Ventilation and Garage Safety

Estimated read time: 4 minutes.

Garage door safety, as was mentioned in the last article, is no laughing matter. While garage doors are in almost every home, often several times, that doesn't mean that they are exactly childproof play things. Garage doors have numerous moving parts that if not paid the proper amount of respect could seriously injure someone. One thing that has been mentioned here before is the idea that insulation of a garage door is important, and that is very true. A well insulated garage door can save you big bucks on your bills in the long run, cut down on your carbon footprint if you are worried about it and can even add a whole lot of usability to what once was a cold and drafty pseudo-room. The problem is that garage doors being insulated well and so air tight can actually cause a dangerous health risk if misused. We often see this happening in movies or dramatic tv series, but the fact of the matter is that it can be at times dangerous. So this post is to say simply to be careful out there and that while insulation is definitely important at times ventilation is also extremely important for saving lives not just saving money.

The number one thing that most likely comes to mind when you think about the dangers of having a well insulated garage is that your car's exhaust system is full of chemicals that really aren't meant to be in the air. Things like carbon monoxide can quickly cause havoc on the human body which is why homes these days should have carbon monoxide detectors, but I digress. The important thing is to simply remember is that if your car is running, give it room to run or you won't be running for long. If you would like the same explanation in a not so metaphoric sentence, don't keep your garage door closed while your engine is on. While you may have only just started the car and you need to run back into the house to get something or some similarly small mistake was made, just remember to hit the button to open the garage door before you dash out of the car. It is a small little thought that could save you anywhere from a few coughs to a few lungs. Don't be trying to warm up your car extra quick in the winter by turning it on before opening the garage door because it is just bad news. If you remember one thing from all of the research or reading you ever do about garage doors make sure that it is the rule to not have an engine running and a closed garage door. If you have an older car, like now without power brakes and steering, you could even make a game out of it by turning off the engine as you roll down the driveway. I wouldn't personally recommend that part, but it is something I used to do with my first car so I can't really judge.

Another time where you will definitely want to be careful about wanting ventilation where you have insulation is for those DIY projects. Now if you are relatively knowledgable about what you are doing then you won't have to be told more than once that when you are power sanding ten tables with no sort of cover for your nose and mouth with the garage door closed you are going to be in for a bad time. While one of the reasons that insulation in a garage door is so great is because it really does kick up the usability of your garage up a notch for things like use as a workshop or to simply do the odd DIY project. However, there are some DIY projects that do need a well ventilated area and if you have a garage door, especially one that is installed and insulated correctly then you are looking at a purposefully terribly ventilated space. Whether there are tiny bits of wood or fiberglass floating in the air or you are using something that has some toxic chemicals in it make sure to read all of your safety labels and if need be sacrifice a bit of comfort for safety by keeping that garage door open while you are working and afterwards. Whether it is a quick spray paint job or a month long project sculpting, sanding and staining a big block of wood, remember to keep proper ventilation in mind and to if need be wait for days where you can handle having the garage door open or simply doing the project out of cover in order to guarantee proper ventilation and safety. The problem with DIYers is that often projects are done for the first and last time at the same time, meaning that you won't have a real idea of what a project will have you doing until everything is said and done, so make sure to take precautions when you are trying something new just make sure that you keep yourself safe.

Insulation and a well fitted garage door really are a great thing for any home owner for 90% of the time. However the other 10% of the time that the garage is being used for something that could be potentially dangerous it is important to keep in mind that while garages are typically draftier than your average bedroom they are by no means the well ventilated area that is asked for on that aerosol spray paint can you are holding. Make sure to do a bit of research on the proper areas to get projects done in your home and remember not keep your car running in your garage and you will be golden as far as living with a garage door is concerned. It may only take two seconds to step back and think about the safety measures that you need to take in your garage, but those two seconds might just save you from something as small as a coughing fit to a serious health risk.

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