7 Simple Tips to Keep Your Parked Car Cool in Summer

Under the right circumstances (or wrong circumstances, as the case may be), even the highest-end cars aren’t immune to the misery of a stiflingly hot interior.

When it’s a scorcher outside, entering a vehicle that’s been parked directly in the sun for hours is never a pleasant experience.

Who wants to be greeted by a sweltering car interior that’s filled with a bunch of mini hazards? We’re talking about things like scalding seatbelt buckles, sizzling leather seats, and a dashboard, steering wheel, and gear shift that are uncomfortably hot to touch.

Keep reading to find out why a vehicle’s cabin gets so hot and what you can do to keep your parked car cool this summer.

keep your parked car cool car interior

Blame your hot car on “the greenhouse effect”

So why does the interior of a vehicle that’s parked in the sun feel so much warmer than it feels outdoors on a hot, sunny day?

You can blame it on “the greenhouse effect”.

You’ve probably heard of the the greenhouse effect in relation to how the Earth’s atmosphere traps heat, which enables our planet to sustain life.

The greenhouse effect is also why a car or truck feels like an oven on a hot day. The sun’s heat enters a vehicle through the windows and gets trapped inside, increasing the temperature.

The temperature increase is highest in the first 15-30 minutes after a car is left parked in the sun. The objects in a car’s interior such as seats, carpeting, and the dashboard also absorb some of that heat.

A Stanford University study found that on a sunny day with temperatures ranging from 72°F to 96°F (22°C to 35°C), the temperature was an average of 40°F higher (8°C) inside the cars they tested than it was outdoors.

7 ways to keep your parked car cool

Hot cars aren’t merely uncomfortable, they’re also unsafe.

It’s an unfortunately reality that negligent parents occasionally leave their kids alone in a hot car, with sometimes fatal results. Pets being left in hot vehicles is another issue we hear about all too often.

HeatKills.org is an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of leaving kids and pets in hot vehicles. Their graphic below illustrates how quickly a vehicle’s interior can heat up.

keep your parked car cool diagram

It’s not difficult to follow a few simple tips to keep your parked car cool (or at least cooler), even when it’s intensely hot outside.

1. Park smart when away from home

On a day when it’s unbearably hot and there’s nary a cloud in the sky, finding relief from the heat with some shade when parking will make your car much more comfortable to return to.

Ideally, you’d want to find a parking garage. If that’s not an option, parking beneath some trees on the edge of a parking lot or in the shade of a building can keep your car cooler and be worth the extra walking that’s required.

Keep in mind that parking in a more secluded area of a parking lot may not be advisable if the neighborhood isn’t the safest, especially if you’re returning to your vehicle after dark.

Also take into account where you’re parking, the time of day, and when you’ll be returning to your car. Just because you’re parking in shade at 11 a.m. doesn’t mean you’ll still be parked in shade at 3 p.m.

2. Park in your home garage

Giving a tip to use a home garage as a way to keep your parked car cool may make you think “Thanks, Captain Obvious”.

But are you always able to park in your garage? And have you noticed how many of your friends and neighbors park full-time in their driveways?

Your garage’s main purpose is for parking, but a lot of homeowners don’t (or can’t) use it for that function. Consider these statistics:

  • A home organization study done by Moen found that the garage was the most cluttered space in homes.
  • 20% of the 1,500 people who responded to a Garage Living poll said they were unable to park in their garage.
  • A third of homeowners with 2-car garages are only able to park one of their cars in it because of clutter. (U.S. Dept. of Energy study)

When you’re home, nothing beats garage parking as the best way to keep your parked car cool. Even if you come home and plan to go out in an hour or two, parking in the garage is smarter that staying parked in the sun in your driveway.

Aside from staying cooler, there are plenty of other big benefits to making space in your garage for parking.

The risk of vehicle theft or burglary is significantly reduced and your vehicles will be protected from the exterior elements that can shorten their life. Parking closer to your home’s entrance (via the interior garage access door) is also more convenient.

keep your parked car cool, blue car in garage

Simply parking in your home garage is an obvious solution for keeping your car cool, but something many homeowners are unable to do.

3. Use a windshield sun shade

Despite the fact that they do help keep a car’s temperature down by blocking the primary entry point for the sun, some drivers simply hate the look of those windshield sun shades. The hassle of using them is a turn-off for some people as well.

Most sun shades you see in parked cars flatten out with an accordion-style design and admittedly look rather unattractive. Their foil-like, reflective covering doesn’t exactly help them call less attention to themselves, either.

It’s completely understandable that you might not want your luxury vehicle’s sharp looks being spoiled by a cheaper-looking sun shade (or something like this laughably tacky Golden Girls sun shade).

There are more expensive, but much nicer-looking windshield sun shades out there that can help to keep your parked car cool. Some companies even offer hundreds of custom models that allow for a perfect fit and vehicle color match.

