Preparing your garage for the winter
The cool evenings, early sunsets and chilly breeze can only mean one thing: summer is slowly but surely drawing to an end. This also means that it’s the perfect time to go venture into your garage and prepare it for the cold and wet weather that is fast approaching. These tips can help you organize and clean your garage and get it in perfect shape for the winter.
1. Pay Attention To The Forecast
When choosing a day (or weekend) to dedicated to cleaning out your garage, make sure to take a look at your local weather forecast. Choose a sunny and dry day to make sure that there won’t be any rain or strong winds that will cause trouble and make you postpone your cleaning plans.
2. Move Everything Out
In order to be able to properly clean your garage, you need to empty it first. Move your car to the very end of your driveway to that you will have enough space to put everything that you’re taking out of the garage. Next, dedicate separate areas for all different items that you have stored in the garage.
If you have any larger tools and equipment, they should be the next thing you focus on. Lawn mowers and gardening equipment should be washed so that you can get rid of any remaining grass and debris that could rot and stink up your garage. If you’ve done your due diligence on the weather, they will dry outside while you’re cleaning the rest of the garage.
3. Clearing Debris
Once all of your belongings have been removed from your garage, it’s time to focus on the cleaning. If you have time, clean out your cabinets and other storage areas first. Next, grab a large broom and sweep out all the dirt, leaves and large debris you can.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the larger bits, you can use a leaf blower to clear out any smaller dirt and dust. A leaf blower can also be used on your walls, or you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove any cobwebs and dust that has settled on your walls and garage ceiling. When using a leaf blower, make sure you start at a rear corner and slowly work your way out of the garage.
4. Cleaning Oil and Grease
Most garages have at least some oil, grease and gasoline spots on their floor. Removing them correctly is an essential part of having a clean garage during the winter months. Luckily, it’s relatively easy for you to get rid of them yourself using baking soda, vinegar, liquid soap and a scrubbing brush.
Sprinkle the baking soda over the greasy spots on your floor, making sure to cover them completely. Next, spray the cleaning vinegar over the soda using a spray bottle. This will create a foaming reaction that will last for several minutes. Use a small amount of liquid soap and a stiff scrubbing brush to wash away the stains, and rinse it out with water. For particularly stubborn patches, you may need to repeat the process a few times before the stain disappears completely.
5. Garage Door
Your garage door is one of the most used parts of the home, and you need to make sure it’s in top condition before the winter. Clear out the tracks, check that your weatherstripping isn’t damaged, and inspect the cables, springs and hardware. If any repairs or replacements are needed, now is the time to do them. Don’t forget to give the actual garage door a good wash with soapy water and to check it for any damage, on the inside as well as the outside.
Once you have a clean garage, it’s time to return the items that were removed. Decide what things can be thrown out or donated and formulate a storage plan for the rest. It’s a good idea to create storage that is above the garage floor which will protect your belongings from being damaged should snow, rain or ice get into your garage. Overhead storage racks, wall storage such as adjustable pegboards, and sturdy storage cabinets can all be useful in protecting your stored items and keeping them easily accessible.