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  • Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

    Gents (and ladies)...

    I need some feedback/help. I live in southwestern Ontario, Canada, only about an hours drive from Detroit, Michigan (to give you an idea of geographical location). My wife and I bought our first house a year ago, and this upcoming spring, I am looking at insulating our garage.

    Now, just to give you a bit of a picture, the garage is just a simple one car garage, exposed to the outside weather on 3 walls (connected to the house). It has a standard, un-insulated metal garage door, one exterior opening mandoor, and one door adjoining into the front foyer of the house. The house itself is only 8 years old, and everything with this house was very well done, with the majority of things done to a quality level well above minimum standards, and above-standard quality materials used in this house (ie - interior walls Roxul sound & fire insulated, water piping with foam insulation wrap, etc.). The walls of the garage are drywalled, taped, and mudded. There are enough outlets out there for my needs, plus I have a nice little setup on the ceiling that I put in - a pull-down hose reel for my air hose for my compressor, as well as a pull-down 30 foot extension cord reel with a 3-outlet plug to it, to use the extra outlet available on the ceiling plug that's in place for the garage door opener. The garage is not used really for car parking, but I have/will be setting it up to make room and accomodate for that as needed - mostly use it as a home tool room, small workshop.

    I really don't want to strip all of the drywall off and start from scratch with installing batt insulation and vapour barrier and then re-drywalling. What I was looking at is having someone come in to do a blown-in cellulose insulation, to poke holes in the drywall to do this. Now, as far as I know, the small attic of the garage would also need this, as I don't believe it is insulated either. I was looking to do this before I paint and finish the garage this spring, and before I put in an epoxy finish on the cement floor. I will also be installing a small 6"x10" heat vent from our forced-air HVAC in the utility room adjacent to the rear wall of the garage, with a louver closure on the vent, so that I can warm the garage whenever I might need it in the wintertime. (yes, I know I will also have to put in a half decent insulated and well-sealing garage door eventually).

    Just wondering everyone's input/feedback on this, as to whether or not this is the way to go. I'm trying to keep costs and turn around time to a minimum - that's why I'm not too keen on peeling off the drywall and starting from scratch. Now, if it's something that I just "must" do, then so be it. But, please give me your feedback. I'm wondering if I'm going down the right path, what sort of things any of you can think of that I haven't taken into consideration, what sort of costs I might be looking at, and any various pros/cons.

    Sorry for the long post, but I welcome all input/suggestions. Thanks. Cheers.

  • #2
    Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

    One concern for me would be vapor barrier. If none is installed,and you insulate you could run the risk of moisture buildup in your insulation. End result mold and eventually rot. Check for the vapour barrier if its there go ahead and do the blown-in. Only other thing that comes to mind would be the attic space. Do you plan on using the area up there for storage? If you do then I would recommend batt insulation for that purpose simply because it is not as messy as the blown-in

    Don't know if any of this helps
    Bill

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

      See, I thought that this cellulose blown-in insulation had a vapour barrier property to it? Also, being that this is going to be for a garage, and it won't be heated 24/7, if the blown-in stuff does still require a vapour barrier, would it really matter that much?

      And no, I wasn't planning on using the garage attic for any storage. I believe it's too small for any real usable space. Besides, the garage ceiling is already drywalled also, and there's no attic door in the ceiling. So I was just thinking they could pop a couple of holes, and blow in some insulation.

      Also, I have no idea what I'm looking at cost wise here. My main options are:
      1. Leave up drywall, poke holes, and blow in insulation;
      2. Tear down drywall, install batt insulation and vapour barrier, re-drywall;
      3. Tear down drywall, have blown in cellulose insulation installed, vapour barrier, re-drywall; or
      4. Tear down drywall, have sprayed in blue foam insulation put in, re-drywall.
      Don't know what my best/most simple/cheapest option would be, keeping in mind what my usage/demand guidelines are.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

        Canuck.

        I would be wary of the cellulose. Cellulosese feeds mold, if you have any moisture problem mold will have plenty to feed on in warm weather. This may not be a problem in Ontario, but it has been a nightmare here in Texas.

        Insulation overhead is much more important than walls, although I am sure you face much more extreme temps, especially in the cooler weather, than we do here in Dallas.

