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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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
The 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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