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Choosing The Perfect Automatic Gate System For Your Home

choosing the perfect automatic gate system for your home

 

While only 17% of homes in the US have a security system, every home has a secure entrance system whether a locking gate or a deadbolt on the door. Having a secure home gives people peace of mind against intruder and burglars. One of the best ways to ensure that no one gets on your property without your say-so is to have an automatic gate system.

Before you run out and install a gate, you need to learn about the different types of gates so that you can choose the perfect one for your home. Here are the main categories of features to look for.

Which Automatic Gate System Is Right For You?

Slide Gates

The description of a slide gate is pretty much in the name. They can be installed in just about any kind of terrain and require a track to set up. You need to have a space that is wide enough to accommodate the gates moving laterally as they’re opened.

A slide gate usually entails two gates that are opened at the center and move along a track in order to let you into the home. Other slide gates can latch at one point as the entire gate slides laterally away from the latch point to open.

These gates can be installed on driveways, along fences, at the perimeter of your property or close to the entrance to your house.

Swing Gates

A swinging automatic gate system will be attached to hinges on either side of your driveway or entrance to your estate. When opened, the gates can be made to swing out toward the entrance or inward, toward your property. The best idea is to make them swing toward your property so they don’t hit the entering vehicle and aren’t struck by oncoming traffic.

Swing gates come in single or double gates, depending on the width of your driveway. Single gates are adequate for your standard sedan-width driveway, however, double gates lend an air of opulence to your driveway.

If you have a driveway that’s on a steep grade, they will typically open toward the downward slope. Be aware of this standard if you have to climb a hill toward your property and would prefer not to have that look. You might prefer a slide gate in that instance.

Automatic Gates With Keypad Entry

Without an automatic opening mechanism, you may have to leave your vehicle just to open your gate. Automatic gates allow you the convenience of hanging an interface that’s accessible through your window in order to get them open. One of the most popular types of gate entry systems is a system with keypad entry.

With any keypad system, you can set your own private code in order to gain access. The system will keep anyone from opening your gate without the password. This is a highly preferred system because it allows you to get access to your home and property without needing to carry a key or a card.

If you have guests visiting, you can give them the keycode to enter. You can know that they’ll have no problem making themselves at home when you can’t be there to swap physical keys with them.

Card-Based Entry Systems

A keycard automatic gate system is popular because they keep you from having to memorize a code but give you a lighter key than your standard metal one. Card entry systems require just a swipe to get you onto the property.

There’s something undoubtedly cool about being able to swipe a card to open the gate to your home. They lend a cool aesthetic appeal that makes your home seem extra modern.

You can have as many cards as you want to be printed and handed out to anyone who you want to have access to your property. It’s simpler and faster than entering a code while being just as secure.

If you’re looking for a fun and modern entry system, cards are the way to go. Now all that’s left is to decide what kind of material you want your gate to built out of.

Wrought Iron Gates

Your choice of material only depends on the style of home that you want to have. Your gate is sure to be secure and sturdy no matter what material you choose.

Wrought iron gates lend a classic type of look to a modern security gate. Wrought iron is a strong material that won’t need to be repainted very often. It doesn’t break down or corrode the way other metals do.

Wrought iron gates are strong and secure but often leave a little bit of space between the bars. If security is more important than intense privacy, there are many lovely styles available in wrought iron.

Wooden Gates

Modern wooden gates provide a secure way of keeping intruders out while allowing you a lot of aesthetic flexibility. You can build a facade that’s rustic and vintage over a modern metal frame that secures just like any other automatic gate. You can build something that looks more high-end and contemporary out of wood as well.

The planks that you use can be of any material and spaced out however you please. A tightly ordered set of planks will provide you with lots of property and keep the line of visibility from the street to a minimum. A wooden gate can be made to match any type of fence you already have built around your property.

An Automatic Gate System To Suit Your Needs

Talk to your fencing provider and see what kind of automatic gate material they would recommend. An automatic gate system should feel both secure and comfortable, looking like a welcoming home to anyone with the keycode. There are plenty of options and a professional installer can help you decide which is right for your situation.

