Is a Garage Fridge Practical? Everything You Need To Know.

fridge in garage

It’s a hot summer day and you’re in the garage exercising or working away on a project. A cold, refreshing beverage is calling your name, so you open your garage fridge and grab a beer, soda, or water.

Having a fridge in the garage is undeniably handy in such a scenario. Is it practical or even responsible to have a second fridge running in your home, though?

There are differing opinions on the subject. Environmentalists think it’s wasteful. Experts who study food waste (which is a major issue in the U.S. and Canada) believe it contributes to the problem. A lot of homeowners love the convenience of having two fridges, however. 

Get all the facts you need to know about garage fridges and whether or not you should be using one.

Do you really need that garage fridge?

Owning a second refrigerator is quite common. An estimated 23% of 35 million homes in the U.S. have two fridges, with the second appliance usually being located in the basement or garage.

If you’re considering buying an extra fridge for the garage, moving an old fridge out there, or debating whether or not to get rid of that extra fridge, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are the temperatures in my garage suitable for the fridge I want to buy or currently have? 
  2. Do I spend a lot of free time in the garage and love having a nearby fridge to store beverages?
  3. Is an additional fridge and/or freezer used regularly for storing extra groceries that won’t fit into my main fridge?
  4. Could the space my garage fridge is taking up be put to better use?
  5. Do I really need to have a full-sized fridge loaded up with more beer, bottled water, and soda than my family can drink in the next few months?
  6. Can I justify the extra expense of running a second fridge?

The pros and cons of having a second fridge in the garage

To further help you decide on the practicality of running a fridge in your garage, here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros:

  • An extra fridge is handy for staying well-stocked on groceries and reduces the number of trips made to the grocery store.
  • Having a garage fridge that can hold bottled drinks is super-convenient and lets your main fridge be used mainly for food items.
  • A cooking enthusiast will appreciate having room to store their leftovers.
  • If you entertain frequently, an extra fridge is ideal for keeping prepared dishes you’re serving and for leftovers.

Cons:

  • Having an extra refrigerated storage space can cause you to overbuy when food shopping.
  • Food in the second fridge is more likely to go to waste because it’s forgotten about.
  • Running a second fridge in your house adds to your electrical bill.
  • A second refrigerator uses up space in the garage.
  • Owning a second fridge doubles the chance of future fridge maintenance costs.
  • Operating an additional fridge can create garage condensation issues from the extra moisture produced by the appliance.
open fridge with drinks and condiments

There are pros and cons to running an extra fridge in the garage. (Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

Why regular fridges aren’t ideal for most garages

Regardless of what decision you make after weighing your pros and cons about using a second fridge, there are a few important things you should know.

Unless you live in a climate with consistent year-round temperatures and they fall within the manufacturer-recommended range of temperatures for running the appliance, using a regular fridge in the garage is a bad idea.

Just for starters, operating a fridge in an inhospitable climate that doesn’t comply with the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines will probably void your warranty.

High temperatures and regular fridges = a future repair bill

Regular fridges are made to operate at room temperature. High temperatures cause a fridge in a room without climate control to run all the time without a break because it’s constantly struggling to keep the interior cool.

This extra stress the appliance is under increases the amount of electricity being consumed. It also turns the fridge into a major repair bill (and eventual complete breakdown of the appliance) just waiting to happen.

Fluctuating temperatures can cause the drip pans in these appliances to fill up with water quickly. When it gets hotter, condensation will also form on the outside of the appliances and evaporate. In both cases, that means extra unneeded moisture in your garage.

A regular fridge’s freezer doesn’t enjoy your cold garage

It might seem illogical, but very cold temperatures in a garage with a regular fridge can play havoc with the appliance’s freezer section.

Some refrigerators only have one thermostat in the fridge section, especially older models. When the temperature in a room drops, the temperature control unit is fooled into thinking the temperature in the freezer is fine.

Although the fridge compressor should turn on to lower the freezer section’s temperature, it may fail to do so. The next thing you know, the malfunction could leave you with nothing but a freezer that’s full of spoiled food when the room’s temperature rises.

A garage refrigerator kit might help

One way that a regular fridge could be used in the garage is to buy a garage refrigerator kit for between $20 and $40.

The kit lets you connect a heating pad or coil to the fridge’s thermostat and essentially trick the appliance into thinking the temperature in the room is higher than it is.

Buy a kit that is made by the appliance maker specifically for your fridge model.

It’s worth keeping in mind that buying a refrigerator kit for an old fridge may not be worth it. As we’ll explain next, old fridges aren’t energy-efficient. Therefore, it might be wiser to invest in a new garage-ready fridge that won’t cost as much to run.

Old refrigerators aren’t energy-efficient

The saying “they don’t make ’em like they used to” has a lot of truth. This writer has witnessed one of the most impressive examples of this – and it actually involved a fridge!

I’ve spent a lot of time at my best friend’s cottage over the years, which his family has had for several generations. One of the things that I was always fascinated by was the fridge running in the cottage.

It was a Viking fridge that my friend believes his grandfather bought in the 1950s. Back then, they called them “iceboxes”. And it still worked, summer after summer, surviving through many decades of Canadian winters in a cottage that isn’t winterized.

That’s impressive. Now, as quaint as this may be, that old beast was probably responsible for the lion’s share of the cottage’s electrical bill.

Old garage fridges are far less energy-efficient than modern fridges (and that’s in an ideal setting). When you factor in that they work a lot harder in hot weather and are rarely cleaned or serviced, that lack of energy efficiency is exponentially worse.

