How to properly ventilate your garage

In garages, cars, bicycles, tools and garden equipment are reliably protected against theft, snow and rain. However, a common problem is that a strong influx of moisture can lead to the development of rust. In addition, increased humidity is accompanied by an increased risk of mold, which, as in living spaces, can lead to damage to the building fabric and health problems. Therefore, the garage must also be ventilated regularly. In this article you will learn what is important.


How does moisture develop in the garage and what are its consequences?

Regardless of whether a garage is heated or not, accumulations of moisture occur during daily use. Typical entry paths are:

  • Defective insulation
  • Leaking roof
  • Clogged drainage system
  • Moisture carried in through the car
  • Wet leaves blown into it

If the air humidity exceeds the recommended value of 45 to 55 percent over longer periods, moisture damage can occur. Mildew infestation and corrosion damage are particularly worthy of mention here.

Mold spores spread with the air and constantly enter interiors through windows. If they find a suitable breeding ground here, such as damp walls, they settle and spread. This can lead not only to musty odors and damage to the building fabric, but also to health problems such as allergies and asthma.

Corrosion damage:
Permanently increased humidity leads to oxidation processes on metallic surfaces. Garden equipment, bicycles and tools then begin to rust, which, depending on the findings, can result in costly repairs and new purchases.


How to prevent the formation of moisture?

To prevent this from happening in the first place, it is advisable to prevent the formation of excessive moisture. The following products have proven to be particularly effective:

  • Regularly check the tightness of the roof
  • Clean and maintain drainage system regularly
  • Sweep off snow deposited on the car before entering the garage
  • Sweep leaves and other breeding grounds for mold out of the garage regularly.

However, in the fall and winter season with its humid weather, these measures are often not enough to transport enough moisture outside. Regular ventilation is additionally required here.


Development of suitable ventilation concepts

Basically, garages are divided into four types of ventilation: Forced ventilation, shock ventilation, automatic ventilation and dehumidification.

Forced ventilation:
Forced ventilation occurs in most garages. This hardly avoidable type of air intake is due to the fact that most garage doors are not hermetically sealed. In addition, most prefabricated garages have integrated ventilation. However, this is hardly sufficient, especially during the wet and cold months, to exchange the stale moist air for fresh air.

Shock ventilation:
Especially in the fall and winter months, there is an increased risk of moisture damage. On the one hand, there is a large influx of moisture from the vehicle, and on the other hand, the temperature fluctuates considerably between day and night. As a result, air contained in the moisture can condense particularly easily on ceilings and walls.

For this reason, both heated and unheated garages should be adequately ventilated by means of regular shock ventilation. Ideally, rooms should be cross-ventilated once or twice a day for five to ten minutes. Opening the door and an opposite window at the same time creates a current that transports moisture-enriched air out particularly well.

If manual shock ventilation is also a viable solution to efficient liquid removal, there are some problems with it.

  • The method is comparatively costly
  • Animals can get into the garage
  • Wet leaves can be blown in
  • In vacation periods, shock ventilation is not feasible

Automatic ventilation:
To prevent these typical problems, people resort to automatic ventilation systems. They ensure that there is optimal humidity at all times, without the regulation being accompanied by negative side effects. All systems have in common motorized opening and closing of windows and gates. The most widespread systems are the following:

  • Garage doors that are raised several inches to allow ventilation.
  • Easy opening windows
  • Automatically opening ventilation elements in the garage door

The technical basis for this is often a sensor system that registers the humidity of the air. It ensures that windows and doors are opened at exactly the right times. In addition, the system ensures that the garage remains closed during rain.

Dehumidifiers can also be used to regulate humidity. They remove some of the moisture from the air and collect it in either a tank or a binder.


Ensure consistent ventilation throughout the day - with ventilation systems

Especially in the cold season, it is appropriate to ventilate the garage more frequently than twice a day. However, since most people are not at home during the day, there is often insufficient air exchange. Here, a solution can be the integration of a decentralized or centralized ventilation system. It constantly removes humid stale air and supplies fresh air from outside.

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