Despite their undeniable advantages, attached garages also present one serious disadvantage: fumes, odors and harmful exhaust gases that can easily make their way from the garage space to your indoor living environment. Starting or running cars and other fuel-burning equipment produces carbon monoxide; paints or solvents can produce strong fumes; pesticides, herbicides or other household chemicals in the garage may leak and seep into your home. You can keep out these potentially dangerous fumes from the garage by thoroughly sealing the garage, increasing ventilation and practicing some simple precautions.
Seal the walls between garage and living areas. Locate and seal gaps, cracks, holes and other openings where carbon monoxide or other fumes could seep into your home. Use caulking, weatherstripping or other appropriate sealing material.
Seal HVAC ductwork in the garage. Leaks in the ductwork can pull fumes and carbon monoxide into the ducts, where it will be distributed into your home along with conditioned air. Make sure ductwork sections fit together snugly and that connections are sealed with mastic or metal tape.
Install a garage fan. Put in a garage fan, similar to exhaust fans used in kitchens, to vent fumes and gases out of the garage. Get in the habit of running the fan for at least an hour after you've parked your car in the garage.
Reduce carbon monoxide production. Limit the amount of time you let your car sit and idle in the attached garage. Take lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other equipment outside to start them.
Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that human senses cannot detect. Put at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, at each end of the home and in rooms built over the attached garage.
Contact Sobieski Services today for more information on preventing the transmission of fumes from the garage and for the tools and supplies necessary to seal your garage area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: David GP