How Winter Moisture Can Damage Your Garage Floors

Winter isn’t usually the time of year you associate with sweating, but as temperatures drop in the Carolinas, the moisture in your garage increases. This combination of cold temperatures and excessive moisture means your concrete garage floors can start to condensate, potentially damaging the garage floor, garage structure or the objects inside it.

What Causes Excess Moisture in the Winter?

Garage condensation can be very common in the wintertime when temperatures reach dramatic lows. The colder the air temperature, the less moisture the air can hold, doubling the relative humidity as the temperature decreases by 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Concrete also tends to be colder than the air, and contact with the moist, warmer air causes sweat, just like it would on a cold glass in the summertime. Additionally, every time you drive your snowy or wet car into the garage, you’re introducing even more moisture, as well as tracking in road salts and deicers.

How Does Moisture Damage Your Garage and its Concrete Floors?

As more moisture is introduced into your garage and settles on your floor, it can seep into porous uncoated concrete. Cold temperatures will cause that moisture to freeze and expand within the concrete, which can cause stress fractures and cracks. The continuous cycle of water freezing and melting can cause spalling or scaling, which is when the concrete surface flakes, peels, breaks or chips away.

Another risk to your concrete garage floor is subflorescence, which is the re-crystallization of salt in the concrete pores when the moisture finally evaporates. This also causes spalling, in addition to causing hard-to-remove white stains on the floor’s surface.

As moisture builds up in the garage, it can also cause damage to the garage itself. Moisture in the walls and ceiling can lead to mold and mildew. It can also cause metal items in your garage to rust. Finally, the excess moisture on the surface of the concrete can make the floor slippery and potentially dangerous.

How to Combat Winter Moisture Issues

  • Reduce Air Humidity

Installing a dehumidifier can make a drastic impact on the amount of moisture in your garage. For a 400-500 S.F. garage, use a unit rated for 2,500 S.F. or larger. Using a dehumidifier rated for a larger space will be the fastest and most efficient way to reduce moisture, and it will be powerful enough to keep up with drafts. You must also make sure that the dehumidifier is rated for working in colder temperatures, as that will impact its effectiveness as well.

  • Improve Air Circulation

Adding a fan in your garage can help circulate the air, and if it keeps the air near the concrete surface moving, it cannot rest long enough to cool and condense.

  • Keep the Garage Door Tightly Sealed

Garages tend to not be as tightly sealed as the interior of your home, mostly due to the size of the garage door. Adding a garage floor door seal can greatly reduce the amount of cold air or moisture that can enter the garage. Also, be sure to weatherproof any regular doors or windows in the garage with weatherstripping.

  • Insulate the Space

Use vapor barriers on the garage walls to prevent water from penetrating drywall and insulation. You can also install plastic vapor barrier sheets directly over the existing insulation.

  • Heat the Garage

This is not always practical, but it is an option to prevent your concrete floor from getting cool enough to condense the air that comes in contact with it. When selecting a space heater or garage floor heater, select one that is electric and not propane, because the propane combustion creates water vapor.

  • Apply a Concrete Coating

One of the best ways to protect the concrete floors in your garage and prevent excess moisture is to install a concrete coating like epoxy. This can reduce condensation on the garage floor, while also improving the safety, longevity and appearance of your garage. The experts at Carolina Custom Garages can help you select the best concrete coating for your garage.

5 Signs it’s Time for a Garage Upgrade

Is your garage due for an upgrade? The garage is one of the most under-utilized spots in the house. With a few minor upgrades, it can easily be a great place for storage as well as a functional workspace. Keep reading to find out when it’s time to give your garage a little facelift with some new upgrades.

Cracks in the Concrete

If the concrete flooring in your garage is cracked, it’s definitely time to give your garage an upgrade. You can fix the concrete and add a concrete floor coating to make your garage floor easier to maintain and clean for years to come. Most cracks are superficial, but if ignored for too long, they could cause problems in the foundation of your home. Instead, upgrade your flooring and add a coating to it to give it a shiny texture and a practical finish. You can also opt for epoxy flooring if you want something that you can vacuum and mop and keep clean at all times.

Junk is Piling Up

When you walk into the garage, are you staring at piles and piles of stuff? From tools to old household items, the garage can easily become a very messy space. If you can barely walk through the piles of junk, then it’s time to upgrade with some storage cabinets. You can add storage cabinets to the wall, ceiling, or place them on the floor. Storage cabinets will help you stay organized, make it easier to find what you need, and make the whole space look neater and tidier.

You Can’t Find What You Need

If you can’t ever find the rake when you need it, it may be a sign that your cluttered garage needs some more organization. You can also add organization systems to the walls to properly store outdoor tools like rakes and shovels. You can also find storage baskets for spring equipment. This can make it much easier for you to find what you need when you need it.

Overhead Storage is Slanting

If overhead storage is getting old or wasn’t installed professionally, it may start to slant on one side. This could be very dangerous, as it may fall one day, causing harm. Your garage definitely needs an upgrade if your storage shelf is falling down. Invest in a professionally installed overhead storage shelf that is adequately secured to the ceiling. This will make it simpler to store things and is also much safer.

