Garage truths

Some attention needs to be given towards maintaining a garage in good working condition. It is certainly not a place for dumping all sorts of unwanted stuff, as some homeowners would like to believe. However, some would like to make this partly a utility room for keeping their washing machine.

A loft / attic could help in storing materials needed once in a while, with access through a stepladder. It is possible to have a place to hang out wet clothes, if there is proper ventilation and air circulation. Where space permits, it would be ideal to have a two-car garage where two big cars could be parked easily.

The flooring is an important part of a garage and should withstand rough usage including oil spills from vehicles. It could be with tiles or stones, or concreted. The floor should be slightly sloping to facilitate cleaning and wet washing of vehicles for which a water tap could prove helpful. That means it needs a good drainage to prevent water accumulation. Waterlogging due to ingress of rainwater from outside happens in some cases where the outside water can enter the garage owing to a slope.

The walls should be painted with light shades of plastic emulsion based paints for longevity as well as ease of cleaning. Periodical cleaning of the garage to remove unwanted materials, cobwebs, etc would prove useful. Pest control once a year is desirable. A concrete roof over the garage, with adequate drainage, is needed to protect the vehicles from pilferage, rain and sun.

Lighting and ventilation should be given due importance. While starting or switching off the engine, some amount of smoke / fumes is unavoidable. Exhaust fans would prove useful. Lighting is another aspect that needs careful attention. Energy saving CFL lamps should be used. Spotlights could help the mechanic in case repair/maintenance work has to be carried out in the garage itself.        
       
A handy fire extinguisher should be provided for emergency fire fighting. A neat garbage bin to store items for disposal would be useful.

Also, a garage door should be easy to open and close with the hinges well oiled regularly. Those roll-up garage doors that are cranked up are often difficult to operate  and sometimes could be jammed too.

Hence a single or double door that opens sideways is preferred. A secure locking arrangement is desirable. Security alarm system could be set up to prevent unauthorised entry to the garage and the house in general, if it is feasible. Good lighting at the garage entrance is useful.

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