Tips For Winterizing Your Garage

Posted on: 21 December 2018

As cold weather sets in, your garage might not function as well as you would like. Maybe you like to use the space for woodworking or other messier home projects, or maybe you like to repair cars on your own. Even storing things in your garage during the winter can be more challenging. If you want to optimize your garage for winter use, follow these tips for winterizing your garage so you can use it all year round. 

1. Insulate the garage door and walls.

Your garage door can be a source of leakage where the cold air from the outside creeps in. Make your door less chilly by adding reflective insulation panels to the interior sections so that the door material doesn't conduct as much interior heat to the outside. 

The next step is to insulate the walls. If your walls have exposed framing, this means there is no insulation in your garage, which is why it may feel so cold in the wintertime. You can insulate your garage with sections of fiberglass. If you don't yet have the funds or time to add drywall yet, you can tack heavy plastic over the insulation to enjoy the warmth.

2. Replace or fix door weatherstripping. 

As you use the garage door several times a day, the weatherstripping that seals the door sides and bottom can wear out or break down. You can replace the weatherstripping each year to help get a perfect seal when the door is closed. 

To apply the new weatherstripping, start by removing the old one and any sticky sealant that might remain. Then, close the door and align the new stripping right against the closed door so you have a perfect fit. 

3. Insulate any water lines that run through the garage.

It's useful to have a sink or even a washing machine or shower in your garage, but you don't want to wake up one morning to find your garage flooded. If you have water pipes in your garage, wrap them in insulation to help prevent them freezing during a cold snap. Some people might even want to have a water heater in the garage. Insulating the water heater helps to make it more efficient and helps to extend the life of the heater and reduce the risk of the heater breaking and causing flooding when the weather gets cold. 

4. Use a heater -- safely. 

After all the insulating, you still need a comfortable temperature in your garage if you're going to be using it as a winter workspace. A portable heater can be the answer, but make sure that heater is safe to use in a shut space. Many outdoor heaters are not safe because they give off carbon monoxide. If you are using a propane or gas heater, it must be vented to the outdoors. You might even want to install a wood burning stove that vents through the roof. The type of heater is up to you, but have it installed professionally or have it checked to make sure it is not a safety or fire hazard. 

5. Reduce fumes by winterizing stored lawn and power tools. 

Finally, you want to make sure that your air quality is decent in your garage. If you store tools that use gas and oil fuels, like a lawn mower or weed whip, these should be emptied and winterized to reduce fumes in the garage to keep them clean so they start up easily with fresh fuel in the springtime. 

Your garage can be a room you use all year. Talk to a garage door service about getting your door ready for winter or about any other repairs you might need.