Higher quality sun windshield shade models also tout better heat-absorbing materials. This makes them more effective at reducing the entrance of thermal and ultraviolet rays into a car’s cabin.

4. Cover up your vehicle interior

If a windshield sun shade is a total non-starter for you as a car cooling option, covering up the parts of your vehicle’s interior that get the hottest is another way to go.

There are plenty of models of car dashboard covers to choose from. Like the windshield sun shades, shop around for a higher quality product that provides a good fit and effectively complements your car’s interior décor.

Your steering wheel and leather seats (especially darker colored seats) are the other interior parts you’ll want to cover up to prevent them from baking in the sun. If you’re wearing shorts or a dress, your bare legs will thank you.

If you have dark leather seats, it might even be worth using lighter colored fabric seat covers during the hottest months of the year.

For a less elegant method of covering your parked car’s interior parts, even using a blanket or two will help (make sure to use a lighter colored blanket).

5. Tint your car windows

In most cases, window tints are effective at helping to keep a parked car cool.

Better quality tints are designed to allow for a good amount of light to pass through the tinted window, while blocking out the sun’s thermal rays. The latter is sometimes referred to as the “high heat rejection rate” of the tint.

Good window tints also cut down on the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Now here’s where car window tints can get very tricky – there are widely varying laws in the U.S. and Canada for how they can be used.

Some states and provinces don’t allow any tint to be on a windshield, such as Illinois and Alberta. Other have a requirement that tints allow a minimum of 70% of the sun’s light through the windows.

It gets even more complicated if you’re driving outside of your state or province. What’s legal with your window tint where you live may very well get you a ticket when you’re away travelling.

The American Automobile Association has a handy resource here that provides a state-by-state and province-by-province breakdown of vehicle tinting regulations.

6. Crack the windows…or not

A lot of drivers still swear by the old practice of leaving a car’s side windows or sunroof open a crack to keep their vehicle’s interior temperature down.

This does let the built-up heat escape and helps to facilitate some airflow through the car’s cabin, but only a fairly modest amount.

You have to ask yourself, however – is the meager reward of a car interior that’s just a few degrees cooler worth the risk of leaving your car more vulnerable to theft or vandalism?

If you leave your car windows or sunroof open even just an inch, a skillful car thief could potentially get inside the vehicle. ABC News reports that for one thief “a car with a window cracked opened was an unlocked car”.

If you’re willing to risk cracking your windows, once again be conscious of your surrounding area. Park in visible areas close to other vehicles, ideally where there’s a decent amount of vehicle and foot traffic. Parking in view of a surveillance camera also doesn’t hurt.

And let’s not forget the other hazard of leaving your windows slightly open – the risk of a sudden rainstorm making a mess of your car’s interior.

7. Try a solar-powered ventilation fan

The last of our car cooling tips is to try a solar-powered ventilation fan, which you may not be familiar with.

The fan attaches to the outside top of one of your rolled-up window and has an outward facing solar panel that powers it. The fan blows out the hot air from inside the car, while pulling in the relatively cooler air outside the car.

Using two fans set up on the two side front or rear windows should increase the cross-ventilation airflow and decrease the temperature even more.

Higher-powered, more effective models can be purchased that have a larger solar panel that sits on your dashboard and powers the fans.

The quality and reliability of this product seems to vary widely. Some online reviews dismiss cheaper models as too gimmicky and not very effective. Consumers who left reviews for other fan models praise them as ingenious and highly effective.

When all else fails…

Using one of these car cooling methods or, even better, a combination of them will keep a parked car cooler.

But if they’re still not cooling to your satisfaction, there are a couple of other ways to get the heat out of a parked car faster.

If you don’t mind getting some strange looks from passersby, one simple method involves fanning your car door to push out the heat.

Just fully roll down the passenger side window and fan the driver side door about 6-8 times. It might sound primitive, but it’s simple physics and it works!

Start parking in your garage once again

Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to keep your parked car cooler and more comfortable to drive.

We can help you to transform your garage into a much more attractive area of your home that makes better use of your space for storage. That means you can use it for keeping your vehicles cooler and safer.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with Garage Living to start getting a lot more out of your garage space.

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9 Garage Floor Protection Options Ranked From Best to Worst

Maybe you’ve been in the same home for many years and witnessed the gradual worsening of your garage floor’s durability and appearance.

Or perhaps you recently moved to a new house. It’s highly likely the homebuilder left a garage floor with the bare minimum in terms of the surface’s resilience and visual appeal.

In either situation, now is the time to think about upgrading the level of garage floor protection in one of your home’s hardest working rooms.

Garage Floor Protection man wiping spill

Why garage floor protection is so important

Concrete garage floors take a beating.

In addition to everyday vehicle and pedestrian traffic, they’re exposed to dirt and dust, grease, automotive fluids and household chemical spills, hot tires, and road salt. And let’s not forget about the moisture brought into garages from the rain and snow.

