Common Garage Door Scams
When you think of fraud, you probably imagine identity theft or hackers. Unfortunately, many scams still occur offline, and one type you may not know of is garage door scams. While most people in the garage door industry are honest, some of them aren’t.
Scammers prey on people’s desire to take care of garage door problems quickly. Having a broken garage door is a hassle, and homeowners understandably want to clear up the issue as soon as possible. Garage door repair scams try to trick the homeowner into paying for services they don’t receive or the technician can’t perform.
How can you tell when someone is trying to scam you? What telltale signs of a scam should you watch out for? Keep an eye out for these common garage door scams.
The Rebuild Package Scam
Asking people to overpay for something or making promises that aren’t delivered on are both common scams in any industry. In the garage door business, rebuild package scams occur when a repair company says you need a “hardware overhaul,” which involves replacing everything from your torsion springs to the bearing brackets.
In reality, nothing is wrong with your equipment — most garage door hardware lasts 10 to 15 years. However, you might not initially realize that. You will get a rude awakening when you receive the bill because dishonest technicians mark up the hardware and the installation costs. Then, you pay an arm and a leg for new hardware you don’t need.
The Lifetime Guarantee Scam
When you hear someone talk about a lifetime guarantee, you probably think you’re set for as long as you own your house. However, that’s rarely the case. A lifetime guarantee often covers parts but not labor. Your technician can charge an exorbitant fee for labor for the simplest task, such as changing a light bulb.
By installing cheap parts, the technician ensures your hardware will break down. Then, you’ll call them to fix it again, enabling them to charge an astronomical labor fee. The cycle repeats when the broken hardware is replaced with another shoddy item, setting you up to need more help shortly down the road. If you consider a lifetime guarantee, ask the technician several essential questions:
- What does the guarantee cover?
- Can you walk me through the contract?
- What brands do you source your parts from?
Your contract only guarantees coverage for the hardware it mentions. Even if you speak to a technician about adding extra coverage, it will only apply if it’s in the contract.
The Unidentified Technician Scam
You only want experienced, certified professionals working on your garage door. While a company may present the impression that its technicians know what they’re doing, they can pull a last-minute switcheroo by contracting the work to a subcontractor. The person may not live up to the high standards set by a legitimate business.
The company you contracted with will pay the subcontractor a low rate, and the original technicians will have no investment in the outcome because you are not their customer. They aren’t counting on you using their services again for a job well done. You have no way of knowing if the person who comes to your door is certified or what their garage door repair history looks like. You also have no one to call if the repair is mishandled. Here are some things to look for to avoid this situation:
- The technician arrives in an unmarked car.
- The technician avoids introducing themselves or saying who they work for.
- The technician shows no signs of direct employment by the company you contracted with.
How to Avoid Garage Door Repair Scams
When you know what to look for, you can avoid garage door repair scams. Here are some questions to ask during the vetting process:
- How do you identify your company?
- What company am I speaking with?
- Can you provide me your business’s address?
- Do you have any recent customers I could talk to about your services?
If you are not satisfied with the answers you receive, play it safe and avoid hiring the contractor. Always trust your gut. If something seems fishy or “off” with the company, it’s better to err on the side of caution than get caught up in a scam.
Instead of relying on a business with shady practices, ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations for garage door repair companies they have used and liked. Getting a testimonial from a trusted source is always better than trying a company you aren’t sure about.
How to Report Garage Door Scams
If a suspected garage door scammer has approached you, or you have fallen victim to a scam, you can report it. Contact the International Door Association (IDA) by emailing email@example.com. You can explain the details and include any documentation from your case. The organization may follow up with you for more information.
Scammers may also face criminal charges depending on what they did. You can contact your local police station to report the interaction. At the least, the police may warn others in the neighborhood that a suspicious person is making false claims.
Enjoy Quality Garage Door Service With AAA Garage Door
For reputable garage door repairs, contact AAA Garage Door. We have provided many people in the Fremont, Nebraska, area with dependable service at affordable prices.
3 Effects of Cold Weather on Garage Door Openers
3 Effects of Cold Weather on Garage Door Openers
Your garage door opener may struggle to open the door in cold weather, which could lead to breakage or higher energy costs. In some cases, garage doors may stick in cold weather, meaning the opener may not be able to open the door at all.
