What to Take Out of Your Garage Before the First Frost

Fall has a sneaky way of turning into winter. Unlike summer, which often creeps slowly into fall, the crisp autumn air can sometimes take a sharp turn and, before you know it, the weather report is calling for frost. Before you get caught off guard, remove these items from your garage to avoid them from being damaged by the cold weather.

Latex Paint

Many people store extra paint in the garage, which isn’t a problem when temperatures are above freezing. Latex paint is water-based, which means that cold temperatures can cause it to produce ice crystals. When it thaws, the paint separates, causing a consistency problem. Yes, you can stir (and stir, and stir) the paint to get it back to its normal consistency, but this trick will not guarantee that you’ll have easy-to-roll paint when you go to use it. Your best bet: find a cool dry closet or tub to store your paint in year-round.

Alkaline Batteries

Because you always run out of batteries just when you need one, stocking up is a good idea. But storing batteries in your garage, especially when the temperature drops, could result in a lost investment. Alkaline batteries (like your standard AA, AAA, or D) react poorly when exposed to cold temperatures because of the water-based electrolytes that they contain. Ever seen a busted or leaking battery? It could be because of exposure to cold temperatures.

Even if an alkaline battery hasn’t busted on you, exposure to temperatures under 32 degrees Fahrenheit can result in poor performance and a shorter battery life.

Water Hoses

Before the weather gets too cold, unscrew watering hoses from outdoor (or indoor garage) spigots. Leaving water hoses on spigots can cause damage when the water in the hose freezes, expands, and causes the spigot to split. This can lead to a future leak that can cause damage to walls and foundations.

After you’ve removed the hose, drain the water from it completely, let it dry, then store in a warm, dry cabinet in the garage.

Food and Wine

Garage shelves come in handy for storing food and beverages that take up too much room in kitchen cabinets. The problem is that fresh, canned, or bottled items don’t react well to cold temperatures. Fresh foods, like potatoes or onions, can develop water crystals that turn them mushy when thawed. Canned foods have long shelf lives due to the integrity of the sealed can, but when the food inside freezes, it expands, creating bulges or broken seals in the can.

Wine can survive a frost (it doesn’t freeze until around 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit), but expensive wine that you want to protect should really not be exposed to extreme temperature changes. Wine is best kept in a temperature regulated wine fridge or wine cellar.

Save Yourself from a Frost Headache

We appreciate garage storage here at Harkraft, but we also know that certain household items are best kept indoors. Before the temperature outside plummets, take a few minutes to walk around your garage and identify items that should be moved to an indoor closet or the basement.

If you need help organizing your living space, we have storage solutions for inside and outside your home. Contact us today at 763.544.4478 or 888.544.7111 (toll-free), or visit our Contact page to submit your question.