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Minor Modifications Help Get the Most Out of Garage

May 17, 1997|From Associated Press

For most people, the garage is an extension of the house. Here are some tips to make it easier to use:

Weatherstripping

Before installing weatherstripping, sand the door bottom, wash it with a mild detergent and let it dry for two or three days. Then paint the area of the door.

To keep out cold air, rodents and debris, install vinyl weatherstripping designed specifically for closing gaps around a garage door. You will save energy as well.

Weatherstripping on the bottom of a garage door takes a lot of abuse. Replace it as needed.

If your garage floor is uneven, you can still create a good seal between the bottom of the door and the floor. Simply tack a three-fourths-inch foam pipe insulation to the bottom of the door with the slit facing down.

Caution: Remember that a well-sealed garage means an even greater danger of carbon monoxide buildup. Never run an engine inside a closed garage.

Parking

Judging how far is enough when parking your car in the garage can be tricky. To alleviate this, park your car exactly where you want it. Then hang a tennis ball from the ceiling; mount a screw eye in the ceiling and position the hanging ball so that it touches the windshield on the driver's side.

If you have trouble centering the car in its space, stick reflective tape the width of your car on the back wall of the garage. You'll center it easily.

Keep lawn mowers, bicycles and other equipment out of the way by painting white lines on the garage floor, outlining a space for each item. As long as all family members return the items to their designated spots, you won't have to get out of the car to move them before you can park.

Parking one car next to another in a narrow two-car garage can lead to damaged doors on both cars.

Create a cushioned barrier from a length of vent hose (the type used for a clothes dryer) and a thin wooden dowel. Put the dowel through the hose. Secure a screw eye on each end of the dowel so that the hose is firmly attached to the wood. Then suspend the hose from the ceiling with a rope tied to each screw eye. Hang it so that it meets the car doors just below the handles.

Avoid damaging your car door when you open it by attaching a piece of scrap carpet to the wall.

Garage Doors

When working on a manual garage door, set it at a comfortable level by securing a C-clamp or locking pliers on the door track to block door movement. This is safer than propping the door with a chair or other object.

Periodically apply a thin film of lightweight oil to the rollers and hinges of a garage door. Go easy--too much oil will collect dirt. Keep tracks clean by wiping them occasionally with an oil-dampened cloth.

Weather debris

Wet tires can create a mess. Confine the mess to the area under the car by gluing several strips of garage door bottom-strips to the floor with construction adhesive. Most of the garage floor will stay clean and dry, and the water will be channeled out to the driveway.

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