Most homeowners don’t think much about their garage doors; until they don’t open. Fortunately, newer garage doors come self-lubricated or with plastic parts that need no oil. Older doors may need more attention, and in most cases, some extra oil to keep the door rolling up and down smoothly. A leaf blower can be employed to blast grit, grime,dust, and cobwebs from door parts in preparation for oiling.
Another part of the door that may need inspection is the rubber seal at the bottom. Because it is exposed to the elements, the seal can harden or crack over time, sometimes allowing rain into the garage. Replacing it costs under $100 and may keep out not only weather, but uninvited house-guest(rodents) as well.
Speaking of pests, insects may seek shelter within the garage walls. Where there are cool, dark, and moist areas, there can be carpenter ants or termites. Trails of sawdust or chewed wood are clues that it is time to call an inspector.
Garage door sensors should also be checked periodically to make sure the electric eye or other system raises the door when people,pets, or equipment get in the way. If the door does not respond properly, the garage door should be disabled until repairs are completed.
The garage’s interior needs maintenance starting with the floor. A concrete floor is prone to deterioration from chemicals and fluid spills.Concrete sealer can be applied to protect the concrete and make the surface easier to sweep and keep clean. Sealers can be applied safely by homeowners when using proper ventilation and equipment. In other cases, professionals can perform the service.
Walls & Foundation
It is important to check not only the floor of the garage, but interior and exterior walls and foundation as well. Just as moisture can affect the floor, it can affect walls and foundation. Water leaking from a garage roof can lead to mold problems, rotting drywall or even damage the wood frame.
Just as in your home, a garage with one or more windows is susceptible to air leaks. There are several simple methods for checking for these leaks, by either rattling the window ( if a window moves,there may be a leak) or visually inspecting the windows. Simple leaks usually can be sealed though the use of caulking or weather stripping.
If the garage is attached to the house, a properly insulated door leading to the house is vital to fire safety and maintaining energy efficiency. Most building codes require the door between the garage and the home’s interior living space to be fire-rated and many municipalities also require the door to be self-closing. If the door show signs of damage or the self-closing mechanism has failed; repair or replace it. It is important to make sure proper weather stripping is installed on this door as well.
In addition, a slope to the roof can be signal trouble as well, possible in the form of a foundation that has settled. It may take more than eyeballing the roof,such as using a level, to determine if the garage is leaning. If so, it may need to be examined by a construction professional.
John Robinson’s Inspection Group is a state-of-the-art, family-owned home inspection company that offers complete home inspection services to the San Diego area including: San Diego, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Oceanside, Temecula, and San Clemente.