By Huntsville Garage Shapeups Guest Author: Rusty Parker
There is no other part of your home that experiences as much wear and tear as your garage door. You never realize how often you use your garage door until the day it breaks down on you.
The majority of families in the United States use the garage as the main entrance into their home, being used multiple times throughout the day, thousands of times per year. When kept in good working order, it can provide security and storage at your convenience.
Having a garage can really make life easier, but when it is not cared for can become a safety risk to you, your family, and especially children. With it's natural wear and tear, a garage door cable can come apart or a door opener can malfunction, resulting in a hazard to your belongings and anyone near your door.
In order to keep it running properly, it is essential to perform routine maintenance to avoid expensive repairs. The following top 10 garage door maintenance tips for homeowners will help keep your door working properly for years to come. These maintenance tips require no special skills and usually take less than 10 minutes each to perform.
Required Materials Needed
Avoid last minute trips the hardware store by having all of your materials onsite and ready ahead of time. You may not use every single tool listed, but having it available will save you time and frustration.
In order to ensure safety while working on your garage, remember to never remove the lift cable. The garage cables are under extreme tension and will cut like a knife if released.
Never try to adjust or release the garage door springs. This is a job that should be left for the professionals only.
1.) Paying Attention
When was the last time you visually inspected your garage door? You may not be a certified technician, but you can take the time to check out your garage.
If you have a metal garage, check for rust spots. These areas should be sanded, primed and painted. If you have a wooden garage door, it should be checked for water damage. If not sealed properly, wood garage can warp and lose their shape over time.
It will also be good to wash your door on a regular basis with an all-purpose cleaner. Your garage door makes up a large portion of the exterior of your home, so keeping it clean and presentable will have a positive effect on the appearance of your home.
2.) Watch & Listen To Your Door As It Operates
Do you have a noisy garage door? Do the springs pulleys and cables on both sides look symmetrical? Does it move smoothly? Or does it jerk in certain places?
Taking the time to observe and listen to your garage every time you use it is the best precaution every homeowner can perform. By doing this, you will be aware when something doesn't sound right, or when something looks out of place.
3.) Testing The Balance
First, disconnect the opener. You do this by pulling the red handle at the end of the red cord. Once it is disconnected, open the door about half way. If the garage door starts to close on its own, then the garage door is not balanced properly. The springs on the door need to be re-adjusted. We recommend that you contact a certified professional to repair or replace your springs.
Your garage opener will have to work harder if the door is not properly balanced. This will ultimately shorten the lifespan of the door.
4.) Test Safety Features (Auto-Reverse)
There are two safety mechanisms on your garage: mechanical and photocell. A door that does not have these safety features is outdated and needs to be replaced immediately.
In order to test the mechanical safety feature on your garage, place a solid object on the ground in the path of the garage door. When the garage touches the object while closing, it should automatically go back up.
When testing the photocell feature on your garage, simply stick out your leg in the door's path when closing. Your leg will come in contact with the photoelectric beam (not visible) that runs across the bottom of the door. The garage should automatically reverse once your leg contacts the photoelectric beam.
5.) Visually Inspect Your Cables
You should never touch the cables. These high tension cables are responsible for lifting the door. They have enough force to cause serious injuries, even death. You can visually inspect that garage cables too if there are any broken strands or anything that is out of order. If you see there is damage, we recommend that you hire a professional.
6.) Clear The Tracks
Take a look at the tracks on both sides of the door. Clean the garage door tracks so there is no debris or trash. Also, look for any physical damage making sure it is straight and aligned. Tracks that are damaged can cause the door to not be smooth and it will be very noisy.
Spray the garage tracks with a citrus-based solvent or WD-40, then wipe everything clean with a cloth. If needed, use an old toothbrush to loosen up dirt and grime, then wipe with a cloth.
Any major repairs or adjustments to the tracks should be handled by a professional garage door technician.
7.) Apply Oil To The Moving Parts
Ten minutes of work can add years to the life of your garage door. Keeping your door parts lubricated will keep your garage running smooth and quiet. Your should use white lithium grease on your garage opener chain and spray lubricants on the rollers, hinges, bearings and tracks. Also apply grease to the garage door opener chain or drive screw.
Remember, never attempt to do any work on the springs or cables. Leave that to the professionals.
8.) Replace Weatherstripping (If Needed)
The weatherstrip is the piece of rubber attached to the bottom of your door. It is called a U-shaped astragal. It keeps that rain water, debris and rodents from entering your garage. Check along the side of the door and adjust the stripping if necessary.
You should replace the rubber weather strip on your door if it's starting to crack and fall apart. Use a flat blade screwdriver to remove the old weather strip before installing a new one.
They are easily found at any hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe's and are usually sold by the foot. All you have to do is find the width that best fits your situation, cut it to fit your garage, then install. You can also contact your local garage company if you have further questions or concerns.
