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Danville Express

Real Estate - May 29, 2009

Make this the year to end garage grime once and for all

Now that the weather is warm, people are realizing that they can't avoid it anymore: It's time to clean the garage. There are a number of simple steps you can take to clean and organize your garage so that when your neighbors do walk by, they'll be amazed at the transformation.

Colorful, but still clean

Stroll by a dozen open garages and you'll likely see one common thread. All the garages are painted white or are still natural. There's no rule against painting the walls of your garage something other than white. But, choosing paint for your garage is more than color. Garage paint has to be strong enough to withstand grime, water and general dirt.

Consider applying a paint that is specifically designed for durability. Now there is a porcelain paint that is actually infused with bonded ceramic beads that create an impenetrable film that doesn't allow dirt and stains to set in. So, if you're cleaning your lawn mower and happen to splash grassy, muddy water on the wall, all you have to do is wipe it off with a wet rag. The paint won't become discolored or chip off. It's even strong enough to handle scrubbing with a sponge.

Power wash and kitty clean

Once you have the walls sealed and painted, you can now power wash the concrete floor without concern about damaging exposed drywall. Many large home and hardware stores will rent out power washers by the hour or day. Power washing is relatively easy and you'll be amazed at how effective it is at removing dirt and paint splatter from your garage floor.

Once the floor is clean, break out the kitty litter. That's right; kitty litter is an excellent absorbent and can remove those hard-to-clean oil stains. Simply spread the kitty litter on the stain and use a heavy object, such as a brick, to work the kitty litter into the stain. Once it's worked in, let it sit for a few hours before sweeping up. After you're all swept up, finish by taking a stiff-bristled brush and some soapy water to clean any remaining residue.

Waterproofed and weatherized

Notoriously, the garage is a receptacle for dirt, mud and water. Dirt and water from car tires, lawn mowers and garden tools all seem to meld into one big mess that defies cleaning. Not only does this mess make the garage look bad, these elements can have a very detrimental effect on your garage floor. One way to combat the wear and tear is to consider waterproofing the concrete with a protective coating.

Many companies offer simple do-it-yourself coatings kits to protect concrete against gasoline, motor oil and hot tires. It also creates a glossy, showroom-like finish that hides imperfections like cracks or unsightly stains and easily cleans up with soap and water. Available in eight colors, it includes optional decorative flakes to give that previously boring garage floor just the right finishing touch. One easy-to-apply kit can cover up to 250 square feet and is water-based with virtually no odor.

Storage, not shelving

There are dozens of industrial grade and strength garage storage cabinets that will help hide all of the small items that you store in your garage behind magnetic, closable doors. Even if you still can't seem to organize the items inside the cabinets, at least they won't be visible, and it will provide a much cleaner appearance to your garage.

Once you've cleaned and sealed the floor, painted the walls and housed all your miscellaneous tools and supplies in storage cabinets, you're ready for the fun part; relaxing. Plus, the fact that these simple solutions provide lasting durability means that next year, you won't have to do this again.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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