Avoiding toxic fumes in garages

Published: 16th April 2010
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Having an attached garage is great though it is important to note that the air quality in your home can be affected from toxic fumes coming from the garage. Taking care of the overall cleanliness of the home is something we tend to do and that being the case, it is imperative that the air in and around the home be kept clean as well.

Most people tend to keep used paint, solvents and other chemicals in the garage and coupled with the exhaust from the car, they pose a great risk both to you and anyone else living in that home as these do have a tendency to waft in through open doors, gaps within the ceiling and such like places. There was a study that was conducted which did show that the houses which had garages attached to them had a substantial quantity of Benzene. For your information, benzene is a pollutant normally found in gasoline and long term exposure to it can lead to the reduction in blood production since the bone marrow is directly affected. In cases of a person being affected in the short term, this can lead to dizzy spells,unconsciousness and in extreme cases, death. On the contrary , homes with no garages at all had little levels of this pollutant if any, alongside other pollutants of similar nature.

That being the case, let me offer you some guidelines that will ensure that the air you do get to breath in and around your home is not injurious to your health. First of all, you should try to minimize or totally avoid running any gasoline powered engine in your garage. This includes power saws and motorcycle engines. Furnaces and water heaters should also not be used in the garage. This will aid in a great way to keeping the air clean. Do make sure that the door that you use to access your house from the garage does close tightly without leaving gaps which will definitely allow fumes to pass through. Ensure that the weatherstripping has been done properly. You could also use spray foam to seal any gaps you may notice.

There are those occasions when you come home, and since you have to move the shopping and your hands are full, the garage door leading to the house is left ajar and this allows for the toxic fumes to pass through unhindered. To guard against this, install a self closing door. Kids also may tend to leave the door open when playing around and this also does contribute in causing these pollutants finding their way into your home.

Other considerations especially if you are planning to build your house is to consider having a detached garage and have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector to measure the levels of toxic fumes within the garage. This will assist you in enjoying the benefits of a garage without compromising on the air quality around the home.

Anton has been writing articles for almost 4 years now. Check out his latest website at automatic garage doors which helps people locate the best steel garage doors and all other information they may may need on home improvement tips.

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