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20.4.15

A Woman's Guide to Garage Maintenance & Repair | Guest Post

This guest post is courtesy of Door Systems Inc., experts in garage doors in Boston, USA.
Your garage can be a haven or just hideous, depending on how well you maintain and repair it. Garage maintenance and repair falls into two main categories of static and mobile parts, each with its own needs. 
The Immovables 
  1. Floors
Garage floors take the greatest punishment in your home. Part of annual maintenance should include thoroughly sweeping out your garage and cleaning the floor, to reveal imperfections in the concrete that you can remedy. 
  • Concrete efflorescence—the whitish, crystalline deposit of minerals from water brought into your garage—can be scrubbed away and swept up. 
  • Use concrete patch, which you can easily mix yourself in small batches, to fill in small gaps and irregularities in the floor. 
  • Seal the concrete with a high-quality sealer. This preserves the floor and prevents oil spills from discoloring the concrete.  
  1. Walls 
  • Check your shelves to ensure you haven’t overloaded them; inspect the bolts or screws holding shelving to the walls. If you find a sagging shelf, a quick fix is to flip the individual shelf board so the sag becomes a bump. The weight of stored items will gradually flatten (and eventually sag) the board. 
  • The bottoms of walls in garages routinely suffer moisture and impact damage. Check for signs of rodents; you may need to enlist the help of a pest control service. Consider applying rubberized skirting board to both discourage pests and spruce up the garage. 
  1. Windows
  • Garage windows deserve the same cleaning and maintenance your home’s windows get. Clean the glass, check the locks and inspect paint inside and out.
  • For double-hung windows, check the sash channels to ensure the windows open and close easily.
  • For casements, check and lubricate hinge assemblies and handles. 
  1. Overhead
If you have a loft access hatch in the garage, make sure it is weather-stripped to improve energy efficiency, especially if your garage is attached to your home. If you use overhead storage, carefully check the condition of all attachment points. 
The Movables
The largest, heaviest moving objects in your home are your garage doors. Maintaining and repairing garage doors means striking a balance between what you can do safely yourself and knowing when to call in professionals.
What You Can Do
  • Clean metal parts with paraffin—what we in America call kerosene—to remove old grease, grime and dirt
  • Use a light oil to lubricate and prevent rust from forming on those same metal parts; avoid getting oil on plastic rollers
  • Align the tracks—the vertical tracks should be perfectly upright (plumb); horizontal tracks should drop slightly as the door moves into your garage. You can use a spanner to tighten the bolts that hold the tracks. Never attempt to remove the hinges or rollers from the garage door sections. 
  • Run a safety test—your garage door should automatically reverse if it encounters an obstacle coming down. Place a block of wood in the path of the open door and lower it. When it hits the block, it should reverse. If it does not, call a professional. 
  • Inspect—check the lifting cables for wear, nicks or kinks. If you see defects, contact a professional for replacement. 
Bring in the Professionals
If your garage door has real damage, call on a professional garage door company to assume responsibility for the heavy lifting, safety issues, and liability. This applies to:
  • Removing or replacing springs
  • Repairing or replacing the motor
  • Replacing track
  • Repairing or replacing garage door sections
  • Any safety concerns you may have
Working hand-in-hand with trusted local contractors, you can keep your garage maintained and in such good repair that you take justifiable pride in it as an extension of your home.