This Common Mistake Is Making Your Garage Smelly

While you may be quick to eliminate odors that you notice in the living room, kitchen, and other areas of your home, the garage is often neglected. Unfortunately, a foul odor can creep into your garage before you know it. When it does, the garage becomes an uncomfortable place to spend time — simply getting in and out of your car each day becomes a hassle. If you notice that your garage has been smelly recently, the culprit may not be too surprising. Failing to ventilate your garage and let the air circulate regularly is a big mistake and is all it takes to make your garage smelly.

Odors from gas, paint, chemicals, bleach, and other substances can all help stink up the garage and will accumulate if they have nowhere to go. If you don't ventilate the garage properly, then these odors will remain. Additionally, water leaks in the garage can lead to dampness and excess humidity. This moisture can foster mold and mildew growth that leads to bad odors and even possible health risks. It can help to ventilate your garage and allow air to circulate, eliminating excess moisture.

How to ventilate your garage

To ventilate your garage, open the windows and let air come in and out regularly. You may want to put screens on your windows to ensure that no pests can get in while they're open. As an alternative, consider keeping the garage door open for a while. 

Installing exhaust vents and fans can also be useful for improving garage ventilation. These can help the air circulate faster and keep the garage smelling as fresh as possible. Adding a garage ventilation fan can be a good long-term solution if you find that your garage gets damp easily. For a short-term solution, you may want to run a dehumidifier. This will help reduce the moisture while improving air quality and making it smell better. Another hack is to leave a bowl of vinegar in your garage to eliminate odors. 

Anything that you can do to get the air moving in and out of your garage will help it smell better and can help reduce any moisture and mold issues that are present. Of course, if the mold issues in your garage are significant, you'll also want to take other steps to protect your garage from mold growth as well. If there are leaks in your garage, you should fix them to eliminate bad smells and prevent them from returning.

Why improving garage ventilation matters

Poor ventilation won't just cause the garage to smell and make it an uncomfortable place to be. It can affect your health as well. Pollutants, allergens, and mold particles in the air can cause eye, skin, nose, and throat irritation. General dampness can also cause respiratory problems – even in the absence of any mold growth.

Mold, mildew, and poor garage air quality can also affect the value of your home, particularly if any of it makes its way into the interior of your house. You'll want to ensure that your home makes a good first impression on home buyers if they come to visit for a showing. A bad-smelling garage and visible mold issues are instant turn-offs. By keeping your garage clean and well-ventilated, you can improve the value of your house and you'll have a better chance of selling when the time comes.