3 Ways to Prepare Your Garage for Spring
Winter months can be harsh in Central Oregon, and the cold temperatures, precipitation and winds can take a toll on your home. Come early spring, you may see some wear-and-tear on your home, especially when it comes to your garage doors and the inside of your garage. Take advantage of the milder climate to restore your home’s curb appeal and make any necessary repairs.
How to Prepare Your Garage for Spring
At Blankenship Garage Doors, our focus is your garage. In addition to sprucing up the appearance of your garage after a harsh winter, we recommend running maintenance checks for safety and proper functioning. Your garage door should look good and run flawlessly.
Consider your spring garage maintenance, updates and upkeep an investment. Proper care will ensure safety and longevity while keeping your home secure.
You can prepare your garage for spring in three easy steps:
- Clean your garage, both inside and out.
- Run maintenance checks and make repairs.
- Consider how to best protect your garage from spring storms.
Restoring your garage’s appearance is one of the first things to check off your spring to-do list. A harsh winter can impact your home’s condition, and your garage may look quite different than it did a year ago. Clean-up and reorganization goes a long way: With the proper care, your garage door can last about 30 years.
Give Your Garage a Spring Cleaning
Giving your garage door some special attention is a good starting point. In Oregon, your garage door is exposed to all the elements — sun, rain, snow, wind, dirt, rust, oil and debris throughout the year, particularly in the winter. Build-up from residue and dirt can get into the tracks of the garage door as it opens and closes and cause mechanical issues.
Properly wash down your garage door, both inside and out, and then clean and organize the interior.
- Clean your garage door: All you need is some dish soap, a rag or soft brush, a bucket of water and a hose. First, give your garage door a good rinse with the hose. Second, dip your rag in the soapy water and start washing the door at the top-left corner. Work across and down to avoid duplicating your efforts, and then rinse with the hose again. You should also follow the same steps on the inside of the door.
- Clean the interior: Clear any cobwebs from lights and walls, wipe down all surfaces, and give the floor a good sweep. Wash the floor with hot, soapy water, or a power washer for tougher jobs, and then rinse the entire area with a hose. Adding a coat of epoxy paint to your concrete floor not only looks nice, but can also help resist water, alkali and acids.
- De-clutter: Lay out all the contents on your garage floor and get ready to purge. Divide your items into four piles — keep, sell, donate and toss. Make a list of the items you want to keep and where you want to keep them. Consider making the garage purge a family event to speed up the process and have a little fun.
- Organize: Create different zones that work for you and your family — consider zones for garden tools, car supplies, hand tools, sports equipment and kids’ belongings. Keep like items together and label any storage bins. Frequently used items should be easily accessible. Store those items near the garage door and on open shelves versus closed cabinets. Make sure to keep any chemicals in a locked storage cabinet.
- Create extra space wherever you can: The more things you can keep off the floor of your garage, the better. Consider using peg boards or slat walls to hang garden tools and other accessories. Instead of free-standing shelves, consider installing shelves on the walls of the garage. You can also hang bikes from the ceiling, mount them on walls or store them vertically.
- Certain items should be stored elsewhere: Storing paint, paper goods and pet food in the garage isn’t a good idea. Extreme temperatures can ruin paint, bugs like to hide in paper goods and pet food attracts critters. Also, a refrigerator can be a substantial energy drain on your garage and is probably better off in your basement or elsewhere. Make sure to keep propane tanks outside, as they can spark.
After you’ve cleaned and organized, you can prepare your garage door for spring by running some maintenance checks and tests.
Perform Garage Door Maintenance
Spring garage door maintenance is essential after an Oregon winter, and periodic upkeep will ensure that your garage door operates optimally for many years to come. At Blankenship Garage Doors, we recommend performing maintenance checks and tests at least once a year — twice a year if your garage door is more than ten years old. Periodic maintenance checks will save you money in the future.
Modern garage doors like the Clopay® systems here at Blankenship Garage Doors consist of many different pieces — springs, rollers, tracks, the opener and more. In fact, your garage door is the largest moving piece in your home. If you keep all those pieces in top shape, your system will function flawlessly for a long time.
For efficiency, we recommend you perform garage door maintenance in a certain order — check the hardware, replace pieces as needed, lubricate all moving parts and run system tests.
First, inspect the hardware for wear-and-tear. Although some of the most common garage door fixes are broken cables and springs, and bent tracks, we recommend a thorough inspection of all the items listed below. Look for:
- Broken or rusty metal parts: Metal parts can break or rust over time — it happens. Check any springs, rollers, hinges, tracks, bolts, and screws for breakage or rust. Swap out any damaged pieces with new parts.
- Damaged weather stripping: Weather stripping creates a seal between the door and the ground, keeping water and other elements from entering your garage. Make sure the weather stripping along the bottom of your garage door is in top condition. If not, replace it.
- Loose bolts and screws on the track brackets: Over time, vibrations from your garage door system may loosen bolts and screws on the brackets that hold your tracks in place. Use a screwdriver or adjustable wrench to tighten any loose pieces. By keeping everything tight, you will prevent the tracks from bending and keep your garage door operating smoothly.
- Bending in the tracks: Impact from large objects may also cause your garage door’s tracks to bend – bending can occur when a vehicle hits the door, or a large tool strikes the tracks. If you see any bending, repair your tracks immediately. If there is a lot a lot of damage, a track replacement may be necessary.
