Garage Insulation Options
The Best Way to Insulate Your Garage
With so many garage insulation options, make your choice easier. You’ll get the best insulation for your garage plans, and make it work with your budget. Some things to consider: your garage’s age and condition, the type of construction, and whether to insulate the ceiling, walls, or even the garage door.
Garage Age and Condition
If your garage is built with modern construction (within the last 20 years), the construction probably seals out most air leaks. For older garages, poor construction, time, and the weather can make it worse. The weather loosens joints, heaves floors, and makes the structure leaky, letting in air and moisture, and even rodents. For this reason—and even for newer construction—air-sealing and insulating a garage is critical, and the best product to achieve both is spray foam.
It’s even more beneficial for older construction, as using spray foam on the walls, ceiling, or roof adds rigidity to the structure, and its possible we may even be able to spray the door (more on that later). This closes all the air and moisture gaps, provides a more stable building, and gives you an air-tight work area to enjoy year round.
Should You Insulate Your Garage Ceiling?
This depends on what you’ll be using your garage for, and what is above your garage (if anything). The answer is a definite yes if:
- You plan to heat your garage in the winter
- You plan to air condition in the summer
- You have living space above the garage (part of your house)
If your main reason to insulate your garage is to maintain better temperatures in an area above, you may not need insulation in the garage walls. Tell one of our representatives your goals, and they’ll keep in mind your immediate needs to help you decide.
Garage Insulation: Which is Best for the Ceiling?
If you already have a separate living or floored storage space above, then your best choice is to spray foam beneath that floor. However, if the garage ceiling is finished and you don’t want to start any extensive remodeling (e.g. tear your ceiling down!), then we can use blown-in insulation as well.
If the ceiling is adjacent to an attic space with open rafters, then blown-in insulation can be a great option. You can choose either fiberglass or cellulose, with trade-offs in R-value, longevity, ease of installation, and sometimes cost. It will make a difference if you also plan to install a floor in the space above. Let us know your plans, and we can provide you with some options.
If the ceiling rafters support an outside roof only, some different insulation types can work, although spray foam is likely to be the best answer.
Insulating the Rest of Your Garage
Your best choice for wall insulation will depend on your planned use, and whether any walls are shared with your home. We prefer the insulation on those walls to seal against toxic air flow, odors, temperature difference, and noise…and this is where spray foam works best.
If you already have drywall in your garage, blown-in insulation is a good candidate. It can be installed through temporary holes, and provides a good R-factor in your space.
Fiberglass batt can also work, though it doesn’t insulate or air-seal nearly as well as spray foam. There are installation and cost trade-offs as well. Foam has the advantage of sealing the inside of the house at the interior wall where fiberglass cannot. Batt merely forms a barrier at the inside wall of the garage. Another difference is that a closed cell spray foam not only insulates and air-seals well, but also provides a water resistive barrier. Another advantage of spray foam: snow/rain-covered cars are stored in garages (bringing in serious moisture), and spray foam cannot be compromised by these conditions.
If you work with flame or flammable materials in the garage, we can provide fire resistive coatings/ratings over our spray foam products. Even our blown-in insulation has fire resistive qualities.
The type of insulation and R-factor we recommend will depend on how you plan to use the garage. Do you want it only slightly warmer or cooler than the house, or plan to heat and/or air condition? Let us know.
Our most common garage treatment is for “limited use” garages. This includes nominal spray foam: about 1.5”-2” of closed cell foam (compared to 3-4” in new homes). The cost is reasonable, and it insulates enough to heat the garage temporarily with an electric heater or wood stove. Then you can use your garage “on demand”, and heat it up just enough to stay comfortable while using it. It also lets you heat your garage enough to thaw the cars and keep it above freezing.
Permanently heated or cooled garages may require thicker insulation.
Should You Insulate Garage Doors?
For the conventional doors that lead into your home or directly outdoors, a well-sealed, well-framed, insulated door is recommended. Most people are more concerned about the garage door itself.
Without a well-sealed and insulated garage door, any other efforts—heating, cooling, insulating—won’t be effective. And the only way to get closer to a living space temperature is to heat or cool it after insulating.
After insulating the walls, ceiling, and other doors, we can sometimes insulate your garage door. You can fill existing doors with spray foam. For others, you can apply hard foam to the external surface (the side facing the inside of your garage). We can look at your door and recommend which choices are good candidates.
Contact us today to schedule your free estimate!