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 09-24-2003, 15:12 Post: 64777
Foghorn



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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

I'm about to build a garage on an existing garage slab which was poured 6 years ago. I just found out from a neighbor, who was there when the slab was poured, that they didn't lay a vapor barrier. What are my options now from keeping my tractor, tools etc... from rusting?

Thanks - Foghorn






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 09-24-2003, 15:17 Post: 64779
AC5ZO

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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

On the farm, we stored tractors in a pole barn that had a gravel floor. It was not a problem. At least the equipment was inside out of the weather and that makes the biggest difference.






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 09-24-2003, 15:24 Post: 64780
AC5ZO

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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

With respect to tools, it is another matter.

You can seal the floor with Epoxy paint.
Keep some airflow to keep humidity from building.
Use a portable dehumidifier.

Use rust inhibitor chips in your toolbox.
Keep an oil film on machine tool surfaces.






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 09-25-2003, 06:55 Post: 64801
TomG

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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

AC's tricks likely would manage any problems. If not, eaves troughs and extended downspouts well away from the building would help as well as improving the drainage or tiling around the building would help if there's still a problem. Figuring out the drainage pattern on part of our place and cutting a 40' swale made a lot of difference to how damp our garage is. Figuring out the drainage pattern is how I knew that water levels are useful in checking between points that don't have a sight line that I mentioned in another thread. The level also told me how deep I had to make the swale.






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 09-25-2003, 07:57 Post: 64806
Murf



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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

The biggest problem is NOt from vapour migrating through the floor, what will kill your stuff in short order however is the heat/cool cycling.

If you do not keep the building heated there will be considerable condensation formed on anything with a bit of mass which will take longer to warm. Likewise after you stop heating the space, the objects with some mass to them, and therefore the ability to hold heat longer than air, will be covered by condensation. It is this process which does the bulk of the damage.

The only two ways to prevent this happening are to keep the space heated, or keep the humididty low, a room-type portable de-humidifier might just do the trick, if nothing else it will help trap moisture before it can get to you equipment.

Best of luck.






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 09-25-2003, 08:31 Post: 64808
blizzard



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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

I agree with Murf about heating the woodshed. The only reliable way to prevent rusting besides oiling/greasing all bare iron and steel is to keep the metal temperature above the dew point. Any added water vapor from the slab will raise the dew point over the outside air, but ventilation will help. In my unheated but very well ventilated woodshed everything rusts! Often in the winter there is a film of ice covering all surfaces, especially when there is a rapid warming, as the beginning of an ice storm or 'January thaw'. Makes for some slippery logs!

Keep warm.
bliz






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 09-25-2003, 10:14 Post: 64815
Peters

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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

With out heat and complete vapor barrier there is little to keep the heat cycling from causing condensation. Here we get the extreme of cool weather and then the warm moist air arriving from the gulf of Mexico.
The moisture will condense on the cool cement floor and it can rain inside the barn with a metal roof. Heat/air conditioning is the only way of preventing problems.
Machinist tool boxes are wood for a reason. It is best to look for wood or plastic boxes to store your tools in.






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 09-26-2003, 08:06 Post: 64890
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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

Don't know: I get frost on everything the middle of winter and there's a lot of fog spring and fall. Neither my equipment nor tools rust in the garage or shed. I suppose that's because there's enough oil on them just from use and I spray anything I think will rust and not be used frequently with anti-rust stuff. Well, I do keep my micrometers etc. in the house, and I don't wash the tractor.

Heating a garage would cure the problem but it sure would be expensive around here. A box with a light bulb or small heater in it would work for the tools.






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 09-26-2003, 10:55 Post: 64901
Murf



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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

One of the golf courses we do work for has built a rather unique system for their equipment building.

It is basically a very basic home-made geothermal heat pump. They pump water off the bottom of a deep pond and through a series of car radiators enclosed in a sheet metal box. A conventional squirrel cage type blower recirulates air through the whole apparatus. While the building is fairly well insulated & draft-proof it otherwise unheated except for a little solar gain. This system keeps the shed at a minimum of 40 deg.'s F. regardless of how cold it gets outside. This might not be warm enough for working, but it keeps everything above the freezing point.

The system was originally installed (as was mine) to act as an air-conditioner & de-humidifier, the winter use was an after thought.

Best of luck.






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 09-27-2003, 06:00 Post: 64952
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 no vapor barrier in garage slab

Sounds a bit like reverse of an idea I had awhile back but never started. I wanted to make a heat exchanger and reservoir for our well feed. What I wanted is warmer output water so the electric hot water heater wouldn't run so much. I wouldn't want to run drinking water through old rads and they wouldn't take the pressure anyway. I heard that some old-time shiners (or is it mooners?) used them for still condensers--really a bad idea)!

I had a general idea of mounting a bunch of small diameter thin-walled copper pipe between two bases so there'd be enough volume to stay in the pipes awhile and let convection warm it up. Don't know if this passive idea would do much or if more elabourate active ideas would be worth it.

The connection here is that my water heater also would produce condensate and would cool and dehumidify the basement a bit, at least in the summer.






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