And let’s face it – a lot of old fridges aren’t exactly “lookers”. Remember the good ’ol 70s and those lovely fridge colors like avocado green, brown, and orange?

Here’s what it costs to operate an old refrigerator

energy star logoWhy is it probably time for your old fridge to be sent off to the appliance graveyard?

A fridge manufactured before 1990 could potentially be costing you between $250-300 a year to run in a garage.

To find out what your old fridge is costing you to operate, use this Energy Star calculator.

Replacing the fridge with a newer model may involve an upfront expense now, but you’ll save on electricity costs in the long run. It’s better for the planet, too.

ice buildup in fridge

An old fridge may last a long time, but you’ll occasionally see sights like this that indicate it’s not working properly. Old fridges are far less energy-efficient than modern fridges, too.

The best choice for running a fridge in the garage

If you’re still set on having that second refrigerator running in the garage, what you need is a special type of fridge.

To prevent problems, buy a garage-ready fridge that can function efficiently when it gets bitterly cold and also stiflingly hot in your garage.

A refrigerator designed to run in a garage has better insulation and components that can handle temperature changes. This special design does make them a little more expensive.

If your garage fridge is going to mostly be used for keeping canned or bottled beverages cold and not for overflow food storage, a mini-fridge makes more sense for you.

Remember to keep the fridge out of direct sunlight and plug it directly into an electrical outlet instead of using an extension cord.

Make sure you buy the right appliance

outdoor fridge

Outdoor fridges are also constructed with electrical components that can handle changing climates and temperatures, as well as moisture.

The appliances are built with thicker insulation and their exteriors are constructed with materials that will withstand exposure to the elements.

Don’t make the mistake of buying an outdoor fridge for use in your garage, however. These appliances are meant for areas like an outdoor kitchen.

Like a garage-ready fridge, outdoor fridges cost more than regular fridges in terms of the amount of cubic feet of space you get per dollar. There’s no point in paying more for a fridge with a weather-resistant exterior that is always going to be in a covered space.

Install a garage fridge inside a cabinet system

Garage Living helps our clients make their garages an extension of their living space. Adding extra amenities to the garage like a fridge is one way we make this happen.

Our garage cabinet systems can be designed to incorporate a garage-ready mini-fridge under the countertop like the one pictured below and in the top photo.

You can view additional photos of this Ferrari-themed garage remodel by viewing the Performance Garage gallery.

A mini-fridge won’t even feel like it’s taking up space in your garage because it’s recessed into the cabinet system’s design!

Other traditional indoor living space amenities that can be added to a cabinet system design are a TV and a sink with a faucet.

two ferraris parked in garage with red cabinets

This garage’s cabinet system was designed to include an under-counter mini-fridge.

Insulation will help with climate control

Adding or upgrading your garage insulation is a wise investment, whether you have a second fridge running in the room or not.

Garage insulation helps to regulate the room’s temperature so it doesn’t get such extreme temperature swings.

Along with extending the life of your garage fridge, you’ll boost your home’s energy efficiency.

A garage fridge is convenient. So is indoor parking.

Having a fridge that is specifically designed for use in the garage is convenient.

Being able to park your vehicles in the garage and having a well-organized space is even more convenient.

Update your garage’s appearance and optimize its functionality by scheduling a free design consultation with Garage Living.

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Minimalist Garage Ideas: The Beauty of Elegant Simplicity

minimalist garage

Minimalism is in.

Leading the minimalist movement are The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus), who write, speak, and make documentaries about the subject. Organizing expert Marie Kondo has also made minimalism popular.

Their message about the benefits of living with less has been embraced by millions of people around the globe in recent years.

Minimalism is popular in most aspects of the designs we see every day. Phone apps, web pages, advertisements, and products like electronics and cars often feature designs with a minimalist influence.

The architecture and décor of the spaces we live and shop in also employ minimalistic design elements.

Can the “less is more” concept be applied to a garage?

Absolutely. Find out why a minimalist garage philosophy and design style could be perfect for your home, especially if the rest of your house features minimalist design elements.

What is a minimalist garage?

minimalist modern garage

So what exactly is a minimalist garage? It’s a simple concept that involves two things:

  1. A neutral color palette is used for the garage’s décor to give the room an aesthetic that is simple, yet appealing.
  2. Giving the room plenty of open space by ensuring anything being stored in the garage is essential and arranged in a tidy, organized manner.

When some people hear the word “simple” associated with interior décor, they think “boring”. Minimalist garage design looks anything but boring when it’s done right by a talented design professional, however.

The photos in this article prove that applying a minimalist approach to a garage’s design can produce results that look sleek, clean, and ultra-modern.

An uncluttered garage with a muted color palette also has a calming effect that you’ll appreciate whenever you enter the room.

Can a garage really be clutter-free?

Taking a large room like the garage and keeping it clutter-free may seem impossible. After all, it’s the catch-all space where things that don’t have a home tend to end up…and usually forgotten about.

cluttered garage

A cluttered garage from the documentary film, The Minimalists: Less Is Now.

After a while, it’s easy to become accustomed to keeping clutter around. Unfortunately, this results in a room that’s far less functional than it should be.

Getting your garage to the point where clutter is a thing of the past isn’t as impossible a task as it may seem. All it takes is a little hard work and discipline.

Garages are the most valuable storage area in a house, not just for things like yard tools, sports equipment, and overflow storage from your main living space, but for your vehicles.

