The most predominant use of garages is for the storage of motor vehicles both functioning and nonfunctioning. Garages guard vehicles against environmental wear and tear such as rain, snow, hail and similar elemental forces. Vehicle storage can be either temporary or long term. Many people prefer to use automatic garage doors as they frequently drive in and out of the garage throughout the day. Vehicles stored inside of a locked garage as opposed to open pavement significantly lower the risk of being burgled or vandalized at any given time of day.
All equipment used for the maintenance of the natural areas around a home should be stored in a garage for safety and ease-of-access purposes. This is the next best option for property owners who don't have or are not allowed to build separate storage areas on their land. Items with rust-prone components such as lawn mowers, rakes, shovels, weed whackers and snow/leaf blowers benefit in the same fashion as vehicles do from garage storage. In addition to this, the equipment can be serviced (if necessary) in the same area it is being stored. Gardening compounds from mulch to peat moss should also be stored in a closed garage to guard against small animals tearing holes through the bags.
Power Tools and Stations
Power tools and workstations/benches comprise another category of items that should be stored in a garage. Power tools (hand-held tools with electronic components) can be very loud, making their usage inappropriate for indoor use since other people may be disturbed. At the same time, their electronic components often necessitate a separate power source that most garages provide by way of wall outlets. The sheer size of many tool stations and workbenches make storing them in another room of the house unfeasible, especially if the home does not have a great deal of extra space. Safety also becomes an issue if small children are in the home and can't be sequestered away from these potentially dangerous tools. Garages are therefore ideal places for not only storing, but actively carrying out projects that require the usage of these tools and/or stations.
Many people use their garages for storage of other vehicles, large and small. Small boats, bicycles, golf carts and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) should be stored in garages as the convenience of accessing and servicing them when necessary is much higher than housing them on off-property locations. Doing so will also save the property owner off-site storage fees. Just as with larger ones, these small vehicles come with a variety of spare parts and kits that should be kept in a nearby area of the garage. Having these accessories in the same proximity will eliminate the need to search for them elsewhere.
Gas and Chemicals
Due to their caustic, toxic natures, certain substances should be stored in a garage as opposed to the main living areas. These chemicals can range from gasoline for lawn mowers and blowers to various oils and fluids used in the maintenance of motor vehicles; weed killers, fertilizers and liquid pesticides are other substances that should also be stored in a garage. Although most garages are unheated and thus cooler than the main living areas of a home, property owners should be careful not to store chemicals near garage circuit breakers or hot water heaters to prevent a fire hazard. In the same vein, owners should also be careful with regard to properly sealing chemicals and gasoline tanks stored in a garage to reduce the risk of spills and noxious fume leakage.