Fall Maintenance Tips for Garages
Fall is almost upon us and with it brings the changing of the leaves, the first hints of cooler weather, and all sorts of projects to wrap up before the upcoming frigid winter. There are many things you can do around the house to get ready for the Autumn season – one area that’s often overlooked is the garage.
This part of the house is often used as a catchall – a place to keep your vehicles, extra refrigerator, general storage, tool bench, and workout room to name a few. To get the most out of this area there are few things you should look at and do to get it into tip-top shape.
Check Out the Garage Door
What is probably the largest piece of mechanical engineering in your home, can also have some of the largest problems associated with it. A shoddy garage door can be a bit of a headache as it can let out your home’s heat and be a structural weak point for a would-be burglar to exploit.
Take a look at the inside of the garage door first – keeping a close eye on springs and tracks. If you need to replace any springs be extra careful – these pieces have plenty of tension wrapped up inside of them and improperly handling them can result in injury or worse.
If any other parts look dirty or rusted, clean them off and give them a healthy application of lubricant. Greasing them like this reduces friction while at the same time giving it extra protection against the elements. Speaking of the elements, spend some time checking out the perimeter of your garage door – any gaps should be fixed with new weatherstripping.
Time to Declutter
While most people wait until spring to do any major cleaning project, for garages autumn is the better time. The reason for this is that you’ll probably want to do some parking in your garage come the winter months.
Before you begin to take a good assessment of what you do and don’t need – those roller blades from twenty years ago aren’t going to be useful to you anymore, but all those haphazardly thrown cleaning supplies probably will be.
Don’t be afraid to part with things that you’ve had for a long time – getting rid of all your old things will only make room for the new.
In-Depth Cleaning and Maintenance of the Floor
If your garage floor has become battered and bruised over the years and you want to fix it, now is no better of a time. A clean floor can make a world of difference in a garage and can often be done with a day worth of work.
Go ahead and sweep out all the corners of the garage, brushing up dust mites and spider webs as needed. To make sure you get everything, go ahead and put a dust mask on and fire up that blower to blast it out of the front.
From here you can get some real in-depth cleaning with a high powered hose nozzle or a pressure washer with associated soap. If you want, you can go a step further and repaint the floor to give it a look that will really pop.
Inspect the Walls and Foundation
Now that you’re here this might be the best time to look at how sturdy your garage is. Ideally, you want to inspect the interior and exterior of your garage walls to see if there are any cracks or mold build.
The rule of thumb here is that any cracks that are smaller than a ¼” width shouldn’t be concerned with – anything bigger than this though you might want to either institute some sort of repair or if it’s serious enough have a contractor come and look at it. Check to see if the roof is straight to make sure that nothing has settled up top.
It’s time to get everything in the proper order. Organizing your garage can save you plenty of time and headache in the future. Try to get all the cleaning supplies in one spot, tools in another. Try to invest in other things like shelves, cabinets, and hooks to hold extra items.
Make sure to take advantage of all parts of your garage too – this includes the ceiling. There is plenty of unique racking and hooks out on the market today that allow your garage to hold a lot more than you would normally think possible.
Institute Safety Protocol
This is also a great time to see how safe everything is. If you’ve already decluttered and cleaned you’ve actually already completed part of this tip, as a well-organized garage is much less likely to be a fire or tripping hazard in the future.
Aside from this, you should spend some time seeing if your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order – if they beep sporadically or not at all, you should switch out the batteries.
If your detectors are more than ten years old, then you should invest in new ones. Chemicals should also be in good working order – it’s best to have especially volatile chemicals like chlorine, bleach, and ammonia a safe distance away from each other. Make sure to also have all other poisons and chemicals properly labeled and out of reach of little hands.
Consider Winterizing Your Garage
Ultimately, the goal of maintaining and cleaning your garage in the fall is to get ready for the winter. If you’re one of those people who is going to use their garage plenty during the colder season you should consider making it more resistant to freezing temperatures.
Since garages are notorious for being poorly insulated consider reinforcing it. Properly insulating the walls with a high R-value insulation will go a long way – make sure to check out both the walls and ceiling.
If you have any windows make sure they are at least sealed around the edges – if you have an older crank model you should take this time to consider upgrading to something more energy efficient.
If you have a little extra money you can get a forced-air heater installed in your home – these units can run off of electricity, propane, or natural gas. Other types of heating elements are also available in the form of convection, portable, and infrared models.
Keep Your Garage Maintained for Fall
Maintaining your garage thoroughly this fall season can be a bit of an adventure, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. When looking for a place to start first take a look at the garage door – make sure all the parts are well lubricated up and the bolts are nice and tight.
From here you should take some time to declutter, clean, and organize everything as you see fit. Take advantage of machines like pressure washers and blowers while also incorporating nifty cabinets and hooks to really maximize your space.
This is also a great time to get everything to fall in line with home safety guidelines – fire alarms especially should be checked out here. Finally, if you have a little extra money think about making your garage warmer for the winter by adding extra insulation and heating elements.
Garage Improvement Tips
Fall is a perfect season to get started on garage renovation and construction. You sketch out your dream garage in your notebook and then you make a list of priorities that are important to you. You want extra space in your garage, enough to fit 2 cars and possibly a tool bench. In addition, you want a strong roof that will withstand extreme weather conditions in the Midwest.
You want a roof with a steep slope so rain and snow will slide off and you won’t have to worry about your garage caving in. At Danley’s, we have garage styles and sizes you’re looking for and it’s up to you to speak to a specialist today about your garage construction project this fall. Get a free quote and speak to a specialist today.