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 we shouldn’t leave our garage door partly open, or unattended.
The potential risks of leaving my garage door partly 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 five consequences:
1. 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 we leave it unattended, it can attract a variety of vermin, from rats, birds, 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.
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 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
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.
3. Home Invasion
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 the lives taking loot from your garage, you are giving them 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. Although, in some cases, the victims were notified and were able to contact the authorities 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. However, if you still choose to leave your garage door partly open, make sure that the interior door remains locked to keep your home, and the people inside it safe.
4. 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 garage opener, 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. If you already have this security feature installed, or if you are thinking of using an automatic garage door opener, do not leave your garage partly open as you will make this safety feature redundant. If you feel that your 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.
5. Reducing the lifespan of your garage door
You may have already needed the assistance of a garage door repair or a garage door service 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, sturdy and luxury 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 experience stress and go in one cycle. If the above risks haven’t stopped you from leaving your garage door partly open, you need to be aware that each time you do leave your garage door partly open, you will be adding additional wear and tear to the springs and system components which can eventually cause to an early and unexpected garage door spring repair. Although the cables, torsion springs, motors and other garage door parts are designed to be tough like any mechanism when put under stress, you reduce their lifespan. By leaving your garage door partly open, the system will experience constant stress, thus reducing the system components lifespan.
Does opening a garage door make my home cooler?
Despite the above risks, many of us choose to open our garage door partially or completely during the hot summer months. For some neighborhoods, it is an annual habit in the Summer, as people may think that by opening the door evenly slightly will help cool their garage and the connecting rooms. Has this worked so far? If you are guilty of this, how much does it help cool your home, and is it worth the risk of unwanted critters and intruders?
During the hot summers, many of us notice that our garages become extremely uncomfortable during the summer. A hot, stuffy garage can also affect the items stored in our garages, so several people feel the best option is to the crack the garage door partly open to let the cool air blow through the garage, and the adjacent rooms. 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 partly 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 is a safer alternative to implement. If you have a well-insulated garage, by having security windows, fans, ductwork or installing an insulated garage door, you will notice a huge difference in these awkward seasons.
Although, opening your garage door slightly can add cool air 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 ventilation in the room. As tempting as it may seem to crack your garage door 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 is a far 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.
The best tip is to not leave your garage door partly open
A common habit that many homeowners have, particularly in the summer months. However, 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. 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!