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Garage Door Maintenance
For those of you who have moved into a new home or have just installed a new garage door, be sure to take the time to thoroughly read the garage door owner's manual. It may seem like a chore and take time, but one would be surprised at what they can find in most well written garage door manuals. The manual will contain safety and design information to help you insure that your garage door is safe to use and properly installed, and contain information on how to keep your garage door properly maintained.
For example, many garage door manuals will contain helpful tips for painting them. Most companies will tell you to pain BOTH the inside and outside of the garage door to keep everything even, and to never remove any parts of the garage door when painting. If you want to make sure that your garage door is completely covered in a fresh coat of paint, you need to call in a professional to dismantle it so that you can finish the paint job, and then have the garage door installed again. This usually does not happen, but again, do not try to dismantle any of the parts of the garage door. It can lead to a very dangerous situation.
Once you have your garage door installed, it is vital that you periodically lubricate most parts of it. It is often easiest to lubricate the metal parts using silicone spray that can be found at most local hardware stores. However, be sure to never lubricate plastic rollers and plastic idler bearings. It is also suggested that you check for loose nuts and bolts on a monthly basis and if you find something out of the ordinary, call in an expert to help you with your problem. Don't try anything yourself unless you are licensed and well trained in repairing garage doors.
Also, make sure to check that the door has proper balance by slowly opening the door and making sure that when the bottom of the door is waist high, it does not sway and move in any direction. Finally, using a 2x4 block of wood, make sure that the sensors on your garage works (if it is a remote-controlled door). Place the 2x4 in the pathway of the door and when the door gets somewhat close to the top of the 2x4 it should reverse direction and go back up.
If the garage door is moving, keep your distance and never stand or walk under a moving door. It is important that you set an example for your children and you do not want them under a moving garage door. You should also try to make sure children cannot reach the wall-mounted garage door openers and be sure to hide the remotes. You do not want your children playing with the garage door at all. Finally, if you think you have a problem, call an expert. Never try to fix anything yourself as garage doors are very dangerous and you put yourself in harm's way when you try to fix it, especially when you don't know exactly what you are doing. This is not the time to "experiment." Garage door springs are very dangerous, even when the garage is closed, as they contain large amounts of potential energy (that's just waiting to be suddenly converted to kinetic energy, ie movement) and have killed or seriously injured many people.
About the Author: David A. Howarth has been working in the home restoration and improvement business in the UK for over 20 years now, and enjoys writing about home improvement features such as double glazing and garage doors.