Cold Stowage Tips For 8 Types of Items

Many Canadians use their garage as a storage space over winter. However, if you live in Western Canada, you probably know that cold temperatures and high humidity can damage your belongings. Condensation can seep into electronics, leading to rust and corrosion, paint can degrade, and household cleaners can lose their effectiveness. Fortunately, the experts at Creative Door ServicesTM have put together cold stowage tips for seven types of items to help you safeguard your things during winter.

garage storage in winter

1.) Fridge or freezer

If you have a second fridge or chest freezer in your garage, you may want to consider storing it in a climate-controlled area inside your home. A cold and humid environment like your garage can cause these appliances to work overtime to keep their contents at the right temperature, thereby driving up your utility bills.

2.) Motorized equipment

Just like your car, snow blowers and power tools need time to warm up before being used. In fact, revving them up when it’s 20 below can cause some items to wear out or break down. Consequently, it’s a good idea to bring certain power tools inside for a couple hours before using them. Additionally, metal hand tools can become rusted and brittle in extreme cold. Therefore, it may be best to bring them inside over the winter.

3.) Propane tank

If you usually store your barbecue’s propane tank in your garage over winter, think again. If the tank springs a leak, your garage could fill with harmful gas and potentially explode. Therefore, make sure you remove the propane tank before wheeling your barbecue into your garage for the winter. Instead, store your propane tank outdoors on a flat, surface out of direct sunlight.

4.) Paper products

You shouldn’t store paper-based products like newspapers, books, pictures, and magazines in your garage over the winter. The extreme temperature fluctuations and moisture levels can cause these items to curl, stick together, dry out, or become discoloured. Therefore, our team recommends storing paper items inside your home in a cool, dark place like a closet.

golf clubs

5.) Sporting gear

The good news is that winter sports equipment is made to withstand cold, damp climates. Therefore, it’s fine to store your skis, skates, hockey sticks, and toboggans in your garage. However, summer sporting equipment like golf clubs should be brought inside for the winter. In fact, exposure to the cold can cause golf club grips to harden or crack. Additionally, condensation can lead to rust.

6.) Textiles

If you plan on storing fabrics like linens, blankets, chair cushions, and seasonal clothing in your garage over the winter, pack them neatly in sealed plastic bins and keep them off the concrete floor on storage shelves. If these items aren’t stowed correctly, moisture can damage or discolour the material. Moreover, pests like mice and moths may nibble at the fabric.

7.) Paint and hazardous materials

Many paints and wood stains separate, solidify, or curdle in freezing temperatures. Therefore, the team at Creative Door ServicesTM doesn’t recommend storing these in your garage over the winter. Moreover, get rid of any old pesticides, solvents, cleaning supplies, and half-full containers of automotive fluids to ensure they don’t swell and leak onto your belongings when they thaw in the spring. Instead, store these items in a plastic bin in your basement.

8.) Electronics

If you’re holding on to old DVD players, game consoles, TVs, or computers, keep them out of your garage. Electronics are particularly susceptible to moisture and condensation. Additionally, the plastic casings can easily warp and crack when exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. Instead, store any unused electronics in a closet or bring them to your nearest electronic recycling centre.

Lastly, never store food in your garage unless you want to attract mice and other pests!

wayne dalton insulated garage door in the winter

Invest In An Insulated Garage Door

If you live in a cold climate, it’s a good idea to invest in an insulated garage door to help your space maintain a stable temperature over the winter. At Creative Door Services™, we recommend looking for a garage door with an R-value of at least 12 if you have an insulated or heated garage. If you don’t have an insulated garage, you should look for a garage door with an R-value between 14 and 16.

Additionally, make sure the weatherstrip along the sides and bottom of your garage door is intact and tightly fitted. If the weatherstrip has peeled or cracked, it won’t be able to help keep cold winds, snow, and moisture out of your garage. Fortunately, the Creative Door ServicesTM team can inspect your garage door and perform any necessary upgrades or repairs.

Insulated Garage Doors in Western Canada

The experts at Creative Door ServicesTM can help you winterize your garage with a door that’s fit for the job. We carry residential garage doors with high R-values from top brands like Wayne Dalton and Richards-Wilcox. We also have garage door openers and access controls to automate and secure your door. Moreover, our team provides expert installation, repair, and maintenance services.

If you want to learn more or request a free quote, contact us today at one of our eight locations. You can find us in Kelowna, British Columbia; Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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