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5 Steps for DIY Garage Insulation
Jan 2021

5 Steps for DIY Garage Insulation

Want to protect your things and save on your energy bills? Then you need to install garage insulation.

You don’t need to shell out for a professional to install your garage insulation. In fact, this is a fairly easy project to DIY. Once it’s done, you’ll see your home’s energy efficiency go up, and your energy bills go down.

Ready to learn how to install garage insulation? In this detailed guide, we’ll show you what you need to know to get started.

Metal Garage Insulation

Why Install Garage Insulation?

Is garage insulation really worth it? We think so – here are some of the top reasons why.

  • Save on Energy Bills
  • Perhaps the best reason to install garage insulation is to lower your monthly energy bills.

    An uninsulated garage provides a place for heat to escape in winter and cold air to escape in summer. You might not actually be heating or cooling the garage, but if it’s attached to the house, it can still negatively impact your home’s temperature and increase your energy bills.

    Even if you have an insulated, weather-stripped door between the house and the garage, the air still gets into the house every time you open that door. That means a blast of freezing air in winter and hot, humid air in summer. Also, if there are rooms above the garage, the cold or hot air can get through the floor, making things very uncomfortable for the person that utilizes that space.

    When your metal garage is insulated, you can effectively heat or cool it if you want to, and it won’t affect the temperature of your home either.

  • Use the Garage for More
  • With insulation, your prefab garage becomes an extension of your house, rather than just a storage space. You’ll be able to work on projects that are too big or too messy for the house in your garage, all year round.

    Want to take up painting? Now you have an art studio! Need more room for the kids to play? The garage can easily convert into a playroom.

    From workouts to woodworking, you’ll maximize the potential activities you can do in your steel garage when you insulate it. Insulation keeps the temperature right all year, so you can use the space no matter what’s happening outside.

  • Protect Your Plumbing
  • Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in your garage, you might keep certain appliances there, like a washer, dryer, or deep freezer.

    Extreme temperatures aren’t always friendly to appliances. Avoid issues like frozen pipes and other complications by installing metal garage insulation.

  • Avoid Rust and Mold
  • Many of us use the garage to store our things, such as equipment or sentimental items that we don’t need, but aren’t ready to throw away. You might even use the garage for its original purpose: to park your car.

    You’ll want all of these belongings to stay in good shape for as long as possible. Garage insulation helps! Good insulation offers a layer of protection from rust, mold, mildew, and other forms of decay.

What Are U-Values, R-Values, and Vapor Retarders?

  • U-Values
  • A U-Value is a term that explains the thermal performance in your garage’s envelope assembly (your roofing system or your sidewall system). Your garage will have many heat flow paths, and these will have a U-value that is determined by the materials that make up the series of heat flow.

  • R-Values
  • The R-value helps you to understand your metal garage building’s thermal resistance, giving you a clear idea of how good your insulation is performing. A high R-value is good because the insulation is working, whereas a low R-value will give you an indication that the insulation is not sufficient.

  • Vapor Retarders
  • A vapor retarder does exactly what it says and reduces the flow of moisture throughout your insulation material, and provides low-permeance so that you can be confident that it will last the test of time. The good news is that vapor retarders are often fire-resistant, adding another layer of safety to your building.

Metal Garage Insulation – The Options Available To You

When it comes to DIY garage insulation, there are many different options that are available to you, and the type you choose will be dependent on your specific needs and your building. Take a look at the following types that are available before you make your choice:

  • Loose-Fill – this is when pellets or fibers are blown directly into the walls with specialized machines. The fibers and pellets are made up of a range of materials, including recycled paper, rockwool, and fiberglass that has been specially treated with chemicals, making it perfect for insulation. It is expensive to install but offers a premium barrier that will last.
  • Spray Foam – this material is made from polymer that is mixed with foam and then sprayed directly into your metal garage building’s cavities. The liquid that has been pressurized expands on contact with the air and become foam that will get into every nook and cranny.
  • Rigid Board – these boards are made from polystyrene, fiberglass, and polyurethane. They are simple to cut to size and will fit into any sized area, making them great for steel garage insulation. Lots of people opt for this type of insulation in roof spaces, but if you choose this, then you may also need to install a fire retardant facing to keep you in line with building regulations.
  • Batt and Blanket – rockwool is a highly efficient and popular material for insulation as it is cost-effective and durable. By installing fiberglass batts and covering the space with rockwool insulation, you can be sure that your metal garage insulation will provide you with the protection you need.
  • Vapor Barrier – the great thing about using a vapor barrier is that it works to stop moisture from entering your garage space. Along with reducing the moisture, it comes with the added benefit of being fire retardant.
  • Bubble Insulation – if you want the most up to date insulation for your garage, then bubble insulation may be a great choice. Made from a double layer bubble wrap, the air pockets in each bubble function as a thermal barrier to help keep warmth in and reduce condensation problems.

