Archive for the ‘garage’ category

Quick Tip #15 – Garage Door Safety

May 29th, 2014

D009 - Garage Door Operator Control ButtonWhat is the largest, heaviest moving object in your home? You got it – the garage door. So it makes sense to do frequent safety checks on the door.

First, look for a safety label near the control button or the overhead door. It will tell you how to safely operate the door and test the reverse mechanism.

Second, make sure the control button is mounted at least five feet above the floor or any step. This prevents small children from playing with the door operator.

Third, never allow children to play with the door or the operator.

You should test your operator for reverse and door balance once per month. Follow the specific instructions on your door’s safety label. If you don’t understand these instructions or you don’t have specific instructions for your door, contact a professional door service company.

Several times per year, check the door hardware for tightness. Consult your owner’s manual for the proper lubricant, and apply it to rollers, tracks and other mechanical parts. Have the door serviced by a professional if there is any sign of problems.

By Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It

Frost on One Side of Garage

February 17th, 2013


We have a new home. With the cold, windy weather, we have noticed frost on the screw heads in the drywall garage ceiling edge. This issue is on the north side; none of the other walls have this problem. The garage is unheated, and the walls/ceiling are insulated. There is also a vapor barrier over the insulation. My husband says cold air is coming through the outside soffit, and there is no way to insulate this. There is also an electrical switch with frost on the screw heads on that wall. What can we do? Should we be concerned?



I014 - Air Bypass at Insulation - OverhangThe problem is caused because the screw heads are colder than the dew point temperature in the garage. In fact, the screw heads are below freezing so the moisture condenses and freezes. You have two solutions – raise the temperature of the screws or reduce the relative humidity in the garage.

Assuming you don’t want to raise the temperature in the garage, you can try to raise the temperature of the screws. I think your husband is correct – cold air is leaking into this wall area, either at penetrations, gaps, or through the roof venting. The cold air blows in and cools the wall.

For the attic venting, you should check above the soffit vents and make sure there are air chutes that direct the ventilation air over the insulation. If it blows into the side of the insulation, it will chill the wall. At times the best solution is to seal the air chute from the top of the wall to the roof deck with spray foam insulation. You want the air flowing over the insulation.

You should also look for any exterior gaps that may need sealing – perhaps around light fixtures, at the lower edge of the siding and around windows and doors. Any penetration in the wall and house wrap is suspect.

You could heat the garage; that would solve the problem, but I don’t suggest that. Lowering the relative humidity in the garage is virtually impossible, however you could sweep out snow and ice that may drop off your car.


Water on the Garage Floor

February 25th, 2010

I have a 1954 ranch with an attached garage. Water from melting snow (and rain the rest of the year) accumulates in the center of the garage floor. By late winter, I have a small lake in the garage. Short of putting in a dock, is there anything I can do?


First, attempt to eliminate any water that may be caused by poor surface drainage. The soil outside the garage should be at least 6 inches below the foundation of the garage. The soil should direct surface water away from the slab and footing. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are directing water away.

If the real problem is snow and ice from the car, the best bet is to sweep and shovel it whenever it accumulates, and before it melts. Technically, the garage floor slab should have a pretty good pitch or slope to the garage door, and water should just flow out the door.

If you have a low spot that collects water, consider drilling a 1/2-inch hole through the slab at the low spot. You will need a hammer drill and a special masonry bit. Plan on a little bit of work, noise and dust. The hole will drain away most water into the gravel under the floor slab. Since the hole is small, you will need to clear it periodically.