By Lauren Ferrone
Published: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Spring has well and truly sprung but don’t stop at giving your home a good clean – get into the garage too. Put the chamois away though; we’re not talking about washing the car.
The good old garage (or should we say storage unit?), often collects tools, bikes, old furniture, garbage bins and other possessions – leaving just enough room for your car. That’s why giving it the occasional once-over is important.
So, where do you start? Here are three ways to keep your garage organised, clean and safer.
1. Store more on your walls
Floating wall shelves are a great way to display photos and mementos, but they’re also a practical storage solution that can help maximise the space in a room, including your garage.
Use every corner to your advantage. Do this by mounting tools to wall shelves rather than hiding them in cupboards that sit on the floor. You can even install a wall mount to store the family’s bikes.
If that sounds like a mammoth task and your handiwork isn’t up to scratch, enlist the help from one of RAA Trade Assist’s carpenters.
We have other tradies who can help give your garage a complete makeover, from painters to electricians who can install new power points for better lighting.
2. Re-organise your liquids
You probably didn’t think re-arranging flammable liquids in your garage was high on the to-do list. But storing too many liquids in one space, including fuel for lawnmowers or other power tools, can be dangerous.
In fact, there are limits on the quantity of flammable liquids and chemicals you can safely store on a domestic property.
By South Australian law, the storage of highly flammable liquids must not exceed 120 litres and the container sizes must be no greater than 60 litres. This doesn’t include fuel in vehicles and tools.
Our tip is to store flammable liquids in clearly labelled containers – and only in small amounts. Keep the containers away from heaters, appliances, direct sunlight, flames and other sources of heat.
The storage of highly flammable liquids on a domestic property must not exceed this many litres.
3. Clean engine oil off the floor
Ah, the pesky oil stain. Chances are your garage floor might have one or two blemishes. Don’t waste your time with whacky home remedies, though.
Our motoring gurus at RAA say the best way to get rid of (or at least lighten) dark floor stains from your engine is to simply scrub the stain in a circular motion with ordinary laundry detergent. Add a little water and reapply the soap if necessary.
When done (and if you have one handy), rinse away the soapy water using a garden or pressure hose.
How a clean garage can keep you safe
Other than re-housing potentially dangerous creepy crawlies (we can help with that – RAA members get 25% off all pest inspections and treatments), a clean garage has more safety benefits than you might think.
According to RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain, a vehicle needs at least five and a half metres of length and three metres of clear space for the driver to safely open the doors.
“Cleaning the space where your car lives is important because danger doesn’t just occur on the road,” Mr Mountain says.