Sunlight's Impact on Garage Cabinets: The Truth Unveiled

Is sunlight harming your garage cabinets? Dive into the effects of UV rays on cabinetry materials and get tips to protect and prolong their pristine condition.

When building a new garage or remodeling an existing one, one of the biggest concerns for homeowners is whether the storage solutions they have chosen and other products and appliances will last in that environment.  A common question is, “Does sunlight damage garage cabinets?”

A variety of factors will affect your garage and its contents depending on where you live. In this article, we discuss different environmental variables that could determine the lifespan of the things in your garage and how you might be able to combat them.

Heat/Sunlight

Affected Areas: Dry Regions and Deserts of the Southwest US

Most homeowners will not notice the damaging effects of direct exposure to sunlight or high temperatures all at once. The results take time to build up and affect how a house looks. Your home takes a beating while it protects you from the sun.

Sunlight can be harmful to both your garage and anything it can get to inside. You already know that UV rays are dangerous to human skin.  They are also dangerous to plastic and painted surfaces. The best way to minimize damage to your belongings is to store them away from direct sunlight that comes in through windows or if you have a garage door with windows.

Often, you can minimize the effects of sunlight by getting things up off the floor and storing them on shelves or racks on the walls or even the ceiling. Rearranging things to ensure minimal sunlight exposure can also be helpful.  A garage floor that isn’t well protected from the sun is also at risk of damage. Direct exposure to sunlight can cause paints or epoxy to fade or turn yellow. Consider a polyurea coating instead since it’s highly resistant to heat and UV and can better handle the elements.

You have a few options for your garage if you’re concerned about high temperatures inside. Homeowners with a small garage might be able to install an affordable window-mounted unit. A more extensive (and more expensive) system might be needed for bigger garages. A simple addition that may help with the cooling process is insulated curtains for the windows. They are designed to not just block the light but also prevent heat from directly entering your garage. You can also use fans to release excess heat and increase the flow of air.

Cold/Ice

Affected Areas: Northern States & Other Places Touched By Cold Weather

Cooler temperatures usually don’t pose a considerable risk to the items in a garage. However, it could cause issues with the functionality of the garage. As the temperature drops, the garage door may not work as well as it should. Cold weather can cause strain on the motor, freeze the entire system, or cause the garage door opener to lock up. To prevent this, prior to winter each year, ensure the garage door system is well-greased and lubricated.

It is common for concrete floors to deteriorate during cold weather. The concrete can shrink and crack on the surface. Also, there could be erosions and pits caused by salt, ice, and snow. Using a polyurea floor coating can protect the concrete surface from extreme temperature and make it resistant to water.

Finally, it is highly recommended that you insulate any exposed pipes in the garage to protect them against freezing.

Water

Affected Areas: Coastal Regions And Areas With Flood-Risk Or Frequent Rainfall

The most at-risk areas are those with frequent storms or rainfall. Water damage can also happen in drier climates where even occasional rains cause flooding. Since garages are, in most cases, the lowest points of a home, you have to pay special attention to them to prevent water and flooding damage.

Take precautions if you think flooding could be an issue to ensure you don’t have permanent damage. The first thing you want to do is clear the floor. Store everything off the ground in racks and shelves. Next, check your windows and doors to ensure rainwater and flooding can’t get through. Fill in cracks using caulk or striping.

If you think you may have to face flooding from storms, you have the option of setting up flood barriers or sandbags. You can help prevent damage by installing proper drainage solutions in your home.

Dust and Debris

Affected Areas: Dry And Windy Areas

Keeping away debris from your garage is mainly a maintenance issue. Naturally, things will be blown into your garage when you open the windows and door. The best way to deal with this issue is to ensure the door is consistently closed. It would help if you also took some time to sweep out the entire garage on a regular basis.

If you have items off the floor and have storage solutions, this is an easy task. If you don’t, try to use a small broom to reach tight spaces and then sweep the main part of the floor. Using a blower in the garage is not advised.  It can actually make things worse, putting a lot of dirt and dust into the air. Concrete is the most significant cause of garage dust.

Concrete actually produces its own dust.  You can prevent the dust by getting the concrete sealed with a coating.

Pests

Affected Areas: Everywhere (Especially In Temperature Extremes)

Pests will take advantage of your house whenever the opportunity presents itself. Garages can be especially inviting, providing shelter from the elements. Garages are also darker and don’t see a lot of human traffic, so they’re the perfect hiding place.

While some of these critters may be adorable while they’re outside, you don’t want to live with them. They can be dangerous to pets and humans and can even cause damage to your property.

Always keep your garage sealed and clean, and make sure the doors and windows are shut tight. Clutter will create plenty of convenient hiding places so take advantage of cabinets and other storage systems to make your garage human friendly instead of pest friendly.  

Take Action

Whether it is light, temperature, water, or wind, every home will face the effects of exposure to the elements. Hopefully, this article has equipped you with some ideas to keep your garage and the valuable things you keep in it as safe as possible.