“Trimming the fat” from the contents of your garage by getting rid of unessential items allows the room to have more open space and be used more efficiently for storage.

Is minimalism still a thing?

Kondo often gets credit for kickstarting the minimalist movement a few years ago with her bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book. In fact, The Minimalists were out there promoting the minimalist lifestyle shortly before her.

The Minimalists, who grew up in Ohio and have been close friends since elementary school, quit their corporate jobs and began evangelizing the benefits of minimalism full-time in 2011.

They have co-authored several books, make public speaking appearances, and host the popular The Minimalists Podcast. You may have seen one of their Netflix documentaries, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and The Minimalists: Less Is Now.

Minimalism is more than a trend

Minimalism isn’t just a passing fad – the concept has been around for centuries. The Minimalists and Kondo just redefined how we view material minimalism and brought their message to the mainstream.

Kondo’s message was so successful that her name has even become a verb for organizing (as in, “I’m planning to Marie Kondo my garage this weekend”).

Different approaches

The Minimalists and Kondo have different approaches on how minimalism can work for you. Kondo puts more emphasis on decluttering, while The Minimalists take a more extreme approach that encourages getting to the root of why we think we need to own so many things and trying to change our consumerist habits. Both offer useful lessons in how we can learn to live with less.

You don’t have to go “all in” with minimalism and have it be the drastic lifestyle change it’s sometimes made out to be.

Less is more

The basis of what they’re preaching really isn’t profound or rocket science. Essentially, their message boils down to this: not allowing possessions (that you don’t really need) to occupy your space is practical and better for your mental health.

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s “less is more” design rule is also just as relevant now as it was when he first popularized the phrase a century ago.

Variations of that saying have sprung up over the years, such as the U.S. Navy’s “KISS principle” (an acronym for “keep it simple, stupid”). It may be blunt, but it’s still effective.

Visualize your minimalist garage

One of Kondo’s 6 Rules of Tidying is to visualize how you want your home to look before getting started on a decluttering project.

Apply that concept to the garage by establishing goals for how you want your garage to eventually look.

Goals for your garage-in waiting:

  • Having enough space to park vehicles comfortably.
  • Keeping things organized so that they’re easy to locate quickly.
  • Transforming your unfinished garage from an eyesore to a beautiful, stylish-looking space you enjoy returning home to.
  • Having heads turn from impressed neighbors and passersby when your garage doors are open.
  • Creating enough space to turn your garage into a more functional and comfortable extension of your living space.
  • Eliminating the never-ending stress that comes with dealing with a messy garage.
  • Being able to clean your garage much easier.
  • Having a clutter-free garage floor that doesn’t force your family to hopscotch around tripping hazards.

See your future garage before building begins

Your garage designer can help you envision what your finished minimalist garage design will look like. During the makeover process, 3D models are created with CAD (computer-aided design) to ensure everything is precisely designed.

3d drawing of minimalist garage design

3D render of a minimalist garage design by Garage Living.

These models also allow the client to view the design and ensures they’re happy with it before work begins in their garage.

unfinished cluttered garage before makeover

Before: Prior to its makeover, this unfinished garage’s exposed central vac, circuit panel, and wiring were an eyesore for the homeowner.

minimalist garage after makeover

After: The utility systems are discreetly hidden inside custom-designed cabinets that complement the overall minimalist garage aesthetic. We’d bet that the finished project exceeded what the homeowner visualized for their new garage!

Think of it as curating, not decluttering

You could spend thousands of dollars on a luxury garage makeover project that makes the space look like a high-end car showroom. It won’t mean much if you can’t actually see most of those upgrades because of excess clutter, however.

The vision of what your minimalist garage will eventually look like should be an open, clutter-free space. Living with fewer material possessions requires us to make numerous tough, disciplined choices during the clean-up process.

Curating clutter

No one enjoys decluttering. Therefore, try to look at the process of eliminating the junk from your garage as curating. Curating is defined as selecting, organizing, and presenting something, which aligns perfectly with what you’re trying to do.

Kondo’s tidying up approach admittedly isn’t for everyone. If pondering whether or not an inanimate object like an old shovel sparks joy and should be thanked for its service to you before being tossed out seems a little silly, do things your own way.

As you go through each item, just ask yourself if it has any practical value to you. Use whatever barometer works for you to make those decisions, which could involve applying the one-year rule (has it been used once in the last year?).

Remove larger items first

Start by removing the easiest and largest items first. You’ll quickly start seeing more space open up and stay inspired to continue further. Our previous article listing some suggestions for garage junk items to toss or donate can help.

Use this as motivation: clearing out a clutter-filled room is guaranteed to make you feel lighter and unburdened when you’re finished. It’s a natural, healthy response to liberating yourself from useless things that have only been impeding your ability to enjoy your living space more.

Add hard-working, stylish storage

Part of creating a minimalist garage look is to use storage systems that look attractive, yet don’t call attention to themselves. They need to blend well with the rest of the room’s décor, too.

Any storage systems you choose should be highly efficient to maximize the room’s storage space. When paired with setting your garage storage systems up in the right places, this goal is easily achievable.

Use your walls and ceiling space more efficiently

Make your walls and ceiling space work harder by having slatwall panels and overhead storage racks installed. Each of these provides a wealth of versatile storage space that keeps your floor empty and open, which is just what we want for that tidy minimalist garage look.

tidy garage wall storage

Only keep essential items that you can store tidily. Set a goal to make your vehicles the only thing being stored on your garage floor.

