Gone are the days when the garage was exclusively used to store vehicles. Now the garage has become the ultimate storage space for most homes. But is it a good place to store speakers? Can you store speakers in a garage?
A garage is not an ideal place to store speakers. That’s because most garages are characterized by damp conditions, temperature swings, and high humidity, which is bad for speakers and can damage them over time. However, if the garage is dry and well ventilated, speakers can be stored in them.
Let me explain, in detail, all of the possible problems with storing speakers in the garage. And I’ll follow that up with tips on how to safely store your speakers in the garage.
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Problems with Storage of Speakers in a Garage
A garage is a convenient place to store stuff. However, many precious items, including speakers, can get damaged when stored in garages. This is due to certain conditions that are prevalent in most garages. Let’s look at some of the problems that make storing speakers in a garage a bad idea.
1. Extremely High and Low Temperatures
We all know temperature can harm most electronic appliances. Based on the average weather condition and temperature changes in your area, your garage temperature can fluctuate incredibly from very high temperatures to very low temperatures.
In summer, a garage that isn’t insulated, ventilated, and not part of your home’s cooling system can reach temperatures of more than 120 degrees. Temperatures below 120 degrees should not pose any problems to your speakers.
However, high temperatures above 120 degrees can cause the binders and polymers in speakers to break down over time. This was explained, in detail, in our article on how speakers overheat. Feel free to check it out.
High temperatures and temperature fluctuations can prove very harmful to speakers if we don’t look after them properly. Rising temperature can be very damaging to the sensitive electronics inside speakers and can cause speakers to malfunction and break down beyond repair.
High temperatures can also affect the adhesives used in speakers. A high temperature of above 120 degrees can loosen the adhesives and cause the speaker surrounds to dry fast and crack, affecting your speaker’s sound quality.
The garage can also get extremely cold in the winter because most garages are unheated and not insulated.
However, low or cold temperature does not cause great harm to speakers. The reason is explained in our article on how cold temperatures affect speakers.
However, water combined with the cold temperature is what damages speakers. Water expands significantly when it freezes into ice. When water that seeps into speakers undergoes this expansion, it can cause damage to components of the speaker.
2. Damp Conditions: Humidity, Leakages, and Flooding
One common problem with most garages is the presence of damp conditions. This is because garages must contend with humidity, leakages, and flood issues. Rainfall also contributes to the damp conditions present in most garages. This is something most homeowners struggle with. All these factors can cause speakers to get wet.
Speakers can get wet when exposed to water or moisture for a long time. Water in any form is bad for speakers.
If you listen to the same speakers, one wet and the other with a dry cone simultaneously, you can tell the difference in the sounds immediately. The sound produced by the wet speakers is usually muffled.
Leakage and Flooding
Garages seem more prone to leakages and flooding than any other part of the house. Water damage resulting from leakages or flooding can be a big problem in garages. This is because this damage does not only affect the structure of the garage but can affect anything else that is kept in there.
In situations where water floods or leaks into your garage and enters your speakers, it can cause a lot of problems. Speakers whose outside casing is made of wood can suffer great damage when stored in a garage that easily gets flooded.
When water gets in contact with the wood for a long time, the wood will swell and contract as the moisture level in the air changes. This can lead to cracks in the speakers that might be difficult to repair.
The bottom of speakers can also absorb moisture, causing them to get damaged. Puddle of water from leakages or floods that enters speakers can damage the speaker horns and cause the voice coil gaps to rust as well.
Most garages have high humidity levels. And if you don’t know what humidity is, it simply refers to the amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere. Because most garages have no air vents or windows, there is less to no airflow in the garage to get rid of the stagnant air moisture in the garage. For this reason, atmospheric moisture levels are high in garages.
In humid conditions, speakers tend to absorb excess water vapor. Most speaker cone materials that are made of untreated or uncoated paper easily absorb water vapor formed during high humidity conditions.
The absorption of water vapor changes the paper cones’ weight inside the speaker. The cones tend to become heavier due to the absorption of water vapor. This moisture that seeps inside paper-coned speakers also causes the glues to get undone.
