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humidity in garage

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bemike61
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67 kentucky
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2008-07-15          155318


i have a concrete block building with concrete floor and metal roof , wood trusses. i had foam insulation sprayed on the inside of metal roof to help lower heat.

now i have a problem with humidity, the building is not vented. before i start to install vents, i want some ideas from others on what works or does not.

right now what was stored in there had mold on it and things were starting to rust from the moisture.

this was a new building, is it just part of everything curing and the moisture problem gone.

i was hoping that maybe i could figure out some type of climate control so i could put a car or truck in there without it rusting away.

thanks

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humidity in garage

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-07-15          155319


We have that problem in our garage. It won't go away on it's own. It's probably wetter here in Oregon than Kentucky but temperature changes in humid climates always brings condensation. I'd advise installing a power vent fan with a humidistat. ....

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humidity in garage

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2008-07-16          155324


I have a daylight basement shop below a guest house and the only way I have found to control humidity is with a dehumidifier. I also live in very wet country so it is a must.

The dehumidifier I bought has a pump that pumps the water into my sink drain so I never have to empty the resevoir.

I get about 1 gallon per day and the shop stays at about 50% humidity even at that. Before I put one in you would not know I have high humidity as it is not evident any where, but for the hyrgometer. It's a bit expensive because it costs about $30.00 per month to operate.

Brian ....

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humidity in garage

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-07-16          155326


If your building isn't too big a window air conditioner might solve your problem and give you some hot weather relief to boot. Usually a good used one can be found on a garage sale for about nothing, they seem to never wear out. Frank. ....

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humidity in garage

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-07-16          155332


To get good moisture removal with air conditioning be sure you don't get one so over size it does not run long. Long run times removes the moisture, not just dropping the temp in the room.

A good moisture barrier under a concrete floor is now required by code here. My mother in laws carport floor will look like it rain on it due to not having a barrier. You may find a good sealer on the walls and floor would help. Ask a local paint store where the pros shop. kt ....

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humidity in garage

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-07-16          155336


The first thing is to understand the problem.

Your concrete floor is well connected to the cold earth, meaning that, especially overnight, your slab floor gets quite cool.

Then because of it's mass, and the facts that it's both in the shade (inside the insulated building) and still connected to the cool earth, it warms up MUCH slower than the surrounding air. The result is no different than putting a cold bottle from the fridge on the table. Just watch the droplets of moisture form.

Now, the simplest solution is to have something even colder, or at least more able to deal with the moisture.

If you are handy, all you would need to do is make up a simple dehumidifier. This need be nothing more than a shallow well supplying water to an old car radiator in a plywood box and push the air through it with an old furnace blower.

I basically air condition my shop at home this way. I can lower the temperature by 10 - 15 and the humidity by probably 30% just by running it during warm weather.

You could also just put in a few ceiling fans and a commercial dehumidifier.

Either way, the trick is not to vent the building, this will just bring in more humidity from outside, but rather lower the relative humidity inside the sealed up building.

Best of luck. ....

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humidity in garage

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2008-07-16          155339


Is your problem high humidity or condensation? Also effective is to remove water sources or water traps from the outside of the building. Make sure the surrounding area is not overgrown with weeds and shade bush etc. Clear the adjacent 5 feet of space around the outside walls and replace grass with gravel or stone. If water backs up onto the building install a tile and drain it away. Don't stack material like wood or junk up against the exterior walls of this installation. If possible remove trees providing permanent shade. You will be amazed at how much these contribute to your problem. ....

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humidity in garage

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2008-07-16          155342


Murf, I think I have the concept, but where does the water go after running throught radiator? Is it pumped back into the ground? Is this not basically a geothermo (now if FAT FINGERS spelled that correctly it was an accident EW) set up? Pictures?

On a different note thought of you and such yesterday Murf. Was cutting along a ditch and thought of my first question at TP and your reply. Bout the same as this. May be now a few years later ready to tackle it due to needs growing and a piece of equipment I had on loan returned. A side mounted cutter. kt ....

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humidity in garage

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-07-16          155343


I'm not convinced it's necessarily the floor that is the biggest culprit; the nite/day temperature fluxuations can't be that great to induce a great amount of condensation leading to humidity.

What I have seen, especially in commercial buildings made of block walls is the walls are the biggest offender for two reasons: they are exposed to the sun and ambient heat acting like radiators and condensors. Also, if the building was not built right--like if the block is not far enough up off the foundation, moisture will wick its way up the block from inside---or like I have seen in self-storage buildings-- the roof and gutter systen was dumping water or wind-driven rain into the block which eventually acts like a vertical reservoir slowly seeping moisture into the building. Evidence of this is effloresence(sp) (whitish, powdery salts) in the mortar or crumbling mortar.
I'd suggest furring out the block walls and insulating them. And you'll need to put some sort of luan or drywall up too. A vapor barrier is also necessary, but talk to builders who speacialize in this aspect because there have been lawsuits here in Michigan resulting from bad national building codes requiring vapor barrier which caused rot between the walls. I forget which is the right way to place it so check into it. ....

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humidity in garage

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-07-16          155345


This winter I'm planning an experiment in our garage. We have a spare ERV unit that might make a good garage ventilator while keeping the garage temperature relatively warm. Our garage is not insulated and we always have condensation on the windows during winter, but the garage is attached to the house and is warmer than outside (nothing ever freezes in the garage). ....

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humidity in garage

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-07-16          155346


Kenneth, yes, it's basically a home-brewed geothermal system.

The water table in my area is very high (about 5' below grade where the shop is) and the ground is very sandy, I can pump water nearly non-stop and not run a 10' deep dug well dry most of the year.

I pump water out of the well (actually a 12' long piece of 2' dia. steel culvert standing on end in the ground) and run it through the rad. then it (and any condensate I don't use) go back down another 'well' (another piece of culvert) and back into the water table.

Jeff, in my case the shop is a concrete slab on grade, with an insulated wood frame, steel clad building on top. In the summertime my slab is ~60 - 65 first thing in the morning, during the day (with the south-facing bay doors closed) it will only climb to ~70 even if the outside temp. is in the mid to high 80's. In such cases there is moisture visible on the slab without my system running.

Best of luck. ....

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