If you want to know what types of automatic gates are available in your region, check out what we have to offer.

Before Buying A Replacement Garage Door

before buying a replacement garage door

A new garage door can increase the curb appeal of your home, reduce energy costs, and increase your family’s safety. Hard to believe you can get all that from a garage door?

Replacing your garage door is one of the highest return on investment home improvement projects you can do. Don’t just replace your garage door though, look for ways you can upgrade.

There are a few key factors to consider when shopping for your replacement garage door.

Get Your Quote “In Person”

You may be tempted to go online and blindly order a garage door from a website. This is asking for trouble as every garage door is a little different.

A knowledgeable salesperson will check the measurements of the opening size and shape. They will also check the side and head clearance.

If there are any issues when installing you will have a support team behind you to ensure proper installation. When you go it alone you may be stuck with a garage door that doesn’t work and no recourse to fix it.

The cost of garage door replacement is an investment. Just because you bought one of the best-rated garage doors doesn’t mean its right for your home.

Consider the Material it’s Made Out of

The material that you choose for your garage door may depend on what size budget you are working with. You may also want to consider current home trends and the climate of the area you live in.

Aluminum

If you live in a humid or caustic environment then aluminum is a wise choice as it is rust resistant. You could replace some of the solid panels with frosted glass to give the door a more modern feel.

Steel

If you are looking for a ton of options, steel is your best bet as they come in a wide range of color, insulation, and price levels. Basic steel doors will be a single layer and not insulated.

High-end steel doors will feature a three-layer system and 2 inches of polyurethane insulation. If you are doing a garage door upgrade then look for a door with multiple layers and insulation.

Wood

Typically, wood garage doors are made out of a moisture resistant wood such as cedar, redwood, or cypress. Having wood garage doors will require more maintenance long term.

Every few years the natural coating of your wood doors will need to be recoated. If you wait too long to recoat them you’ll have to sand them down and start over to get the brand new look again.

Composite Wood

Faux wood composite looks like real wood but doesn’t have the maintenance requirements of real wood. The composite is moisture resistant so no fear of moisture rot, splitting, shrinking, or cracking.

Composite doors can come insulated. You can also paint and stain them just like real wood doors.

Consider Insulation

Insulation is a smart choice if you live in an especially warm environment. By insulating the garage door you’ll save money in the long term on energy costs.

Garage door insulation has an R rating value. The higher the number, the better the insulation.

The rating measures the thermal resistance and is a common rating system in the building and construction industry. Thermal resistance refers to the flow of heat.

The number rank is based on the thickness of the insulation and the chemical properties therein. Do not assume that a rating of 16 is twice as effective as a rating of 8.

For example, a rating of 8 would reduce heat flow by 90%. A rating of 32 will reduce heat flow by 97%.

Get Better Springs

The springs make your door go up smoothly and go down slowly. The springs that are used are under tension and thusly called torsion springs.

The standard springs are designed to last for 10,000 uses. The average family opens and closes their garage door 6 times a day.

Using your door this much you’ll need to replace the springs in less than five years. Upgrade the springs and you could double the useful life of your springs.

Get a New Opener Too

Your opener is going to eventually fail and will have to be replaced. If you are already having someone install the new door, they can easily install a new opener while they are there.

Combining the installation can save you money on labor costs. Ask about package deals from the company you purchase your door from.

DIY No-No

Sure you may be tempted to save yourself the installation cost by putting the door on yourself. However, you probably don’t own the tools needed for winding the springs.

If you have never installed a replacement garage door be prepared for a lot of parts that need to be put together. This project could very easily take you all day.

Once you get the door in you’ll have to do something with the old door. A professional installer will haul your old door away for you and take about four hours.

Choose Your Windows Wisely

Choosing to have windows in your garage doors can add style and a source of light to your garage. If your garage is heated you may want to consider insulated glass to reduce the loss of heat.

