Ensuring that your garage is weatherproofed and ready to withstand the elements of winter not only makes a more comfortable environment during the blustery cold months, it also is likely to help reduce energy costs.
- Before you get started, take time to thoroughly sweep the garage floor. Removing debris now will create a safer surface when snow and ice melts off your vehicle later. If the floor becomes slippery under wet conditions, now is also the time to install skid prevention material, such as anti-skid tread tape.
- The largest source of cold air in most garages is the garage door. If your garage door isn’t weatherproofed by the manufacturer, for the best protection, you’ll need to insulate the door itself. Using a store-bought kit with insulation panels is the easiest option.
- To prevent drafts around the perimeter of the door, check that it is properly aligned, then install or repair weather stripping around the entire door opening.
- Take time to also install or repair the weather stripping on any windows. For added protection, you may want to use plastic insulating film to cover the entire window. Home repair and box retailers carry kits that make this a relatively simple and effective way to block window drafts.
- Garages are filled with cracks and crevices, and any that are on exterior walls are an especially likely source to let cold air in. Look for cracks or gaps at all wall openings, such as utility lines and other wires, vents and outlets. Caulk or expanding insulation will seal cracks and prevent seeping air leaks.
- If the walls of your garage are unfinished, you can bring added warmth by insulating them. You may want to enlist the help of a contractor to install insulation between the studs and ensure proper ventilation and moisture protection measures are in place.
- Finally, although it may be tempting to add a space heater to warm up a chilly garage, remember to exercise safety. A space heater should be used only when the garage is in use, such as while using a workshop area. Always unplug a space heater before leaving the house.
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