Iced garage walls in winter - should we insulate or not?

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Posted by: from Calgary
8/11/2019 at 2:31:29 PM

One whole wall of ice in garage in winter in Calgary. Caused water damage on the drywall and the exterior side door separated from the house (stucco and frame outside) and would not open in the winter. Was not a problem before. There is a bedroom above half of garage, unheated garage. We looked into walls and see no insulation but poly for some reason, warm ceiling is bat/poly and attic section is cellulose/poly. Should we remove drywall to insulate walls and put spray foam around warm ceiling or not? Not sure what caused the problem, never run car without opening garage door, squeegee out water always, has not been a problem before. Bedroom above is very cold.

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Date/Time8/12/2019 at 11:02:14 AM

Yes I recommend removing it and sprayfoam with 2 lb. Not only will this he good r value and take care of your ice build-up issue as well as any gas is getting into the house from the garage.

Thank you

Jeff with All In Renovations

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Laura in Calgary
Date/Time8/12/2019 at 11:47:12 AM

Should the spray foam be around the warm floor area/rim joist area of the bedroom above and then BAT the rest of the walls? It is very confusing because some sites say never to insulate an unheated garage, others say Calgary is cold so insulate. Would the poly without any insulation that the last owner put be causing this problem? Thanks!

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Date/Time8/12/2019 at 6:13:47 PM

Your situation is a little out of the norm. Unheated garages usually don't have this issue because the temperature is constant and doesn't allow for the freeze/thaw effect. The poly is a vapour barrier and in your case probably doesn't do much. If you are going to Spray Foam, the operator must be licensed (dealing with chemicals) and, I would suggest spraying everything that requires insulation. I is a good product but costly. Combining Batts and spray is a bandaide fix. If you are planning to add heat ask an insulation company for their comprehensive advice.

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