Your storage needs will change over time. Aim to have space not only for everything you’re storing now, but also to accommodate future purchases (but not too many of them, okay?).

Remember that empty space is a key aspect of minimalism. It may be a challenge giving homes to every item in your garage, while also leaving some wall space unfilled.

Organize to minimize

Organizing everything on your walls in an orderly fashion and grouping like items together not only looks nicer, it makes it easier to find and return things to their home. The room’s minimalist look will be more emphasized than if items were haphazardly stored on the walls in a random fashion.

Avoid having too many storage bins in your overhead racks. They’re ideal for storing infrequently used things like holiday decorations that are only used once a year. Odds and ends stored in closed storage bins that are stashed up high and out of your way tend to be forgotten about over time, however (the out of sight, out of mind principle).

Overcrowded open shelving will create visual clutter that conflicts with a minimalist aesthetic. Make use of a closed storage system like garage cabinets to preserve the clean presentation of the space by keeping some things hidden.

Creating a minimalist garage design aesthetic

A game plan is in place for reducing the number of things that will be stored in your garage and where they’ll be stored. Let’s now turn our attention to the “canvas” your designer will work with.

One could jokingly argue that a minimalist design aesthetic has been the default look in garages since they were invented a century ago.

The dirt and grass floors of the earliest garages evolved into grey concrete surfaces. The wooden barn-like structures of garages in the past gave way to a surrounding backdrop of exposed framing studs or scuffed, unpainted drywall with a grey or ivory shade.

Get creative with your colors

To give the room a minimalist design update that stands out, some contrast and a little more creativity with the color scheme is needed.

Choose a combination of subdued neutral colors like black, white, brown, gray, beige, taupe, and tan for your color palette.

Garage Living’s slatwall panels and cabinets come in a wide variety of neutral colors and accents that complement each other beautifully.

To complete your simplified color scheme, the designer will help you choose a Floortex™ floor coating color that blends harmoniously with the rest of the room. A new floor coating isn’t just cosmetic – it also provides high-performance protection for your garage floor.

minimalist garage storage

Cabinets keep stored items hidden to preserve the garage’s tidy look. This minimalist design is the Midnight theme from Garage Living’s Designer Series.

Simplify the garage design process

To simplify things, you can choose a minimalist theme from Garage Living’s Designer Series, which features themes with pre-chosen colors and materials that help simplify the design process.

The garage pictured just above uses the Midnight design theme that includes a combination of black, grey, and white shades. The photo above showcase a remodel that is featured in our Minimalist Garage makeover gallery.

The designs are similar, with both using the same color of floor coating, black cabinets, and grey ceiling paint. The big difference is the walls. The Midnight theme garage has black slatwall with a black diamond plate backsplash that closely matches the cabinet color. The other garage went for more of a contrasting look, using floor-to-ceiling grey slatwall.

Both designs work effectively and illustrate a mere fraction of the range of minimalist design combinations available.

The black cabinets contrast nicely with the lighter neutral colors on the floor, walls, and ceiling.

Adding visual interest to your minimalist garage design

One of the biggest challenges with a minimalist aesthetic is to avoid having the decor look sterile and bland.

We’ve already shown how contrasting minimalist colors can add visual interest. Using textures, lines, and subtle accents are other ways to create more visual appeal.

Floor coatings have decorative flakes with different colors and give the floor a textured feel and attractive, distinct appearance.

Enhance the décor with lines and textures

The slatwall grooves provide the horizontal lines (lots of them, in fact!) and help the space look bigger. Thin slatwall strips that are a different color from the slatwall panel color used for the larger amount of wall space add tasteful contrast. Aluminum diamond plate backsplashes also provide a contrasting effect, along with a rugged, textured look.

Even subtle elements like the horizontal and vertical lines and contrasting colors of the pulls on a cabinet system’s doors and drawers add some variety to the room’s look.

Use negative space in a positive way

If your garage is big enough, using negative space can be an effective design tool as well. A painter knows that sometimes it’s what’s not added to the canvas that makes the rest of the piece stand out and deliver a more powerful visual presentation.

Using negative space as part of your minimalist garage design focuses more attention on the room’s finer points. That could be your prized luxury vehicles, a deluxe cabinet system, or your ultra-tidy walls filled with hanging items that are neatly organized.

car lift

A double car lift leaves more open floor space in this garage with a minimalist design style.

Bring your minimalist garage ideas to life

Give your garage’s appearance and functionality an overhaul with these minimalist garage ideas.

To bring your garage remodel project to life, get started by booking a free design consultation with Garage Living.

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Garage Dust Control: 5 Effective Tips Everyone Should Know

garage dust control hero image

Is your garage a space that attracts dust like a magnet, despite your best cleaning efforts?

Household dust comes from many sources. Pet dander, clothing fibers, dead skin cells, dirt, pollen, dead insects, and particles from paint, wood, and home building materials are just some of the things that create dust.

It’s impossible to eliminate dust in a garage. There are plenty of garage dust control methods you can use to keep this area of your house cleaner, however.

Garage dust control is important. Here’s why.

Exposure to too much dust is unhealthy. Breathing in excessive levels of dust can cause respiratory issues. Many dust particles also have high levels of chemicals, which can lead to even more serious health issues.

Reducing the amount of dust in your garage is even more important if you spend a significant amount of spare time in the room using it as a home gym, workshop, or for some other type of hobby.

