With winter in full force, temperatures are often below freezing. Preparing your home for these temperatures can keep you safe and warm and reduce the chances of accidents and damage to your home. While you are preparing your house, you should not forget to winterize your garage. Here are five easy ways you can winterize your garage, even if the cold weather has already started.
Check Your Garage Door for Potential Cold-weather Problems
The cold weather can bring a host of programs including broken garage door springs, swelling and contracting doors and frames, or frozen lubricant that can keep your door from opening and closing properly. Before you are met with a creaking door, do a quick check of your system.
Clean out old grease that has started to harden and apply fresh lubricant to all of your moving parts. Check your spring for signs of wear and make sure to keep water falling from your roof in the form of rain or snow away from your door. You may also want to adjust your settings on your automatic reverse to a medium or high setting as opposed to reversing under light resistance. Finally, make sure that your garage door sensors are clean and free of fog by keeping your garage above freezing temperatures.
Install Garage Doors With Built In Insulation
To keep your garage warm as the temperature drops, you should be sure to install appropriate insulation. This includes insulating the walls and ceiling of the garage as well as making sure your garage door is insulated. There are several doors on the market that include internal insulation. However, instead of basing your purchase on only the R-value of the door, you should also look for customer reviews regarding air leakage and the joints of the system. This is because most stated R-values are measured at the center of a door panel and do not include temperature lost at joints.
If you are not in the market for a new garage door, you can also install an after-market insulation kit that can help keep the cold out.
If you have windows in your garage, including in your garage door, you should consider adding a layer of insulating plastic to help keep the cold from coming in. You should also consider lining your window frames with weather sealer to prevent drafts and check the weather sealing strip around your garage door for signs of cracking or brittleness that will reduce its effectiveness.
Create a Heating Plan
While heating your garage full-time will be a waste of energy and money, you should create a plan for heating your garage when the temperatures drop so low that items in your garage, including the door components, are freezing. This can be as simple as designating a space heater for your garage and clearing a plug to make it easy to install. You can also install a thermostat in your electrical outlet that will automatically turn on a space heater if the temperature falls below a certain level. However, if you use this method you should make sure the space heater has plenty of open space around it to prevent accidental fires.
Make Sure Winter Tools Are Easy to Reach
You will not want to dig through your garage to find your snow shovel or your children's sleds when it is freezing outside. Before the weather gets too cold, set aside a time to move all of your winter gear to an area of your garage where you can easily access it when you need it.
Every year, you should set aside a time to properly winterize your garage and the rest of your home. Visit sites like http://www.702garagedoors.com to start narrowing down your garage door options.