Insulate internal garage fire door - cold kitchen

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by Why-me, 3 Dec 2021.

  1. Why-me

    Why-me

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    Hi all,

    I had my kitchen/garage extension done a month ago and now that winter is upon us the kitchen is freezing.

    The kitchen has now been extended to the back of my garage. I initially had a lean to between the house and garage but I got rid of this to make the garage bigger. Everything was done to regs and I've seen the amount of insulation the builders put in between the cavity and ceiling.

    The kitchen and garage both have a vaulted ceiling. There is also a 1x2m skylight in the kitchen. The kitchen also has a two leaf bifold and a 6ft wide window. The garage has an insulated sectional garage door, with exposed rafters.

    I'm hoping I didn't make a mistake, but the only source of heating in the kitchen is electric underfloor (space constraints), the floor is insulated from below with celotex between the joists etc. The rest of the ground floor has electric underfloor heating and it works nicely.

    The kitchen has direct access to the garage by way of a fire door with self closing mechanism and strip etc. I can't see any gaps around the top and sides of the door between the door stop but there is a slight gap at the bottom, the flooring has bowed slightly which means the gap is not completely parallel to the door.

    At this time without any heating or cooking, the temperature in the kitchen is 11-12 degrees, outside it is about 5 degrees Celsius. It's bloody cold. I have turned the underfloor heating on but before I address the cold issues I'm just wasting the energy.

    Has anyone successfully insulated a door to the garage? With what method? Regarding the gap at the bottom of the door, I'm not sure what the best solution would be if the floor is bowed slightly. I'm also thinking of putting insulation under the cabinets, although I can't feel any draughts, the cabinets are freezing on the inside. Basically I just want to attack the cold from all angles. Please help :cry:
     
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  3. Why-me

    Why-me

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    Some pictures. If I just stand in front of the door I can feel the cold air.
    20211203_225526.jpg 20211203_225304.jpg 20211203_225119.jpg
     
  4. Mr Chibs

    Mr Chibs

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    The draught under your door won’t Solely address the cold temperature inside, I suspect your under floor heating won’t be man enough to heat your room properly on its own.

    You’ll need to provide more pics of the interior, and sizes etc to see... regarding the door, is there any seal on the bottom of it, rubber or brush strips?

    Please open the door and take a pic of the door threshold/cill area.
     
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  5. Why-me

    Why-me

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    It just has a corner threshold with two rubber strips that are not in contact with the door. The kitchen area is not huge. The garage door is the one at the top centre left.

    SmartSelect_20211204-100029_Drive.jpg 20211204_095853.jpg
     
  6. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Not an expert, but that door will not be the best for it's insulating ability, we have a couple of similar ones, but they are not used for isolating a warm from cold areas. You need to fix any air leaks via the door as an absolute priority. It might look a bit naff, but could you add some insulation to the back of that door, between the styles? I'm thinking what they used to do in doctors surgeries - insulation, which was covered with leatherette, as a quick fix.

    If space is at a premium, you could supplement the UFH with thermostatically controlled kick space heaters. They fit in the normally unused space, below kitchen units use heated water from the boiler like a normal radiator, but use a fan to blow heated air out and into the room.
     
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  7. JohnD

    JohnD

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    The size of the door is so small compared to the wall, window and roof area that insulating it will make negligible difference. The skylight alone will lose far more.

    If it is draughty, fix that.

    Any warm air will rise into your vaulted ceiling.

    As you have gone for electric UFH, I presume you are very rich or have no other source of energy available. Look at the watts-per-metre rating. How much energy are you putting into the floor?
     
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  8. Why-me

    Why-me

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    That's what I'm thinking, to insulate from garage side but was wondering if anyone has gone that route and which method they used.

    The mat is a warmup 140w per metre. We have radiators upstairs but all downstairs is electric underfloor, which works well apart from the new kitchen.
     
  9. JohnD

    JohnD

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    so what does it add up to for the room?
     
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  11. Why-me

    Why-me

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    1680w, the mat is 12m squared which is heating the area that is not covered by the kitchen units.
     
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  12. JohnD

    JohnD

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    thanks. 1680W. And it's about 3 metres by 6 with a vaulted ceiling. External walls on 3 sides? One window plus patio doors and the skylight?

    How high is the ceiling, and how many hours do you run the heating for?
     
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  13. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Not much heat input, for such an area and an expensive way heat too. See if you can add a wet kick board heater.

    You asked about alternative solutions for the door - could you perhaps add a second door, a few inches from the back from the original? Also check that large skylight for drafts, might you be able to add a second seal to that - a glass or perspex series of panels, to help keep the heat in?
     
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  14. Why-me

    Why-me

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    The vault is around 10ft at highest point. 7.5ft at lowest. The vaulted ceiling is only in front of the garage, the rest (original) Kitchen has a normal ceiling. There are external walls on two sides, garden and neighbour, and then one side has an insulated cavity wall to garage (not sure if this is classed as external?). One window plus bifold plus 1x2m skylight in vaulted area. At the moment I seldom run the heating as I need to fix the garage door issue. Normally I would like to run it for several hours in the evening, mainly winters.

    I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a wet kick board heater in :( floors are sealed and it would be a mission to now run hot water heating pipes underneath. I can only see an electric heater as an option.

    I could add another door but that would eat up garage space. Do you recommend an insulation type blanket on the back of the door?

    The skylight is sealed properly and caulked internally. I could add a perspex panel on front but would prefer not to. But I think priority at the moment is addressing this garage door.
     
  15. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    You only need to drop pipes down in a corner, from above, the rest of the pipework can be behind and under the units, to the heater, which will need power for the fan - no need to disturb the new floor.

    Anything at all will help, even a heavy curtain - once you have dealt with the sealing. A second door, needn't take up much room, if they can be fitted to open out from each other - they can be just a couple of so inches apart.

    I have a similar arrangement - kitchen back door, outside which is a toilet, utility room which originally was sheltered, but open to the air. I added an outer back door, bringing toilet and utility room at least partially indoors. It made a massive difference to the comfort levels in the kitchen and it is always obvious when it the kitchen, if the outer door is left open.

    Another option for the skylight, maybe would be something like a concertina type sliding blind. My caravan has a large DG roof light, in colder weather you can feel the cold air dropping from it, but it is fitted with a fly screen which slides out from one side, or alternatively a concertina blind which slides out from the other. That makes a massive difference in the colder weather, when closed.
     
    Last edited: 4 Dec 2021
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  16. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I was wondering if the boiler was in the kitchen, but I can't see it in the plan

    a fan or plinth heater would help warm the room, but a wet source would be much cheaper to run than electric
     
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  17. Why-me

    Why-me

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    That might be a good shout. My boiler is in the corner of the kitchen and I boxed in the heating pipes leading upstairs. I could tee off then and install a radiator. That would probably be the last resort though.

    The skylight is fixed and non opening but we may have to install a blind on it come summertime.

    To insulate the door I was thinking of something like this:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnetic-I...cphy=9045006&hvtargid=pla-1036614061411&psc=1

    We also have an induction hob that has a built in extractor to outside. Yesterday I spent the day insulating the cabinets (loft insulation) that are joined to the external walls from below and it's made a difference of 2-3 degrees so there must've been some draught coming through.

    Today I had to leave the garage door open because I was oiling it and didn't see much drop in the kitchen temperature from yesterday, which leads me to believe that it's 90% garage door issue. I have some spare foil underlay that I may place behind the door to see if it makes a difference. Worth a go I think.
     
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