Preparing Your Shop For The Wisconsin Winter

With more folks working from home or exploring new job opportunities and hobbies, there’s a noticeable number of new pole buildings and shops popping up around Washington and Ozaukee Counties this year.

Whether you use your shop or detached garage for business or storage purposes, it’s important to properly winterize the building and garage door to protect your investment and create a comfortable space to use throughout the cold months.

Tools in the board and in workshop. Workshop scene

How to Winterize Your Garage or Shop

If you recently built a new detached garage or shop, chances are that the windows, weatherstripping and doors are already insulated and prepped for winter.

Even so, you may want to follow this checklist to be completely sure your building is protected and ready for its first Wisconsin winter.

For older shops and garages, you’ll want to carefully inspect the inside and outside of the building to identify areas where cold air and moisture might leech inside. Here are a few key tasks to consider when winterizing your garage or shop:

Add Weatherstripping to the Windows

Weatherstripping the interior of your windows creates a final barrier between you and the elements, and can help keep heat inside. This is especially important for older windows that are poorly insulated.

There are many materials available, and choosing the right one depends on your skill and if you intend to open your windows in the winter. If you are confident that you will not open any windows until springtime, consider purchasing a window insulation kit. These kits are affordable and handy for DIYers. Window insulation kits contain a plastic film that is “shrink-wrapped” to the inside of the window frame, creating a seal. Once installed, you can’t open the window without removing the plastic seal.

Another budget option is felt or foam strips, which come with adhesive backing that makes it easy to install along window edges and in gaps. Before applying weatherstripping, thoroughly clean the edges of the window. Adhesive backing will not properly stick to dusty surfaces.

Repair the Caulking Around Windows

Condensation seeps into spaces between siding and windows, and over time this can erode, become moldy, or create spaces where cold air and moisture can seep in. If you notice caulk has crumbled away, or you see visible gaps between your frame and window, you will want to caulk around the outside of the window to create a weather-tight seal. To start, follow these steps:

Purchase silicone caulk. This type of caulking is waterproof, flexible and is resistant to peeling and cracking. Avoid using acrylic caulk.

Choose the right time. Pick a two day stretch of mild, clear weather. You’ll need to give the caulk an opportunity to properly set the day after application.

Clean the outside-facing edges of the window with warm water and a mild soap, to get rid of dirt and dust.

Wipe the surface completely dry, then apply a layer of caulk on the outside edges of the window. This will seal any exposed spaces between the windows and siding.

After 24 hours, spray your windows with a garden hose, then check on the inside of your shop or garage to see if any water comes through the edges of the window. Apply more caulk if you notice any moisture coming through.

Tune Up Your Garage Heater

Shops are largely unusable in the winter time without a garage heater. Chances are you have one installed in your garage or shop, and it’s important to have a routine maintenance plan to ensure that your garage heater is ready to tackle the long winter.

Garage heaters are generally safe and low maintenance, but dust and debris can accumulate quickly over dormant summer months and your heater needs to be properly cleaned and configured to provide reliable heat. Unless you are skilled and experienced at cleaning furnaces, we recommend leaving repairs and tune ups to the professionals at Jackson Hardware Heating & A/C.

We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have about your garage heater. We respect your time and budget, and offer homeowners  free, friendly advice so that you get the help you need, regardless of whether or not you choose to hire us.

Call us at 262-677-3477 for help with garage heater maintenance tips, or to schedule a service call.

Garage Heating Options

If you need a new garage heater, look no further than the industry leaders at Lennox. Their garage heaters are affordable, reliable units that offer efficient and even heating for any size garage or shop.

Lennox offers 3 garage heater models to meet every budget.

LF24 Garage Heater

This heater offers output levels from 30,000 to 75,000 BTUh with uniform heat distribution that reaches every corner of your garage or shop. Even in the coldest Wisconsin winters, the LF24 provides comfortable, energy efficient heating.

LF25 Garage Heater

This sleek heater offers output levels from 30,000 to 105,000 BTUh, and is energy efficient in even the coldest conditions. This compact and powerful unit can evenly heat 4 car garages, or equivalent shops.

TUA Separated Combustion Garage Heater

Lennox’s TUA separated combustion heater is their most powerful and versatile heater, and rated to tackle the most difficult and hard to heat spaces. Separated combustion delivers consistent, even heating safely and effectively, even in shops with an abundance of dirt, dust or humidity.

Get A Head Start On A Garage Heater

Jackson Hardware Heating and A/C is your local Lennox leader, and we provide affordable, competitive pricing on all Lennox products. As the weather gets colder, homeowners tend to rush to get their heaters tuned up and ready to tackle winter. Get a head start by checking out our online promotions and sales and call us to get an estimate on a new garage heater.

Our friendly staff are available 24 hours a day, so please don’t hesitate to call us anytime. We’ll never push you with a sales pitch--we provide honest advice without any hidden gimmicks. Our technicians service all of Washington and Ozaukee County, and are happy to help answer any questions.

Click here to contact us online, or call us at 262-677-3477.

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