So we moved this past summer. The old place, the small one car non insulated garage was not a place to be used/worked in during the cold months. The T most years would find a new winter home and the the everyday car would go under cover. All winter there would be a layer of ice on the floor, it was no big deal as it was always frozen. When it warmed up, I just shoveled it out. Our new place has a nice three car detached garage (2 story open between levels) that is fully insulated including the garage doors and all wired up by the previous owner, including for electric heat that was never installed. I have no heat yet, probably two years out, the honey do list is just too long. I want to add gas heat when, I find a used forced air furnace. Until a couple of days ago it has not gotten below freezing in the garage. My issue it is so wet in there. I got a floor squeegee, and use it nearly every day. The ceiling fans are running 24/7, and I placed a large floor fan blowing under the everyday driver to help keep things dry.
So the real issue is all about the condensation. If I drive the everyday car, and park for a short time, when I return all the windows on the inside are frosted. The service door locks are covered in frost; the windows are covered in frost. I noticed yesterday the electric service panel one corner is covered in frost. I am afraid my cold tools are going to collect condensation when it warms up and possibly rust. Any tips on how to eliminate all this condensation, all this water is making me nervous.
Thanks for any tips.
Get a dehumidifier. http://www.consumersearch.com/dehumidifier-reviews I'd even check with a heating/AC guy about having a unit that would drain the water outside so you don't have to empty the catch tank.
Two words: Arizona
Could it be that it's not able to escape? Let's face it a fully insulated unheated garage is just a big refrigerator in the winter. It drops to whatever the outside temp is. I think (barring any unfound leaks) that the moisture is trapped. Bringing a wet modern in there won't help either it'll just add to it. You're running fans which won't do a thing either. Unless one is exhausting outside. Just blowing any free moisture around and preventing it from condensing on the cold concrete floor.
You might want to check the vents on the building.
i assume its wet because you park your day to day driver cars there too? keep in mind salt is most effective at warmer temps, so your cars will rot faster in the garage than just left out in the cold. if not parking freshly salted cars in there , than you must have some issue with the way they sealed the building when built. plastic under the concrete is good for the spring thaw when floors are wet, too late now for that but is there vapor barrier under the sheet rock? is the roof vented? is the garage in a low area that the drainage soaks water in that spot? some thing is not right!
It is all about a source of moisture, temperature and humidity. If a wet everyday diver is brought into a closed area with out a dehumidifier or heat and ventilation you will have problems. Heat and ventilation or a dehumidifier is the answer.
A dehumidifier will work by its self but heat alone will not work without bringing in dryer/colder outside air and exhausting heated moist air.
You can't run a dehumidifier in an unheated garage in winter in Minnesota. (Dehumidifier coils ice up when the temperature is below 60 degrees.)
I'm in Minneapolis. I have an unheated, detached garage. When I bought the house, there were no roof vents on the garage which seems to be pretty common. I installed roof vents which makes a huge difference in summer (keeps garage cooler) and in the winter (seems to keep it drier). It doesn't have soffit vents but the garage is loose enough so air can enter it and then exit through the roof vents.
My garage floor is sealed which I believe reduces the amount of moisture that the slab absorbs in the winter.
I ALWAYS knock the slush out of the wheel wells and off the mudguards with an old broom handle before pulling into the garage to keep the moisture down.
One trick to get rid of any puddles on the garage floor is to use clean snow like sweeping compound. I put some snow on the puddle, it absorbs the water and then I push it out the garage door with a shovel or push broom. Works much better than a squeegee.
If the windows fog or frost up inside the car in the winter, a major cause is the slush from your shoes that melts on the floor mats. It's a good idea to knock the slush off your shoes before getting into a car. Also, use rubber floor mats in the winter instead of carpet and dump the water out of them every so often (I have a set of Kraco winter mats with deep grooves in my car). Much better than having damp floor mats. Also, if there is a lot of moisture in the car, crack the windows when driving so the moist air can exit while the heater or defroster is running.
A year ago a friend of mine used a dehumidifier, shrunk his spokes on his "11", he now has new wheels!!!
Jason, I would just leave the bottom of the garage door cracked open a little to get the moisture out. You're not heating it at present so it won't make much difference if it stays cool. Too bad you can't pipe all that extra moisture into the house. Don't know about you, but I struggle to keep my place comfortably humidified all winter.
By the way Burger, "Arizona" is ONE WORD. But we all know what you're getting at, and one day I hope...
