During the triple-digit temperatures of summer, spending any time – even the few minutes it takes to walk from your car to the door, in the garage can seem unbearable. This is because the temperature in your garage can either be the same or as much as 5˚ to 10˚ F warmer than the temperature outside. If you want to do more than just park the car in your garage this summer, you’ll need to find effective ways such as adding an evaporative cooler, insulating the garage door, and installing weatherstripping to cool the garage.
Add an Evaporative Cooler
An evaporative cooler, also known as a swamp cooler, is a cost-effective way to cool your garage. Available in a variety of designs and capacities, evaporative coolers are portable, meaning they can easily be moved around the garage. Industrial strength swamp coolers can also be found either online or at local retailers. Ductwork must be mounted in a window or placed in a wall opening.
Consider Garage Insulation
Garage door insulation can reduce energy bills, absorb street noise, and control humidity. Batt insulation, foam board insulation, and reflective insulation are the most popular types of insulation. You may also want to consider insulating the walls and ceiling – especially if there are living quarters directly adjacent or above the garage. Insulation should be installed to a certain depth to obtain the required R-value for Arizona.
Weatherstripping, when coupled with garage insulation and threshold seals, can help make your garage feel cooler. Additional advantages include keeping dirt, debris, and rodents out; reducing drafts; and conserving energy. Install self-adhesive weatherstripping between each panel and threshold seals on the bottom of the garage door. These materials can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store.
If you’ve been considering a new garage door, the color is an important factor to consider, especially if your home faces south. Lighter colored doors will reflect the sun’s rays and keep your garage cooler than darker colored doors. White, French gray, and other light colors are best. Installing a new garage door has the added benefit of a 98.3% return on investment (ROI) should you ever decide to sell your home.
Is your garage so cluttered that your car won’t fit? Sort your belongings into three categories: trash, donate/sell, and keep. Install space-saving storage systems such as overhead racks, shelving units, and peg boards for everything in the “keep” category. Put away your fall, winter and spring gear, and bring your summer toys to the forefront. This will allow you to both park the car and cool the garage.
Replacing damaged weatherstripping around the door will help keep dirt, debris, and insects and rodents from entering the garage. Weatherstripping, when combined with an insulated garage door, also helps to reduce drafts as well as block energy loss. About once a month, inspect garage door weatherstripping for cracks or damage, and replace it. You can self-install new materials or hire someone to do the job for you.
Here’s what you need to know about replacing garage door weatherstripping.
Choosing the Right Materials
Before heading to your local home improvement store for materials, it’s important to measure the width, height and thickness of your garage door. You’ll need these measurements to purchase both the right products and amount of material. Increasing the energy efficiency of your garage includes applying two materials: Threshold seals and weatherstripping. There are several different types available as well.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best weatherstripping should withstand the climate, including temperature changes for your specific location as well as its application. Vinyl or rubber is usually the best choice for garage doors because it holds up well and resists moisture. Metal bottom seals are another option to consider. These materials are available with self-stick tape or tacks. Others require exterior caulk or glue.
Applying Garage Door Weatherstripping
Remove the old material. Then clean the door, where the product will be replaced, and allow to dry. Ensuring a clean and dry surface will help with adhesion – especially if using tape or caulk. After measuring a second time, cut the seal to length with a razor knife, then thread the edges into the weather seal track. Be patient; a lot of pushing and pulling may be required! Repeat to the next panel until complete.
Now you can move on to the threshold seal. After thoroughly cleaning the concrete with a degreasing agent and water, and allowing to dry, roll the threshold into place with the hump on the inside of the garage door and cut to the width of the opening. Carefully follow all manufacturer instructions for a snug fit. Remember, threshold seals have the job of keeping water, debris and unwelcome guests out of the garage so proper fit is important.
There’s no getting around it: every garage door on every house will get dirty over time. Thankfully, spring cleaning the garage door is an easy chore that with the right products, takes only minutes. Tip: Wash the door when you wash your vehicle. Instantly improve your façade by cleaning the garage door this weekend. Here’s how.
