Summer Heat Affects Garage Doors

Summer Garage Care

Kids Playing in the Driveway during Summer Months

Everyone loves it when summer arrives! The kids are out of school, summer vacation is coming, and it is time to play! Oft overlooked, summer can also have a devastating effect on property, especially your garage doors. Here is an overview of how to ensure this summer’s heat does not cause expensive or dangerous damage to your home’s garage door.

Bolster Electrical Circuits and Wires to Handle the Heat

In areas that get especially intense, direct summer sun, it common to find that your garage door’s electrical circuits

Unsafe Electrical Wiring

Unsafe Electrical Wires

and wires break down. Here, you will want to do an annual, pre-summer check to make sure your circuits and wires can withstand another hot summer. You can also install heat-shielding wraps, sleeving, tape and shields to protect and insulate wires and circuits from the worst of the summer’s heat. Also, anything you do to insulate your garage itself will also protect the interior wires and circuitry from too much heat exposure.

Prepare for Power Surges from Summer Storms

Not only can summer storms cause flooding and damage from wind, but power surges and outages.  A power surge can cause damage – sometimes irreparable – to the sensitive, inner mechanisms of the garage door system. The best way to prepare for power surges is to simply plug your garage door outlet into a strong, surge protector. You may also want to install a battery back-up unit in case of an extended power outage (or, at the very least, learn all you can about how to manually raise and lower your garage door in this situation!)

Heat-Protect Remote Operating Systems and Sensors

Sunlight through window

Direct sun rays interfere with your garage sensors.

Did you know the sun’s rays can interfere with the sensors on a remote-controlled garage door operating system? If a beam of direct light hits one of the sensors, it can “trick” that sensor into thinking it is being blocked (at which point it may refuse to open or close). As well, the circuit board of your garage door system may or may not be designed to operate properly in such heat. One of the best ways to guard against sensor interference is to adjust their location so as to avoid being hit by direct light or create small, tent-like covers to shield the sensors from direct light beams.

 

Allow for Expansion of Materials and Tracks in the Heat

It is a lesson learned in grade school – materials shrink in the cold and expand in the presence of heat. What does this mean for your garage door in summer? In the peak of summer, temperatures inside your garage can swell to over 100 degrees, causing an expansion of the door itself as well as the metal track and the mechanisms that roll the door up and down the track. An easy fix is to apply a fresh coat of paint to insulate against heat build-up. You can also clean and remove rust and add lubrication to help insulate moving parts against the heat. If possible (if it is safe to do and your HOA permits it), you can also manually pause your garage door just a few inches above the ground to let out some of the intense inside heat, encouraging a bit of ventilation.

Remove Garage Clutter Before Summer Heat Hits

Garage Fire Burned House

House fires often start in the garage.

Little-known fact: the U.S. Fire Administration states that when residential fires begin in the garage, they are larger and spread to other areas of the home quicker.  The most common cause of these fires is “electrical arcing,” an especially common problem in older homes with older wiring. So, not only do you need to ensure your wiring is up to code and well-insulated, but you need to remove as much clutter as possible to reduce the chance that a spark could ignite flammable objects or materials nearby.

By addressing these key safety areas in your own garage and home, you can prepare for summer’s heat and ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for yourself and your family!

On June 18th, 2015, posted in: garage door tips by Tags:

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