The garage is one of the most multifunctional areas in many homes. It is more than just a dedicated spot for parking cars; it’s also a great makeshift office, a repair shop, a storage space, and a lot of other things. That’s why it’s important to keep that part of your home comfortable and safe.
Maintaining the ideal humidity level in your garage is the key.
High humidity can cause a range of issues like rust on steel items, hardware, and appliances, musty odors, and mold growth. On the other hand, low humidity poses problems, too. It can damage your car’s rubber seals and other equipment in your garage.
However, keep in mind that the ideal relative humidity of a garage varies depending on where you live.
In this post, we’ll talk about the relationship between humidity and your garage, as well as why it’s important to keep a proper humidity level in your space. We will also explore different practical ways to make your garage a healthy and safe environment for you, your car, tools, and equipment.
Humidity and Your Garage
No matter how clean and organized you think your garage is, it will be subjected to adverse conditions and constant moisture. Sometimes, too much moisture even.
This could be due to the climate, your heating or air conditioner, your vehicle coming back from a wet road trip, people entering and leaving the garage or all of those combined.
Plus, it’s not like everyone’s garage is designed and built to be weatherproof. Because most garages store plenty of items, they are often confined and cramped. Dark and damp. It gets cold inside during the winter months and warm in the summer.
And they typically have a large garage door, they are not as reliable in allowing adequate ventilation. The garage doors are shut most of the time while still allowing rain and snow to enter. This can make your garage either overly humid or dry. And neither is good for your indoor space.
Relative humidity (RH) is the amount of water vapor in the air in comparison to the amount of moisture that the air can hold at a specific temperature. It is an important factor in keeping your garage space pleasant since it affects both your comfort and the quality of items stored in the area.
What Happens When Relative Humidity Level Gets Too High?
Adverse conditions cause humidity to become volatile, which can do considerable damage to your vehicles.
When the relative humidity in your garage goes above 60%, you may expect rust to develop and progress at a fast rate. Rust is one of your foes when the relative humidity level is high, as it can lead to high expenses for repair and restoration.
The constant activities that happen in the garage can also exacerbate the problem. As a result, your garage will suffer from condensation and excess moisture, making it the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Mold spores can cause health issues like allergies and respiratory problems. They may also spread on car seats, leather furniture, and rags, or worst, ruin the garage’s structure.
Aside from encouraging mold growth, your car’s interior, exterior, and mechanical components like the engine will be at risk. These are all inevitable.
Low Humidity Is Not Good, Either.
A garage with a low humidity level or over-dehumidified could be due to excessive use of your air conditioner or a cold climate. It can do just as much damage to your car and everything that’s stored in the area.
While low humidity can help to reduce mold and mildew growth, it can also cause dry air, static electricity, and an increased risk of respiratory illnesses.
When the humidity level falls below 30 or 40%, it can dry out the leather interior of your car. Its plastic parts will get brittle and damaged. And it can ruin your vehicle’s rubber seals, losing their elasticity. This is something you can’t take lightly as your car may lose oil and its coolant.
In this case, you can invest in a humidifier. It’s worth noting, however, that while a humidifier can be helpful in certain situations, it can also cause too much humidity in your garage.
What Is the Ideal Humidity Level for Garage?
According to the EPA, the ideal humidity for indoor space should be maintained below 60%. In general, a 30 to 50% relative humidity is usually ideal. However, you need to consider what kind of climate you have where you live.
If you live in an extremely arid location, for example, you might opt for a higher humidity level. This will help offset the drying effects of the air.
Some states or places have humid climates, but they may also experience extreme weather. In this case, opting for a lower humidity level can help reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew growth.
Maintaining the Right Humidity Levels
At the end of the day, your goal is to strike a balance that is both comfortable for you and minimizes any harmful and damaging effects of humidity on you and the steel items and equipment in your space.
So, how do you keep the ideal humidity level for garage?
- First things first, you may need to get a hygrometer. It’s a small device that measures the humidity level in your garage. This will help you monitor the humidity of the area so you can take steps to adjust it if necessary.
- Another way to help maintain the ideal relative humidity in your space is by installing a dehumidifier. Commonly used in the basement, crawl spaces, and other areas, this device physically eliminates water from the air. It can reduce humidity and recirculate dry air.
- Open the windows or use fans to provide some ventilation. A well-ventilated garage can help naturally regulate humidity levels in the space.
- Check for any leaks, water droplets and spills, rainwater, or other sources of moisture. Doing so might entail repairing a leaking roof or caulking the windows and doors to keep drafts out. Might be a lot of work but it’s worth the extra effort.
- Do not store any items that are susceptible to mold and mildew in your garage, especially those made from raw materials including fabrics, paper works, and wood.
High humidity levels, especially in the summer, can make your space feel tight and stressful. Taking all of the necessary measures to ensure the ideal humidity levels in your garage means giving yourself a safe working environment. It will also protect your tools and equipment.
Finding the Best Dehumidifier
When it comes to choosing the best dehumidifier for your garage, one of the first things you must first consider is the size of the area. Choose a dehumidifier that is the right size for the space you wish to dehumidify.
A larger unit will remove moisture more effectively from a larger space. However, it will also be more expensive and consume more energy. You may also go for one that has a high water extraction rate, which is usually measured in pints per day.
Next, choose from the different features dehumidifiers offer to make sure that it works for your garage’s needs. Some models have accessories like a built-in hygrometer, a humidistat (a device that controls humidity levels), and a timer. These might be handy for keeping the humidity level in your garage at a stable range.
Certain models even include internal water tanks that hold condensate and you can empty the container after. Others may feature pumps or valves that you can attach to a hose. This way, it can deliver water into a sink or a separate tank.
In addition, these devices offer different installation options. They can be either wall-mounted, fitted into cavities and rafters, or stand-alone. Humidifiers are easy to install, you just have to find one that suits your garage’s needs.
How do I control the humidity in my unheated garage?
There are various ways to control humidity in an unheated garage. One of the best ways to do this is to use a dehumidifier. You can also ventilate the area by keeping garage windows and doors open or installing a ventilation fan.
Another way you can control the level of humidity in your unheated garage is by using a moisture absorber. Good garage door insulation and insulated walls and ceiling can also help reduce the amount of moisture that can enter the room. This is particularly important if your garage is adjacent to your house.
Is 70% humidity high for indoors?
The recommended relative humidity for indoors is between 30 to 50%. But, going a little bit up to 60% is also acceptable. Relative humidity levels over the specified threshold, however, may be too high and may cause problems.
If the humidity level in your garage is consistently above 60%, install a dehumidifier or improve ventilation.
Is 60% humidity too high for a house in winter?
According to the EPA, indoor relative humidity should be maintained below 60% (ideally between 30% and 50%). However, the ideal humidity level for the garage may vary depending on elements like your space’s temperature range and ventilation. The activities you perform in your garage are also a factor.
It’s always a good idea to regularly check the humidity levels in your garage. Make sure to have a dehumidifier ready in case you need it.
Don’t underestimate the damaging effects of volatile humidity in your garage – take a few easy measures to keep it at the ideal level to keep the space safe for you and your equipment. We hope you find this post helpful in understanding and keeping a healthy humidity level in your garage.
Got any more questions? Let us know—we’d be glad to answer your queries. Good luck!