Why Keep the Garage Door Cracked Open? 

garage door crack open

Are you wondering about the benefits and drawbacks of keeping your garage door cracked open? In this article, we’ll talk about why some people crack open their garage doors and some of the benefits and dangers of this practice. 

People keep their garage doors cracked to reduce heat in the summer months. During the middle of the summer, the garage can become extra hot, similar to the way a car becomes hot in the sun. Some people feel that cracking their garage door will allow a cool breeze into the garage, reducing the temperature. 

While it’s common for people to crack their garage door, it’s not particularly effective at reducing heat in the garage. Also, it creates a few lesser-known risks to your home. Below, we’ll unpack some of the reasons you’d want to keep your garage door cracked open, why it can be dangerous, and how you can do it safely. 

Benefits of Keeping the Garage Door Partly Open 

First, we’ll talk about some of the supposed benefits of keeping the garage door cracked open. Then, later on, we’ll talk about some of the reasons this can be dangerous and how you can do it safely. 

Here are a few reasons to crack open the garage door: 

  • Air-out the garage to reduce heat Reduce fumes and heat while working 
  • Let pets out 

See more details below. 

Air Out the Garage 

Some people, particularly those in a hot climate, will crack open the garage door to allow some internal heat to dissipate. Many garages don’t have windows, and most don’t have any AC. So, to stay cool, people will crack open the garage. 

However, some garages are musty and moist. To reduce this humidity, homeowners will crack open the garage door to air everything out. Let’s talk about working in the garage. 

Cracking the Garage Door to Keep Comfortable While Working 

People who frequently work in their garages will crack open their garage door to prevent the garage from becoming overheated. Also, some people will be working with fuels, or they might be painting something. Paint and fuel sometimes have harmful fumes, so opening the garage door will allow the air to circulate, keeping the air fresher while you work. 

Cracking the Garage Door to Let the Dog Out 

Some people have animals in the house, and instead of using a doggy door, they might let them walk through the garage to get outside. Perhaps they’ll even leave an inside door open to allow the dog to come inside and go outside as needed throughout the day. 

As you can see, there are several reasons someone might choose to leave the garage door cracked open. While there is a way to do this safely, there are a few dangers that everyone should consider. 

The Dangers of Leaving the Garage Door Partly Opened 

As you’ll see in this section, there are some real troubles with leaving your garage door partly open for an extended period. 

Reasons it’s dangerous to leave the garage cracked open: 

  • Intruders 
  • Pests 
  • Durability 
  • Personal Safety 

We will talk in more detail below. 

Intruders Coming Through the Garage 

There have been stories of people stealing from homes by gaining access through the garage. If you didn’t already know, the garage door is already an insecure location – many criminals know how to slide a special tool through the top of your garage door, deactivate the latch, and then easily lift it open. 

Also, many of us keep fairly valuable tools inside the garage. If someone breaks in, they can steal easily. 

Leaving the garage door cracked makes this even easier – and what happens if you forget to close it before you go to bed? Then your garage door is open all night. However, some thieves will even steal during the light of day. 

If you live in a city, this is a particularly serious concern. However, if you live in the country, there are other intruders to worry about. 

Pests in the Garage 

Yes, leaving your garage door will allow your pets to get out, but it will also allow other pests to come in. And they will come in if there’s something in the garage for them. 

By cracking your garage door, you leave yourself open to the possibility of raccoons, skunks, snakes, squirrels, chipmunks, and all other vermin. Sometimes, even birds will wander under a garage door, becoming trapped inside. 

If you crack your garage door open, be careful about pests! 

Garage Door Durability 

Not all garage doors are built equal. Some are downright flimsy. All garage doors have moving parts, and anything with moving parts needs to be maintained. 

Some garage doors may not tolerate being left partly open. There have been many stories of garage doors coming off their tracks. Make sure you check that you’re not placing extra strain on your garage door by leaving it cracked open. 

Personal Safety and a Partially Open Garage Door

Most garage doors have sensors that signal the door to stop if something is in the way. However, these don’t always work. By leaving your garage door cracked open, you could risk accidentally harming someone. Let’s look at an example. 

You’ve left the garage door cracked open in the morning before you go to work. You return open and press the remote to open the door all the way. But instead of going up, the garage door goes down first (a common issue). 

However, you didn’t see that a small bike was in the path of the door. Now you risk destroying the bike and the door. Not to mention the danger if a person was standing near the garage door on the inside. 

As you can see, there are some dangers to cracking your garage door open. Thankfully, most dangers can be mitigated with a few common-sense steps. 

How to Safely Crack Your Garage Door Open 

Let’s go over a few ways to safely crack open your garage door. As you’ll see, there are multiple ways you can safely cool your garage without the potential risks. 

Here are the steps to safely crack the garage door: 

  • Install AC 
  • Install Security 
  • Install a Screen 
  • Use Good Habits

Read more details below!

Install AC in the Garage

The first thing you could do is install an AC unit in the garage. Either extend the ductwork from your home’s AC or install a window or rolling unit in the garage. This will give you the option to cool the area while you’re working in the garage. 

Also, many garage doors can be insulated. If you insulate the garage door, you’ll have a much easier time cooling it with AC.

Install Security Outside the Garage

If you don’t want to install an AC unit in the garage, you could install a security camera outside the garage. This will allow you to keep the garage door cracked open while monitoring and deterring would-be intruders. 

Keep in mind that a security camera is not a guarantee that you will prevent break-ins, but it will at least deter people and allow you to catch them should you be robbed. 

Install a. Screen for Garage Door

To prevent pests from entering your garage, you can install a screen inside the garage door. These garage door screens are usually simple drape-like screens that will prevent any animals or bugs from entering your garage while the door is partly open. 

Yes, they will require an installation, and you’ll have to remove the screen to back in your car, but at least you can know your garage is safe from crawling critters. Let’s talk about the final step to staying safe while cracking open your garage door. 

Form Good Habits Around the Garage Door 

The best safety mechanism is yourself. While machines, sensors, and safeties can help us, you should never rely on them over good common sense. Equipment can fail. 

For example, if you’re about to fully open the garage door from the partly open position, get out of your vehicle before you do. Make sure no person or item is blocking the path of the garage door before you enter. Yes, this is another step, but it’s important to stay safe. 

Also, ensure that you keep up on garage door maintenance. The moving parts may need to be lubricated from time to time. Also, you should test the security systems regularly to ensure that the sensors are working as they should. 

Let’s go over our key takeaway. 

Key Takeaway on Cracking Open the Garage Door 

People will crack open their garage doors for a multitude of reasons. Most are trying to capitalize on a slight breeze to keep their garage cool. The truth is, if you want your garage door to stay cool, you should install an AC unit and insulate the walls. 

Cracking open the garage door routinely can have dangers – it leaves you open to intruders and pests, and it can strain your garage door motor, as well as be a danger to people and pets in the home. 

To stay safe, always check all is clear before opening or closing a garage door. Also, stay up to date on garage door maintenance. 

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