Storing speakers in garages with high humidity levels can also cause metallic portions of these speakers to corrode.
Humidity can also encourage fungal growth in garages. In warm, humid conditions, the growth of molds in garages can get out of control. When they grow exponentially on speakers, they generate small holes in the drivers and rings. In the long run, this will lead to a total breakdown of your speakers.
Rodents are good at finding their way into most garages. They make nests in walls, cabinets, and virtually any enclosure they find, including speakers. They can get into tight spaces as well. Many garages are the breeding space of rodents, particularly mice and rats.
Even the biggest rodents can fit into a standard 3-inch diameter speaker port. Mice love garages, especially during the winter seasons. They tend to use speaker cabinet ports in their homes. They build their nests in speaker enclosures.
Rodents can enter speakers from the port and damage the rubber surround. They can get into the folded speaker horn and chew a hole through the cone to get into the sealed compartment. Rodents like to chew through the wires inside your speakers. All these can lead to the destruction of your speakers when you keep them in your garages.
Tips to Storing Speakers Safely in the Garage
All hope is not lost. All of these potential problems with storing speakers in the garage don’t mean it’s impossible to store speakers in them. By following a few safety precautions, you can keep your speakers in the garage without any issues at all. So here are my five tips on how to safely keep speakers in the garage.
1. Keep speakers in a well-ventilated garage
I think this is pretty much self-explanatory. Storing speakers in a well-ventilated garage is the best way to prevent any damage to your speakers. What do I mean by a well-ventilated garage?
A well-ventilated garage is a garage that has a constant supply of fresh air from outside. When a garage is well ventilated, fresh air, usually from outside, will replace humid and damp air in the garage, keeping the garage dry at all times. And as I mentioned earlier, a dry garage is an excellent place to store speakers.
So if you are lucky enough to have a garage with windows or air vents installed that allow airflow, you can certainly keep your speakers there safely. A well-ventilated garage is not only good for speakers but all of the other items stored in the garage, including your vehicle.
And I’ll always recommend keeping the garage vents or windows open at all times if you don’t run the risk of burglars breaking into your house through the windows.
2. Install a dehumidifier in the garage
If you live in an area where humidity in the garage is a big issue, then I suggest you install a dehumidifier.
What a dehumidifier does is it essentially sucks all of the air moisture to keep the air dry. Installing one in the garage is a sure way to keep the garage dry, allowing you to safely store speakers and other items.
If you are looking for recommendations, check out this dehumidifier on Amazon. It’s one of the highest-rated dehumidifiers made for high humidity areas such as bathrooms and garages. And they always get the job done.
3. Keep the speakers in their boxes
If the speaker boxes are still available, Fantastic!
Simply put the speakers back in the box and keep them in the garage. The box will protect the speakers from damage that may be caused by a humid and damp garage. And it will also help keep the speakers dry, protecting all the electronic components of the speakers.
Also, if you can get your hands on a silica gel bag, put it in the box to absorb any moisture that may accumulate in the box.
4. Cover speakers with a plastic cover
An alternative, if you don’t have the speaker boxes anymore, you can cover the speakers with a plastic cover. They will equally protect the speakers from moisture in the garage.
Find the right size plastic cover that is big enough to cover the entire speakers and acquire them. These cheap plastic covers on Amazon will easily get the job done.
5. Keep them off the floor
It’s a good idea to store your speakers above the garage floor. Why? In an unfortunate situation where the garage floods or a pipe in the garage breaks, you don’t want water seeping into your speakers and damaging them.
I’ll recommend a plastic pallet like the Jifram Pallets (also on Amazon) that will elevate the speakers off the garage floor. And because they are plastic, they won’t get damaged by a wet garage floor.
Most garages are not suitable places for storing speakers. Speakers must be stored in places with dry conditions and at room temperature. And garages are not the driest places in a house, mostly because they are not well ventilated and not included in most homes’ HVAC systems.
However, if you have no option other than to store your speakers in the garage, make sure the garage is well ventilated. Alternatively, you can keep speakers in their boxes, cover them with a plastic cover, and it’s also a good idea to keep them off the floor. This means speakers should be placed on pallets or any elevation above the floor.