Common Homeowner Mistakes to Avoid In the Fall

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Fri, Oct 14, 2016


Alan's Factory Outlet regular style metal carport with gravel driveway to protect your vehicle from snow, ice, hail or falling branches.

Each season has its own to-do list for homeowners. The to-do list for fall is full of tasks that help to prepare your home for the cold weather months. Homeowners tend to make some common mistakes as they go about their home maintenance in the fall. Take a look at a few of these mistakes and what to do to avoid them yourself.

Ignoring the Condition of Your Gutters

It's easy to ignore your gutters because they're located several feet above your head! But gutters that are full of leaves, sticks, pinecones, and other debris prevent the free movement of water. The water trapped in your gutters may find its way into your attic or damage your roof. Cleaning your gutters in the fall allows rain or melting snow to travel through your gutters, into the downspout, and away from your home.

Overlooking the Condition of Your Chimney

If you have a chimney, you may already be thinking about sitting in front of the fireplace, watching logs crackle and burn. You may not be thinking about the condition of your chimney, though. A chimney needs to be cleaned once a year. This is to prevent creosote from forming on the inside of a chimney, creating a blockage that can lead to a fire. Plus, a buildup of creosote doesn't allow carbon monoxide to float up out of the chimney. Instead, the carbon monoxide travels into the home, causing headaches, dizziness, or even death for the people inside. Get a professional chimney sweep to evaluate the condition of your chimney this fall.

Not Tending to Your Driveway or Walkways

Another common mistake of homeowners is overlooking cracks and holes in their driveway or walkways. Of course, these cracks are unsightly, but they can also grow worse over the winter months. When water flows into these cracks, it can freeze and cause the asphalt or cement to break even more. That's why it's a good idea to go to your local home improvement store and get the materials you need to fill in those cracks before the cold weather arrives.

Pressure-Washing Your Home

Some owners go out and rent a pressure-washer with the intention of making their home look its best throughout the fall. Unfortunately, pressure-washing can do a lot of damage to your home's exterior. By definition, a pressure-washer shoots a powerful stream of water at your home that can put holes in window screens and remove paint. Plus, if this water gets behind vinyl siding, it can cause mold growth. If you want to spruce up the exterior of your home, try getting a cleaning solution made for a home's exterior. It can be applied to walls with a garden sprayer and rinsed with a normal garden hose. You can use a broom to remove stains on your siding. If you don't feel comfortable getting up on a ladder to apply the cleaning solution, seek the help of professionals who clean the exteriors of houses.

Leaving Your Garden Hose Hooked to Your Outside Faucet

This is a simple situation to fix, but many longtime homeowners simply forget to do it. Unhooking your hose from the outside spigot, wrapping it up, and putting it in storage is an important item on the fall to-do list. I have a place in my shed where I keep my garden hose until springtime arrives. When a hose is left attached to the outside faucet over the cold weather months, any water that is left inside the hose can freeze. This not only ruins a hose, but the hose doesn't allow water to drain from the spigot. Water can freeze in there and cause a crack in the pipe that goes into your home. When the weather warms up again, you could have water leaking into your home. Spending a few minutes tending to your garden hose can save you a lot of trouble.

Finish up that to-do list and get on with enjoying all of the pleasures of the fall season. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: homeowner mistakes to avoid in fall

Outdoor Fall Decorating Ideas Using Gourds

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Oct 6, 2016


Do you have some neighbors who have already put out an arrangement of pumpkins? Pumpkins are great, but have you ever thought of making some space in your yard for decorative gourds? There are plenty of imaginative things you can do to make good use of a dried-out gourd. Take a look at a few interesting ideas. Enjoy!

A Lantern

I especially like this idea because a gourd lantern adds to the pleasant atmosphere of a crisp fall evening. Start this project by choosing a gourd that you'd like to turn into a lantern. Second, clean the dirt off of the gourd with a soft sponge and allow it to air-dry. Next, use a pencil to draw a six-inch circle around the base of the gourd and cut off the piece with a pumpkin-carving saw. Remove the cut piece and empty the dried seeds from the gourd. Create a design for your lantern by making pencil marks on the gourd. Use an electric drill to make the holes in the sides of your gourd. Be sure that the holes are at least a quarter-inch apart so the hard surface of the gourd doesn't crack or break. A drill bit can create holes with rough edges, so use a file to neaten the holes that you've put into your gourd. Get a small LED candle, switch it on, and place the base of your gourd over it. The light will shine through the holes in your gourd!

