A garage can be an extremely versatile space. For DIY and professional mechanics, garages are where they roll up their sleeves and get to work. For those who enjoy carpentry, portions of the garage may serve as a workshop. Others opt to use their garage for additional storage.
Consider these statistics:
- 90% of home owners use their garage for storage
- 84% use their garage for parking cars
- 50% use it for work space
- 25% use it for vehicle maintenance
Regardless of how you use your garage, excessive moisture can be a problem. Water can collect from condensation, melted snow or ice off of vehicles and shoes, or from flooding after a storm. Many people will attempt to use large box fans or another type of axial fan to dry out a damp garage. They may also try and use these types of fans for ventilation when their work involves fumes, or to try and dry a fresh polyurethane or epoxy coating on a garage floor more quickly.
While these types of fans are great for moving large volumes of air, they are not an efficient solution for high-powered floor drying or ventilation.
Why is My Garage Floor Wet?
There are many reasons why your garage may become damp. And while a damp garage floor may not seem like a big concern, especially if the floor is concrete, there are several risks associated with leaving a garage floor wet. The flood may become a slip hazard or water may seep into interior walls, causing further damage.
So how does a garage door become damp in the first place? One common cause is winter snow melt. Whether you have large piles of snow melting just outside the garage or snow on a car that melts onto the garage floor, homeowners typically find more water on their garage floors during the winter. During the summer, condensation can also cause garages to become damp. This is especially true if you live in a humid climate and your garage is noticeably cooler than the outside temperate. Finally, some people intentionally get their garage floors wet by spraying them down with a hose to clean them.
How to Dry a Damp Garage Floor
If you have a damp garage floor, a professional-grade air mover is your best bet for quickly and effectively drying your floor and avoiding long-term damage.
There are a few issues with using traditional box fans to dry a garage floor. They do not have the power to accelerate evaporation and they direct airflow in a way that maximizes efficiency.
A professional-grade air blower is designed to address dampness on the floor. The air is blown in a focused stream directly across the surface of the floor in a concentrated airflow, which promotes evaporation.
How to Dry Your Garage Floor Using an Air Mover
When using an air blower, you want to make sure that air is moving across as much of the damp surface as possible. For a residential garage, depending on the size of the affected area, it may more sense to acquire a few air movers, especially if there are some harder to reach spaces. You want to cover as much of the floor with moving air as possible; however, because a garage floor is not porous — like carpet or hardwood — you most likely do not need the aggressive evaporation solutions of very large high-powered blower. Plus, with multiple smaller blowers, you can direct the air in several directions at the same time and reach any nooks and crannies, such as under a work bench or in tight corners.
If it isn’t too humid outside, you can open doors and windows while the air movers are running. However, do not do this if you are dealing with winter melt while it is still below freezing outside. You want to force the water to evaporate, not freeze inside your garage! And if excessive humidity is the cause of your garage dampness issue, you may not want to increase the humidity level inside by inviting in air from outside.
How to Decrease Epoxy or Polyurethane Curing Time
Many homeowners add a coating of epoxy or polyurethane to their cement garage floor to give it a protective coating and a nicer looking finish.
If this is something you are looking to do in your garage, a professional-grade air mover is a great way to accelerate the curing time required to set the clear coat. Remember, to get sufficient protection from a polyurethane clear coat, you want to apply multiple coats, and you need to be sure that the first coat is dry before applying another. Accelerating the curing process will substantially decrease the amount of time that your garage is out of commission.
Before you turn on your air blowers, you should also find a way to increase the heat in your garage. Many people choose to bring a space heater that they typically use elsewhere into the garage to do this. Be sure not to place the space heater up against anything flammable like loose papers or rags, and avoid leaving the space heater unattended while it is in use.
If you don’t have a space heater but do have baseboard heating in your garage, you can also turn the heat up to speed up the process.
Once you’ve increased the heat in the garage, use air blowers to evenly distribute warm air throughout the garage. If you only have one space heater available, place air blowers around the heater, using it as a focal point for dispersing air. Just make sure that there is enough space, at least one to two feet, next to the intake on the blower so that the blower has enough air supply.
Note that even if you are applying a clear coat to something other than the floor — like wood work or other home projects — you can use the same methods to accelerate curing. Just position the blowers in such a way that warm air is always moving across whatever you are drying.
Ventilation Solutions for Your Garage
One common reason that crafty homeowners often choose to move their workspaces into the garage is that garages are easy to clean. They allow you to spend long hours working without having to pack up equipment and supplies when you’re done. And they also protect the rest of the home from the strong fumes and odors associated with certain types of projects.
However, while garages are a great place for doing work, you also need to protect yourself from any toxic fumes that may be produced by materials involved in your projects. That’s why ventilation solutions are so important for garages that double as work rooms.
For example, if you are using your garage as a wood shop, the stains, paints, and varnishes you use to finish your handiwork can be dangerous if not ventilated. Plus, wood shavings and sawdust can cause respiratory problems. While you should be wearing a mask while doing this work, you should also take steps to ventilate the room so that fumes can be quickly cleared out of your garage when your work is done.
The same is true if you are doing metal work such as welding or using strong-smelling lubricants and oils. Artists using their garage for oil painting also need to be mindful of the power of fumes. In fact, many people using their garages for crafting don’t realize how powerful and potentially hazardous the fumes in the shop or studio are.
The Importance of Ventilation When Doing Automotive Projects
Those who are into car restoration should also pay attention to ventilation. Car restoration often involves a number of harsh chemicals. If you are working under the hood or fabricating hard-to-find parts, welding is a common task, but the kinds of fumes produced by this work can be extremely hazardous. And if you are applying a new paint job or clear coat, you will also need ventilation.
