Heat, Cold & Moisture
First of all...although I'm in the North (Auburn, Washington), it doesn't get all that cold here. More often than not, it doesn't get below +20.
Here's my garage:
It's detached, uninsulated, and only the 2 stalls on the left are concrete. The far stall is crushed rock. Why? Well, the original builder (after all, it WAS a carport) set that stall up to park his boat in. Nice for a boats and carports...not so nice for cars and garages. At least the doors are facing AWAY from the weather.
Now I know that I need to get that floor completely slabbed, but until then I'm dealing with it. I have a 23,000 btu radiant kerosene heater (not one of those torpedo looking blasters) that I use for heat, and I've installed a ceiling fan to move the air around. The heater looks like this:
When I'm going out to work on something, I'll usually go out and turn them both on an hour or so before I feel like I want to be working.
As far as moisture and condensation goes, I do get very slight tool rust going if I'm not careful, but it doesn't seem to be related to when I use the garage heater. I believe it's mostly due to parking wet cars in there when you drive in out of the rain. I don't see any increase because of the heater. Maybe it's because the kerosene heater is a giant, circular, convection variety, it's not blowing air, so it doesn't heat the air faster than everything in it?
The garage has lots of those little screened air vents around the top (about every other stud I believe.) Should I be blocking those off? They were put there when it was a carport design you know...
Any thoughts on my interim setup?
What can you do about actually using your garage to park rain-soaked vehicles in it?
Don't block off the soffits. When you insulate you need those little holes open for air flow to the attic. For starters start buying a few sheets of drywall each week. For $5.00 apiece you can pick up some here and there and hang them on the ceiling. This will keep the heat down instead of going up. Although it will go thru the drywall eventually it will keep it warmer. The cars will eventually dryoff with heat. I park rain soaked vehicles in mine all the time and have never had tools rust yet. But my garage is a dry garage meaning the floor never sweats nor has moisture ever been a problem even on the rainiest of days. You will have to isolate where you are getting moisture from. If you are going to put a slab down, either put down visqueen first or put down foam insulation board and pour the concrete over this. Most moisture will come from the ground up. Once you start putting in insulation it will start taking care of the moisture. When you start mixing the warm air with the cool air is when you get your condensation. And that seems to rust tools faster than a dripping wet car. Condensation seems to collect on anything that is cold, like tools.
Here in the wet NW we have 2 choices..either very well ventilated or drywall and heat to keep the moisture down..since it is not all that cold here in the winter I just go with the ventilated and have found the radiant style heaters work well..that is the ones with vents to the outside..just turn on the heat when I am working..
I have had just as good a result in an un heated well ventilated shop as I have had in a dried in shop as far as rust and corrosion on my tools..It seems to be the ventilation part that makes it work..
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