Is it Safe to Leave a Garage Door Partly Open?

Published on By Champion Garage Door Repair

For many of us, our garage is far more than just a place to park our cars, it is also a way of entering our homes. Not only that, it is a place where a lot of us choose to store both our invaluable and valuable items to reduce clutter in our homes. While it’s common to see many garages left partially open, especially in the summer, we do not actually think about how safe it really is. As surprising as the answer may seem, it isn’t as safe as we may think, and in this article, you can read and learn about the reasons why you shouldn’t leave your garage door partly open, or unattended.

The Potential Risks of Leaving A Garage Door Open

As we mentioned, many of us tend to leave our garage doors completely or partly open, and at times unattended. When we think of the primary function of a garage, it isn’t just to home our cars but to also defend and keep our homes safe from any kind of intruders. However, each time we leave our garage door open can increase the chances of experiencing the following consequences:

Infestations – Insects and Vermin

Typically, a lot of people crack their garage doors open to improve ventilation or let cool air in summer. In the hot heat, without the help of an AC or ventilation system, garages often become stuffy and uncomfortable to work or spend time in, so it seems logical to crack the door open to help. Yet, each time we do this and when leaving it unattended, it can attract a variety of vermin, from rats, birds and bugs. If these pests spot an opening, as survival strategy, they’ll will most likely recognize it as safe place for them to stay. Unfortunately for you, if it does happen, these small animals can cause damage to your entire home – not just your garage. Additionally, once these pests are in your home, it is challenging to remove them, and you are likely to need professional help.

Thieves and Burglars

When we move into a nice neighborhood, some of us have the assumption that we are less likely to be burgled, yet, this is not the case. Unfortunately, residing in a nice neighborhood doesn’t make us exempt from the presence of thieves – in fact, quite the opposite. Thieves are more likely to observe the wealthier neighborhoods to scout potential targets, as the saying goes, ‘there is no honor among thieves.’ By leaving your garage door cracked open frequently, even slightly, you are at risk of attracting the attention of these criminals and invaders. Like magpies, thieves are drawn to nice things, and if they see an easy entrance point, they will likely take advantage and attack. In a report, Orange County’s police department highlighted the risk of forgetting to close your garage door or leaving it open overnight. Although it’s your choice to keep your garage door open during the summer months, we wanted to make you aware of the 2017 annual crime statistics for reported property crimes in Huntington Beach, Orange County:

Orange County, Ca. Property Crimes Rates in 2017 (Huntington Beach, CA CRIME RATES, 2017): Scout, N. (2017, 01 01). Huntington Beach, CA CRIME RATES. Retrieved from Neighborhood Scout

crime-rates-huntington-beach

The table above is just a single example to highlight how frequent homes are burgled. So, if you still want to leave your garage door partly open, be cautious and remember to close it. You may think that you have nothing of value in your garage, but an open garage is a perfect opportunity for a thief.

Home Invasions

How often do you leave your interior door connected to your garage unlocked? If this is something you frequently do, then you are not just risking your garage only, you also allow access to your entire home. Home invasions are not as common as burglaries, but they do still happen, there have been reports of home invaders entering homes through a garage with an open door. In some cases, the victims were notified and were able to contact the authorities, although it does not reduce the severity of a home invasion. The Irvine police department often stress the importance of securing your garage door, and to try and keep it closed when you are not at your property. If you forget to close your garage door, you are putting your home and family at risk. With that being said, if you still choose to leave your garage door partly open, you may want make sure that the interior door remains locked to keep your home, and the people inside it safe.

Nothing Beats A Failure but A Try – A true Story:

When Paul, a Long Beach homeowner took his car to the dealership to get it serviced, he never imagined that the following scenario would happen. On a hot summer afternoon, hopefully he could get some cool air in, Paul opened his garage door quarter of the way, leaving it partially open, and went back to his business. An hour later, while watching TV in his own living room, Paul suddenly hear his car’s engine starts and the garage door opener lifting the garage door up. When he went out to his garage, he saw a young man pulling his car out. As the young man starts to get away, Paul yells at him and eventually scares him off, leaving the car behind. Once police were at the scene, they managed to pull the person’s DNA and track him down. Apparently, the person was working at the dealership’s repair shop at the time, where Paul serviced his car. Paul claims that the person made an extra car key while the car was at the shop overnight and had all information needed out of auto shop’s file. Few days later, the person went to Paul’s home, waiting for the perfect opportunity. Once he noticed the garage door partially open, he crawled under and gained access to Paul’s car.

