7 Simple Tips to Keep Your Parked Car Cool in Summer

Under the right circumstances (or wrong circumstances, as the case may be), even the highest-end cars aren’t immune to the misery of a stiflingly hot interior.

When it’s a scorcher outside, entering a vehicle that’s been parked directly in the sun for hours is never a pleasant experience.

Who wants to be greeted by a sweltering car interior that’s filled with a bunch of mini hazards? We’re talking about things like scalding seatbelt buckles, sizzling leather seats, and a dashboard, steering wheel, and gear shift that are uncomfortably hot to touch.

Keep reading to find out why a vehicle’s cabin gets so hot and what you can do to keep your parked car cool this summer.

keep your parked car cool car interior

Blame your hot car on “the greenhouse effect”

So why does the interior of a vehicle that’s parked in the sun feel so much warmer than it feels outdoors on a hot, sunny day?

You can blame it on “the greenhouse effect”.

You’ve probably heard of the the greenhouse effect in relation to how the Earth’s atmosphere traps heat, which enables our planet to sustain life.

The greenhouse effect is also why a car or truck feels like an oven on a hot day. The sun’s heat enters a vehicle through the windows and gets trapped inside, increasing the temperature.

The temperature increase is highest in the first 15-30 minutes after a car is left parked in the sun. The objects in a car’s interior such as seats, carpeting, and the dashboard also absorb some of that heat.

A Stanford University study found that on a sunny day with temperatures ranging from 72°F to 96°F (22°C to 35°C), the temperature was an average of 40°F higher (8°C) inside the cars they tested than it was outdoors.

7 ways to keep your parked car cool

Hot cars aren’t merely uncomfortable, they’re also unsafe.

It’s an unfortunately reality that negligent parents occasionally leave their kids alone in a hot car, with sometimes fatal results. Pets being left in hot vehicles is another issue we hear about all too often.

HeatKills.org is an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of leaving kids and pets in hot vehicles. Their graphic below illustrates how quickly a vehicle’s interior can heat up.

keep your parked car cool diagram

It’s not difficult to follow a few simple tips to keep your parked car cool (or at least cooler), even when it’s intensely hot outside.

1. Park smart when away from home

On a day when it’s unbearably hot and there’s nary a cloud in the sky, finding relief from the heat with some shade when parking will make your car much more comfortable to return to.

Ideally, you’d want to find a parking garage. If that’s not an option, parking beneath some trees on the edge of a parking lot or in the shade of a building can keep your car cooler and be worth the extra walking that’s required.

Keep in mind that parking in a more secluded area of a parking lot may not be advisable if the neighborhood isn’t the safest, especially if you’re returning to your vehicle after dark.

Also take into account where you’re parking, the time of day, and when you’ll be returning to your car. Just because you’re parking in shade at 11 a.m. doesn’t mean you’ll still be parked in shade at 3 p.m.

2. Park in your home garage

Giving a tip to use a home garage as a way to keep your parked car cool may make you think “Thanks, Captain Obvious”.

But are you always able to park in your garage? And have you noticed how many of your friends and neighbors park full-time in their driveways?

Your garage’s main purpose is for parking, but a lot of homeowners don’t (or can’t) use it for that function. Consider these statistics:

  • A home organization study done by Moen found that the garage was the most cluttered space in homes.
  • 20% of the 1,500 people who responded to a Garage Living poll said they were unable to park in their garage.
  • A third of homeowners with 2-car garages are only able to park one of their cars in it because of clutter. (U.S. Dept. of Energy study)

When you’re home, nothing beats garage parking as the best way to keep your parked car cool. Even if you come home and plan to go out in an hour or two, parking in the garage is smarter that staying parked in the sun in your driveway.

Aside from staying cooler, there are plenty of other big benefits to making space in your garage for parking.

The risk of vehicle theft or burglary is significantly reduced and your vehicles will be protected from the exterior elements that can shorten their life. Parking closer to your home’s entrance (via the interior garage access door) is also more convenient.

keep your parked car cool, blue car in garage

Simply parking in your home garage is an obvious solution for keeping your car cool, but something many homeowners are unable to do.

3. Use a windshield sun shade

Despite the fact that they do help keep a car’s temperature down by blocking the primary entry point for the sun, some drivers simply hate the look of those windshield sun shades. The hassle of using them is a turn-off for some people as well.

Most sun shades you see in parked cars flatten out with an accordion-style design and admittedly look rather unattractive. Their foil-like, reflective covering doesn’t exactly help them call less attention to themselves, either.

It’s completely understandable that you might not want your luxury vehicle’s sharp looks being spoiled by a cheaper-looking sun shade (or something like this laughably tacky Golden Girls sun shade).

There are more expensive, but much nicer-looking windshield sun shades out there that can help to keep your parked car cool. Some companies even offer hundreds of custom models that allow for a perfect fit and vehicle color match.

Higher quality sun windshield shade models also tout better heat-absorbing materials. This makes them more effective at reducing the entrance of thermal and ultraviolet rays into a car’s cabin.