9.) Check All The Bolts & Screws On Your Door
Examine and tighten the brackets on the rollers and the bolts with a (socket) wrench. The average garage opens and closes more than a thousand times a year. It is easy for hardware, screws and bolts to become loose with all the movement and vibration.
10.) Replace The Rollers
Garage rollers that are cracked, worn or chipped should be replaced immediately. You should only attempt to replace the rollers if it is not attached to the door cable system.
Whether you have nylon rollers or steel rollers on your garage, they should be inspected at least twice a year and should be replaced every 7 years. If you use your door more frequently, then you should inspect your rollers more often throughout the year.
If you still feel as if you don't have enough time to do this type of check up, then call a garage door professional to schedule an appointment. Most garage companies offer affordable tune up services to keep your garage door operating smoothly.
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By Garage Shapeups Guest Author: Rick Dynek
7 Step Guide To Garage Organization
Are you tired of having to walk through a messy and unorganized garage and wish you could get more valuable use out of it? There are a number of things that you can do to improve the cleanliness and usability of your garage. Here is a simple 7 step guide to garage organization that you can use to get back the great looking garage that you were once used to.
1. Clean it up.
The first thing you need to do is clean up the mess that you and you're family have created over the years. There are a number of things that you can do to clean up your garage including sweeping, dusting, moping, or any other type of cleaning activity that will help remove the dirt and grime that has built up for who knows how long. Garage organization will become much easier if you have a clean slate to work with.
2. Keep it, or dump it.
The hardest thing to do in most cases is decide whether or not you should keep something or throw it away. This is perhaps one of the reasons why garages, or any areas of the home for that matter, become so cluttered with possessions over time. Often times people have a hard time parting with things that they collect, so they resort to stashing them away somewhere in a corner until they can deal with them later.
If you want to be successful with garage organization, then one thing you have to force yourself to do is decide if are going to keep something or get rid of it. If you choose to only keep the things that you absolutely need, then you'll find that your organization goals will be much more achievable.
One thing you might consider before throwing something in the trash is whether or not it can be donated. Often times items can be donated so that someone else may use them. Old tools, car equipment, sporting goods equipment, yard tools, and more are great examples of things that can be donated to others. The best part is if you donate enough, you may be eligible to receive a tax credit for the items that you gave away.
Once you have completed the process of sorting and sifting through the things that you need and don't need, then you'll want to categorize all of the remaining garage items so that you can organize them all in a manner that makes sense for your needs.
You might consider categorizing everything by usage, so you might have categories such as hand tools, power tools, automotive equipment, yard work items, sporting equipment and outdoor gaming equipment, fishing gear, and more. Remember to organize the items in your garage in a manner that makes sense to you so you know exactly where to find a particular item when you need it.
4. Choose your storage equipment
There are a number of options that you can choose from when it comes to storage needs. If you're looking to save a little money on storage, then you can build your own shelving out of wood, metal, or plastic. This option is more time consuming because it will take some commitment from you in order to build the shelving properly.
If you don't want to bother with building your own shelving, then you also have the option of purchasing pre-made or even custom made shelving from either a local home improvements store or online through a number of different retailers.
The storage equipment that you build or purchase should be flexible enough to allow for a number of different storage options. There should be shelving for larger items that you want to keep off of the ground, drawers for smaller items that need to be kept together, trays for hardware pieces, and cabinets with lockable doors for items that you want to restrict access to. All of these different storage options will help make your garage organization efforts much more feasible. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5582204
When you've made the decision of which type of storage you are going with, organize and install it according to your particular garage layout. You should have some sort of conceptual plan for how you want your garage to look once you have everything in place, so your shelving, cabinets, drawers, and other storage facilities should be installed in a manner that will accommodate that plan.
6. Arrange for convenience
Perhaps the most important purpose of performing the task of garage organization is the purpose of adding convenience to your space. This means that you'll be able to quickly and easily access something when you need it, instead of having to sort through a mess to get what you need.
During this step you can address each item that you have decided to keep and position it in a spot close to similar items. This way when you need something in particular, you will at least know the general area that it will be in if you don't know the exact location. For instance, if you're looking for a power drill, then it will most likely be located where the rest of your tools are, perhaps near your work bench.
7. Review and reorganize.
Garage organization is a critical process that you will want to go through if you don't want to have to deal with a cluttered mess all of the time. After you have completed the process, don't be afraid to take a glance over the space you have created for yourself to see if there is something that could be reorganized differently to provide even more convenience.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Rick_Dynek/790484Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5582204
Proper garage storage provides a convenient way to getting at the messiest place - your garage. The type of storage units or cabinets you get depends on the items you usually have in your garage, but certainly there is a storage method available for all types of items.
