Is Your Messy Garage Keeping You From Getting Things Done?

We’ve all been in this situation. After putting off a daunting project for as long as you possibly can, you’ve decided this is the weekend you will absolutely get it done. There’s just one huge problem standing in your way. Your jumbled garage, which just happens to have your tools hidden in it somewhere. Sure, you could look for the tools, but in the time it takes to find them, you could have already completed the job.

There is no reason to let your messy garage prevent you from getting stuff done. It’s time to conquer the mess in your garage. Below you’ll find several tips designed to help you clear out the mess once and for all.

Why is Organizing Your Garage So Important?

If your garage is so packed with stuff that you wouldn’t dream of trying to park your car in it, you have a problem. Sure, parking outside may give you more room to store your things, but it also exposes your vehicle to the elements, including snow, rain, sunlight, and even sap dripping from trees. Parking in the garage eliminates these possibilities, leaving your vehicle safe.

As an added bonus, an organized garage means there is no reason to put off weekend projects. When you know exactly where the things are you need, you can get a job done quickly, leaving you with a feeling of accomplishment.

How to Get Organized

A messy garage can easily leave you overwhelmed, which is why you need to go ahead and mark off a couple of days on your calendar specifically for the task of cleaning it out. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to help out. Create three piles: “keep,” “sell/ donate,” and “throw away.” However, keep in mind that there are certain chemicals and paints that can only be disposed of in certain ways, so you’ll need to check on this.

After you’ve designated your piles, measure your garage, including the garage bins and doors. This will help you create a floor plan for exactly how you are going to store things. It’s always a good idea to store like items together, such as all your tools in one spot and all your gardening things in another. Designate corners for bulky items, such as lawn mowers and put seasonal items in a spot where they won’t be in the way. To make more room for your vehicle, take every opportunity to get things off the floor.

What Do You Need?

Obviously, organizational tools are a must during this process. Mickey Goodman from This Old House has several useful suggestions, such as investing in clear plastic boxes with lids that can be stacked. While the lids will keep bugs and dirt out, the transparency will make it easy to see what’s inside. For smaller items, such as screwdrivers and nails, use empty clear plastic containers or glass jars.

Goodman has admitted that he’s a fan of shelving units without doors because you can’t hide clutter behind the doors and you’ll be able to see what’s on the shelf. If you have things that shouldn’t be exposed to too much air, cabinets with a door may be more beneficial. To hang up lightweight object on the walls, opt for hooks and pegboards, while larger, heavier items, such as bikes, will need something sturdier.

It’s All About Safety

Goodman is also quick to point out that it is crucial to keep safety in mind when cleaning out your garage. For example, garage doors are a safety feature, yet they can become a hazard when they are not properly maintained. You need to make it a habit of inspecting cables, pulleys, springs, and rollers every month for signs of deterioration.

Since 1991, an automatic reverse system is required on all garage doors. This just means that the door is equipped with a sensor that will automatically make the door go back up if it detects something in its way. If your garage door is a bit older, Goodman wholeheartedly recommends investing in a new one. It’s just safer.

If you aren’t certain just how effective your automatic reverse system is, put a roll of paper towels in the door’s path. The door should reverse before it hits the paper towels. If it does not, it’s time to get it checked out by a professional.

Once you have finally organized your garage, make every effort to keep it that way. Don’t fall back into the habit of just throwing stuff out there or putting things anywhere you can find an empty spot. It may be difficult, but you can do it!

How You Can Prevent Your Garage From Flooding

Regardless of what you use your garage for, there’s a good chance that everything you have contained within it has a great deal of personal value. Whenever it rains outside, it’s important that you do everything that you can in order to make sure that these items are protected from what could become serious flood damage. Whenever a garage floods, this can potentially results in thousands of dollars in damage being created to all of the items inside, as well as damage to entire garage itself.