4. Cover up your vehicle interior

If a windshield sun shade is a total non-starter for you as a car cooling option, covering up the parts of your vehicle’s interior that get the hottest is another way to go.

There are plenty of models of car dashboard covers to choose from. Like the windshield sun shades, shop around for a higher quality product that provides a good fit and effectively complements your car’s interior décor.

Your steering wheel and leather seats (especially darker colored seats) are the other interior parts you’ll want to cover up to prevent them from baking in the sun. If you’re wearing shorts or a dress, your bare legs will thank you.

If you have dark leather seats, it might even be worth using lighter colored fabric seat covers during the hottest months of the year.

For a less elegant method of covering your parked car’s interior parts, even using a blanket or two will help (make sure to use a lighter colored blanket).

5. Tint your car windows

In most cases, window tints are effective at helping to keep a parked car cool.

Better quality tints are designed to allow for a good amount of light to pass through the tinted window, while blocking out the sun’s thermal rays. The latter is sometimes referred to as the “high heat rejection rate” of the tint.

Good window tints also cut down on the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Now here’s where car window tints can get very tricky – there are widely varying laws in the U.S. and Canada for how they can be used.

Some states and provinces don’t allow any tint to be on a windshield, such as Illinois and Alberta. Other have a requirement that tints allow a minimum of 70% of the sun’s light through the windows.

It gets even more complicated if you’re driving outside of your state or province. What’s legal with your window tint where you live may very well get you a ticket when you’re away travelling.

The American Automobile Association has a handy resource here that provides a state-by-state and province-by-province breakdown of vehicle tinting regulations.

6. Crack the windows…or not

A lot of drivers still swear by the old practice of leaving a car’s side windows or sunroof open a crack to keep their vehicle’s interior temperature down.

This does let the built-up heat escape and helps to facilitate some airflow through the car’s cabin, but only a fairly modest amount.

You have to ask yourself, however – is the meager reward of a car interior that’s just a few degrees cooler worth the risk of leaving your car more vulnerable to theft or vandalism?

If you leave your car windows or sunroof open even just an inch, a skillful car thief could potentially get inside the vehicle. ABC News reports that for one thief “a car with a window cracked opened was an unlocked car”.

If you’re willing to risk cracking your windows, once again be conscious of your surrounding area. Park in visible areas close to other vehicles, ideally where there’s a decent amount of vehicle and foot traffic. Parking in view of a surveillance camera also doesn’t hurt.

And let’s not forget the other hazard of leaving your windows slightly open – the risk of a sudden rainstorm making a mess of your car’s interior.

7. Try a solar-powered ventilation fan

The last of our car cooling tips is to try a solar-powered ventilation fan, which you may not be familiar with.

The fan attaches to the outside top of one of your rolled-up window and has an outward facing solar panel that powers it. The fan blows out the hot air from inside the car, while pulling in the relatively cooler air outside the car.

Using two fans set up on the two side front or rear windows should increase the cross-ventilation airflow and decrease the temperature even more.

Higher-powered, more effective models can be purchased that have a larger solar panel that sits on your dashboard and powers the fans.

The quality and reliability of this product seems to vary widely. Some online reviews dismiss cheaper models as too gimmicky and not very effective. Consumers who left reviews for other fan models praise them as ingenious and highly effective.

When all else fails…

Using one of these car cooling methods or, even better, a combination of them will keep a parked car cooler.

But if they’re still not cooling to your satisfaction, there are a couple of other ways to get the heat out of a parked car faster.

If you don’t mind getting some strange looks from passersby, one simple method involves fanning your car door to push out the heat.

Just fully roll down the passenger side window and fan the driver side door about 6-8 times. It might sound primitive, but it’s simple physics and it works!

Start parking in your garage once again

Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to keep your parked car cooler and more comfortable to drive.

We can help you to transform your garage into a much more attractive area of your home that makes better use of your space for storage. That means you can use it for keeping your vehicles cooler and safer.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with Garage Living to start getting a lot more out of your garage space.

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9 Garage Floor Protection Options Ranked From Best to Worst

Maybe you’ve been in the same home for many years and witnessed the gradual worsening of your garage floor’s durability and appearance.

Or perhaps you recently moved to a new house. It’s highly likely the homebuilder left a garage floor with the bare minimum in terms of the surface’s resilience and visual appeal.

In either situation, now is the time to think about upgrading the level of garage floor protection in one of your home’s hardest working rooms.

Garage Floor Protection man wiping spill

Why garage floor protection is so important

Concrete garage floors take a beating.

In addition to everyday vehicle and pedestrian traffic, they’re exposed to dirt and dust, grease, automotive fluids and household chemical spills, hot tires, and road salt. And let’s not forget about the moisture brought into garages from the rain and snow.

Temperature fluctuations also put stress on a concrete floor as it contracts when it’s colder and expands when it’s warmer.

That’s a lot your flooring has to endure.