The question is, what steps can you take to maintain the integrity of your garage door and garage door opener in cold weather?
How Cold Weather Affects Garage Door Openers
Is it too cold for your garage door to work correctly? Many homeowners ask this question when winter weather hits and they notice a slowdown or malfunction of their garage door opener. Cold weather can have different effects on your garage door based on fluctuations in precipitation and temperature.
Your garage door system is a machine. Like any other machine, it has moving parts. Temperature changes are notorious for the impact they have on interconnected components. Cold weather, especially, can have a significant effect on your garage door opener.
Cold Weather and Garage Door Openers
Three effects of cold weather on garage door openers are:
1. Garage Door Openers May Lose Lubrication and Connectivity
Garage door openers can lose some of their lubrication in cold weather, which may cause them to work harder. When you properly lubricate your garage door opener, you minimize the strain on the motor. A professional technician can assist you in finding the best lubricant for your garage door parts.
The photo-eye sensors on your garage door can also become fogged over due to the cold. When this happens, the garage door may think there is an obstruction in the way even if there isn’t. This lack of communication between the sensors can cause malfunctions with your garage door opener. Luckily, all you have to do in this situation is wipe off the lenses.
2. Garage Doors Contract in Cold Weather
Garage doors — mostly those made of steel — contract in cold weather. Other metal garage door parts, such as rollers, hinges and springs, can warp if they’re not moved regularly in the cold.
At AAA Garage Door, we recommend scheduling annual maintenance before winter begins and lubricating your garage door’s moving metal parts to keep them working properly.
3. Garage Doors Can Freeze to the Ground
When water freezes during the winter months, some garage doors freeze to the ground, especially if puddles form at the bottom. Garage doors are designed to seal to the ground in an attempt to prevent weather and small animals from coming inside. In cold weather, though, this can cause the door to stick.
To help prevent this, push away any collected water from the bottom of your garage door as often as possible.
Schedule Your Garage Door Winter Maintenance
AAA Garage Door has 25 years of experience performing everything from simple repairs, garage door parts replacements, inspections and regular maintenance to total replacements. We make it our top priority to give our customers comprehensive services and the highest-quality products on the market. We’ll also ensure your Omaha residential or commercial garage door performs well throughout the winter months.
If you find that your garage door is sticking in cold weather or it’s too cold for your garage door opener to work properly, trust AAA Garage Door to find the right solutions. Repairing or updating your garage door or garage door opener with a replacement is simple and straightforward with the help of our highly skilled technicians.
Last Reviewed By Felipe Pinales on August 10th, 2020
Break-In Prevention – 4 Tips To Ensure Your Garage Door Is Secure
Keeping your home safe and secure is a primary concern for every homeowner. You want to be sure that you, your family, and your belongings are kept away from prying eyes and prevent the chance of a break-in. It’s important to remember that most break-ins are opportunist, so simply locking up your home and garage door and also keeping valuables out of sight can be a great deterrent. However, seasoned burglars know will look for other loopholes to enter your house via your garage, windows or other main entryways.
How To Secure Your Garage Door: 4 Tips
While many homeowners focus on home security for their windows and doors, it’s essential that you don’t overlook your garage door when making sure your home is safe. Below, our residential garage repair experts at AAA Garage Doors take a closer look at four simple tips to help homeowners to keep their garage door secured.
1. Upgrade your Garage Door Opener
If your garage door opener has been in use for many years, it might finally be time to update it. Modern garage door openers have smart systems in place that will alert you if your garage door has been left open. The most up-to-date systems can even come with an alarm and security lights included helping to keep your property and home even more secure. Another helpful element with the newest technology is that you can often close your door remotely if it left open. This allows the peace of mind that you are back in control of your home security, even when you’re not home!
2. Pay Attention To Your Door’s Emergency Release Trigger
The vast majority of garage doors have a special emergency release trigger that will allow you to get in or out of your garage when there is a power cut. Typically, the trigger is near the top of the door, allowing burglars an opportunity to access the switch and gain access to your home through your garage door. It’s worth considering an installation of a shield in front of the door release or, alternatively, you can disable the safety release. The method for doing this will be different from model-to-model, but usually, it is as simple as cutting the chord that is attached to the emergency release. If you are unsure as to how to disable the security release, simply get in touch with our team at AAA Garage Doors and let us help you out.