Organizing Your Garage
The first step in getting your garage organized is to get it cleaned up. Many of us like to save items over the years thinking that we might use them at some point, but never do. Start at one corner of your garage. Take out everything you have there. Sort out the stuff you have into various categories depending on your needs and usage.
Like anywhere else, in a garage, storage will depend on the type of items you have. You should separate the items that you want to keep. This separation should be done based on what job the items are used for and the frequency of usage. For every item ask yourself this question - "Would I ever use this?" If you have a "NO" to this question, then separate it.
Broadly speaking, you should separate the items that you rarely use and the items that you use often. Also, you should pile the items required for the same or similar tasks together so that you can get to all the items you need for the task at one place. You can further segregate these items, for one task based on frequency if you like or if at all it is possible.
You should also go around the house and look for items that you want to keep in the garage. Segregate these items into the categories that you have or create a new one if required.
Organizing in Garage Storage
Now that you have separated everything, it is time to get organized. You need to figure out the kind of boxes or cabinets you need to get to store each item.
Your garage storage will also depend on the structure of your garage. You will ultimately have to fit these boxes or cabinets in your garage. There may be many items that you would just like to hang out somewhere in the garage. Keep this in mind. You may want to get some shelves built in for convenience, but you must also be aware that open shelves tend to get dirty easily, especially in the garage that is exposed to open air all the time.
Sliding door storage units are better than open door ones because they save some space that otherwise be unusable because of the doors that open. For smaller items like nails, choose storage that has dividers. It will be easier to find out what is where if they are properly separated.
There are many companies that offer self storage. These self storage units are like a warehouse. Whatever you think is rarely used; you can place in these units. They have car storage, RV storage, boat storage, furniture storage among other things. You can move these bigger items out of your garage and get some more space there.
Garage storage can be very easy if you know your needs. You can fit in a lot of items in your garage if it is well organized. So, get organized and work your way to productivity.
Storage Mart is a chain of storage units provider.
They have secure complexes and cover all your storage and moving needs. Visit today for your garage storage and other storage needs.
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By Huntsville Garage Shapeups Blog's Guest Author: William Garvin
Quick Tips for garage organization and storage.
1. Move out
Completely clean out the garage and move it into the driveway or yard. Go through each item and decide when was the last time you used it. It's a good idea to organize your items into 3 groups at this time. Frequently used items should be quickly accessible in the garage on low storage, items that you use occasionally should be stored higher and more out of the way and items you haven't used it in over a year, get rid of them.
2. MAKE A PLAN
Your garage is an expensive room but most people don't treat it that way. If you treat it like any other room in the house it's worth the time to draw up a plan. Just as you would for your kitchen or bonus room take measurements and put your plan down on paper.
Decide what items that you store in the garage but use in the house. Keep those items nearest the door into the house. The big items like a lawn mower, pressure washer or snowblow should be stored under a shelf so they don't take up as much room. Storing them in the corner is a waste of space and also makes keeping the floor clean much more difficult. Get your string trimmers, weed eater, shovels and rakes off the floor and onto a storage system. There are many systems available to help store these items.
4. GARAGE CABINETS, SHELVES AND CONTAINERS
Ideally everything should be stored off the floor. Keeping things in a cabinet, on a garage shelf or in a container not only lets you get them off the floor but keeps them clean. Not only does it keep your items clean but it makes keep the floor clean a breeze as well. Shelving is ideal for items that you need to grab quickly or when you will have your hands full.
Your garage most likely contains hazardous materials like fertilizers, pesticides, and paint. Keep those up high and out of reach or keep them locked in a garage cabinet. It also a good idea to keep your sharp gardening tools and your chainsaw in locked cabinet or up high on a garage shelf. The one item that you should never be without is a fire extinguisher. Your garage most likely has many flammable items so make sure you are covered if a fire starts.
Bill Garvin is the owner of Garage Storage Specialists, a Garage Storage company serving the Nashville, Tn area. Bill and his team can help you with getting your garage organized with their lines of garage storage systems.
Why Garage Storage Specialists?
Whatever your budget for your garage system we have a solution for you. Whether you are looking for simple garage shelves to get things off the floor or something more customized with slatwall, garage cabinets, garage shelving, garage floor tiles or epoxy floor coating we have the solution to your garage organization needs. Give us a call today at 615-283-0070 to speak to one of our design consultants or visit us at [http://www.overhaulmygarage.com].
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Nick Dixon - Owner of Garage Shapeups and Lifetime Epoxy Floors.
Our Family of Home Improvement Companies can be seen at the following websites:
GarageShapeups.com, HuntsvilleGarageShapeups.com, SlatwallSolutions.com, LifetimeEpoxyFloors.com, RubaSafe.com and PoolDeckRescue.com.