What’s That Smell? How to Treat a Stinky Garage

Published on February 13, 2019

With more and more garages being used for more than just housing cars, it is important to treat the inside of your garage like you would the inside of your home. In other words, keep it clean and neat. But because your garage is where you might store items that shouldn’t live inside your home, like trash cans and containers of oil, you might have noticed that your garage has started to be a bit smelly. So what do you do when your garage starts to smell?

Identify the Culprit

The first step in properly eliminating odours from your garage is to figure out what is causing the smell. There could be any single or multiple cause:

  1. Recycling bins
  2. Trash cans
  3. Mold or mildew
  4. Floor drains

Recycling Binds and Trash Cans

This may seem like an obvious source for the unpleasant odour in your garage, and one that can be remedied by taking the trash to the curb. But the residue of dinners past at the bottom of your trash cans may be the real culprit.

Rinse the bins with water and then wash them with hot soapy water. Allow them to dry completely before using them again. If it’s at all possible, you may want to consider storing your trash cans outside — especially in warmer months.

Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew can make a garage smell musty. In moist conditions, mold can even smell like wet socks or rotten wood. If you think mold or mildew is the cause of the smell in your garage, combine a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and wash the floors and walls of your garage. For your safety, make sure your garage door is open when using bleach.

Rinse the floors and walls with clean water and allow to air dry for 24-48 hours before closing the garage door.

Floor Drains

The average floor drain in a residential garage doesn’t get much use. If the drain in your garage has a trap, old water and other debris left inside the trap may be the cause of that sewer smell in your garage. Simply pour 3/4 of mineral oil into the trap. Mineral oil evaporates more slowly than water and keeps the trap from stinking up your garage.

If the drain doesn’t have a trap, it’s possible that the odor in your garage is rising from the sewer. To minimize the smell without completely blocking the drain, cover the drain with heavy plastic. Tape three sides down to keep it in place while still allowing standing water to drain.

Breathe Easier in Your Garage

Now that your garage is fresher, you may be considering how to convert it to a multi-purpose space. Whether you’re turning your garage into a man cave, workshop, or just want to be able to work on your car, you will need a quality garage door to keep your space safe. Insulated garage doors help with temperature regulation, if you want to heat or air-condition your garage for year-round comfort.

For further information about insulated garage doors for your home, please feel free to find an authorized dealer through Richards-Wilcox Doors today at www.rwdoors.com.

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