Your questions, Our Answers

See Answer

Epoxy Garage Floor Coating

I applied an epoxy-based coating to my garage floor, but it didn't last all that long and started chipping away. I am ready to do it again, and want to know if you have any tips or products to recommend.

Our Answer

Like many a finish project, proper preparation is key to a great-looking and long-lasting garage floor.  While many manufacturers make epoxy garage floor coating, I have had good experience with QUIKRETE's Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Kit
QUIKRETE makes it easy to prepare the garage floor with its Bond-Lok concentrate. After the floor surface is thoroughly swept, Bond-Lok is mixed with water and applied to the floor to degrease, clean and etch the surface.
After the Bond-Lok garage floor application and a thorough rinsing and drying, it's time to add the epoxy-based finish in two-by-six-foot sections. You can also add QUIKRETE color flakes for extra flair. Finally, make sure the garage floor is thoroughly dry before you move your cars back in. Temperate and humidity can impact drying times making them far longer than the garage floor epoxy manufacturer predicts.

See Answer
washer, washing machine, garage

Can I Move My Washer and Dryer to My Garage?

I'd like to move my washer and dryer from my basement to my unheated garage.  Other than plumbing for the washer, do I need to do anything special beforehand, like add insulation to the space or heat it? My partner thinks it's a bad idea, but I have a hard time with the stairs to the basement, and there is no other room in the house that will fit them.  Also, I believe this will help dry up the basement and our poor little humidifier will finally get some relief!

Our Answer

There are a few very real deterrents to moving your washer and dryer to your garage:  First, I don't know what climate you live in, but yes - without additional heating - you risk water lines freezing in an unheated space.

Since heating a garage quickly becomes expensive, even once it's insulated, you might find yourself spending far more money than you ever anticipated on clean clothes and convenience! But there's something else in your question that concerns me: Your mention of dehumidifying your basement by removing the washer and dryer.  This is an unwise motive.  If your dryer is properly vented, it shouldn't be contributing to basement moisture.

If I were in your shoes, I'd concentrate on dehumidifying the basement by taking steps independent of the washer and dryer.  And if you really need to make the washer and dryer more accessible,  consider a stacked unit  - a dryer on top of a washer - that is more likely to fit in your closet or your kitchen.  There's a quality one from Santa Fe, and if that's too big, there are smaller appliances and models designed for apartments and compact homes.  Good luck!

See Answer

How-to Insulate Garage Walls Behind Sheetrock

What is the best way to insulate my garage walls that are already sheetrocked? Is is it possible to cut a hole in the top and drop loose material down the cavity? Thanking you in advance. George

Our Answer

In a garage, the walls that are typically drywalled (sheetrocked) are those between the garage and the interior of your house.  The reason is that the drywall plays an important role in creating fire resistance between those spaces.  If those are the walls you are referring to, they may very well already be insulated.  An easy way to check to to pull off an outlet or light switch cover and try and look into the wall cavity around the electrical box.

If the wall does in fact have drywall and is not insulated, then adding blown-in insulation would be the best option.  Typically a hole that is about 1 1/2" is drilled near the top of the wall cavity.  Insulation is blown in and then the hole is sealed and spackled.

See Answer

Converting Garage to Workshop: Tips to Create Space for More Than Your Car

I'm self-employed and with the economy being tight, I'm spending a lot more time at home and thinking converting my garage to a workshop that I'd use to tackle projects from car repair to woodworking.  In reviewing the floor options, I'm trying to decide between adding a locking floor tile or painting it.  Any suggestions?

Our Answer

Garages have become the recreational focal point of the home. They are being transformed into exercise rooms, children's play areas, and attractive workspaces.  There are a number of garage-ready floor tile products out there, designed typically to lock together like puzzle pieces and float over the concrete floor.  While these are good looking and functional, they are costly and may not be the easiest of keeping clean as their textured surfaces easily hold dirt.

Painting is an easy way out but there may be a third option, which is to apply a 2-part garage floor epoxy.  These colored protective coatings allow homeowners to turn a gray, lifeless, stained or cracked concrete garage floor into an attractive, granite-like surface that brings new life to the garage area.