A Birdhouse

Making a gourd birdhouse is a relatively simple project. This type of birdhouse is essentially a dried gourd with a hole drilled into it so birds can gain access. You can express your creativity with this project by choosing a gourd in a unique shape or painting it an appealing color once you've drilled the hole. If you want to attract lots of birds to your gourd house, you might want to paint it in a neutral color or leave it unpainted. Painting your birdhouse a bright color may deter birds from coming around. This is a project that you can put up every fall or spring.

A Jack-o'-Lantern

Creating a jack-o'-lantern out of a gourd is similar to carving a pumpkin. But making a jack-o'-lantern gourd requires the use of an electric drill to carve its face. Of course, as with the gourd lantern, you should use an LED-powered candle instead of a traditional candle. One of the best things about this type of jack-o'-lantern is that it lasts longer than a pumpkin, so you have more time to enjoy it!

A Gourd Chicken

When you really think about it, the shape of a gourd resembles a chicken. It is one of the most appealing outdoor decorations you can make this fall. This craft involves cleaning a smooth gourd and painting it with acrylic paint in a way that resembles a chicken. You may want to make a rough drawing ahead of time so you have a design to follow as you begin to paint. You can use clay to mold your chicken's comb, beak, and wattle. Be sure to choose two or three gourds so your DIY gourd chickens have company!

I hope you come up with some fun ideas for your fall gourds. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: outdoor fall decorating

What to Do About Invasive Tree Roots

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Oct 6, 2016


When you see a healthy tree, you know that its roots are taking in plenty of oxygen, water, and nutrients. Did you know that a tree's root system can sometimes expand well beyond the length of its branches? Unfortunately, over time, a tree's roots can interfere with sidewalks, sewer pipes, and even a home's foundation. Discover some more facts about invasive tree roots to find out what you can do if you encounter this situation.

What Can Invasive Tree Roots Do?

A tree's roots can enter a sewer pipe through a cracked or broken section. When roots invade a sewer pipe, they can cause blockages and further damage to a pipe. Another example of invasive tree roots is when they extend beneath a section of sidewalk and actually lift the cement. This makes the sidewalk uneven and a hazard for walkers and bicyclists. Tree roots have been known to grow beneath fences, pushing them upward. They can also cause damage to the foundation of a home by growing against a basement wall. This puts pressure on the wall, which can affect the condition of the home's foundation.

Reasons for Invasive Tree Roots

One of the reasons why tree roots invade sewer pipes is the presence of moisture. If a sewer pipe is damaged and leaking underground, the roots of a tree naturally grow toward the moisture. Eventually, the roots make their way inside the pipe. Poor planning is another reason why people are confronted with invasive tree roots. People sometimes plant trees too close to their home, sidewalks, or pipes.

Remedies for Invasive Tree Roots

If you do have invasive tree roots, there are some options available to you other than removing the offending tree. One option is using a hydro-jetter. This device kills the tree roots in a pipe with a tremendous amount of water and a collection of spinning wires sent down the pipe. Though it can be costly, a hydro-jetter is efficient at getting rid of the problem. A second option is to dig up the invasive tree roots and replace the damaged part of the sewer pipe. There are also chemicals that can be put onto tree roots that can kill them.

How to Prevent the Occurrence of Invasive Tree Roots

One thing you can do to avoid dealing with invasive tree roots is to pay attention to the types of trees you plant in your yard. Some trees have expansive root systems, while others do not. For instance, silver maples have expansive root systems, so they should be planted at least 50 feet away from a home to avoid future problems with invasive roots. American elms and willows are two other examples of trees with root systems that spread a long way out beneath the ground. Another tip for avoiding invasive tree roots is to plant all of your trees at least ten feet away from your driveway, front walk, and patio. If you're creating the landscape of your property, I suggest drawing up a plan that includes measurements to ensure that your trees and their roots have enough room to grow.

Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: invasive tree roots

How to Begin Your Fall Yard Preparation

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Oct 6, 2016


It's the time of year when you begin to see stray red, yellow, and orange leaves appearing on trees that were completely green just a short time ago. This is one of the first signs that fall is on the way. I look forward to the crisp evenings and cold-weather barbecues that come along with this new season. Fall is also a great time to check on the condition of your yard and get it ready for the frosty months to come.

Take a Walk

Take a pleasant walk around your yard looking for bald spots in the grass and rodent holes. If you see a bald spot on your lawn, purchase a lawn repair mixture to put over it. If a chipmunk or another rodent has been busy making holes in your yard, take the time to fill them in with some loose dirt.

