The change in temperatures is so very welcome, allowing people who have had to limit their outdoor activities to enjoy more time outside.
If your home has an attached garage you must not overlook this part of your house when preparing for winter. It is easy to remember to recaulk and put down weather stripping inside of the main area of your home, but your garage has the potential to cause you to lose more heat than the rest of the house.
This year, many homeowners east of the Rockies dealt with historic floods, excepting Texas which has been caught in the grip of a savage drought. Spring snow melts damaged thousands of homes along the Mississippi River and other major arteries, followed quickly by tornadoes which swept through the southeast in April. In August and September, hurricanes and tropical systems dumped record amounts of rain from Florida to New England, which means that many garages also suffered damage.
If your home was hit by a watery onslaught, have you taken the proper steps to ensure that your garage is now water tight? Check around doors and windows to ensure that everything is sealed. The rubber gasket at the bottom of your garage door may have worn out – if so, replace it. Inspect windows and doors leading to the outside and to the rest of your house to ensure that these are also properly sealed.
Your main garage door may visibly look fine, but inspect this closely to ensure that there are no cracks which can lead to leaks. Take a hose and wash down your door. If you find water has entered your garage as a result of this wash down, then you have leaks which need to be sealed. At this point, you may find it simply easier to replace your door with a new one. Keep this in mind – your replacement door should not only be air and water tight, but it should also add to the street presence or curb appeal of your home. This isn’t something you’ll want to rush into – you want a door that adds visual appeal and gives you the look that you want.
Some garages have exposed water pipes. These should be checked and rewrapped as needed. Even if your garage is heated and the pipes are located well above ground, a power outage can quickly drop temperatures below freezing, making your pipes vulnerable to the cold. Foil or fiberglass insulation is ideal as these options allow you to overlap sections, handling corners and bends with ease notes the DIY Network. Wrap fiberglass with plastic and secure everything with duct tape. Or, if you find this method a hassle, consider tubular insulation – you just need to cut your tubes to fit around corners and bends, ensuring that seams are tight and taped together.
Garages with drains have an advantage to those that do not. But, drains can become clogged and you may need the assistance of a plumber to remedy the problem. Inspect the drain cover, removing standing debris. If water continues to back up, then a plumber can be called in to clean out the drain. Some homes have a clean up plug that is located beneath the drain trap, which allows for an auger to avoid the trap. Don Vandervort of HomeTips.com advises the homeowner to remove the plug and to snake out the line.
You might also consider getting a garage floor cover, ideal for covering older floors that are stained, damaged or simply ugly. Garage floor tiles can be placed right over cracked or chipped floors, with little prep work needed. Tiles snap together to provide a dry, non-slip environment. This option is perfect for floors damaged, but not ruined following a flood.
With your garage winterized, you have one less area of worry come winter. Winter’s fury will come, but your home is now ready to withstand its worst blows.
See Also — How to Prepare Your Home for Winter