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
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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