How to Install Insulation?

Now, let’s take a look at the five steps to follow to install insulation on your own.

  • Buy Materials
  • First, you’ll need the right materials for installation. Head to your local home center for insulation. You may want to do some research ahead of time to decide what type will be best for your needs.

    Since metal garages are all different sizes and heights, you’ll likely need to buy rolls of insulation and cut them to size.

  • Insulate the Walls
  • Now that you have your materials, the real work can begin. The biggest part of the project is insulating the walls, so you’ll probably want to start there.

    Hopefully, there isn’t any drywall on your walls, so you can start by prepping the framing. First, you have to air seal the cavities in the wall between the garage and the house.

    If the drywall is already there, it might not be worth the work it takes to remove it and replace it. But if it isn’t, air sealing should be your first step.

    Air sealing is easy and inexpensive. You just need a few cans of insulating foam sealant and some silicone caulk. Anywhere you see a gap or hole in the wall where air can escape, apply the foam sealant. On small spots where wires or outlets come through the wall, use silicone caulk instead.

    You can also have air get through the bottom of the wall where the wood meets the foundation. Run a line of silicone caulk along this edge and use your finger to make it smooth.

    Once this process is done, you can apply the insulation. On the parts of the garage where the wall is adjacent to your home, you actually should install it backward. This means the fuzzy part is facing you.

    On the other walls in the garage, install the insulation the regular way, with the paper side facing you. Make sure to staple the paper on the edge of the stud, rather than inside it, so the insulation will completely fill the space.

  • Insulate the Doors
  • Your next step is to insulate the garage doors. This is fairly easy – you can simply use a kit (you may still need to cut it to size). Follow the instructions on the kit, and you’ll have it done in no time.

    Insulating your doors is really important as it is this area that allows most of the cold or hot weather through and into the garage area, draining your energy and increasing your bills.

    By insulating the doors, you will be able to claim the garage space all year round and ensure that nothing gets damaged by the constant temperature changes.

  • Insulate the Attic
  • If your garage ceiling has attic access, you’ll want to insulate that as well. All you need is a basic layer of insulation here, like you added in Step 2.

    Heat rises, and when you do not have an insulated attic, all the energy that you put into keeping the space at a consistent temperature will be lost through the roof, causing the area to increase its energy consumption.

    By insulating the area, your energy bills will reduce as the space is able to maintain a consistent temperature and hold on to the warm or cool air all year round.

  • Check Everything
  • Now, it’s time to double-check that each insulation roll is snugly against the next one. Make sure there aren’t any gaps where air can get through.

    Gaps are probably the biggest source of energy depletion because people do not take the time to ensure that the insulation they have installed has been joined carefully next to other pieces.

    If there are awkward corners or you want extra reassurance, then you can also opt to use insulation tape to stop the gaps from having a negative impact on your space.

We Have the Answers to Your Questions

When it comes to steel garage insulation, then you are bound to have questions that you need answered. No matter whether you are installing a new metal garage or insulating existing metal garage buildings, we have the answers for you.

  1. What Insulation Works Best for a Steel Garage?

    It is important to note that any insulation is better than none when you have a metal building. However, in our experience, we find that Batt and Blanket insulation works effectively, as does Vapor Barrier insulation. Both of these types of insulation are economical and will provide the protection you are looking for.

  2. Which Areas Should I Insulate in My Garage?

    Choosing the parts of your garage to insulate depends on where your building is located and the weather in your area. At a minimum, you should insulate your roof area as this is how energy escapes or permeates the building. We’d also suggest that insulating your walls is essential if you experience different weather types such as snow, rain, heat, or high winds.

  3. Can You Explain the Variety of Condensation Types That I May Get in My Garage?

    You would be forgiven for believing that there is only one type of condensation, but this is not the case. There are actually two main types to look out for visible condensation and concealed condensation.

    Visible condensation appears on surfaces in the form of water or ice and can be wiped away. Concealed condensation is when moisture gets into the building and sits on surfaces that have a lower temperature than the dew point, making it harder to see or deal with.

  4. Is There a Way to Stop Condensation Occurring?

    Condensation can be tough to deal with, but there are a few things you can do to stop it from happening:

    • Insulate your building thoroughly to stop the air from changing temperature too quickly and condensing.
    • Make sure there is adequate circulation to support proper evaporation.
    • Check your lighting so that they are not the type that encourages a build-up of heat.

Why We Are the Best Choice?

When it comes to installing your metal building, we are the best choice across the US. Not only do we have the best quality steel buildings, but our lead times and installment options will ensure that you get a prefab building that will last for many years to come.

Head over to our metal garage page and take a look at the models we have on offer, we are sure that you will not be disappointed. Call today at +1 (888) 234-0475 for more information or to order your new metal building – we look forward to hearing from you.

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