Temperature fluctuations also put stress on a concrete floor as it contracts when it’s colder and expands when it’s warmer.

That’s a lot your flooring has to endure.

Over a number of years, a garage floor that hasn’t been maintained will start to show its age by exhibiting any of these surface flaws:

  • cracks
  • stains from spills, leaks, and efflorescence (a white powdery substance caused by deposits from mineral salt)
  • pitting (when a surface degrades and shows many small indentations)
  • an uneven surface color
  • spalling (when a concrete surface crumbles or flakes away)

With so many things in your daily routine capable of causing wear and tear on a garage floor, why not start giving a little TLC to the flooring in this busy home space?

Ranking the best and worst garage floor protection options

We’ve put together a list of nine garage floor protection options that homeowners will commonly turn to when making garage floor upgrades.

You’ll note that some of the products at the bottom of the list provide virtually no floor protection benefits.

We’re still including them because there’s a lot of misinformation and misperceptions out there about what protective benefits these products actually provide.

1. Polyaspartic floor coating

If we’re talking about your garage floor protection options, we may as well start with the best – a polyaspartic floor coating.

This high-performance coating is comprised of professional-grade materials that are applied by trained pros using special equipment to deliver long-lasting flooring protection.

Unlike most cheaper garage floor protection products that provide a less effective topical surface bond, polyaspartic coatings penetrate deeper into the concrete.

This creates a stronger foundational bond with the concrete that makes it more impermeable against water, chemicals, and other elements that can cause floor damage.

With its durable top coat, Garage Living’s Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating resists damage from impacts and abrasions, chemicals, and permanent markings left on the floor from “hot tire pickup”.

Because a good floor coating doesn’t wear down as quickly as a bare concrete floor, your garage will also produce a little less dust.

And whatever dust is present from floor wear and normal, everyday use won’t even be very visible. Polyaspartic floor coatings have decorative colored flakes broadcast across the floor before the top coat is applied. This obscures dust and adds a decorative flair to your garage’s interior look.

garage floor protection blue car in garage

A polyaspartic coating provides great floor protection, is easy to clean and maintain, and enhances a garage’s décor.

2. Epoxy floor coating

If you’re thinking of taking the DIY route when it comes to your garage floor protection upgrade, an epoxy floor coating kit is probably what you’ll buy.

We’ve all seen them in home improvement stores. Their box advertising promises to work wonders on your garage floor and boasts of how easy the product is to work with.

And they promise all of this at a surprisingly cheap price. Instead of being lured by a lower price tag, perhaps you should be wondering, “Hmmm…so what’s the catch?”.

The catch is that while epoxy coatings can do a serviceable job protecting your garage floor and updating the room’s décor, they fall well short of polyaspartic coatings in every measure of how the coating looks and keeps your garage floor protected.

Any epoxy coating kit’s materials will be substandard when compared to professional-grade polyaspartic coating materials.

Applying any coating product requires thorough preparation of the floor surface, properly mixed materials, and usage of the materials within a certain amount of time.

With epoxy and polyaspartic floor coatings, the temperature and humidity levels must also be taken into consideration. Unlike polyaspartic coatings, epoxies can’t be applied in extreme hot or cold temperatures.

There’s little room for error in the floor coating process, otherwise you’ll be left with a finished floor that’s visually unsatisfying and not providing you with complete garage floor protection. You’ll also need to revisit your garage flooring project for touch-ups or a complete redo sooner than you’d like.

Polyaspartic floor coatings require more expertise and specialized equipment to apply properly, which is why these projects are usually handled by professionals and cost more. Keep that in mind the next time a low-cost epoxy flooring kit catches your eye.

3. Garage floor tiles

garage floor protection red floor tileInstead of directly upgrading your concrete floor surface, another viable option is to use interlocking floor tiles in the garage.

Floor tiles may be better suited to your floor upgrade budget. If you have floor damage that’s out of your price range to fix, floor tiles are also a cost-effective option to cover up an unattractive surface.

While floor tiles won’t actually remedy any issues with garage floor degradation, they do help minimize further surface damage from wear and tear occurring.

Floor tiles are made from plastic or stronger PVC materials for added durability when placed on your concrete floor.

Some types require adhesives and mortar to install, but look for the much-easier-to-work-with type that feature interlocking teeth.

Aside from their cost effectiveness and protective benefits, here are four other good reasons to consider interlocking floor tiles for your garage:

  • fast installation time
  • they’re versatile and can also be used in basements, laundry rooms, and storage rooms
  • when a tile eventually gets damaged, it’s extremely easy to replace
  • create a custom floor look with different tile colors and styles

4. Concrete resurfacer

One of the products that will probably show up on your radar when you’re considering different garage floor protection options are concrete resurfacers.

