Tips for Insulating your Garage
By Mark J. Donovan
|Many garages are left uninsulated and that may be just fine if you have no other intentions for your garage other than storing automobiles. However if you expect to be in your garage often, you may want to consider insulating your garage. By insulating your garage you can create a more comfortable environment for a workshop or for even creating additional living space.
When insulating your garage walls always wear full length clothing, a mask, and a pair of goggles, as fiberglass insulation can be irritating to your eyes, throat and skin. Also it is important to keep in mind when insulating a garage to do a neat job, such that there are no gaps in the insulation.
Much of your efforts and money spent on insulation will be wasted if your finished insulated garage is peppered with small un-insulated gaps.
Insulating Garage Walls
Insulating a garage begins by installing rolled or batt insulation in the garage exterior walls. Depending upon the framing used in the construction of your garage you should use either R-19 or R-11 insulation. If the garage walls were constructed with 2x6s you should use R-19 insulation. If they were constructed with 2x4s then use R-11 insulation. You can use either faced insulation or unfaced insulation.
|However, if you use an unfaced insulation you will need to add a plastic vapor barrier over the garage walls after installing the insulation. If you used faced insulation the paper side should face the interior of the garage.
Cut the rolled or batt insulation into the appropriate lengths to fill the bays between the garage wall studs. Use a utility knife and a length of 2×4 to cut the insulation.
If you are using a faced insulation staple the paper face tabs to the wall studs. Apply staples every 12” or so along the height of the bay.
Next install pieces of insulation in-between window frames and wall studs and above and below the window and door frames. Use a screwdriver or a putty knife to work the insulation into the narrow spaces. Alternatively you can use a spray foam insulation that you can find at any home improvement center. These types of insulation work great and can typically do a better job getting into small narrow spaces.
Likewise make sure insulation is fastened snuggly around all electrical boxes.
By slowing this moisture transfer rate, condensation is prevented from occurring inside the garage walls/ceiling. By preventing condensation the risk of rot, mold and mildew are reduced. To install a vapor barrier simply install polyethylene plastic over the insulation. Staple the plastic to the wall studs and/or furring strips. Make sure you overlap sections of plastic by at least 6 inches, or one additional bay.
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