- Worn or frayed cables: Cables keep the garage door on its tracks when opening or closing. Over time they can fray or rust, causing them to weaken. Replace any weak cables right away to keep your family safe and your door operating as it should.
- Cracks or damages on the garage door: Take a close look at the material that makes up your garage door and take note of any cracks or damages. For a quick aesthetic fix, consider replacing the door panels. For excessive damage, a garage door replacement may be more cost-effective.
Once you complete the hardware checks, spend some time lubricating all moving parts — hinges, rollers, sheave bearings, torsion springs, roller tracks and locks. You can use common engine oil, WD-40 or Clopay® Garage Pro-Lube to complete this task.
Next, run a few quick checks and tests to make sure the entire system is working together and functioning well.
- Check for hitching and jerking: If your garage door opens slowly or with any unusual movement, such as hitching or jerking, there may be a problem with a system component — possibly the opener, cable or springs.
- Do a sound check: Open and close your garage door multiple times and listen for anything that sounds unusual. You should not hear anything that sounds like grinding. Both creaking and straining sounds are normal in older doors.
- Perform balance tests: First, manually open the garage and make sure it remains secure in the open position. Next, manually lift the door up and down until it hangs in place without you holding it. A well-balanced door will stay suspended somewhere between three and four feet off the ground.
- Run reversal tests with the garage door opener: First, place an object under your garage door and close it to check that the reversing device is operating properly. Next, check your photo-eye sensor by waving an object in its path while closing the garage door. Finally, use your arms to apply resistance when the door is closing. Complete this test last for safety reasons. If it does not reverse, the force settings may not be accurate.
Once maintenance is complete, get your garage ready for the possibility of intense spring storms.
Protect Your Garage Door From Spring Storms
Although spring in Oregon typically brings more sunshine and milder temperatures, you still need to prepare for those pesky storms that bring heavy rains, potential flooding and high winds. Time is everything when preparing for severe weather — do as much as possible ahead of time so that you can concentrate on your immediate needs when a storm hits.
Invest in Wind-Resistant Garage Doors
One important way to prepare your garage for severe weather is to invest in a durable, wind-resistant garage door. Because of its size, your garage door is vulnerable to wind damage. Strong winds can create a pressure build-up, potentially impacting the rest of your home. Wind-resistant garage doors will protect your entire home during a high-wind event.
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we recommend reinforced garage doors from Clopay®. These storm-ready garage doors need no advanced set-up as bad weather approaches. To reinforce the garage door, all you do is lock it — a huge time-saver during a high-wind event or evacuation.
Garage door manufacturers, such as Clopay®, offer stylish options with impact-resistant windows. So, your reinforced garage doors can be attractive as well as functional. Reinforced garage doors also need to meet the wind load requirements in your region. Give us a call at 541-383-2658, and we’ll make sure you are up to code.
Prepare for Power Outages
We all know the power can go out during severe weather, so make sure you can manually open your garage door. Use the manual release lever to disengage your opener from your garage. Consult the user manual as release levers vary by manufacturer. As always, make sure your door is secure in the open position. If you have a newer garage door, your opener may have back-up batteries that will work for a little while.
The best way to prevent your garage from flooding is to seal everything up and redirect water. Replace damaged weather stripping at the bottom of the garage door and fill any cracks in the foundation — you can find concrete vinyl patches at your hardware store. To redirect water, lay sandbags around the foundation.
Strategic landscaping can also impact how water flows around your garage. Hopefully, your lawn grade runs away from the exterior of your home and garage. If your lawn grade runs toward your garage, you can dig a dry ditch that diverts water around the sides of your home and fill it with cobblestones. If you don’t want to divide a section of your lawn in half, an alternative is to install a French drain outside the garage door that creates a runoff for excess water.
Let us know if you have any questions or would like ideas on the best ways to protect your garage from storms — we’re here to help keep you and your family safe.
Choose Blankenship Garage Doors for Your Garage Door Needs
At Blankenship Garage Doors, we’ve been helping homeowners in Central Oregon with their garage door needs for over 20 years. Maybe you want to install a new garage door, or you need replacement parts, repairs or maintenance? Whatever the case, we’ll give you a timely and personalized experience at the best price.
We’re your one-stop location in Central Oregon for Clopay® garage doors — also known as “America’s Favorite Doors” for over 50 years. We offer a beautiful and extensive selection of high-quality Clopay® styles and designs — whatever your preferences may be, we think you’ll find what you’re looking for when you stop by our showroom. And, if you’re interested in a custom garage door, you can look for ideas in our Clopay® Imagine FlipBook or play around with options on our online Door Imagination System. Once you find your perfect garage door, we’ll install it for you.
We also offer and install LiftMaster® garage door openers, which are compatible with Clopay® Garage doors and offer exceptional functioning and durability.
Do you need garage door maintenance or repair?
Our team of technicians at Blankenship Garage Doors is highly trained and experienced. Our technicians offer a range of maintenance and repair services, both big and small, and offer prompt emergency service when necessary. We care about our customers and have performed premium garage door repair and maintenance services for over 20 years.
Blankenship Garage Doors is a member of both the Central Oregon Builders Association and the International Door Association. We’ve developed an extensive network of relationships with both customers and high-quality commercial contractors throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Contact us for maintenance, repairs, parts and installations. We have the knowledge and experience to offer you the best garage door service in Central Oregon. If you have questions or are just looking for ideas, give us a call – we’re here to help with all your garage door needs, no matter how big or small.