And let’s be honest, too much dust in any room just looks unattractive. Even a space that is immaculately organized looks and feels messy if it’s covered in a layer of ugly grey dust.

Why is my garage so dusty?

Keeping the amount of dust in your garage at a minimum can feel like a losing battle. There’s a good reason why. Garages are a space in which dust accumulates quickly for many reasons:

  • unsealed concrete garage floors slowly wear down and leave a fine, powdery residue
  • the average garage door opens and closes 3-5 times each day, providing a large opening for dust and debris from outside to blow indoors
  • some garage doors don’t have tight seals, which allows dust and dirt to blow inside
  • cleaning too infrequently or using poor cleaning practices
  • dried winter road salt gets ground down into a fine powder
  • garages tend to accumulate junk and clutter, giving dust more surfaces to settle on
  • the moisture in garages makes it easier for dust to “stick” to surfaces
  • vehicles coming and going and frequent foot traffic stir up settled dust
  • grass clippings and garden dirt from yard tools dry and break down into dust particles

While those are a number of obstacles to overcome, there are lots of ways to deal with garage dust issues.

The following garage dust control solutions will produce instantly noticeable improvements in the amount of dust found in your garage.

Unfinished cracked garage floor with road salt damage

Unsealed concrete slowly wears down over time and leaves fine dust on a garage floor.

1. Garage dust control solutions for your floor

Concrete dusting occurs when the top layer of a concrete slab slowly disintegrates over time, producing a chalky powder on the floor surface.

Vehicle and foot traffic can speed up this process. Old age may also be why a deteriorating concrete surface is causing persistent dust issues in a garage.

Concrete can break down prematurely because of various reasons related to how the concrete or a coating was applied. Here are a few examples:

  • the concrete was poured at a less-than-optimal temperature
  • floor coating or concrete products were improperly mixed
  • the concrete slab was not allowed to cure properly

Listed below are three options that will prevent or slow down the deterioration of a concrete slab.

Garage floor coating system

A floor coating system is one of the best garage dust control solutions you can invest in.

Floor coatings seal concrete surfaces and prevent them from wearing down and creating the fine dust that gets spread all over a garage. They also provide flooring protection from water damage, stains, and abrasions. Some garage makeover companies can even seal and coat the wall foundations in a garage, which can also deteriorate over time.

Floor coating systems are better than a plain floor sealer because they include decorative flakes that add visual appeal to a garage and help to obscure dust and dirt on the floor.

Although DIY epoxy floor coatings cost less, it’s worth the investment to have an expert like Garage Living handle your flooring project. Our Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coatings are superior to epoxy coatings. We follow a 5-step application process using state-of-the-art equipment, to ensure our floors look incredible and last for many years.

Another reason to let a pro take care of your garage floor is you’ll be ensured of being left with a perfect, smooth surface that’s easy to maintain.

garage floor sealer and coating

A garage floor coating system seals concrete surfaces to protect them from wearing down prematurely.

Garage floor tiles

Perhaps a garage floor coating system is beyond your budget. Another option worth considering are interlocking garage floor tiles that can be installed quickly.

High-quality floor tiles made from PVC or other durable materials provide a resilient foundation for garage floors. While floor tiles obviously don’t seal concrete, they do fully cover a floor surface. This will prevent the dust from concrete slabs from becoming airborne. Floor tiles are also cost-effective for anyone looking to cover up a floor with significant damage that they’re not eager to spend a lot of money on to repair.

The design of most floor tiles includes grooves and gaps on the top surface that traps water and allows for airflow. Those gaps will trap dust and dirt, so they’ll need to be vacuumed out occasionally.

Like floor coatings, floor tiles have decorative benefits. Most floor tile manufacturers offer a variety of colors and patterns to choose from, which can be mixed and matched to create a one-of-a-kind floor design.

Garage floor sealer

Roll-on garage floor sealers will help slow down the deterioration of concrete. It’s worth noting that commercially available floor sealing products found in big-box stores don’t penetrate a concrete surface as well as industrial-grade sealers. The bond to the concrete won’t be as strong, resulting in less floor protection and durability.

If you want to seal your floor and have it look nicer, floor sealers aren’t ideal. Surface flaws and evidence of repair work on cracks and sections of the floor will still be visible after a sealer application.

A commonly Googled question is “how to paint a dusty garage floor”. Don’t waste your time with roll-on garage floor paint products. They provide little to no sealing benefits for a floor. Floor paint is notorious for chipping and flaking away quickly after being applied and it only gives you a short-term cosmetic fix.

2. Keep the garage more organized

An organized garage that is only filled with items you use and actually need means there’s less clutter for dust to collect on. Less clutter means the airflow in the garage will be better, too.

Better storage systems that make it easier to keep the garage tidy are an effective way to control dust in the room. Slatwall panels and overhead racks that maximize your garage’s wall and ceiling storage space are very effective at keeping garages organized.

Storage cabinets are also perfect for garages that have dust issues. Cabinet systems give garages an upscale, professional look and provide covered storage space to keep more of your belongings dust-free.

With less floor clutter, you’ll find it easier to clean your garage more regularly. No one likes cleaning. It’s even harder to motivate yourself to give the garage a sweep when the floor is littered with stacks of junk you have to move or sweep around. An open, clutter-free floor can be thoroughly swept, squeegeed, or dry mopped in just a few minutes, without any fuss!

garage cabinets protect from dust

Garage cabinets keep your belongings protected from dust.

3. Fully seal all garage entrances

A study found that about 60% of indoor dust comes from outside. Garage doors that don’t have proper seals are a major entry point for dust and debris and also lower the energy-efficiency of your home.

