Condensation is an annoying problem that occurs in garages and other enclosed spaces. It’s caused by moisture in the air condensing on cold surfaces. The result is water dripping down walls and ceilings.
Excessive moisture in the garage can lead to condensation. This usually happens when humid air comes into contact with a surface. The same effect is similar when you notice water droplets on the car windows or even your windows at home.
Condensation is caused by temperature imbalance due to a sudden drop in temperature during the winter seasons. If not properly addressed, condensation can lead to many problems for your entire household especially if you have a detached garage. These issues include the growth of mold and mildew leading to respiratory conditions, musty environment among others.
The good news is there are effective ways that can help you curb and to stop condensation in the garage workshop. Read along to find out the potential causes and how to deal with condensation.
How Garage Condensation Occurs
If you want to know why your garage floor is getting wet, you first need to know what causes it. Condensation is a common problem in garages. It occurs when water vapor condenses into liquid form inside the garage. The result is a wet floor and a mess. If you live in an area where there is a lot of humidity, then you might notice that your garage has a tendency to get damp.
When relatively warm, wet air comes in contact with very cold concrete, the cold temperature of this concrete will cause the air coming into contact with it to cool, thus causing the air to become colder. If the temperature drops below the dew point (the temperature at which water vapor begins to condense), then the moisture will start to form droplets on the surface of the pavement. These droplets can be seen as a misty appearance on the garage floor.
If you have a concrete surface that is cooler than the dewy point, then it can easily cause the air that comes into contact with it to cool down to or below the dewpoint if left alone for a while. Otherwise known in the construction industry as sweating slab syndrome (S3), it’s the exact same condition that causes the outer surface of a cold beverage container (e.g., bottle) to get wet on a hot, humid day or the outer surface of your car to become wet when it’s left outside on a cool night.
A wet garage floor usually looks darker due to the moisture and may even suffer from efflorescence as a result. When water evaporates from the concrete, it carries minerals with it as it travels through the concrete. These minerals leave behind white mineral deposits on top of the concrete.
Common Sources of Condensation in The Garage
Condensations in garages are normal. In fact, it’s a normal occurrence in homes and more importantly, garages that are located in a cold and hot environment. Normally, in low weather seasons such as winters, the low temperatures always lead to alternating cold and hot temperatures daily. It is during this time that condensation occurs in the garages.
A very common source of condensate is water vapor from the air. This can be caused by many things, including running appliances in a cold garage, leaking car radiators, and water vapor from the air itself.
Due to this, extreme condensation in the garage can also be caused by improper roof drainage or malfunctioning roof installation since they easily cause leakage in the roof to your garage.
Causes of Garage Condensation
Leakage: First could be leakage wireless because whether we’re talking breaks and plumbing, whether we’re talking interior sources such as the plumbing fixtures, water fixtures to the refrigerator, things of that nature, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be catastrophic and it doesn’t necessarily have to be something where the water is still visible at the time of inspection, it could have happened or happened slowly over time and now it’s just showing its face since you’re doing testing.
Grading of the property: When we’re talking about grading, we’re talking about the natural runoff of the moisture. And even though the property could have been graded appropriately to run the moisture away from the property or away from the building, initially as time goes by what you find is people will start adding flower beds, they’ll start adding or raising elevations because of landscaping, things of that nature. And so what was designed appropriately, to begin with really isn’t that way now
Drainage: And so when we look at drainage, drainage is the mechanical means by which we get the water away from the building. So whether we’re talking scuppers from the roof down, we’re talking gutters to get the water away from the building, we want to make sure that there’s an appropriate amount so that you don’t have any pooling of water or any stagnation of water in locations that are going to cause it to possibly get back to the building.
Air humidity: Humidity in the air itself revolves around the comparison of the temperature of the concrete and the dew point temperature relative humidity of the air itself. Garage condensation may also occur in households located in areas with high water vapor and infrequent temperature drops.