Use the Right Products
Using the right products will save you time, prevent scratches to the door, and ultimately yield a much better result. We recommend using a mild car or dishwashing detergent. You’ll also need basic equipment including a bucket, a soft sponge and chamois, and a hose. Don’t forget to grab some bottled water for yourself.
Start at the Top
Begin by wetting down the surface of the garage door with clean water – especially if it hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Once it’s completely wet, wash the door from top to bottom, rinsing the sponge often. Rinse the door thoroughly using clean water and allow to dry. Repeat as necessary to ensure the door sparkles.
Don’t Forget the Inside
After you’ve given the exterior of your garage door a little TLC, consider cleaning out and organizing the interior, as well as performing some preventative maintenance tasks to ensure the door is functioning properly. If you encounter any problems, or suspect there is something amiss with the door, contact a garage door professional for repair.
Celebrate the return of spring with a few home improvement tasks. A season for renewal, spring home improvement often includes decluttering, organizing, and cleaning. The changing of the seasons also provides the opportunity to care for the one home feature most homeowners forget: the garage door. Maintaining the door now can prevent big and, possibly, costly problems later.
Good to Know: Some preventative maintenance tasks should only be completed by a garage door repair professional. Do not attempt to adjust the torsion or, alternatively, extension springs. The springs are what make the door work and, as such, are under an immense level of tension. Bolts painted red also require professional adjustment.
Here are five maintenance tasks you can easily complete.
Monthly Visual Inspections
One of the first things you should do is to visually inspect the door. Note any unusual noises or jerky movements during its operation. Inspect the tracks to ensure no debris catches the rollers. Also inspect the door for excessive wear and tear, damage, and rust or corrosion – all issues that can ultimately lead to garage door failure if not addressed.
Monthly Door Balance Test
If your garage door is not properly balanced, the springs, along with the cables and pulleys will have to work much harder to lift and lower it. Harder the work = shorter the lifespan. To test the door’s balance, follow these steps in the proper order:
Monthly Automatic-Reversal Tests
There are two safety features designed to automatically reverse the direction of your garage door: mechanical and photoelectric. To test the mechanical safety feature, place a 2×4 in the path of the door, and activate the opener to close. The door should immediately reverse direction as soon as it contacts the object. The second feature, the “photo eyes” are designed to detect anyone or anything that crosses their line of communication, immediately cutting off the signal used to lower the door. This prevents the door from closing. With the door open, test this feature by passing a broom in front of the sensors; it should immediately reverse. If the door fails either of these tests, immediately disconnect the door from the opener, and contact a professional for repair.
Every six months – once in the fall and again in the spring – apply a small amount of spray lubricant to the garage door’s hinges, rollers, and tracks. Avoid using WD-40. Try to also avoid getting any product on the rollers or tracks as this can cause the door to slip. Although, you should wipe down the tracks using a clean, damp cloth.
Annual Weatherstripping Inspection
If the threshold seal on the door’s bottom is brittle or cracked, replace it, along with the weatherstripping right away. You may also want to consider adding insulation. These products help keep heat out during the summer and retain cooled air during the winter. Threshold seals, weatherstripping, and insulation can be found at most any local hardware or home improvement store. Just cut to size and install.
Regularly Clean the Garage Door
You’ll be amazed at the effect cleaning a dirty garage door can have on curb appeal. Wash the door’s surface and windows (if applicable) with a mild liquid soap and water. To avoid damaging the door, use a soft sponge, cloth or brush. Rinse thoroughly with a garden variety hose.
Are you having issues with your garage door closing? Here are some of the more common reasons why your garage door may not close or stay closed.
Worn or Bent Tracks
If the tracks responsible for guiding the door while it is opening or closing are bent, warped or otherwise damaged, the door may not close properly. Another common problem that may cause issues with the door is clogged tracks. If this is the case, try wiping them down with a clean, damp cloth to see if this fixes the issue. If the door still won’t close, contact a garage door professional for repair.
Broken Garage Door Springs
One of the most critical components in a garage door assembly is the spring system, which includes either torsion or extension springs, along with cables and pulleys. This system provides counterbalancing force to safely open and close the door each time the opener is activated. For the average household, this is four times daily, which translates to a lifespan of just seven years for standard 10,000-cycle springs.