        I hope some of these posts help you make the right decision.
        thepapabear<BR>When a bureaucrat has a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

          cellulose has an infiltration barrier, fiberglass, is open enough that when the temps are below 0 the cold will settle into the fiber glass and the heat will rise creating a convection and reduce the effectiveness of the fiberglass insulation

          But like was said put in the foam or card board to create air spaces, or you may create ice dams and cause leaks,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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          • #6
            Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

            Canuck if you are not heating the garage then the vapor barrier is crutial IMO. Most condensation and mold forms when areas such as this are heated and cooled rapidly. For example, I did a service call to a customer that was complaining of mold in the garage in a house we built a year prior. I walked in and looked at it, there was 1 full 4x8 sheet of gyproc on the ceiling mouldy. Tore it down to see what was happening and that one sheet had not been insulated. Insulated it and vapor barrier and hasnt been an issue since. So if the mould was forming there in time the mould would infiltrate the walls.

            Vapor Barrier when installed properly is the first line of defense for your home. It helps not only with moisture but also drafts

            Bill

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

              I saw on This Old House they drilled the walls and sprayed foam into the walls. No vapour barrier required.
              That was on the Boston project.

              And I think by code in Ontario you cannot connect your HVAC system to the garage. Fumes and fire hazard.

              http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

                I would be connecting it via a disconnect, so to speak. I would have 2 baffles on the vent connection, one on the vent in the garage, and the other on the outlet feed coming from the vent line popping out of the main HVAC trunk. Plus, I was planning on putting a soft connection in between, in the middle of the line, so I could disconnect the line if not being used for a long period of time.

                My neighbour has the same setup, as he has his home business set up in his garage, which he had a company come in and finish for him. I asked him about the HVAC line, and he said a local place did it and signed it off for him, and he had an inspector sign it off as well - if not, he couldn't get home insurance, nor insurance for the business aspect in his garage.

                Also, his big thing was no flamable or dangerous chemicals/fluids around. I was going to put those in one of those secure yellow lockers, and store in a separate area.

                So, I was just going to duplicate what he had kickin'.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

                  Expending foam is the obvious solution as you do not have to remove your drywall and the foam cures as a Code approved vapour barrier. It's more expensive than cellulose or fibreglass but cheaper in the long run when you consider not having to re and re the drywall. It also has a higher R factor per inch of insulation than either cellulose or batt.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

                    Now, if I went with the spray in foam, I'm worried about a couple of things. Firstly, I've always seen this done with a type of spray gun, coating side to side. If they poked holes in the drywall to do this, would I really get the full and even and continuous coverage in there that I would need/want? Secondly, due to this stuff expanding and filling in gaps, would this have a pretty good tendency to bow out the drywall? I'm a little bit anal retentive, as my wife would say, and it would bug me to no avail if I were to really be able to see the bows in the drywall, and where each stud is.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

                      No worries about bowing your drywall. I'm assuming it's fastened 16" o.c. but regardless, the process involves a small hole at the bottom of the wall to insert the spray nozzle and a hole at the top, just below the upper plate. The upper hole vents air while the cavity fills with foam and then permits excess foam to ooze out. The cavity pressure is always the same as atmospheric pressure.

                      Regarding full and even coverage, think of your wall cavities as forms in which and expanding liquid is poured ... EVERY nook and cranny will be filled.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

                        See, but I thought that the blue foam stuff would expand? I understand the hole at the top letting out excess, but I figured that not all of it would dry quite the same. Therefore, I thought I'd be stuck dealing with some push and shove on the drywall from the expanding and hardening foam.

                        Fear of the unknown, I guess...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

                          Several years ago, I wanted to insulate my garage also. After getting an ridiculous quote for blown in insulation. I decided to cut two channels in the 5/8 sheetrock. I came down about 8 to 10 inches from the ceiling and cut a 12 to 14 inch channel across the wall. After the channel was cut the sheetrock was carefully removed. I did the same for the bottom. From the top you toss a rope down the bay. You curl the insulation paper side facing you. Carefully tie the rope around the batt of insulation and pull it up from the top, while your significant other feeds it up to you from the bottom. When you get it to the upper channel you untie the rope and tuck up the last 8 to 10 inches. I had a 24 by 24 garage to do and I think 1 or 2 piecews of insullation tore. After all the insullation is in, I put back the sheetrock, a little tape, spackel and a fresh coat of paint. It is as good as new. It cost me a 30 pack and about 1/3 of what the insulation guy wanted to do the job.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gentlemen...need help on insulating a garage

                            Oy vay - sounds like an awful lot of work to me. I've still got some work to do to see what the cost would be for the various options. I welcome all the suggestions, fellas.

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