Concrete resurfacers are made up of a mixture of sand, Portland cement, polymer materials, and additional additives. A trowel, brush, or squeegee are typically used to apply them.

The product’s natural cement grey color can be enhanced with decorative pigments to create a more dynamic floor look.

The words “concrete resurfacer” certainly imply that this product will renew a flawed floor surface. That’s only partially true.

Intended as a more cosmetic fix for garage floors in need of a refresh, the floor protection benefits of concrete resurfacers are rather modest. This is partially because their application coat is usually fairly thin compared to an epoxy or polyaspartic coating.

Concrete resurfacers are more ideal for floors with light, superficial damage (meaning minor cracks and pitting). Bigger floor problems such as wide and deep cracks, spalling, and extensive pitting would need extensive repairs before applying a resurfacer over them.

5. Garage floor coverings

garage floor protection car parked on matGarage floor coverings like mats, rugs, parking pads, and trays tend to be used more in colder climates that get snow, which leaves garage floors a wet, sloppy mess during the winter.

These products can help protect your floor, but once again, the protection they offer is fairly superficial and limited.

The function that’s most appealing about them (other than their low cost) is they’ll help contain excess moisture from rain or melted snow and ice that’s tracked in by vehicles. That keeps your garage floor cleaner.

They’ll need to be emptied outside occasionally in order to drain the collected water. That can be a bit of a chore since they can get heavy with all that water and be quite messy to move.

One big drawback of these types of floor coverings is that if the pooled water isn’t emptied often enough, the extra moisture can increase your garage’s condensation levels. That’s not good. And if any collected water leaks underneath the covering, the cement is at risk of damage.

Another shortcoming with these products is that vehicles entering and exiting a garage can cause the coverings to shift and need repositioning. Some models with anti-skid bottoms will be more stable and using double-sided tape to keep them anchored might be helpful.

6. Floor sealer

Another popular product homeowners choose to protect their garage floors are roll-on sealers. They’re inexpensive, relatively easy to apply, and come in acrylic, latex, and urethane types.

But do they offer much flooring protection? As their name implies, this product does provide a seal for the floor that can protect it from stains and water damage.

However, sealers don’t perform at the same level as polyaspartic and epoxy floor coatings when it comes to protecting a floor.

They don’t bond to concrete as well as higher quality coatings. They also wear away faster.

Clear concrete sealers won’t hide blemishes from patches and repairs made to the floor before the sealer is applied. Tints can be used to add some color and may produce better visual results.

7. Floor patching

At this point on our list, the durability of the remaining garage floor protection options falls off dramatically.

Sure, repairing a garage floor using crack sealers and fillers, concrete patching compound, or water stop cement does prevent further damage to problematic floor areas.

There are a few reasons, however, to rethink this “bare minimum approach” to dealing with your garage floor’s issues.

First of all, these types of fixes using inexpensive tubes of sealant and filler aren’t a long-term floor repair solution. They typically don’t last and will need to be readdressed in a year or two.

Secondly, these types of repairs are only practical for smaller areas, not an entire garage floor in need of fixing.

And last (but not least) is the simple matter of aesthetics. Patches, touch-ups, and spot repairs just aren’t conducive to a good interior garage look, especially when they don’t match your floor’s color.

garage floor protection clutter in garage

Fixing floor cracks with repair products never looks very good and usually needs to be redone sooner rather than later.

8. Floor stain

They’re not as well-known as floor paints, but floor stains are another product you’ll see that promises to transform your garage floors.

They’re chosen purely for their decorative appearance, which adds color or even a natural stone look to a garage floor’s surface. Floor stains are usually found in water-based and acid types.

Because stains add color to the floor, they can help to hide surface blemishes. But in terms of garage floor protection, stains do very little for a surface since they barely penetrate the concrete.

A sealer topcoat can be applied over the stain’s thin surface coating. This provides some protection for the stain and floor surface, as well as helps to make the stain stand out more.

9. Floor paint

Floor paint products, like floor stain products, do virtually nothing to protect a floor surface.

Despite this fact, they’re one of the most popular options for homeowners looking to spruce up the look of their garage floor.

Why? Once again, they’re cheap and fairly easy to apply yourself, although it’s not like you can just sweep your garage floor, pop open a can of paint, and start rolling it on.

Some surface preparation is required, whether it’s repairing cracks or other damage, or using a heavy-duty degreaser on the floor to help the paint adhere better and to get rid of tough stains.

It’s a common misconception from consumers that floor paints protect your floor. Unfortunately, once the paint has been applied and dried, all you’re getting is a cosmetic upgrade to your floor (and a relatively modest one, too).

Garage floor paint applications are notorious for being a short-lived floor improvement “solution”. The paint chips and flakes quickly and will need to be touched up or fully reapplied sooner rather than later.

Get the best garage floor protection available

As you can see from our list, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right product to protect your garage floor.