Over a number of years, a garage floor that hasn’t been maintained will start to show its age by exhibiting any of these surface flaws:

  • cracks
  • stains from spills, leaks, and efflorescence (a white powdery substance caused by deposits from mineral salt)
  • pitting (when a surface degrades and shows many small indentations)
  • an uneven surface color
  • spalling (when a concrete surface crumbles or flakes away)

With so many things in your daily routine capable of causing wear and tear on a garage floor, why not start giving a little TLC to the flooring in this busy home space?

Ranking the best and worst garage floor protection options

We’ve put together a list of nine garage floor protection options that homeowners will commonly turn to when making garage floor upgrades.

You’ll note that some of the products at the bottom of the list provide virtually no floor protection benefits.

We’re still including them because there’s a lot of misinformation and misperceptions out there about what protective benefits these products actually provide.

1. Polyaspartic floor coating

If we’re talking about your garage floor protection options, we may as well start with the best – a polyaspartic floor coating.

This high-performance coating is comprised of professional-grade materials that are applied by trained pros using special equipment to deliver long-lasting flooring protection.

Unlike most cheaper garage floor protection products that provide a less effective topical surface bond, polyaspartic coatings penetrate deeper into the concrete.

This creates a stronger foundational bond with the concrete that makes it more impermeable against water, chemicals, and other elements that can cause floor damage.

With its durable top coat, Garage Living’s Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating resists damage from impacts and abrasions, chemicals, and permanent markings left on the floor from “hot tire pickup”.

Because a good floor coating doesn’t wear down as quickly as a bare concrete floor, your garage will also produce a little less dust.

And whatever dust is present from floor wear and normal, everyday use won’t even be very visible. Polyaspartic floor coatings have decorative colored flakes broadcast across the floor before the top coat is applied. This obscures dust and adds a decorative flair to your garage’s interior look.

garage floor protection blue car in garage

A polyaspartic coating provides great floor protection, is easy to clean and maintain, and enhances a garage’s décor.

2. Epoxy floor coating

If you’re thinking of taking the DIY route when it comes to your garage floor protection upgrade, an epoxy floor coating kit is probably what you’ll buy.

We’ve all seen them in home improvement stores. Their box advertising promises to work wonders on your garage floor and boasts of how easy the product is to work with.

And they promise all of this at a surprisingly cheap price. Instead of being lured by a lower price tag, perhaps you should be wondering, “Hmmm…so what’s the catch?”.

The catch is that while epoxy coatings can do a serviceable job protecting your garage floor and updating the room’s décor, they fall well short of polyaspartic coatings in every measure of how the coating looks and keeps your garage floor protected.

Any epoxy coating kit’s materials will be substandard when compared to professional-grade polyaspartic coating materials.

Applying any coating product requires thorough preparation of the floor surface, properly mixed materials, and usage of the materials within a certain amount of time.

With epoxy and polyaspartic floor coatings, the temperature and humidity levels must also be taken into consideration. Unlike polyaspartic coatings, epoxies can’t be applied in extreme hot or cold temperatures.

There’s little room for error in the floor coating process, otherwise you’ll be left with a finished floor that’s visually unsatisfying and not providing you with complete garage floor protection. You’ll also need to revisit your garage flooring project for touch-ups or a complete redo sooner than you’d like.

Polyaspartic floor coatings require more expertise and specialized equipment to apply properly, which is why these projects are usually handled by professionals and cost more. Keep that in mind the next time a low-cost epoxy flooring kit catches your eye.

3. Garage floor tiles

garage floor protection red floor tileInstead of directly upgrading your concrete floor surface, another viable option is to use interlocking floor tiles in the garage.

Floor tiles may be better suited to your floor upgrade budget. If you have floor damage that’s out of your price range to fix, floor tiles are also a cost-effective option to cover up an unattractive surface.

While floor tiles won’t actually remedy any issues with garage floor degradation, they do help minimize further surface damage from wear and tear occurring.

Floor tiles are made from plastic or stronger PVC materials for added durability when placed on your concrete floor.

Some types require adhesives and mortar to install, but look for the much-easier-to-work-with type that feature interlocking teeth.

Aside from their cost effectiveness and protective benefits, here are four other good reasons to consider interlocking floor tiles for your garage:

  • fast installation time
  • they’re versatile and can also be used in basements, laundry rooms, and storage rooms
  • when a tile eventually gets damaged, it’s extremely easy to replace
  • create a custom floor look with different tile colors and styles

4. Concrete resurfacer

One of the products that will probably show up on your radar when you’re considering different garage floor protection options are concrete resurfacers.

Concrete resurfacers are made up of a mixture of sand, Portland cement, polymer materials, and additional additives. A trowel, brush, or squeegee are typically used to apply them.

The product’s natural cement grey color can be enhanced with decorative pigments to create a more dynamic floor look.

The words “concrete resurfacer” certainly imply that this product will renew a flawed floor surface. That’s only partially true.

Intended as a more cosmetic fix for garage floors in need of a refresh, the floor protection benefits of concrete resurfacers are rather modest. This is partially because their application coat is usually fairly thin compared to an epoxy or polyaspartic coating.

