How Worried Should I Be About Someone Breaking into My Garage?

Downers Grove Garage Door SpecialistThis summer, home burglaries and car robberies are on the rise in the Western suburbs. While many of these thefts are the result of homeowners and car owners simply being negligent or careless, leaving doors unlocked or keys in doors, there are some instances when the instigators are actually quite clever. Here are some ways these thieves might try to use your electric garage door opener and its related equipment to gain entry to your garage.

4 Common Types of Garage Break-ins to Safeguard Against

Even if you are cautious about locking up, there are still ways criminals can break into your garage these days. Some of the more increasingly common ways that burglars are breaking into garages include:

  1. Gaining Access to the Emergency Release Rope—With enough dexterity and ingenuity, a burglar can use a hanger or some other tool to reach over your garage and get access to the emergency release rope. From there, a simple yank will make that door easy to open. To prevent this, consider repositioning or removing the release rope so that it is out of reach.
  2. Bypassing the “Fixed Code”—Some garage door openers, especially older ones, were built on “fixed-code systems.” These systems are particularly susceptible to manipulation; in fact, one security expert once rigged a children’s toy to break that “fixed code” and open a garage with the opener’s transmitter frequency—and no actual opener. To safeguard against this, consider either investing in a newer opener that relies on a “rolling code,” which is much more difficult to crack. Also, if you plan on being away from home for an extended period of time, consider turning off the power to your garage.
  3. Keypad Code-Breaking—Keypads are a great convenience, giving you, your spouse, and your kids easy access to the garage door without needing a transmitter, keys, or any other devices. However, police have seen time and time again that keypad codes are actually quite easy to break if the criminal is perceptive and observant enough. The buttons with the numbers you press regularly to unlock the garage door from the outside with a keypad will have oils from human skin on them while the buttons that are not used will simply have dirt or dust on them. Once the crook discovers the most common numbers by way of oils from the skin, finding the right combination of numbers to crack the code of your keypad is much easier. If you do not want this to happen, think about regularly wiping the buttons clean; routinely changing the combination of numbers; or removing the keypad.
  4. Hacking into “Smart” Garages—Smart garage door openers and controllers can be hacked into just like any other Internet of Things (IoT) smart-home device, computer, or smartphone. If it can connect to the Internet, it can be hacked. And if it is in the “cloud” somewhere to enable notifications and other remote access by you from afar, it could be even more vulnerable to hacking. In that sense, strictly Bluetooth-only garage door devices might help. Or you could just avoid smart garage devices entirely.

Contact a Downers Grove Garage Door Opener Expert

If you are concerned about how safe your garage is from burglaries, consider customizing your garage or remodeling your garage to make it safer. Call a Chicago-area garage specialist at 630-852-8485 for ideas about safety measures you can take. With more than 40 years of garage building experience, Blue Sky Builders can develop garage construction plans that will make your garage much safer.

Sources:
https://www.wisebread.com/are-you-giving-burglars-the-key-to-your-home
https://climaterwc.com/2018/05/14/redwood-city-police-warn-about-hackers-who-break-into-garage-doors/
https://lifehacker.com/test-if-your-garage-is-vulnerable-to-a-hack-that-opens-1710108565

Garage Door Problems? It Might Be Time to Spring into Action

Chicago-Area Garage Spring ExpertOne of the most important parts of a garage door opener are the garage springs. These critical components of a garage door opener not only keep your garage door opening and functioning smoothly, but they also maintain overall safety in your garage. That is why you should pay close attention to the condition of your garage springs and call in a professional if you need garage spring replacements or other garage hardware replacements. Here are some facts about garage springs and the risks posed by not having a professional evaluate and, if necessary, replace them.

What Are Garage Springs?

Garage springs are central to the overall functioning of your garage door opener. These springs provide the necessary force and resistance to withstand the pull of gravity when your door opens and closes. If garage springs are not working properly, the electric opener might struggle to lift and lower the garage door. Essentially, functioning garage springs can make the weight of a 100- to 200-pound garage door feel more like 10 to 20 pounds, which is how both you and your garage door opener are able to open and close such a heavy object.

What Are the Different Types of Garage Springs?