Rake the Leaves

The time to start raking is now. Some people believe that you shouldn't start raking until the last leaf has fallen. Unfortunately, this way of thinking allows fallen leaves to create a blanket over your yard. This blanket of leaves prevents sunlight and water from nourishing your grass. Plus, molds and fungus can begin to form in the dark, moist environment created by the fallen leaves.

Aerate the Soil

Fall is the time when a yard is soaking up nutrients and energy so it's ready to flourish when springtime rolls around again. Aerating the soil allows oxygen, water, sunlight, and fertilizer easy access to the roots of the grass. A typical spike aerator is a device that you can easily use all around your yard to get the job done.


Fertilize your yard with a slow-release fertilizer. In the fall, your lawn wants to take in all of the nutrients it can so it will survive the cold weather. Taking the time to fertilize your yard now can lay the foundation for a healthy lawn in the spring.

Kill the Weeds

If you have dandelions and other weeds growing in your yard, fall is a good time to get rid of them. These weeds can steal nutrients from your grass. Put weed-killer on these intruders and you may just stop them from making a follow-up appearance next spring.

Swap Old Flowers for New Ones

Remove old flowers from pots, window boxes, and other places in your yard. Next, replace them with flowers that love the cool weather. Cold-weather pansies, sweet peas, calendulas, and violas are just a few colorful suggestions. I'm a fan of cold-weather pansies because they can continue to flourish even with snow on their petals!

Evaluate the Condition of Your Yard Tools

Give the once-over to all of your lawn tools. Raking is more efficient if all of the tines of your rake are intact, so if your rake is missing some tines or has some that are broken, it's a good idea to invest in a new rake. If you have a leaf blower, make sure that it's in good working order, and check the condition of your lawn mower. In addition, if you're thinking about getting a new hose, shovel, or other summer gardening tool, you may want to check the stores for sales now.

Clean Your Shed

Fall is a great time to clean your shed. This may include washing its windows, sweeping out the dirt, and knocking down cobwebs. You may want to take this time to reorganize your tools and take inventory of what you have.

Good luck with your fall preparations, and thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: fall yard preparation

DIY Outdoor Furniture Ideas For Any Yard

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Tue, Sep 27, 2016


Double roof vinyl gazebo kit beside pool.

Do you want to refresh the appearance of your backyard? One way to accomplish this is to add some DIY furniture pieces to your outdoor décor. DIY furniture pieces are unique as well as easy on the household budget. I like the idea of sitting on the patio and looking at furniture pieces that I created; don't you? Check out some ideas for DIY furniture perfect for your backyard.

A Wire Patio Table

You may already have the basic elements necessary to make a wire patio table. The base of this DIY table is a wire cage. If you grow tomatoes, you may have a few of these wire cages in storage. The top of the table is a pine round. You can buy an inexpensive unfinished pine round online. This project allows you to exercise your creativity. For instance, you can paint the pine round a solid color or embellish it with an appealing design. Or you could spray-paint the wire cage. No matter what creative ideas you come up with, you'll have an attractive table that is sure to garner a lot of attention.

A Hand-Painted Chair Cushion

Do you have a favorite folding chair on your patio that needs a touch of style? Try painting a colorful cushion to attach to the chair. You can purchase a plain white chair cushion and paint it with fabric paint. Or you could get a cushion and paint a pillowcase to slip over it. A snazzy chair cushion with an interesting design can instantly give new life to any outdoor chair!

A Recycled Tire Table

With this DIY project, you're helping the environment while beautifying your patio. Get a hold of a couple of old car tires to stack for the base of your table. You can use a piece of plywood for the surface of your table. Measure the diameter of one of your tires and take your sheet of plywood to a local hardware store. It won't take long for them to cut a round top to fit the top of your table. Be sure to sand any rough edges off of your plywood top. Glue the round of plywood to the top tire of your table base. You have the option of painting the table top or putting a coat or two of stain on the wood to protect it from the elements.

A Handmade Rug

If you want to add some interest to your patio, try making a stylish outdoor rug. You can purchase an inexpensive rug to start with, or perhaps you already have a brown or tan rug on the patio. Masking tape and a few colors of spray paint can help you create a design that will bring your outdoor floor to life.