Concrete resurfacers are more ideal for floors with light, superficial damage (meaning minor cracks and pitting). Bigger floor problems such as wide and deep cracks, spalling, and extensive pitting would need extensive repairs before applying a resurfacer over them.

5. Garage floor coverings

garage floor protection car parked on matGarage floor coverings like mats, rugs, parking pads, and trays tend to be used more in colder climates that get snow, which leaves garage floors a wet, sloppy mess during the winter.

These products can help protect your floor, but once again, the protection they offer is fairly superficial and limited.

The function that’s most appealing about them (other than their low cost) is they’ll help contain excess moisture from rain or melted snow and ice that’s tracked in by vehicles. That keeps your garage floor cleaner.

They’ll need to be emptied outside occasionally in order to drain the collected water. That can be a bit of a chore since they can get heavy with all that water and be quite messy to move.

One big drawback of these types of floor coverings is that if the pooled water isn’t emptied often enough, the extra moisture can increase your garage’s condensation levels. That’s not good. And if any collected water leaks underneath the covering, the cement is at risk of damage.

Another shortcoming with these products is that vehicles entering and exiting a garage can cause the coverings to shift and need repositioning. Some models with anti-skid bottoms will be more stable and using double-sided tape to keep them anchored might be helpful.

6. Floor sealer

Another popular product homeowners choose to protect their garage floors are roll-on sealers. They’re inexpensive, relatively easy to apply, and come in acrylic, latex, and urethane types.

But do they offer much flooring protection? As their name implies, this product does provide a seal for the floor that can protect it from stains and water damage.

However, sealers don’t perform at the same level as polyaspartic and epoxy floor coatings when it comes to protecting a floor.

They don’t bond to concrete as well as higher quality coatings. They also wear away faster.

Clear concrete sealers won’t hide blemishes from patches and repairs made to the floor before the sealer is applied. Tints can be used to add some color and may produce better visual results.

7. Floor patching

At this point on our list, the durability of the remaining garage floor protection options falls off dramatically.

Sure, repairing a garage floor using crack sealers and fillers, concrete patching compound, or water stop cement does prevent further damage to problematic floor areas.

There are a few reasons, however, to rethink this “bare minimum approach” to dealing with your garage floor’s issues.

First of all, these types of fixes using inexpensive tubes of sealant and filler aren’t a long-term floor repair solution. They typically don’t last and will need to be readdressed in a year or two.

Secondly, these types of repairs are only practical for smaller areas, not an entire garage floor in need of fixing.

And last (but not least) is the simple matter of aesthetics. Patches, touch-ups, and spot repairs just aren’t conducive to a good interior garage look, especially when they don’t match your floor’s color.

garage floor protection clutter in garage

Fixing floor cracks with repair products never looks very good and usually needs to be redone sooner rather than later.

8. Floor stain

They’re not as well-known as floor paints, but floor stains are another product you’ll see that promises to transform your garage floors.

They’re chosen purely for their decorative appearance, which adds color or even a natural stone look to a garage floor’s surface. Floor stains are usually found in water-based and acid types.

Because stains add color to the floor, they can help to hide surface blemishes. But in terms of garage floor protection, stains do very little for a surface since they barely penetrate the concrete.

A sealer topcoat can be applied over the stain’s thin surface coating. This provides some protection for the stain and floor surface, as well as helps to make the stain stand out more.

9. Floor paint

Floor paint products, like floor stain products, do virtually nothing to protect a floor surface.

Despite this fact, they’re one of the most popular options for homeowners looking to spruce up the look of their garage floor.

Why? Once again, they’re cheap and fairly easy to apply yourself, although it’s not like you can just sweep your garage floor, pop open a can of paint, and start rolling it on.

Some surface preparation is required, whether it’s repairing cracks or other damage, or using a heavy-duty degreaser on the floor to help the paint adhere better and to get rid of tough stains.

It’s a common misconception from consumers that floor paints protect your floor. Unfortunately, once the paint has been applied and dried, all you’re getting is a cosmetic upgrade to your floor (and a relatively modest one, too).

Garage floor paint applications are notorious for being a short-lived floor improvement “solution”. The paint chips and flakes quickly and will need to be touched up or fully reapplied sooner rather than later.

Get the best garage floor protection available

As you can see from our list, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right product to protect your garage floor.

Garage Living can take care of your floor upgrade needs with either an installation of interlocking floor tiles or a coating application of the best garage floor protection solution available.

In as little as a day, a Floortex™ polyaspartic floor coating can be applied in your garage that will last for years and make your garage stand out.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us today.

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9 Garage Cooling Hacks to Provide Relief From the Heat

Garages can be quite difficult to keep cool during the hottest summer days.

That can be a drag if you enjoy using your garage for hobbies, working out, doing your own vehicle maintenance, or tinkering in a workshop.

Nowadays, a majority of homeowners with attached garages use the space as the main access point in and out of their house.

