Roll up and stay up
To keep a manual roller-door from crashing down while you’re working, wedge a stout piece of timber between the floor and the door’s bottom corner, and then attach a G-clamp to the door track just in front of the top roller.
Do the balancing act
A garage door that isn’t properly balanced will strain an automatic opener. Check the door regularly and you could avoid expensive repairs down the track. Close the door then disengage it from the automatic opener by pulling down on the emergency release handle. Manually open the door halfway and let go. A balanced door will stay in the halfway position or creep down slowly. An unbalanced door will close quickly or need some hard tugs to bring it down. If the door is out of balance, hire a garage door professional to correct the spring tension.
Toxic fumes can build up in a garage, whether from stored household chemicals and fertilisers, or from the exhaust vapours produced by cars and lawnmowers. For that reason, a garage must be well ventilated. Use draught excluders to keep out dust and debris, but stop short of making the garage an airtight space. And never run a car or mower in the garage unless the garage door is open.
An automatic reversing function will trigger the garage door to retract when it comes into contact with an object (like a car or a misplaced bicycle). Check the function regularly by placing a roll of paper towels on the ground under the door. If the door doesn’t retract when it hits the roll, call in a professional to service the mechanism.
Once or twice a year, switch your garage door into manual mode and open and close it slowly by hand. If there are any emerging problems – if the springs are losing their tension or the rollers aren’t running smoothly in their tracks – you’ll feel it then.
Off on holiday?
In order to burglar-proof your garage, go back to basics. Unplug the door opener and reactivate the manual lock. Also fit bolts with padlocks on the inside as an additional disincentive for thieves who enter through the house.