5 Reasons Carports Protect Your Car From Frosty Winters

In this article, we will be discussing 5 reasons why carports can protect your vehicle from snow, frost & winter.

We’ll explain in-depth the science behind why carports stop your vehicle frosting up.

As well as looking at how carports compare with garages when it comes to protecting your vehicles in winter.

We’ll also cover a few scenarios about how carports can be super useful in protecting your vehicles in ways you’ll probably not thought of!

So let’s get into it…

Do carports keep frost off your car?

Carports do keep frost off cars in cold weather, unless it is an extremely cold winter.

The process that allows this to happen is quite interesting because between the car and the outside there is just one step and no door. In fact, the only thing preventing this process is the roof.

Thermal radiation is the physical process of losing and receiving heat.  

During the day, all objects on the surface of the earth, receive heat, which they accumulate. During the night they lose that heat if they are not warmed by an external heat source.

Frost forms in cold weather, particularly if the sky is clear. Clouds act as a roof for the ground, and prevent heat to be lost into… outer space.

In order for frost to build on a car, moisture is also important. The cold facilitates condensation, which makes water droplets appear on the windscreen and your car. Once that water freezes, you have frost.

When a car is in a carport, the roof prevents the car from losing heat, by emanating some heat towards it. Often you will see that the roof of the carport has frost on it, on the side that faces the sky.

If on a frosty night you will park your car leaving half of it under the roof and half outside, you will notice that the half left outside is frozen, while the one on the inside is not.

At what temperature do car windows frost in carports?

frosted car glass. Frosty patterns on a car windscreen . scraper for cleaning glass from ice

If you are relying on the weather report in order to decide where to park your car overnight, you should know that there is no exact answer to this question.

The temperature at which windows in cars become frosty depends on many outside factors including:

  • How clear the sky is on that particular night;
  • If there is wind and at what speed it blows;
  • The temperature of the wind is also important, as currents vary in temperature;
  • The past temperature, as this influences the amount of heat that the roof of the car port, and the ground will emit towards the car.

As you can see, there are many variables, and it is impossible to establish a temperature at which a car window would freeze in a carport. But what we know for sure is the fact that car windows don’t usually get frost in carports.


Is it better to keep your car in a garage or carport?

Home during winter snow season

Each individual is different, and circumstances change all the time. Both carports and garages come with advantages and disadvantages both on the long and the short term.

In fact, owning a garage or carport influences much more than just your car, so we should take a look at what each one can do for you and then you can decide where it would be better for you to keep your car.

The Garage

Owning a garage means that you will have an outside space that is enclosed and that can be used for your car and to store other goods. With a bit of work, a garage can even represent a place to live for a short period of time.

Let’s see a short Pros ; Cons list for owning a garage.

Pros

  • You can keep your car in an area that is closed off, thus protected from the elements;
  • You can work on your car even if the weather is bad;
  • Many goods can be stored in a garage;
  • The value of the propriety will be higher, which is helpful if you intend to sell.

Cons

  • With a higher property value come higher taxes
  • Building a garage is expensive
  • There are additional expenses connected to owning a garage, like hiring an electrician to connect it to electricity;
  • Insurance costs may be higher for the home;
  • Ventilation is a problem, and you wouldn’t be able to leave the car with the engine on while inside. Even so, there will always be excessive gas in the garage, which is always a risk;
  • Building a garage usually requires a planning permit and some taxes.

CarPort

Pros

  • You can park your car in a place that protects it from sunshine, rain, hail, snow and frost;
  • It would offer the home a shielded area that can be used for barbeques, parties or for children to play when it’s too sunny or rainy;
  • The space is always well ventilated, because a car port has no walls;
  • There aren’t any additional taxes, and in most cities there is no need for a planning permit;
  • The costs of building and maintaining a car port represent only a fraction of those required to build a garage;

Cons

  • There is no protection from the wind;
  • The value of the property won’t be influenced too much by it.

How much more protection from frost do carports provide than having a car outside in the open?

For a car to develop frost there are a few conditions that need to be met.

  1. Negative temperatures
  2. Humidity
  3. Exposure to the night sky or wind

All of these are variables, so we can’t offer a definitive number on how much protection a car port offers as opposed to keeping a car outside, completely exposed.

Another important factor is where the car port is built. Cold air is denser, which makes it heavier. This means that the higher a car port is built, the more protection it can offer from the frost.

Carports act by preventing condensation on the car. They do this by radiating heat (even if that means only a little amount of warmth) towards the car.

This way, condensation occurs on the outside of the carport, so even if at some point the temperature of the car reaches the freezing point, it will not have enough moisture to actually form frost.

For this process to be truly efficient, the car port needs to be built in a way that facilitates water to drip away from the car. You can do this by having a good, angled roof and by having clean gutters.  

Carports prevent snow and rain falling on your cars winter

One of the most important types of protection that a car port offers is protection from the elements.

Winter is a challenging season, and it brings freezing rain and snow that can damage a car, and can increase the costs of maintaining it.

However, a car port is also useful during the other seasons. In summer, having your car out of the sun can mean more comfort, and a safer car, as your steering wheel won’t become piping hot.

A car port prevents rain from falling on the car, meaning that you will not run the risk of having water infiltrated in your car.

Cars that are constantly exposed to the elements are exposed to risks such as:

  • Paint peeling off  – especially near a scratch;
  • Rust;
  • Windshield cracks;
  • Rusting of the trunk;
  • Serious damage from hail.

Furthermore, having your car protected from snow, means that there will be less time wasted. We all know how difficult it is to clean snow off of a car, before leaving for work.

Also, given the fact that the car is much less likely to freeze, you will be able to open the doors without using any tricks like antifreeze spray for car doors.

So, because of these 5 reasons carports protect your car from frosty winters.

  1. They prevent frost from forming on the car by radiating heat and by not allowing the car’s heat to escape;
  2. They prevent snow from falling on the car;
  3. No freezing rain will be able to reach the car;
  4. Water will not be able to infiltrate in the car;
  5. Condensation will happen on the car port, rather than on the car.

Owning a car port can make your life easier and the life of your car longer, and given the fact that it is easy to have one built, it is a great long term investment.

Alright guys, that’s it for this article, if you are interesting in reading more about garages, smart homes, home security and a whole lot more. We have lots of cool articles related to sealing such as:

Can A Carport Be Built On A Slope (Important Facts)

Pros and Cons of Sealing Garage Floors (9 Things To Know)

43 Stunning ABOVE GROUND pool ideas that you need to SEE!

References

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/frost/
https://www.weather.gov/source/zhu/ZHU_Training_Page/fog_stuff/Dew_Frost/Dew_Frost.htm
https://www.newscientist.com/lastword/mg23631481-000-touch-of-frost/

Steve Foster

Suburbanite, tech geek, handy man, automation enthusiast who started blogging about the stuff I do around my home and found he had a knack for it.

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