Garage Living can take care of your floor upgrade needs with either an installation of interlocking floor tiles or a coating application of the best garage floor protection solution available.

In as little as a day, a Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating can be applied in your garage that will last for years and make your garage stand out.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us today.

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Garage Storage Mistakes: 9 Things You’re Probably Storing Wrong

What room in homes would you think is commonly the most cluttered?

According to a recent home organization study done by Moen, it’s the garage. Numerous other home organization studies and surveys also find this to be the case.

In a National Association of Professional Organizers survey, 50% of respondents said the garage was their home’s most disorganized area.

Among 1,500 homeowners who recently participated in a Garage Living survey, 20% said they were unable to park in their garage.

So why does this happen?

garage storage mistakes items hanging in garage

Garage storage mistakes (and how to avoid making them)

It typically comes down to five main reasons that garages become cluttered and less functional:

  • simple garage storage mistakes
  • a garage space is too small
  • garages being treated as a home’s go-to overflow storage space
  • a reluctance to part with our belongings
  • we tend to buy more than we actually need

In this blog post, we’re going to highlight nine common garage storage mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

Fixing even just a few of these issues will produce immediately noticeable results and enable you to start making better use of your garage again.

1. Bikes

One of the more common garage storage mistakes is leaving bikes on the floor. Doing this takes up garage floor space and poses a safety hazard.

Leaning or freestanding bikes with their kickstands engaged also puts them at risk of damage from vehicles entering and exiting the garage. It doesn’t take much for a car or truck weighing a few thousand pounds to damage a bike’s gears, frame, tires, or wheel rims.

It’s smarter to hang your bikes on the garage walls, which saves floor space, stores them securely, and protects them from damage.

Add slatwall panels to your walls and hang the bikes with sturdy hooks that allow bikes to be stored horizontally or vertically. You can also add hanging accessories to keep all your cycling gear and accessories organized in one area.

If you own a large garage where having enough floor space is a non-issue, a grid bike rack is another option for holding multiple bikes safely.

2. Yard tools

Yard tools are responsible for another one of the most frequently made garage storage mistakes.

Are your yard tools stored leaning against a wall, on the floor, in a low-quality tool caddy, or hanging on rusty hooks or nails? If so, a slatwall storage system is a better way to keep everything organized and easy to find.

And you might not think of them as tools, but your step ladder or extension ladder are, indeed, considered tools. Instead of unsafely leaning your ladders against the garage wall, get them up off the floor and hang them vertically or horizontally on the wall.

An additional benefit of slatwall is that it gives your garage’s interior a more finished, modern look.

You may use your garage as a workshop, meaning most of your hand and power tools are stored in the space. A garage cabinet system is perfect for keeping your tool collection organized.

garage storage mistakes tools hanging on slatwall

Slatwall provides versatile storage that can hold ladders, yard tools, hose reels, sports equipment, and much more.

3. Sports equipment

If you or other members of your family are physically active, sports equipment and gear stored in the garage can become a struggle to keep organized. The more kids you have participating in organized sports, the worse the problem gets.

It goes without saying that rolling objects like balls, skateboards, and scooters pose a major safety hazard to anyone using your garage and don’t belong on the floor.

Once again, off-the-floor storage using slatwall is the best way to go in order to fix the problem. Any good slatwall system should present you with a number of hook, rack, basket, bin, and shelving hanging accessory options to serve your storage needs.

Garage Living carries slatwall accessories that range from:

  • ball racks that adjust to hold balls of various sizes
  • specialized racks for holding golf, hockey, tennis, and fishing equipment
  • deep mesh baskets for general sports equipment storage (or for gardening, cleaning, and automotive supplies)

4. Anything inside an old garage fridge or freezer

You know that 30-year-old garage fridge that serves as your beer cooler or a place for storing extra household food items? It’s probably time to send it off to the appliance graveyard.

Older appliances are notoriously poor performers when it comes to energy efficiency, especially fridges and chest freezers. How inefficient are they?

It’s estimated that a fridge manufactured before 1990 could potentially be costing you between $250-300 a year to run in a garage. To get a better idea of what your specific fridge might be costing you to operate, use this Energy Star calculator.

We recommend giving that garage fridge relic the boot. However, if you absolutely, positively must run a fridge or freezer in the garage, consider upgrading to a new energy efficient model.

Even better, get a durable refrigeration appliance that’s specifically meant to be used in environments like the garage that experience widely fluctuating temperature shifts.

5. Hoses

Garden hoses are another item that belong anywhere but on the ground when they’re not in use. They should be stored on a wall-mounted rack or reel or a portable reel cart.

That keeps them safely and tidily stored, as well as untangled. If your home’s outdoor water connection is in the garage or just outside the garage, storing your hoses indoors on an easy-to-use reel can be more convenient, too.

It also makes them less prone to kinking and cracking from being stored outside in the sun, which extends the hose’s life.

