3 Garage Inspection and Maintenance Tips

February 27th, 2015 by admin

Your garage, just like any other part of your home, requires maintenance in order to stay in good condition. As G. M. Filisko of Houselogic explains,"If you're like many homeowners, you cruise in and out of your garage without giving the space much thought." But, "while your garage is low-maintenance, it's not a no-maintenance part of your home," she asserts.

Toward this end, Filisko provides tips for ensuring your garage stays in top condition, and that your home retains its value:

1. Keep your garage door running properly

The majority of newer garage doors come self-lubricated, already equipped with plastic parts that don't require oil, says Melville, New York-based builder Fred Cann, owner of JRS Solutions.

However, for older doors with metal rollers, hinges and tracks, you'll still need to oil these on an annual basis. You can use a leaf blower to get rid of the grit, grime and dust that's accumulated.

In addition, make sure to check the rubber seal on the bottom of your garage door. Over time, it can incur wear and tear, which in turn allows the elements to seep into your garage. At just $100 dollars, replacing the seal is an affordable and easy fix, compared to dealing with the potential damage.

You also should regularly test the garage door's sensors to make sure they're operating properly, and most importantly, that they would not close if a child or pet is in close proximity. 

2. Clean your garage floor

Just as you want to ensure that your garage door is operating properly, it is similarly critical that you clean the garage floor to prevent slips, stains and pockmarks.

"If there's a serious trip hazard because of concrete that's crumbled or separated ¼-inch or more, take action," Filisko says. "You can try a do-it-yourself patch with a $5 concrete mix from your local hardware store," she adds.

If you find that the patched concrete doesn't stick to your slab, you can have a licensed concrete professional do an estimate for the costs of replacing your slab. 

A garage floor sealant can protect the concrete, as well as guard against discoloration, says Mark Secord, brand manager for PremierGarage in Mobile, Alabama. But other experts believe you shouldn't treat a garage slab with sealant, arguing that it doesn't offer much protection.

"Sealants don't protect the slab at all; they're just for aesthetics," says Cann, who previously worked as an engineer for the city of New York for 10 years. "We had more problems after we sealed and painted garage slabs. The paint would chip, discolor, or become slippery. I'd leave concrete alone."

3. Monitor your garage walls and foundation

You must take steps to preserve the integrity of your garage walls and foundation. Accordingly, be sure to inspect these areas twice a year, looking for signs of moisture and cracks. Discoloration or mold, often a result of moisture, show that you should call a building or roofing contractor who can perform an inspection and do repair.

Meanwhile, small wall and foundation cracks, under ¼-inch wide, usually aren't signs of water damage or cause for concern. 

Any serious structural issues with your garage are best handled by a structural engineer. For other issues with your garage, a contractor can usually assist you.

If you have questions about your home insurance and coverage, the agents at Fundy Mutual can help. Based in Sussex, New Brunswick, we have been serving the region for over 70 years. Contact us for a home or auto insurance quote today.