We just moved into a house, and on moving a shelving unit in the garage discovered a heat duct that is open and exposed in the garage. The previous homeowner has stuffed plastic bags into the opening - presumably to stop exhaust fumes from leaking into house - or perhaps to stop hot air from entering the garage?! Either way - I don't like it.
What can I do to close this off - to save energy and to stop critters, fumes and other things from climbing on in?
Your concern is definitely justified! There should be no penetrations from the garage to the living space of your house - it is a huge safety issue not to mention the fact that you are trying to heat the world!
The fix is to open up what you have to from the garage side and remove the duct back as far as you can - all the way to the main duct if possible, and install a proper cap or cover over the hole. Any box store will carry round caps in all sizes or sheet metal pieces to cover the main duct. This should be screwed and properly sealed (foil tape). You would then check and repair the vapour barrier (should be on the house side of the wall) install new insulation, and cover with at least 1 and maybe 2 layers of 5/8 fire code drywall - duplicate what is there. This would need to be properly sealed with tape and at least 2 coats of compound.
If you are not comfortable taking this on, you could put your requirements in the "post your projects" section and get some local contractors to contact you. You should deal with this as quickly as possible.
Good Luck with it!
Kettleby Handyman Services
Sounds easy enough - the house is a back split so it's about a 5' straight run of ductwork right from the furnace through the wall (that joins the furnace room and the Garage). It's a duct by itself - there are no joins to other sections of ductwork. This seems pretty straight forward - I have repaired drywall before, and the furnace room isn't a finished room - in that there is no drywall covering the insulation etc, so I can at least see what's there. Fun times - one has to wonder -- why?? of cource my husband took one look at it and made the immediate leap to heated garage = game room.
Thanks for your help!
Hi Tracy, Silly me! How did I miss the man cave angle? Please apologize to your husband for me.
It sounds like you have a good handle on what you need to do. If you have access to the inside wall, you should put some blocking and / or spray foam insulation in the cavity that the duct passed through. If you caulk the blocking well enough to air seal it, you can also use Roxul insulation - it is a mineral wool and non flammable. If you use any other type, you would need to cover it with something non flammable like drywall.
Welcome to the world of DIYing!
Kettleby Handyman Services
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