What do you keep in your garage? Your car? Tools and appliances? Possessions you ran out of room for inside your house? Do you use your garage as a home workshop or place to hang out? Chances are, many of the things that you keep in your garage are at risk of being damaged if exposed to extremely cold weather. Very cold temperatures can freeze the fluids in your car, cause leftover water in your power washer to freeze and the pump to crack, or ruin paint that you're saving for a home improvement project. Winterizing your garage can prevent this kind of damage. Take a look at a few things you need to do this winter to keep your garage and the things stored inside safe and warm.

Install Insulation

There are many different types of insulation, including spray insulation that shoots out of a can and expands to fill the space, blown-in insulation that's shot from a tube or hose to fill in space, or rigid foam board insulation that is glued directly onto to a surface. But perhaps the easiest material to use for garage walls is fiberglass batt insulation.

Batts are tightly folded rolls of insulation that spring into shape when you cut open the package. They're usually sold in lengths that match standard framing dimensions, so unless your garage is an unusual size or shape, you shouldn't need to cut the batts themselves before you install them. All that you have to do is press them into place and secure them according to the instructions. Fiberglass batt can also be used to insulate your garage door if it has recessed panels that make for simple installation. For this project, you will need to cut the batts to fit, and use adhesive to hold them into place.

Clean or Replace the Weather Stripping

The weather stripping on the garage door is the rubber strip on the bottom of the door that creates a tight seal between the door and the floor. If the strip has caked on dirt or debris, it may not create a tight seal and could allow air to flow underneath the door. Even worse, water could flow between the seal and the door, causing the door to freeze to the floor overnight in cold weather.

You can clean the seal with a sponge, some warm water, and a gentle detergent. While you're cleaning, check to see if the seal has become brittle, or if it's cracked or broken in places. If so, you'll need to replace it. You can replace the weather stripping in a few steps.

  • Use a flat bar and a hammer to remove the old strip from the bottom of the garage door.
  • Use a hack saw to cut square ends on header piece of the new weather strip.
  • Nail the header piece into place.
  • Measure the side pieces and cut them to a size that will allow them to touch the header piece. Nail them into place.
  • Trim the rubber pieces at a 45 degree angle.
  • Test the garage door to ensure that it opens and closes smoothly.

Install a Heater

Insulation and weather stripping will help prevent your garage from reaching dangerously low temperatures, but if you intend to use the garage as a workshop or spend any amount of time in there, you may want to consider installing a heater. One option is to install a gas or electric space heater. If you choose one of these, make sure that it's a newer model that comes with a built-in shutoff for safety reasons.

Another option is to use a mini-split heat pump. These small units can provide heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, and require only a small hole in the wall for installation. They're also significantly more efficient than other heating options.

Winterizing your garage can help protect the items that you store inside the garage. It will also allow you to get more use out of your garage during the winter months. It's worth taking the time to do it right. For more information, contact a business such as Allied Garage Door Inc.