How to Prepare Your Garage for Winter

Whether you’re using your garage as a parking spot or a workshop, now is the time to get it ready for the winter season. But it can be a daunting task anyway, and you may not know where to start.

In an article for The Drive, Andreana Lefton shares some of the steps you need to take now so your garage can serve its purpose all winter. Here’s what you need to know.

Get rid of the clutter by donating

Before the weather changes , Lefton recommends to conduct a general cleaning in the fall. The first step is to go around the garage and look for items that you no longer need and that you can give. Move them to free up more space for yourself, then bring them to your local donation site.

Get rid of old chemicals and other hazards

Then, get rid of any old chemicals, as Levon says fluctuations in temperature and cold in general can cause liquids to expand and contract – in some cases, causing their containers to deform or crack and possibly spill chemicals.

“Collect old paint and any other potentially toxic substances, as well as dead car batteries and anything else that you shouldn’t throw away in your regular garbage collection, and take them to a hazardous waste disposal site, ” Lefton advises .

Make sure all chemicals you store are stored securely

Of course, you don’t want to dump all of your chemicals and other liquids, so take the time to put the ones you want to store in cabinets or temperature-controlled rooms to keep them from freezing, Lefton says. “Wrap additional car batteries in insulation to prevent freezing and cracking,” she adds . “Protect metal tools and parts from moisture by storing them securely in a toolbox or well-closed drawer.”

Organize the rest

Now that you’ve cleared some of the clutter and stored your chemicals and fluids securely, walk through the garage and arrange what’s left using your existing shelving, hooks, or shelving.

If you haven’t installed them in your garage yet , Lefton recommends doing so now, but it may be more than you can accomplish now. Either way, try to raise the floor as much as possible, and then sweep it, checking for cracks and signs of leaks and insects as you go.

Make sure your winter tools and supplies are close at hand

Once things are (relatively) tidy, find the items you use each winter like shovels, snow blower, snow blower fuel, tools you might need to repair (or your car), etc. – and make sure they are easily accessible. Then, check to see if you have any sand, salt, and / or de-icer from last year, and if not, stock up on what you use, Lefton advises .

Insulate the garage

If you have more time and want to winterize your garage, it’s time to do it. Here are the tasks that Lefton recommends :

  • Replace the old gasket (especially if it shrinks or becomes brittle over time).
  • Replace doors and windows with sealant.
  • Check garage door cables and rollers for wear, then spray lubricant on all moving components.
  • Cover open pipes with foil or fiberglass insulation.
  • Cover smaller openings such as electrical outlets (and use fire retardant sealant for them)

If you don’t have time to protect your garage from the elements right now, even a clean and organized space will help you get through the winter. You can always do other projects next year.

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