Make sure your windows are placed high up on the door for privacy and safety. You don’t want the windows so low that people can look in.

24-Gauge Steel

Lower quality steel doors will use 25 or thinner gauges of steel. With steel the bigger the number means the thinner the layer of steel is.

This is especially important if you are going to purchase an uninsulated door. Without the support of the insulation, the thicker steel is needed to help prevent dents.

Pick Out Your Replacement Garage Door

Contact a trusted company to have a qualified and knowledgeable salesperson walk you through the process of buying a new replacement garage door. They can help you pick the material for your garage door based on climate and budget.

While you’re buying a new door, upgrade your springs and get a new opener. consider other features like windows and thicker steel.

Let us help you pick out your new replacement garage door today.

Three Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Open

three reasons garage door wont open

We’ve all experienced the confusion and slight amount of panic that happens when you’re in your car, ready to end the day, and your garage door won’t open. It’s okay. It happens to all of us. Nonetheless, it is stressful and incredibly annoying.

Here are the three big reasons your garage door won’t open:

The Springs On Your Garage Door Are Broken

If you happened to hear a loud banging noise just a few minutes earlier, that means your torsion springs – one of them, at least – is broken. It’s okay. That’s what happens to torsion springs, they can only be used so many times, and eventually, they just wear out.

One way to check if your torsion springs are broken is by checking to see if the garage door appears slightly crooked and if it appears to be misaligned or oddly proportioned.

If this is the case and you do have broken torsion springs, do not under any circumstances, try to fix them yourself. It can be very dangerous to do so, and you should hire a professional who knows what he or she is doing and can fix the problem without too much of an effort.

Your Garage Door Is Off Of The Track

Every garage door runs on a metal track. This track guides its movements and, with the help of the torsion springs, it’s able to open and close.

To fix this – again, this supposes that you can access the inside of your garage – take a look at the track itself and try to see if there are any gaps, bends, or things that may hinder successful movement.

To fix this, loosen the screws of the frame, use a mallet to tap the track back into position, and then tighten the screws. A rubber mallet works best.

The “Disconnect” Switch Has Been Activated

Every garage door comes with a switch that allows you to open up the door manually. This is for power outages and events where you may need/want to open the door by yourself.

Some of these switches are electronic, but most of them are manually operated and easy to switch on and off. If you don’t know where the switch is, try to find the garage door and then find a switch that is right by it, often near the ceiling. Pull the switch to back or forward, depending on where it’s at currently, and then try to open the door using your garage door opener.

If it works – and chances are, it will work – then you’ve solved your problem! If it doesn’t, that could mean that the springs are broken or something else. In that case, give us a call at (707) 644-5537, and don’t forget, we do emergency services so we’re always there to help!

Why Garage Door Safety Is Important

Garage doors are funny. We use them every day – most days, anyway – and we tend to think nothing of them. This is understandable. It’s just something we kind of, well accept. However, a garage door is comprised of a variety of mechanisms and parts. This is true for most things in life, but a garage door is slightly different because if not properly secured and managed, it can be incredibly dangerous.

If you aren’t careful, you could find your car getting damaged as you drive through the door one day, or you might get injured while walking through it. These injuries can be excruciating and, in some cases, fatal. That is why it’s imperative to make sure every component of your garage door is in top shape, and that there is nothing that needs to be replaced or fixed.

Over the span of a garage door’s lifetime, it is inevitable that certain components will become weaker. This is an inevitability, as the parts naturally weaken due to rust and general age. However, this being the case, many of the crucial components may eventually fail or become damaged in some sense.

Most garage doors in this day and age have sensors that can detect objects that may be obstructing the garage door or blocking it. This is a safety precaution, and these sensors are advantageous. They are called electric eyes, and by using them, you can prevent a lot of the potential dangers that come with a garage door.

Depending on the age of your garage door, you really should be paying attention and seeing if everything works well and if everything functions the way it’s supposed to. Inspecting your garage door on a regular basis is very important, and by doing so, you can save yourself a lot of time and money.

