What options do I have when my garage has too much humidity?

There’s nothing worse than stepping into your garage to enjoy your home gym or work on a project only to find the air is damp and cold or hot and humid. Neither of those situations is optimal and can send you right back into your house. In addition to being uncomfortable, this kind of environment can lead to mildew, mold, corrosion, or even rust. This kind of situation is most likely to happen when you are in a cold climate near a large body of water or an environment with a scorching, humid summer. To prevent issues with high humidity, follow the tips below, no matter what season it currently is.

Cambridge CL, 16' x 7', Claystone door and overlays, Clear Panoramic windows

Common sources of humidity in a home garage

Some of the causes of high levels of humidity in your garage can include:

  • You have a garage that has little to no insulation.
  • You have a garage door that has no insulation, or it is not weathertight to keep out the elements.
  • Your garage contains firewood, while logs are known to carry large amounts of moisture.
  • You have a washer, dryer, or both located in the garage; it’s best to be sure the dryer vent and exhaust host are working as they should be and aren’t obstructed in any way.
  • Your garage is a space where you hold many types of liquids inside of containers.
  • You have a garage floor that has been sealed using epoxy paint.
  • Your garage is filled with cardboard boxes containing all sorts of things that you rarely or never use; this kind of box can accumulate odors and moisture, so utilizing plastic storage bins is best.
  • You have your car parked inside of the garage in winter since snow can build up on the underside of the vehicle and in the wheel wells; it’s also possible issues can arise in the summer with a car that comes into the garage after heavy rain.
  • Your garage uses a catch basin in the floor drain; this should be cleaned of stones, sand, and debris regularly but can still create odors and raise humidity because of the standing water.

The first step is determining what might be leading to the humidity, while the second is using a hygrometer in the garage for 24 hours to measure the amount of humidity. Curious about what the level should be to keep your garage comfortable? The truth is, the lower the number, the better, unless you use your garage as a living space. Keep in mind that if you have a cold garage, overheating the air when it’s humid will only make things worse and create an uncomfortable space.

Besides using a hygrometer, there’s another simple way to check the level of humidity in a weathertight and insulated garage. If you are in a cold area and have a window installed on one of the garage walls, look for a small buildup of ice or a large amount of condensation. Both of these things will let you know that the humidity in the garage is higher than it should be.

Options for reducing humidity levels in your garage

The first thing to be aware of is that two basic elements need to be in place if you want to resolve your humidity problem adequately. The first is that your garage should be insulated. If you don't have insulation in the space, it's going to be challenging to both reduce and maintain the humidity level to keep it at a comfortable level for your needs. If you live somewhere that is colder than average; your only choice is to heat your garage in an inexpensive way, which often will involve the use of wood heating.

The second element is your garage door, really your “fourth wall.” Take a moment to consider whether it’s weathertight and insulated. A properly insulated garage door should have a thermal resistance factor of at least R‑12. The best way to achieve this is by using garage doors that are insulated with polyurethane foam that is injected between the walls of the door. You also want to spend some time looking at the weather seals. Consider whether there is a reasonable amount of exterior perimeter weatherstripping. While examining the door, check whether it overlaps the head of the door and the sides by at last 1 ½ inches. You should also check whether the bottom weatherstripping is doing its job by preventing rainwater from entering the garage. The threshold of the door should also have a slope that leans toward the outside of the space. The idea here is determining where humidity can enter the garage, whether it’s winter or summer.

Now that you know how humidity can enter the space, it’s time to decide which sources are most important to eliminate, which you are okay with tolerating, and the level of humidity you’re comfortable with allowing. Now we’re going to talk about the actions you can take, but we will be assuming your garage and garage door are both insulated. If these things aren’t true, putting extra effort into how to make the space comfortable isn’t going to be useful.

First, we want to look at the most basic measures you can take. If you aren’t often using the garage for repair work or DIY projects, around 45 minutes before you use it, take time to turn your heating system off and then open your garage door an inch or two, which will let out excess humidity. This lets humidity leave the garage faster but having a pedestal fan right near the garage door can speed the process up even more.

Another way you can handle things in the short‑term is by installing a home dehumidifier. You will want to run it on its maximum setting for a full day or longer, which will drop the humidity down by around five to eight degrees.

Home dehumidifier

When considering long term options to let you use the garage on a more frequent level, there are also commercial dehumidifiers available, which you can then integrate into the heating system you already have. Choosing the right humidifier will depend on how much you’re willing to pay to get the level of comfort you wish to have.

Device to vent humidity of the garage

You can purchase a device, 9 X 6 ½ X 4 in. to vent humidity out of the garage via a duct in the wall.

Are you wondering about the potential of installing a vent in the garage door and how effective it might be? Unfortunately, this won’t work well, even if it contains louvers that open and close. On the other hand, it can be useful for removing odors.

Are you ready to make changes and purchase a new garage door?

If you live somewhere in the Center Barnstead or Portsmouth area, you can immediately contact us through our toll‑free number at 603‑833‑7135. All you have to do is tell us what you are dealing with and how you like to use your current garage. We’d be happy to advise you on your best choices based on the budget you have available.

We can also help by emailing you a quotation. We would also be happy to have you come out and meet us in our showroom. While you are making a decision, you can also try out our design centre to determine what style of door best suits your needs. We also have an image gallery where you can find photos for inspiration.

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