Protect Your Collector Cars Year-Round
The garage is your happy place. An organized space for your collector cars, tools and spare parts. All is right in your world until you see it - rust on the inside of the trunk lid. How does this happen? As you stand there pondering the r-word, look around for clues. You see a leaky window A/C unit, uninsulated walls of wood and an ancient concrete floor full of cracks. It doesn’t take much for moisture to get in, ruin the sanctity of your happy place and fix its gaze on your classic car. Protecting your vehicle is a year-round job, not seasonal. We have some suggestions to keep your classic ride safe, dry and moisture-free. Are you battling moisture issues in your garage? Let us know what you are doing to combat it. Leave us your tips in the comments.
Moisture Can Ruin Your Restoration
Moisture is a problem no matter where you live. In some parts of the country, humidity reaches 80-90%, when everything from rubber seals to the concrete floors start to sweat. Humidity (even the lack of it) ruins many restorations right under an owner’s nose. Rather than just parking your classic in a garage, think of your garage as the ultimate in classic car protection. Be proactive. We’ve got ways to address potential water and temperature issues in your garage.
6 Tips to Turn Your Garage into a Haven of Protection for Your Classic
- Record Temperature and Humidity – If you aren’t sure what the average temperature or humidity is in your garage, install a reliable thermometer and humidity gauge. Start tracking the readings. The ideal temperature is 70 degrees year-round. Keep your humidity levels between 40-50%.
- Aim for Stability – Temperature fluctuations are hard on your classic car and spare parts. Hoses crack, upholstery gets musty and chrome corrodes. If your garage has no A/C or heat, make a note of how hot and cold it gets. To go from warm and toasty while you are working to cold and freezing after you leave is doing more harm than you think. Maintaining a constant temperature protects your restoration work.
- Check Your Floor – If your concrete floor is cracked, moisture is seeping in from the ground below. Seal those cracks and install a seamless resinous top coat like epoxy. It looks great and acts as a vapor barrier. You can also put plastic sheeting down under your car or truck. It will prevent moisture from corroding your floor pans. Put sheets of plywood on top to keep the plastic from shifting.
- Shut the Door – Is there A/C in the garage? If so, leaving the door open is counter-productive. Depending on the work you are doing it could be necessary, so keep the air circulating with fans when it is. Limit the time the door is open, if possible. Come and go from a side door.
- Install a Dehumidifier – Your goal is to stabilize temperature and moisture. A dehumidifier maintains a constant level of moisture. You won’t need it during the winter since a heater usually eliminates moisture.
- Insulate the Walls – Finish your unfinished garage. It helps protect your collector vehicles and keeps you more comfortable while working no matter the season.
More Protection for Storing Your Car
Once you have the temperature and moisture where you want it, take a few additional precautions to make sure your classic stays safe and dry.
- Exercise Your Car – If you are randomly driving your vehicle, make a point to do it at least once a month. Take it for a drive that will heat up the engine and dry out any moisture that may have accumulated.
- Save Those Little Packets – Desiccant packs come in everything. Start saving them. You can also buy them. Scatter them on your floor mats and in the trunk. They will catch any random moisture that gets in.
- Use Cloth Cover – Most classic car enthusiasts know this, but never put a plastic or synthetic cover on your paint. You need one that breathes and allows air to circulate. Never put a cover on a wet car. Even cloth can stick to a top coat.
- Keep Kitty Litter – If you drive a wet car back into your nice dry garage, spread some kitty litter underneath to collect water that puddles.
- Keep a Full Tank – Fluctuating temperatures causes condensation in gas tanks. Keep it filled up to eliminate as much air inside the container.
- Use Leather Cleaner – Before using your heat for the winter, make sure to treat your leather interior with a good cleaner. Heat can cause your leather to dry out and crack. (Lack of moisture can be as bad as too much!)
Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less
As classic car collectors, we battle to keep our vehicles safe from the elements, too. Now that you have your garage ready, is your insurance coverage where it should be? Classic Auto Insurance wants to help you safeguard your collection. Let our friendly, knowledgeable staff customize a policy to fit your needs. We offer affordable, Agreed Value coverage for a variety of collector, classic and custom vehicles. Visit our website at www.classicins.com or call 888-901-1338 and get a quote on the spot.