Cold winter temperatures have arrived in Montgomery, IL. While you may have already taken preventive steps to protect your plumbing, windows and roof, you may have forgotten about winterizing your garage. The garage is the largest room in most houses, yet it’s often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. Follow these 10 steps to prepare your garage for frigid winter weather.
1. Insulate the Door
Insulation is your first line of defense against cold air. It’s especially important to insulate attached garages due to the amount of warm air that can leak out of your home. Insulation blankets offer an easy way to protect the garage door. Rolled insulation or foam boards and adhesive tape are quick and easy to install. If your garage door is old or oddly shaped, consider a garage door replacement with a unit that includes built-in insulation.
2. Replace Weatherstripping
Most garages have a door for people and one or more windows. After a couple of years, the weather-stripping around the bottom of the window and door frame will wear out. Peel off the old weather-stripping and apply new pieces. This quick project makes a big difference in unwanted air exchange with the outdoors.
3. Reapply Caulk
Just like weather-stripping cracks and falls apart over time, so does caulk. Caulking around door and window frames also reduces unwanted air exchange with the outdoors. Pair the tube of caulk with a caulking application gun, and this project will only take an hour of your time.
4. Add or Replace the Door Sweep
At the bottom of your garage door, there may be a piece of rubber that’s about three inches long. This is called the door sweep. It keeps dust, dirt, leaves and critters out of your garage. It also reduces unwanted air exchange with the outdoors. The door sweep degrades over time and with exposure to sunlight, wind and precipitation. Replace the door sweep every three to five years. If your door doesn’t have one, now is a good time to get one installed.
5. Install a Threshold Seal
Threshold seals attach to the floor of your garage. If the garage floor is uneven or the concrete has pits or other faults, this seal offers additional protection against ice, snow, rain, wind and cold air. Threshold seals install with adhesive tape, and they’re available as kits. Just trim the seal and tape to size and protect your garage from the elements. Threshold seals can be used along with door sweeps for extra protection from winter weather.
6. Cover or Insulate Outlets
The outlets in your garage walls allow cold air to infiltrate the space. Get an outlet cover or box to reduce this air exchange. Outlet protectors are another inexpensive option. For the best results, insulate outlets and switches against the cold.
7. Waterproof the Floor
When you drive on wet, icy, snowy or slushy roads, some of that ice and snow will get stuck to the tires, mud flaps and undercarriage of your vehicle. The heat from the motor melts the ice and snow, creating a slick, wet mess on the garage floor. Use a silicate or epoxy seal to waterproof the garage floor. Be aware that some products require a couple of days for the seal to cure and fully dry.
8. Clean the Garage
An important part of winterizing involves cleaning up the clutter in your garage. Put away the items you won’t need until next spring or summer. Get out the snow shovel, snow brush, ice melt or snow blower. Keep the floor clear to reduce the risk of slipping and falling when wearing clunky boots.
9. Inspect the Garage
Once your garage is clean and the floor is cleared, check for small gaps and cracks. The garage’s floor or foundation may settle, and small gaps can open. Those gaps allow vermin to get into your garage. They also allow moisture and cold air to seep inside the structure.
10. Check for Pests
Mice and other pests search for a warm place to nest for the winter. Check your garage for signs of an infestation. Look for shredded paper, cardboard or fabric. Remove any stored pet food or bulk food that could attract pests.
BDK Door Company is the trusted garage door repair company in Montgomery. We’re also available for new garage door installations and garage door and opener maintenance. If you’re a business owner in the Montgomery area, you can also count on us for commercial garage door services. For more information about how to winterize your garage, contact us at BDK Door Company today.