If the springs break because of normal wear and tear or damage the door could be unable to close. Repair of broken garage door springs almost always involves complete replacement of both springs. If you suspect a spring has broken, do not continue to operate the door, as this can damage the door’s assembly. Property damage or personal injury may also occur. Always contact a garage door professional.
Safety Warning: If the door was in the open position when the spring broke, do not disconnect the opener from the door. The could cause the door to come crashing down. Always unplug the opener from its power source until repairs can be made.
Misaligned or Obstructed Sensors
The garage door opener is equipped with photoelectric safety sensors that if misaligned or obstructed may prevent the door from closing. The main function of the “photo eyes,” as they are also called, is to detect an obstacle in the path of their electronic beam. If an obstruction breaks their communication while the door is closing, the door will reverse, opening instead of closing. The opener lights will also flash.
If your garage door won’t close, check to see if any of the contents of your garage are causing an obstruction, as this can cause the malfunction. If the garage doorway is clear, you may need to either clean the lens using a soft microfiber cloth, or realign the sensors by simply pushing against the metal brackets. When the light on the sensors comes back on, and stays on, the door opener should operate normally.
You’ve had enough of your cluttered garage. It’s time, once and for all, to clean it up so that you can finally park your vehicle(s) in it. Wondering where to start? Here are some garage organization tips you may find useful.
When attempting to organize the garage, the beginning can always seem daunting, especially because it requires ruthlessly sorting all your belongings into three groups: sell/donate, trash, and keep. As you come across items you’re unsure what to do with, ask yourself:
Step 2: What Not to Store in the Garage
Keep in mind that there are some items, such as paint and other hazardous materials that should be stored anywhere else, but the garage. Pet food, paper products, and large appliances like a spare refrigerator or freezer should also be properly stored somewhere else.
Paint: Extreme cold or heat can ruin it. Store paint in a low-moisture, climate-controlled area, rather than the garage. Responsibly dispose of any left-over paint you don’t plan to use in the very near future.
Propane: A spark could ignite the fumes. Propane tanks should always be stored outside – away from the house. Always ensure the valve is fully in the “off” position after using the tank. Propane tanks also require responsible disposal.
Pet Food: Mice and other pests consider pet food – whether open or unopened – an open dinner invitation. This includes birdseed. Store pet food in sealed containers and place in a climate-controlled area.
Paper Goods: Another thing that may attract mice and other pests is paper goods (e.g., toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc.). It’s a good idea to store these items in your pantry instead.
Refrigerator or Deep Freezer: In areas that are not climate-controlled, these appliances will battle against the ambient temperature to keep your food and/or drinks cold, thus using more energy than if they were stored in the house.
Step Two: Storage
Now that you’ve thrown away the junk and sold or donated anything of value that is no longer useful to you, you should have a better idea of how much storage you need, and what kind. Your objective in this step is to get as much as you can off the garage floor and onto the walls or shelves using the following storage solutions.
Cabinets: If you’d prefer to store items behind closed doors, consider thick, low-gauge steel cabinets with sliding doors for longevity. Sliding doors are preferable in a garage over swing out because they help to minimize dings to your car.
Pegboard: Pegboard (now also available in galvanized steel) with an array of hooks and baskets is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to store your most often used tools. Slat walls or track systems with hooks and baskets are two more options.
Shelving: Industrial strength storage units are perfect for storing large items. Combine with stackable clear-plastic bins with lids for loose or small items. Use mason jars or other clear jar for nuts, screws, and bolts.
Workbench: A built-in workbench is the perfect accessory to any garage. You can custom build a standing or fold-down workbench in little to no time or you can buy one. Painting the top using chalkboard paint allows you to jot down quick measurements.
Overhead Storage Racks: An effective cluster-busting storage solution is overhead or ceiling-mounted storage racks. Installation is very easy and straightforward. Their ability to free up valuable floor space is why so many people choose them.
Step 4: Don’t Forget the Garage Door
Your dream of a Pinterest-worthy garage has now become a reality. However, since you probably haven’t parked your car in the garage in some time, it may be a good idea to hire a garage door professional to come inspect and maintain the garage door and automatic opener to ensure they are operating safely. You may also want to consider purchasing new.
