As summer turns to fall, roll up your sleeves and tackle those home improvement projects that will maximize the safety, energy efficiency and curb appeal of your home. Here are five projects to add to your fall chore list:
Check Outdoor Lighting
In the fall, the days are shorter and the nights longer, which makes ensuring you have enough lighting important. You will also want to replace any burned out bulbs, clean lenses and if necessary, adjust fixtures. Consider installing motion detectors as well. Making sure your exterior lights are working as they should will help keep your home safe and secure after the sun has gone down.
Test the Garage Door for Safety
The International Door Association recommends testing the garage door’s balance, reversing mechanism, and photo eyes each month to ensure they are functioning properly. If you are not comfortable performing these tests, contact a local garage door repair company for service.
- Balance Test: Close the door and disconnect the opener. Lift the door manually to about waist height and release. There should be no resistance and the door should remain fully open. If it is difficult to open or does not remain open, the door may be out of balance and should be serviced by a trained professional.
- Reversal Test: With the door fully open, place a 2 x 4 on the floor in the center of the garage door opening, then activate the opener. Upon contact with the wood, the door should immediately reverse direction. If the door fails this test, it should not be used until repairs can be made.
- Photo Eyes Test: With the door fully open, activate the opener to close. As the door is closing, wave a long-handled object, such as a broom in front of one of the photo eyes (located on each side of the door about six-inches from the floor) to break the beam. The door should reverse.
If it does not reverse, you can try cleaning the lens using a soft microfiber cloth. You can also try adjusting the photo eyes by hand if they appear out of alignment. After performing these tasks, try testing the system again. If it fails again, disconnect the opener from the door until repairs can be made.
Lubricate all Moving Parts
Reminder: The garage door is the heaviest moving component of your home. Use white lithium grease to lubricate all moving parts. This includes the door’s springs, hinges, cables, pulleys, and lift brackets. Be careful not to lubricate the tracks or rollers as this can cause the door to slip and become unbalanced. With a damp, clean cloth, clean the tracks and allow sufficient time for them to air dry.
Keep warm air in and cold air out by replacing worn weatherstripping. Check your windows and doors, the garage door included, for incoming drafts. Caulk around leaky windows and install weatherstripping to prevent drafts around doors. Weatherstripping can be found at most any local hardware or home improvement store for under $20. You may also want to consider replacing the garage door’s threshold seal.