If you do encounter an irregularity or something that just doesn’t feel right with your garage door, call a professional. I know. I know. It’s tempting to just “do it yourself,” but garage doors are very complex pieces of equipment and, without the proper care and understanding, it’s very easy for them to either become even more damaged or to injure you.

There is a security benefit to regular inspections, too. By performing these checkups and making sure that each component is working the way it should, you prevent theft of any valuables you may have in your garage. You see, each one of those components work together to ensure that the garage door works the way it’s supposed to and that the security is top-notch and fully functional.

Regular wear and tear on your garage door can unavoidably lead to the need to repair and to replace the individual components of your garage door. If you have an older garage door, it might be time to call an inspector who specializes in this field, so that they can inspect it for any potential damage to the internal and exterior elements. This allows you to prevent further damage and injuries and accidents which could lead to a loss of time and money. Not to mention the fact that having a stronger garage door that has been kept up to date and safe leads to an increase in the market value of your home.

In the end, regular maintenance of your garage door consists of a variety of simple things that will ensure that your garage door is the safest and most secure that it can be.

  • Regular tightening of the nuts and bolts
  • Lubrication of the cables, pulleys, and rollers
  • Regular adjustment of springs
  • Regular adjustment of the door opener
  • Tightening of the chain on a regular basis
  • Making sure to set the limit switches regularly
  • Lubricating the drive mechanism

Doing these things on a regular basis and making sure to see a garage door specialist for regular inspection is crucial to the safety and security of your garage door and the garage as a whole. Remember, these pieces of equipment can last a long time, but only if you take the necessary steps to make sure that it does last.

Safety is very important. Garage doors can, if not well taken care of, be very dangerous to operate. Make sure to regularly check to see if your garage door opens and closes properly. If things don’t seem to work they way they should, give us a call at (707) 644-5537 and we’ll schedule a service appointment.

Three Reasons Your Garage Door Won’t Close

We’ve all been there. You’ve just parked your car. You’re about to go inside, and you’re pressing the little button but your garage door won’t close. It doesn’t work. You try it again. It still doesn’t work. This goes on for some time, and by the end of it all, it still hasn’t closed. Unfortunately, the reasons for this are a complete mystery.

Garage Door Won't Close

If this is currently what you’re facing, take a deep breath and understand that we’re going to help you fix this problem. It’s okay. We’ve all been there, and we can help you fix it.

As for the reasons, we’ll get into them in a minute. But before you try to do anything else, there are a few things that you can check to see if they may be the cause of your problem.

In your hand, there is that little remote that transmits the signal to the garage. That signal tells the garage to “Close.” If the batteries are dead, the remote can’t send the signal. Some of the remotes display a light that indicates if there are batteries in the remote and if the remote can send the signal. Sad to say, not all garage door remotes come with this light. Test out some new batteries if there is no light. The source of the problem may just be that the batteries are dead.

One other thing to check before getting deep into problem-solving is to check the sides of the garage door. In the early nineties, garage doors started having these things called “Photo Eyes” built into them. These “Eyes” are sensors that detect any object that may get damaged by the garage door. It was meant as a safety precaution, and as such, you need to check the sides where the sensors are to remove anything that might be in the way.

Now let’s get into the three big reasons that might be why your garage door won’t close:

Your Garage Door Track Is Out of Alignment

Your garage door runs on something called a “garage door track.” Creative name, I know. This track allows the garage door to move up and down and to close properly. If the Garage Door Track is out of alignment, this prevents the garage door from closing or opening.

To check if this is the case, look at both sides of the track and see if there are any gaps in between the rails or if there are any bends in the rails. If there are, then that means that your garage door track is out of alignment, and we need to fix it.

One thing to do before attempting any fixes is to see if the door moves at all by pressing the button on your remote. If it does, that’s a good sign. If it doesn’t, then you really shouldn’t do this yourself and you should hire a professional who knows what he is doing.

