Sure, there’s a wall between your attached garage and your living space. But many walls separating these two areas aren’t up to the job of keeping out fumes that you don’t want your family breathing.

Bad air from the garage can seep into your home via small cracks and holes in the wall — especially if it isn’t insulated well. And the door from the garage to your home can be a major point of entry.

So what are the sources of those fumes? In addition to your car, you’re probably storing gas-fired lawn equipment in your garage, as well as chemicals, pesticides, pet food and paints. Alone and combined, they emit fumes that can affect your family’s respiratory systems.

Preventive measures

It’s safest to store lawn equipment, paints, chemicals and any other compounds in a storage area that’s completely detached from your home. An outbuilding is ideal, if you have enough land.

Sealing your garage

Whether you have a separate storage area or not, it’s likely that you’ll still use the garage to park your car. That means sealing the wall between the garage and your home is an important measure. Check the wall for all cracks and holes, and seal them before painting the wall. If necessary, insulate the wall. The access door between the garage and your home should be sealed with weatherstripping. If your garage contains ductwork, you should inspect the ducts for leaks and seal with mastic and butyl tape as needed.

Ventilating your garage

Auto emissions are unavoidable consequences of starting and parking vehicles in the garage. Mechanical ventilation is absolutely necessary to remove emissions, which can linger for hours after a hot engine has stopped.

One good habit to develop is to park your vehicle outside the garage to cool off for a few hours before pulling it inside. Also, make sure you have CO detectors in strategic locations inside your home, such as 10 feet from the garage access door.

For more information on keeping your home warm and safe this winter, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We serve homeowners in greater Cincinnati.

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