How to Prevent Condensation in a Garage

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you use your garage for storage or as a place to park your car, condensation can be a destructive element when maintaining your home. When humid air inside a garage comes into contact with cold surfaces, such as a cement floor or the metal on your vehicle, it condenses. Without prevention, condensation inside a garage often leads to mould, mildew, rust and structural damage that can harm your health, home value and vehicle.

Search the garage for sources of moisture, such as half-filled buckets or pet bowls. When water evaporates from containers such as these, it enters the air and condenses on surfaces. Clean up any spills and move or eliminate open containers.

Make sure the dryer in your home is properly ventilated. If your laundry area is located in or around the garage, there might be excess moisture in the air because of poor ventilation. Check the dryer vent to see whether it is sealed tightly and effectively directing air outside.

Correct landscape and gutter drainage issues. A poorly installed gutter system might be directing water into the garage, or improper land grading might be causing water to puddle inside or outside the garage and evaporate into the surrounding air. (Reference 1)

Check all garage vents and openings to make sure they are free of dirt, debris or other blockages.

Install a vapour barrier below the garage. This is only possible if your garage has a raised foundation that would allow you to crawl underneath. By covering exposed soil with large sheets of nonporous plastic, you can prevent moisture in the ground from evaporating through the concrete floor and forming condensation.

Set up a car storage dehumidifier. These dehumidifiers will keep the relative humidity in the garage within the recommended 40 per cent to 60 per cent range. While these devices begin to help immediately, expect it to take two to three weeks for the moisture and airflow in the garage to achieve a consistent balance.

Wait. Many homeowners experience problems with condensation during their first year in a newly built home. Much of this excess moisture enters the air as fresh paint, concrete and plaster continue drying. While you should not leave moisture problems unresolved, bear in mind that some condensation issues that occur in your home's first year might resolve themselves later.

Things You'll Need

  • Mop and other cleaning materials
  • Car storage dehumidifier
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About the Author

Tiffany Bennett is a recent graduate from Toccoa Falls College. While earning her degree in counseling and psychology, she discovered that she enjoys various forms of writing. She is currently living in Athens, Ga., and looking forward to beginning a graduate degree program in international affairs at the University of Georgia.