Insulation of water pipes in Garage

Old 09-17-22, 04:01 PM
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Insulation of water pipes in Garage

Hi All,

New Homeowner here who is slowly learning the ins and outs. I recently renovated my attached garage(and replaced the garage doors) and a few things have come to my attention which I was hoping I could receive a few opinions on.

1. The new garage doors my contractor installed seem to be a bit concave on the edges. Meaning there's a tad bit of open space where air can get in. Inside the garage I have quite a bit of pipes most notably a water line directly left of the doors. I see the prior homeowner put in a bit of fiberglass pipe wrap across a section of the pipes. Should I add on to this? Should i cover the rest up as well? Any advice when layering on the fiberglass pipe? I'm located in the Northeast so I am a bit concerned about winters.

2. While we do have a radiator on the ceiling of the garage which is working and provides heat I'm wondering if their is anything else I can do to provide insulation? I'm aware my new garage doors provide practically nothing as did the old dilapidated wooden garage doors before them in terms of insulation but I'm wondering if their is any product or material that I can further use? Even if it means not using accessing the garage from the outside during wintertime I'd be okay with that

3. Does anyone know what the orange foamy material right underneath the water pipe and on the black pipe is called and what purpose it serves?

Thanks so much for any general help, comments or feedback you can provide!

Old 09-17-22, 05:54 PM
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Your installer did not adjust the doors (or the operators) properly, they are not closing fully. The top panel should be flush against the stops.

You can get garage door weatherstripping that nails onto the stops (or replaces them) and has a flexible rubber wing that further seals against the door. Worth having.

The orange stuff is hardened can spray foam that was used to seal the opening around the pipe, Any penetrations between a garage and a house need to be sealed to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house. It's ok to trim it off flush with the wall and paint it if you like.

If the space is heated and stays well above freezing except for short periods when the doors are opened in winter, I don't think you have to worry about the pipes freezing.
Old 09-18-22, 05:08 AM
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Insulating pipes doesn't help much, since it really only slow down the cooling of the water. But if you don't use the water for a few days (I'm sure you're not washing your car twice a day in the winter), the water can still freeze.

IMO, even with the heating in the garage, I'd still shut off the water from inside - assuming there are shutoffs. It's unlikely the pipes would freeze, but for the 2 minutes it takes to turn off the water and open the faucet to drain, it'll ensure they will never freeze - especially if you get a week or two of really cold temperatures.
Old 09-18-22, 06:53 AM
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Photos 5, 6 and 9 indicate that the pipe with no insulation is to your outdoor spigot. That pipe needs to be shut off and then drained (open the lower spigot) to prevent it from freezing in the winter. The outdoor spigot should really have a vacuum breaker / backflow preventer, to meet code.

As for the rest of the pipe in the garage, it's still going to freeze unless the garage is kept above 32F whether it's insulated or not. The pipe wrap may help prevent it from freezing if it only dips below 32F for a short time such as as couple hours.

As for the gaps around the garage door, you need garage door weatherstrip around the perimeter of the door as your stop doesn't seem to have any fin on it. And the top edge of the top panel isn't going to seal up right because the opening is not the right size for the door. That top trim would all need to change, which may or may not be possible, because if that's your header, you can't make it any higher without some major changes. Keeping the wind out with weatherstrip is about all you can do to keep it as warm as you can.

I don't know why the side of the top panel appears fully shut in photo one but then it's gapped open in all the other photos. Only you can explain that.

As for your 3rd question, someone attacked the gaps around the pipe with a can of spray foam. Probably to hide the crude hole that was blasted out of the wall.
Old 09-18-22, 11:07 AM
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I haven't seen a steam radiator on the ceiling in a long time. It's very common to see in older homes. You definitely want to get that garage as sealed up as you can. Steam doesn't like cold pipes and it'll cost a lot to keep the steam up in that area.

Looks like your door installer needs to make a return visit.
Old 09-19-22, 06:17 PM
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Thanks for the comments all. Unfortunately my general contractor who installed my doors is almost impossible to get ahold of these days. With that said I have applied a bit of weather strip to the floor of the garage as shown below

With that said a few more questions I was hoping you could provide context on

1. Is it practical for me to apply weatherstripping to the top edges of the top panel to simply improve the insulation during wintertime?

2. Is their an appropriate way I should attempt to install the fiberglass pipe wrap? I'm heard simply hugging the pipe all around with the pipe wrap can actually make it harder for the heat from the steam to reach the pipes in wintertime

3. Is their any value in applying a product like this to the door?

Thanks in advance all!

Old 09-20-22, 06:16 AM
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You could apply electric heat tape to the water pipes you are concerned about. Get tape that turns on at a set temp. Go about your insulation project, the tape is cheap insurance in the event your insulation is not sufficient or if someone leaves the garage door open. Just remember it is no good if the power goes out.

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