When it comes to home maintenance, cleaning the garage is not the most exciting of projects. Many homeowners focus time and attention on activities designed to boost curb appeal, like lawn care or exterior renovations. Keeping a garage neat and tidy, however, provides a number of important benefits, like increased work space, improved traffic flow, enhanced aesthetic appeal and reduced pest problems. While garage clean-up may seem like a monumental task, it becomes manageable with a measured approach. Here’s how to do it in four steps.
First, move cars, bikes, tools and everything else that’s cluttering your garage into the driveway or onto the lawn. Once the room is empty, start sweeping, working from top to bottom. Brush away cobwebs on the ceiling or walls. Wipe down cabinets, shelves and work benches. Then, sweep all the dirt and dust off the floor. Use a wet & dry vacuum for a thorough cleaning, especially in the corners.
Once the floor is rid of debris it needs to be washed. Before breaking out the hose, however, check for and remove any stains. Mildew and mold can be cleaned with warm water and vinegar or bleach. Oil stains are a common garage problem yet can often be eliminated by scrubbing engine degreaser with a wire brush and then covering with cat litter to soak up the oil. Once the floor is ready, mop with a mild detergent or use a power washer for extra dirty conditions.
Applying a sealant is an important step for protecting your garage floor. Untreated floors retain water, which leads to mold and mildew growth, as well as cracking, flaking and chipping concrete. There are a variety of products on the market to suit any budget and desired level of protection. Carefully research concrete floor covering products before making a final determination.
Now that your garage floor has been swept, washed and sealed, it’s time to move all that equipment back in. Take this opportunity to organize your garage by packing sporting goods, seasonal decorations, pool toys and other items into labeled storage totes. Floor space can be increased by adding ceiling and wall hooks to store bicycles and garden tools. Installing a peg board will give a home to hand tools and eliminate clutter from your work bench.
Keeping a clean garage will help you feel more at ease and at home every time you enter it. Instead of putting off the problem, give it a thorough cleaning using these four steps.