Inspect your garage doors for gaps or broken seals that could be letting in dust and other debris. The bottom seal of a garage door must be in good shape and properly fitted since this a primary entry point for dust and dirt.

Making sure your garage doors are properly sealed will help keep out pests, too.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the seals around garage access doors that open to the outdoors. Perimeter weatherstripping around door frames and bottom door seals should last anywhere from 5-10 years before needing replacement.

Keep in mind that heavier usage of a door will cause the weatherstripping around it to wear down faster.

wood garage doors

Garage doors that are properly sealed will keep dust and debris out of garages.

4. Tips for cleaning a dusty garage

One comment we read in an online forum in reply to a question about dealing with dust in the garage actually said, “Your best option is to leave it. Dust will stay put if you don’t disturb it.”

We hate to imagine what kind of state that person’s living space is in, but clearly that’s no way to deal with a dust problem.

By merely cleaning more regularly and the right way, your garage will have fewer issues with excess dust. If possible, try to stick to a regular schedule for cleaning the garage. Every 3-4 weeks should be sufficient.

When we say “clean the right way”, we mean cleaning efficiently and thoroughly (including getting into those neglected garage corners).

Effective garage dust control doesn’t involve spreading the dust around when you’re cleaning instead of capturing most of it. Always work from the top down so any stirred-up dust falls to the lower areas you’ll be cleaning next. Avoid using anything to dust that’s dry. Damp cloths and microfiber or electrostatic dusting cloths will work most effectively.

For floors, a good push broom or dust mop and dustpan or shovel should capture most of the dust and debris on the ground. On unsealed concrete surfaces, sweeping compound does a good job of capturing all of the debris on floors and prevents dust from becoming airborne while sweeping.

garage dust sweeping

Image by Paweł Englender from Pixabay

You should avoid using a pressure washer with a high-pressure nozzle on a garage floor, whether it’s sealed or bare concrete. The pressure can damage the topcoat of a floor coating and will accelerate the deterioration of the concrete.

After sweeping your garage floor it can be hosed down and squeegeed and cleaned with a light cleaning solution. Follow our garage floor cleaning and maintenance guide to keep your floor coating looking like new.

Another benefit of cleaning a garage floor regularly is you’ll pick up the fine granules of sand, dirt, and dried road salt that can cause damage with pitting and spalling (when concrete crumbles or flakes away).

To conclude our garage dust control tips for your floor, take the time to clean your driveway. An occasional sweep will get rid of the dirt, sand, and other debris that gets tracked inside to your garage floor.

5. Install a garage ventilation or air filtration system

turbine roof ventThe above garage dust control solutions will have you well on your way to enjoying a cleaner garage. To improve the room’s air quality even more, you can install a garage ventilation or air filtration system.

A powered ventilation system can be installed on your garage’s roof or walls. Passive wind-powered turbine roof vents (pictured to the right) will also improve the airflow in a garage.

An air filtration system is another way to keep the air in a garage cleaner. They’re especially practical for garage workshops where a lot of wood is being cut, as will a garage dust collection system (which saves a shop vac filter from being overworked by dust collection).

If you currently have an HVAC system or some other type of air quality-related system that uses filters, ensure the filters are cleaned or replaced as recommended.

Do you have garage dust control problems? We have solutions!

Like any other room in your house, dust will always be present to some degree. By using these garage dust control tips, however, you can improve the air quality and cleanliness of your garage.

Spend less time cleaning your garage and dealing with excess dust and more time enjoying it.

Get organized with better storage systems that eliminate dust-collecting clutter and discover what a difference having the best garage floor coating on the market can make.

Talk to us about our effective garage dust control solutions and other creative ideas to make your garage nicer. Schedule a free design consultation with Garage Living today.

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Spring Cleaning Tips For An Unfinished Garage

April showers bring May flowers.

April showers may also make things a little messy before you can enjoy the blooms of spring. You may find layers of dirt covering your driveway, walkways, and your unfinished garage floor, however, we have some solutions to help you manage spring cleaning with ease.

Respect for the garage

When buying a new house, often the builder’s idea of finishing the garage is to install drywall, tape, and mud it. They seldom paint the drywall and having them pour a concrete floor might be considered an upgrade. If you’re watching your budget and considering other enhancements to your new property, the garage might not receive the attention that it deserves.

There was a time, not that long ago, when the whole family left home to go off-site for education, exercise, shopping, and work returning home later in the day or early evening. We did not spend that much time in our homes, and for the most part we accepted the condition of our homes.

Now, we cannot avoid looking at our dwellings from many different perspectives. When space is at a premium for families who are bursting at the seams; basements, guest rooms, laundry rooms, and garages are prime candidates for expanding, waiting to be repurposed to accommodate home offices, online schooling, and work out spaces.

Clean up time

Bring out the hose, the rakes, and the shovels – that is if you can find them if the garage has become a dumping ground.

With the change of seasons, tennis racquets and other athletic equipment may not have not found their way back to their designated areas, if they ever really had one.

Storing sports equipment and holiday décor can become a revolving mess, and many homeowners dread the seasonal re-organization of this rarely-thought-of space – also known as the garage. Here are recommendations to make the task easier.

