The weather outside might be frightful, but that doesn’t mean your garage has to be as well. Just like other areas of your home, your garage needs regularly scheduled maintenance to match seasonal conditions. Because your garage door is probably the largest entry point to your home, it can be one of the greatest sources of air leaks. As you prepare for months of colder weather, take steps to ensure that both your garage and garage door are ready for the wrath of old man winter.
To make your garage more energy efficient and organized, consider these ten tips for winterizing your garage:
1. Minimize air infiltration
Check for gaps along the bottom of your garage door, entry doors and windows. If the weather stripping appears worn or damaged, replace it by purchasing new weather stripping from your local hardware or home improvement store. Use weather-resistant caulk or masonry sealer to protect your home’s exterior walls and siding and always double check that your weather stripping does not interfere with the door’s operation.
2. Cover exposed pipes
A burst water pipe can lead to additional unwanted issues both in and outside your home. Insulate exposed pipes by wrapping them with plastic or foam pipe wrap. Wrapping pipes with newspapers or old towels, then securing with duct tape is a good money saving alternative. Finally, ensure that any pipes traveling from inside or outside water lines are shut off and purged before outside temperatures drop below freezing.
3. Upgrade to an insulated garage door system
If you’re looking for premium construction and maximum thermal efficiency, a Thermacore® insulated steel door from Overhead Door is the ideal choice. Thermacore-constructed models feature a continuous layer of foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation sandwiched between two layers of rust-resistant, corrosion-resistant steel. For additional thermal efficiency, Thermacore doors feature thermal seals in-between each section, which provides further protection from heat loss.
4. Check your garage door for bent or loose hinges
Bent or loose hinges and shafts, broken wheels and worn out bearings can cause serious damage to your garage door and hinder the ability to keep your home warm during the winter. Contact an Overhead Door distributor for issues concerning bottom brackets, cables, pulleys and springs.
5. Examine your garage door track for debris
Remove any debris, grease or dirt build-up from the track of your garage door. This is also a good time to check decorative hardware – such as hinges, handles and latches – for loose screws and rust build-up.
6. Get organized
During summer and autumn months, lawn and garden supplies tend to gather in your garage. As the temperatures drop, box up any gardening tools, seeds and equipment that you won’t need until the ground thaws in the spring.
7. Clean your garage door
Regularly washing your garage door not only improves the door’s look, but also increases its lifespan by protecting it from damaging build-up. Wash steel and aluminum door surfaces with a mild household detergent and rinse with water.
8. Winterize your lawnmower
Now that your lawn is in hibernation, it’s time for your lawnmower to follow. Avoid the hazards that can result from freezing temperatures by emptying the liquids from your lawnmower and other motorized lawn care tools before storing them until spring.
9. Replace outdoor lighting
The days are getting shorter, but we can’t say the same about your schedule. During winter months, lighting becomes increasingly important for evening activities. Check the inside and outside of your garage for light bulbs that need replaced. For added convenience and security, newer Overhead Door garage door openers like the Destiny® 1500 feature a two-bulb lighting system which activates when motion is detected. To cut costs, consider replacing them with energy-efficient or solar lighting.
10. Clean out gutters and downspouts
Removing debris from your home’s rain gutters is an easy job, but if overlooked, can result in serious water damage. A thorough cleaning before winter helps prevent blockage and ice dams that can cause damage to your garage or home’s roof. Also, consider trimming trees near your home and removing any dead twigs which could break during a winter storm and get trapped in the downspouts.
If you have further questions about winterizing your garage door or ways to improve your home’s thermal efficiency, contact your local Overhead Door distributor for more information. You can also find a distributor near you using our online Distributor Locator.