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How to block off door from attached garage to house to avoid chemicals coming in to the house?

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Moved in to a house built in 1963 last year.  It has an attached garage, which I'm not fond of anyway, but. . .has a very old wood, with windows, door connecting the house to the attached garage.  It also has a nice big gap along the bottom (space between bottom of door and the floor).  Right now I just have it covered with plastic, the kind you use on windows in the winter, like 3M makes.  I would prefer just to take it out and wall it up.  But, if not possible or if not affordable to put a better door in, is there an insulation or wall material of some sort that I could at least fit in to the whole door space (on the garage side) that would not only insulate but might also absorb the bad chemicals in some way so that it would not seep in to the house?  For example, I know that sheeps wool (insulation) absorbs formeldahyde.  But, from my reading (and clearly I'm just learning about all this "house" stuff) carbon monoxide and benzene are the foremost chemical worries from a garage.
asked in Car Garage by srobak (120 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi Srobak,
I wouldn’t look for anything that absorbs… I’m not even sure what kind of chemicals you are storing in the garage. Two sheets of drywall, drywall tape, compound,  4 - 2x4 studs, some fiberglass insulation (with paper vapor barrier which should be facing garage side drywall sheet), screws, primer and paint… probably under $100 for all that material. If you can do that kind of a job by yourself you can probably have it finished in less than a day worth of work.
 If you’d like to keep the door operational; install adjustable threshold so it will close and seal the gap and apply new weather stripping around the door jamb. 
If your door opens into the house / its surface is flush with the living space wall surface, to minimize the cost; you could just remove the door frame trim from the garage’s side (if there’s any), secure one 2x4 in the middle of the door frame, apply fiberglass insulation in both cavities created by the 2x4, pre-cut and secure with screws single sheet of drywall (garage side only / at least 1/2 “ thick / drive screws into the 2x4 and to the door frame), tape and seal the seams using compound, you can also reapply removed trim if possible, prime and paint.
Carbon Monoxide alarm inside the house / in a close proximity to that door highly recommended as well - http://checkthishouse.com/4822/where-to-install-carbon-monoxide-alarm-co-detector-locations.html
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)