Even that brief transitional time spent in a stuffy, sweltering hot garage can be unpleasant (not to mention a hot garage = a hot vehicle you have to get into).

garage cooling hacks white car in garage

Garage cooling hacks every homeowner should know

If your garage isn’t set up to handle the extreme heat, a number of climate control measures can be implemented in order to cool things down.

Let’s call them “garage cooling hacks”.

Here are several garage cooling tips to help you get some relief from the heat in your garage this summer.

Upgrade your garage insulation

Nothing has a bigger impact on your garage’s energy efficiency than how well it’s insulated. That includes the garage’s walls, ceiling, and doors.

When people think of insulation for the home, they tend to think of it mostly as something that makes their house more energy efficient when it’s cold outside.

But just as insulation restricts cold air from coming into a house and retains the heat inside a living space, the opposite theory applies when it gets hot outside.

Insulation prevents the hot air outside from entering your home and keeps the cool air generated by your central air conditioning system from escaping.

Making your garage a lot more energy efficient with insulation upgrades can also be viewed as an opportunity to make an unfinished garage look nicer. Once the insulation is installed, cover it with drywall and slatwall panels for better storage and to give the space a clean, modern look.

Bonus benefit: adding insulation also makes your garage more soundproof.

Keep your garage well-sealed

As an extension of adding insulation, ensure your garage is properly sealed to eliminate drafts.

That means paying attention to how effective a seal the weatherstripping (or another type of sealant) around your window and door frames is providing.

Your garage doors and garage access doors will additionally benefit from having thresholds and door sweeps installed.

Electrical and utility outlets (such as a central vac outlet) often get overlooked when garage energy efficiency upgrades are being done. Apply a sealant around the perimeter of their wall plates.

Bonus benefit: a well-sealed garage reduces the risk of harmful gasses (like carbon monoxide) from entering your main living space.

Get the air moving with fans

A low-cost method of making your garage a little more comfortable is to get some fans running in order to circulate the room’s hot, stale air.

Merely moving the hot air around in an enclosed space won’t do much to make the garage more tolerable to be in. You’ll need to open the garage doors and windows and place one or more of your fans close to them to blow the hot air outside.

Any type of portable household fan can be used. A more powerful shop fan will produce better results and you can also look into having ceiling fans installed.

Install garage venting

Since heat rises, naturally your garage’s ceiling or attic space will trap hot air if there isn’t adequate venting.

For a more dedicated air movement system in the garage, here are some options to look at:

  • an air exchange system (known as “active ventilation”, which means it’s electrically powered)
  • adding vents to your garage’s roof or walls
  • installing a wind-powered roof turbine (which is “passive ventilation”)

Add air conditioning

If fans just aren’t cutting it for your garage cooling needs, adding air conditioning is another option, albeit a more costly one.

Depending on whether you want round-the-clock garage A/C for maximum comfort or something to use on more of an “as needed” basis, here are some options:

  • a window-mounted A/C unit
  • a portable air conditioner
  • an evaporative air cooler (which is portable and reduces the temperature in a space by converting its water supply into a cool vapor)
  • a heavier-duty garage air conditioning system that runs full-time (by far the most expensive cooling option)

To determine what type of A/C unit is suited to your garage space, use this BTU calculator. Note that if your garage has no insulation, it’s almost pointless to use air conditioning in the room.

Bonus benefit: many portable A/C models have a dehumidifier mode, which helps with a garage’s climate control.

Cover the garage windows

The next of our garage cooling hacks is a basic (and logical) one – simply keep your garage’s windows covered as much as possible when the sun is beating down.

Having some natural light to brighten your garage is nice, but it also raises its temperature.

Garages that face west get exposed to the intense sun in the late afternoon, which makes them even more susceptible to higher interior temperatures.

Bonus benefit: covering your garage windows is also a good idea to keep potential burglars from scoping out the contents of your garage.

Wait before parking inside the garage

Another garage cooling tip is to avoid parking a vehicle you’ve just driven inside the garage. If you plan to spend some time in the garage doing an activity after arriving home, this tip is especially useful.

After being driven, vehicles can retain heat for hours (from engine heat and their metal bodies engine being in the sun). After parking in your garage after a trip, that heat is slowly transferred to your garage’s interior.

Sure, it might be a little inconvenient to move your vehicle from the driveway to the garage later in the day, but every little bit helps.

Clean up the clutter

An excess of floor clutter in the garage can prevent you from parking vehicles inside. A disorganized garage additionally makes it difficult to locate a stored item when you need it.

Those two things aren’t the only disadvantages of garage clutter, however.

All of that junk needlessly taking up valuable space also inhibits air flow and contributes to poor air quality in the room.

If you’re making use of some of these garage cooling hacks, cleaning up the space will go a long way towards making any added temperature-reducing assistance more effective.

Slatwall storage, a cabinet system, and overhead racking are great garage storage systems to help you get organized.

garage cooling hacks equipment hanging on wall

Lower the garage’s humidity

Sometimes it’s not so much the heat inside the garage that makes it so uncomfortable to spend time in – it’s the high humidity level.

The last of our garage cooling hacks is reducing the amount of humidity in your garage by using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.

