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keeping garage fumes out of house?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by petebert, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. petebert
    Joined: Mar 24, 2007
    Posts: 284


    how can I keep the garage fumes out of the bedrooms above, for some reason my wife doesnt like the house smelling like gasoline. I was thinking of stapling clear plastic sheeting to the exposed beams in the garage.
  2. mottsrods
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 742


    Sounds like you're getting nasty fumes in the crawlspace above your garage and they're making their way into the house. Just put a barrier over the studs of the garage, and at the point vertically where the garage wall is and the living space starts in the crawlspace. That shoudl fix it.... But also make sure your door going into the house is sealed all the way around.

  3. It is ALWAYS a grave mistake to have living quarters above a garage, no matter how well you think you have it sealed and vented.

    I like this guys suggestions of how to mitigate it somewhat, but a bad design is a bad design.

    I made the mistake of having a side-by-side attached garage, which isn't too terribly bad, but a garage UNDER the living quarters would make me determined to remodel it into a completely different type of living quarters very quickly.

    In my situation, I put an exhaust fan very high up in the garage roof so there would be a positive flow of air from the house towards the garage, that never lets the air get the chance to drift the other way thru cracks and seams into the house.

    I also have a non-powered vertical vent stack on the exhaust that goes above the highest roof level so that even during times when the fan is off, there is a natural "chimney-effect" airflow from the house, to the garage, and up the "chimney" stack. all without power requirements.

    Yes, I can close up the house tight for easy heating. The cheap and easily made garage vent system makes sure that any air leaks (all houses have leaks) will go in the direction of "fresh air leaks go into the house, migrate towards the garage, and all garage smells migrate out the back and up the rear chimney pipe".

    I always keep a CO detector plugged in just in case some strong winds during some storm may over-come the natural flow of the vent system, but since I have used that type of venting no one has ever smelled paint, or sawdust, or exhaust fumes in the house.
    But then again, I am not on top of the garage.

    Food for thought-

    Different makes of cars and pickups have been recalled (Ford for sure, and maybe Volvo?) for starting fires in homes where they have been parked. In the middle of the night, a switch starts some wires melting, then the vehicle takes the house down while people sleep.

    I wouldn't like that in my house.

    I had one car in my garage start dripping gas on the floor in the middle of the night.
    Just started leaking out around 1 AM.
    I don't know why I got up to go to the garage, but something made me want to check if things were OK.
    Cracked rubber fuel line. I walked on the gas-wet floor and pushed the car outside while just feet away from the furnace.

    My kids were sleeping just three rooms away.

    I am not about to let that situation ever happen again.

    I still marvel at how lucky we all were not to have a fireball blow in through the back door at 1 A.M..
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  4. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,846

    from trevose pa

    Pricey but here's how i did my garage. 1st I put plastic on walls and ceilings.Then I sheetrocked and taped ceiling Installed 4x8 insulation boards about 3/4 thickand then drywall. Nothing get's in. If you have a garage door leading into your house that could be another culprit.I removed mine. I did all this so I could spray
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  5. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,431

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    if you dont have 5/8" dry wall on the ceiling of your dont have a fire barrier..Not a good thing..and im surprised your city building code doesnt force this issue on any home where there is living space above a garage.

    Insulate the joist work, and install 5/8" dry wall and seal that sucker off..
    the time that dry wall could save you in getting your ass out of your home in case of a garage priceless

    I would never buy a home that i new i was going to build projects in the garage below where i sleep..let alone put my daily driver below me, I think it is a very bad design, and risky as hell.

    I have had 2 fires in my life time..only one was a garage fire..i coudnt imagine if my house would have been attached to that one..
  6. Big Pete
    Joined: Aug 7, 2005
    Posts: 364

    Big Pete

    You'll never seal the problem out. You must pressurize the living space so fresh air is always leaving the house thru the garage. No other sollution.
  7. thepolecat
    Joined: Mar 24, 2009
    Posts: 687

    1. S.F.C.C.

    wow I didnt realize this was sucha serious problem- I have my garage directly under my living room dining room and kitchen and I have exposed beams with a sheet of plywood between me and the floor above.

    Guess I have to fix this.
  8. petebert
    Joined: Mar 24, 2007
    Posts: 284


    this is a late 70's split level house, walk out basement type. Basic rectangle design so garage is part of the basement. All 3 bedrooms above the garage. Its all exposed beams, with insulation and the next floor above. Hot water heater and hvac unit are in the garage.
  9. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,846

    from trevose pa

    I'd say listen to the guys who tell you to sheetrock the ceiling 5/8 or double 1/2 So many flammables in a garage .A good exhaust fan isn't a bad idea either.I've got an exhaust fan with louvers in mine.The other serious issue you have is the hot water heater .Very bad explosion or fire hazard If it is gas. Convert to electric .I heard of guys getting gas on them and walking by a gas heater and boom their on fire.My dad knew a guy that died that way.Or even worse your laying underneath your car and fumes build up in garage from gas fumes and boom.That's from pilot light.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 37,019


    move where you have room, build shop/garage 100 feet from house.
  11. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,431

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    I got one word for this set up..well really 2 words


    bad set up to use for a working , car building, car storing

    I like squirrels suggestion..or at least if you cant ditch your a shop out back.
  12. Xdrag48
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 464


    Here in Maryland they make you insulate,add plastic barrier and cover with at least 1/2" sheet rock. (for a fire barrier It also has to be taped and coated, smoothing is a option) but when you get that far along you might as well finish it off and paint it ......

  13. My shop is off the kitchen the smells get in, I even find bondo dust on top of the fridge, I wouldnt do it again, next time seperate shop!
  14. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,279


    Not only the danger of explosion with furnace in garage,if there are any leaks in your return air duct it will distribute fumes and odors thru house in supply. The door between house and garage needs to be rated also. Check your local codes.
  15. You guys sound like a bunch of old ladies. Split level/drive under garages have been done for a century or more. You prob stand a bigger chance of shit blowing up from shit under the sink or the crap you have as cleaners around the ENTIRE house than what you do in the garage.
  16. overspray
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 1,225


    This is the gospel. As a volunteer fireman we do checks on houses for carbon monoxide when people get an alarm. We check the source of gas by operating the furnace, hot water heater, clothes drier, and exhaust fans. Each of these causes air to flow into the house by producing negative pressure in the living space. So every time the furnace kicks in or the wife dries clothes or you take a dump and run the bathroom exhaust fan, it pulls air in from outside, which is usually the attatched garage. No matter how good you think you can seal it, it will still pull in air. You have to provide a vent inward or pressurized air where the air can flow into the house and off set the negative pressure situation opposite the garage side.
  17. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    thats about the dumbest shit i've ever heard, there are fires all across the country every year from gas being ignited by furnaces and hot water heaters, gas vapors are flammable, they contact a pilot light, and KABOOM!!! the fire flashes right back to the source, usually a gas can or the gas tank,and you have a fireball. go tell a firefighter you don't believe it, they'll set your ass straight. people die every year from flammable stuff reaching pilot lights.

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