Ask your local Garage Living professional about our high quality garden hoses and hose reels.

6. Junk you’ll never use again

Among the millions of garages in American and Canadian homes sits a ton of junk taking up valuable space. Much of that junk and clutter will probably never find any sort of meaningful use again.

We’re talking about odds-and-ends like:

  • an old kitchen appliance that got replaced many years ago
  • a long-forgotten treadmill or weight bench that’s covered in a thick layer of dust
  • boxes of items you meant to donate and never got around to getting rid of
  • old, dried-out paint cans and partially used cleaning product containers you forgot you had
  • half-used containers of automotive fluids for vehicles you no longer even own

Essentially, many cluttered garages’ main function is being a home’s junk storage space. That’s a pretty big garage storage mistake to be making.

A few years ago, the Self Storage Association released a stat that found approximately 9% of Americans rent storage space, even though 65% of them have a garage.

Your garage shouldn’t be a mere holding space for things you’ll never use. It should be treated as an important extension of your living space.

garage storage mistakes old paint cans

Create more storage space in the garage by clearing out things like old paint cans and other junk you’ll never use again.

7. Bulky items left on the floor

Storing out-of-season and rarely used bulky items like large storage bins on the floor is a very common occurrence in garages.

Unfortunately, they eat up a lot of prime floor real estate. The best solution is to get them (once again) up in the air, where there’s plenty of unused storage space available.

You’ll need a sturdy overhead racking system that’s well-anchored to your ceiling and walls. Once it’s in place, you’ll love how much floor space will open up with all of those bulky things out of the way.

Be sure to label any storage bins in order to make specific items easier to locate.

8. Items that aren’t suited to a garage environment

Certain things aren’t ideal for long-term storage in a garage. For example, your precious family photos should be stored in a dark place that’s cool and dry to keep them well-preserved.

The same goes for any paper-based items like books, financial and medical records, and other important documents. None of these things do well when stored in environments that lack climate control and tend to be damp.

Here are five other things that should be stored in an area other than your garage:

  • electronics
  • clothes and any other textile products
  • wine
  • canned and dry food
  • various types of media (such as vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes)

9. Extra vehicles parked in the driveway

If your family has several drivers and there’s a lack of garage parking space for everyone’s vehicles, there’s no other option but to have the extra vehicles parked outside. Or is there?

In fact, there’s a way to optimize your garage’s storage so everyone’s vehicles can be parked indoors – add a car lift (or multiple lifts).

Not maximizing a garage’s full storage capabilities certainly counts as a storage mistake and most garages underutilize their overhead space.

The elevated storage a car lift provides can effectively double the amount of parking spots your garage has available. A 1-car garage can accommodate a second vehicle, a 2-car garage can hold 4 cars, and so on.

If you have a classic car that’s rarely driven but you’re unwilling to part with it, a car lift is ideal for getting it off the garage floor and freeing up some space, whether it’s for parking or other uses.

We’ll help you avoid some of these garage storage mistakes

A garage with smart storage systems greatly reduces the likelihood of falling into bad organization habits with some of the garage storage mistakes listed here.

Instead, they’ll save you time by allowing you to find things with much more ease. You’ll also spend less time needing to clean the garage up.

Any room in your home that’s a chronic mess just isn’t a room you enjoy using or spending time in. If that describes your garage, we can change that and enable you to reclaim it for parking and functional storage.

Schedule your complimentary in-home design consultation with us. One of our creative design consultants will show you how to maximize the storage and design potential of your garage.

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9 Garage Cooling Hacks to Provide Relief From the Heat

Garages can be quite difficult to keep cool during the hottest summer days.

That can be a drag if you enjoy using your garage for hobbies, working out, doing your own vehicle maintenance, or tinkering in a workshop.

Nowadays, a majority of homeowners with attached garages use the space as the main access point in and out of their house.

Even that brief transitional time spent in a stuffy, sweltering hot garage can be unpleasant (not to mention a hot garage = a hot vehicle you have to get into).

garage cooling hacks white car in garage

Garage cooling hacks every homeowner should know

If your garage isn’t set up to handle the extreme heat, a number of climate control measures can be implemented in order to cool things down.

Let’s call them “garage cooling hacks”.

Here are several garage cooling tips to help you get some relief from the heat in your garage this summer.

Upgrade your garage insulation

Nothing has a bigger impact on your garage’s energy efficiency than how well it’s insulated. That includes the garage’s walls, ceiling, and doors.

When people think of insulation for the home, they tend to think of it mostly as something that makes their house more energy efficient when it’s cold outside.

But just as insulation restricts cold air from coming into a house and retains the heat inside a living space, the opposite theory applies when it gets hot outside.

Insulation prevents the hot air outside from entering your home and keeps the cool air generated by your central air conditioning system from escaping.

