Do you use your garage to both park your car and to store some of your seasonal items? If so, chances are good that things are getting a little tight inside. How can you ensure that you’re able to protect your belongings, but still keep your car protected when the temperature drops? Actually, there are several ways that you can help to prevent accidents in your garage.
One of the most challenging aspects for homeowners is parking their car while ensuring ample space for stored items and being able to open their doors fully. You can use a couple of tricks here. One is to hang a tennis ball from a string connected to the garage door. When the door opens, the ball will dangle down. When it connects with your windshield, you know you’ve pulled up far enough.
You can also use PVC parking mats to help you park accurately. Position a mat where your front tire would rest. When you pull into the garage, you’ll feel the bump as you roll over the first hump on the mat. That’s your signal to stop.
If you’re into technology, you’ll find laser parking guides on the market. These mount to the ceiling of the garage and shine a laser light downward. When you see the red dot of the light reach a specific point in the interior of your car, you know you’ve pulled in far enough.
Protecting Your Doors
Opening your doors fully in the garage can be a challenge if things are tight because of stored belongings. It’s very easy to open it and have the door connect with the wall, damaging both the wall and the door. One low-tech option is to use foam pool noodles screwed in place to the walls. They act as cushions, ensuring that your doors don’t connect with the sheetrock.
The same concept can be used to help protect two vehicles parked side by side. Just attach a foam noodle to a wooden post between the two cars, and you’re done.
One of the most common-sense suggestions is this – make sure your tools are put away. A rake leaned against the wall can fall and damage your car. Put all of your tools away when you’re done with them to avoid potential accidents and damage. You should also make sure that your shelving units are secured to the wall, and that you don’t overload them to the point that they buckle.
Rodents want to find shelter during the winter, too. If your garage isn’t protected, it’s the perfect place for them to hole up during the cold months. Check the weatherstripping at the bottom of your garage door. If it’s chipped, torn or otherwise gapped, it’s not keeping anything out. A mouse can slip through a hole the size of a nickel. Make sure that the weatherseal is completely intact, and that it fully contacts the garage floor when the door is closed. If not, you’ll need to have the weatherstripping replaced.
Another reason to keep rodents out of your garage is this – where do you think they’ll seek shelter from the cold? That’s right, on the warm engine of your vehicle. The problem here is that they gnaw wires and can cause significant amounts of damage to the wiring harness of your car, truck or minivan. Mothballs can help prevent them from getting into the interior of your garage.
Road Salt Corrosion
Road salt is a vital element of safe driving during the winter, but it’s also a hazard. Salt is corrosive, and can cause serious damage to your vehicle over time if not cleaned promptly. If you have to wash your vehicle at temperatures below the freezing mark, make sure that you park it in a warm garage.
When It’s All Said and Done
To help you keep your garage neat and clean, consider emptying it and doing a thorough cleaning at least twice per year. This will help ensure that there is room for your vehicle, as well as your seasonal items. If you have unwanted items, consider giving them to a charity where they can be used to do good for others.
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