Moisture can present problems for all parts of a home but garages in particular can face issues with condensation. This problem can be seasonal and is often worse during spring and summer when humidity is higher and during the winter when the temperature outside is lowest. Moisture can also be problematic is a wet and rainy climate.
It is important to stay on top of excess moisture in garages, as it can be a serious problem. The excess moisture can affect the temperatures throughout a home and cause more general problems. Mould and mildew thrive in wet environments. Excessive condensation and moisture can put your garage at risk for a mould problem.
Fortunately there are several steps you can take to prevent or tackle a moisture problem in your garage.
Heat your garage
Condensation forms when humid air comes into contact with something colder than it like a window or a concrete floor. This results from the gap in temperatures. To prevent condensation from forming you can heat your garage. You should avoid using propane heaters because they produce water vapour and will only create a different problem. Insulating your garage helps keep it warmer and contributes to the overall energy efficiency of your home.
Keep moisture out
Parking your car in the garage after driving in rain or snow brings moisture into the garage and can help contribute to a humidity problem. Let it drip off before moving it into the garage. If you must park your vehicle in the garage right away dry it off first.
Install a drain
If water from rain or snow is getting into your garage from outside install a drain in front of it to prevent moisture from coming inside. If water is draining towards your garage rather than away from it a trench drain covered by a metal grate in front of your garage is one way of addressing the drainage problem.
Check the seal on your garage door
With continued use over time the seal on your garage door wears out. If it no longer forms a tight barrier it may be responsible for letting water into your garage.
Check your gutters
Rain falling about your garage affects the inside of your garage too. If the gutters above the garage or draining towards the garage are damaged water may flow into your garage. Check your gutters to see if they need cleaning or repair.
Insulating and moisture are site-specific solutions but vapour barriers can help to keep condensation from getting into drywall and insulation. They are best avoided on roofs as this can lock in moisture. Some insulation comes with a vapour barrier built in. You can also install vapour barriers on existing insulation.
Dehumidifiers either trap moisture using coils or chemically. If they trap it using coils it is collected in a reservoir and drained. They can often result in high-energy costs.
Apply a garage floor coating
The cold concrete on garage floors is often the cause of condensation problems. Applying a coating or epoxy can help reduce floor condensation. Non-slip options are good for safety.