How to Get through the Busiest Time of Year for Your Garage
You probably don’t think about a ‘busy’ time of year for your garage. But, if you did, you’d realize that you’re probably in and out of your garage more in the autumn months than at any other time of year.
If you haven’t done some or all of these yet this fall, you’ll probably be doing them soon. You’ll be putting away your garden furniture; taking out your rake; storing your summer garden tools; finding a place for the patio umbrella; getting the hot tub cover out of storage; putting away all the summer toys; polishing off the snow blower; rolling out the lawn mower to mulch the leaves; finding the fall lawn food; and wondering where all that extra stuff in the garage came from during the summer.
In the midst of it all, you’ll probably wish your garage door was a revolving one.
Tips for Getting Through the Busy Season for Your Garage
All that traffic in your garage can have two side-effects. First, without some planning, you could end up doing more work than you have to. Second, without some precautions, you could do more damage than you want to.
Here are just a few tips to help avoid extra work and reduce any damage.
1. Clean Out Your Garage & Make a Storage Plan
If yours is like most garages, storage space is at a premium. It might sound like more work, but in the end, you’ll reduce your effort, and find the space you need, if you clear out your garage and make a plan for where everything goes.
2. Try to Minimize Opening and Closing Your Garage Door
All the traffic into and out of your garage can take a toll on the door and garage door opener. If you can, plan your activities and keep your door open or closed as long as possible. But, remember, to protect everything in your garage and safeguard against theft, don’t leave the door open any longer than you have to.
3. Keep Your Car Out of the Garage
When you’re cleaning the garage, and putting things in storage, you’ll have less chance of damaging your car if you move it out of the way.
The more effort you put into making it easier for your garage to get through its busy season, the less busy it will seem!
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.
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, contact us here at Markham Garage Doors.
How to Create an Eco-Garage
Whether you’ve been making your home more eco-friendly to save money or be more environmentally responsible, or both, you’ve probably missed one of the largest spaces in the house: the garage.
While adding attic and wall insulation, low-energy lighting and Energy Star appliances are high on the list of things homeowners do to reduce their energy consumption, the garage is often neglected when it comes to energy-reducing upgrades.
But, as one of the largest and least insulated spaces in your home, that could be a costly mistake. Costly to both your pocketbook and the environment.
Here’s a checklist of things you can do the create an eco-garage in your home.
1. Change the Lights
Energy efficient CFL and LED lighting make as much sense in your garage as anywhere in your home. LED lighting is particularly well suited for use in the garage because it lasts longer than other lighting, turns on to full illumination immediately and is more resistant to the temperature extremes that can happen in the garage.
2. Insulating and Sealing
You should at least insulate the outside walls of your garage, if not all the walls and ceiling, especially if it’s an attached garage. And sealing any cracks and openings to the outside with caulk or a foam sealant not only reduces energy loss, but it will also help keep out dust, dirt, and pests.
3. Install an Insulated Garage Door
Your garage door is like a large moveable wall in your home. That means it should be insulated just like any other wall. If you don’t want the expense of a new garage door, you can insulate an existing door and add weather stripping around it and between its panels.
4. Maintain Your Garage Door and Garage Door Opener
With a smoothly operating door, a garage door opener doesn’t use much energy. But if the opener’s gear is worn, it could be working harder than usual to raise and lower the door. The same thing can happen if your door doesn’t roll smoothly in its tracks, if it is out of balance or if its hinges aren’t working properly.
In the end, it doesn’t have to be costly to create an eco-garage. The energy savings and added home comfort can make it all worthwhile. Contact us at Markham Garage Door to learn more.
Have You Ever Thought of Everything Your Garage Can Be?
In the middle of yet another cold winter here in Markham, your garage is probably a little messier than usual. If you park your car there, the garage floor can be stained with the salt and dirt your car picked up from the roads. And, considering how cold it is, you’ve probably been leaving any garage cleaning and organizing for the annual spring clean-up.
With stained floors and stuff everywhere, it might be difficult to imagine your garage as anything other than the catch-all place that it is in most homes.
But, as you huddle inside keeping warm, you can start to think about what your garage can become. With relatively little renovating, you can quickly make the garage into a more useful space than it is now. Generally speaking, any garage can be made into a usable space with some wall insulation, a heat source, and an insulated garage door.
Check out some of the following ideas and you’ll quickly see how your garage can become almost anything but a garage.
1. An Addition to Your Home
Of course, an attached garage is already part of the house. But if you’ve been thinking of building an addition to your home, whether it’s an extra bedroom for a growing family, or additional living space, like a family room or den, but the cost, time and disruption of doing it has stopped you, your garage might be the solution.