Generally, homeowners tend to make the mistake of thinking that their garage is protected from flooding because they think they don’t live in an area that is affected by this issue. No matter what kind of an area you live in, water will always be able to find its way into your garage and create all sorts of issues. No matter what, it’s always important to take all of the necessary steps to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen.

Even if you don’t live in a flood plain, water damage is still a possibility. You have a water heater right? What happens when there’s a tank or water pipe failure and the water heater leaking is out of control? For this specific issue, proper water heater maintenance goes a long way. But what about when nature has a say in it?

For starters, remove everything from your garage and take the time to carefully inspect both the walls and the flooring for any cracks, which can enable water to leak inside. If you do find any cracks, seal them up. This step may seem stressful, especially if you have a lot of items in your garage; however, in the end, it will be well worth it, especially since it will result in all of your possessions remaining dry.

When you’re sure that your garage is secure, take the time to inspect the garage door next. This is the area that will be the main point of entry for any water. Begin by examining the door’s bottom rubber strips and sides. If you find any broken rubber, holes, or cracks, have them replaced as quickly as possible. Whenever any of these areas are broken, especially the rubber strips, your garage will be at a higher risk of being flooded.

Here’s a good video on installing a garage door weather seal:

After you’ve examined these key areas of the door, take a look at the entire door itself. If you have an older door, chances are either the metal, wood, or both may have started to wear down and develop holes and/or cracks, both of which can create much larger issues. If you notice anything like this, this is a sign that you will need to replace the entire door.

When you take the time to fully inspect both the interior and exterior of your garage, you will be able to take all of the necessary steps to protect both yourself and your family from any flood damage that could prove to be costly.

Keeping Bugs and Other Critters Out of Your Garage

Going from the inside of your house to your garage or stepping out of your car, there are some things that you just can’t miss seeing, even if it is only a few seconds of an encounter. In most cases, you’re usually hoping that your own eyes are simply playing tricks on you.

However, this brief encounter becomes more and more apparent as you see undeniable evidence of little pests scurrying around. From looking at a trail of ants and specs of mouse droppings on the garage floor to accidentally stepping on a big fat cockroach with a crunch that makes your flesh crawl, you will know when it is time to take action.

If you do not want the signs and symptoms of a pests becoming a problem in your garage and ultimately spreading to the inside of your home, you will need to pay close attention to what is actually going on. Once you have identified what the problem is and where it’s coming from, you need to find a solid and credible solution that will help you with keeping them out.

Start Getting Organized

One of the first things homeowners should do in any of these situations is to devise a plan that starts with getting organized. When you have a critter problem inside of your garage, it may be due to a number of different issues including the lack of organization.

Therefore, if you want to make sure that you are properly getting rid of these critters, you need to get some stuff organized in your garage.

For instance, you may need to install some shelving inside of the garage to provide places that things can be stored off of the garage floor. This step usually entails getting rid of anything that will cause pests and insects to hang around in the crevices.

By organizing your garage, it will also make it much easier to keep things clean and maintained properly.

Use an Insect Prevention Solution

Once you have everything in the garage sectioned off in an orderly fashion that’s easy to keep clean and maintain, you need to focus on making sure that you have an insect prevention solution that you can use too.

For starters, you should make sure that you are sealing off the perimeter of the garage during the spring, fall and the summer months.

To make sure this seal is tight, you should concentrate on sealing up all cracks and gaps so that it will make it impossible for insects and other pests to get in from the outside. When these key places are closed off tightly, you should spray pesticide in these areas, particularly around the baseboards of your garage.

Exterminate the Pests

Putting an insect prevention plan in place is a big part of eliminating this problem. However, if you really want to make sure that you do not see any of these little critters again, you can take it a step further by implementing a pest extermination plan.

According to Rid My Critters, an extermination plan is needed before, during and after the insect prevention is being set up. For instance, you should always make sure that you are setting traps and putting repellents in the corners of the garage.

