Building Homes or Extensions/New Home Problems


I live in Manhattan,Il. about 35mi. southwest of Chicago. My home is 3mo. old. Yesterday I pulled in my garage and saw about 1/2" of ice crystals on the entire ceiling in the garage. My house is a ranch with a 2 car attached garage. Only the ceiling and the wall connected to the house are drywall. What would cause this and how can it be fixed ?


The ice or frost is forming from moisture condensing on cold surfaces, then freezing because it has been really cold lately.  If there is no insulation above the ceiling AND the attic space is well ventilated, then the the drywall will be very cold when outside temperatures are cold.  Moisture can come from from snow and water on your car, from beneath or within the concrete slab floor, from warm air escaping onto the garage from the house, or even from clothes dryer or other vents which dump into the garage.

Check to see if the space above the ceiling is insulated.  If not, adding proper insulation here will likely help.  Then check for any moisture sources which may be able to be reduced.

Also, Google 'frost in garage' and you will find a number of discussions on this same topic.

Good luck and let me know if you need anything else.

Steve Major

Building Homes or Extensions

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Stephen Major (Owner--Major Design Group)


I can answer any questions regarding the design and construction of homes and additions. This includes trade-specific questions (how-to) in all major building trades: framing, foundations, site prep, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, water treatment, interior finishing, trim & cabinetwork, exterior finishing, roofing, siding. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


30 years experience in building design and construction, all hands-on, including the construction of dozens of single-family homes and hundreds of remodeling projects in the northeastern US.

Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS Cornell University.

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