Weathering frigid northern New England winters without a solid garage is unthinkable to savvy homeowners. While having a well-built garage to shield your cars is great, it’s just the beginning. Keeping the snow that you track in from doing serious property damage over time is a tall order. Mercifully, curtailing snow melt in your garage and its associated ill effects is very achievable if you do the following.
Build a Barrier with Garage Mats
Keeping snow off the concrete is huge if you don’t want eventual cracks in the foundation. A couple of synthetic floor mats in front of entry doors is a good way to prevent puddles. If you want to go all out, car-sized mats that will absorb snow melt overnight can temporarily replace garage drains in the floor.
Add Some Auxiliary Heat Sources
Mats alone won’t sop up the snow that’s inevitably brought in when you park at night. Setting up a few mid-height overhead lamps or space heaters at floor level will turn snow to more easily absorbed sludge when you need to break out a mop. Light slicks will be evaporated more easily regardless of your specific garage construction.
Suck Out Moisture from the Air
Eventually, taking a more active and constant approach to snow melt problems in the garage will be required as the winter goes on. A sturdy dehumidifier can solve problems that floor mats can’t. The key is to ensure that your garage is totally sealed. Use a simple IR heat leak detector to find insulation gaps and plug them.
Tack On a Little Ad-Hoc Drainage
Those of us with sloping garage floors and drains are the lucky ones. Unfortunately, most of us won’t get one without a serious garage regrading that can be costly and time-consuming. You can simulate a draining floor with rubber or composite wedges tucked against the house side of the garage that direct water away from vulnerable foundation surfaces.
Use a Sump Pump to Suck Up Water
If you have the option to influence garage construction from the get-go, you can lay things out so standing water doesn’t occur. However, water usually builds up in older garages and needs to be removed ASAP to avoid standing water problems. A sump pump hooked up to flexible plastic hoses can quickly remedy sudden water accumulations.
When Simple Solutions Don’t Work
While the snow melt remedies mentioned here usually work for the average homeowner, they’re rarely permanent or one-size-fits-all panaceas. Sometimes, installing garage drains and performing garage regrading is simply required. If that’s the case, calling in the professionals is ultimately the best and most cost-effective solution to the ongoing problem of snow melt in the garage.