Dusty Garage Springfield
April 21, 2020 6:18 AM   Subscribe

Is it worth parking my car in my super dusty garage?

My garage is coated in fine concrete dust. Not been a problem until I bought a new car. Now my beautiful new baby is also coated in fine concrete dust from the garage. I have tried cleaning the garage but sweeping the concrete kicks up more dust from the floor. I rent and do not have the option of resealing the floor.

Am I better off parking the car outside? Or is the dust not enough of an issue to contemplate parking outside with all the risks involved in that? Are there options for reducing the dust in the garage?
posted by BAKERSFIELD! to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
 
Best answer: Depending on the garage a heavy weight drop sheet could help a lot if you can spread it out enough that neither the car nor any person in the garage is stepping off the sheet. They may not sell heavy enough weight drop sheets anymore.

Have you tried a shop vac?
posted by Jane the Brown at 6:28 AM on April 21, 2020


You could get rid of 95% of that dust in a couple of hours of work with a good wet-dry vac (which can be rented). Someone else could do it in Craigslist gigs for a few hundred bucks.
posted by MattD at 6:30 AM on April 21, 2020 [3 favorites]


Can you use a hose and squeegee to wash the dust out of the garage?
posted by tman99 at 6:59 AM on April 21, 2020 [3 favorites]


Best answer: You could also get a car cover. Is it a very tall car? If not, a car cover is actually pretty easy to drag over a car.
posted by amanda at 7:30 AM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Your description sounds a lot more severe than a dusty floor, especially in that the dust is airborne. A concrete floor should not be letting off particulates like that, and becoming airborne enough to coat everything is kind of odd. You say the entire garage is coated in the stuff. Did the owner recently grind or re-surface the concrete floor?

Are you sure it's concrete dust? It might be some form of roof/ceiling insulation that is disintegrating and falling down into the space.

Remember...You're inhaling the stuff whenever you're in there.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:58 AM on April 21, 2020 [6 favorites]


Would it be possible to get the hose and wet everything in the garage? Maybe not drywall, unless it's painted, but everything else?
posted by notsnot at 8:16 AM on April 21, 2020


A pressure nozzle that screws onto the end of a hose is between $2.99 and $5.00. In Bakersfield I even use that to spray down the bushes and trees where I live, because when the oil economy and farming economy, and traffic is on, this town's air is a suspension of dust, that gets everywhere. I leave my back door open with a security screen, and when this local economy is in full swing, I can sweep up a cup nearly of this dust off my tiny kitchen floor. Just hit the inside of that garage with a hose, it is going to be hot sometime soon, it will dry, and be prepared to hose the floor at least twice a month. Here you can tell abandoned cars, they are covered in dust if they spend more than a month on the street.
posted by Oyéah at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2020


Response by poster:
Your description sounds a lot more severe than a dusty floor, especially in that the dust is airborne. A concrete floor should not be letting off particulates like that, and becoming airborne enough to coat everything is kind of odd. You say the entire garage is coated in the stuff. Did the owner recently grind or re-surface the concrete floor?

Are you sure it's concrete dust? It might be some form of roof/ceiling insulation that is disintegrating and falling down into the space.

Remember...You're inhaling the stuff whenever you're in there.
Leaving my car in there for two weeks has left a fine chalky residue on all surfaces which is also all over the walls and ceiling. I'm sure it's coming from the floor because the surface is rutted and powdery in places. I'm scared to work it too much as this will break down the floor and create more dust. And yes I have to work with a mask as it is asthma inducing.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 9:27 AM on April 21, 2020


Best answer: The concrete in there is definitely making more dust, but any dust it has made already that is still in there will be adding to the airborne dustiness you are facing. It would help a lot if you could empty the garage as much as possible and then do a top to bottom sweepdown, using a shopvac whenever possible. Get breathing protection (not easy right now, I know!) sweep down the ceiling, the walls, and then vacuum the floor. New dust will slowly accumulate, but you won't be dealing with the old dust that has been accumulating for the last 20 years.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:46 AM on April 21, 2020


Even though you are renting you could cover the floor with garage matting to act as a dust barrier.. Tape it to the wall all around and the dust won't be able to rise up. Better for you (breathing concrete dust every time you drive your car will be really bad for you) and keeps the car clean.
posted by Mitheral at 2:21 PM on April 21, 2020


On the cheap you could roll out plastic vapour barrier wall to wall and cover it with used carpet (which you can often get for free). The floor is rough enough that the plastic won't slide over the floor and you can use some double stick carpet tape to prevent the carpet from sliding on the plastic. Or even some cheap caulking.
posted by Mitheral at 2:28 PM on April 21, 2020


the most harrowing mesothelioma case I ever worked on involved a dusty garage. Look, I have no idea when that garage was built or what you're inhaling in there, but I personally would not park in there or go in there at all if you can help it, until you've remediated that dust.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:58 PM on April 21, 2020 [1 favorite]


I would not park my car in a garage with something that was causing me asthma issues if I had another option. You could be causing long term cumulative damage to your lungs with this mysterious dust, silicosis is nothing to mess around with.

is the dust not enough of an issue to contemplate parking outside with all the risks involved in that?

Well if you value your lungs more than your beautiful paint job I would park outside, but I guess it depends what's more important to you.
posted by yohko at 7:53 PM on April 21, 2020


Can you tell why the dust is there? Can it be cleaned out, or does sweeping the floor just generate more dust - a la badly sealed/poor quality concrete?
I know you said you rent and do not have the option of sealing the floor, but if you use a clear sealer how would your landlord know?
When I had this issue with the floor in my basement after some contractor work, I used Rustoleum Acryllic Dust Proofer Sealer - which is clear - and it completely took care of the issue. For $45 it seems like a no-brainer of a solution.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:55 AM on April 22, 2020


Addition: the Rustoleum product I mentioned above is very liquidity - almost water-like - so if some of the dust is coming from the walls you should be able to put it in a sprayer pump and hit the walls with it as well.
Don't use a roller with it, the roller will just absorb the liquid and not spread it. I sprayed it on the floor at first, then I just ended up pouring puddles of it, pushing the liquid around with a tile float, and then crawling around with a huge paintbrush to make sure it was embedded in the nooks and crannies of the rough-ish floor surface.
posted by 8dot3 at 7:54 AM on April 22, 2020


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