Building a garage gym is not only a great idea but it’s a dream and exciting project for most avid weightlifters. Finding your perfect equipment, having unlimited access to it, and doing so from the comfort of your own home are all very enticing reasons for owning a garage gym.
Ignoring the excitement and dream project for one moment though, you’ll find that a lot more goes into planning a home or garage gym than what you might initially expect. Commercial gyms need building regulation plans and specific procedures in place before opening to the public for a range of reasons.
One in particular that gets ignored, forgotten about, or not even considered when making a garage gym is moisture and damp. Training involves perspiration and creates moisture in the atmosphere and while gyms can combat this with air-con and proper ventilation, a garage gym is usually not so well equipped!
Therefore, one important factor when considering a gym build at home is whether or not you need a dehumidifier in garage gyms?
Why Does Moisture Occur in a Garage Gym?
Garages hold more moisture than other rooms in the house because they are not temperature-controlled. Unless your garage has air conditioning, it will be hotter and more humid than the rest of your house.
Your garage may also receive rainwater that sits on the floor. This turns into condensation in the heat, making your garage humid. This dampness can cause mold growth and even structural damage.
The moisture in the air of your garage settles on the cold floor, which makes the floor seem like it is “sweating.” This type of atmosphere is not ideal for a gym.
Garages also usually don’t have ventilation, which makes humidity worse. Air can not flow freely through, so there is no way to get the stale air out. Moisture will build up on the walls and floors because the humidity can’t escape.
How do I know if my garage is too humid?
The following signs indicate that your garage may be too humid:
- You notice condensation on the floor and walls.
- There is standing water on the floor of your garage.
- The wood in your garage has started to rot.
- The paint on the walls of your garage has started to deteriorate.
- You see or smell mold growth in some areas of your garage. Mold has a musky, stale smell, so just because you don’t see any doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
How to Prevent Moisture, Dampness, and Condensation in Garage Gym
If you notice a musty smell or mold growth, it is essential to start dehumidifying the room. While opening the windows or the garage door can help, a dehumidifier will be much more effective.
Moisture and humidity cause a room to feel hotter and also cause mold growth, condensation damage, and allergies. Installing a dehumidifier or exhaust fans can regulate the humidity and reduce these issues.
Install a dehumidifier
The first thing you should do to regulate the humidity of your garage is installing a dehumidifier. This is the easiest way to reduce the humidity level of any room. It is important to find one that can cover the square footage of your garage.
A hygrometer can tell you exactly how humid your garage is. Rather than relying on how it feels to you, using a hygrometer can give you an exact rating. You want to keep the humidity level under 45%. If your garage is over 45% humidity, you need a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers are efficient and don’t require much maintenance. After you install it, it does the work. The only thing you have to do is empty the water out occasionally.
Install an exhaust fan
If the dehumidifier is not keeping up, you can also install exhaust fans. The exhaust fan can be in the room that the garage is next to. This will prevent the humidity from the garage from entering your home.
Do You Need a Dehumidifier in a Garage Gym?
While it is not essential, it is recommended that you get a dehumidifier for your garage gym. Working out in a hot and humid environment can be bad for your health and your gym equipment.
Installing a dehumidifier in your garage gym can solve these issues and make the environment more comfortable during workouts. They also work fast. Dehumidifiers can reduce the humidity in a room from 70% to 40% after only an hour.
Damp environments are not ideal for gym equipment such as weight benches and exercise bikes. Rust forms quicker in humid environments, which will age your equipment. Using a dehumidifier in your garage gym can extend the life of your gym equipment and protect it from rusting.
Without a dehumidifier, the effects to your equipment can be similar to leaving gym equipment outside. Equipment left outside is prone to damage from the environment and weights, in particular, will easily rust outside if not carefully stored or maintained.
Therefore, As a garage can have similar effects on your equipment, a dehumidifier is useful to minimize the effects (though a dehumidifier alone won’t eliminate them).
What else can you do to reduce humidity in a garage gym?
If you don’t want to use a dehumidifier in your garage gym, you can regularly clean your garage and equipment to avoid mold growth. You want to make sure to scrub any mold away with a scrub brush.
You can also install an AC unit such as a mini-split. Most AC units also act as dehumidifiers and can help keep you cool during workouts.
Is it ok to work out in a humid garage gym?
Yes, it is ok to work out in a humid garage gym unless there is mold growth. Mold grows in damp environments and can start to grow on your gym equipment if your gym is too humid.
Rather than risk mold and rust on your equipment, it is better to install a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your garage.
Also, working out in a humid environment can feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to walk into your gym garage and instantly start to feel hot and sticky. While sauna-like conditions may help you burn more calories, a fresh and comfortable atmosphere feels better than stale, damp air.
What Is the Best Type Of Dehumidifier in Garage Gyms
Any dehumidifier that has enough power to cover the square footage of your garage will work fine. One that is too small will not reduce the humidity effectively and one that is too big will turn on and off frequently.
Most two-car garages are about 700 square foot, so a 50-pint dehumidifier will work fine for a moderately damp garage.
A dehumidifier that has an automatic mode is a great option because it will automatically turn off when humidity levels are low enough. This is much easier on your part than one that you have to manually control.
Some dehumidifiers have a spot for connecting a discharge hose. With a discharge hose, your dehumidifier will dispose of the excess water automatically, so you don’t have to empty the tank each time it fills up with water.
Best dehumidifiers for garage gyms
You have a lot of options when it comes to dehumidifiers for your garage gym. One of the best options is the Frigidaire 50 Pint dehumidifier. It is the right size for a two-car garage, comes with a spot for a drain hose, and has an auto-mode.
Another option for a dehumidifier is the hOmeLabs 50 Pint dehumidifier. This dehumidifier is also the right size for a standard two-car garage. In addition, it is more budget-friendly and still has the spot for a drain hose and an auto-mode.
When building a garage gym, one of the most important aspects of a healthy workout space and protection of your equipment is moisture and damp control. A garage is primarily designed for storage and therefore doesn’t come with moisture control already built-in (besides the basic damp control you’d expect like insulation and ventilation).
Therefore, managing this yourself is an important consideration right from the start. One of the best ways to cheaply and effectively manage moisture in a garage gym is to use a dehumidifier.
While this won’t eliminate moisture entirely, especially during frequent training throughout the week, it’s a great precautionary measure before looking into additional equipment like extraction units. While we won’t say a dehumidifier is essential, it’s definitely something that will be useful and provide excellent value for money in the long run.