The garage is an easy space to ignore—but it needs maintenance just like the rest of your house. We’ve broken it down into five simple steps so you can knock this to-do off your list in an afternoon.
1. Start with a Clean Slate. Take everything—and we mean everything—out of the garage and organize it all in the driveway. That means put the lawn mower with the grass seed and garden rakes, the bikes with the toys, the wiper fluid with the winter car mats. Figure out what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away.
Then, grab a broom or a leaf blower and get to work clearing out leaves, dirt and other debris from the floor, and wiping cobwebs and dust from the walls and windows. While you’re cleaning, look around carefully. Do you see any evidence that mice or other pests have taken up residence in your garage? If so, it might be time to call the exterminator. Are there cracks in the floor or the walls? Signs of moisture along the walls? Any of these issues should be addressed as soon as possible before they become a bigger problem.
2. Check the Windows and Entry Doors. Just like the windows and doors in your house, the windows and entry doors in your garage need adequate weatherproofing, so inspect them carefully to see if weatherstripping is ripped, torn, or missing. Watch this video for tips on how to properly (and quickly!) use Frost King Foam Tapes to weatherproof windows and doors.
3. Check the Roof and Gutters. Make sure your garage is protected from summer storms and winter rains by making it a point to inspect the roof and gutters regularly. Are there tree branches hanging close to the roof that need to be trimmed? Are roof shingles loose or missing? Did you remember to clean the gutters? Little issues can quickly lead to big repairs, so be sure to fix any problems as soon as you see them.
4. Check the Garage Door. Most garage doors are opened and closed thousands of times a year—and all that motion can put stress on the door and hardware. Watch carefully as you open and close the door. Is it moving smoothly and quietly? If it’s jerky and makes scraping noises, try tightening up any loose bolts or roller brackets. Lubricate the garage door opener’s chain or screw with white lithium grease and coat the overheard springs with a spray lubricant. This is also a good time to power wash the door and touch up any flaking paint on the door or trim.
If the rubber weatherstripping at the bottom of the door is cracked, torn or missing, you should replace it right away to keep water and pests from creeping into the garage. Replacing the garage door bottom weatherstripping doesn’t require any specialized skill, but it is easier if you have another set of hands to help you hold the seal in place as you install it. Frost King makes Garage Door Bottom Seals for wood and metal doors. Watch this video for installation tips on an aluminum or steel door:
Or this video for installation tips on a wood door.
5. Put it All Back Together. Now that you’ve got your garage fixed up, it’s time to put back all that stuff in your driveway. Before you start randomly returning items to the garage, think about how to organize it all. Snow blowers, shovels, sleds and other winter items that you won’t be using anytime soon should be stored in the back or up on hooks or shelves. The remaining items should be stored by zone, with the items you use daily near the front: designate one area for toys and sports, another area for lawn and garden, etc. to help keep the space tidy and organized.