Surrounding: Issues with garage condensation can take place in households that are located in both sultry and chilly surroundings. The increasing dampness that takes place during summer and low temperatures in winter make your garage and the entire household exposed to excessive moisture.
Poor drainage: Condensation can also be caused by inappropriate roof drainage that leads to leaks in your garage.
How to Get Rid of Condensation in your Garage
Ensure the Garage is Warm
Winters have many likable traits but working in the garage workshop during winter isn’t one of them. It can be truly a daunting task to complete a project during cold temperatures and unfavorable weather. And not only the cold working conditions, but condensation can also result due to the rise in humidity. Therefore, if you want to get rid of condensation in your garage, keep the garage warm to balance the temperature. This problem can be sorted with the help of a good garage heater.
Utilize Vapor Barriers
Also called vapor retarders, vapor barriers are usually a kind of polyethylene plastic that’s applied to the inside face, the warm face of stud frame walls. If warm air is allowed to make its way into the wall garage, if the vapor barrier is not there, droplets of condensation are going to form somewhere within the garage walls, and that’s a bad thing because the moisture is going to trigger mold growth and poor indoor air quality.
That’s why vapor retarders are applied to the warm side of a garage wall. When it’s in place, the warm air cannot make its way into the garage walls thereby preventing condensation.
Stop Water from Coming into Garage
Humidity is not that bad, but with all this rain we’ve been getting the past couple of days or past two weeks, you definitely want to make sure that the water is not going into the garage. This will ensure the temperature is balanced and you will avoid condensation because you don’t want any growth going on as far as mold.
Simple things like ensuring the car are well dried before parking it will help reduce condensation. Utilize proper drainage systems and avoid water getting into your garage as possible.
Use a Proper Ventilation System
Suitable ventilation in the garage (on the roof or walls) is necessary as it’ll lessen condensation and help keep the balance between the air in and out of your household. Garage ventilation systems like turbine roof vents also have to be wiped frequently to ensure efficient airflow.
The length of flexible ducting creates friction preventing air movement and no insulation. This in turn allows condensation to take place. With no air extraction, the dense water vapor can now only migrate through the home creating condensation problems.
If you install a proper ventilation system in your garage, the humidity will be trapped removing water vapor and fresh air is drawn into the garage through the passive vents.
Use of Dehumidifiers
You can put a dehumidifier because when you’re driving around town and your car gets all wet, it just drips and falls to the ground, the garage, which has caused some cracking and some of the flooring to get a little bit deteriorated, so the best thing to do there is to put a dehumidifier in the garage. It really does keep the garage nice and dry.
Only use a Garage Ready Refrigerator or a Garage Ready Freezer
A garage-ready refrigerator is a fridge specifically designed to accommodate all the unfavorable conditions of the garage during extreme cold and very hot and chilly days. Check out our review of the best garage-ready refrigerators.
That second refrigerator or freezer operating in your garage that has no climate control adds to condensation issues. The undulating temperatures can make the drip pans in these devices fill with water fast. Condensation can also accumulate on the outside of the devices and vaporize.
Declutter your Garage
You will want to ensure that you keep the things up and not on the garage floor. Most tools if not stored well in the garage can make the floor sweat leading to condensation. If you have a small garage space, then maximize the storage space using ceiling hangers, garage storage cabinets, garage shelving units, and wall hangers. This way, the floor will be free and the garage will remain dry.
Related: How do I declutter my garage?
The excessive dampness can destroy your garage’s structure, flooring, and finishes, as well as other items kept in there. If you don’t do something about it, then the heat and moisture stored in your garage will ultimately penetrate right into your house. It’ll lead to increased temperatures and dampness.
Eventually, it’ll lead to mold and mildew growth in the garage, which, in turn, impacts your health and that of the other people in your household. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, and other issues will follow suit. Therefore, ensure that you handle these problems before they get out of hand.
We hope that these tips we’ve given you will help you get rid of condensation in your garage effectively and protect the crucial items stored in it from damage