Garages are important. Here at Southside Group we certainly know that, since we sell them! They’re where many people keep their vehicles, sports equipment, sometimes a freezer or two, and lawn and garden equipment. Garages can get messy and hectic very easily, and they can also end up in pretty rough shape, however. Here’s a guide with five tips for creating the best garage you can and keeping it in top shape.
1. Get the floors done right
It’s all about the finish. The concrete floors of your garage are not going to protect themselves. You want to put on an acrylic latex and epoxy made especially for garages. Applying a concrete sealer or stain is another good option but is not as highly recommended because it will need to be cleaned more often and be reapplied, whereas the acrylic latex epoxy is a one-time job. To apply the finish make sure your garage floor is clean by scouring it with TSP and rinsing it down, then follow the directions to apply the finish once the floor is dry. In some cases if the finish doesn’t’t go on well you will need a commercial etching solution, but chances are you’ll be good to go. Wait 24 hours before walking on the floor after you’ve done that and a full week before parking any vehicle on it.
2. Set your parking space
After a long day it can be easy to careen into the garage and ding a little bit of the wall or drive over a cricket club. Having a parking spot marked off can be a big help. Good options for doing this are a neon or bright-orange electrical tape or even spray paint. Put a mark where the car stops and at several points around the vehicle. Another method that’s very clever and cheap to do is just to hand a tennis ball from the ceiling down to the level of your windshield so that it touches the windshield when you’re far enough forward but not too far.
3. Ventilate, mate!
This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to overlook. Without good ventilation streaming in fresh air your garage can become dangerously full of carbon monoxide from yard machinery like lawnmowers and small amounts from leftover car exhaust. That’s not to mention that lack of sufficient ventilation leaves your garage musty and full of humidity and trapped moisture. Put vents in your garage or windows and keep it nice and aerated. Another important tip that can really help you out is never to start a lawnmower or petrol-using machine inside the garage even with the garage door open. The dangerous carbon monoxide can get through the walls into your home and be life-threatening. It sounds over-cautious but it’s very important.
4. Oil spills happen, so does cleanup
When you’re parking a vehicle or two (or three?) inside a garage, small oil spills are inevitable. The trick is to keep them off the floor in the first place. Use a floor mat or pan with cardboard and put it under cars and machinery that like to dribble. If you miss some drips and your garage gets a small oil spill your best option is actually to use kitty litter to soak it up. Spread some over the oily patch, come back in an hour and sweep it up. If there’s an older, inset stain, get some paint thinner on it, cover with kitty litter, wait a day and then sweep it all up. Keeping your garage nice and clean is the name of the game!
5. Mind the gap
Basically you want to make sure that gaps are filled. You want good venting, as mentioned, but you also want a garage that can be shut airtight when you go inside for the night. Cold air, vermin and leaves blow in through cracks and gaps, not to mention the gap between the garage door and your driveway. Use foam pipe insulation on the bottom of the garage door to create a good seal and ensure it all fits nicely and closes the gap.
We hope this guide to keeping your garage in top shape has been helpful and encourage you to stop by Southside Group today to ask advice and find out about a free quote on building carports, garages, fencing and skylights. We’re here for you!