If you spend time in your garage working out or even working on DIY projects and you notice that the air seems to be damp or humid, it can be difficult to feel comfortable in the space. Of course, they can also cause things like mold and mildew or rust and corrosion, and neither of those are good. While this typically happens in areas that have humid summers or those areas near large bodies of water in colder climates, it really can happen anywhere. Regardless of the season or region, here are some useful tips to combat humidity in your garage.
Humidity has plenty of possible sources
In your garage, there are a lot of potential factors and situations that could lead to humidity issues:
- If your garage door or the garage itself isn’t properly insulated, you are going to have moisture issues, at the very least.
- Your garage door also needs to be weathertight, or it may let in additional moisture during rain, snow, or even just excessively humid summer days.
- Some people store firewood in their garage, not realizing that logs are inherently damp and can hold moisture.
- Using the washer and dryer in the garage is going to create a low level of moisture.
- If you have an epoxy painted floor or other sealed material, it could be giving you issues at first.
- Cardboard boxes are great for storage, but they can actually accumulate a lot of odors and moisture and are probably best used indoors or left on the curb.
- You might be bringing in excessive snow or rain from the conditions outside, which can result in a last‑minute change of plans or having to put the project on hold until the weather is nicer consistently.
- Your floor drain could be clogged, but it can also be a source of moisture if it is relatively clean and free of debris.
Finding the cause is the first step. Then, you’ll have to take it upon yourself to use a hygrometer to measure the humidity in the room. This needs to be left for 2 hours in order to provide an accurate reading. Some people ask what level is good for a “comfortable” garage, and that’s really going to come down to a matter of personal preference.
In the event you don’t have a hygrometer, or you can’t find one to borrow, you can check the humidity and seal of the garage by looking at one of the windows or glass panes. They may have some condensation along the bottom or in the corners, which may also be a sign that it’s time to consider some small home improvements and repairs.
Get humidity levels down
Reducing the amount of excess humidity in the air has many potential efforts involved, but there are two factors that matter more than anything else.
First, your garage must be insulated. If you don’t have a properly insulated garage, nothing else matters when it comes to reducing the humidity or keeping it at a bearable level. Those who are in cooler regions may need to use a dry heat source like a wood stove in order to keep the place warm without cranking up the moisture levels.
The second element is the garage door insulation. This “fourth wall” needs to be properly insulated, as well, and weathertight. For best results, professionals recommend insulating with a product that has a thermal resistance factor of R‑12, at a minimum. To get this result, it’s usually best to insulate between the doors using polyurethane foam. You should also make sure that you examine all of the weather seals around the door and ensure that the exterior perimeter weatherstripping is installed appropriately and provides enough overlap. You should have about 1.5 inches of overlap on the sides at the top of your garage door. The threshold should slope outwards and be fully weather‑stripped to prevent rainwater from coming in, as well. Ultimately, you should find any and all potential entry points for moisture and humidity, regardless of the season.
Now that you know what to look for that may be causing humidity issues, you have to consider what is most important to you. There are some issues that you may want to ignore or just leave alone, while others might be addressed right away. Ultimately, it’s about the level of humidity that you’re okay with.
Moving forward, the rest of the content will assume that you do have a properly insulated garage and door. Otherwise, the rest of your efforts would be wasted.
Basic measures include airing out your garage to remove the moisture, by turning off any heating in the garage and opening the door a couple of inches. This will draw the moisture out of the space. You can also open any available access windows or doors to allow for air circulation to reduce humidity levels quicker. For even faster moisture reduction, add a small fan to the space.
If you have serious moisture issues, consider a home dehumidifier, which can automatically remove moisture from the air, reducing your humidity level by as much as five to eight degrees. It will need to be operated for 24 hours at maximum speed for the best results.
You can also look into integrated commercial dehumidifiers that are installed directly into your existing HVAC system. This is more expensive, but when you use your garage more often, it may be worth the investment to get the ideal comfort.
Are vents installed in your garage door going to be effective? Actually, even with levers that open and close, this isn’t an effective choice for moisture removal. It can be a way to effectively remove odors, though.
Are you ready to consider a new garage door?
If you live in the Kingston or Belleville area and you’re ready to talk about a new garage door, contact us now. You could also call us at 613-547-4566 or 613-966-5655. We can discuss your situation and help you identify and resolve your moisture issues and advise you on the best garage door upgrade within your budget.
We will even provide you with a quote via email and offer showroom tours so you can see things for yourself firsthand. Feel free to use our Design Centre to get familiar with the available products and find inspiration in our Image Gallery.