How to Prep Your Garage for Winter

Your pre-winter to-do list is likely packed with winterization tasks that keep your home comfortable and safe. Whatever is on your preparation checklist, your garage should be near the top. The following tips will help you prepare your garage for cold weather so you can keep your house warmer, lower utility bills and protect your pipes from costly damage.

Inspect your garage door. Look closely at your weather stripping around the door to make sure it isn’t loose or cracked. Be sure to repair or replace any damaged areas to reduce energy consumption in your home and keep snow from entering your garage. If your garage door isn’t sufficiently keeping the cold out, add insulation or consider having it replaced with a more modern garage door. Make sure to clean the garage door tracks and lubricate the moving parts to keep the door running smoothly all season long. Tighten all the hardware on your garage door and inspect all high-tension cables to make sure they aren’t loose or frayed. Observe your garage door in action, watching for any jerking and listening for any squealing or grinding.

Winterize interior items. If you store a lawnmower or any other gas-powered device in your garage, be sure to winterize each one. Sharpen snow shovels and store warm-weather items out of the way so you won’t have to search for the tools you need when a winter storm hits.

Insulate the walls. Insulation creates a controlled environment that keeps cold air out and warm air in. In addition to lowering your home’s utility bills, an insulated garage can help prevent certain pipes from freezing. It also allows you to run a space heater or install central heating to create a comfortable work environment all year long. Before you add insulation to your garage walls, look closely for any gaps or cracks. If you notice any spaces, patch them up to make your insulation more effective. Inspect around windows to find leaky areas. Depending on their condition, you may want to replace any damaged or cracked windows to seal out drafts.

Protect your pipes. If you have water pipes running through your garage, it’s essential that you protect them during the winter. If you don’t, you could end up with serious damage to your plumbing system, resulting in thousands of dollars in repair costs. Insulate your pipes before the first freeze and allow the faucets to drip if you have a sink in your garage. You should also properly drain, winterize and cover any outdoor spigots that enter your garage.

Seal flooring. If you park your car in your garage, consider sealing the concrete to prevent salt damage. Once added, you should regularly wash the surface to prolong the life of the sealant. You can get even more use out of your garage by applying an epoxy to the floor. Just be sure to properly prepare the concrete beforehand, or you could end up with chipping and flaking.

Stay on top of shoveling. Be sure to shovel snow away from your garage door to promote easier entry and exit. Don’t let too much snow pile up against the door, or the weight could cause it to bend inward.

 

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