Garages are the ideal place to store belongings, sheltering them from the elements to keep them in pristine condition. However, when leftover a substantial period, dust can settle on them and affect their condition.
With this in mind, our expert team has put together a helpful list of tips to limit the amount of dust your garage accumulates, to keep your belongings intact.
In most homes, the garage is much more than a place to park vehicles. It may be a storage locker for old furniture, and a garden shed for tools and lawn supplies, or a woodshop or mechanic’s shop. All of these uses make the garage a place that gathers a lot of dust and grime. On top of that, garages have large doors that are constantly opening and closing, and a lot of outdoor dirt and debris gets blown inside.
It sometimes seems that no matter how often you sweep and clean the garage, the dust reappears as fast as you can remove it. But there are several ways to control dust inside your garage and help keep it relatively dust-free between regular cleanings.
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Minimizing dust and achieving a dust-free garage is possible. Sealing garage floors, sealing doors, and replacing the air filters are some of the things you can do to control dust. Sticking to a regular cleaning schedule is also important to minimize the garage.
Dirty air filters can also make your garage dusty because they spread dusty air into the garage. Learning control dust in the garage can help you to achieve an aesthetic garage, and it is also essential for preventing respiratory diseases.
Does it ever feel like no matter how many times you clean your dusty garage floor it remains dusty? This is a common problem many homeowners experiences, but luckily there are many ways you can control the dust inside your garage.
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What causes garage dust?
One of the major causes of dust in the garage is concrete. When concrete is sealed incorrectly, moisture, oil and grease can seep inside, break down the concrete and produce cement dust. This dust can then become disrupted and cover any stored belongings through the simple act of walking or driving a vehicle through the garage.
Before you think about eliminating dust in your garage, it is important to understand the source of the dust. Here are some causes of dust in your garage:
If you have a concrete floor in your garage, you will notice that your garage is always dusty. The concrete floor emits a lot of dust that is later transferred to other parts of the garage. A concrete floor tends to have a lot of loose dust.
Spaces on your garage door
If your garage door is not completely sealed, you will notice some dust in the garage. The dust enters the garage through the small space between your garage door and floor or garage door and walls.
Dust from tools
People who use the garage as a place for storing tools will notice dust in the garage. The dust comes from tools that have oil residue or dust from outside.
Woodworking in the garage
For people who do woodworking in the garage, it is normal to notice dust accumulation in the garage. The dust from cutting wood goes to different parts of the garage, causing dust to spread in other areas of the home.
Air conditioning unit
Your garage air conditioning unit might be causing dust in your garage. If your AC unit is old, there are chances that it will spread dust in the garage while working.
Which brings up the question: what causes concrete to degrade and start dusting?
There are many reasons but most really only apply to industrial or outdoor applications. The main things that homeowners should worry about are moisture, temperature and abrasion from physical contact.
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When motor oil spills from the chemicals you’re using, or even water comes into contact with your garage floor, they’ll gradually start to break the surface of the concrete down. You’ll start to notice small pits and even cracks in the concrete as different areas degrade faster than others.
Like anything, concrete will expand and contract slightly with different temperatures. The main challenge is in colder climates. If your concrete garage floor was poured when the outside temperature is below freezing, it might not have had the proper amount of time to solidify before freezing, which weakens the concrete overall.
Physical contact wears everything down eventually. Every time you walk or drive across your garage floor, you wear off a small layer of the surface, kicking up dust. The more use the floor’s surface gets, the more dust will accumulate.
So if your bare concrete floor is the culprit, how do you stop it from kicking up dust, covering everything in your garage?
Begin With a Thorough Cleaning
If the garage is quite dusty, start with a good, thorough cleaning. Do this systematically, beginning by cleaning high shelves and workbench surfaces of all dust and debris, and working your way down to the floor. For the most thorough cleaning, use a three-tier approach: First, sweep up dust and debris, then vacuum all surfaces using a shop vacuum, then damp-mop or use a microfiber dust cloth to remove the finest dust from all surfaces, walls to the floor.
Pay particular attention to any powder efflorescence on the concrete foundation walls and floor. Make sure the concrete isn’t currently shedding. If so, make sure to seal the concrete.
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Seal the Concrete Slab
One source of dust in a garage might surprise you: the concrete floor. Concrete that isn’t properly sealed will eventually begin to break down slightly when moisture and substances such as oil or grease seep into it. This causes the concrete to eat itself, producing a fine sheen of rock and Portland cement dust. When you walk, drag items, or drive a car through it, this dust becomes airborne and settles everywhere.
Seal every concrete surface in the garage with a good impregnating or penetrating concrete sealant. This will not only stop your concrete from producing excess dust in the future; it will also help prevent staining in the case of spills or oil leaks. Make sure you get a sealer that goes into the concrete, rather than just sitting on top as a surface layer. A good penetrating gel sealer will impede any kind of moisture or staining, which is what causes the concrete to begin to break down. They will also help fill any hairline cracks in the concrete, helping to prevent future damage and making your floor last even longer.
Repair or Replace the Door Seals
A considerable amount of dirt and dust can blow into a garage underneath doors that have bad or missing seals. Check the condition of the seals on the main garage door and any side passage doors to make sure they are in good condition. Reattach any that are loose, or replace seals that are cracked or torn.
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Change the HVAC Filter
Do you have an AC or HVAC system heating or cooling your garage? If so, it may be time to change the filter. Filters on your AC or heating unit help pull particulates out of the air. When the filter becomes clogged, it can’t do its job as effectively. This makes your garage dustier than it should be, and it also causes your HVAC system to work harder, driving up your energy bills and requiring more frequent maintenance.
