How to Protect the Most Expensive Thing in Your Garage
Unless you’ve managed to squeeze a cabin cruiser into your garage, your car is probably the most expensive thing in it.
While the general feeling is that, once it’s in the garage, your car is ‘protected’, the reality can be quite different.
From something falling off a shelf and damaging the car, to scratching it as you work around it, or the kids leaning their bikes against it, there are many ways that the garage can be a bit of a hostile environment for your car.
So, while your garage protects your car from things like sun and snow, there are other hazards in the garage that can actually make it quite damaging to your car.
Protect Your Car in the Garage
The following are just some of the ways you can safeguard your car while it’s in the garage.
1. Close the Garage Door
In summer, it’s easy to just leave the garage door open some days because you’re in and out of the garage so often. In winter, you might open the door to warm-up the car before you leave for the day. Sometimes you might stop the garage door opener before the door closes completely.
It’s no surprise, but a car insurance company published information that shows open garage doors make it more likely that your car will be stolen.
To put it another way, the old movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” had it right. It takes less than a minute for a thief to drive off in your car. In fact, some estimates put it down to 10 seconds!
2. Park in the Right Spot
Parking your car in the garage as far away from hazards as possible, and even not hitting anything as you park it, goes a long way to protecting it. But that can be tough to do when it’s difficult to know exactly how close you are to objects.
One of the most popular, and simple, ways to park your car perfectly every time is the “tennis-ball-from-the-ceiling” trick. It begins by finding the perfect place for your car to come to a stop while parking it in the garage. You may need someone outside the car to help you.
Once you find the spot, hang a tennis ball from the ceiling so that, as you park, it would contact the windshield in line with your rearview mirror. Every time you park, when the tennis ball touches the windshield at a point in line with the mirror, you know the car is perfectly aligned front and back and side-to-side. And if it doesn’t quite line up every time, you’ll know just how far off you are and can decide whether that’s good enough.
Or you can try a more 21st-century approach with garage door opener manufacturer Liftmaster’s laser-guided parking assist accessory.
3. Stop Dinging Your Doors
Even if you find the perfect parking spot to minimize damage to your car, you still might need to be careful when you open the doors. If not, the door can hit the garage wall or another object in the garage. You can attach pool noodles on the wall or objects the doors might hit to stop them from being damaged.
Needless to say, it’s worth doing everything you can to protect the most expensive thing in your garage. If you’re looking for a more secure garage door or garage door opener, call us at 905-472-9178 or contact us online.
A Checklist for Storing Tools, Equipment, and Garden Furniture in Your Garage this Winter
It was wet, windy and cooler than normal, but all that doesn’t really matter now. The summer of 2017 is coming to a close here in Markham and that means it’s time to put away all the outdoor summer stuff for the winter.
One of the main problems that homeowners face when storing the patio furniture, tools, and sports equipment is finding space in the garage for it all. While everything had its place when you took it out last spring, you’ve probably filled those areas with other ‘stuff’ during the summer and now, well, who knows how you’ll get everything back into the garage.
The Winter Storage Checklist for Your Garage
Fear not. We’ve been in the garage door business for longer than most and we’ve seen our fair share of winter storage triumphs and disasters.
Without further ado, here’s our checklist for storing and protecting everything in your garage over the winter.
1. Prepare the Garage
Before you put anything in the garage, it’ll help to do as much preparation as you can to accommodate all your things. In a nutshell, that means cleaning, organizing and planning the space.
Obviously, having enough storage space and different types of storage is key and our recent ‘garage storage ideas’ post can help. As you clean and organize, keep in mind the different sizes and types of things you’ll need to make room for, including stacks of patio chairs, the ride-on mower, hand tools, and baseballs.
2. Prepare What You Want to Store
Preparing everything for storage helps to protect and preserve it through the winter. Here are some quick pointers for preparing the different sorts of things you’ll be storing.
3. Tools & Equipment
Now’s a good time to clean off all of summer’s dirt and oil from things like garden tools, power equipment, and hand tools. And you can sharpen the blades on mowers and cutters.
