Insulation for Garage


Old 12-17-16, 06:17 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 21
Insulation for Garage


I live in Connecticut and just bought a house. The last few days have been pretty cold. We have noticed that a lot of the cold air entering the house has come from the wall where the garage meets the dinning room through some cabinets.

In the garage I can see dry wall only. What is underneath that drywall I do not know. My gut says there is nothing between the drywall and cabinets in the dinning room.

I know this is a bigger project, but my question is can I put some 2 inch (R6 type) foam boarding on the garage side of the wall until Spring comes. The garage is closed most of the time, and until we get to the teens, it is not so noticeable, but I would like to spend my first winter here in some comfort.

If this is doable what materials could I look at to provide a (temporary) solution.

Many thanks from a cold neighbor,


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Old 12-17-16, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,996
Your first step should be to look for any air leaks. They not only allow the cold in, but also deadly fumes from vehicles. You mention cold air entering and that suggests air leaks.

If there are any electrical boxes, switches or outlets, you can remove the cover and try to look to the side to see if any insulation is in there.

The approved method would be a layer of foil faced Dow Thermax. It is the only rigid insulation that may be approved without an additional thermal covering, like " drywall. You would still want to ask your local code office if they will accept it, they should.

There are other foil faced rigid foam products but they (to my knowledge) have not been tested and approved.

The other approach would be a layer of rigid of your choosing and then cover that with drywall.
Old 12-18-16, 12:54 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 2,544
As a temp option you could install the ridged insulation but R6 isnt going to give you much insulation.

I had a kitchen that was cantilevered into the garage by about 18" and in the corner it was really cold. Obviously the drywall guys knocked out a chunk of the cellulose insulation and I spent a year opening up sections in the garage trying to locate that spot.

Ended up being a small area about the size of your fist so it doesn't take much to really suck the heat out of a room.

Now days they make small infrared monitors that will easily pinpoint the spot.
Old 12-18-16, 02:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 426
I wouldn't focus on insulation as a quick solution. As was stated, look for places where air is getting from the garage to the house and focus on those. One likely possibility is seams in the garage drywall. Seal all those. Also, seal where the wall meets the foundation. Finally look in the basement under the wall and seal that area.

If you want to do anything substantial now, consider adding additional fire code rated drywall. It's relatively inexpensive and easy to do. Just lay it so your seams don't line up with the existing stuff.
Old 12-18-16, 01:45 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 21

Thanks to everyone who gave me some input. I am so glad I found people who know what they are talking about.

I went ahead and did what most of you said which was to seal everything first. I used some spray foam for cracks and crevices and found that there were some significant cracks that needed filling. Some were up to half an inch.

Temps are up again here in Connecticut, so I will wait until the next polar blast to find out how well the sealing worked.

I guess the next question would be what would the long term solution be? The existing dry wall looks to be 25+ years old and I am 99% sure there is nothing between the walls of the dinning room and that drywall in the garage.

In the Spring I would love to get this done.

Thanks again for helping this greenhorn!

Old 12-18-16, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 426
If the wall has an outlet or switch on either side remove the cover and check around the box for insulation, cutting power first if you prefer. Get yourself something like this and have fun going around the house looking for variances:

Finally, I strongly suggest getting an energy audit given the home is a recent purchase.

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