If you are having problems with getting rid of mice, rats, raccoons and other animals, this will help you to be proactive. These are some of the measures that will help you to keep pests out of your garage and assist you in ensuring it remains pests free.

For other helpful critter control tips, check out Rid My Critters on Twitter.

Categories DIY

Keeping Your Garage Cool in Summer

Working or relaxing in your house during hot summer days can be very uncomfortable due to the high temperatures. Everybody at this time tries to cool things down by installing air conditioners or other temperature regulation devices. Your garage also needs to be cool in the summer since working in a hot environment just isn’t fun.

Even in the winter it’s easy to sweat working in the garage but once you factor in the heat of summer, it’s not only uncomfortable but also not healthy. There are various ways of cooling your garage in the summer and even one thing can make a huge difference.

What makes your garage so hot?

The best way to solve a problem is to know the cause and deal with it. The same applies to your garage so analyze factors leading to the high temps. Explore all possible causes and try to fix them. Here are some of the main factors that can lead to unbearably high temperatures in your garage:

  • Garage color – Dark colors absorb heat from the sun and the bright ones reflect the rays. If you have painted your garage with dark colors like black then that could be the reason why the temperatures are too high. Consider repainting your garage with a lighter color like white or light gray to at least reflect the sun’s rays and reduce the temperatures inside the garage.
  • Door location – In case your garage doors face west, the sun’s rays will directly hit your garage and heat it up. If you have any windows that face the afternoon sun, expect that to be a factor as well. While you can’t rotate your garage, you can put in a simple window covering like blinds.
  • Lack of ventilation – Ventilation is key even in our home so if your garage is not well ventilated, you risk higher temperatures in summer. Consult garage experts to install proper ventilation and enjoy working in a cool environment.
  • Parking vehicles in your garage after a long drive in the hot sun will almost immediately heat up your garage as it absorbs the heat from the car. Consider parking your car outside on the hottest days.
  • Lack if insulation in your garage.

What are some techniques to cool down your garage?

The first step to solving a problem is to understand the cause, and now you have an idea of what can be making your garage too hot. Here are some of the best strategies you can employ to keep your garage cool even during hot summer:

1. Proper ventilation

Natural ventilation should be your first solution to an overheating garage. In case your garage does not have windows or a back/side door, consider installing one or more. If they are already there, consider opening them wide during the day to increase air circulation. Keep the garage door open as well while you are working to keep the garage cool.

2. Upgrade your garage insulation

In many cases, people tend to insulate their garages poorly. It may because the garage is old or the budget simply didn’t allow it at one time or another. It is therefore advisable to always upgrade your garage insulation if possible.

Painting your walls a light color helps as well but in an unfinished garage, adding insulation to the walls and covering with drywall is a must. Alternatively, you can use blown-in insulation and install weather stripping.

3. Install a ceiling fan

Another excellent way to reduce the high temperatures in your garage is to install a ceiling fan if your ceiling is high enough. A large fan with blade length between 7 and 9 ft. is recommended. In case you are not sure what model to go with, consult the experts near you to help you choose the best fan for your garage.

4. Consider installing an air conditioner in your garage

Installing an air conditioner in your garage like that in your house can be expensive but portable air conditioners are a good option which are less costly and more convenient. Weigh out situations in terms of budget to see if an air conditioner for your garage will work for you.

There are other ways that you can also use to cool down your garage which include, parking your car outside for some time to cool down before taking it to the garage. You can also clean your garage regularly and organize it properly to allow proper air circulation. Consider rescheduling your working hours and always go in your garage when the sun temperatures are somehow accommodating. Feel free to use any of the above strategies and enjoy working in a cool environment.

The 4 Best Garage Floor Coverings

Your garage is a functional space, so it’s important to have the most durable flooring possible. Whether you use your garage as a workspace, a storage area, or simply a place to park your cars, here are four of the best flooring options available.

