A basement is a common place to put a treadmill but there are some potential problems with using and storing a treadmill there. Corrosion and faulty electronics can become a problem in some basements. Let’s find out why and what you can do.
Using a treadmill in the garage isn’t a problem although a treadmill mat helps even out the floor and to keep out dust. For long-term storage, the humidity should be controlled to keep the electronics healthy. Proper basement ventilation is important for both storage and working out.
Let’s dive into the details of what the potential problems are with using and storing a treadmill in the garage.
Can You Use a Treadmill In a Basement?
Just talking about using the treadmill, there aren’t many issues with doing so in a basement. There are a few things to keep in mind though;
- Headroom: Basements tend to have lower ceilings. If you’re a tall person and like to use steep incline settings, make sure you’ve got enough space above your head to do so on the mill.
- Uneven Flooring: Basement floors can be a bit rough and uneven, resulting in a rocking treadmill. This can easily be solved with a treadmill mat.
- Ventilation: Basements are usually not as well-ventilated as other spaces. This can be an issue when working out hard. You need a lot of oxygen for running after all. Leaving the door open and using an exhaust fan at the same time helps this.
As you can see, those are minimal issues, most of which are easily solved.
Problems can arise when keeping a treadmill in the basement for an extended period of time though.
Problems With Keeping Your Treadmill in a Basement
Many people store their treadmills in the basement because it is convenient. However, the basement can be unsuitable for a treadmill due to a few reasons. None of these are impossible to overcome but you should be aware of them.
Some of the problems with storing your treadmill in the basement are:
- Temperature swings
- Dust and dirt
These issues are both for storing and using a treadmill in the basement. Let’s dive into them a little deeper.
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Temperatures and Treadmill Storage
Your basement’s temperature can harm your treadmill, just like it would harm your computer. Modern treadmills do have quite a lot of electronics in them after all. Treadmills aren’t built for extreme cold or scorching heat. Especially big temperature swings can become a problem. How big a problem depends on your climate and how well your basement is insulated.
To keep your treadmill in good shape, your basement should have a controlled temperature, at least preventing extreme temperatures and quick swings.
Cold temperatures can be particularly tough on the treadmill’s rubber conveyor belt. As you run or walk on it, the belt generates heat, causing it to expand. Cold temperatures, on the other hand, make it contract, harder and brittle. This makes the belt age faster and tear quicker. Maintaining a consistently warm environment for your treadmill extends its lifespan.
To achieve this, consider insulating your basement. Foam boards on the door can help, but ensure your door’s spring can handle the added weight. Professional assistance may be necessary.
By insulating your basement door and addressing any gaps and air leaks in the basement, you can protect your treadmill from the harsh swings in temperature and keep it in excellent condition.
Adding heating and cooling would of course work very well but is expensive.
Often the humidity in basements is higher than in the rest of the house because they’re under ground and usually not very well ventilated. A lot depends on how your basement is built though. Some are very pleasant and comfortable while others are damp and humid.
Excessive humidity in the environment where a treadmill is stored can lead to several problems:
- Corrosion: High humidity can accelerate the corrosion of metal components within the treadmill. This can affect the treadmill’s frame, motor, bolts, and electrical connections. Corrosion weakens these parts and can lead to breakdowns or malfunctions.
- Electrical Malfunctions: Moisture can infiltrate the treadmill’s electrical components, including the control panel and wiring. This can result in electrical shorts, circuit damage, and erratic behavior of the treadmill’s functions.
- Mold and Mildew: Excess humidity creates a breeding ground for mold and mildew. These fungi can grow on various parts of the treadmill, including the belt, deck, and casing. Mold and mildew not only damage the treadmill but can also produce unpleasant odors and pose health risks.
- Belt and Deck Issues: High humidity can cause the treadmill’s running belt to absorb moisture, making it more susceptible to warping and delamination. This can lead to an uneven running surface and reduced treadmill performance.
- Reduced Lifespan: Over time, the combined effects of corrosion, electrical damage, mold, and moisture-related wear and tear can significantly reduce the lifespan of a treadmill.
Ventilation alone can be enough to reduce these problems. However, basement ventilation can be difficult. To make sure your treadmill is well taken care of, a dehumidifier is a good idea.
Dust and Dirt
Let’s face it, the basement is usually not as clean as the rest of the house. There’s likely more dust and dirt around than on your living room floor.
This isn’t that big of a problem for a treadmill that’s just being stored. The problems start when you combine these particles with using the treadmill. Dust and dirt get into the electronics, motor, bearings, rollers, etc. When you start using the treadmill again, these particles act like an abrasive and start wearing all the moving parts more quickly.
You won’t notice this immediately but it will reduce the lifespan of your treadmill.
It’s not too difficult to prevent this by covering your treadmill when it’s put away for storage. Make sure the cover also prevents dust from getting in from the bottom. Making sure your basement doesn’t get too dusty is also good of course.
If the treadmill has been stored for a long time and looks dusty, it’s a good idea to not only clean the outside but also take the covers and belt off and clean everything carefully.
As you can see, there are a few concerns with storing your treadmill in the basement but none of them are dealbreakers. With some fairly easy preventative measures, it’s very possible to store your treadmill in the basement for long periods of time. Just make sure to cover it when stored for longer periods of time, and keep the temperatures and humidity in check