While your garage might still need some ‘additions’, like insulation and a subfloor, it can be made as comfortable as any built-on addition to your home. But the difference is, you don’t actually have to build an addition, and most of the renovating that you need to do to convert the garage can happen in the garage itself, without disrupting any other part of your home.
2. A Place for Your Hobbies
If you’re a hobbyist of any sort, you probably don’t realize the limiting factors of practicing your hobby in your home. Unless you have a dedicated space, every time you want to partake in your hobby, whether it be modeling, scrapbooking, collecting, etc., you generally have to take your hobby things out and put them away again after you have your fill.
You’ve probably thought of how much more you can indulge in your hobby if you had a dedicated space, but it’s usually difficult to set aside a permanent spot, even in a larger home, especially if you have a family.
The beauty with your garage is that you could just dedicate the space you need for your hobby. If that happens to be just a part of the garage, you can still keep the space that’s left for the storage you use your garage for now. Depending on your hobby, you can make the garage a great place for it with as little as some insulation, including an insulated door.
3. Brew Pub
This one can actually save you money in the long run! If you enjoy a craft beer or making your own wine, you might already use your garage for all or part of the process. But you still go out sometimes to enjoy the ambiance of a night spot. So why not turn your garage into that night spot. Even if you don’t want to give over all that space to just one purpose, you can combine the brewpub with a multi-media family home entertainment room.
Even if you never actually convert your garage, it can be fun just thinking of the possibilities.
Yikes! You Just Crashed into Your Garage Door – Now What?
Most of us think that driving into the garage door is a mistake we’ll never make until it actually happens. And it happens far more often than anyone thinks. If you want to get an idea, just take a closer look at the garage doors in your neighborhood, you’ll spot the tell-tale dents and dings.
If anything, with more hectic kids’ schedules and cell phone use, there as many garage door crashes now as there ever was.
But, just like with everything else to do with garage doors, most homeowners don’t know what to do when they drive into the door. Of course, whether you do so from the inside or the outside, there can be varying degrees of damage.
The following pointers will help you know what to do in the event of a crash that causes some damage to the door, but not the structure of your house, and no one is injured in the crash.
1. Assess the Damage
Examine the door from the inside. Considering that you don’t know the extent of the damage, and the door is normally under pressure, make sure it’s a ‘hands-off’ examination. Check the following parts of the door.
a. The Rollers – Are they bent or otherwise damaged, still attached to the door and are they still in the tracks?
b. The Extension Springs, Cables, and Pulleys – Are they broken, out of alignment or otherwise damaged?
c. Door Hinges – Are they broken or twisted?
d. Door Panels – Are they broken or too dented to properly roll up and down?
If ‘yes’ is the answer to any of the questions above, do not touch the door, don’t try to operate it and call a garage door repair company to get a professional assessment.
2. Check Your Car
If it is drivable and caught behind a closed door in the garage, slowly edge it away from the door if possible. If the car is outside and drivable, move it away from the door.
3. Try the Door
If everything in point one above seems to be intact, and you generally feel like it would be OK to test the garage door to see if it is still operable, do so while standing outside the garage, well away from the door, using the remote opener.
If you hear clicking or any other unusual sounds, stop the test. You’ll need to call a repair person to examine the door and opener.
If you’re looking for expert garage door repair and replacement services, including emergency repairs, give us call here at Markham Garage Doors.
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.
It’s Time to Make Your Garage a Part of Your Home
Think about your dream home. What are some of the things you see? Chances are that at least part of the vision includes granite countertops in the kitchen, with lots of self-closing drawers, oodles of cupboard space and what about a pantry? In the bathroom, maybe you’d have a Jacuzzi tub, separate shower and LED mood lighting. Bedrooms would be as large as you like with endless space in your walk-in closet – or is it a dressing room? The living room could have vaulted ceilings and skylights, and the family room will have to coolest games and entertainment center ever.
No matter how many people you ask about what they would like in a dream home, very few, if any, would ever mention anything about the garage. And if they did, it would usually be just about how many cars you can park it.
The fanciest showcase homes you see in the magazines and on the web probably have garages that don’t look much different to yours. Dark and dull.
It’s Time to Show Your Garage Some Respect
While we usually think of the kitchen and bathroom when the topic of home renovations come up, why not give a thought to your garage next time?
Why renovate the garage?
It’s one of the largest open spaces in your home, yet it’s probably one of the most underutilized and neglected.