1. Concrete Paint

Concrete paint is one of the fastest and most economical ways to cover a garage floor. Simply clean the floors and prep them with concrete filler, and then you’re ready to prime and paint! Concrete paint is similar to the type of paint used on walls, so it can be applied with a normal paint roller.

The downside to concrete paint is that it isn’t as durable as other flooring options; you may need to touch up your paint job every few years to maintain the look of your garage floor.

2. Epoxy

Epoxy is another solution for garage floors that is similar to paint in the way it is applied. As with concrete paint, epoxy is very budget-friendly. This flooring type is also quite durable, making it an ideal choice for those who don’t want to touch up their garage floor every few years.

Epoxy can be tricky to work with, as it must be applied within a very short window of time. Once properly applied, however, an epoxy flooring job should last you for many years to come.

3. Garage Flooring Mats

Another popular solution for garage floors is vinyl roll-out flooring mats. These work similarly to vinyl locking floor tiles. Their ease of installation makes flooring mats an excellent solution for quickly hiding scrapes, scratches, stains, and any other flaws in your garage floor.

The mats also come in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to easily customize the look of your garage. Vinyl floor mats are simple to install, as they just need to be rolled out and trimmed to your garage floor’s dimensions.

The downside to vinyl flooring mats is that if one section becomes damaged, the entire roll will need to be replaced. This makes vinyl roll-out mats a slightly less economical solution for covering a garage floor.

4. Interlocking Floor Tiles

Interlocking floor tiles are a near-perfect solution for any garage floor remodeling project. They are available in a wide variety of materials, including PVC, rubber, and vinyl. They also come in a wide variety of colors, designs, and patterns to add a pop of personality to your garage floors.

As their name suggests, interlocking floor tiles are designed to snap together. Their design creates a waterproof seal that can withstand the most extreme garage conditions. As with vinyl roll-out mats, interlocking floor tiles are great for quickly covering dingy and stained garage floors.

Unlike flooring mats, however, interlocking floor tiles can be easily replaced one by one as they become damaged or worn. When properly applied, interlocking floor tiles will give your garage floors a gorgeous, uniform finish that remains non-slippery even when soaking wet.

The above are just a few excellent solutions for covering garage floors quickly and economically. Contact us today for more information about garage flooring options.

Optimal Garage Setup for DIY Car Repair

When garages were originally created, they were actually meant to store just vehicles. But these days, homeowners will use their garage to store their old trash, Christmas decorations, enough sports gear to field a professional team or they may even place their at home working area inside their garage, namely a spot for a home mechanic. If you’d like to have a work place inside your garage and also have room to place and store your tools and toolbox for when you’re working on car repairs, read on for a few pointers on a good setup.

Space

You need to clear the space. A lot of clutter seems to accumulate over time on one single person’s garage whether it’s because they stored old washers and dryers out there or maybe their lawnmower or toys from their children. You have to clear the space out in your garage to place a dedicated workbench, a toolbox for repairs, and also be able to park a car in there with plenty of room to work around it. In order to be comfortable in your garage with all these items you want to have enough room so you have about 4 feet of clearance all the way around the vehicle so you can maneuver and be comfortable while wrenching or doing body work.

Since your workbench will be the hub of all your tools, make sure it’s very sturdy and has a lot of space to actually lay your different tools out on and be able to view them and keep them organized. This way it will not really be so easy to misplace something you may really need. Also, if you have a large toolchest or two, consider placing a sturdy top on it to have it function as both your toolbox and workbench. It’s a two in one deal.

Things you use often, such as your mechanics creeper & topside creeper should be withing easy reach.

Light

You need to make sure you have top notch lights for both small, tight areas as well as large open ones. LED flashlights and lamps may even be helpful when having to be in a confined space like under your dash board. If you have a drop light that is even better for small spots to reach and also LED flashlights can help you see when you are in an even more closed off area like underneath your dash board. Large flourescent lights overhead are still the best option to light up the entire garage.