Doing so should make the garage more bearable to spend time in during a heat wave. Look for a model that can handle being used in extreme temperatures.

Bonus benefit: running a dehumidifier in the garage also helps minimize issues related to moisture, such as mildew, condensation, and metal items having a shorter life due to rusting.

Get relief from the aggravation of a messy garage

If you’ve been looking for solutions to beat the heat in your garage, hopefully these garage cooling hacks will be useful to you.

For expert guidance to get some relief from the daily aggravation of having a garage space that lacks functionality and a stylish décor, Garage Living is here for you.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us to begin planning your garage’s transformation.

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Garage Floors and Coatings: 7 Interesting Facts Worth Knowing

garage floors and coatings

It wasn’t until the last couple of decades that homeowners gave much thought to their garage floors.

For ages, it was just that utilitarian, ugly gray surface with cracks, stains, and other imperfections that you parked on and didn’t get too worried about if a spill occurred on it. 

In short, if you looked up the word “drab” in the dictionary, the typical garage floor might very well be pictured.

That’s no longer the case for many homeowners. Garage flooring is increasingly being recognized as a part of the house worthy of some attention and care.

7 facts about garage floors and coatings 

It’s no surprise that both the garage and its flooring have risen in prominence when it comes to home makeover opportunities and priorities. 

After all, garages are one the hardest working areas in homes. 

The foundation of that hard-working space and the products that can help you get the most out of it deserve some attention.

Let’s get better-informed about garage floors and coatings with some interesting facts you might not know about them.

1. Garage flooring can (and should) look beautiful

When entering and exiting their house, 55% of homeowners do so through their garage doors, according to a Chamberlain Group study.

The garage has become a more heavily used home space and essentially “the new front door” for many of us. Clearly, that unattractive garage floor that’s uneven, cracked, scuffed, stained, and devoid of any style just isn’t going to cut it any longer.

A garage floor’s physical condition and appearance have a huge effect on the overall look and feel of a garage. Ask any garage makeover expert and they’ll tell you the application of a new floor coating is one of the key elements in transforming the appearance of the room.

There are plenty of great decorative floor coating options available nowadays to transform your garage floor into a beautiful, modern-looking surface. Epoxy and higher quality polyaspartic floor coatings are the two most common types.

That’s why in spaces where aesthetics matter (like automotive showrooms and retail spaces), professional floor coatings are used, in addition to the floor surface protection they provide. 

garage floors and coatings blue car in garage

2. Neglected garage floors can be unsafe

Neglected garage floors aren’t just an eyesore, they’re often a safety hazard. Your ability to safely walk in your garage can be adversely affected by floors that are uneven, damaged, slippery, and strewn with clutter.

Why do garage floors develop cracks, become uneven, and end up looking unsightly over the course of a number of years? Here are a few things that can cause these issues:

  • floors can sink due to soil displacement beneath the garage foundation
  • a garage floor’s foundation and concrete surface were poorly prepared and applied
  • temperature changes put stress on the concrete floor as it contracts and expands
  • a garage has water drainage problems 
  • floors will commonly just settle over time
  • general wear and tear from spills, leaks, and foot and vehicle traffic

Adding a coating to your garage flooring will leave the surface smooth, unbroken, and safer to walk on. Some coatings even allow an anti-slip additive to be mixed in that improves foot traction.

Another option is to use a coating that has decorative flakes broadcast on the floor before a top coat is applied. This creates a textured surface that provides better traction, while also enhancing a garage’s décor.

3. There are numerous floor coating choices

When it comes to garage floors and coatings that can be used to restore their appearance, numerous options are available that vary in cost and quality.

Acrylic garage floor paint is the cheapest option, which makes it a popular choice for homeowners. Unfortunately, they soon find out that most DIY floor paints don’t do much to protect their floor, look very good, or last longer than a year or two before a reapplication is needed.

Some people choose to just use a clear garage floor sealer as a means of protecting a floor’s surface. This option has varying degrees of effectiveness depending on the quality of the product, but does nothing to improve a garage floor’s appearance with any sort of decorative upgrade.

Professionally applied or DIY epoxy floor coatings achieve better results in terms of both looks and surface protection, but can’t match the quality of a polyaspartic coating in either department.

Garage Living uses Floorex™ polyaspartic floor coatings for its superior quality that provides durable floor protection and a high-end look.

4. Coatings protect garage floors

Upgrading the appearance of their garage floor will be one of the main motivators for anyone looking to get a floor coating.

But it’s the protective benefits of floor coatings that warrant an equal amount of attention.

Think of how much activity occurs in your garage over the course of a year. If you’ve added efficient storage systems to eliminate floor clutter and allow for vehicle parking, your garage floor needs to be resilient enough to handle all of that foot and vehicle traffic.

Better quality coatings provide a stronger bond with your existing cement floor and have a higher percentage of solids by volume (meaning less of the applied material evaporates, leaving a thicker coated surface). 

