15 Simple Ways to Prepare Your Garage for the Winter
Winter is coming soon. The cold weather will be here before you know it. Now is a great time to get your garage ready for winter before the bad weather starts. Here are some great tips on how to get your garage ready for winter.
1. Clean Up the Garage
To get a garage ready for winter, first, clean up everything. Put things back in the place where they belong. Put away tools and organize things that will not be needed during winter. Clean the garage floor by sweeping it and mop it if necessary.
2. Put Summer Equipment Away – Get Things Out for Winter
Equipment such as lawnmowers that have little use in winter can be put away when there is no further need for them. Drain gas from the lawnmower’s tank, clean the cutting blades, and lubricate everything necessary before putting it away.
Things that are needed for fall and winter, like leaf blowers and snow removal equipment, can be brought out to be placed in a prominent place for winter time use. Perform the annual maintenance that they need to get them ready, such as replacing oil, changing spark plugs, and filling the gas tanks with fresh gasoline.
Other items that need to be made more accessible for winter include holiday decorations. It is so much easier to rearrange these things needed when the weather is still good than to have to search for them in the dead cold of winter.
3. Fix the Garage Door
At the end of the summer, it is the perfect time to check a garage door for proper operation. Open and close it a few times to observe how it operates. If it is jerky when moving or makes scrapping or squeaking noises, it needs adjustments and perhaps to be repaired.
4. Tighten Garage Door Hardware
One thing to check is to tighten all the garage door hardware. Because the garage door is subject to so much vibration it is a common problem for hardware to become loose over time. Check all nuts and bolts to be sure they are securely fastened and tighten up everything that has come loose.
5. Check the Balance of a Garage Door
Disconnect the automatic opener temporarily to check the weight balance of the garage door. This is usually accomplished by pulling on the red handle or red cord that connects the garage door to the opening mechanism’s motor. When the door can move freely, lower it about halfway to see if it stays in position. It should be very easy to do this.
A properly balanced garage door has the correct amount of counterweight created by the door springs. This allows the door to move easily by hand and for it to stay in a balanced position while half open. If the door does not stay in place when half open, then the springs need to be adjusted by a professional garage door repair company.
6. Inspect and Replace Any Damaged Rollers
Most garage door rollers last about seven years under normal use. Broken, cracked, or damaged rollers should be removed and replaced with new ones. This can be a do-it-yourself project to replace damaged rollers as long as they are not attached to the cable system that moves the door.
7. Replace Weather Stripping on Doors
To keep out the cold, the weather stripping that is under the garage door needs to be in good condition. If it is brittle, cracked, or broken, it is time to replace it. Replace bad weather stripping with the proper kind that fits your particular garage door.
8. Lubricate Moving Parts of the Garage Door
Lubricating a garage door is very easy. Use a spray lubricant that is specifically made for garage doors. Put a nice coat of lubricating spray on all moving parts including any springs.
9. Hire a Professional to Check the Opening Cables on the Garage Door
Do not try to remove and replace the high-tension cables by yourself. This requires the help of a professional because if you do this wrong you can be seriously injured or even killed. However, you can visually inspect cables to see if they look like they are in good condition. If there is any visual evidence of wear and tear, it is time to get a garage door repair company to come out and replace them.
10. Check the Auto-Reverse Safety Feature of the Garage Door
The auto-reverse safety feature is a protection that causes the door to stop if it encounters something blocking its path while the door is trying to close. There are two protection systems. One is a mechanical one and the other operates from a photoelectric cell.
To test the mechanical system, use a block of wood. Put it in a spot where the door will come down on it while closing. If the mechanical system works properly, when the door encounters the wooden block it should automatically reverse direction and reopen.
The photoelectric system is a light that passes from one side of the garage door to a receiver on the other side. When the light is blocked, the door should stop trying to close and reverse to open. This can be tested by simply placing one hand in the pathway of the light to block it. Be sure you do this from inside the garage so that your hand is not in the way of the door if it continues to come down.
11. Clean and Check Garage Door Tracks
Clean any debris from the door tracks and check the installation of them to make sure they are in plumb. To check the plumb you can use a small weight attached to a string to find the correct up and down angle that the tracks should be aligned with. If the tracks are out of plumb, it is time to call a garage repair company.
12. Repair and Repaint Garage Door
If the garage door needs repair, then make the repairs and repaint it if necessary to give it a fresh new look. Wooden doors may need to be sanded, primed, and painted. Metal doors may need to have rust removed and then be primed and painted.
13. Winterize Garage Door Windows
If your garage door has windows, there are winterizing kits for sale that have materials used to cover the windows to help keep the cold out.
14. Insulate Pipes
Any exposed water pipes in a garage should be covered with insulation to prevent them from breaking when frozen. There is tubular-shaped insulation that comes in common pipe sizes. This insulation has with an open slot on one side to easily wrap around the pipe and then use zip ties or duct tape to secure it in place.
15. Transfer Overflow Items to Self Storage
If you run out of storage room in the garage, getting a storage unit at Storage Rentals of America is the solution for winter time storage of the things not needed until next spring and summer.
What Temperature Should You Keep Your Garage in the Winter?
The general rule is to keep your garage above the dew point so condensation isn’t a problem in your garage. Typically this is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit for those living in the Midwest. For people living on the coast, you will want to keep your garage at about 65 degrees.
We’re Your Storage Solution!
Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.