3. Add Manual Locks
If you really want to keep your garage door secure, a great option is to install heavy-duty manual locks on the inside of your garage door. However, while this is a highly-effective approach in some situations, there are some pros and cons worth considering. First of all, you will need to be at home in order to secure the locks from the inside. Secondly, how effective these locks will be, is solely dependent on how much you are willing to use them, which brings us to our final point.
4. Motion Detection Lights
It might not seem like a motion detection light outside of your garage door will stop a burglar from breaking into your home but you’d be surprised. Lights take a bigger role then you’d think in deterring burglars. Not only do detection lights notify the people who are home that there is someone or something moving outside but they also bring attention from any surrounding neighbors who have a clear view of your home’s garage. The simple act of having a light shown on a burglary deters them more than you’d think!
Bonus Tip – Create Good Security Habits
Homeowners who become complacent in regards to their security habits put their house at a higher risk of burglary. Locking your garage door sometimes, switching on your security lights from time-to-time or closing the door most of the time, will not help to keep your home secure. Here at AAA Garage Doors, we recommend developing and practicing good security habits. Effective communication with all family members and residents will ensure that everyone is on the same page with what is required in terms of security when leaving the house. Be proactive and always follow the same security procedure when you are closing up your garage, and you will be at a much lower risk for break-ins.
Keep Your Garage Door Secure And Your Family Protected
To keep your home secure and protected, you must take the time to secure your garage door. As a major entry point to your home, this vulnerable area requires necessary steps to ensure there is no unauthorized access. Get in touch with our garage repair experts at AAA Garage Doors to find out more about how you can bolster the security of your garage door. With our help, you can rest easy knowing that your home is safe and secure.
Last Reviewed By Felipe Pinales on July 2nd, 2020
Safely Converting Your Garage Door into a Play Space for Kids
Winter is a time when there just isn’t enough outdoors to be found. For many families with children, this means converting your garage space into a play space. This alternative is potentially viable, but it must include taking a thorough look at all the dangers that can be lurking there before sending your kids out to play. Clutter, stored chemicals, dangerous tools and easy access to garage door mechanisms can make a garage play space an unsafe space.
Clear the Clutter, Lock Away Potential Dangers in Your Garage
Before you decide to turn the kids lose in the garage, AAA Garage Door, Inc. recommends you look around with a critical eye to remove any potential hazards that could turn playtime into tragedy. Start by clearing away clutter that could pose a trip or fall risk. Then, walk through the space to identify any equipment, dangerous liquids or power tools that could be accessed. These should be stored in locked cabinets or at a height that cannot be reached by curious children. Unplug power tools and remove other potential hazards such as saw blades, cutting implements or other items that could cause injury.
Is Your Garage Properly Ventilated to be Used as a Play Space?
Something that isn’t often considered is proper ventilation in your residential garage. If your children will be spending many hours playing inside this space, it is recommended that you inspect and/or upgrade your ventilation system.
Never use gas-powered or electric space heaters to warm the garage even with the overhead door open. The risks of fire, accidental burns, and carbon monoxide poisoning are simply too high. If your car is in the garage where children will be playing, remove the keys and lock the car door to prevent it from being accidentally started; an engine running in a closed garage is never safe, not to mention the trouble they could cause if they happened to engage the gear shift.
Important Lesson for Children: Garage Doors are Not a Toy
Every year, thousands of children are injured or die when they use the residential garage doors as playthings. Children should always be made aware of simple garage door safety rules and reminded of them on a regular basis.
They should never ride on the door while it is going up or down, or use the wall-mounted controller and remote devices without adult permission. Accidental entrapment can happen when children attempt to “race the door” or if they engage the door when another child might be near or in the overhead door’s path.
Finally, don’t allow your children to use the garage as a play space especially if you haven’t regularly maintained the garage door over the past couple of years. Broken parts can cause injury from sharp edges or shattered glass panes. Doors that have mechanical issues can even fall unexpectedly. Make sure your garage door is in perfect condition when turning your garage into a safe environment.
Let us make sure your garage is safe
If you aren’t sure if your garage is “play ready” it pays to call AAA Garage Door, Inc. to do a critical review of any outstanding safety concerns or garage door services and repairs that need done. Call us at (402) 727-0789 or fill out a contact form before you send the children out to play.
Last Reviewed By Felipe Pinales on June 24th, 2020