If it is a concrete floor there is a possibility there was no plastic vapor barrier put down before the floor was poured, if that is the case sealing the floor as suggested will help. KGB
Recently had fresh Babbitt poured in a block at Bend Oregon. Was warned by the craftsman to stay away when pouring the block mains. The block mains were heated to 425 degrees I was outside the shop door when the Babbitt exploded from moisture I guess from the cold hot change going over the mountains to Bend. The third time for the craftsman in twenty five years.
Paul, was the craftsman hurt?
No, he had full coverage face and front body protection Roger. Apparently the iron absorbed moisture going from the damp warmer coast to the colder high desert. You would think the 425 heat checked with a heat stick would have cooked out any moisture. There was Babbitt on the shop ceiling. Noticed his five beautiful A cars stored in another nearby building had no rust issues I have near the ocean with parts and cars.
I spent 42 years in the heating and ac industry, the thing to do when you have moisture is ventilation, cold air cannot hold water, when you drive a car with a hot engine it heats the air and the moisture condenses at the coldest point, leave your door open a little and the problem should take care of itself.
One other item, if you are installing a furnace in a sealed up garage, you need one square inch of free area for each one thousand btu of input, you may want to consider a sealed combustion unit as they use 100% outside air.
And here I thought "Arizona" was 3 words ?
As a retired builder I am familiar with heating and building codes in our area.
The water table is barely a foot below my concrete floors in the house and shop. Both are ventilated over code requirements.
After some thought I wonder if the product used to seal up cracks in the pouring jig collected moisture and was not cooked out. It was used just before the Babbitt pour. Don't know but if I ever do Babbitt care will be used.
I used to get mould on the T seats in the winter until I got a Carcoon (that's the British tradename but there are US versions). I now have 3, they circulate air round the car beautifully. Obviously though, you have a building problem which needs solving.
I recently replaced hail damaged skylight panels in my shop and since then, in this cold snap it looks like it is raining inside from condensation under the panels. The building is sealed (no space under the overhead doors for ventilation)and no roof vents, heated by hanging space heaters set to 45 to prevent freezing.---any ideas other than moving cars out from under drips?
Actually Jem it would be nearly impossible to do much more then move to somewhere we would not like for rust control. 1.8 miles from the Pacific ocean with the prevailing wind pushing salt air in from the south west will rust electroplated nails in a few months. Hot dip or stainless nails are the only nails to use out doors. With about two thousand square feet of shop well ventilated, insulated, and sheet rocked It costs more then I like with a 100K gas furnace all though its left on its lowest setting to keep the shop above freezing. The furnace can be set for continuous air moving often done in warmer weather. Home and shop are comfortable and dry in any weather but tools parts and machines along with Ts need constant attention for rust prevention.
Lots of comments. From what I can tell the entire garage both levels, is fully insulated with vapor barrier properly installed. I have soffit vents and roof vents, but I do not think that will help with the moisture as there should be no method of the moisture laden air to get under the roof deck, due to the insulation, vapor barrier, and sheetrock. I do not know what is under the concrete floor, but it has a nice top seal coat on it, makes squeegee work easy.
I have been working in the second floor in the woodshop. If the lights are on (450 watts shop area) for the day I can get the temperature up to 45 degrees (second level), not a bad working temperature with bare hands.
I knock of the snow from the vehicle, and squeegee out the floor, the dear wife does not. Now that it has got cold I have thought about cracking open one of the windows to help the moisture escape. Yes it would be nice to get that moisture in the house, as this house is extremely dry compared to our old place. Not really wanting to leave a garage door open as I do not want to invite small little furry monsters in for a warm dry winter home.
One winter, when I still lived in Connecticut, I tried re-routing my dryer vent back into the house with a pair of panty hose attached on the end as a filter. It turned out to be too much of a good thing, in a few weeks I had mold growing on surfaces in the laundry room, so I had to vent the dryer to the outside again.
I don't know about the rest of America but Oregon's code is 1/300 of floor area ventilated high and low on a roof. If its hi alone the code is 1/150 of floor area Each ventilator is stamped for free area size. Under floor is 1/150 of floor area. My furnace is mounted horizontal ten feet off the concrete shop floor gas fumes flow down so its done for safety reasons. There is a 6 mil vapor barrier below the concrete floor. Like Jason if a door or window is left open swamp critters move in. All my vehicles have 1/4" stainless wire mesh over the intake on the air box. Critters have filled the air box full of there favorite food right up to the air filter and once built a nest under the engine cover having the injection wire for lunch. That one cost me a fresh computer.