Making your garage a lot more energy efficient with insulation upgrades can also be viewed as an opportunity to make an unfinished garage look nicer. Once the insulation is installed, cover it with drywall and slatwall panels for better storage and to give the space a clean, modern look.

Bonus benefit: adding insulation also makes your garage more soundproof.

Keep your garage well-sealed

As an extension of adding insulation, ensure your garage is properly sealed to eliminate drafts.

That means paying attention to how effective a seal the weatherstripping (or another type of sealant) around your window and door frames is providing.

Your garage doors and garage access doors will additionally benefit from having thresholds and door sweeps installed.

Electrical and utility outlets (such as a central vac outlet) often get overlooked when garage energy efficiency upgrades are being done. Apply a sealant around the perimeter of their wall plates.

Bonus benefit: a well-sealed garage reduces the risk of harmful gasses (like carbon monoxide) from entering your main living space.

Get the air moving with fans

A low-cost method of making your garage a little more comfortable is to get some fans running in order to circulate the room’s hot, stale air.

Merely moving the hot air around in an enclosed space won’t do much to make the garage more tolerable to be in. You’ll need to open the garage doors and windows and place one or more of your fans close to them to blow the hot air outside.

Any type of portable household fan can be used. A more powerful shop fan will produce better results and you can also look into having ceiling fans installed.

Install garage venting

Since heat rises, naturally your garage’s ceiling or attic space will trap hot air if there isn’t adequate venting.

For a more dedicated air movement system in the garage, here are some options to look at:

  • an air exchange system (known as “active ventilation”, which means it’s electrically powered)
  • adding vents to your garage’s roof or walls
  • installing a wind-powered roof turbine (which is “passive ventilation”)

Add air conditioning

If fans just aren’t cutting it for your garage cooling needs, adding air conditioning is another option, albeit a more costly one.

Depending on whether you want round-the-clock garage A/C for maximum comfort or something to use on more of an “as needed” basis, here are some options:

  • a window-mounted A/C unit
  • a portable air conditioner
  • an evaporative air cooler (which is portable and reduces the temperature in a space by converting its water supply into a cool vapor)
  • a heavier-duty garage air conditioning system that runs full-time (by far the most expensive cooling option)

To determine what type of A/C unit is suited to your garage space, use this BTU calculator. Note that if your garage has no insulation, it’s almost pointless to use air conditioning in the room.

Bonus benefit: many portable A/C models have a dehumidifier mode, which helps with a garage’s climate control.

Cover the garage windows

The next of our garage cooling hacks is a basic (and logical) one – simply keep your garage’s windows covered as much as possible when the sun is beating down.

Having some natural light to brighten your garage is nice, but it also raises its temperature.

Garages that face west get exposed to the intense sun in the late afternoon, which makes them even more susceptible to higher interior temperatures.

Bonus benefit: covering your garage windows is also a good idea to keep potential burglars from scoping out the contents of your garage.

Wait before parking inside the garage

Another garage cooling tip is to avoid parking a vehicle you’ve just driven inside the garage. If you plan to spend some time in the garage doing an activity after arriving home, this tip is especially useful.

After being driven, vehicles can retain heat for hours (from engine heat and their metal bodies engine being in the sun). After parking in your garage after a trip, that heat is slowly transferred to your garage’s interior.

Sure, it might be a little inconvenient to move your vehicle from the driveway to the garage later in the day, but every little bit helps.

Clean up the clutter

An excess of floor clutter in the garage can prevent you from parking vehicles inside. A disorganized garage additionally makes it difficult to locate a stored item when you need it.

Those two things aren’t the only disadvantages of garage clutter, however.

All of that junk needlessly taking up valuable space also inhibits air flow and contributes to poor air quality in the room.

If you’re making use of some of these garage cooling hacks, cleaning up the space will go a long way towards making any added temperature-reducing assistance more effective.

Slatwall storage, a cabinet system, and overhead racking are great garage storage systems to help you get organized.

garage cooling hacks equipment hanging on wall

Lower the garage’s humidity

Sometimes it’s not so much the heat inside the garage that makes it so uncomfortable to spend time in – it’s the high humidity level.

The last of our garage cooling hacks is reducing the amount of humidity in your garage by using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.

Doing so should make the garage more bearable to spend time in during a heat wave. Look for a model that can handle being used in extreme temperatures.

Bonus benefit: running a dehumidifier in the garage also helps minimize issues related to moisture, such as mildew, condensation, and metal items having a shorter life due to rusting.

Get relief from the aggravation of a messy garage

If you’ve been looking for solutions to beat the heat in your garage, hopefully these garage cooling hacks will be useful to you.

For expert guidance to get some relief from the daily aggravation of having a garage space that lacks functionality and a stylish décor, Garage Living is here for you.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us to begin planning your garage’s transformation.

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Harbor Blue: Garage Living’s Newest Design Color

Garage Living is pleased to announce the launch of Harbor Blue, our newest color that adds a unique look to any garage makeover.

