Humidity/frost problem

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Pouncer, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

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    Aside from buying a dehumidifier, what can I do to get rid of this moisture?

    My problem is our (large) garage. 28x36. Ten foot ceilings, and we do park inside in the winter months. Which of course means we drive in a certain amount of snow/ice. When that melts, we do squeegee it out as best we can. When the temps drop way down (zero and below) we tend to get frost in the corners on the footer-once we even found it on the sheetrock behind some stuff piled into a corner.

    We have a unit heater installed on the far wall, up high, temp set to around 50 (typically) and two ceiling fans. I keep the ceiling fans going nonstop to help dry stuff up. In addition, along one exterior wall, we have two exhaust fans. I could turn them on, but that means I am dumping heat outside-as well as moisture.

    We also have a regular diesel space heater that we will turn on when we have a lot of foot traffic in and out-to warm us (and the garage too) in a hurry. Naturally that combustion creates more moisture also. We routinely have humidity levels around 80%, which is too high. Making matters worse is the whole blasted house is tight tight tight-a five star plus rating. (Don't care for it, but let's not go there-it's what we have)

    So, how can I get rid of this excess moisture in an economical way?
     
  2. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Heat rises, so that heater on the high wall may not be helping, even with the overhead fans.

    Once it freezes, the outside air is going to be dry. Some people crack a window to help moisture escape. You could do this, as well as putting a couple of fans on the floor and moving your wall unit near the floor and increasing the temp to above 60. If you use the fans, place them in front of the heater so the heat will be blown across the floor.
     

  3. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

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    The two fans going are light industrial, and on rheostats-they are currently set for almost full speed. The unit heater (which is supplied off the furnace) is hung just at the ceiling, with the vents pointed the proper direction (so heat is deflected downwards). It's your regular Modine unit heater, and according to the builder and a couple of heating types, it's the right size for the space.

    We cannot be opening windows (none in the garage anyway) because it's cost prohibitive to do when it's -10 outside. Don't even think about cracking a door, lol, would just let in more cold-which would lead to more frost....

    I think I might try experimenting with the exhaust fans on the one wall-they are set fairly high and so will dump heat, but maybe just 20 minutes at a time, several times a day? I am thinking they are 10,000 something or other, but I honestly can't remember if that's cfm or rpm's, lol
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where there is frost on the wall, and corners of the footer, it isn't above freezing. You could eliminate this by putting some insulated panels like they put under new siding on outside walls over the inside of the frosty areas. Better than trying to get it hot enough in there to warm the footers. Are the footers insulated.
     
  5. The Paw

    The Paw Well-Known Member

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    Stop heating the garage...

    It will save you energy, and the heat loss from your house (if attached) will still keep it warmer than outside, so vehicles will still start easy.

    Every time you drive in or out, the dry cold air outside will suck any moisture out.
     
  6. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    It isn't good for the car to go back and forth between the cold and a warm garage. Better to have a simple cover, a cold garage. In addition to making the vehicle last longer it will save you money on heating.
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    What kind of hemesteading garage do you have? Heater going all the time" Exhaust fans?

    I agree with the others. Turn the heat off and open some windows.

    I've lived in Minnesota all of my life (4th generation) and none of us have needed a heated garage (and none of us have had moisture problems in the garage either!)
     
  8. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Gotta agree with the crowd. Unless you are working in the garage there is no reason to heat it.
     
  9. Pouncer

    Pouncer Well-Known Member

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    Well we did consider that...however we spend a lot of time in the garage area generally, and are in and out of the house also. We usually only close the door between the two when we have two stroke engines going, and at night. At our house, the garage IS part of the house-it isn't just for vehicles ;) Soon enough I will have many flats of vegetable and flower starts in there anyhow.

    We would spend quite a lot on electricity for our plug heaters if we parked outside, and contribute even more to our inversion related wintertime pollution (air pollution, that is) by driving cold vehicles. Besides, cold starts are much harder on engines, and at -20 it takes a darned long time to warm up a car or truck to drive. I used to live in a low spot outside of Fairbanks and I really appreciate these warmer winters down here.

    And too, the unit heater IS plumbed with copper. Not sure why as the rest of the domestic water is in PEX (or whatever that plastic stuff is called) but it's likely for code reasons-not common sense.

    We may just cave and buy another Toyo stove-sure to be more efficient at heating the space than the unit heater or the space heater. Drats.
     
  10. Yeti

    Yeti Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what the need is to heat but my uncle had a cure for high humidity. he would hang bags of Halite salt in the corners of our basement when it was getting so bad the walls were damp. he used burlap sacks and put about 25lbs worth in each sack and hung them at eye level. they would drip continuosly for months. the walls would dry up and then he would take them down after they quit dripping. for some reason the salt stays colder then the air and it attracts water to it. even out in the cold of garage it works wonders. I told my buddy about the trick and he uses it in his machine shop because all the machines sweat in the spring as the heat in the building cycles.