There are two types of garage springs: extension springs and torsion springs. Extension springs are long and thin, running along the garage door’s tracks. There are three main types of extension springs:

  • Open-looped
  • Double-looped
  • Clipped-end

Torsion springs are wide and placed on a metal shaft above the opening to the garage door. There is a drum at the end of that shaft, enabling the springs to be wound to a particular level of torsion. There are four primary types of torsion springs:

  • Standard
  • Early-set
  • Steel rolling-door
  • Torque-master

Why Is Fixing Garage Springs Yourself So Dangerous?

Even if you are good with tools and handiwork, it is always advised to steer clear of doing anything with the garage springs yourself. For one, they cannot be repaired; they can only be replaced. The most you can do as a homeowner is potentially apply some lubricant to the springs if they squeak; otherwise, you will want to solicit the assistance of a professional. Working on garage springs is very dangerous and can result in the following hazards:

  • Garage doors falling
  • Openers activating accidentally/unexpectedly
  • Both minor and severe cuts from rusted metal depending on the situation
  • Flying metal and other materials due to the tension that can build up in the springs

Torsion springs are particularly dangerous to replace yourself because of the massive power and force behind them.

Contact a Chicago-Area Garage Spring Expert

If you suspect issues with your garage springs or garage door opener, reach out to a Downers Grove garage hardware replacement professional at 630-852-8485. Blue Sky Builders has been replacing parts in garages for decades and knows exactly how to safely and effectively replace garage springs, cables, and hardware. In addition to possessing the proper expertise, Blue Sky Builders also has all the high-quality yet affordable parts necessary to get your garage back up and running.

Sources:

https://www.thespruce.com/garage-door-springs-1398149

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/replace-a-garage-door-spring/

https://www.thespruce.com/replacing-garage-door-springs-1398158

3 Simple Ways to Secure Your Garage from Home Burglaries

DuPage County Professionals for Garage SecurityWhile you might think that the recent stay-at-home orders would translate to a decrease in home burglaries, you would be surprised at how often the police are reporting house break-ins lately. In fact, many of these burglars had the nerve to break into houses even while homeowners were home and asleep in bed, which is a frightening thought. Although taking the usual safety precautions to protect your home against break-ins will help, there might be one vulnerability that is easy to neglect: access from your garage into your home. In those cases, there are a variety of garage services that can help secure your garage from intruders. These options include: custom garage building, garage hardware replacementsecure steel entry door system installation, garage door upgrades like electric garage door openers, even high-quality window construction. Even if you are not ready to invest in a major garage renovation or garage remodeling, there are still a few easy things you can do to secure your garage that are not too expensive or involved.

Improving Garage Security Is More Affordable Than You Might Think

While it is true that your garage does not house many of the most valuable parts of your home, including your family, it often can provide an easy accessway for burglars to enter through. In addition, most garages are considered separate entities from the house itself—more outdoors than a part of the actual indoor living space—so many people do not even consider securing them with the same intensity and vigilance as they do with other parts of the house. For those very reasons, many burglars view garages as worthwhile targets for intrusion in much the same way as obscure, rarely used windows. This is why you cannot afford to neglect garage security. Here are three easy and cost-effective ways to protect your garage from intruders:

  1. Install security cameras. The most affordable cameras still have HD quality and the capability to record to the cloud through WiFi. Also, many can be placed both inside and outside of your garage to keep tabs on all activity. The cameras will then alert you through your smartphone of any intrusions in your garage. Set them up at the garage entryway access door to both your garage and/or your house, near the inside of the garage door itself, and right outside the garage door to get everything covered. Some of the more expensive cameras, many of which tend to be meant for outdoor use only, including ones that feature motion-detecting flood lights or spotlights, are more heavy-duty and might require professional assistance for mounting.
  2. Install smart garage door openers. Especially with regards to upgrading your current electric garage door opener with a smart garage door opener controller, this is not too difficult or too expensive and can add an additional layer of security to your garage door (not to mention all sorts of modern-tech conveniences). Most of these smart garage door options let you monitor the open/close status of the door through your smartphone and some even integrate with video.
  3. Install smart locks or deadbolt locks on your garage entryway doors. Again, this is not too expensive and very simple, and doing so will make it much more difficult for people to break into your home from your garage even if they can somehow get into the garage itself. Many of the more cutting-edge options will let you keep track of lock/unlock statuses on your smartphone, too.

