Garages are fairly low-maintenance, which at times can make them easy to ignore. However, low-maintenance is not the same as no-maintenance, and a little care and attention can go a long way toward keeping your garage in good shape.
Clean Your Garage Floor
Keeping your garage floor clean will eliminate slipping hazards, remove stains and prevent pockmarks caused by auto fluids and road salt. Hosing down the floor annually is a good way to keep the floor clear, and you can spot-clean as needed.
Small hairline cracks in your garage’s concrete floor generally aren’t anything to worry about, but larger cracks—those ¼-inches wide or more—present a tripping hazard and should be taken care of before they inevitably get worse. You can fix most cracks yourself with a bit of concrete from any hardware store. Concrete sealants can also extend the lifespan of your garage floor, but choose carefully, because not all products are equally effective.
Monitor Walls and Foundations
Keep an eye on walls and foundations for signs of cracking and leaking. If you see mold or discoloration, it’s usually a sure sign that moisture is seeping through. Hairline and smaller cracks generally aren’t cause for concern, but keep an eye on them in case they get worse. If you see major cracks or leakage, contact a contractor for an inspection.
Keep the Garage Door Running Smoothly
Your garage door is the largest moving part in your home, and it’s subject to a lot of wear and tear. Using a leaf blower to clean out the door’s parts once a year will remove built-up cobwebs, grime, dirt and debris. Some garage doors—particularly older ones—may need to have their moving parts lubricated periodically as well. Newer garage doors often have self-lubricating plastic rollers and tracks rather than metal ones, and these don’t usually require lubrication. Also, keep an eye on the rubber seal at the bottom of the door for signs of wear, and test the door’s sensor periodically to make sure it works.
Watch For Pests
Critters can get into your garage more easily than just about anywhere else in your house, so watch for signs of infestation. This includes larger animals like mice and squirrels, as well as damaging insects like termites and carpenter ants. Look out for sawdust and chewed wood, and inspect cool, dark and moist spots.