Exterior home improvements, from a garage door replacement to stone veneer siding, dominate the list of projects with the highest return on investment (aka ROI) according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report for 2018. One of the biggest reasons these projects offer the largest return on investment is because of curb appeal.
Garage Door Replacement
Ready to replace your garage door? An upscale new garage door can elevate the look of your home, increase your home value, and reduce the transfer of heat and cold in your garage. Garage doors are available in a variety of styles, materials, and R-values (optional). Couple with an automatic garage door opener for a trouble-free system.
National average cost: $3,470
Return on investment: 98.3%
Stone Veneer Siding
Stone veneer siding is a great alternative to natural stone. This material offers you a beautiful and affordable way to improve curb appeal without having to substantially renovate your home. Additionally, this siding has insulating properties, something natural or manufactured stone cannot offer.
National average cost: $8,221
Return on investment: 97.1%
Entry Door Replacement (steel)
One of the quickest ways to make a good first impression with your guests is to install a new entry door. This affordable option not only gives the home additional curb appeal, but up-to-date materials and construction add durability and greater insulating properties, creating a door that is both attractive and energy-efficient.
National average cost: $1,471
Return on investment: 91.3%
Replacement Windows (vinyl)
New windows look sharper; no doubt about it. Energy-efficient – double or triple-paned – windows can also go a long way towards reducing the transfer of heat and cold. This can reduce the costs of heating and cooling your home, which accounts for more than 40% of all energy used, saving you money.
National average cost: $15,995
Return on investment: 74.3%
Are you interested in home automation?
Then you may want to consider rewarding your garage, and yourself, with a smart garage door opener. A smart garage door opener provides countless benefits, as well as peace of mind – no more needless worrying that you forgot to close the door when you drove away. Before purchasing a new opener, however, it’s a good idea to have a local garage door professional perform preventative maintenance.
How to get started?
Getting online takes minutes. Most, if not all, smart garage door openers come with everything you need to get started with Wi-Fi already built in. Simply have it professionally installed, connect it to your home’s wireless network*, and download the compatible app. It’s now ready for action. An iOS or Android app allows your smartphone to serve as a remote. You can operate the door with a tap; track your family’s comings and goings; and close the door from the grocery store – two miles away. Additionally, you can set up status reports that instantly alert you by sending a notification to your connected phone should the door open or close while you’re away from home.
*This, depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi, may or may not require an extender.
Complete Control of Your Home
A smart garage door opener is a great choice for extending automation throughout your home. Certain smart garage door openers or hubs can integrate with other smart home devices, such as Nest, IFTTT and Wink. These smart devices can “talk” to the opener to learn your comings and goings, automatically turning on the lights, and adjusting your home’s temperature to a comfortable level as soon as the door is opened. Having complete control of your home can be particularly helpful if your family is always on the go.
Celebrate the season with these holiday decorating ideas.
Frame the Door with Garland
Framing your garage door with garland (fresh, faux or both) spreads good cheer to everyone who visits. Use Command hooks to secure garland. For a festive touch, add strips of wide ribbon or fabric, tied into bows to the garland about three feet apart. Another great idea is swag, which can be hung from driveway lights.
Line the Driveway with Candy Canes
Line your walk or driveway with some pathway candy cane lights that will guide any visiting friends and family to the front door. You can either purchase premade pathway lights or make your own using PVC pipe and LED string lights. Pinterest provides some great tutorials.
Flip the Switch
LEDs use about 10 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs and last two to three times longer. Strings of LED lights come with as few as 25 bulbs and as many as 200. Lighting clips make installation easy and are designed to work without poking holes in your building material.
Welcome company – the Big Man in Red included – in style with a handcrafted welcome sign. Use stencils, a Cricut™ maker or stamps to create some catchy phrases. Popular choices include “Believe,” “Joy,” “Farm Fresh Trees for Sale” or “Santa, Define Good.” Make two corresponding signs and place on both sides of the garage door. You can wrap battery operated fairy lights around the sign’s edges to ensure readability at night.
Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.