Everything is Outdated

If everything in your garage looks like it came out of a 1970s storage locker, it’s time to upgrade your garage. You can add custom cabinetry to your garage to update the look and make the space more functional, too. You can customize a workbench to work on projects and create storage room for everything you need. This modern upgrade can add so much value to your home.

If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your garage to make it functional, stylish, and affordable, contact us at Carolina Custom Garages. We can help you reorganize and redesign your garage in a way that fits your budget. Building your dream garage has never been simpler.

5 Ways to Store Your Summer Power Equipment

Summer is that time of year when we pull out our summer power equipment to mow the lawn, work on our landscaping, or start a home renovation project. You’re probably storing all of your needed tools in your garage. Here are some best practices to keep your concrete floors and cabinets protected from your summer power equipment.

1. Store smaller power tools in the box they came in or keep them in a toolbox or cabinet.

The best way to store your smaller tools is to keep them in the box they came in. This will protect your tools from dust and prevent them from rusting.

If you don’t want a pile of boxes lying around, you can also store tools inside of a toolbox. If you add a few silica gel packs inside, you can protect your tools from any moisture that accumulates in the toolbox. (It’s easy to find silica gel packs at any big retail store at a good price.)

If you already have cabinets built in your garage, you can store smaller tools here too. Keep your drawers and cabinets lined with anti-rust liners to protect your tools and cabinets from any rust.

2. Hang larger tools like weed wackers on hooks and peg boards.

Hanging tools on the walls helps you not only protect your garage flooring, but also conserve floor space. The best way to store power tools like your weed wacker is to hang them up. You’ll keep them safely out of the way and they won’t collect any dust or dirt from the floor.

3. Store gas in containers safely on the floor.

You need to be very careful to keep gas in a specific gas canister and at least 50 feet away from any ignition sources in your garage, like water heaters and furnaces. Instead of placing gas canisters directly on the concrete, put it on a piece of plywood to prevent damage from spilling. Make sure to keep gas canisters out of direct sunlight and out of the reach of children.

4. Keep lawn mowers inside and easy to access.

If you mow your lawn yourself, this will most likely be your most frequently used tool. Make sure it’s easy to reach and to move in and out of the garage. While it may be tempting to store your lawn mower vertically, check the owner’s manual first. Many mowers can’t be stored vertically due to the risk of fuel and oil dripping into the engine. We recommend storing it on a low ramped shelf or a protective pad to keep it off of the concrete.

5. Use large metal trash cans or plastic boxes for fertilizer.

It’s important to keep fertilizer away from any ignition sources, any water sources, and it’s also nice if you can contain the smell. We recommend storing fertilizer in sealable metal or plastic containers. This will protect the fertilizer from the elements and it will also protect your garage floors from fertilizer spilling from torn-open bags.


As custom garage specialists, we know how important it is to keep your garage in tip-top condition. Contact us if we can help you with any custom storage solutions for your summer power tools.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Garage Floor: Do’s and Dont’s

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to use their garage as extra storage space for items that can’t fit in the house, and if not cleaned regularly, grime, grease, oils, and clutter can quickly build-up, leaving the garage floor in poor condition. Eliminating dirt and unwanted stains prevents your garage floor from wearing out and keeps it safe for you and your loved ones.

This piece highlights some great garage floor spring cleaning tips you can consider:

What Are The Do’s and Don’ts?

Do Use 8:1 Ratio Of Water And Clear Ammonia

One of the most effective ways of cleaning your garage floors is using eight parts of water and one part of ammonia. Apply the solution to the floor and use a soft towel for effective drying. After cleaning, remember to close all entryways, doors, and windows to prevent outside elements from entering the garage after a good clean.

Do Test The Cleaning Solution

You may have confirmed that your cleaning solution is non-abrasive and gentle, but you need to test it before using it. Therefore, try it on a small floor area first. Further, the solution shouldn’t leave a film on the coating surface while cleaning. Also, make sure the floor is wet to prevent dirt from sticking on the floor.

Don’t Use Bleaches

You may decide to use bleaches for stubborn stains, but it will end up doing more harm than good to your floor. If you use them for long periods, they may end up disintegrating the garage floor. Even worse, bleach products have intense amounts of chemical fumes, which might be overwhelming and cause health issues.

Don’t Use Industrial Chemicals

Most industrial chemicals contain highly acidic substances. Continuous usage of these substances weakens and damages your floor. Citrus and vinegar cleaners also fall under this category since they make the garage floors lose the glossy shine. You also need to avoid all-purpose cleaners and sweeping compounds with acidic or alkali ingredients, inorganic, abrasive sands, water-soluble, or crystallized salts.

Still, if you use cleaners with soap, there is a possibility of leaving some streak marks on the floor. It increases the likelihood of having a slippery floor when wet.

Don’t Mix Cleaners

Mixing some cleaners may result in a product that can weaken your floor without your knowledge. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions while using each product.

Don’t Use Sealers Or Surface Waxes

Using such products can make your floor too slippery for you and your family members.

Key Takeaway

Your garage floor is durable, but inadequate maintenance, improper cleaning, and using too harsh chemicals make it easily destructible. Not only will you have to deal with damages, but accidents are also bound to happen. Luckily, using the right cleaners such as a mixture of water and ammonia can eliminate these problems. For more details on custom garages, custom floors and floor coatings, please contact Carolina Custom Garages.