7 Easy Ways to Keep Your Home Safe from Intruders

door knob with keys hanging out of them and blurry background

According to 2018 statistics by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a burglary occurred every 25.7 seconds, meaning a house was broken into at least twice a minute in the U.S.1 Thousands of burglaries occur every day. It would seem that a break-in at your home is almost inevitable. However, keeping your home safe from intruders is possible in the following ways:

1.  Update All of the Locks

First and foremost, it’s important to make sure your windows and doors are locked. Burglars look for the easiest targets and their entry often isn’t forced at all.

Oftentimes, homeowners find that their existing locks are insufficient. A poor-quality lock won’t be much of a defense against burglars. If exterior doors and windows don’t have it, install a deadbolt lock which is more difficult to break into. Strong door frames and hinges are important as well. That’s why older doors can be a security risk.

Newer, higher quality doors, windows, and locks can protect your home much more effectively. Smart locks are a good idea too. They can automatically lock doors and windows and even allow you to track whether one is open via your smartphone.

2.  Secure the Doors

Burglars break in using the front door about 34% of the time.2 Vulnerabilities include mail slots that someone can use to reach in and unlock the door by hand or with a tool. Your best defense is a secure, solid door. A hollow exterior front door is a security risk as it can easily be kicked in, while a metal or wood, solid-core door is more reliable. Updated strike plates and other hardware can help eliminate weak points.

Sliding glass doors are often easy entry points. Their latch doesn’t usually keep the door secure enough. Burglars can often kick the bottom hard enough to open the door. To secure it, install a safety bar on the interior floor track and/or a floor bolt or foot lock. Other ways to boost door security include:

Add a peephole: It lets you see any uninvited guests and allows you to make a decision when someone knocks or rings the bell. Also, it avoids adding a less secure opening or small window.
Install a video doorbell: Essentially a small, self-contained surveillance system, a doorbell security camera lets you see live camera footage from your front door, and spot suspicious activity from anywhere you go. Some systems let you communicate with visitors as well.
Add a security screen: Provides an additional layer of protection for your home. At Roy’s Screen Service, we offer many types of screens, including metal security screen doors that not only keep intruders out, but also bugs, while you can enjoy a fresh breeze from outside. We offer many designs with strong and durable stainless aluminum or wrought iron.

3.  Reinforce Windows

About 23% of the time, burglars enter via a first-floor window.3 They’re looking for the easiest target; an open window is optimal for them, while experienced thieves know what to look for to see if a window is unlocked.

If your window locks are of poor quality, replace them. More secure options include security locks or key-operated levers. Your windows can be made more secure also with reinforcing security film, bars, and even glass break sensors that trigger an alarm when the sound of breaking glass is detected.

4.  Add Landscape Lighting

A burglar prefers to remain under cover, and darkness is their greatest asset. That’s why outdoor landscape lighting is an effective deterrent. Lights should be positioned around your front lawn, backyard, along pathways, the garage, and any outdoor structure that’s separate from your main home. Motion-activated lights can startle the hardiest of intruders and save you energy; other options include connecting lights to a timer or installing solar-powered lights.

But you don’t have to go all out to benefit from lighting. A small porch light or lamp post can do the trick.

5.  Make Sure the Garage Is Secure

Homeowners often go great lengths to secure their homes, but many leave their garages unprotected. The biggest mistake is to leave the garage door open. A thief can walk by and steal a lawnmower, toolset, or bicycle in a few seconds, even if you’re working outside nearby. Close the garage door every time you leave.

Your garage door may have more vulnerabilities than you think. If you have an attached garage, the risk is even greater as the garage is an easy access point.

Here are some garage tips for keeping your home safe from intruders:

● Take your garage door opener remote with you, instead of leaving it in the vehicle. Stealing a remote is one of the top reasons thieves break into cars.
● Cover windows so would-be burglars can’t peak into your garage and see items that would entice them to break in. Also, store valuables inside cabinets or where they can’t be seen.
● Upgrade your garage door opener to one that closes automatically or that you can check or close from your smartphone. Some apps will remind you if the door is open so you can take action before a burglary happens.

6.  Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Don’t keep valuables where they can be easily seen by passers-by. That includes jewelry, electronics, bikes, or cash. Consider investing in a safe that both keeps your items secure and out of sight. A safe should be fire-resistant and waterproof, as well as heavy so a thief can’t just pick it up and walk away. Many safes can be bolted to the wall or floor.

