When it comes to regular home maintenance, people often forget garages and outbuildings. Homeowners can sometimes add value to their homes by converting garages and domestic outbuildings to provide additional living space, so protecting your investment is essential.
When it comes to garages, the doors are one of the most repeatedly used items in your home, nearly every day in some cases. Therefore, it's essential to keep them working efficiently to provide security and look aesthetically appealing.
Although you can expect garage doors to last 10-15 years, this will depend on how well they're maintained. When using your garage door, listen out for unusual noises, such as squeaking and grinding, for tell-tale signs that something is wrong. Here is a guide to how PlusGas can be used as part of your regular DIY maintenance and preventative care to ensure your garage door continues to perform well, and your outbuilding is in good condition:
Garage door hinges
You can have side hinged garage doors that swing from the side or up-and-over or roll-up garage doors, which open up and down. If the hinges or the mechanism becomes rusty, it can stop the door from opening and closing smoothly or even become jammed. Doors can also sag as a result.
Similarly, outbuilding or shed doors have hinges that may become rusty or seized. To keep the hinges moving freely for longer, spray PlusGas to prevent rust from forming.
Springs and metal tracks
All garage doors that open up and down have springs, either at the top or side of the door frame, to enable the door to move along metal tracks. To keep the springs and other moving metal parts in top condition, spray PlusGas penetrating fluid to prevent moving metal parts from seizing and remove any dirt build-up or old grease.
Afterwards, use lithium grease to lubricate the metal tracks and integral moving parts so they can move freely and increase the lifetime of your garage door. Use PlusGas on springs and any mechanisms that require a penetrating oil to free up stiff or seized parts.
If the tracks become blocked with dirt and old grease, or the tracks are dry from not being greased, it'll make the door feel stiff and difficult to open. It is a common problem due to moving metal parts being prone to trapping dust and dirt in outdoor environments.
To keep your garage door operating efficiently, carefully clean the tracks and springs with a cloth to remove debris and spray PlusGas to clean the area. Also, check that no dents in the track affect the movement and that the track wheels move freely. Contact a garage door professional if you notice your tracks need realigning or the rollers appear seized.
It's essential to check all screws and nuts and tighten any loose screws that may have come loose over time. To prevent screws, nuts and bolts from rusting, spray with PlusGas and wipe any excess residue away with a cloth.
A crucial part of garage door maintenance is testing the door's balance. The spring tension needs adjusting if the door can't stay up halfway without help. Adjusting the spring tension can be dangerous, so you must contact a garage door professional. Regular checks and essential maintenance can prevent damage and wear from occurring, helping your garage door operate smoothly and prolonging the door's life.
Rusty doors and locks
Garage doors are exposed to the weather, so rust can start to form, which can compromise the effectiveness of the door and ruin the look. It is essential to clean the door's surface regularly and treat any rust spots that start to form. Some doors can be stripped back to their base material and repainted for severe cases, but this can be a big job, so prevention is the best approach.
If you notice rust, it's best to act quickly and clean the area with soapy water to remove any dirt and grease. To stop future rusting, use a rust and corrosion inhibitor to prevent the problem from spreading. After treating the problem area, apply a coat of paint, or for exposed metal surfaces, spray PlusGas on the surface to help disperse water and minimise future rusting.
Cleaning your garage door often will help to remove dirt and debris. If you notice flaking paint, it's probably time to repaint using weatherproof paint.
During your routine checks, don't forget locks and padlocks on garage doors and garden outbuildings - this is one of the critical things protecting the security of your home and keeping your valuables safe. If you're struggling to open seized locks, spray some PlusGas to help loosen it and prevent future rust and a costly garage door lock replacement.
Garage shelving and storage
As well as the garage door, don't forget the contents! You will often find metal garage shelves or bicycle racks to optimise storage space in garages, which may be prone to rust. Garages are often damp environments, which can cause rust to form on metal surfaces. Therefore, it's worth keeping any valuables covered for extra protection and spray PlusGas on metal garage storage shelves or racks, and valuable items, such as garage tools and garden equipment, stored away to maintain them in top condition.
Also, suppose you're considering converting a garage into a room, such as a garage office conversion. In that case, it might be worth treating any bolts that need to be removed on mounting plates or shelving to help the dismantling of shelves and the clear out of the garage area go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
Don't underestimate how regular maintenance can prevent more extensive and more expensive issues in the long term. An ideal time to carry out an annual maintenance check is in the Autumn before any upcoming cold weather takes its toll. Before you use PlusGas as part of your DIY home and outbuilding inspection, read how to use PlusGas safely. For further information about using PlusGas, visit our DIY page or get in touch.