Whether you actually park your car in the garage or not, by putting it on your reno list, you can make it a much more practical and inviting part of your home. And here are just a few ways to do that:
1. Light it Up
If there’s a single reason why your garage is less than an appealing place to be, it is that it’s probably the worst lit space in your home. Even if you simply upgrade the lighting with more fluorescent fixtures, it’ll automatically become a ‘brighter’ place to be.
But no need to stop at just adding more of the same light. There’s no reason you can’t highlight areas of the garage, or brighten up a workbench with pot lighting and/or task lights.
2. Finish the Floor and Walls
There may not be a more unpleasant floor in your home than the garage floor. While the rest of the house gets hardwood or ceramic, your garage gets bare concrete. Of course, if you do park your car in the garage, the new floor needs to be easy to clean. Epoxy or polyurea floor coatings are available in a surprisingly wide range of looks and finishes. And they are just as practical for cleaning grease and salt, as they are for creating a great looking workroom or living space.
If your garage walls are bare studs, add some insulation and cover them with drywall to make the garage less damp and more liveable. If your walls already have drywall, think of painting them as you might any other room in the house. And consider installing an insulated garage door if you don’t have one already
3. Upgrade Your Storage
Yet another reason that your garage might be a turn-off is that it’s a catch-all for anything you can’t find a spot for elsewhere in your home. It can actually be stressful just to look at the confusion. By adding shelving, cabinets and overhead storage, you’ll have a place for everything and more space to make your garage a nicer spot to hang out.
What Can Your Garage Be?
It’s up to your imagination. With finished floors and walls, storage for everything and insulation to make it more comfortable, the garage can become an art studio, games room, workshop, retreat from the world, home gymnasium, separate apartment, huge home office, a serious home theatre – anything you want it to be – even just a nicer place to park your car.
How to Create the Workshop of Your Dreams in the Garage
Even if you have enough space for one in the basement, it’s not always easy having a fully-equipped workshop in your home. From wood dust floating around, to the noise from larger pieces of equipment, homes, and workshops often don’t mix.
But if you have a garage, especially a multi-car garage, now you can start planning a workshop without worrying about affecting the house. Except there’s one problem. Your garage is already in use.
If you don’t park your car(s) in the garage, then you probably use it for impromptu storage for things that have no other place to go.
But not to worry. If you want to transform your garage into the coolest workshop ever, the first thing to know is that you don’t need to take over the whole garage. If you have a two-car garage, you have loads of room for a largish workshop and a place for your car and/or storage.
and even if you want to use the whole garage for a workshop, the overall steps are more or less the same.
1. Clean Out the Garage
Before you do anything you need to know what you’re working with and you can’t do that when there’s a car or 10 years’ worth of stuff in the space. If you’re not using the whole garage, decide what is the workshop and what is parking and/or household and mark them off. If having the workshop in the garage robs you of too much storage space, think about building a shed to house items that don’t need the full protection of the garage.
2. Design the Space
Measure the total space you’ve opened up and start planning where everything will go. The heart of any workshop is the workbench. It must be sturdy enough to handle any hammering, pounding or other stress that you’ll put on it (like when you’re trying to bend a length of pipe in the vise). It also should be large enough to support the different types of work you have planned.
The next priority in your design is storage for your hand tools. You can create a place for a toolbox an/or build your own pegboard storage. If you have lots of valuable tools, and your garage isn’t alarmed, you may want to go the toolbox route so you can lock it and secure it to the bench.
3. Power at the Work Surface
Easy access to power saves a lot of time and frustration. Today’s workshops need enough power outlets to simultaneously charge a couple cordless tools, provide extra lighting and run a chop saw – and a couple outlets to spare so you don’t have to unplug one to plug in another. And it’s no good getting the power you need through a bunch of extension cords.
4. Bright Lighting
While we’re on power and lighting, workshops must be well lit. Fluorescent lighting gives you lots of great overall light and, if you need it, set up an adjustable work-lamp or two as needed.
5. Larger Tools
If you have larger tools, like a drill press or table saw, be sure to make space for them in your plan. Place them in close proximity to the workbench for easier workflows, but remember to leave enough room around each one to do whatever work might be needed – like cutting an 8-foot 2×4 on the table saw.
6. Finish the Garage floor
An untreated garage floor absorbs grease and stains easily and it’s difficult to clean. Finishing your floor with an epoxy floor covering will not only make it easier to clean up, but it’ll make the floor look great.
7. Heat and AC
To make your workbench a year-round affair, you’ll need to at least include heating in your plans. Just like in your home, insulating your garage, including the garage door, and making sure it is all well sealed, will save heating costs.
