If you're like many homeowners, your garage is far more than a place to keep your car -- it also serves as a hobby center, a document archive, a storage shed and general utility area. Unfortunately, it can also surround you and your loved ones with potentially damaging or hazardous elements. Here are some strategies you can employ to make your garage a safer part of your home.
Mice, rats and other vermin won't wait for an invitation to enter your garage and take up residence there -- and these creatures can spread a variety of diseases to your loved ones, from hantavirus and Lyme disease to plague. Assuming that you don't have any holes in your walls to facilitate their entry, your best opportunity to control the vermin population in your garage is sealing the garage door area as thoroughly as possible.You can achieve this by:
- Filling any foundation or driveway holes around the entrance with concrete
- Making sure the rubber threshold directly underneath the doors is present and fully intact
- Adding metal flashing around the edges of wooden doors so vermin can't chew through them
- Sealing up any holes or gaps in the garage doors
Whether you love tinkering on your car, repainting furniture or working on model airplanes in your garage, you may finding yourself working with toxic substances in the pursuit of your hobby -- and in many cases, this introduces the danger of toxic fumes. Depending on the substance and the exposure level, these fumes can cause everything from eye and respiratory problems to dizziness, cancer and even death. Ventilation can help you preserve your health during these sessions. Open the garage door and if necessary blow a strong fan to keep fresh air circulating. Make sure you and other family members use goggles, gloves and other protective clothing as needed to prevent toxin exposure.
Storing toxic chemicals properly is as important as using them with care. The slightest spill left on the floor could be fatal to your beloved pet; automotive antifreeze, for instance, tastes sweet to animals but can easily kill them. One easy way to prevent leakage and spills is to buy and store the smallest practical quantities of any such substances.
The garage is directly exposed to the hottest and coldest weather your local climate can summon. This means you're likely to experience some extremely uncomfortable hours in there unless you can find some ways to manage the temperature. This becomes a critical safety consideration if your outdoor pets need to take shelter in the garage during extreme weather without risking heat stroke or hypothermia.
Insulation is key to blocking radiant heat transmission through garage doors. The most effective and elegant way to increase your garage insulation is by replacing that old single-layer steel door with a modern triple-layer garage door. This type of door is stuffed with insulation to reduce the transmission of both thermal energy and sound waves. If you can't afford a garage door replacement and you're too particular about looks, you can modify your existing doors cheaply and easily by adding fiberglass batts, foam board panels or rolls of reflective plastic insulation to the inside surfaces.
If you were ever forced to watch one of those horrifying educational films about what can go wrong in shop class, then you already have a healthy respect for the hazards of misusing tools such as hand saws and electric drills. But garages tend to get cluttered in the crush of everyday activities, and it's all too easy to leave dangerous tools lying around instead of putting them away properly.
Give yourself a head start on correcting this problem by investing in the sturdiest, most ergonomic wall board or shelves you can find. Always position the heaviest tools toward the bottom to minimize the chances of their falling on your head. Never leave electric tools plugged in; leaving tools plugged in not only ensures that the tool is ready to commit mayhem at the accidental touch of a button, but it also increases the likelihood of surges damaging the tool and making it unreliable.
By adopting sensible safety practices and making some smart modifications to your garage, you can enjoy the most versatile space in the house with confidence. Here's to many more safe years of tinkering around in your garage! For more tips on how to maintain and improve your garage, contact a company like A AAA Allstate Door Company.Share