Do yourself a favor this fall and schedule a day to work on your garage. Seriously, a bit of effort now will make winter easier to endure, and will also assure that you'll be able to enjoy the first warm days of spring when it finally rolls around.
This is the time to perform a bit of "spring cleaning" in reverse. If your garage has become a catchall for unused, outgrown and no-longer-wanted items over the summer, now is the perfect time to either donate them or give them to a resale store.
Existing cabinets or built-in shelving are a plus, but if your garage doesn't have them, don't despair. Install a wall of pegboard and hang sporting gear and gardening tools from hooks. Buy large, clear plastic stackable storage bins and use them to corral outdoor furniture cushions, smaller items, holiday decorations and even summer clothing for easy-to-find access. Get as much as possible off the floor to allow for plenty of space for the vehicles you'll want to park inside.
Take Stock of What's Stored
Winter is unpredictable. If you currently have paints or other liquids that might freeze while stored in the garage, either find another location for winter storage, or transfer them to containers that won't crack or shatter, allowing the liquid to leak or spill. This is particularly important with caustic or poisonous chemicals. For any liquids that must remain in your garage over the winter -- including gasoline for a snow-blower or your car, motor oil, windshield washer fluid, anti-freeze or cleaning compounds -- know the pertinent freezing temperatures, and store them in insulated containers if necessary.
Check the Perimeter
In winter, it's important to control air leaks and drafts, not only to keep the garage more comfortable, but to prevent it from becoming an energy drain on your home's utilities. If you have attic access from the garage, check for possible roof leaks and add insulation if necessary. Check the weatherstripping around doors and windows. Consider covering windows with an insulating film if necessary to control drafts and heat loss. Plug or repair any holes to discourage rodents from taking up winter residence in the garage.
Service the Garage Door
Pay special attention to the fit and seal of the garage door. Assure the door operates smoothly, and the safety sensors are properly aligned. If any adjustments are needed, call the professionals at Overhead Door of Oklahoma City for prompt, reliable service. Your garage door is designed to perform well even in winter's windy, cold conditions, but it's important to keep up with the routine maintenance so it is in top operating condition before the winter chill. In addition, if you don't already have an insulated garage door, this might be a good time to consider one.