To fix it, loosen the screws that hold the frame up, tap the track with a mallet to move it back into position, make sure it’s straight, then tighten the screws securely. Do this with the other tracks, too, because they may also be out of alignment.

Your Transmitters May Have Something Wrong with Them

Make sure the antenna is hanging from the receiver in your garage. Check to make sure nothing is obstructing or blocking it. Inspect the receiver for any damage. If there is, then you need to hire a garage door technician to fix the problem.

Two other potential solutions have to do with changing the frequency of the transmitter and reprogramming it. However, those two options are unnecessary. Focus on checking for any obstructions or potential damage and act accordingly.

Your Springs Are Broken

If you’ve been trying to close your door, and before you did, you heard a loud banging noise, that’s a good sign that the springs on your garage door are broken. The springs are the most crucial part of the garage door. They take the door and allow it to move up and down. If either of the two springs is broken – one on both sides – this prevents the garage door from opening.

Springs eventually break due to the limited number of times they can be used. Don’t try to fix this yourself. It’s very dangerous. Hire a professional who can help you.

Garage Door Security Tips

Garage Door Security Tips

Securing your garage is an excellent idea. This goes without saying, but many people don’t choose to secure their garage for a variety of reasons, and this just ends up leading to problems down the road.

In our garage, we often store our bikes and cars and a variety of other things that we use regularly. Some of us store lawn mowers and power tools and a wide variety of other valuable items. If this happens to be the case, then it is even more essential that you secure your garage and garage door; making certain that no one can break in easily and take off with your valuable possessions.

To make sure that your garage door is safe and secure, we’ve compiled tips that we will go into detail about. Each one can be applied with just a little effort, and it would be wise to do so.

Use Motion Detecting Lights

The light fixtures that are in and around your garage are very nice and all, but for upgraded security, it is wise to have these things called motion detecting lights. You can probably guess what these are, but basically, these lights emit infrared waves that detect things like body temperature and any motion or movement. When these things are detected, the light turns on. This light stays on for a specific period and then it shuts off. If motion is detected again, the light turns back on.

Keep Your Opener with You Or In A Safe Place

This is only logical, but make sure to keep the garage door opener – the key, really – with you at all times to make sure that no one can access it or open your garage door without you knowing about it. Too many people make poor attempts to “hide” the garage door opener that they own, but these attempts are often futile since they can easily be found and used. Therefore, try to keep your opener with you or in a safe place.

Purchase and Use A Garage Door Sensor

This is a very simple tool that you attach to your garage. Once that is done, you’ll take the second part of the kit which includes a little monitor that flashes a light telling you if your garage door is closed or open. Most burglaries come from the fact that people accidentally leave the door open. So make sure that your garage door is closed and that no one can actually get in.

Purchase an Automatic Garage Door Closer

You can easily find one of these at your local Home Depot or hardware store, and installation is generally quite simple. It does require a bit of wiring, but it’s not too complicated. If you look up “how to install an automatic garage door closer” on Google, you can find some excellent and quite simple tutorials that will allow you to do this almost effortlessly. One of the biggest benefits of having an automatic garage door closer is the fact that you can set a timer which will shut your garage door after it has been open for a certain amount of time. It’s best to set it for a rather short period.

Cover the Windows of Your Garage

Some good curtains that you are unable to see through should do the trick. The darker the better. Just make sure that, while walking by, you can’t see inside. If you can’t, then that means no one else can.

Add Extra Precautions for The Service Door

In any garage, the biggest weak spot is the service door. This is the door that you can find outside of the garage; it’s the entry door. Just like any other exterior door in and around your home, it should have a standard deadbolt, along with a heavy-duty strike plate. That way, if someone chooses to break in, they will find themselves having to put quite a bit of effort into that endeavor.

Be Sure to Close the Door

I know this is common sense but make sure to close the door after you use it. Many people forget to do this, and while it is understandable, it is best to check and make sure that the door is closed properly.

In the end, just use common sense and make sure that you have the right locks and your door is shut.