Trying to insulate underhouse garage a bit

bfg9kNovember 1, 2010

My kid's bedroom is directly above the 1-car garage in our 1950's ranch. It tends to be very cold. There is some insulation in the ceiling but it's minimal. Since the plaster ceiling in the garage is sort of crumbly I can't get someone to blow in cellulose without risking the ceiling falling a "real" fix will have to wait another year or two. At that point the ceiling will be replaced and I'll probably just hire someone to spray a thick layer of foam before re-drywalling.

However, it has occurred to me that I could drill holes at the edge of the ceiling on the external wall, poke the straw of a can of max expanding foam in there, and try to get some foam up onto the band joist to try to seal off some of the air infiltration. The bottom edge of that wall in the bedroom can get condensation if a blanket is left against it at night in the wintertime.

Question: is this likely to be at all successful, or not worth the trouble?

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I don't think it will help. You won't really be able to see what you are doing, and insulating tends to be very ineffective unless you can do a complete job. I vote for doing the renovation ASAP before the kid's growth gets stunted!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 5:08AM
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I would remove the crumbling ceiling now and then insulate, as you will be able to see what you are doing..
Kudzu is absolutely correct, the insulation and vapor barrier must be 100%....
For now, use an electric blanket or a down comforter..
That trapped moisture is a problem...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Agreed, just tear it down and do it right. A 1-car garage should not be that expensive.

Check with your local building inspector BEFORE hiring a person. Codes have changed from the 1950's and there may be different requirements for a garage ceiling under a living space, perhaps not using foam, perhaps thicker plasterboard for fire resistance. If the 1950's beams are only 6" deep you might consider adding thickness to fit more insulation. Again, this is not terribly costly.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 6:47AM
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