Garage spring cleaning checklist

You are only as good as your tools. For this job you are going to need the following:

  • Work gloves
  • A sturdy step stool for hard-to-reach places
  • 4-gallon bucket
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Push broom and a regular broom
  • Squeegee
  • A clean spray bottle
  • Black, permanent marker
  • 5 empty boxes or bins

Label 5 boxes for their eventual destination:

  1. Donate
  2. Elsewhere
  3. Recycle
  4. Trash
  5. Dispose (for hazardous waste dispose at your local waste disposal center).

You will also need various products, in addition to hot water, to help get out stubborn stains.

  • Baking soda
  • Environmentally friendly soap
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cornstarch or clay cat litter
  • White vinegar
  • Crystal Simple Green

End up with a clean slate

First things first – empty the garage. This is a great time to sort and donate. The key to efficient cleaning is to work from top to bottom, left to right. Sweep the ceiling, corners, and walls, and then close the garage doors and clean it as well. Hose it down and let it thoroughly dry and air out.

Now you can see stains on the cement. In a bucket of hot water, add ½ cup of baking soda and a generous amount of ecologically friendly detergent. With a good push broom, scrub the grimy areas. Rinse and let dry.

For hard-to-remove stains, re-wet the surface and drizzle with hydrogen peroxide or Crystal Simple Green. Neither of these will not harm your lawn or bordering plants when you rinse. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse the garage floor and the broom. Let dry.

Elbow grease may be necessary

Oil drips from cars, lawnmowers, and other equipment stain concrete, because it is porous, but it can also leave slick, slippery areas on the garage floor. To soak up lubricants, apply a thick layer of clay cat litter, or food grade diatomaceous earth. Let it sit for at least 24 hours, then sweep it up and safely discard it with your household trash. Keep watch during the process to ensure that it is lifting the oil as you will see grease seeping through.

Next, add environmentally friendly soap to a bucket of hot water. Scrub the area with a brush or broom, rinse and let dry.

Mold, moss, mildew, and moisture

When it comes to mold and other unwanted organic materials, sweeping alone will not solve the problem. The plant spores must be killed.

In a spray bottle mix equal parts of hot water and white vinegar. After spraying the area, scrub with a brush or a push broom. For stubborn mold and mildew, mix a ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of hot water, cover the area and let it sit for about half an hour. Rinse the surface and let it dry.

In colder climates, check to ensure that downspouts were not damaged during the winter, and that rainwater is being diverted away from the home and the garage. Make sure to clean up leaves and other debris, and check rain gutters. Autumn leaves can clog eavestroughs, and trap moisture around your dwelling, which can also cause mold and mildew stains on patios, decks, and walkways.

Once you have cleaned your garage and removed stains, consider applying a professional sealant to your garage floor which last years longer than DIY brands needing to be re-applied every two to three years.

Take your garage to the next level

A professionally applied floor coating looks great and is easy to clean. Rust resistant garage cabinetry helps to hide clutter and keeps everything organized. Tire racks maximize wall storage space and keep the floor clear.

Better yet, request a free design consultation with Garage Living to learn about our durable, garage floor coating system known as Floortex™. We specialize in a 5-step process to prepare and seal concrete floors. If you want a garage floor that is durable, easy to clean, and long-lasting, then a Floortex™ floor coating is your best solution.

If you already have Floortex™ floor coating in your garage then we recommend using Crystal Simple Green to remove oil, grease, tar, mud, dirt, salt residue, and tire marks. Check out our handy garage floor cleaning and maintenance guide for Floortex™ floors.

Storage solutions to reduce garage clutter forever

Our design consultants assess your needs and create an organized plan with a proper home for everything you put everything you store in your garage. Operating since 2005, they have seen thousands of cluttered garages and can provide a custom solution to solve your storage and organization challenges.

Garage cabinets are great for hiding clutter and keeping smaller items organized. Garage wall storage and overhead storage racks are often overlooked. They can increase the amount of usable storage space in your garage. Not only that, you may realize that this valuable space could also be readapted to a workshop, a craft room, a workout area, or a home office.

Re-think inside the box and let us help you with a new garage perspective.

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The Garage Floor Winter Protection Solution Your Home Needs

Garage floors work hard when dealing with constant foot and vehicle traffic. They also have to contend with exposure to dust, dirt, mud, spills, automotive fluid leaks, and rainwater.

And garage floors in homes that are located in snowy northern climates have an even bigger workload. Winters take a greater toll on those garage floors with all the snow, ice, salt, sand, and de-icing products that get brought inside by your vehicles and footwear.

Learn more about what you can do to give your home the best garage floor winter protection.

Here’s what the winter can do to your garage floor

Having an ice-cold, messy, and slippery floor isn’t the only effect winter has on your garage.

Most garage floors are unfinished, meaning they’re just bare concrete without a top seal. Concrete is actually more porous than people realize. Without a sealer, garage floors are more prone to foundational deterioration from water and chemical de-icer.

A garage floor will expand and contract when the temperature rises and falls. This natural process will endure more stress when excess water seeps into the concrete (especially via surface-level cracks) and goes through repeated thaw and freeze cycles.

Melted snow that mixes with road salt will recrystallize within the concrete, which puts additional stress on the floor. Eventually, this all results in existing floor cracks getting longer and deeper and new cracks forming. Pitting and spalling can also occur, which involves larger areas of a floor’s surface crumbling or flaking away.

Unfinished cracked garage floor with road salt damage

Unfinished garage floor with road salt damage and cracks.

Sand may be useful when it’s spread on the roads, but it’s definitely no friend of the garage floor. The very reason sand is being used for winter driving safety is why it’s bad for a floor. The abrasiveness that gives the sand its functionality for tire traction wears away at your floor’s surface, whether it’s bare concrete or has a topcoat.

