certain types of plastic or vinyl, so it’s unsuitable on a plastic garage door. Methylene chloride is also a strong type of paint thinner. This solvent is the active ingredient in products sold as graffiti remover.

Most solvents are suitable for use on unpainted wooden or metal garage doors, although you should carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you painted your garage door, the solvent will also take off the coat of paint under the graffiti, so it’s often easier to just paint over the offending vandalism.

Using solvents safely

Most solvents are hazardous chemicals, and some of the stronger lacquer thinners are dangerous. As such, you should these materials carefully.

Make sure you work in a well-ventilated space. With stronger solvents, you should wear a respiratory mask, too. Always wear rubber gloves, safety glasses and protective clothing. Some strong solvents can irritate or burn your skin, and it’s relatively easy to splash the liquid when applying to your garage door.

Dispose of dirty rags and cloths carefully. Don’t leave used rags inside your garage, or the fumes may build up inside. Remember that solvents are often highly flammable, so don’t store large quantities, either. In fact, most cleaning companies suggest that you only buy what you need each time.


The right technique is important. Perhaps most crucially, you should get to the graffiti as quickly as possible. Fresh paint or ink is always easier to remove.

If you apply the solvent incorrectly, you may just smear or spread the graffiti. Use a clean rag every time. If you use an old rag, the solvent will probably dissolve paint or lacquer on the cloth, which you will then smear over your garage door.

Use a clean part of the rag each time you wipe. You may need a wire brush to scrub away graffiti paint or ink, but this can damage some garage door surfaces. Steel wool is often more effective, as this material isn’t as harsh as a brush. You may also find that the graffiti leaves a ‘shadow’ on the garage door surface, so bear in mind that you may eventually decide just to repaint the surface anyway.

Few homeowners want to see graffiti on their garage doors, and solvents can often help remove unwanted tags and marks. Talk to a garage door repair service for more information. These companies often have experience of different cleaning methods.

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