From massive snow accumulation and bitter cold to ice and nasty winds, for most homeowners, the word "winter" sends them running to the home improvement store. Getting a house ready to survive another winter is an exhausting, although necessary, tradition. However, while you're purchasing plastic for the windows and an extra heater for the bathroom, don't forget your garage requires just as much care and attention. You can avoid making unnecessary repairs come springtime by following these simple tips:
Invest in a Garage Heater
Investing in pricey insulation or making sure to purchase customized covers isn't always enough to protect any expensive "toys" and lawn care equipment stored in the garage. According to Popular Mechanics, splurging on a garage heater is an option that allows you to protect your investment while enjoying this extra space during the chilly winter months.
While shopping for a heater, Popular Mechanics recommends choosing a gas or electric unit. An electric heater is often more expensive, but doesn't require any special venting like a gas model would. If you're lucky enough to live in an area that stays relatively warm during the winter and will only require sporadic supplemental heat, Popular Mechanics recommends choosing the electric heater.
Pay Attention to Your Garage Door
Although it makes life much easier, the draft that invades your garage through a poorly-insulated door can cause major damage. If the door is older and severely damaged, replacement is the best option.
However, if your garage door is still in great shape, here are a few simple things you can do to protect it and your garage:
Keep It Clean – Despite your best efforts, some road salt, dirt and grime will find its way on your otherwise pristine garage door. Regularly cleaning the door with a mild soap and warm water throughout the winter can help prevent damage.
Perform Some Maintenance – Before the first snowflake falls, perform some routine maintenance. This includes lubricating anything that is metal and moves. A garage door that is protected will not only last longer, it will also work better, which is reassuring if you're trying to park your car during a nasty snow storm!
Upgrade the Insulation – Finally, to help keep the temperatures steady inside your garage, Popular Mechanics recommends purchasing a garage door insulation kit. Consider a kit that includes foam boards, which can be easily cut and attached to the door's panels.
Your Garage Floor
The combination of mud and road salt can have a damaging effect on your concrete garage floor, and if left untreated, it could cause enough wear to warrant completely replacing the slab. When it comes to protecting the floor there are many options – including mats, sealants and epoxies, which are the best options.
However, if you simply don't have the money or time, the most cost-effective way to prevent damage is to periodically clean the floor. To remove any built-up salt, dirt and grime, simply create a mixture of warm water, white vinegar and mild soap. Dampen a mop with the soapy mixture and use it periodically to eliminate any salt and mud that are slowly destroying your concrete floors.
Many of the same tactics you use to protect your house can also prevent winter damage to your garage. For example, covering the pipes with a foam insulation tape to help keep them from bursting and causing a nasty flood inside your cold garage. Covering any windows with clear plastic and replacing the weatherstripping on the windows and doors can also go a long way to preventing any damage to your garage, and what is stored inside! contact a company like AA Garage Door Co. for more professional advice on winterizing your garage.