A typical winter problem is having snow melt in your garage. When you park your car inside, you often bring in snow from the road with you. Snow melt in your garage isn’t just an inconvenience, the road salt found in the snow contains chemicals that can ruin your flooring.
Furthermore, the melting snow can cause a member of your household to slip and fall. Falling isn’t something to take lightly. One out of five falls causes serious injuries, including broken bones and head injuries. Here is how to get rid of snow melt in your garage, once and for all.
Clean Off Your Car Before Parking
Your first step should be to clean off your car before parking it. That seems a bit inconvenient; after all, it’s cold outside. Who wants to step out of their warm, cozy car into the freezing weather, just to clean off their car? Is this step necessary?
However, if you want to get rid of snow melt in your garage, that is the best thing you can do. It’s simple: To avoid snow melt in your garage, don’t bring snow into your garage in the first place.
Get a snow brush and an ice scraper (only use the scraper if there is hard ice on your car). Start with your roof. Then, work your way down to the windshield, windows, mirrors, and the sides of your vehicle. Finally, get as much snow off your wheels as possible.
Of course, it’s impossible to clear off 100% of the snow on your car, especially if it is snowing outside. That is where the rest of the tips in this article come into play.
Use Garage Floor Snow Mats
Garage floor containment mats are great for catching snow, ice, and even mud. They’re pretty easy to install – lay them out flat on your garage door where you intend to park. They come in different sizes, so make sure to get the right one for your car.
These mats are made of unique materials and often come with integrated edges that ensure all snow and ice that falls onto the mat stays on the mat. It will prevent snow melt from spreading across your garage floor, keeping you safe and your belongings protected from damage.
If you don’t have a snow containment mat, and you couldn’t get all the snow off your car, don’t worry. An easy way to get rid of snow in your garage is to push it all out, using a squeegee. Squeegees are incredibly useful. They’re easy to use, and they do an excellent job of getting the snow out of your house.
After parking your car, open your garage door and push all that snow out. If the snow has already melted, you can still use a squeegee to get the water out of your garage, but it will be a bit harder.
It will be easier to get the snow out of your garage when your car isn’t in your way. If your car has been sitting in your garage for a while, and the snow has melted, you can park your car outside for a bit and remove the melted snow using a squeegee. Then, clean your car and park it inside again.
Install a Garage Floor Drain
Installing a floor drain in your garage isn’t the simplest task, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Nevertheless, it’s easiest when you are building a new garage. If your garage is already finished, installing a drain will be more difficult.
Not only will you have to cut the concrete floor to install your drain, but you will have to figure out how to get the water to run towards the drain. When building a new garage, you can set your floor on a slant so that water automatically runs into the drain.
It’s still possible to install a drain. However, you might have to rely on a professional to do it for you. You can install a regular square or circular drain or a trench drain. Trench drains are considerably more expensive, and they require more work, but they will collect more runoff and keep your garage drier.
Trench drains run across the length or width of your garage, and they can even continue under the garage door and run across your driveway, collecting runoff from both.
You also have to check if garage drains are legal in your area. Building codes vary, and some local laws prohibit garage floor drains because they can collect hazardous waste and deposit that waste into the soil. Some codes require you to install a trap to catch those hazardous materials.
Add a Garage Floor Fan
Using a fan in the winter isn’t as strange as it might seem. After all, you’re not using it to cool yourself off. Instead, you’re using it to dry out your garage.
You’ll need a fan that stays close to the floor. A tall fan – the kind you use on your porch on long summer days – might not work as great. There are plenty of floor fans available on Amazon, but you can also check your local hardware shop.
A fan is best used after the fact, not as a preventative measure. You should still clean off your car before driving into your garage. Furthermore, you should get a squeegee and push out all the snow that accumulates. Do that before the snow melts.
However, even a squeegee can’t get 100% of the moisture off your floor, and that is where a floor fan comes into play. If you don’t have a floor mat, it will help that extra moisture dry up quickly, preventing it from spreading and damaging your belongings you are storing in your garage. It will also reduce the likelihood of a slip and fall accident.
What a floor fan might not do is protect your garage’s flooring from damage. Also, the colder it is, the harder it might be for your fan to dry up all the moisture.
Seal Concrete Floor or Add Epoxy Floor Coating
Finally, seal your concrete garage floor to protect it. Garage floors aren’t sealed as often as driveways, but in areas with harsh winters, it’s critical to seal them.
By nature, concrete is porous, which means it absorbs moisture. Most people don’t realize that. An unsealed concrete floor absorbs the liquid from melting snow. That snow likely contains road salts, which have harmful chemicals that ruin the concrete. When the temperatures rise and fall, the melted water thaws and freezes, putting stress on the floor.
That can cause your garage floor to crack and experience other damage. While it won’t happen overnight, repeated snow melt in a garage leads to long-term damage. By sealing it, you will repel moisture and prevent it from getting absorbed in the concrete.
A popular type of sealant is epoxy. Epoxy floor coatings contain an epoxy resin and a polyamine hardener, which bind together to create a strong, durable sealant. Epoxy floor coatings last for a long time, and they can handle strong chemicals, including those found in road salt and cleaning products.
Just to be clear, sealing your garage floor won’t necessarily combat moisture. Your floor can still get wet, and it can present a slip and fall hazard. However, what a sealant will do is protect your garage floor when you can’t prevent snow melt using other methods. It will help your garage floor last for a long time, avoiding the need to spend money on future repairs and restorations.