Winter is on its way, and freezing temperatures, blustery winds and snowfall can wreak real havoc on your home if you’re not prepared. While many people diligently tune up their furnaces and clean their gutters in anticipation of a long winter’s nap, there’s a major part of your property that’s often forgotten — the garage.
Whether your garage is fully detached or is connected to your insulated living spaces, taking good care of it will protect your property from long-term weather damage, lower your utility bills, and keep you comfortable throughout the season. Before the first frost sets in, give your garage a once-over and take care of these winterizing tasks and repairs.
- Inspect and Seal Any Windows
If your garage has windows, now’s the time to make sure they are closed and locked. This will keep your garage secure and help prevent drafts that can occur when a sash slips out of place. You should also check the weatherstripping for cracking: If it’s broken or missing entirely, replace the weatherstripping to create a tight seal. You might also consider adding clear plastic film over aging windows for an additional layer of insulation. All of these tips will help keep the heat in and the cold out.
- Repair or Replace Your Garage Door
If your garage door doesn’t work properly, it’s crucial to have it repaired before you have to deal with snow and ice — you definitely don’t want to be stuck trying to operate your door by hand in the middle of a blizzard! Lubricate the garage door opener rollers, tracks and springs to keep them running smoothly, and consider adding insulation to an older door. If you don’t have the time or tools to insulate your own garage door, call a pro for advice or consider replacing the door entirely: New garage doors are much better insulated than ones purchased a decade ago, so this could be a valuable upgrade.
- Inspect and Insulate the Walls
Do a walk-through of your garage to check for any structural problems: Are there small holes where rodents could enter? If so, seal them with spray foam and make any necessary repairs to seal the perimeter. If your garage isn’t already insulated, having insulation blown into the wall cavities or adding batts of insulation to unfinished walls will make a world of difference when it comes to keeping your garage warm. You may even qualify for rebates or tax incentives if you garage is attached to your home, so this could be an inexpensive upgrade.
- Clean Up
If your garage is still packed with summer sporting equipment and gardening tools, now is the time to pack them away. Invest in some utility shelving and large plastic bins to organize your items. Maximize your space by getting tools off the floor and onto the walls. You’ll be glad to have extra room to maneuver to get in and out of your car in a warm garage instead of parking in your snowy driveway. After all, this is why you have a garage in the first place!
- Check the Electrics
Finally, use a simple voltage tester to make sure your electrical outlets are functioning properly in your garage. Replace any broken light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs or CFLs, and be sure to test your heater to make sure it’s clean and in good working order. If you have an unheated garage, now’s the time to research your options for adding a space heater, electric baseboard or other heating source to heighten your comfort level when it turns cold.
Getting your garage ready for winter can be done in a weekend, but the benefits will last all season. Your only enemy is time: Winter waits for no one, so take care of this project now, before the snow begins!
Author bio: Justin White is Marketing Director at Garage Door Repair. White and his team of professionals have years of experience and knowledge to help their clients with their garage door repair issues.