The best safes have features such as redundant locks, passcode protection, and even fingerprint readers. If it has a passcode, make sure you know the code and keep it with you in a secure place. It should not be written anywhere someone can find it.

Other advice on using a safe includes storing receipts from expensive items. If a valuable belonging is stolen, you can provide the necessary information to file an insurance claim. Photos and serial numbers should be stored as well. The number of a computer, for example, can help retrieve it if it’s stolen and/or you happen to see it at a pawn shop or neighbor’s house.

7.  Make Your Home Look Occupied

Criminals are more likely to strike if they know nobody is home. If you go away for a few days:

● Let your neighbors know; they can drop by to check on your house and make it seem like they’re visiting someone inside.
● Install smart lights on timers that mimic your daily schedule, so it looks like someone is home.
● Suspend newspaper subscriptions or have someone collect papers daily; a pile on your lawn or porch is a sign of an empty home.
● Put a hold on mail delivery or have a friend check your mailbox daily, as an overflowing mailbox can make your home a target.

house exterior with lights on at night

Contact Roy’s Screen Service

We can contribute to keeping your home safe from intruders with strong stainless aluminum and wrought iron security screen doors. Various finishes and designs are possible so your security doors will be stylish and match your home.

Our products can withstand extreme pressure and are resistant to extreme weather conditions. If you’re looking for a deterrent against the most intent criminals, we can help secure your home and give you peace of mind. Contact us to learn more.

Source:

  1. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/topic-pages/crime-clock
  2. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/how-to-secure-your-home.html

How to Keep Bugs Away from Your Patio

leaf-footed bug sitting on a leaf

beautiful interior design guesthouse scene

Chances are, you’ve waited months for the day you can sit comfortably on your patio and enjoy outdoor living. Yet as people start spending more time outdoors, bugs start to appear. Mosquitoes, flies, and other nuisance insects can be relentless. However, you are not destined to be assaulted by these pests all season long. Here is how to keep bugs away from your patio so you can spend quality time outdoors at home.

Clean Your Patio and Backyard

Make a habit of cleaning, especially when you drop crumbs or spill liquids, as a form of pest control. Insects are attracted to the smallest pieces of food. What is barely noticeable to you is a delicacy for an ant or a fly. Also clean your gutters. Not only does this maintain drainage, but it also removes food and water sources that can attract various pests.

Lighting

Insects tend to be more attracted to white lights as there’s ample blue light in them. Replace these with bulbs that emit a yellowish or orange glow. Sodium vapor lights can do the job. Bugs more easily see colors with shorter wavelengths, such as blue, like the color of bug zappers, so anything that’s around the yellow or red part of the light spectrum may keep them away.

Plants

If you thought plants would attract bugs, think again. Many plants naturally repel insects. That’s why rosemary, marigold, lavender, basil, and citronella are common patio plants. Chrysanthemums are effective at repelling ants, and basil helps keep flies away. Lavender is an effective repellent for moths while catnip repels mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and cockroaches.

Likewise, essential oils such as lemongrass, lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, and peppermint repel many of the bugs that appear in summer. You can buy some of them as candles and bug repellents, but plants can really liven up your patio space.

Repellents

Spray repellents can do the job well but can be stinky too. Most people prefer not to put those chemicals on their skin. Instead, if you have lemon balm plants nearby, rub them over your skin to repel mosquitoes. DIY repellents can be used as well. You can combine some of the plants/essential oils mentioned above with witch hazel and jojoba oil in a spray bottle. Or, you can mix hydrogen peroxide and water and spray the mixture around your patio.

Drain Standing Water

Standing water, no matter where it is, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Change bird baths often, make sure your gutters and downspouts are in working condition, and cover up swimming pools when not in use. If you have buckets or watering cans sitting around, make sure to empty them, and correct any drainage issues on your property.

Patio Enclosure

Nothing works better at keeping bugs away than a physical barrier. A screened patio enclosure has fine mesh to allow air in and provide a view beyond your home. It keeps the bugs out at the same time, so you’re not busy swatting and clapping your hands at them all day. Imagine a fresh breeze with no insects flying around.

Porch with patio view

At Roy’s Screen Service, we can afford you that luxury. We provide customized patio screens with lightweight, durable aluminum frames available in a choice of colors. We offer fiberglass mesh screens in gray and charcoal, as well as specialized Suntex screens that block 90% of sunlight, also in a range of colors.

