Photo: Thinkstock Images
Summer weather may have you sweating bullets right now, but as the summer season begins its slow fade into fall, it's time to start thinking about projects that can prep your house for the cooler weather ahead. Tom Kraeutler has the top four projects to get done this month.
Weekend Project 1: Service the Garage Door
Your garage can be a handy storage zone for tools, sports equipment, holiday decorations and anything else you want to hide away. We have even heard rumors of a few fortunate folks who manage to keep their cars in there! But for all this service, your garage asks for very little in return, so be sure to keep the door and opener in top operating condition by doing some seasonal maintenance.
First, make sure the tracks, springs and any other moving parts of the garage door are well lubricated with motor oil. Apply the oil with a rag and wipe onto each part, taking care to wipe away any excess oil. Next, take a look at those big, heavy springs and make sure there is a safety wire running inside of the springs so that if they were to break, the springs would snap back on the wire and not fly off and hurt someone.
Check the garage door opener's safety reverse system. Place a 2x4 under the door and close it. The garage door should hit the 2x4 and then open back up again. There should also be an electric eye that protects the bottom edge of the garage door. Try closing the door and then breaking the electric eye's path to be sure it is functioning. By the way, if the garage door opener is older and doesn't have at least these two safety systems, replace the garage door opener!
Finally, clean the weatherstripping along the frame of the garage door and at the bottom with a cleanser made for vinyl to prevent the weatherstripping from drying out. Wash the exterior of the garage door using a mild detergent and stiff brush or power washer. If need be, remove any flaking paint, then sand, prime and apply a new coat of paint to the garage door. A nice, bright color will keep you thinking of summer even as the snow is falling!
Weekend project 2: Add attic insulation