Harbor Blue was created by Garage Living and is exclusive to the company. It’s available when choosing a color for your garage’s cabinetry, floor coating, and slatwall panels.

Why blue is a great color for your garage

Good things come in blue. Blueberries, violets, and cheese. A solid investment is considered blue-chip and of all nature-inspired colors, blue is the truest. That’s just a few of the reasons why blue is the best color.

But for your garage? Absolutely! Blue is the essence of inspiration and beauty. It can conjure up images that calm and relax us, or stir our spirit, creating renewed energy.

Blue is where a cloudless sky meets the gently moving water on a warm, summer day. Transfixed watching sunlight dapple on the waves, changing the hue so subtly with every ripple, you can’t help but feel balanced and connected to nature.

The color, Harbor Blue brings to mind blue sky and water evoking a connection to nature.

The inspiration for Harbor Blue

The inspiration for Harbor Blue came from a weekend getaway surrounded by water, docks, and spectacular skies. Blue fit perfectly with the décor requirements of a year-round vacation home that’s meant to be a destination for relaxing. That the condo is located within a lakeside resort, the color choice, Harbor Blue makes even more sense.

The blue accents and trim on the lakeside resort condo’s exterior helped inspire Harbor Blue, the newest color available at Garage Living.

Harbor Blue is a perfect blend of all those blues, from cool slate to deep indigo and it’s the newest color exclusively available for your:

Your garage is an extension of your lifestyle

Our lifestyle is a reflection of who we are from the inside out. Our lifestyle doesn’t stop when we leave the house, (just as the color doesn’t have to stop at the garage door). Likely, we are constantly going through our garage to our vehicle to get to a destination not paying attention to this transitional space.

It’s actually the entryway in and out of our home. Why wouldn’t we want it to be as welcoming and stylish as any other part of our home, one that truly reflects our lifestyle?

Bring style to your garage through color

That’s what led Garage Living to create luxury garage interiors with style, color, custom detail and function in mind. Think of the interior of your home; it requires furnishings, flooring, lighting, and accessories. Just as we appreciate the luxury of a custom designed home, our garages are worthy of the same treatment.

Harbor Blue acts as an accent with gleaming stainless steel custom-cabinetry. This one-of-a-kind entertaining space is more than just a garage.

Incorporating Harbor Blue and décor to elevate your garage

Today, the styles we’re incorporating to our interior design is extending to our transition spaces, like garages. The color schemes that apply indoors can be interpreted and carried through beyond the entry.

Kitchen cabinets are starting to embrace a range of colors. We’re seeing rich, deep blue tones paired with warm brass or cool metal handles and the result is fresh and beautiful. Why not consider that same for the cabinetry in your garage?

Cabinet doors and drawers in Harbor Blue make an attractive and practical addition to the transition between home and the outdoors.

Drawers, locker doors, and stainless-steel countertops and backsplash are complemented by the wide, stainless drawer pulls.

Countertop options for the kitchen and bath range from wood, to solid surface materials and stainless steel. These options are also available to elevate your garage and the look of your entire home.

A qualified designer can assess, design and optimize the space to suit your needs. Choose from modular or customized cabinet options. Storage for sports, hobbies, vehicles and more are designed for your specific lifestyle. It’s like furnishing your home.

Floortex™ floor coating protects your floor

A concrete garage floor is susceptible to a lot of wear and tear. Like flooring in your home, there is an attractive and practical option to protect it for the long term. Garage Living uses Floortex™ – an impermeable, high-performance floor coating that is superior to common epoxy floors.

Not only is it hard-wearing and easy to clean, aesthetically the flooring is available in a variety of color blends. Harbor Blue features a mix of blue tints and tones, resulting in a beautiful and functional surface for vehicles, people and more.

Task lighting

You wouldn’t want to read and write in your home office without proper lighting, so add undermount LED task lighting over a work surface in the garage. It adds functional and practical light (and really brings out the blue!).

Undermount LED lighting.

Walls and accessories — décor for your garage

With the addition of slatwall panels, custom cabinetry and hardware, the garage’s curated color palette nicely reflects the beautiful, serene, and comfortable surroundings of home.

Now that you’re seeing the garage for what it really is — an opportunity to elevate your style, there’s no limit to what you can do. One great way to stylishly show off your organizational skills is with slatwall panels.

Ladders and bicycles utilizing slatwall storage to free up floor space.

Slatwall panels are an excellent option for taking advantage of your vertical space. Garage Living has over 40 accessories to choose from. Whether you need a simple hook to hang framed art or baskets of balls, slatwall panels are designed with style and function.

A welcoming home begins with your garage

Color shouldn’t stop at the garage door, make your whole home an inviting, starting at the point of entry. Adding beautiful color to your garage like Harbor Blue is just one more way to elevate your garage.

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