In addition to insects, our screens protect you from the rain and wind. Your outdoor space will be free of leaves, branches, and tree and other plant-based debris as well.

Contact Roy’s Screen Service

If you’re wondering how to keep bugs away from your patio, look no further than Roy’s Screen Service. We install, replace, and repair patio screen enclosures. Our technicians are professionally trained, and our products are of the highest quality. For a free estimate on a screen for your existing patio enclosure, contact us today.

Do Window Screens Keep Pollen Out?

window open showing trees outside and small lantern on window sill

Customers rely on Roy’s Screen Service for a range of different screens. Window screens have many benefits, but did you know they can keep pollen out of your home?

When the spring season rolls around, most of us desire fresh air. Opening the windows is the easiest way to get a comforting breeze in your home, but for allergy sufferers, it’s a different story. A window screen can help and, in fact, block floating pollen grains from entering. This can allow you to enjoy the benefits of fresh air flow and avoid the symptoms of hay fever, without being forced to keep your windows closed every day.

Cleaning and maintenance are important as well. You can improve visibility, indoor air quality, and ease of maintenance by having a screen to clean. Otherwise, pollen can build up, causing your window to get stuck. Window screens do keep the pollen out if you:

● Remove the screen before cleaning a detachable window, so all edges are reached.
● Use the proper cleaning mixture; detergent and water are just fine.
● Wipe off any pollen, dirt, or debris before using a cleaning mixture.
● Dry the window screen with a dry microfiber cloth, which is highly absorbent.
● Save your cleaning for a cloud day, as the drying action of the sun can smear glass

Allergy Season

High pollen counts from weeds, trees, and grasses is a seasonal occurrence. While many people avoid the outdoors or take medication to combat allergy symptoms, there are some basic steps that can be helpful. These include:

Window Screen Filters: If you don’t want to keep the window shut, you can install a filter for your window screen or window air conditioner that will keep the pollen out of your home.
Disposable Central Air Filters: Installing a disposable filter in your central air conditioning system prevents airborne pollen from circulating throughout your home.
HEPA Air Filters: A HEPA air purifier captures 99.9% of particles, including pollen. One HEPA filter will usually clean your entire home, and it can clean a roomful of air several times an hour.
Use a Face Mask Outside: Face masks aren’t only for avoiding viruses; they can prevent you from breathing in pollen. There are simple and high-grade ones with HEPA filtration.

Window Screen Solutions

Window screens are not a new idea. In 1839, wire screens for windows were showcased in Boston. Gilbert, Bennett and Company, a manufacturer of wire mesh sieves for food processors, began painting wire cloths gray and selling them as window screens in 1861. The idea was instantly successful.

Various solutions are available that can help alleviate the sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion associated with pollen allergies. The mesh can act as a filter while remaining transparent, allowing light and fresh air through. Window screens don’t require batteries or any special equipment to function. They consume no energy, meaning using them won’t raise your utility bills.

Some models are made of nylon or fiberglass. These are rather durable and can last if taken care of. Such materials are also UV-resistant, meaning they’ll protect you against sunlight and protect furniture and carpeting from fading.

Anti-Pollen Window Screens

If you’re willing to invest a little more, anti-pollen window screens can even more effectively keep pollen out. However, pollen grains can still build up. Those trapped in the screen can come loose if you open or move the screen. That can mean a nasty faceful of pollen dust! Ah-choo!!

To avoid this, clean the screen regularly. Dust and pollen can be removed easily. Plus, you can avoid allergens getting trapped in the screen and building up to a point they block the fresh air. It’s best to have a regular cleaning schedule as your home must be cleaned consistently to get rid of allergens. During peak allergy season, you may want to clean around your windows and doors a couple of times a week.

Grasses pollen flying

Other Ways to Control Allergies

While window screens and other measures reduce the chances of pollen getting into your home, some of it inevitably will. Try these strategies if your spring allergies are acting up:

● Replace curtains with lightweight, foldless materials or blinds.
● Remove carpets and rugs, which attract dirt and pollen.
● Use pillow/mattress covers to prevent pollen from reaching below.
● Take off shoes/change clothes when you get home.
● Wash your hair as soon as you get home.
● Thoroughly groom your pets often.
● Get a dehumidifier or air purification system.
● Replace the clothes line with a tumble dryer/clothes horse.

