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.
5 Ways to Reduce Your Chances of Needing Garage Door Repair
You might not think of it this way, but one of the most amazing facts about your home is that you don’t need Garage door repair more often.
Think about it. It’s the largest, heaviest and one of the most frequently used moving objects in your home. The next largest moving object (maybe your front door?) is a fraction of its size. Even your garage door opener, which lifts and lowers this massive moving object every day, can give you decades of repair-free operation. Wouldn’t life be great if you got that kind of performance from everything in your home, like your washing machine?
But that remarkable track record of worry-free operation can leave you unprepared. Your garage door and door opener aren’t infallible. They can break, stop working and need emergency repairs. For you, the real problem can be that when you need a garage door repair, you’ll be stranded, either inside or outside of your garage.
How to Minimize Your Garage Door Repair
While it’s not necessarily a terrible situation, the need for garage door repair can happen at inopportune times. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of it happening.
1. Keep Stuff Away from the Door
If you’re like most people, you use every available space in your garage to store things – even your car sometimes!
But you should never store anything too close to the door for a number of reasons. First, stacking boxes just inside the door can present a hazard of them falling on you when you open the door.
But even storing things at the sides of the door can be a problem. The cables on either side of your door help to keep the door balanced as it opens and closes. In the closed position, the cables remain fairly close to the door, making it look like you have more space than you actually do. But when the door opens, the cables are pulled back into space just behind them. Anything you store in that space just behind the cable might get damaged when the door opens and closes, and the cables may stretch or fray over time.
2. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
You should regularly give your door and opener a visual inspection. Check that the bottom of the door meets the garage floor evenly across the width of the door. Look for signs of corrosion metal parts. And watch the path of the door as it opens and closes to make sure it moves smoothly throughout the operation.
3. Listen Carefully
Simply due to its sheer size, your garage door can make some noise as it operates. But any change in the sound it makes can be a sign of an impending repair. Any sort of grinding, scraping or other unusual sounds should be investigated immediately.
4. Make Your Garage Door Part of Your Regular Home Maintenance Schedule
“Clean the eavestroughs” is on it. So is “replace the furnace filter”. And those things get done, right? But “inspect your garage door” probably isn’t on your list of “things to do” around the house. But if you put it there, it’ll get done and you’ll be less likely to need a garage door repair.
5. Don’t DIY
Yes, your garage door is huge. It is very heavy. It’s balanced by cables and springs that are under high tension. And if you decide to work on your garage door yourself, you’ll probably need to disconnect it from the garage door opener, which means all the safety systems are disconnected. The potential for needing even more repairs to the door, and the threat to your personal safety, are very high.
Stating it as simply as possible: do not try garage door repair yourself.
Instead, call the repair experts here at Markham Garage Doors!
5 Storage Ideas to Finally Have an Organized Garage
Even if you’re a ‘neat freak’ (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and keep a meticulously organized home, chances are that your garage is one of the most unorganized spaces in your home. At the other end of the spectrum, if you have a hard time keeping anything organized (and there’s nothing wrong with that either!) your garage can be nothing less than a disaster zone.
Regardless of where you fall on the ‘organization’ scale, there’s one way for you to make your garage more organized and potentially get more use and even living space from it.
Garage Storage Options
If there’s one underlying reason that your garage is in disarray, it’s because you don’t have a place for everything in it. But you can change all that by creating a place for everything with one or more of the following storage ideas.
1. Enclosed Storage
Storage cabinets, cupboards, and drawers will give you places to put things that you want to keep secure or out of sight. Whether you go with standalone cabinets or entire wall units, they all can include lockable compartments for added security.
2. Open Shelves
The only problem with enclosed cabinets is that every time you need something, you need to open and close the cabinet. Your garage is full of things you use often and that don’t need to be particularly secure or hidden. Open storage racks give you a quick-access spot for the things you use most often.
3. Slat Wall Storage
Slat walls are one of the most versatile garage storage options. The panels are secured to drywall and/or studs in your garage and you can use the slats to add hooks, shelves, and baskets.
Another versatile storage option, pegboards are a great way to store smaller individual items that you can get to easily, like hand tools.
5. Ceiling Storage
One of the least used spaces in your garage is right over your head. Whether you install shelves, hanging basket or hooks, making use overhead storage can open up lots of room below.
With your garage organized, and with additions, like an insulated garage door, you can start thinking about transforming your garage into a more livable space, like a playroom, home office or home gym.
5 Ways to Maximize the Storage Space in Your Garage
Garages are for cars. But, judging by what you find inside most of them, garages are the place for anything but the car. Especially if you have kids, you have a lot of ‘stuff’, and anything that doesn’t have a place or is too big for your home, gets tossed in the garage.
