In hot climates—and the even warmer summer months—it’s common to see garage doors left open, even if only a foot or so off the ground. An uncomfortably hot garage can make this seem like a good idea, but there are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t keep your garage door open unattended.
There are better ways to cool your garage
A well-sealed and insulated garage won’t heat us much as a garage more exposed to outside temperatures. If controlling the heat is an issue for your home, then it’s worth investing in insulating your garage and adding adequate ventilation (ductwork, security windows, fans). An insulated garage must also have an insulated door, though, or the effect will be minimal. If all of these elements are in place, your garage will certainly be cooler with the door closed than with it left open (and all the accompanying risks).
Stress on the door
In the fully open or fully closed position, the garage door’s system is under the least stress from spring tension. Since leaving it fully open isn’t a safe idea (unattended), homeowners who leave the garage up just a few inches may vent some air, but are overall adding to the strain on the door system, decreasing its lifespan.
Animals and insects
As soon as the weather-stripped seal opened, there are a number of critters that may be willing to move right in. Insect infestations can happen quickly, but even larger animals like rodents can make themselves at home—or at least wreak havoc. It’s also possible for animals or birds to enter by accident and find themselves trapped when the door is later lowered.
From tools to stored items to even your car itself (and/or its contents), the open garage door is a great temptation to thieves. So unless your garage is extremely empty, leaving it open is like leaving an open invitation.
How many of us leave the interior garage door unlocked? If this is your common practice, then leaving the garage door up isn’t just a risk to what’s in the garage, but to everyone inside your home. It’s almost like leaving the front door wide open for home invasion. Even quiet neighborhoods with low crime rates can still fall victim to criminal activity, so it’s best to not provide easy access.
Hijacking the automatic opener
Finally, if you’ve ever reprogrammed or added a garage door remote to your automatic opener, you know it can take less than a minute. If your door is open fully, any sneaky would-be thief could program a generic fob to open your door whenever they like! And that partially-opened door? With the right tools, someone can reach up and pull the release handle to gain full access.
The garage door is the largest opening into your home, so to keep your residence safe, make the most of the security features of a closed and locked door—and the peace of mind that comes with it.