Garage Home Inspection
HouseCheck home inspectors are trained to check two specific safety factors in garages, namely:
- Fire safety if the garage is attached to a residence.
- Garage door safety
Fire safety in attached garages
Because of the danger of flammable fuels stored in motor vehicles, SANS 10400-T requires that walls separating garages from habitable rooms must have a fire resistance of at least 30 minutes.
This means that the separating wall between the residence and the garage must be masonry and must extend to the underside of the roof. No combustible roof components are allowed to penetrate the separating element (fire wall) dividing the roof space between the garage and the habitable rooms (SANS 1253).
SANS 1253 also provides fire resistance specifications for the interleading door between a garage and a home.
- This doorway must have a threshold of at least 10 mm (to prevent burning fuel from flowing from the garage into the home).
- The door between the garage and the residence must have a fire resistance of not less than 30 minutes. A solid wood double rebated into the door frame is deemed to satisfy this requirement.
Automated garage doors
There are a number of serious safety issues associated with roll-up and automated garage doors.
The home inspector should look at the garage door springs, cables, rollers, pulleys and other door hardware for signs of wear. Garage door springs, cables, brackets and other hardware attached to the springs are under very high tension and, if handled improperly, can cause serious injury or death.
The inspector should also check and test the reversal mechanism on automated doors.
An automated garage door should reverse on a contact with a 5 to 10cm high object on the floor. If a reversing feature is not present, the mechanism should be replaced.
Garage door operators manufactured after January 1, 1995 are required (SABS – IEC Standard No.60335 Part 2) to have advanced safety features to prevent injury, especially to children.
Many garage doors can be equipped with additional safety devices such as an infra-red beam or a sensor edge.