A Rolling Ottoman Cooler

Transform a simple plywood box into a rolling cooler to add to the décor of your backyard patio. Find a plywood box that can accommodate an average-sized Styrofoam cooler. Attach casters to the bottom of your plywood box/cooler. You can paint your box in bright colors to match the chair cushions and other furnishings on your patio. Make sure your plywood box has a firmly fitting lid. You can add a soft cushion on top of it and even attach handles to its sides. This is a furniture piece that is both practical and decorative.

Try any of these DIY projects and give your backyard patio a whole new look! Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: diy outdoor furniture

The Only Bug Bite Guide You Need

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Mon, Sep 26, 2016


'Mosquito Visitors'

I hope you've enjoyed the summer as much as I have. You may have noticed that I'm a big fan of grilling out and spending time with loved ones under a beautiful summer sky. Do you know who else is a fan of summertime? Mosquitoes, gnats and other flying pests. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to repel these and other insects. This week's blog is all about how to keep the bugs away. But, if you do get bitten, I have some tips that can help soothe your itchy skin. Enjoy!

A Few Ways to Repel Bugs

Citronella candles are a traditional favorite if you're trying to keep the mosquitoes away. These are available to buy in home improvement stores and craft stores. Or, you could put your creativity to the test and make a citronella candle. In addition, you can find recipes for homemade citronella soap that softens your skin while acting as a bug repellent. If you like to garden, try planting lemongrass, rosemary, or lavender around your backyard patio. These herbs have a fragrance that repels mosquitoes and other pests. Cinnamon leaf oil has been known to kill mosquito larvae and is a natural alternative to pesticides. It can be purchased online or even in some grocery stores. Peppermint is another type of oil found in recipes for natural mosquito repellent. As you can see, many repellents bring along their own delightful scent while driving away pests that want to put a damper on your pleasant summertime gatherings.

How to Soothe a Bug Bite

You may spend hours preparing batches of homemade repellents, but you still find yourself itching. The bad news is you may have a lot of determined mosquitoes around your place. The good news is there are many simple salves and solutions that can soothe your irritated skin. For example, the tannins in a used tea bag can take away some of the itchiness of a bug bite. Or, try a little tea tree oil or peppermint oil on your most aggravating bug bites. Both of these oils, as well as others, act as an antiseptic on the skin. When you think of aloe vera, you're likely to picture a bad sunburn. But, aloe can be used to soothe bug bites as well. If you have baking soda around the house, mix some with a few drops of water to create a paste. Smear the paste on your bug bites and let it dry. The alkalinity in the baking soda can help relieve your itching. Cut a cucumber in half and place the fleshy inside directly against one of your bug bites. This can decrease the swelling that comes along with irritated skin. If you have some raw organic honey in your kitchen cabinet, put a drop of it on a bug bite. Honey contains an anti-bacterial that offers more relief than some store-bought ointments.

Finally, be sure to empty any items on your property that contain standing water. This includes things like bird baths, tire swings and empty flower pots. Mosquitoes can multiply in standing water. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: bug bite guide

7 Grilling Tips For Your Favorite Foods

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Tue, Sep 20, 2016


Late summer is the perfect time to grill out with family and friends. Everyone seems to have a favorite item that they love to throw on the grill. For some people, it's hot dogs and hamburgers, while others love the taste of grilled fruit. This week's post is all about grilling and how to make your favorite foods taste even better!

Seven Grilling Tips for Your Favorite Foods

  1. Hamburgers: One tip for cooking burgers on the grill is to create your burger patties and put them in the refrigerator so they are cold when they hit the grill. Another tip is to put your thumb onto each patty to create a small indentation in the center. This helps the burger to cook evenly. Throw some salt and pepper on the patties after putting them on the grill.
  2. Hot Dogs: Use high-quality hot dogs to get the best taste, and make sure they are cold before you begin. Take a knife and make two or three cuts into each side of the hot dog so the heat from the grill gets inside more easily. To add more flavor to your hot dogs, wrap each one in a strip of pre-cooked bacon (raw bacon takes longer to cook). Most grocery stores sell packages of fully cooked bacon.
  3. Chicken: One helpful tip to make grilled chicken taste better is to soak each piece in a brine before putting it on the grill. This helps it to stay moist. If you are grilling chicken breasts, put each one in a plastic bag and pound it with a meat mallet until it is uniform in thickness. This helps a chicken breast to cook evenly. Use tongs instead of a fork to turn your chicken on the grill: A fork can put holes in the meat, allowing its juices to run out. Be sure to start the grilling process on high heat so your chicken develops a crispy skin.
  4. Corn: Do you like tender grilled corn? I could make an entire meal of it! Next time you grill corn, try getting some ears that are still in their husks. Peel back the husk, leaving it attached to the corn. Brush each corn cob with melted butter. Next, pull the husk back up over the corn and wrap each ear in foil. Grill them on high heat for about 30 minutes, turning each of them a couple of times.
  5. Pineapple: Soak a group of one-inch-thick pineapple rings in a mixture of honey, melted butter, and salt. Then, put them on a grill set to high heat for about two minutes on each side. This will give your pineapple rings grill marks and a smoky, sweet flavor.
  6. Peaches: Ever think of grilling a peach? Try it! Cut several peaches in half, take out the pit, and brush them with melted butter. Put your grill on medium heat and grill both sides of your peaches for five minutes. Leave the skin on for extra flavor.
  7. Red Peppers: First, brush vegetable oil onto the grill to prepare it. Cut your red peppers in half and remove all of the insides. Next, marinate them in a bowl of balsamic vinegar for 20 minutes. Place the red peppers on the grill, skin side down, and let them cook for five minutes.