For gas-powered equipment, be sure to disconnect spark plug wires and batteries. Drain any remaining fuel or add a preservative to it to protect the tank and fuel lines. If you need to store equipment on the garage floor, make sure you have a cloth or cover to protect them.
4. Garden Furniture
Give everything a good cleaning to reduce the chance of corrosion over the winter. Stack everything you can to minimize its footprint in the garage. Cover everything after storage to protect it from dust and damage. Remember to store patio umbrellas in a way that won’t damage the fabric.
5. Sports Equipment
This is where storage options will come in handy, particularly things like bins that let you see what’s inside. There’s nothing more frustrating than searching through endless boxes to find the frisbee. Like everything else, make sure your equipment is clean before you put it away. Deflate anything that’s inflatable, from beach toys to soccer balls.
6. Check Your Garage Doors
With all your stuff tucked away inside, the security of the garage is that much more important. In addition to making sure your opener and locks are all in good working order, you can also take the opportunity to do a bit of garage door maintenance to avoid any problems through the winter. Perhaps most importantly, don’t store anything against or near the garage door. Not only could it affect the operation of the door, but it could become damaged or even damage the door itself.
Whatever you do to properly prepare and store all your things for the winter in your garage will pay off when you bring it all out again in the spring.
Protective Measures for Washing Your Car in the Garage During the Winter
Avoid Unneeded Garage Door Maintenance When Washing the Car in the Garage
It is no secret that winter weather can be damaging to a vehicle, particularly the effects of road salt, sand, and frozen slush/ice on the undercarriage and side panels. There are secondary issues to this situation as well, such as the unsightliness of an unclean vehicle and the sheer sloppiness of these materials as they thaw/drip onto the garage floor after the vehicle has been parked inside for a while.
The easier solution would be to take the vehicle to a touchless carwash or perhaps even a pay-and-spray self-service bay before heading home; but the former can be harmful to the vehicle’s finish and the latter could be inconvenient, especially on a cold winter day, and the out-of-pocket cost for either method can add up in a hurry during a particularly messy winter driving season. Therefore, a better and more cost-efficient solution could involve washing the vehicle inside the garage, provided that the following are taken into consideration:
- There is sufficient space to work around the entire vehicle
- There is no aversion to some manual labor (hand-washing)
- Precautions are in place to protect the garage floor/contents
- Similar precautions are employed to protect the garage door
Hand-washing the vehicle would likely be the favoured method, since any water sprayed from a hose, even the finest of mists, could be deposited on personal belongings as well as the garage door and its related hardware; depending on the temperature of the air in the garage (the vast majority are unheated), this mist/spray could freeze and ultimately lead to garage door maintenance issues that would contravene/override any cost-savings from washing the car at home.
To hand-wash a vehicle when it is parked inside the garage, one will need the following products/materials:
- One bucket with hot water and car shampoo
- One bucket with warm water only (for rinsing)
- A wash mitt and drying towels (waffle-weave)
- Spray wax, spray sealant, or quick-detail spray
- Latex gloves and high-quality microfiber towels
- One floor squeegee or a wet/dry shop vacuum
While the specific brands of products/materials would certainly be left to the discretion of the vehicle owner, having a floor squeegee or shop vac on hand will be very important in the overall process. Though not directly related to actually cleaning the vehicle, the use of either item to clear away the sludge/water that is deposited on the garage floor during the washing/rinsing stages will be critical in protecting the floor itself as well as the parts of the garage door that are in close proximity.
Allowing slush/water to accumulate and potentially freeze at the base of the garage door or its tracking can negatively affect its structural integrity and/or its operating efficiency.
Rely on Markham Garage Doors if Garage Door Maintenance is Needed in Winter
In many cases, the size of a garage, or at least the available floor space, does not lend itself to hand-washing a vehicle during the winter. Furthermore, time and circumstances can intervene to prevent homeowners from clearing away salt, sand, or slush from their vehicle before parking it in the garage. Add to this the cold temperatures and weather conditions experienced in Markham and the GTA throughout the winter and it creates an ideal recipe for potential garage door maintenance.
