How to ventilate a garage?

We have an attached garage which the previous owners modified. Half of the garage is now a small office room (carpet and everything) and the other half of the garage is still, well, a garage. We do NOT park cars in it because there's no way a car can fit. The problem is that the gas and oil from the lawn mower creates fumes which sometimes can be smelled in the small office room. It's not particularly hot in the garage but we want some ventilation because of the fumes. We can't use a bathroom-type exhaust in the roof because there's already a crawl space up there. We're probably stuck with some kind of wall vent and not a fan. Will this provide enough ventilation? Do you have any other suggestions on what to do? We don't have anywhere else to put the lawnmower, unfortunately.
Stacia
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gas fumes stay low to the ground. If there is a door between the office and the garage you should have a good seal on it. Maybe you can install a vent on the bottom of the garage door. If you have a forced air heating and cooling system I think it would be a good idea to make sure that there is always a positive pressure in the room. You would need an HVAC technician to test for this and determine if this can be done. In a more extreme exercise, you could remove all of the wall board on the garage side and seal up every nook.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Suggestion. Buy or build one of those shed/storage cabinets that you can wheel a mower into, can also hold a few garden tools! Spare gas can, extra oil etc. and gets it out of and away from house. Total cost probably less than $200. Seen some storage bins made of plastic by that company that makes smaller food containers etc. that would be suitable. One type is no more than 3 feet by 5 feet and maybe 5 feet high. Tidy looking too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

John has named the important points: Seal all openings including cracks around wall board and doors; pressure differential between spaces; vent low. Is there a full closure of the wall between spaces? Does it go from slab to ceiling? Are the joints sealed? T
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

add small outdoor shed, keep flamables and smelly stuff out of house, safer too
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh, I'm an idiot because I forgot to mention a very important point: There is no way to seal it up because the previous owners (who we curse daily) made a closet for the small office room. This closet comes into the garage and has been cut down so that there's a 1-foot space between the ceiling and the top of the closet wall. This is to allow the garage door to slide up completely. Really, the conversion of the garage was not thought out properly. We were trying to avoid using a shed because there's not enough room in the yard. After reading everyone's posts, though, I think that's probably the only solution. Thanks for all the ideas!
Stacia
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

This sounds like it might be a code violation. The wall between the garage and living space is supposed to be a fire rated wall. If it is open at the top, you don't have a fire barrier.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh, great. The house inspector didn't note it as a violation when we bought the house 2 years ago. It may be okay (for various values of "okay") because a car cannot be parked in it. I'm definitely going to check into it though.
Stacia
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps you can "cut down" the closet a bit more & put a "top" on the closet, thus providing a seal? cheers Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's a great idea! The previous owners left the "top" off so that their cats could get in and out of the house all year round. It just never occurred to me to put one back on, but that should be a really quick job. Thanks!
Stacia
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.