Garage Cleaning and Maintenance

How to remove stains, keep the door opener working and more

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Maintaining order in your garage is easier said than done, but here are some tips for keeping it clean and keeping the garage-door opener running smoothly.

•Removing oil stains from concrete garage floors can be done with nearly any chemical or cleaner. If the garage floor is made of asphalt, the only safe remedy is to use detergent cleaner. Turpentine, paint thinner, gasoline and kerosene all dissolve asphalt and cause it to deteriorate.

•To clean soiled and stained concrete floors, use a strong solution of degreaser. Flood the concrete and let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub it with a nylon pad or brush. Use a squeegee to gather the muck into a puddle. Pick it up with a dustpan and dump it into a bucket. If the floor is really dirty, rinse and scrub it again.

•Concrete absorbs moisture when cleaned. Even after it looks dry, it still releases "sweat," and that's a bad time to wax, paint or mop the concrete. If you're not sure whether the concrete is really dry, lay a rubber mat over it. If moisture doesn't accumulate under the mat after a few hours, it's OK to treat the concrete.


Garage-Door Maintenance

•To prevent damage such as rusting, which is caused by foreign matter that adheres to the door, the door should be wiped down with a soft cloth twice a year. Use a mild household detergent diluted with water.

•To protect the finish, apply car wax. This will help repel dirt and moisture.

•Check for broken or bent components, and lubricate all moving parts of the door with a light household oil.

•Lift cables at the bottom bracket button and hinges. Lock hardware where surfaces turn or slide. Lubricate steel rollers. Do not lubricate nylon oil.

•Inspect the astragal, the rubber weather seal along the bottom of the door. If it's cracked or broken, replace it by taking off the old gasket and sliding a new one into place.

•Doors equipped with automatic door operators can cause serious injury or death if not properly adjusted and operated. To ensure safe operation of these doors, test the sensitivity of the operator's safety reverse mechanism once a month. With the door in the up position, place a roll of paper towels on its side directly in the path of the door, and then close the door. When the door reaches the paper-towel roll, it should reverse and return to the open position. If the door crushes the roll of paper towels, it's out of adjustment. Refer to the owner's manual for instructions on adjusting the safety reverse mechanism.

•All screws and nuts on bolts should be tightened every six months. Make sure the slide lock doesn't extend past the end stile of the door when it's in unlocked positioned.

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