When these types of materials are allowed to accumulate and/or freeze along the base of the garage door, whether, on the interior or the exterior, the door and its hardware can experience several problems that may require the garage door maintenance and repair expertise of Markham Garage Doors. Such situations can include:
- Water damage to wooden door panels
- Water damage to wooden door frames
- Door misalignment due to ice formation
- Corrosion or distortion of metal tracking
- Snapped or broken springs and/or cables
- Stress on garage door opener motors/drives
- Torn/damaged weather stripping/rubber gaskets
Should any of these circumstances occur throughout the winter, they can not only cause a good deal of inconvenience when garage door dependability is needed the most, but it can also pose safety and security risks for the family and their possessions. To alleviate or at least minimize the worry and disruption, homeowners can rely on the garage door maintenance and repair professionals from Markham Garage Doors. Trained technicians from Markham Garage Doors can usually provide a same-day response for all garage door maintenance needs in the winter and throughout the entire year as well.
If you experience any damage or operational issues with your garage door this winter, call the maintenance and repair experts from Markham Garage Doors today at either (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to schedule a service visit at your convenience.
How to Maintain Your Garage Throughout Winter and Its Storms
Proactive Winter Maintenance Will Help to Prevent Costly Garage Door Repairs
For many people, parking their car in the garage on a cold and blustery winter day elicits a sigh of relief that they have arrived home safe and sound. And when the garage door is closed behind them, there can be an added sense of security that they and their family can now contentedly relax and unwind within the sanctuary of their home.
Amidst all such feelings of comfort, it is unlikely that much if any thought was given to the actual role played by the garage door itself, particularly if it was opened and closed by an automatic garage door opener. In the vast majority of cases, homeowners would just assume that the door and the opener will function properly and as expected, to the point where many people will already have entered the home before the door was fully closed and secure.
Unfortunately, garage doors and their related hardware and accessories are not immune to malfunction or damage, and a lack of care or attention, albeit unintentional or perhaps due to more pressing priorities, can result in extensive and expensive garage door repair costs. While disconcerting at any time of the year, the inconvenience and frustrations of garage door failures/repairs can tend to be further magnified during the winter months.
There are several benefits to homeowners in protecting their garage door and the garage itself from the effects of winter’s bitterly cold temperatures and severe weather/storms. These benefits would include:
- Assurance of reliability
- Avoiding unnecessary repairs
- Increasing energy efficiencies
- Extending the lifecycle of the door
- Safeguarding of home and property
- Reducing the risks of personal injury
In order to lay the foundation for the above, homeowners would be well-advised to take precautionary steps both in the fall and throughout the winter months as follows:
- Fall Garage Door Inspection and Maintenance
- Lubricate all moving parts (except rollers/tracking)
- Inspect and replace weather stripping if/as needed
- Brush/wipe rollers/tracking and tighten all hardware
- Ensure that garage door opener is working optimally
- Upgrade the insulation (for steel and aluminum doors)
- Paint/stain/seal exterior of the garage door accordingly
- Repair or replace damaged door panels or window inserts
- Winter Garage and Garage Door Maintenance
- Keep garage floor dry – collect/remove melted snow/ice
- Prevent snow and ice build-up along the base of the door
- Sweep away any road salt or sand from the base of door/tracks
- Listen for strain in the motor/drive system of garage door opener
- Watch/listen for sluggish, noisy, or imbalanced door movement
Applying these proactive maintenance measures throughout the fall and winter months can alleviate the inconvenience of a malfunctioning garage door or garage door opener as well as the expense associated with their repair. Furthermore, should any potential or existing issues be identified during the inspection and maintenance phases, homeowners can prevent more extensive costly and damage by contacting a professional garage door repair provider, such as Markham Garage Doors, without delay.
Comprehensive Garage Door Repair and New Garage Door Installation Services
Sometimes, despite homeowners taking all of the right steps/measures, winter weather and storms can still get an upper hand on a garage door, in a manner of speaking, hence creating a need for service/repairs. Depending on the extent of any damage, installation of a new door could be the best and/or only solution.