Contact a Chicago-Area Garage Expert

Even if you make any of the aforementioned changes to your garage security, you may not be entirely satisfied. You need something more substantial to truly put your mind at ease. To attain that peace of mind, reach out to a Downers Grove garage professional at 630-852-8485. Blue Sky Builders can review your current garage situation and let you know how to make your garage more secure, be it through new and improved garage doors, steel entryway doors, or any other number of other garage services.

Sources:
https://www.bobvila.com/articles/garage-door-security/
https://thecrimepreventionwebsite.com/preventing-crime-in-the-garden-outbuildings-and-garage/493/security-for-the-garage/
https://www.corporatetravelsafety.com/safety-tips/how-thieves-break-into-homes-by-the-garage-door/

How Do I Know When My Garage Door Needs to Be Replaced?

DuPage County garage door replacement professionalsWhether you are having trouble opening your garage door or simply want to update your garage with an electric garage door opener or some other exciting modern upgrades, there are many reasons you may decide to replace your garage doors. Sometimes, though, garage door replacement is a requirement borne out of necessity. In those cases, you may want to hire a professional to guide you through the process. In case you are not entirely sure whether you need to replace your garage door or your garage door opener, consider some of these definitive signs that your garage door and opener have seen their last days.

3 Telltale Signs You Need to Replace Your Garage Door

Overall, there are three main areas to focus on when determining whether you may need a new garage door or opener. The top two most critical areas to look at are the overall function and structure. Secondarily, you may also want to review aesthetics, special features, and other ways to improve your garage door or opener. While these issues may not necessarily affect your day-to-day functions and safety, they could still make your life a whole lot easier or your home a whole lot more attractive. Within each area, there are some significant things to consider. Here is a closer look:

  1. Problems with Functioning—If your garage door is not opening or closing, or if your opener is not functioning properly, a repair or replacement might be needed. For instance, if your garage door exhibits any of these issues, you are going to want to get it checked out:
    • Inconsistent Responsiveness: Perhaps your garage door will not close or open, or it may not close or open the entire way, or it may reverse shortly after opening or closing. The remote in your car or the controls inside your garage may have no effect. In addition to causing aggravation, all of these problems have the potential to put your family’s safety and security at risk.
    • Vibrations and Noises: Garage doors can vibrate when opening or closing, but if you notice excessive vibrations, or if your garage door generates significant noise when operating, you might want to have an expert look into this issue.
    • Constant Maintenance or Repair Visits: If your garage door keeps breaking down, it may be more cost-effective to replace it with a new and more reliable garage door or garage door opener.
  2. Structural Issues—Sometimes, a garage door and garage door opener alike will function properly, but other major structural issues may lead to safety concerns or other problems. These problems may include:
    • Damage to the Door: Hazardous weather, or irresponsible driving, or countless other issues may cause a garage door to be dented or damaged in some way that could impede its alignment.
    • Sagging, Rusting, and Rotting: If the door itself appears a droopy or rusted, or if the walls or frame around the door are damaged or rotting, these structural concerns will need to be addressed immediately. In these cases, a garage door may need to be replaced, and other repairs may need to be made to the garage.
  3. Aesthetics and Special Features—While these issues may not be as serious, they may still present compelling reasons to replace your garage door:
    • Design Decisions and Color Facelifts: If you are remodeling your home, or if you notice that your garage door does not fit the design or color of your house, a replacement might be the right choice, no matter how well the door is functioning mechanically or structurally.
    • Smartening Home Features: Special features like smart garage door openers and other modern conveniences can make your life easier, especially if you are upgrading your entire home to a smart home ecosystem. 

Contact a Downers Grove Garage Door Expert

If your garage door or garage door opener are not working the way they should, contact our Chicago-area electric garage door opener specialists at 630-852-8485. Blue Sky Builders can design, install, repair, or replace your garage door and ensure your equipment is functioning properly. Since we have more than 40 years of custom garage building experience, you can trust us to get your garage door in the best shape possible.

Sources:

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/is-it-time-to-replace-your-garage-door-opener/

https://incredibleplanet.net/5-signs-you-need-to-replace-your-garage-door/

https://realtytimes.com/advicefromtheexpert/item/1027469-5-signs-it-s-time-to-repair-your-garage-door