Schedule Window Screen Installation or Repair Today

Roy’s Screen Service provides door and window screens to customers all over Los Angeles. Here, the weather is suited for letting in warm or cool air year round. Our products are custom made and available in different colors. Wood screen frames are available to match your home and are handcrafted to complement your existing decor. For more information or a free quote, contact us today.

Picking the Right Pet Door for Your Home

brown dog sleeping on grey couch

As a pet owner, you know just how great being outdoors can be. Outside is the perfect place to let your dog or cat roam, explore, and burn off some of that extra energy. However, let’s face it: If you have a pet that just loves going in and out, you know how annoying it can be to get up to constantly let your pet outside and back in again.

This is one of many scenarios that having a pet door can solve. With the right cat or dog door, your pet can go in or out as they please. This not only absolves you from your duty as personal doorman, but also allows your pet to relieve themselves, even when you aren’t home.

So, how do you choose the right product when there are so many to choose from? Here’s everything you need to know about how to choose a pet door so that you choose one that not only fits your pet but your home as well.

Measure Your Pet

cat using cat flap and comes out independently.

Before getting too thick into the details of choosing a pet door, the first thing you’ll want to do is measure your dog or cat. Your pet’s size ultimately determines the size of the door that you’ll need to purchase.

Consider your pet’s height as well as width. If you have a smaller dog or cat, you’ll want to choose a door that is the right size to accommodate your pet. The same stands true for large and even extra large pets.

Once you have these numbers, you can start looking more into choosing a pet door that will work best for you and your furry family member.

Consider the Conditions

There are many factors you’ll want to consider when figuring out which kind of pet door best meets your needs. Once you’ve figured out what size pet door you need, the next step is to take a step back and consider your conditions. Think about details such as:

  • Are there small children in the home?
  • How many pets need to use the door?
  • Are you worried about wildlife coming indoors?

If you have a smaller dog or cat and are not worried about weather, a pet door designed for screens may be ideal. Screened pet doors are simple and easy to install and are generally best reserved for smaller pets. You aren’t likely to find a screened pet door that will accommodate a larger animal.

For pet owners who live in hot or cold climates, an insulated pet door is ideal. These doors have a layer of insulation that seals shut. This type of pet door usually offers UV protection, as well, and is made to be wind-resistant. This way, the outside elements are kept where they belong: outdoors!

Choosing the Right Kind of Pet Door

Jack russel puppy on white carpet.

Dog and cat doors are available in a wide variety, so you’re sure to find one that fits your pet and your home. Whether you want your pet to enter and exit through a patio door or a screened porch with a wooden door, there’s sure to be a pet door that is designed to fit.

One of the simplest and cheapest pet door options is the door flap. This type of door has one or two flaps that your pet passes through. The flap size is dependent on the size of your pet, to ensure that your furry friend has enough room to easily and safely pass through the flap.

However, flap pet doors can be flimsy and are more prone to breaking. Aluminum flaps add more durability but expand and contract based on outdoor temperatures. This can cause the flap to become warped and unusable. The good news is that flaps can generally be replaced pretty quickly and easily.

Choose a Quality Installer

Looking to have a pet door installed in your home? Look no further than Roy’s Screen Service. We specialize in installing pet screen doors throughout the Los Angeles area.

Our doors are made with top-of-the-line materials, including aluminum and dual-action rubber, to allow your pet to safely exit and enter the home. Our doors also use embedded magnets to ensure the door stays closed, which keeps out dust, insects, critters, and drafts.

Want to learn more about our pet door products and the other services we offer? Contact our team today at 310-276-7360.

Which Screen Door Is Right for You?

screen door

A screen door is a functional addition to the home. It can keep bugs out while allowing a fresh breeze in. Security screen doors add safety for kids and pets. Nowadays, there are many options and you’ll find various screen door alternatives that weren’t around just a few years ago. Screen doors are also generally lightweight, easy to install, and affordable.

