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Spring cleaning in your garage is important for keeping your home safe, clean, and functional.

4 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Garage

Cleaning out and organizing your living space is a time-honored tradition. But when was the last time your spring cleaning extended to your garage? These functional spaces are often neglected and cluttered, which can make your life more difficult and even contribute to health issues. Aside from getting rid of unwanted items, your best ways to clean out your garage are:

Remove All Cardboard

Storing items in cardboard boxes is one of the worst things you can do in your garage. Cardboard holds onto moisture and can easily begin to sag with mold or mildew. Not only does this make your garage stink and damage your items, but it can pose health risks to you and your family. If the mold spreads it can damage your garage structure and home. Clear out the cardboard and replace it with plastic storage containers that are cleaner and easier to work with.

Clean Off your Garage Door

Give your garage door some attention and wipe down the dirt, dust, cobwebs, and other debris that can gather there. Not only will this keep your garage interior cleaner, it will also help prevent damage to your door. Humid days can lead to clumping of this material, which can cause rusting and more. Be sure to check the door edges, hinges, and runners as well! While you’re completing this work, inspect your garage door opener system and all related components to see if there are visible signs of deterioration or damage.

Check all Seals

While you’re completing all these cleaning tasks, pay attention to your windows and door seams. Do you feel a draft coming from anywhere? Is water seeping underneath your garage door? Improving a window seal or installing a garage door floor seal to keep the great outdoors outside is affordable, relatively easy, and can help reduce your energy costs. Keeping your garage more comfortable helps keep your space functional as well.

Eliminate sources of moisture

If there are still puddles of water or the air feels humid, your flooring may be a point of entry for moisture. Sustained humidity can potentially cause rusting and damage to your hardware as well as your door spring. A garage door spring that snaps can cause heavy damage and potentially injure someone if present. Testing your floor with tape is an easy way to determine what steps come next in reducing and preventing humidity in your space.

Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to spruce up, get organized, and perform some easy maintenance checks. Catching problems before they become major can save you (and your wallet) a lot of headaches. Find something wrong during your spring cleaning checks? Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Old rusty garage lock

How to Remove Rust From Your Garage Door

Regardless of your garage door color, you may notice that it has turned a rustic orange color as spring approaches. How did this happen?

The salt you spread on driveways stews during winter, slowly eating away at your garage door. Over time it can compromise the structural integrity of steel, aluminum and wood doors. But these simple maintenance tips can help you restore it.   

Cleaning boosts curbside appeal and extends the life of your garage door. The only cleaning supplies needed for any garage door style is a bucket, warm water and a standard grease fighting soap or detergent. But you might also want to consider using white vinegar and water with a medium soft-bristled brush on steel and aluminum doors since the respond well to this technique. Where additional tools are concerned, hard bristles can scratch the door surface, so opt for a softer brush.  

Cleaning steel and aluminum doors

It’s not ideal to start your cleaning projects during freezing temperatures. But once your driveway is clear and the day is warm, inspect the bottom of your garage door for rust or corrosion and:

  • Brush the door with soap and water, starting at the bottom where the rust is concentrated
  • Rinse thoroughly and let dry
  • Dip an old cloth in white vinegar (do not use cider or spiced vinegar) and wipe the rusted areas with a steel wool pad. Repeat this until the surface is shiny again
  • Apply a primer corrosion inhibitor, Zinc Chromate, which will prevent further rusting

Cleaning wood doors

Salt can cause wood to swell and expand, leading to splits and cracks. You can avoid damages to your wood door with these cleaning tips:

  • Wash door with soap, water, and a clean cloth
  • Brush design elements (areas around knobs, recessed panels, and windows) with an old toothbrush, which is soft and paint-friendly
  • Once dry, apply wood staining protection or repaint

Anyone in your home can clean the garage door, including the kids. If the damage is beyond your ability to repair, call an expert. Garage Doors of Indianapolis offers full repair services for residential and commercial garage doors in the greater Indianapolis area. Contact us to schedule a service visit.


Storage Solutions for the Crowded Garage

It’s tough to keep a garage tidy without adequate storage, but even the tiniest garage can be orderly, with creative use of vertical space.

Check out these storage tips – from simple solutions to major overhauls:

Up, up and away!

Many garages have a lot of unused space above vehicles, but there are devices that can turn that dead space into storage.

Hoist-based storage units are flat surfaces suspended by wires from two or more ceiling anchors. They may have manual pulley operation, or remote-control motor operation, but the principal is the same for both – load the platform with items, and lift the platform into place near the ceiling. It’s an easy solution for storing a power washer, holiday decorations and other items that are seldom used.

Versatile pegboard

Pegboard is one of the most affordable storage solutions for garages – a 4-by-8 panel is about $20 or less, and the accompanying hooks are relatively inexpensive, especially when you buy them in bulk.

Hooks aren’t permanent, so you can reconfigure them to accommodate new items. Get a sheet of pegboard larger than what you currently need, so you have room to expand.

Put cylinders to work

A concrete form – the large, cardboard tubes used to make support pillars – can be affixed to rafters with metal edge banding to create a storage space for fishing rods, and other long, narrow objects.

With a little creativity and a hacksaw, you can transform PVC pipe into a variety of storage solutions – affix bands of PVC to the wall to store long-handled tools, or glue a cluster of short pipes together to make a tall, shallow shelf for everyday items like tape measures and light bulbs.

Stack your vehicles

If you’re an aspiring classic car collector who has no room in the garage for another vehicle, a hydraulic lift might be a solution. The lift elevates one car, allowing you to park another car beneath it, so you’ll need a garage with high ceilings (and a few thousand dollars). Another perk of installing a lift is that it makes underbody maintenance a lot easier.

When you’re ready to get organized, focus on making the most of your vertical space.

A garage with a lot of open space

Organizing Your Garage to Maximize Space

For many households, a garage is far more than a place to park the family minivan. In fact, a significant percentage of Americans park their cars in the driveway while using the garage for storage. Holiday decorations, photo albums, high school yearbooks, and other treasured memorabilia that often dates back twenty or thirty years can be found in the garage, stacked in boxes and labeled with magic markers.

Making Room for Cars       

However, parking a car in the garage can be a great theft deterrent. This is especially important for Columbus, Indiana residents, since crime rates are slightly higher than the national average. Most recent data shows a rate of 207 auto thefts per 100,000 people in 2011, which was significantly higher than the previous year’s rates.

One way to safeguard the family vehicle while still maintaining storage space is to maximize the amount of space available. Whether your home has a one-car, two-car, or three-car garage, builders often leave enough space either in front of the cars or around them to store at least one level of marked boxes.

Using Shelving

But boxes can be bulky and inefficient. In the search for Halloween decorations or a cherished photo album, a family can often waste hours sorting through stacks of boxes. By finding a more effective way to organize items, families can not only make the most of every square inch of garage space but create a more transparent storage solution that helps them find things quickly when they need them.

For items that can be stored in open air without suffering damage, shelving is the perfect solution. Built against the wall, shelving offers an area to store tools, lawn care items, cables, and even bicycles and ladders using hooks built into the wall. Several Columbus companies specialize in creating custom solutions for customers that will not only make the most of space but provide visual appeal.

Do-it-yourselfers can create the same shelving system using only a few common tools, saving money while improving the space. For those items that must be stored safely in containers, clear storage boxes are available that will stack together. Because they are clear, homeowners won’t be required to open every box to find the one item they’re seeking.

Storage space is at a premium in many households. By making the most of the space available in the garage area of a home, homeowners can store items while also leaving room to keep their cars safe from crime, as well as the elements.