Garage Door Opener Quits

Problem: The automatic opener does not open the garage door.

Background: An electronic garage door opener may not activate be cause its power supply is interrupted, its antenna is out of position, its transmitter is defective, its remote battery is expired, or its push-button switch inside the garage is defective. First make sure the unit’s receptacle inside the garage is receiving power, and that the opener is plugged in.

What to do: To determine if the transmitter or its battery is bad, simply see if the opener operates when the push button inside the garage is activated. If it works with the push button, next check to see that the unit’s antenna is not bent out of position. Try replacing the transmitter’s battery. If the transmitter still doesn’t work, its button may be defective. Try cleaning it with electrical contact cleaner. If that doesn’t correct the problem, you will most likely need to replace it. Conversely, if the transmitter works but the push button inside the garage doesn’t, turn off the power and clean the push button with electrical contact cleaner. If that doesn’t fix it, turn off all power and replace the switch simply by removing and detaching the 2 wires that are under the screws on the back, and reinstalling a new switch.

Special advice: When a power failure traps your car inside the garage, pull the emergency release mechanism located on the opener track. Usually, this will be a cord hanging down between the opener motor and the door. Pull the disconnect cord down and away from the door to release it. Important: If you disengage the emergency release during a power failure, be sure to also unplug the garage door opener. After the power is back on, pull on the emergency re lease again to re-engage the opener. Make sure all drivers in your house hold know how to use the emergency release mechanism.

Helpful hint: For routine adjustments, and consult the opener owner’s manual. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, contact the manufacturer and request a copy for your specific model. The opener model number should be on the back of the power unit.

Door Won’t Close Correctly

Problem: Door in home binds, sticks, or won’t latch properly.

Background: If the door frame has become distorted, your door may stick at the corners or be hard to close, and its latches may not fit the strikeplate. A door that binds or sticks against a door frame can also be caused by loose or ineffective hinges, by the frame settling, by the door or frame swelling, or by the door warping. Hinges that are loose, either on the top or bottom, will allow a door to sag. If a door is too tight on the hinge edge, it will bind against the hinge jamb. A door that has warped inward or outward at the hinge edge will be hard to close. If a door frame spreads because the home has settled, it may widen the doorway so the bolt in the lock may not reach the strikeplate. If partitions next to, or below, a door frame settle or shrink, the frame can move slightly and move the strikeplate with it while the door and lock stay in position.

What to do: Check for loose hinges, by pulling and pushing the opened door away from and toward the hinges. If the hinges move, you can either tighten the original screws, insert wood plugs in the screw holes, or substitute longer screws. Also check for a loose strikeplate or lock faceplate screws. If the door still binds after tightening the screws, you may be able to sand or plane down the high spot (or call a finish carpenter if you don’t trust your skills). Mark where it binds, remove the door and check to see where the door finish has been rubbed. Sand or, if necessary, plane lightly from the edges toward the center, then re place the door to check for fit. (Re move as little as needed because wood will shrink as humidity drops.) When the door works properly, refinish as appropriate.

Special advice: If a door binds at the hinge edge, and has clearance on the lock side, you can try inserting card board shims under the outer hinge leaves (those set in the jamb). If the lock bolt does not enter the hole in the strikeplate, check to see if it strikes the plate too high or too low. Take out the screws, remove the strikeplate, and file the metal opening until it is large enough to accommodate the bolt. If more than ¼ inch needs to be removed, it may be better to reset the strikeplate.

Helpful hint: If the margin of a door is even along the top and bottom edges, and the hinges are firm, either the hinge or lock edge can be planed. However, it’s usually best to plane the hinge edge, because hinges are easier to remove and reinstall than locks.

Design by Room – Entrance Door Mat Materials You Should Avoid

An entrance door mat can either be of the indoor or outdoor variety. Indoor mats are also known as absorbent floor mats while outdoor mats are non-absorbent. Although closely related, the two types are quite distinct from one another in terms of function and material. While each could, in theory, pass for the other, it would not be in the best interest of a clean house. That being said, given the fact that the outdoor entrance mat is first encountered when someone steps up to the threshold of a home, there are some materials that should be avoided. Otherwise you could end up with dirt-covered floors or carpets and be left with a relatively useless outdoor mat. Here, then, are 3 materials you should never use for outdoor entrance mats.

Carpet-Topped, Rubber-Backed

Basically, any absorbent material should be avoided when it comes to outdoor entrance mats. Outdoor mats should be non-absorbent instead. Their job is to take off the vast majority of debris, mud, dirt or snow from the bottom of your shoes. They are non-absorbent, so whatever is wiped from your shoes can be easily hosed or pressure washed off when it is time to clean the mat. Carpet-topped mats are very absorbent. They are designed for indoor use by clearing the bottom of your shoes of moisture that might cause you to slip. To clean them, they are thrown in the laundry. Used outdoors, carpet-topped mats would get saturated by mud and other debris and be virtually useless after a few mucky days. If used to remove excess snow, they would become damp so quickly that they would fail to serve their purpose.


While bamboo is fairly non-absorbent, when used for outdoor mats the material tends to get very dirty quickly. If bamboo is exposed to the rain, it will look terrible after enough dirt piles up on it. Aside from that, bamboo mats, especially thin mats, are quite useless at scraping heavy amounts of gunk off of shoes. Thicker bamboo mats can withstand a lot of water saturation, although they are nonetheless ineffective at keeping mud and other debris from getting inside. Bamboo mats are decorative, but they are best used in a place where their primary function is adornment or light cleaning of shoes.

Woven Cloth

Woven cloth may be very durable, but like carpet it is extremely absorbent and will get very damp if exposed to rain or snow. Not only that, but it may never fully dry especially if it is thick. Like carpet mats, woven cloth should be used for indoor mats only, there to absorb what moisture remains on the bottom of your shoes. The organic fibers will get clogged with mud and other outdoor debris, and soon you will be left with a dirty, damp mat.