A common DIY automotive upgrade is the spray-on truck liner. This particular job has lately been associated with workplace compensation claims and increased instances of asthma among garage workers. In fact, the Department of Labor and Industries has recently released a hazard warning for those working with spray-on bed linings, advising employees to be aware of particular symptoms associated with MDI, methylene diphenyl diisocynate, over-exposure, including:
- Allergic sensitization
- Eye and lung irritation
- Vomiting and upset stomach
- Stuffy nose
- Excessive sneezing
- Sore throat
- Chest tightness
Spray-on truck linings are often advertised as an easy DIY project, but you need to be careful with ventilation to avoid the associated risks. Beyond always wearing a professional-grade ventilation mask, you should invest in increased ventilation for your garage and work with your garage door open to maximize ventilation.
Whether you are using your garage for DIY auto repair or you own a professional auto shop, industrial air blowers can make your garage a much more pleasant place to work.
Automotive work is associated with many hazardous fluids. The most common are gasoline and lubricating oils, but other fluids like air conditioning coolants, brake fluid, power steering fluid and transmission fluid can all cause respiratory problems if inhaled. While some are more hazardous than others, incorporating proper ventilation throughout your garage will ensure that you and anyone else working in the garage are safe and comfortable.
Many of the issues related to home auto restoration also hold true for auto shops. If you are performing body repair, applying paint or welding, these are all tasks that require proper ventilation. In fact, if you are a professional auto shop, you need to comply with certain ventilation requirements regulated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In this case, having proper ventilation isn’t just a good idea – it is a legal requirement.
OSHA requires that all auto shops have a respiratory protection program in place. This includes written workplace procedures, approved respirators, appropriate training on procedures, medical evaluations and provisions for clean breathing air. For more information, you can review OSHA regulations to ensure that your auto shop is meeting the minimum requirements as defined by law.
Keep Your Garage Cool and Comfortable
Finally, proper ventilation makes working more comfortable, whether you are in a home or professional auto shop. Auto shops are notoriously hot places to work, and the job typically requires heavy work clothes for safety. By adding ventilation, you can lower cool your shop and make work a little more pleasant.
If you are ventilating an auto shop, you need to make sure that you aren’t just moving the same fumes around inside. You need to get the inside air out of the garage while bringing fresh air in. By placing an air mover next to an open window with the intake facing the outside, you pull in fresh air, and by making sure that the direction of the moved air points outside as well, you ensure that fumes are properly evacuated from the garage.
Rather than buying a single high-powered air mover, many smaller air movers will give you the versatility you need to move air exactly where you want it to go. And because you are not trying to dry a floor rapidly, but are instead using air movers for ventilation purposes, high horsepower movers might not actually be that helpful, since they are designed to concentrate a powerful stream of air into a particular spot. For ventilation purposes, you want to move bad air out of the garage while pulling good air in, which is a task best accomplished by several smaller air blowers.
B-Air® VP-25 Air Mover: The Superior Garage Floor Drying & Ventilation Solution
If you are looking for the best garage floor fan, look no further than the B-Air® VP-25 Air Mover. This versatile and durable work horse is powerful enough to earn the respect of professionals and affordable enough to be used by homeowners and DIYers, too.
This air blower is designed to be powerful and efficient, while also being small enough to be easily stored and transported. While larger models can move large amounts of air across wide surfaces, they can be less useful for drying in tight spaces. Floor drying and water damage restoration professionals needed a tool that could dry out every inch of damp space, and the B-Air® VP-25 Air Mover was our solution.
But while it may have been designed with small spaces in mind, its compact size, affordability and versatile design make it perfect for home garage ventilation.
It utilizes a 1/4 horsepower, meaning that it is powerful enough to do the job but small enough that it won’t create too much noise. This air mover is powerful enough to tackle all of your floor drying and ventilation needs.
It’s also compact and lightweight, making it easy to move when you need it and store it when you don’t.
And as mentioned above, multiple small units are better than a single large unit for ventilation and home drying purposes. To make running more than one of these blowers at the same time easier, we’ve equipped them with a daisy chain system. Rather than finding five separate outlets for each unit, you can run them together, plugging one into another, with a maximum of five units running out of one outlet.
The blowers come with three speeds, so you can adjust them according to your needs and even at its highest setting, this unit has received praise for its quiet operation.
These units are also designed to meet the most stringent safety standards, carrying an C-ETL safety certification. When you’re using industrial grade equipment, it is important to pay attention to safety ratings and quality.
The units also come in blue, red and green, so if you have a color scheme in your work room, you can select one that matches.
This air moving machine can also be used in a number of other areas if you need high-powered drying, such as your kitchen, bathroom, or a crawl space.
Why Partner with B-Air®
It’s true that there are other professional-grade air blowers on the market. But if you are looking to invest in professional-grade equipment for your garage drying and ventilation needs, then look no further than B-Air®.
We’ve specialized in equipment for water damage restoration companies for nearly 20 years. But our equipment has a broad range of uses, and we are excited about partnering with other professionals and homeowners who need blowers, commercial dehumidifiers, and HEPA air scrubbers. Dog groomers use our pet dryers for drying their furry clients, janitorial staffs use our equipment to make cleaning easier, and carnival operators and party playhouse rental companies use our air movers to inflate jumping houses and other inflatable attractions.
We’ve earned our stellar reputation by focusing on customer service and quality construction. We want every piece of equipment that we sell to last and our customer service professionals are always available to answer any questions. If you already own a piece of B-Air® equipment and you have questions or need technical support, we are here for you. And if you are looking for accessories to improve the functionality of your equipment, we have what you need!
Our team is always working on making our equipment more durable and more versatile. We take feedback from our customer and partners and pour that information into innovation to make sure that our designs are doing the best possible job.
If you are ready to purchase a new air blower to improve ventilation or to tackle dampness in your garage, contact us today!