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Tips to Prepare Your Garage for Winter
Sussel Builders
/ Categories: Garage, Garage Doors

Tips to Prepare Your Garage for Winter

You’ve invested in a custom garage and you’re totally in love with the space, but, without proper seasonal prep, that investment could suffer damage during the winter season.

Like the remainder of your home, your garage must be winterized each year to protect against moisture intrusion, heat loss, and other forms of weather-related damage. This process only requires a few hours of your time, but it’ll pay off handsomely in the long run.

What should you do to get your custom garage ready for winter? Read on to find out.

Weatherize Your Garage Door

Over time, the weatherstripping along the bottom of your garage door can dry out, become brittle, shrink, and crack. When that happens, you can lose a considerable amount of heat through your garage, which can drive up your winter energy bills.

To control heat loss and keep your heating costs reasonable, double-check your door’s weatherstripping and replace it if it’s looking haggard. It may also behoove you to apply a little silicone-based lubricant along the weatherstrip to prevent it from sticking to the ground when temperatures really start to drop.

For extra protection, you can also install a threshold seal. This is similar to the weather stripping on the garage door but attaches to the garage floor. These are great for filling in larger gaps and can help keep water from entering the garage during rain or melting snow. A threshold seal can also keep out unwanted rodents.

After handling the weatherstripping, check the garage door tracks, cables, and rollers for signs of wear and tear. You can also lubricate your garage door, so it doesn’t seize up due to the cold temperatures. Freezing and sub-freezing temperatures can be tough on your garage door components, so be sure to clean and lubricate all of them before freezing temps hit.

For more ways to protect your investment, check out our tips for weather-proofing your garage.

Seal Any Small Openings You Can Find

Even if your custom garage was constructed by the best garage builders in the business (aka Sussel Garages), time wears all things, and that’s true of your garage, too.

Over time, caulking can deteriorate, which will allow small amounts of freezing air inside your garage if you don’t reapply new sealant.

To ensure your garage holds as much heat as possible throughout winter, take some time to examine the space for any small air leaks.

Be sure to look closely around:

●        Electrical outlets

●        Windows

●        Doors

●        Plumbing or exhaust pipes that penetrate the walls

If you’re unsure where air leaks might exist, you can perform a simple test using a match to detect them. Simply light the match, move it slowly over the areas where any leaks may be, and if the flame flickers considerably in any area, it’s safe to assume there may be a small amount of air leaking in through that space.

Apply caulking wherever you suspect cold air may be able to seep into the garage, and be sure to use a fire-rated caulk when sealing up areas around electrical work.

Add Insulation

If you have an unfinished garage, adding insulation to the walls can make a huge difference in the amount of heat loss your garage experiences throughout winter. And even if you have a completely finished custom garage, it may need more insulation than it currently has.

If you’ve noticed your garage has been exceedingly cold in recent years, it may be in your best interest to consult with a qualified garage builder about augmenting the insulation you currently have.

In addition to insulating the walls, you can insulate your garage door. Foam board insulation panels are the best option for insulating the garage door. This will make a significant impact on the temperature inside the garage.

Cover Your Water Heater

Is your water heater in your garage? If so, did you know it can lose a considerable amount of heat when temperatures really start dropping?

But it’s possible to combat that heat loss and effectively reduce your monthly energy bills simply by draping your water heater with a blanket — a water heater blanket, that is.

According to the Department of Energy, using a water heater blanket throughout winter can reduce heat loss by 25%–45%, which will save you approximately 7%–16% on the cost to run your water heater. It’s definitely a worthwhile investment, considering you can pick up a pre-cut water heater blanket for around 20 bucks.

Cover Your Pipes

Along with covering your water heater, it’s a good idea to cover any pipes that run through your garage. This is an important step to prepare your garage for winter because it will keep your pipes from freezing and potentially bursting, causing damage.

You can insulate your pipes by wrapping them in foam or plastic wrap. A more cost-efficient way to insulate your pipes is to wrap them in newspaper and secure them with duct tape.

Waterproof Your Garage Floor

Waterproofing your garage floor with epoxy is a great way to protect your garage from damage caused by snow, slush, mud, and salt. Salt and water can erode your floor, particularly if your garage floor has cracks.

Plus, an epoxy coating can help keep the floor from being too slippery because of melted snow.

Install a Space Heater

If you spend a lot of time in your garage or if the temperature inside drops below freezing, you may consider installing a space heater.

You’ll want to take this step after you’ve already insulated the garage walls and door. Space heaters can help protect tools and other equipment from the frigid temperatures.

Organize Your Winter Equipment

Before the temperatures get too cold, it's a good idea to clean and organize your garage. This is a good time to rearrange your garage, so your winter equipment is easily accessible when you need it.

You can also take this time to prepare any gas-powered equipment for winter storage. Your equipment will work better in the spring if you prepare it during the fall.

Contact Sussel Garages for Custom Garage Building

Could your garage use some updates to improve its weather resistance? Are you ready to totally overhaul the space? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Sussel Garages for help!

Since 1915, we’ve helped over 50,000 Twin Cities residents with their garage building needs, and your total satisfaction is always our number one concern.

For more information or to speak with a garage building expert about your project, feel free to call us at 651-645-0331 (St. Paul) or 612-379-0949 (Minneapolis). You can also request a free project estimate online, and we’ll get in touch!

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