How to Insulate Your Garage
A small investment can make a lasting improvement to your home.
What Are The Benefits?
An uninsulated garage is a lot like an unfinished basement. It’s still very practical, but just a little extra work can kick it into the next level. There are many benefits to insulating garages - some you might even surprise you. Here are some of the many reasons to insulate your garage:
- Stabilize temperatures to keep your garage in use year-round.
- Reduce energy costs by providing an extra barrier between your home and the outdoors.
- Reduce the travel of vehicular and power tool sounds throughout your home with an insulated wall.
- Reduce the humidity that can cause tools to rust. This is a particular problem in East Tennessee (you can also rub a thin layer of paste wax on steel tools to slow rust)
- Less wear and tear on your vehicle: engine oils are far less effective in extreme cold, making winter chills the most harmful for vehicle cold-startups. Many homes in East Tennessee have plumbing running through attic spaces, even over the garage. In a brutal cold snap, these pipes may freeze in an uninsulated garage.
Which R-Value Do I Need?
R-value is a numerical representation of the insulative properties of the insulation you buy. Different areas of your garage may have different r-value requirements.
- Exterior Walls: Homes built with traditional 2x4 studs can be filled with insulation with an R-value between R-13 to R-15. For newer homes with 2x6 studs, a higher R-value is required, typically between R-19 or R-21.
- Ceilings: Use R-38 insulation for 10” deep rafters, and R-30 insulation for 10” deep ceiling joists.
- Garage Doors: Modern garage doors can be sold with pre-installed insulation, yielding R-values between 9.3 and 17.5.
What Are The Steps?
- Prep the workspace. For garages with exposed studs, this process will be much easier. Remove major fixtures that may obstruct insulation installation. Clear the area. If your garage is finished with drywall, it may be easier to proceed with a professional to fill the gaps between studs with spray insulation, rather than expose the studs by removing sheetrock.
- Inspect the exterior wall for gaps, holes, or cracks, and seal. Water seepage can inhibit insulative performance, as well as grow mold. Holes can significantly reduce insulative performance.
- Begin installation. Pre-cut fiberglass batts are designed to fill the cavities between studs. Insulation is supposed to fit snugly, but not tightly. Compressing the air pockets in insulation reduces performance. Cut insulation to size where necessary.
- Install a vapor barrier. Staple the vapor barrier on the room-side of the stud, to protect the insulation against humidity and moisture.
- (Optional) Hang drywall. If a finished look is desired, hang, tape, mud, and sand sheets of drywall.
- Weather stripping. Ensure that weather stripping around doors is intact and performing well. Puddles of water after a rain is a clear sign that weather stripping needs to be replaced.
Don’t Forget The Garage Door.
Thermacore insulated garage doors keep utility costs down, while still delivering maximum design flexibility. Find your next beautiful garage door from Overhead Door Company of Knoxville, and be sure to ask about our Thermacore insulated garage doors.
When in Doubt
If you have questions about repairs or installation of a brand new door, our professional service staff are ready to help you tackle your next garage door project.