drdiy

Mystery Spots on Basement Floor / Missing Roof Shingles / Garage Door Opener Problem

In Miscellaneous, Q&A on May 1, 2012 at 9:41 am

To all my followers: Please pass along my blog address to all your friends and family. I’d appreciate it!

Q:
I have never had any problems with leaks in my basement.

Over the last several months I have noticed several dark spots appearing on the concrete floor. They are not moist and some of them have white areas, but those are not wet. The spots are not near walls or under any pipes; they are more toward the middle of the basement. Do you have any idea of what they might be?

A:
Those are leaks and efflorescence as a result of leaks. The moisture under the slab is permeating up. If you have a sump pump, check it and verify that it is working and possibly lower it in the sump to make sure it comes on sooner.

Q:
Every year about this time, or for that matter, every year at just about anytime, the wind rips off a shingle or two from my house. It is becoming expensive to hire a roofer to replace them each time. The roof isn’t that old so it shouldn’t need replacing. How can I replace a missing shingle myself and save money?

A:
When you inspect your asphalt or fiberglass shingles, you should find that each shingle, which generally has three or four tabs, is probably secured with nails or staples. The nails should be about one-inch in from each edge and another one over each slot. The overlapping shingles should conceal the nails or staples. Obviously, your self-sealing tabs did not seal properly. A common problem with shingles installed in cold weather.

You need to slip a pry bar under the overlapping shingle (which is just above the torn/missing shingle) loosen and raise it. After removing the nails, you should be able to pull out the remainder of the damaged shingle.

Using a utility knife cut off several inches along the top of the new replacement shingle along with a small corner on each topside. Slip that newly trimmed shingle into place and nail it down suing four galvanized roofing nails.

Now for the tricky part – trying to nail a new shingle down without damaging the overlapping shingle. A good technique is to slip your trusty old pry bar back up under the overlapping shingle directly over each nail. Then hammer on the pry bar to drive each of the nails down at one time. I hope I’ve driven my point home.

While you’re up there lightly try and lift the remaining shingles. If they are loose, dab a small amount of tar from a tube or caulking gun under each loose tab. That should prevent additional shingles from blowing off.

You know what they say, “What goes up, must come down”. But as you can see, when we’re talking about your roof, what comes down must go back up!

Q:
Help, my automatic garage door opener is acting up.

A:
You didn’t provide enough information, but here’s a start. Check and see if there is anything obstructing the door’s remote sensor. Remove the obstruction and try again. Check and see if you have photoelectric sensors neat the bottom of both sides of the overhead door. They may have become dislodged or misaligned.

The most likely problem is the photoelectric sensors located near the floor. They are a safety feature designed to prevent damage and injury. Make sure there is no obstruction. Even a cobweb could cause the problem.

Perhaps the sensors are loose or not lined up. They could have been bumped or dislodged.

Take a look at them and you should see a small light. The light should be constant and not blinking. If it is, try adjusting and tightening the wing nut at the back of the sensor.
Some concrete floors heave. If that’s the case, adjust the automatic safety reverse. Look for an adjustment screw. If you can’t locate the owner’s manual, and your opener is an older model, it may not have an adjustment knob or screw. If that’s the case, it’s not safe and should be replaced.

If the door activates itself, somebody nearby may be using the same radio code as you. Check your manual for instructions to recode your opener.

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