How to Prevent Water Damage and Mold in Garages

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| 2013 Jan 16 |
How to Prevent Water Damage and Mold in Garages

Garages, both attached and detached, are usually overlooked when it comes to home maintenance. Homeowners and occupants start taking steps only when their garages have already been flooded and menaced by mold.

Notably though, garages have wide entrances that not only allow vehicles but also water to get through during heavy precipitation, such as rain or snow. For this reason, homeowners should pay special attention to properly sealing their garages and preventing mold growth.

Properly seal your garage door

It’s important to seal garage doors well. Very rarely do garage door weather-stripping rest tightly against the garage frame, allowing water to seep inside the garage from outside, particularly in unfriendly weather conditions.

Water intrusion and mold growth not only damage the structure of the garage and home in general, but they also negatively affect the vehicles parked inside. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from these negative effects is to take preventative measures against water intrusion. Prevention is better than remediation.

The following are detailed tips to help you prevent water damage and mold growth inside your garage:

  • Check the garage roof, gutters, pipes, etc. frequently to ensure that they are in good condition (i.e. that nothing is leaking). If there are leaks, fix them immediately.
  • Replace the drywall in the garage (usually made of paper) with new paperless materials or steel studs. This minimizes mold growth. Green boards are also helpful.
  • Ensure a proper floor slope in the garage along with a good drainage system. After heavy rain or snowfall, you can bring the moisture in with your car. This accelerates mold and mildew growth inside the garage along with structural damages to the building as a whole.
  • Install shelves in your garage for storing objects instead of keeping them on the floor. Sometimes garage flooding during heavy rainfall becomes unavoidable. In such cases, objects that are on the floor can get wet and be susceptible to mold growth. This can be avoided with shelves.
  • Moist, dark, confined and stuffy environments are perfect conditions for mold to develop. Therefore, to prevent mold growth in a garage, it is essential to keep it well ventilated, naturally lighted and dry.
  • To reduce humidity inside your garage, install dehumidifiers and keep the humidity level between 30% and 50%.
  • Opening the garage door or window for a couple of hours each day will help increase air circulation during the summer months. Fresh air prevents mold growth.
  • If you are getting a new garage installed, then use mold-proof materials like metal studs instead of wood or paper. For garage walls, pre-coated aluminum or vinyl siding is preferable.
  • Cut down on shrubs or plants that have grown near your garage walls. They may lead to cracks in the walls or ceiling, which increase leaks and water intrusion into your garage. What’s more, plants and shrubs collect moisture that tends to accumulate near your garage walls.
  • Place a container of silica gel, activated alumina, anhydrous calcium sulphate, or molecular sieves in the garage to reduce moisture.
  • Extend gutter downspouts at least six to ten feet away from the garage foundation to prevent buildup of moisture around the base of the building.
  • Never store wet clothes, jackets, shoes, wooden cases, or boxes or any other wooden objects in a garage. All of these materials are like fuel for mold.

Know when to call a professional

These tips are simple, cost-effective and easy to follow by homeowners. However, if you want to embrace more efficient ways of preventing mold in your garage, it’s always better to get a professional mold inspection from a reliable company in your area.

Contact Mold Busters, Ottawa’s leading environmental inspection and remediation company. We provide fast, effective and affordable mold removal and flood restoration services for garages all over Ontario and Quebec.

prevent water damage in Gatineau
It’s common for mold to grow in garages and basements. Replacing the drywall and ensuring it’s made with paperless materials is one way to prevent mold from growing.