Many people use their garages to store and protect their cars or excess furniture. Unfortunately, while a garage may be a good place to keep items out of the elements, garages have a tendency to produce a lot of dust, which can settle on the items you're storing. Thankfully, your garage doesn't have to be overly dusty. There are steps you can take to help cut down on the amount of dust buildup.
Biggest Cause of Garage Dust
The number one cause of dust inside a garage is the concrete. Concrete that isn't properly sealed will eventually begin to break down slightly when moisture and things like oil or grease seep inside 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.
Other causes of dust inside your garage are likely to be the same as those of the dust inside your home: pet fur, hair, bits of fabric, and flakes of skin. Not pleasant to think about, but the dust has a way of building up naturally wherever people reside.
Eliminating Dust from a Garage
If your garage seems particularly dusty and it's affecting the items you store there, take the following steps to help eliminate or reduce it.
Clean Your Garage Well
Start with a good, thorough cleaning. Get any efflorescence off the concrete – both the floor and the walls — and make sure that the concrete isn't currently shedding. Then wipe down all the surfaces to remove any settled dust. Use a microfiber dust cloth to help capture and trap the dust rather than a broom that will just push it around.
Seal the Concrete
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 sitting on top. These gel sealers 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, which will help prevent future damage and make your floor and walls last even longer.
Change Your AC 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 HVAC unit help pull particulates out of the air. When the filter becomes clogged, it can't do its job as effectively. This not only means that your garage will be dustier than it should be, it also means that your AC or HVAC will be working harder than it needs to, driving up your energy bills, and requiring more frequent maintenance. Replacing your filter or investing in a better performing model can help reduce dust buildup in the garage.
Use an Air Filtration System
If you don't heat or cool your garage, and it's still fairly dusty, consider running an air filtration system. These systems work only to clean the air – they don't affect the air temperature. Most work with an electrostatic filtration system to pull particulates like dust out of the air while it circulates. So if the dust in your garage is caused by animals, wood dust, or other debris that can't be eliminated, this may be one way to help the issue.
Keep Your Garage Dust Free
By taking these steps to cut down on the amount of dust in your garage, you'll help make the space a more pleasant environment for working or for storage. Take the time to clean and seal your garage against dust and find even more uses for your garage space.