Compromising Your Automatic Garage Door Opener

If you have already disengaged your garage door from its automatic opener or have ever reprogrammed a garage door remote to your automatic unit, you will know how quick it can be, sometimes less than a minute. If your garage door is partly or fully open, you may fall subject to the ruthless and more equipped thieves. With a partially open garage door, it is simpler than you may think for an intruder to reach up and pull the emergency release chord and to gain complete access. Furthermore, when you have an automatic garage door opener installed, an intruder can gain access to it by crawling through the gap, get the unit’s frequency by programming his own remote device, and once that’s done, come back whenever it’s convenient and access your garage and home. If you feel that your automatic opener may have already been compromised, schedule a garage door safety inspection with your local garage door repair company to give you that additional peace of mind.

Reducing the Lifespan of Your Garage Door System

You may have already needed the assistance of a garage door repair company to inspect or identify any faults with your system. The garage door repairman should have been made aware of how a garage door will have a reduced functionality over time. Even new, modern and sturdy garage doors come with a lifespan and will require an inspection and maintenance from time to time. When you open your garage fully, the garage door springs go in one cycle. If the above risks haven’t made you thinking about leaving your garage door partly open, should be aware that each time you operate your garage door, you will be adding additional wear and tear to the springs and system components which can eventually cause to an early and unexpected wear. Although the cables, torsion springs, opener and other garage door parts are designed to be tough like any other mechanism when put under stress, you reduce their lifespan.

Leaving Garage Door Open Keep House Cooler?

A hot, stuffy garage can become extremely uncomfortable and affect the items stored in it, therefore, despite the above risks, for some of us it is an annual habit in the Summer, as we may think that by opening the garage door evenly slightly will help cool our garage and the adjacent rooms by letting the cool air blow through the gap. If you are “guilty” of this, how much does it help with cooling your home, and is it worth the risk of unwanted critters and intruders? Anyone who has experienced an uncomfortable, poorly ventilated garage will understand how frustrating it can become! So yes, opening your garage door can cool your garage down and improve the ventilation. However, there are safer options to utilize when it comes to cool off your garage and home without excessive electricity usage and without leaving your garage door open.

Safer Alternatives to Leaving Your Garage Door Open

Depending on your location, controlling the temperature of your home – especially your garage, can become a problem in the summer and winter months. Rather than putting the safety of your home or risking critter infestation there are safer alternatives to implement. Having a well-insulated garage walls and roof, security windows and side door, vents, fans, ductwork and even considering replacing your old garage door with an energy efficient garage door. All these solutions will keep your family and home safe and will make a big difference in these awkward seasons.

Although, opening your garage door slightly can let cool air in, it can also cause the heat to rise and enter the rest of your home, thus making this method redundant. By having a well-insulated garage, it will result in your garage becoming considerably cooler in hot weathers, as well as considerably improving the temperature in the room. As tempting as it may seem to crack your garage door partially open, even if it’s only by a few inches you are still risking the unwanted consequences.

One option to try is installing a small AC unit. Yes, it may increase your energy bills slightly, but when considering the risks, it may be a better option. Another option to consider is insulating your garage door. To insulate your garage door, you can either do this yourself or invest in an R-value energy efficient insulated garage door to eradicate the risks. Keep in mind, if you choose to insulate your existing garage door, you’ll add weight to it, therefore, the garage door must be re-balanced. In some cases, depends on the insulation you use, the system will need a bigger set of springs to support door’s weight.

Reconsidering A Partly Open Garage Door

Leaving your garage door partly open and unattended can cause some real consequences – especially if your garage connects or is attached to your home. This regular habit can result in a variety of issues, including the safety of your home and vermin infestation. Although it does seem like a completely normal thing to do, when after all you are just looking to cool your home down from the summer heat. But if you want to keep your home safe and free from pests –you probably want to avoid leaving your garage door partly open.

While you may have your own reasons for wanting to keep your garage door partly open, you should still at least think about additional installation features or security for your garage door. When upgrading your current garage door to an energy efficient one, or getting your garage door serviced, here, at Champion Garage Door Repair, we are ready to answer all your questions and discuss installation alternatives for your garage so you’ll have the extra peace of mind that you, your family and home are safe!

3 comments

  1. My garage door doesn’t close all the way, and I’m not sure if it’s worth getting fixed. I didn’t even think about the fact that it could be letting vermin into my garage! I should definitely get a garage door repair company to take care of it.

  2. My dad accidentally bumped into our garage door last night and damaged it significantly. It was discussed here that leaving the garage door partly open can invite pests and thieves. Furthermore, it’s recommended to hire professionals for quality garage door repair services.

  3. I had never considered the fact that you could risk an insect infestation by leaving your garage door partly open. My father has been renovating his house so that he can sell it for a profit. It may be a good idea for him to hire a professional company to check and make sure his garage door closes all the way.

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