With respect to garage door repair, the skilled technicians from Markham Garage Doors are fully trained to service all makes and models of doors. The Markham Garage Doors team can customarily provide same-day response to address and repair such issues as:
- Broken garage door springs and cables
- Malfunctioning/non-functioning door openers
- Doors that have jammed/come off the tracks
- Doors damaged via accidents/wind-blown debris
- Weather stripping flawed by icy/freezing conditions
In the event that a new garage door installation is required, Markham Garage Doors also offers a comprehensive selection of doors from leading manufacturers in North America, across all styles and price ranges, to meet varying homeowner needs. The extent of this inventory can be viewed online or by a visit to their 1000 square-foot showroom, located at 176 Bullock Drive, Unit 11, in Markham.
Winter weather/storms can be especially detrimental to the condition and operation of a garage door. If you would like a pre-winter garage door inspection and a tune-up or find yourself in need of repair or installation services over the winter, call the specialists at Markham Garage Doors at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to book a service visit.
Keep Your Garage Dry In The Winter To Protect Against Property Damage
Pulling into the driveway on a cold and stormy winter day, many/most homeowners will likely want to keep warm by parking their car in the garage and entering the dry and comfort of their home as quickly as possible. Perhaps one of the last thoughts on their mind is stepping out in the cold winter air to clear any snow, ice, road salt, or gravel from the exterior and underside of the vehicle before parking it in the garage.
Because the temperature inside the garage is most likely warmer than the outside air, all of this accumulated material will melt as the car rests in the garage overnight. However, since the material cannot evaporate or dissipate on its own, it collects on the floor – and a repeat of this parking process on a daily basis, therefore, makes it difficult to keep the garage dry in the winter months.
However, it is important to maintain/dry a garage floor for several reasons, including:
- Protecting the integrity of the floor from pitting, staining, etc.
- Prohibiting property damage due to the spread of moisture
- Personal safety – to prevent slipping/falling on a wet surface
There are a number of ways to keep a garage floor dry in the winter; some of these steps are preventative/proactive in nature while others are more reactive once the wet materials/water have accumulated. These actions may consist of:
- Inspect the exterior garage walls for cracks or possible leaks
- Ensure that there are no drainage issues along exterior walls
- Pull stored items away from interior walls – look for signs of water damage
- For sloped driveways, keep drainage/sewer grates clear of debris and ice
- Install new or replacement weather stripping around the garage door
- Properly maintain door so it closes tightly/securely along the bottom edge
- Use a squeegee to push accumulated water/slush out of the garage
- Mop and dry the floor to soak up melted snow and ice
- Water and solid debris can be collected with a wet/dry shop vacuum
- A fan can be used to, in essence, blow-dry a garage floor
- Place old floor mats under snow blowers and shovels to contain melting
- Park vehicles on large containment mats
- Position vinyl protector strips along the wheel tracks of the vehicle
- Use cardboard along the wheel tracks (may need to replace frequently)
Short of cleaning and brushing off a vehicle before parking it in the garage, investing the time will be an integral part of maintaining this area of the home in a safe and functional manner.
Keep Garage Floor Dry In Winter To Prevent Unnecessary Garage Door Repairs
In addition to protecting the integrity of your garage floor and your personal property, homeowners will need to safeguard the garage door itself against damage from accumulated water, ice, and salt.
When these materials are allowed to migrate and accumulate near the base of the door, several types of structural or mechanical issues may occur, such as:
- Water damage to the base of a wooden door
- Door lifting/misalignment due to ice formation
- Salt can lead to corrosion of tracks/cables/rollers
- The door may not close or lock properly
- Negative impact on spring tension or automatic opener
Should any such situations be encountered throughout the winter, garage door repair professionals like Markham Garage Doors can address and rectify the problems quickly and efficiently. Our team can schedule service visits at your convenience or with a same-day response, depending on the extent of the damage to your door.
If you are concerned or suspect that your garage door has suffered damage from water, ice, or salt accumulation, call the specialists at Markham Garage Doors today at either (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to book your no-obligation consultation.