See Answer

Garage Pulling Away From House: Structural Problem

My house is over 125 years old. My kitchen is in the back of the house. To the left of the kitchen, there are 3 steps that lead to a garage. The house and garage is made of brick. The garage was probably added on to the house after the original construction.

My house is on a corner that has a sidewalk and a busy street. The attached garage has severe separation from the house and the back of the garage the bricks are seperating apart. I'm afraid the side of the garage will collapse a cause danger to parked cars or pedestrans. What would you recommend? Do you think insurance will pay for this?


Dave Schofield

Wilmington, De.


Our Answer

Dave, there are many things that could cause the building movement but unless this is tied to a covered event (like a major storm), it's not likely to be covered by homeowner insurance.

The conditions you describe sound potentially serious.  This needs to be looked at by a professional home inspector or a structural engineer. I'd advise against having a contractor look at it as they'd have an obvious conflict of interest, and frequently not qualified to issue such structural advice. You can find a competent home inspector by searching for a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

See Answer

My Garage Door Keeps Getting Stuck

Once temperatures outside dip below 45 degrees, my garage door gets stuck.  It raises about six inches then stops.  If I manually help it past that six inch point it eventually goes up, but obviously this isn't ideal.  It has been greased. What else can I try?

Our Answer

It sounds like your garage door is binding inside the tracks.  There are a number of reasons why this might be happening: There could be a bad bearing on one of rollers, or there's a chance the track has become dented or twisted.  To figure out the problem, disconnect it from the garage door opener.  Then manually slide the door up and down, paying particular attention to where it seems to bind.  Look closely and figure out why it's jamming - again, my guess is a problem with a roller or the track.  Garage door rollers are easily replacable.  If the track is twisted, it's probably because hardware holding the track to its wood frame has loosened.  You might be able to straighten it out by simply tightening those screws, or you can hire someone who installs and fixes garage doors professionally. 

See Answer

Roof Deck Leaking Into Garage Underneath

We have a flat 12x12 deck off our master bedroom.  It sits on top of our garage.  We love it and want to keep it, but it continuously leaks water into the garage below.  We've tried everything we can think of, from rebuilding the deck with outdoor tile to adding more drains (when snow melts, the gutters can't seem to support all of the water.  We make sure they're always free of leaves, but they still overflow).  We're getting to the point where we might just give up.  We don't have a large budget for repair, but we're thinking about enclosing the deck completely, or covering it in glass and turning it into a sunroom just to put this leak problem behind us.  What are your thoughts? Would this affect the value of our home?

Our Answer

A master bedroom deck adds significant value to a home, and, if well maintained, is also an attractive selling point. That said, decking is one of the most difficult surfaces to make watertight.
I suggest taking all reasonable strides toward fixing this problem, and I think your best option is to install a fiberglass deck.  Fiberglass decks are installed by forming fiberglass on top of the old roof surface once those garage roof leaks are repaired.  The fiberglass goes up under the siding and becomes an impervious surface - that is, no water can get beneath it. 
Before installing it, contractors will make your roof as flat and smooth as possible, and will also add a little bit of pitch.  Then, they make the fiberglass, lay it, cover it with resin, add more fiberglass, more resin and so on -  similar to how you'd make a boat hull.  The upper layers have an abrasive sand in the epoxy, giving you some surface resistance.  The whole thing is formed in one continuous piece.  This is your best bet for maintaining your deck while also bringing an end to those troubling garage leaks.

See Answer

Water in Garage: Where Is It Coming From?

I live in North Dakota and my garage floor is a couple inches below ground level. Every spring I get water in the corners of my garage. What can I do to prevent this? I am hesitant to finish sheetrocking the wall because of this.

Our Answer

First, you need to determine the source of the water.   If it's developing as the result of rain, you need to prevent that water from coming in with proper exterior drainage. 
From a drainage standpoint, there's really no difference between a garage a few inches below grade and a basement a few feet below grade.  If you don't have gutters, or if your gutters are clogged or dumping water within four feet of your home, the water's going to end up inside.  So address the source of the water first, and only after you've figured out and fixed the problem should you proceed with remodeling. 
Good luck! 

