Five steps to prevent garage fumes from polluting your home

Do you tend to warm the car up inside the garage before you open the garage door? Do you frequently work with paints or solvents in the garage? Do you store a lawnmower, paints or lubricants in your garage? Without proper ventilation and gap sealing, toxic fumes and gases from your attached garage could find their way into your living space and pollute indoor air. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to keep your indoor air quality safe. Let’s look at 5 things you can do to inhibit toxic fumes from polluting your home.

Always open the garage door before starting your vehicle

Don’t start the car while the garage door is closed

If you want to prevent toxic vehicle fumes from entering the house, open the garage door before starting your car. Once the car is out of the garage, close the garage door as soon as possible, to avoid exhaust fumes from entering the garage to become trapped by the closed door. The same is true for lawnmowers and any other petrol-powered motor or internal combustion engine.
Conversely, when you return home it’s advisable to shut your car off as soon as possible when you pull it into the garage and leave the door open for a few minutes to clear the air.
10 Garage Door safety tips.

Use gap fillers to seal up gaps in walls and ceiling

Use expanding fillers and caulk to seal cracks and gaps; ensure ceiling access is not left open to exposure from fumes.

Seal Garage Gaps

Fumes can easily find their way into your home through gaps, but it’s also easy to take action to prevent those fumes from polluting indoor air. Assess where there may be gaps from your garage into your home and use inexpensive supplies such as weather strips, gap fillers, and spray foam to address the holes. Don’t forget to check and seal all penetration areas such as ducts and wiring leading into the house or the ceiling above the garage.

TIP: To help in spotting gaps, turn the lights on in adjacent rooms and keep the lights off in the garage to check for light seepage.
Garage renovation tips.

Leaving internal doors open invites fumes to seep into the home

Keep the door into the house closed

Firstly, make sure the door leading from the garage into the house closes tightly and apply weather strips if needed to seal any gaps.
Does the internal garage door sometimes stay open? People often have their arms full when entering the house from the garage, which makes it hard to close the door straight away. Maybe you or the kids simply forget to close the door or just give it a kick which fails to close it all the way. This can allow nasty fumes from the garage to enter the house quickly and easily. Avoid this problem by installing a self-closing door.

There is a right way and a wrong way to store chemicals at home.

Above, left: The wrong way to store chemicals and solvents. Above, Right: Properly stored chemicals help to avoid mishaps.

Store Chemicals Safely

If you can smell chemicals in the garage, it means that potentially toxic fumes are in the garage air. Not only are you breathing them in whenever you are in the garage, but they can also enter your home.
Make sure all containers of toxic substances such as paint thinner, solvents, kerosene, petrol, brake fluid, pool chemicals and fertilisers are properly sealed.
When storing hazardous items, consider using a plastic bin with a sealable lid or even a lockable chemical storage cabinet to add an additional layer of protection. This will not only help to avoid air pollution but it will help to ensure kids and pets cannot access the chemicals.
Smart ways to organise your garage.

Vent your garage outdoors

If you spend a lot of time in the garage working with chemicals, solvents, paints, wood finishes or motors, consider installing an exhaust fan that sends the smells and fumes to the outdoors where they can dispel quickly. A decent bathroom or kitchen fan should do the trick.

A safe, well lit home with a Dominator Designer Door

A tightly-sealed garage door helps to keep cold air, wind and debris from penetrating your garage. All Dominator Garage Doors feature a soft and pliable weather strip along the bottom edge of the curtain, helping to stop leaves and rain from coming under the door. Eliminate draughts with our Mohair option which reduces gaps between the door and the door jamb. Take it a step further with an insulated Dominator Garage Door, which works to reduce air transfer in and out of the garage while also acting as a two-way sound barrier.
Looking to replace your garage door? Look no further than Dominator.

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