A high quality floor coating should have excellent resistance to chemicals, abrasions, and impact. Also look for a floor coating that has a higher heat tolerance (to minimize tire marks) and can provide a waterproof floor seal. 

5. Proper preparation is critical

For any successful garage floor coating application, proper preparation is absolutely critical. 

Making mistakes or cutting corners with any aspect of the floor prep before a coating application inevitably leads to poor results (as can using a cheap product).

Preparation and application mistakes with DIY epoxy coating kits is a common occurrence. A polyaspartic coating product has a more complicated application process that leaves less room for error, so it’s best left to the pros.

Using state-of-the-art equipment, our floor coating application experts have an efficient and highly specialized process that allows floor projects to be completed in as little as a day.

Temperatures also need to be taken into account with any floor coating application. A freshly applied epoxy or polyaspartic floor coating can peel and bubble if temperature conditions aren’t optimal.

One of the advantages of using a polyaspartic coating is that it can be applied in a much wider range of temperatures and humidity conditions, unlike epoxy coatings.

Professional flooring applicators just need to make adjustments to the formulations of the base coat and top coat and the floor’s curing times.

6. Garage floors with coatings require less maintenance

We all know how tough it can be to keep a garage floor clean, considering how frequently the space is used. 

That’s why a resilient floor coating is worth the investment in more ways than one. First of all, you’ll spend less time and money in the future repairing cracks and other types of floor damage.

Secondly, a floor coating provides a smooth, seamless surface that’s easier to clean, whether the floor is being swept, scrubbed, squeegeed, or having spills cleaned up.

And finally, floor coatings with decorative flakes make dirt and dust less visible, which preserves the clean look of the room.

That doesn’t mean you rarely or never have to sweep your floor, it just means your garage floor won’t look unclean as quickly as it did before.

garage floors and coatings man wiping spill on floor

7. A garage floor upgrade boosts your home’s value

If you’re looking for one more reason to justify getting a new garage floor coating, how about the fact that it can boost your home’s value?

A professionally applied high-end coating will serve you well for years to come with a high gloss flooring finish that won’t peel, flake, or yellow.

You can take pride in opening your garage doors instead of cringing at what the neighbors will think of your unsightly garage floor.

And when you eventually sell your home, a nice garage floor really stands out to prospective buyers who already place a high value on the garage as a home storage space.

Transform the look of your garage floor

Higher quality polyaspartic garage floor coatings are the coating of choice for discerning homeowners wishing to create a luxurious, beautiful garage space.

Applying high-performance Floortex™ floor coatings is just one of Garage Living’s many specialities when it comes to garage improvement solutions.

Schedule a free in-home design consultation with us and you’ll be on your way to soon having an attractive garage floor you can be proud of.

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6 Ways to Get Better WiFi in Your Garage

wifi in your garage, open garage

There’s an ever-increasing reliance on internet connectivity with so many aspects of our daily lives.

Getting the most out of your smart tech products and mobile devices in your house means having a good WiFi signal if you don’t have a data plan or want to limit your data usage while at home.

That can be a hit-or-miss thing, however, especially when it comes to getting reliable WiFi in your garage or some of the far-reaching areas of your property.

Why is the WiFi in your garage so poor?

Uneven WiFi coverage in the garage and other parts of your home and yard can occur for a number of reasons.

Here are several factors that may be causing those frustrating WiFi “dead spots”:

  • your network hardware is in a bad location
  • the network hardware you’re using is outdated
  • the firmware of your network devices hasn’t been updated
  • your network and router settings aren’t configured properly
  • signal interference from other electronics
  • your home has extra thick walls and floors
  • certain home construction materials (like metal, concrete, and brick walls) are obstructing your signal

Here’s how to boost your home WiFi signal

If you’re struggling to get reliable WiFi in your garage, there are a number of solutions available to fix the issue.

There are many variables involved with why or why not a particular home gets effective WiFi coverage.

For example, you might have your router or WiFi extender in the perfect spot and have a fast internet connection. Despite this, you may experience poor WiFi coverage in some areas of your home due to physical obstructions like walls or floors that are particularly thick.

Maybe you have uncommonly thin walls and your WiFi signal is weak due to your networking devices being very old, or because they’re located in a less-than-ideal location.

Here are several solutions to make your garage and home more network-friendly so you can experience reliable WiFi connectivity for your mobile devices and smart home products.

Solution #1: relocate your router

When your WiFi signal strength just isn’t cutting it for all areas of your home and property, your first step should be to try a different location for your main router (or router/modem combo).

Clearly, a centralized location in your home is best in order to provide more even WiFi signal coverage. That means moving your router out of the basement if you live in a two or three-storey home and putting it in as central a location as possible on the main floor.

That can be easier said than done if you have a poorly located main internet connection into your home. If that’s the case, you could run an ethernet cable from your main signal input to change where your router/modem gets located, but that won’t be practical in some cases.

Nobody wants an unsightly tripping hazard like a cable running through the main part of their home.

And running cable through your walls and ceiling can be tricky business if you don’t know what you’re doing. Contact your internet service provider or an electrician for help in this area.