See Answer

Water on Garage Floor – Damage Blocks

I recently moved into a home with a water problem in the garage. The garage is heated by a furnace - when snow melts off the vehicles, the water pools in the front corner of the garage and does not dry. Over time, this water has soaked in to the block making up the exterior wall. It then freezes, which is busting up the block, causing it to slowly flake apart (at least this is my theory of why the block is deteriorating in an isolated area). There is a drain in the floor of the garage, but the water seems to go everywhere except towards the drain. I can squeegee the water to the drain, but this is a pain, and most of the corner is impossible to get to because of a large, heavy built-in cabinets. I have a two-part question. 1) What is the best way to address the damaged block? 2) How do I fix the floor, so that the water runs properly towards the drain? Thank you in advance.

Our Answer

Lets tackle the easy part first, deteriorated concrete can be easily repaired with an epoxy patching compound, such as one made by Quikrete.  As for re-sloping floor, that's much more difficult, because you would need to repour the floor.  This isn't something you can really repair.  I would suggest painting the floor and the block walls with an epoxy garage paint.  That will greatly reduce the absorption of water and would inhibit frost damage which is what this sounds like.
You might also consider adding flooring in the form of garage tiles.  It will give you at least half an inch of space above the floor and would be far less expensive than repouring.  Look for self-draining tiles.  Water would run down and sit under tiles. 

See Answer

Cold Living Room

I need help keeping our living room warm this upcoming winter. The room is located over our garage (unheated) which is finished with 4" faced fiberglass batt insulation and sheetrock. We are considering removing the garage's ceiling sheetrock and insulation and having closed-cell insulation sprayed. Has anyone completed a similar project that can comment on the results?

Another choice would be to replace the living room window, which is a cheap single paned window. Last year we added insulation film, which did help but did not solve the problem. Related to this, can anyone comment on insulated blinds and their effectiveness.

We have a limited budget so I'd like to put our money where it will yield the best results. I would love to hear any other ideas as well. Thanks!

See Answer

Garage Flooring Options

I noticed that when we pull in our vehicles after it rains we are left with puddles of water in the garage. This got me thinking that when it snows our garage will collect much more water. My questions is, what can I do to prevent these puddles?

See Answer

Baseboard Molding Against an Uneven Floor

Is there a way to pattern molding against an uneven floor, using plastic molding as the trim, similar to cutting tile pieces for not full pieces?
This is between drywall and a concrete floor in the garage.

See Answer

Refrigerator in the Garage

Is it safe to store a working refrigerator in the garage where you also keep a riding lawn mower which sometimes holds up to 3 gal of gasoline?

Our Answer

First off, a standard refridgerator is not designed to work in the extreme fluctuations of temperature in the garage.  We know it's common practice to keep a spare fridge or freezer in the garage.  But it's very inefficient and stressful on the compressor.  It's much better to use one specifically designed for the garage - like the Chillerator… from Gladiator by Whirlpool.  I don't see any issue with the lawnmower in the same space.

See Answer

Vinyl Siding

I know how to clean garage siding, but I hate doing it.  Is there anythingpreventative I can put on while I'm cleaning it to keep moss from growing back and dirt from sticking?

See Answer

Installing a Propane Furnace in My Garage

I have a 90,000 btu furnace that i would like to install in my garage. I live in the city so there's an ordinance against having propane tanks in town. However, a 100 lb propane tank is still considered a portable tank. I would like to run the furnace on the 100 lb bottle, but don't know what type of regulator to get for my bottle. I tried a 30 lb bottle with a barbecue regulator and that just didn't work. I was told there wasn't enough volume in a 30 lb bottle but a 100 lb should work. I don't really want to fork out the cash to get the bottle updated and filled until I find out what kind of regulator i need and if the 100 lb bottle will have enough volume. My garage is very small, about 15 X 25. not to be used to maintain the garage at a certain temp, just to heat it up when i want to work in there, and shut it off when im not working in there. Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks Terry.