Winter is just around the corner, and as we happily pack away the lawn mower, we unhappily bring the snowblower to the front of the garage for easy access.  The cold months inevitably bring a new method of home-care and automobile care.  Make sure to keep the below tools easily accessible in your garage during the winter months to make maintenance easy and efficient.  

Snow Shovel

An obvious tool to keep in your garage is a snow shovel.  Aluminum snow shovels are less likely to rust than other metals, requiring less maintenance.  Hang your shovels on a shovel rack after use, rather than leaving them on the ground, to help them dry.  If you have a tempered steel shovel, make sure to wipe it down after each use to keep it from rusting.

Portable battery charger

During the cold months, car batteries are more likely to die.  At freezing temperatures, a battery loses 35% of its strength, and in the cold it may take twice as much power to start your car.  Nothing is worse than trying to make your way to work on a snowy day only to find that your car won’t start.  Before winter begins, make sure to clean the battery of all corrosion that may have built up.  Have it checked by a mechanic for potential problems.  As a precaution, keep a portable battery charger in your garage.  You will be able to jump start your car in emergencies without having to call a friend or roadside assistance.  

Rock Salt

Keep rock salt in your garage to melt the ice that you can’t shovel or blow away.  It is necessary to properly store it as it can easily spill on the floor, and the fumes are powerful.  Keep it in a plastic garbage can with a lid, or a plastic tote with a lid to keep it from spilling and to contain the fumes.  Do not store the rock salt in or around anything metal, as it can cause the metal to rust.  Do not allow the salt to become wet or contaminated with dirt, as it will harden into a useless clump.

Snow Blower

Move your snow blower to the front of the garage where it is easily accessible.  Do an annual tune up, check and change necessary spark plugs, oil and oil filter.  Check tire pressure, grease fittings, engine muffler, rubber pads, etc.  Make sure that you properly store the gas can that you use to re-fuel your snow blower.  

Roof Rake

A winter tool that isn’t always thought of is a roof rake.  A heavy snowstorm can cause a roof to collapse, especially when those surfaces are flat, like on a carport.  One foot of compacted snow can weigh about 30 pounds, however that weight increases based on how wet the snow is.  Store your roof rake next to your snow shovels on your shovel rack.  

Pair of Winter Boots

Keep a pair of winter boots in your garage in an easily accessible location to slip on quickly during snowstorms.   Keep them from getting the entire garage wet by storing them on newspaper or on the lid of plastic bin

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