A shed or garage with slight humidity or moisture may not seem like a big deal, but this is one aspect of your home that you shouldn’t let slide. Too much moisture can damage the shed; mold and mildew can build up in the structure of your garage or shop, which is bad for both the building and your family’s health.
When walls weaken, paint peels, stains pop up, and bugs will enjoy your house more. Carpenter ants will quickly find it. Not to mention that anybody working in an overly humid shed can develop health problems from breathing in the mold spores. What a charming place to live! There are several methods you can use to manage the humidity in your structure. Some are cheap and easy, and some are at the other end of the spectrum. Humidity control is easier and cheaper than repairing the damage done after the fact, and is a much better plan in the long run. Just remember not to get carried away; there is such a thing as your shed being too dry, as well, but we are focusing on humidity. Those will help you reach a good balance.
Health Problems Due to Mold & Mildew
If you’ve got them already, having that extra crap in a space you use often is only going to aggravate the issue, making daily life miserable. If you don’t have allergies, you might develop them.
Breathing can be a struggle when you have asthma, and breathing humid, dirty, mildewed air will exacerbate those problems.
Certain types of mold are actually toxic to humans. Low concentrations might make you kind of sick, but it’ll be worse with more—especially for those with compromised immune systems in humid buildings.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Humidity and Moisture
First, identify the source of the moisture in your shed or garage.
The less moisture coming into your shed, the less humidity. Some sources of water problems are as simple as poor ventilation and leaks/condensation from the structure itself. These are fixable, although you may have to call a professional if you aren’t handy. Some moisture is unavoidable, like condensation in on certain garage floors. That you just have to learn to manage. If there is any mold in these areas, clean it up after you’ve taken out the moisture
Good ventilation will lower humidity levels in your building.
Most people don’t think of using fans when they build a shed or workshop, but they work. If you look at an old barn from the first part of the 20th century, they were all built with exhaust fans. Farmers knew that having livestock inside a barn would create humidity, and they needed to somehow exchange the air.
If you are building a new shed, consider building it with fans. If you already have a she, find ways to get good airflow.
Air conditioning is another way to improve air quality in the shed.
If you have the budget to splurge, a little AC can go a long way in a shed. It will cost you, but may be worth it, especially for those sheds where you might spend much of your workday.
A simple window or wall unit will do. Just be sure your electrical can handle it.
When it’s too hot and humid outside to leave windows open for ventilation, turn up the A/C. If you don’t have air conditioning already, it’ll be pricey to install and run. The cost will change depending on the size of your building, but the air in your shed will be balmy and wonderful. So, if your significant other says you can’t afford air conditioning, tell him or her that you’re just trying to save the family from mold poisoning, which is priceless.
Dehumidifiers will dehumidify the structure – be it a barn, shed, garage, or workshop.
A shocking revelation, I know. Also a less expensive way to get the moisture out of the house than A/C. These work using the same concept as air conditioners, except they don’t cool your shed or garage. Air is pulled from the room, the moisture is pulled out, and the drier air is expelled back into the room. There are numerous brands and types of dehumidifiers, just be sure to get one that’s the right size for the space it will need to dehumidify.
Hard flooring is better for air quality, too.
The best surface for the floor of a shed is concrete, when poured with a vapor barrier. The concrete allows moisture and humidity to leave quickly, and the vapor barrier will help prevent condensation from rising up through the floor.
Wood or tile floors are next best, just be sure the construction isn’t done in a way that locks moisture between the flooring and the concrete, if you have.
Sometimes, especially on smaller sheds, a wooden floor is logical. Be sure the plywood floor is either treated or sealed before installed.
I am not sure why people would put carpet down in a shed, but I see it. Carpet feels nice on the tootsies, but it holds onto more moisture, and hides all kinds of gross stuff, such as dust mites and allergens. removable, washable rug instead.
Shed Maintenance vs. Shed Repair
Owning any structure – be it a barn, shed, garage, or workshop – is a lot of work to begin with, but if you don’t maintain it, it’s even more of a pain to fix. If you ever plan on selling the property, every problem in the house will lower the amount of money you can get for it. So take care of it. If your structure has developed a mold problem, or if your new place has one, you’ve got to fix it.
Sometimes a good scrubbing will be enough, but if it’s gotten really bad, you may have to replace flooring or drywall if your shed was built with it. You can either try to do it yourself, or call in the professionals who know how to safely remove the problem and fix it back up. From personal experience, DIY projects can potentially turn into an even bigger mess (or physical injury), so choose carefully.
Green Humidity Control
Green Humidity Control
Let that fresh air roll on in! Breezes will naturally ventilate your shed or barn, getting moisture out. It will also make your house smell better, unless you live next to a turkey farm.
Energy-efficient dehumidifiers and air conditioners.
When in the market for these products, shop around for energy-efficient models. You’ll help the environment and save money on electric bills all while helping get rid of the extra moisture! We’d recommend, for smaller shed sizes something like the Hysure Dehumidifier.