Cleanliness

Make sure you keep cleaning products where they’re easily accessible. If you were to only purchase the cleaning essentials, a push broom, standard broom, and a dust pan should be at the top of your list. After that, make sure you have bought rags and some type of degreaser to clean oil off the garage floor and have it where you can access it quickly in case of a spill. When you know the job will make a complete mess you should always lay out some cardboard you have laying around so you can easily throw that away and have an easy cleanup once the job is done. If you don’t clean after a mess you have made, you’ll have a lot of stains that will be a pain to remove and become a safety hazard, so clean up as soon as the job’s done.

Organization

I could tell you a million ways to be organized but everyone has their own way of doing things. You need to have a toolbox already organized and ready to go, and many methods exist for you to try. Pinterest is actually a great way to find various toolbox organization ideas. One day I’ll even get my own account but for now, I’ll just use my wife’s. 🙂

You can use various plastic trays to separate your tools such as your wrenches, pliers, etc. or you can buy wall mounts to put each type of tool in and separate them. The latest fad are custom made foam inserts for your toolbox drawers. You want to be able to grab something as soon as you need it so each tool should have its own spot. If you have to look for it you will eventually just get frustrated and mad. The best OBD2 scanner in the world won’t do anything for you if you can’t find it.

Power

Most people use hand tools if they’re doing a job on their own to fix something on their car because those tools are so much more cheaper when first starting out. Investing in power tools would make for a faster job experience though. Air tools and cordless tools are definitely a good investment when you have a weekend business or obviously if you’re a professional mechanic in the field. One of your first purchases should be a good compressor along with an impact wrench. If your budget is an issue, make a quick stop at Harbor Freight and pick up a Central Pneumatic compressor and air impact wrench to get you started. The time savings you’ll get from this combo is unbelievable.

Signs That Your Garage Door May Need To Be Replaced

It can be a real challenge to come up with a great home improvement project to undertake, mainly due to the fact that there always seems to be something that can be done. Nearly every homeowner takes the time to search for a project that will bring them a big return on their investment. However, there’s a bit of good news regarding this, as a replacement garage door is one of the best things that provide the best return investment than any other type of home improvement project.

However, the big question remains: how do you know when it’s time to actually replace your garage door? Here are some signs to make note of to help let you know when this needs to happen.

If your current door seems to respond slowly whenever you try to raise or lower it, this is a definite sign that you will need a replacement. Generally, it should only take a split second or so for a garage door to respond whenever you hit the button.

A garage door that’s brand new is much more quiet. As these door get older, there are all sorts of factors that can cause them to become louder and run a great deal more rougher. If this is something that you’re beginning to notice, this is a surefire sign that you will need to contact a professional to replace the door.

It’s no secret that garage doors are prominent areas of your home that always face the street. When the original door was installed, it may have looked stylish; however, it’s important to keep in mind that no style lasts forever. When you make the choice to install a newer door, you’re essentially enhancing the curb appeal of your home, as well as complementing the existing architecture of the home itself.

A new garage door will help to keep everything contained inside your garage completely safe and secure from factors such as burglaries and inclement weather conditions. Furthermore, newer doors include all of the latest in technology in terms of safety, which includes the door itself being able to automatically reverse in the event that the door comes into contact with any kind of an object. If your current door is unable to provide anything like this, you may need to consider a replacement or you’ll be looking for the best products for back pain before you know it.

While garage doors with decorative windows near the top panel may look amazing, we wouldn’t recommend them unless your area is completely free of crime. It just gives thieves a way to go window shopping without much effort. That new mountain bike you just bought? The thieve could get a lot of money for. That new jetski or wakeboard life vest you have hanging up but don’t live near a body of water? It just tells the intruder that you like to vacation and will be away from your home for a while at some point.

One major factor that can call for the replacement of a garage door is any kind of a malfunction. While you can always invest in many replacement parts, there will come a time when the entire unit will need to be replaced. If you find that your garage door is constantly in need of repairs, this is another definite sign that you need a replacement.

Categories DIY