When it comes to grilling, some people use a gas grill, while others would never use anything but charcoal. Both types of grills deliver delicious foods, but there are subtle differences. If you want a smoky flavor for your grilled items, then charcoal is your best bet. Alternatively, a gas grill can draw out the natural flavors in whatever you're grilling. If you want a grill that thoroughly sears a piece of meat, then a charcoal grill is the way to go. If you're looking for a grill with easy cleanup, then gas is a better option. It all depends on your personal tastes and preferences. Happy grilling, and thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: grilling tips

How to Create Your Own Backyard Movie Theater

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Sun, Sep 11, 2016


Vertical carport with an optional gable closed.  The vertical style carports are the strongest style carport which allows snow to slide off of the roof.

Have you ever imagined your backyard as an outdoor movie theater? Well, with a little effort, you can transform your backyard into a movie theater this summer. This is a great project because there are plenty of opportunities for kids and grandkids to help out. Enjoy!

How to Make a Movie Screen for the Backyard

You can create a homemade movie screen with just a few materials, including two white, king-sized flat sheets, PVC pipe, PVC elbows, PVC "T" pipe connectors, eye bolts, three buckets, gravel, sand, and rope. The process involves taking the sheets and cutting two large pieces measuring 100 inches by 56 inches each. Next, sew the two pieces together, leaving four inches open at each corner and four inches of extra fabric overlapping in the center on one side before the center seam. Fold up and sew the fabric four inches from the edge on the sides and the overlapping fabric in the middle to create long pockets: This is where you will insert the PVC pipes and connectors to create a frame for your screen. Each of the supporting legs of your screen will go into a bucket filled with gravel and sand so it will stand up. Be sure to conduct a test with your portable projector to make sure your screen is positioned in the best possible location.

Setting the Tone of Your Backyard Movie Theater

Once your screen is set up, you can work on the seating for your backyard theater. One idea is to arrange some basic lawn chairs in front of the screen or even put out some loungers for a more relaxing viewing experience. Another idea is to set up some wooden benches with cushions on them. If you want to watch a movie with your sweetheart, you could put a portable porch swing in front of the screen! Hang some Japanese lanterns from trees or put some LED candles in your backyard to create soft lighting. Be sure to put out some citronella candles if you have a lot of mosquitoes around your area.

Fun Movie Snacks

What movie theater is complete without popcorn? Give your neighbors and friends a treat by making some tasty kettle corn or put out different toppings such as cinnamon, shredded cheese, and chocolate chips so people can choose the toppings they want for their popcorn. Other fun movie snacks include small bottles of soda in an ice-filled cooler, nachos with cheese sauce, and an assortment of candy bars in a basket.

Some Extras That Bring More Fun to the Experience

If you want to have several people over for a movie in your backyard, there are several things you can do to make your movie night all the more special. For one, you could send out invitations featuring a movie theme. I like the idea of handing out novelty movie tickets to guests as they enter your backyard. Ask a kid to be the usher who shows your guests to their seats. Also, play some music for your guests until the movie is ready to start.

Finally, be sure to check the weather report before setting the date for movie night in your backyard. A movie is a fun idea, especially on a clear summer evening. Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: backyard movie theater

4 Easy Ways to Water Your Lawn Like A Pro

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Wed, Sep 7, 2016


How is your lawn looking this summer? I hope it's lush and healthy. But if it's not, you may want to look at your watering routine. If you water your lawn with a garden hose instead of a sprinkler, there are some things you can do to ensure that you're giving it the water it needs to thrive. Discover four tips that can help you water your lawn like a pro. Enjoy!

