Manitoba's autumn is in full swing, which means you've only got a short time to prepare for the province's most challenging season - winter.
Dig out your boots, make sure your winter coat still fits, get the snow tires on the car, and prepare yourself to do battle with the elements.
And don't forget your home base - your garage. Preparing for winter includes making your garage, both to fortify it against the elements and to ensure that it contains all the tools you need to deal with a Winnipeg winter.
The Building Envelope
Number one on your list of things is to be sure your garage can do its primary job through the course of the winter. It should provide adequate shelter for the items inside. Check the roof - if you're missing any shingles, or they're showing signs of excess age, make sure you deal with it now. You cannot fix a leaky roof during a blizzard in February. Check the door seals and the windows too, to be sure that everything functions as it should and keeps the weather outside where it belongs.
The Drainage System
Your garage roof has been designed to take any moisture in the form of rain or melting snow, and move it away from the building. Your eavestroughs (also referred to as gutters) need to be free of debris like fallen leaves, garbage, or bits of roofing material, and your downspouts need to flow freely. At the bottom, some provision should be made to make sure that runoff is directed away from your home and garage. Inadequate drainage can result in extensive structural damage to your garage, driveway, and adjacent buildings.
As for the contents of your garage, you will need to "rotate your stock." Place the materials you'll need this winter, such as scrapers, snow removal equipment, salt, and windshield antifreeze in the most accessible locations to access. Your summer gear can be moved to the back.
Garage Not Up to the Task?
If you find a problem with the building envelope or the drainage system, you'll have to deal with it right away, before the snow flies. If your issue is less urgent (not enough shelves or storage space, poor lighting, or there's an activity you'd like to use your garage for that you can't), call Garage Masters anytime to discuss solutions.