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Garage Door Bottom Weatherstripping


garage door stripIf you need to replace the weather stripping on the bottom of your garage door, take note to what style you have. Weather stripping is different for wood doors than it is for metal doors. The difference is at the bottom of the door and how it is secured to the door.

Weatherstripping for old wood doors needs to be removed and cleaned up. This weatherstripping is usually nailed or stapled to the bottom of the door. Pry this up with a screwdriver or putty knife and scrape the surface so that it is clean and smooth.

New weather stripping is sold in rolls and for wooden doors you can secure it with roofing nails or staples. Start at one end and start fastening until the strip is tight, but don’t stretch it.

For metal doors, there is usually a channel for the new roll. You can pull the old strip off and start threading the new strip into the channel. Some other styles for metal door bottoms have you screw the weather stripping into the bottom of the door. This is held in place with self-tapping sheet metal screws spaced approximately every 12 inches or so.

You will have to trim the end of the weather stripping to match the end of the door. A sharp blade will work for the rubber, but for the metal (if you have that style), tin snips or a hacksaw will work.


Reprogram Your Garage Door Remote


garage door remoteGarage door remotes break and sometimes get lost. At some point you will have to replace it and reprogram the remote. This isn’t difficult to do, but there are some differences depending upon which style of garage door opener you have.

The old style garage door openers use dip switches. These are tiny levers in succession that provide communication between the garage door opener and the remote control unit. These switches are located in two areas and the positions of the switches must match in both the garage door opener unit and the remote. Look for the switches on the back on the garage door opener. You will probably have to remove a cover, and usually they are located under the light cover. On the remote, remove the battery cover and you will see the switches. Move the switches to either the up or down position in whatever configuration you like. A pen or pencil is good for this as the switches are too small to move with your finger. The only rule is that the configuration of each switch must match at both the garage door opener and the remote control unit.

On the back of newer style openers is a “smart” button. To reprogram this type of opener, clear the old memory by depressing and holding the smart button. The light next to the button will typically have a fast blink to it, but it may stay illuminated (different manufacturers have slightly different sequences). Press the remote button and it the light should turn off. The remote should be programmed.


Lubricate An Overhead Garage Door


garage doorThat squeaking noise every time you press the garage door opener button may be telling you something. It’s time to lubricate the garage door and it’s hardware. You can buy a graphite spray made for garage doors. They also make garage door lubricant in a tube.

Before you start lubricating everything in sight, make sure all the hardware is tight. Loose hinges or brackets won’t benefit if they are moving as the garage door moves. So give your door an inspection and tighten the parts up. Also make sure the tracks are aligned so that the rollers travel smoothly.

Use the spray and spray the torsion spring above the door (it’s the black coil above the garage door). This has a lot of tension in it so don’t try to work on it, but you can spray lubricant on it. Go on to the moving parts of the door. Lubricate the hinges where they connect one section of door to another. Lubricate the rollers so that they don’t get hung up in the assembly or the track. You can also lubricate the tracks that guide the rollers but they do tend to collect dirt. Once you have lubricated up the door and it’s hardware, run it through a few cycles. You should notice a quieter and smoother operating door.


Handyman Tells How To Lock The House Without A Key


door lockAs a trustworthy handyman service, we are asked to work unsupervised in many vacant houses. This is convenient for everyone, as the customer doesn't have to waste their time babysitting us, and we can work in a more relaxed environment.

Recently, a new buyer had us do some work in a home she just purchased that had been bank owned. She was working full time and gave us a key to the property. We were done in few days and (since she carried a duplicate key) placed the key inside the house and left the house completely locked up. She couldn't understand how we were able to leave the house locked without using the key. It's actually very easy...if there is a garage door opener.

When you are ready to exit the house, simply lock all of the doors/windows from the inside as you would if you were going to bed. Press the garage door opener button to raise the door. Now here's where it gets fun...press the garage door opener button again to start closing the door and race out of the garage. The only thing is that you will have to step over the invisible sensor beam that reverses the door. It looks very strange: press the wall button, sprint to the door, and step over the invisible beam so as not to cause the door to reverse...all while you are bending down because the door is closing.

I told the customer how this is done and it was like a revelation. She had tried this before and the door always opened back up.

Garage Door Opener Differences


garage door openerIt sure is nice to have the luxury of hitting a button and the garage door opens up... No more having to clean & jerk the door open during bad weather. Garage door openers all serve the same purpose, but their methods sometimes differ.

On the low end of the price spectrum is the chain drive system. This resembles the old bicycle chain and it works well, but it is noisy. So when you are in the living room you can hear the "hum" of the chain drive operating the door. The chain drive is also a chore to install. You have to uncoil it and wrap it around the sprocket, getting your hands greasy in the process.

The next step up is the screw drive opener. These assemble easier and faster than the chain drive units, with each end screw section secured together to form the length of the rail. These are only slightly more expensive than the chain drive units, and they don't seem to have the vibration and subsequent noise that the chain drive's have.

Finally, there are the belt driven models. These run the quietest of all the styles and install very easily. The belt slips over the sprocket and is tensioned with a mechanism that makes quick work of the process.

My choice would be the belt driven model, because it really doesn't cost much more than the less expensive units, and over the life of the unit I don't have to worry about being awakened when someone opens the door late at night.


Garage Door Quick Release Handle


garage door openerHave you ever been locked in your garage? You might laugh but it happens...you are late for work, you press the button to open the garage door so you can pull your car out and...nothing. Repeated pushes on the button are fruitless.

Your garage door opener won't open for a number of reasons. If the power is out, if the unit is broken, if the torsion spring is broken, etc. So how do you get out?

The garage door opener is connected to the front wall by a steel rail. Along this rail rides a carriage that attaches to the garage door by a steel arm. This carriage has a handle attached to a cord than typically dangles in the air. If you pull this handle downward, it will disengage the door from the opener and allow you to lift the door by hand. The door will be heavier than you think so you might have to put some elbow grease on it to lift it up. If the torsion spring is broken (the black coil/spring above the door), the door will be very difficult to move. This spring is under tremendous pressure and when it breaks, it will often disengage the cables on the side of the door that help it to move. The long and the short of it is that even if you disengage the door from the opener, you still may not be able to move it.

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