Install an Air Filtration System
If you don’t heat or cool your garage with a filtered appliance, consider running an air filtration, or dust containment, a system like those used in woodworking shops. These systems work only to clean the air—they don’t affect the air temperature. Many work with an electrostatic filtration system to pull dust and other particulates out of the air. Filtration or containment systems are particularly helpful in garages that are used as shop spaces.
Clean Lawn Equipment and Garden Tools
After each use, clean your lawnmower and garden tools outdoors before storing them away in the garage. Grass clippings and garden dirt from tools comprise a surprisingly large amount of the dirt and dust in a garage. Outdoor play equipment should also be cleaned before storage.
Vacuum, Don’t Sweep
Once your garage is thoroughly cleaned, and you have taken the logical steps to reduce and control dust, you will still need to perform ongoing cleaning. A shop vacuum with a good internal filter is a much better way to keep things clean than pushing around dust and dirt with a broom. The dust in a garage often consists of very fine, almost microscopic particles, and a broom may simply redistribute this dust rather than remove it. Clean or replace the filter on the shop vac regularly so that it continues to catch fine dust.
Use Sealed Storage Containers
If you are storing things like potting soil, grass seed, playground sand, fertilizers, clothing, sidewalk salts, plaster, or drywall compounds in the garage, make sure to keep them in covered and sealed containers. Any loosely stored dry materials can contribute to dust in the garage. Buy some convenient plastic storage containers to keep these items safely sealed. Sealed containers will also prevent rodents from infiltrating your belongings.
Check your air conditioning unit
Most of the dust comes from the garage air conditioning unit and vents. If your vent is dirty, there are chances that the dust will spread into different parts of the garage. Make sure that you check your air conditioning unit for dust. You can always clean your air conditioning unit to avoid dirt from spreading into the garage.
If you do not want to keep cleaning the air conditioning unit, you can replace your filters. Doing filter replacement is always a good idea because it traps a lot of dust. For people who have vents in the home, installing a filter system can help you to trap dust. Replacing the filters regularly is cheap, and it will reduce dust in the garage.
Seal dust entry points
Dust in your garage comes from outside the garage. It is advisable to seal all the entry points to keep dust outside your garage. Inspect your garage and see where dust enters in your garage. The garage door is the first place where dust enters your garage. Check above and beneath the garage for spaces. You will notice spaces, and you can use seals to cover the spaces.
You can seal the space on your buy using rubber strips that can be bought from your nearest supplies store. The rubber strips are available in different sizes, so check your garage door to determine the right size. Once you seal the garage door, you will realize that dust does not enter your garage as usual.
Clean tools before storing them
One way to keep dust out of the garage is by cleaning tools before bringing them into the garage. Many people store their tools in the garage, and they can bring a lot of dust and dirt into the garage. For instance, if you use a lawnmower to trim grass in your yard, make sure that you wipe it because you take it back to the garage. When you take dirty tools to the garage, you end up making the garage dusty because dust from the tools spread to other parts of the garage.
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Dustproof garage storage solutions
Using dustproof garage storage can help you to reduce dust in your garage. For items that you do not want to be exposed to dust, make sure that you use dustproof storage. There are a variety of dustproof storage options depending on what you would like to store. Here are some dustproof storage solutions that you should embrace:
Sealed containers are effective for dust control. If you have items that you want to protect from dust completely, make sure that you use sealed containers. Plastic sealed containers are the best because they can be used for the storage of items like clothes. Once you seal the container properly, no dust will get into the container. They can also be used to store small tools to protect them from dust as well as rust. Plastic containers are the best because they are also waterproof in case you experience flooding in your garage.
You can use cloth covers for cars and bicycles to control dust in your garage. Cloth covers are effective for those items that you do not use on a daily basis. For instance, if you are not planning to use your car for some weeks, using a cloth cover can keep the dust away. You can also use cloth covers for bicycles and also being tools in the garage. All you have to do is to remove the cloth covers and clean them regularly, and your items will be safe from dust.
Dustproof your garage driveway
Your garage driveway might be causing dust in your garage. If the driveway leading to your garage is dusty, the same will be transferred into the garage, making it dusty. You need to dustproof your garage driveway by getting rid of the dust. You can get rid of the dust by using stone or concrete.
Cleaning the driveway regularly will also prevent dust from transferring into the garage. When the driveway is clean, you do not have to worry about dust spreading to the garage. Stone driveways are easy to clean because you can use water to eliminate the dust.
Use cleaver dust cleaning methods
Using cleaver dust cleaning methods can help reduce dust in the garage. When cleaning the garage, you need to avoid the spread of dust, and you can do this by using cleaver cleaning methods. For instance, you can decide to vacuum your garage as opposed to sweeping.
Sweeping spreads dust in the garage because all the dust moves to different parts of your garage. You can also use a wet piece of cloth to wipe the dust as opposed to dusting items in the garage. By using cleaver cleaning methods, you end up saving time on cleaning, and you also keep your garage clean for a long time.
Keeping your garage dust-free is all about learning how to cover your tools. It is also advisable to seal all the entry points in the garage.
Pressure Wash or Mop the Floor
Sweeping and vacuuming will get most of the dust and dirt off your garage floor, but to get a deeper clean, the next step is to pressure wash your garage floor.
If you don’t have access to a pressure washer, you can use a mop and some Simple Green, but you’ll need a little more elbow grease to get the job done.
It is important to sweep and vacuum the area thoroughly before you mop. If you don’t, you will just be smearing around the dirt.
Dust is a pain. You’re never going to get rid of it completely, but you can take steps to minimize it. With a newly sealed garage floor and new seals on all the windows and doors, you’ll notice a definite improvement in how much dust you have in your garage.
Your garage may be dusty now, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.