And we can’t leave out road salt. All of those unsightly white salt stains and deposits on the floor will not just make a mess of your clothes, they also do damage even before seeping into the concrete. Salt that is left on the floor can cause discoloration and also acts as an abrasive.

What are your garage floor winter protection options?

When you’re considering winter protection for your garage floor, you have four viable options.

1. Garage floor coatings

An epoxy or polyaspartic floor coating is the way to go if you’re looking for the most effective garage floor winter protection solution. They will help protect your floor from the ravages of winter and offer decorative benefits that add visual appeal to a garage interior.

Epoxy floor coatings cost less than polyaspartic coatings but aren’t as durable. One reason is that a polyaspartic coating’s adhesive base coat forms a stronger bond with the concrete than epoxy coatings will. Both epoxy and polyaspartic coatings add a top coat seal that protects a garage floor from water, chemical, and abrasion damage.

One drawback of epoxy coatings is that they need to be applied in a specific temperature range, which means applications can’t be done in colder weather. On the other hand, polyaspartic floor coatings like Garage Living’s Floortex™ floor coating system can be applied in temperatures as low as -40°F.

2. Garage floor sealers

man applying garage floor sealerA sealant can be used on a garage floor to produce a clear, thick film that covers up a floor surface’s imperfections and adds a protective layer against abrasions and water and chemical seepage into the concrete.

Sealers provide a glossy finish, but any aesthetic benefits will be diminished if the color of the concrete below it is unevenly matched or if the floor shows evidence of surface repair work.

3. Winter snow mats

The cheapest way to protect a garage floor in the winter is to buy a winter snow mat (also known as a water containment mat), which comes in a variety of sizes.

The mats are typically made with durable rubber or vinyl and can hold gallons of water from melted snow, ice, and road salt that falls off your vehicles. The water can be removed with a squeegee or wet vac.

As a less permanent method of garage floor winter protection, floor mats can move around if they’re not heavy enough or anchored to the floor. Cheap floor mats can also tear quickly, especially when a vehicle’s tires are turned too much while driving over them.

4. Garage floor interlocking tiles

Interlocking PVC or rubber floor tiles are another way to protect a garage floor during the winter. They’re cost-effective, can be installed quickly, come in a variety of designs, and are easy to replace if a tile is damaged.

Self-draining floor tiles channel any water from melted snow and ice to the concrete underneath them. It’s wise to seal the floor or have some type of drainage system in place before laying down the tiles. Solid floor tiles will collect any moisture on their top surface and it should evaporate.

If you’re wondering if you can paint a garage floor in the winter to protect it, don’t waste your time. Floor paint provides virtually no garage floor winter protection. It is purely cosmetic.

The best garage floor winter protection: a polyaspartic floor coating

Man in winter coat stepping out of blue vehicle in large 3-car garage with garage cabinets.

So between all of these garage floor winter protection options, what’s the best choice to make? It’s a polyaspartic floor coating.

A Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating delivers the best floor surface protection available for home garages. 

Floortex™ coatings protect garage floors from winter salt, melted snow, ice, and de-icing chemicals. It also protects your floor from damage that can occur from scratches, abrasions, automotive fluid leaks, and household chemical spills.

Garage Living can also give your garage a baseboard coating that creates a unique, seamless appearance between your walls and the floor, as well as sealing up any drafts or areas where water can do damage.

On top of all of these protective benefits, a Floortex™ floor coating looks great and can be customized with a color that complements your garage’s décor. The decorative flakes we use also give the floor added texture, which can provide better slip resistance when the surface is wet.

The advanced proprietary floor coating process Garage Living’s professionally trained installers use with our state-of-the-art equipment ensures every floor we refinish will last for years to come.

And because polyaspartic floor coatings have a quick curing time, it can take as little as a day to complete a floor coating application at any time of the year.

How to keep a garage floor clean in winter

Floortex™ floor coatings are very low-maintenance, but even they need some regular cleaning over the course of the winter.

Use a squeegee or shovel to remove as much snow, slush, and water from the garage floor as you can. When the garage floor is dry, give it regular sweeps to remove as much salt residue, loose sand, and other types of abrasive debris as possible. Don’t just sweep everything out into your driveway – scoop it up so it doesn’t eventually end up back on the floor.

When the spring arrives, the garage floor can be more thoroughly cleaned with a hose, squeegee, and a cleaning product that won’t harm the coating (Garage Living recommends Crystal Simple Green).

To reduce the amount of mess that gets tracked into your garage in the winter, you could remove as much ice, slush, and snow as possible in the driveway before parking inside. Another option is to clear off the vehicle once you’re parked in the garage and use a shovel or squeegee to push all that wet stuff outside.

Let’s face it, though – miserable winter weather doesn’t exactly inspire the will to be that proactive with keeping your garage floor clean. You’re usually just looking to get into your warm house as soon as possible.

Get the best garage floor winter protection solution

Man in winter coat standing in garage leaning on hockey stick.

There is no better time of year to be parking your vehicles inside your garage than the wintertime.

And when you have the best garage floor winter protection like a Floortex™ coating, there’s no need to worry about the long-term damaging effects winter can have on your flooring.

If you’re unable to park inside your garage because it’s disorganized, Garage Living can help with that, too. We have storage and organization solutions that will eliminate floor clutter and provide you with more room to park in a covered space.

Schedule a free design consultation with us today.

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