Types of Screen Doors

sliding door beside wall

The screen doors now on the market include:

  • • Traditional Screen Doors: Feature a light mesh attached to each side of a metal, plastic, or wood frame, and come in standard and custom sizes.
  • • Security Screen Doors: Instead of light mesh, a strong metal grate provides a barrier against bugs and provides extra protection in case of an attempted break-in.
  • • Storm Door: Mesh is integrated into a sliding panel that protects against inclement weather, including heavy rain, snow, ice, hail, wind, and blowing debris.
  • • Hinged Screens: The most common type of screen door, these feature three-part hinges that attach to an existing exterior door.
  • • Sliding Screens: Feature a track with rollers or tensile springs for opening and closing. These are more often used for rear entry points.
  • • Retractable Screen Doors: A relatively new option that mounts to an existing jamb and moves along top and bottom tracks, and that retracts into a canister on one side of the door.

Modern security screen doors are designed to work in conjunction with your main door. They should never be used alone. The general design includes a screen door lock, handle, and latch. Most models install with simple tools in just a few hours.

Benefits

Many people think of a screen door as an accessory, but it actually serves many purposes. It can:

  • • Protect the Main Door: Provides a protective barrier against debris, stains, and damage, saving on more costly repairs to an expensive exterior door.
  • • Reduce Energy Costs: Open the main door yet stay protected and have a fresh breeze that reduces the demand on your HVAC system.
  • • Keep Insects Out: Biting, stinging, disease-causing, or just downright annoying bugs cannot get through the screen.
  • • Increase Home Value: Screen doors are practical and can complement the design of your home, thereby increasing curb appeal and value.

Installation Styles

black wooden frame glass sliding door

Whether you choose a standard- or custom-sized screen door, first measure the door you are pairing it with. Traditional screen doors are often universal, so you can install them to open left or right. Retractable screens, which differ in installation requirements by type and brand, will include instructions you must closely follow. For the most part, you can use the same tools as with traditional units.

Sliding screen doors require additional work installing the tracks and inserting the rollers. Most screen doors are complete upon installation. Wooden models are an exception; they may require paint, sealing, and/or weatherproofing on top and bottom edges where raw wood is exposed. This is typically not the case with aluminum or vinyl doors.

Contact Roy’s Screen Service Today

Our experienced team can install security screen doors, a French door screen door, and different types of window screens. We are prepared to accommodate your home in the year-round temperate weather Los Angeles is known for. For assistance or a free estimate, call 310-276-7360.

 

Upgrade Function and Style with These Inspiring Closet Door Ideas

3 white sliding bedroom closet doors

Closet doors can be so much more than a means to conceal your belongings. The right closet doors for your space not only add style but improve function. Whether you’re redecorating or renovating, here are some closet door ideas that can quickly transform a room.

Sliding Closet Doors

Sliding doors save space. They also create a unique look, whether you want something basic, more stylish, or luxurious. A sliding door is installed on a track, which must also be installed, but this is usually achievable with just a few tools. And you don’t need the room required of a swinging door.

Bifold Closet Doors

wooden wardrobe with working table and chair in bedroom

Bifold doors are quite versatile and make accessing the entire closet easy. They consist of two symmetrical panels that are mounted to the frame of the closet and on a center pivot hinge. The doors pull outward on the hinge. A bifold door takes up less than half the square footage of a swinging door.

Mirror Closet Doors

Serving as a door and mirror, a mirror closet door is perfect for making a small room look bigger and brighter. A trendy option is mirrors embedded in the woodwork. Mirrors can be added to sliding doors while mirror panels can even be included in French doors. There are numerous design ideas, all which provide a mirror right in your bedroom.

Closet Barn Doors

closet barn doors for toilet

Barn doors slide on tracks and can be installed as standard sliding doors or as pocket doors, which slide into the wall and out of sight. However, pocket door designs require extensive modifications to adjacent walls. A sliding barn door is convenient and can feature many types of rustic farmhouse-like patterns and design elements.

Closet Glass Doors

These doors can take on many forms, from clear glass that lets you see directly inside the closet, to frosted glass that conceals your storage space. Some glass doors have layered panels and can be framed with wood or other materials. Many glass design options are available to complement modern interior design.

Find the Right Closet Door for You

The transformation doesn’t have to be limited to the door’s surface. You can add functionality to closet doors by adding storage racks and compartments or installing overhead hanging shelves. Closet doors can then effectively become part of the closet.

Contact Roy’s Screen Service

At Roy’s Screen Service, we provide door installation as well as custom-made window and door screens. If you’re looking for advice on closet doors and installation help, we can assist in choosing the right door and ensure a perfect fit. Contact us today to learn more.