  1. Water Your Lawn at an Optimal Time. The most optimal time to water your lawn is in the morning between the hours of six and ten o'clock. This allows your grass to absorb all of the water you sprinkle onto it. When you water your lawn in the late morning or early afternoon, a large amount of the water evaporates in the heat before it can be absorbed into the ground. If you're not a morning person, you may try to water your lawn at night. But if you water it too late, there's a chance that mildew or fungus may develop, so watering your lawn in the morning is your best bet!
  2. Choose the Right Nozzle Setting on Your Hose. The nozzle on your garden hose can help you to apply the proper amount of water to your grass in an even way. For example, the "shower" setting on your nozzle is designed to evenly distribute water. Today, there are hose nozzles available with several settings that allow you to distribute water any way you want.
  3. Check Your Watering Work. The water you put on your lawn should travel down about eight inches into the ground. As you move over the lawn with your hose, you should allow the water enough time to soak into the ground as you go. If you see water pooling in the grass, then you're applying too much in one area. After watering, wait thirty minutes and use a shovel to dig a hole eight inches deep in one area of your lawn. If the dirt in the hole is moist, it means your watering routine is working. You can dig two or three holes around your lawn to ensure proper water distribution. Remember to fill in the holes after you conduct your test!
  4. Keep Track of Rainfall. In order to thrive, a lawn needs about an inch to an inch and a half of water per week. To avoid over-watering, you have to take the weather into account. You may have a drought in your area, or perhaps you get a lot of rain on a regular basis. One way to tell for sure if your lawn is getting an adequate amount of water is to put a rain gauge into the ground. I like a rain gauge with big numbers so I can see exactly how much rainfall we've had in a single glance. If the rain gauge has an inch of water in it, then your lawn has received its quota. Of course, you have to remember to empty your rain gauge each week so you can get an accurate reading.

Good luck with your lawn-tending efforts, and thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: watering your lawn

Essential Tips For Garage Door Maintenance

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Fri, Sep 2, 2016


Most people who park their car in a garage at home don't think much about their garage door. They simply expect the door to open and close whenever they need it to. But like most things, a garage door needs a certain amount of maintenance to ensure that it serves its purpose. This week, I'm sharing some maintenance tips and advice that can help you keep your garage door in good working order.

Observe the Operation of Your Garage Door

At the start of every spring and fall, take a minute or two to stand in your garage to watch your door in action. A garage door that is in excellent condition moves up and down in a smooth, even way. Also, the door should sit evenly on your garage floor. If you see daylight coming in beneath your garage door, it may mean that the bottom seal is worn or damaged. Replacing the bottom seal on your garage door can correct this problem. In addition, the seal helps to keep cold air, leaves, and snow from drifting in beneath your door. If your garage door is shaking or jerking as it operates, there may be a problem with its springs or pulleys. If you have a garage door with torsion springs, don't try to adjust them. These are high-tension springs that can cause serious injury. It's a good idea to call a professional if your door is moving in an erratic way.

Examine the Hardware on Your Door

Every six months, check the bolts on your garage door to see if they are tight. Also, look at the joints, hinges, and rollers on your door to determine if they are worn out. Each piece of hardware should be firmly in place with no signs of rust or other damage.

Lubricate Parts of Your Door

Lubricating various parts of your garage door is an important part of maintenance. Once a year, spray non-silicone lubricant on the door's springs, bearings, and hinges. Avoid getting any lubricant on the tracks of your garage door because this can make your door slip and work improperly. Instead, wipe the tracks with a rag to remove dust and dirt that may interfere with the operation of the rollers.

Check the Balance of Your Door

Once a year, check to see if your garage door is balanced. If you have an automatic door, close it and disconnect it from the opener by pulling the cord hanging from your garage door rail. Then, pull your door halfway up and slowly let go of the handle. If the door starts to go up or down on its own, it means it is unbalanced. It's best to contact a professional to balance your door if you find that it's needed.

Clean the Exterior of Your Door

Each spring, clean the exterior of your garage door with a gentle detergent and water. I recommend using a soft sponge to remove dirt and mud so you don't put any scratches on the surface of the door. Then, rinse your door with a garden hose. Cleaning the exterior can prevent staining and maintains the appeal of your door.

Remember that a little bit of maintenance can keep your garage door running as it should! Thanks for reading. - Alan

Topics: garage door maintenance


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