Protect Your Collector Cars Year-Round
Moisture Can Ruin Your Restoration
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
- 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!)