The garage is one of the most important rooms in the house. However, they are often overlooked. When you come and think of it, it gets used several times each day. Most garages, aside from being a carpark, are also used as the main storage unit of homes. It is also probably the most accessible entryway, making your garage door more like your front door. Therefore, like other parts of the house, you also need to make your garage more comfortable.
Garages are considered an outbuilding. That’s why there are often neglected. Most of the time, they are not properly sealed and hazard proof. Aside from that, some also don’t think of insulating the garage when they insulate their house, which can make it inefficient and possibly dangerous. But did you know that insulating the garage, aside from making it more comfortable, also goes a long way toward reducing energy costs for your entire house?
It is more important to insulate the garage if you are adding heat, either permanent or only as-needed. Most people think that insulation adds warmth, but in reality, it just slows the transfer of heat through the insulated barrier, which can be a wall, ceiling, or floor.
If you are thinking of insulating your garage, but you still haven’t decided yet on what kind of insulation to get, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you the different options for you to know the right insulation for your garage.
Different Types of Garage Insulation
Here are the different types of insulation for your garage:
- Fiberglass Insulation
The most commonly used insulation for garages is fiberglass. It can be installed in the garage as batts or rolls in the exposed wall cavities and as well as the ceiling. It is usually sold in pre-cut batts and long blankets that can fit between wall studs and ceiling joists. There is also loose-fill fiberglass, which is appropriate for blowing into a garage attic space above a finished ceiling.
Batt insulation is made of cotton-fiberglass material. It is fairly inexpensive and easy to use. You can simply place it in between the studs, then staple a vapor barrier to cover it. However, for batt insulation to work effectively, you need to wall it up. It means that you also need to buy drywall and install it around the room. This process might require you to look for a garage contractor to work on it. But it depends on how handy you are and as well as on how good you want the final product to look.
If the walls and ceilings of your garage will remain open, it’s better to opt for paper-faced or encapsulated fiberglass batts, which are wrapped in plastic film. These can give your walls and ceiling a slightly finished look.
- Cellulose Insulation
Another type of garage insulation that is growing in popularity is the cellulose insulation. It is loose-fill insulation that is made from recycled newspapers that are treated with a fire retardant. This insulation is usually blown into wall and ceiling cavities using a special blowing machine. If you want to install cellulose insulation yourself, you can rent blowers at many tool rental stores. There are also some home centers that may loan you a free blower if you buy your cellulose insulation from them.
Cellulose insulation is also referred to as blown-in insulation. It is a good choice if your garage already has drywall installed but is not yet insulated. A contractor may simply open up a hole in your garage wall, blow-in a cellulose insulating material, then patch up the opening after. It is quicker to install. However, it can be a bit more expensive as well.
- Spray Foam Insulation
Another garage insulation type is the spray foam insulation. This type of insulation is great for both R-value and air-sealing. However, it is somehow a high-end material that is usually used for energy-efficient construction and can be too much for most garage projects. But if you are thinking of converting your garage into a living space, then it can be a good choice.
- Rigid Foam Insulation
If you do not want to install drywall in your garage but want some insulation, then you can go for rigid foam insulation. A rigid foam usually offers a high R-value per inch of thickness. It usually comes in 4 x 8-foot sheets that are ½ to 4-inch thick. You can cut it to fit your space. Rigid foam insulation is a good choice if your garage has thin walls, and as well as for insulating garage doors. The most common materials of rigid foams include extruded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and expanded polystyrene, which is similar to Styrofoam.
Before installing rigid foam insulation in your garage, it is important to check with your local building codes first. You need to make sure that the insulation has a radiant barrier and guaranteed to be flame tested. It’s because some rigid foams are not fire-resistant and are not suitable for exposed applications.
- Garage Door Insulation
Aside from insulating your garage ceiling and walls, another important thing to insulate is the big garage door. There are many garage door insulation kits you can buy for metal garage doors. Aside from garage door insulation kits, you can also cut pieces of rigid foam insulation to fit each panel or section of your garage door.
This is important because the structural metal ribbing of garage doors are excellent heat conductors. Therefore, if it’s left uninsulated, the overall thermal performance of the door will be below the rated performance of the insulation itself.
Aside from installing insulation on your garage door, it is also important to air-seal it. You can use a weather seal strip to create a seal along the sides and top of the garage door. Then, you can seal along the bottom of the door using a bottom seal.
Ensure Proper Sealing
When it comes down to it, it’s actually up to you to choose which type of insulation will work best for your garages. You need to look into your expectations and overall goals to determine the right insulation for you.
After you’ve chosen and installed the garage insulation you want, it is also important to do a quick inspection of the area to ensure proper sealing. Since garages are usually used in storing dangerous chemicals, and cars also give off lots of exhaust, you need to be sure that everything is sealed off. Make sure to examine any windows, electrical outlets, and garage doors for air leaks to ensure energy efficiency.