Solution #2: upgrade your hardware

Resolving your issue with having weak WiFi in your garage and other parts of your home may be as simple as getting a hardware upgrade.

Tech experts recommend updating your router, modem, or router/modem combo every 3-5 years. If you’re using something older than that, speak with your internet service provider to see if they have newer networking devices available.

If you use a separate router and are looking for a new model, the range of choices and features can be rather dizzying and performance can vary widely.

Do your homework, look for a reliable brand, and keep in mind that online product reviews aren’t always trustworthy.

If you have your router in a good location and still aren’t happy with how it performs, exchange it for a different model that will hopefully produce better results.

wifi in your garage, person plugging into router

Improving the WiFi signal strength in your garage could be as simple as upgrading your network hardware.

Solution #3: ensure everything is set up properly

It’s possible your hardware is fine, but it’s simply not configured properly or requires a firmware update.

Tinker with the settings until you achieve a level of performance you’re satisfied with. Most modern routers have 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless frequencies. Try switching from one frequency to the other to see if you get better results.

While the quality of help you get can be quite hit or miss, use your ISP’s tech support if you’re having a difficult time figuring things out.

If you’re not tech-savvy, fixing your internet network issues may feel somewhat overwhelming.

And if tech support isn’t of much help, have your ISP send a technician to your home to fix your network issues. Another option is to hire a home network professional to help you achieve optimal results with your setup.

Don’t forget to keep your home network protected by securing any new network devices you’re adding.

Solution #4: use a WiFi extender

Another solution to improve the strength of the WiFi in your garage and the rest of your home is to use a WiFi extender. This device is also known as a WiFi repeater, booster, or relay.

Whatever it’s called, these devices all essentially do the same thing – they simply extend the range of the WiFi signal from your main router. You can use more than one extender to expand your WiFi signal’s area coverage.

Performance in these devices will be affected by features such as the quality of antennas and processors used by the manufacturer.

Higher quality WiFi extenders that feature dual radios or dual routers will minimize the speed loss that WiFi extenders typically experience.

Other features to consider are whether or not the device is universally compatible with most routers and if the extender comes with intelligent roaming capabilities. The latter improves the reliability of the wireless signal when using your mobile devices.

Solution #5: add a powerline network adapter

Powerline network adapters (also known as just a powerline adapter or powerline ethernet kit) are another option to add internet access and WiFi in your garage.

These adapters use your home’s electrical circuit to transmit your internet signal. They’re easy to install – here’s how they work:

  1. Plug one adapter into a power socket close to your router.
  2. Connect that adapter to your router with an ethernet cable.
  3. Plug a second adapter into an outlet in your garage.
  4. Run an ethernet cable to whatever smart device needs internet access.

Hardwiring a particular device in your garage or throughout your home isn’t always practical, so you could also pair the second adapter with another router to give you a usable WiFi signal.

Note that factors like the quality and age of your home’s electrical wiring, the distance a second powerline adapter is from the main router, and interference from other electronics can all affect your signal quality.

Solution #6: install a home mesh network

Adding a mesh network is another way to improve the WiFi coverage in your home.

It’s similar to a WiFi extender in that it takes your router’s WiFi signal and sends it to additional strategically placed hardware devices (called nodes) to expand your signal range.

Unlike most WiFi extenders, however, a mesh network is less prone to certain performance issues. For example, they provide faster network speeds. Mesh networks are also far more reliable with delivering a consistent WiFi connection when you’re using mobile devices while roaming about your home.

Performance benefits aren’t the only reason mesh networks have increased in popularity with homeowners in recent years.

Aesthetics have also played a part. Mesh network hardware has a more modern, stylish look than traditional network hardware devices like WiFi extenders and routers. They’re also smaller and less conspicuous.

Get a WiFi bar boost for enhanced garage functionality

Having a strong WiFi signal allows you to do things like use your mobile devices to check sports scores, the news, or reference an instructional YouTube video while working in your garage.

And now that you know how to get better WiFi in your garage, you can take advantage of the numerous smart garage products available.

Garage Living carries LiftMaster garage door openers that feature innovative MyQ smart technology. The MyQ tech is hooked up to your WiFi and allows you to monitor and operate your garage doors remotely from a smartphone app. You can also get alerts sent to your phone if there’s suspicious activity with your garage doors.

In addition to these smart tech features, a garage door opener upgrade is worth considering if your current opener is more than ten years old. Modern garage door openers are more energy efficient, have better security features, and operate more quietly.

Here are three more smart home tech products worth considering that can use the WiFi in your garage:

  • security camera
  • lighting
  • climate control

Yes, setting up and troubleshooting some smart home tech products and the network they run on can require a little patience. But when everything works perfectly, you can definitely simplify some aspects of your life with the conveniences they offer.

Improve your garage’s overall functionality

Upgrading your garage’s tech capabilities isn’t the only way to get more functionality out of the space.

Improving the storage systems and appearance of your garage will transform it into a part of your home that can serve your family better.

Schedule a free-in home design consultation with us to get a garage makeover quote.

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