From making provisions for any special tools for setting up an entertainment system, there are lots of other considerations when planning your garage workshop. In the end, the more planning you do, the better the workshop will be.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Parking Your Car in the Garage in Winter
If you regularly park your car in the garage, you probably do it year-round without giving it an extra thought. Except, in winter, you just love the fact that you can get into a car that is completely free of snow and ice even after a night-long blizzard (not to mention the guilty pleasure you get from driving past neighbors who’ll be late for work because they’re still chiseling out!).
But the idea that it’s always best to keep your car in the garage has been challenged by those who feel that, when you do so in the winter, it can cause more harm than good.
If you park in the garage in winter, you’ll remember those times when you’ve arrived home during a storm with your car covered in snow and slush from the road. Yet when you headed back out a short time later, your car was once again snow- and slush-less. Nice.
But, those who question the benefits of winter garage parking say it is that melting, caused by the heat of your engine in the enclosed garage, that causes problems for the car.
Primarily, because the slush from the road contains corrosive salt when it melts, the salt comes in closer contact with your car’s body panels and undercarriage. The salt-carrying moisture doesn’t evaporate very quickly in the damp conditions. In a way, it can be like giving your car a salt bath.
According to the Globe & Mail, the constant shifting between hot and cold, by taking your car in and out of the garage, especially if the garage is heated, can also deteriorate the seals on your car.
Regular washing of the car in winter and extra rustproofing can help delay the onset of rust regardless of its cause.
The verdict is still out about whether you should or shouldn’t park your car in the garage in winter. If you simply enjoy not scraping and defrosting after a storm, then it might not matter.
Why the Rooms Above Your Garage Are Cold in the Winter
Improve Garage Door Insulation to Moderate the Cold in Adjacent Living Space
In many Canadian homes, floor plans often include a room or rooms above the attached garage in order to maximize living space. Whether the style of home is single-detached, semi-detached, or townhouse living, builders will utilize the space above the garage for a living room, dining room, bedroom, or in-home office.
While this concept often works from a functional perspective, it might not always be the most comfortable, particularly during the winter months, as this above-the-garage living space can get exceedingly cold. Throughout this season, occupants may need to huddle under blankets or wear sweaters when using these rooms and in extreme cases, need to use a space heater, while other family members are quite comfortable elsewhere in the home.
There can be several contributing factors to the disparity in temperature between a room above the garage and the rest of the home:
- Lack of insulation in the garage ceiling
- Insufficient insulation in the exterior walls
- Inadequate number of heat and air registers
- Type of floor covering – tiles/laminate vs carpeting
- Unsatisfactory insulation in attic space over the room
- Poor caulking around windows/incorrect type of windows
While some of these factors may be limited to a particular builder or a specific floor plan, the lack of insulation in the garage ceiling would likely be a common denominator in the vast majority of homes. Most garages in Canadian homes are not heated; consequently, cold air circulates within the garage throughout the winter. This, in turn, chills the garage ceiling, which then chills the floor of the rooms above it and makes them colder, almost unbearably so, compared to the rest of the home.
To reduce this effect, homeowners may want to inspect whether the floor-ceiling space between the garage and any rooms above is in fact insulated and, if necessary, remedy the situation. But this may not be possible in some cases, and rather cost-prohibitive in others; therefore homeowners may want to look at alternative measures to at least cut down on the amount of cold air entering the garage itself. This can be achieved by:
- The installation of a new, insulated garage door
- Upgrading the insulation of an existing garage door
- Installing new weather stripping around the garage door
All of these services can be provided by the capable technicians from Markham Garage Doors. These specialists have the knowledge and expertise to complete any upgrades or installations in an efficient and timely manner to help homeowners with the insulation of their garage against the penetrating effects of cold winter weather.
Comprehensive Garage Door Services to Meet Your Specific Insulation Needs
For homeowners wishing to upgrade the insulation of an existing garage door, there are a few options depending on their personal preference, budget, and the type of door:
- Batt insulation – the best alternative for a steel door
- Foam board – can be added to steel or wooden doors
- Reflective foil – for steel or flat-surfaced wooden doors
Should the resolution be made to install a new, insulated garage door, homeowners can select from an extensive collection of doors distributed and installed by the experts from Markham Garage Doors.
Whether adding insulation to an existing garage door or installing a new insulated door, the Markham Garage Doors technicians can inspect the condition of the current weather stripping and, if warranted, address its replacement as well.
Want to improve the insulation of your current garage door or upgrade to a new, fully-insulated door? Call the garage door service provider that can help with your particular needs. Call the specialists from Markham Garage Doors at today at (416) 570-3667 or (905) 472-9178 to request a no-obligation consultation.