Not that there’s anything wrong with your garage playing that role in your home. It’s just that, in the act of tossing the stuff, garages can quickly become unorganized stacks of random items, fill up far faster than they should and never be a place where you can find anything fast.
If you want to better use the space in your garage for storage, try some of the following helpful tips.
1. Add Shelving
Yes, you probably thought of this one, or you already have a shelf or two. But think about using space that isn’t usually used for shelving. Like between the vehicles in a two-car garage. In any case, shelving helps you get more usable space without taking up more floor space.
2. Build a Shelf Bay
Many urban garages, or those on older homes, have barely enough room to squeeze in a car. You can build a large shelf bay at the far end of your garage such that the front of your car fits underneath it and all the space above it becomes storage space.
3. Install Slat Walls
These are similar to what’s used in many retail stores, particularly shoe and sports equipment stores, to display products on a wall. Hooks and shelving slide into the wall slats at any level on the wall, giving you flexible, floor-to-ceiling options for storage.
4. Use Pegboard
Talk about versatility, pegboard lets you hang tools, clothing, equipment – anything that can hang on a hook – anywhere on your wall.
5. Put Up Cabinets
This one is for the ultimate in a well-organized garage. Whether you use custom cabinetry built to fit perfectly in your garage, or just install a standard set, cabinetry not only gives you more places to store your things, but it lets you close the cabinet door so you don’t have to see all the clutter.
You probably have a lot more space in your garage than you think. You just have to use it better to have a great place to store your stuff.
7 Tips for Converting Your Garage into Your Winter Storage Unit
While the weather here in Markham continues to be summer-like well into September, the winter will no doubt return. When it does, your garage becomes the place to store a number of things that may have been kept elsewhere for the summer. From your patio furniture to your classic car, those things have spent most or all of the summer outside, but they need to be stored and protected from the snow, ice and colder temperatures of winter.
It means that at some point between now and when the first snow flies, you’ll need to get all that stuff into your garage. It’s not usually a chore you look forward to, but by doing some planning and starting sooner (even now when temperatures are still warm) you can make it an easier job.
1. Do a “Needs Assessment”
In other words, before you begin to set-up the garage for storage, it helps to know exactly what you’ll be putting away. It might seem like a no-brainer, but when you actually make a list, you’ll be surprised at what you hadn’t thought of, and you’ll get a better idea of where to put things and maximize your space.
2. Put Together a Storage Plan
Once you have a good idea of what needs to go in, you can start planning where and how to store them. Make note of your shelving and overhead storage options and possibilities. Having lots of both will help you use more of the space in your garage (versus throwing everything on the floor). Visit your local hardware store or garage door dealer and ask about storage options. There’s always some new storage idea or products, especially for garages, that can really make a difference.
3. A Place for Everything
As part of your planning, try to find practical places for everything. You’re going to need your snow blower and shovels, so put them close to the door. Garden furniture that you won’t need until next spring can go deeper in the garage and even be used as ‘shelving’ for other items.
4. Plan for Safe Access
Even the best plans have their flaws and at some point over the winter, you’re going to need something that’s ‘buried’ somewhere in your garage. The danger lies in stretching over or around other items and in the potential of something from overhead falling on you or your belongings. Make sure shelves are secured to walls and try to store heavier items closer to the ground or otherwise in ways that they cannot fall. Try also to layout your storage so you can have relatively easy access to all your stored items.
5. Keep Your Garage Door Clear
While it’s tempting, packing items against the back of a garage door can end up damaging the items and/or the door. With some types of doors, support cables need room to travel and any items that are too close can be damaged by the cables, or the operation of the door can be affected. Also, the photo eyes that control the door might be blocked or bumped by things you store nearby, which can affect how your garage door operates.
6. Clean and Organize
One of the best ways to get as much storage space out of your garage a possible is to get rid of and/or organize all the stuff you’ve accumulated since spring cleaning. Whether it’s used paint cans or new toys, plan to put them in the right spots. Once you’ve opened up as much space as possible, giving your garage a thorough cleaning, including oil spots on the floor, will make it easier to pack the garage and have it feel less cluttered.
7. Prepare Your Stuff for Storage
From getting vehicles ready for a long period of inactivity, to having covers and/or boxes ready for furniture and other items, the more you do to properly prepare your belongings for storage, the better they’ll be when it comes time to bring them out again next spring.
It might not seem to make sense to add to your list of things-to-do when it comes time to store stuff in your garage for winter, but the payoff in added space, more protection for your things and a safer garage is more than worth it.
Protect your garage door from the effects of cold winter weather and temperatures with our professional inspection, maintenance, and winterizing services. To ensure that your garage door provides the functionality, protection, and energy efficiency that you want and need throughout the winter, call the specialists at Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to book your service visit as soon as possible.