The Australian climate can cause problems when it comes to our homes, particularly in the garage. It is either far too hot and stuffy in the summer, or cold and damp in the winter months. Either way, the temperature and humidity within the garage is going to have an impact, not only on the vehicles and equipment stored in there, but also on the insulating properties of the adjoining home. If it is a place that you go to for DIY projects, or spend time working on your car, you will need proper insulation in order to keep the air quality and working environment safe and comfortable.
So, what do you need to consider when it comes to insulating your garage?
Existing or new walls
This is going to depend on whether you are going for a new build, or looking to renovate your existing garage. If you have a garage that has a common wall shared with your neighbour, then you already have some form of insulation on your side walls. If you have a garage that is attached to the side of your house, then you can also be losing heat and energy from the house into the garage. If there is no insulation on the garage walls, then you need to think about what type of insulation you can retrofit.
This would work well if the garage was a separate extension to the house because there will be the required space around it that can be insulated. In this instance, you can consider external wall insulation such as breeze blocks, or an appropriate form of cladding. Cladding such as wooden shingles comes in a range of designs and colours, but you would need to consider the overall look, and if it complements the existing house design.
There are a number of different types of materials you can consider but they fall under the categories of:
- Cellulose insulation
- Fibreglass insulation
- Spray foam insulation
Cellulose is a loose fill insulation and one that is getting to be quite popular. It is composed of recycled newspapers, so it has some environment credentials. This loose-fill material is thicker than fibreglass, absorbs moisture so reduces humidity, and is a good choice for filling finished walls.
Fibreglass is a very common choice of insulation for walls as it can be blown into cavities and has an insulation value (R-value) of 2.9 to 3.8 per inch (2.3 cm). It is also sold in batts that can fit between wall studs but will not seal all cracks and crevices. Both cellulose and fibreglass use chemical compounds to bind them so home owners who want to maintain a healthy air quality and environment can consider this option.
Spray foam is another option as it has a very high R-value, and can reach into the hardest to get to areas in a garage. It is expansive, so it will cover all of the garage walls, but you will have to remove all pegboards and hooks, and clear out the garage before undertaking this process.
Garage floors and roof
It is easy to overlook insulating the garage floor. Bearing in mind that if you are working in the garage, you will spend all your time standing or lying down underneath cars, on a cold concrete floor. There are insulation boards that can be laid down, but you need to check the thickness of these so that you are not raising the floor level too high. Likewise, consider fitting insulating boards to the roof of the garage, and check the condition of the roof tiles and underlay.
Another source of air leaks and an area that transmits noise as well, is the garage door. If the door is getting past its best, starting to warp, or not work at all, then it is time for a change. Instead of replacing it with the same kind of garage door, consider getting one with thermal properties.
These insulated garage doors have been designed to minimise heat loss coming into the garage, keeping the environment cool, and the air quality fresh. These garage doors are constructed with an expanded polystyrene insulation panel that has a reflective foil backing, finished to a high standard with an easy clean surface that has impact resistance built in. They are also designed to be retrofitted to the internal panels of current sectional garage doors.
The Insul-Shield™ is a good choice which aims to reduce not only heat loss and noise, but fine particles and pollution getting into the garage from your cars or lawnmowers. These doors provide a thick insulation barrier between the inner and outer door skins. They also provide a seal around all sides of the door which helps prevent draughts.
Not only will it help prevent the worst of the Australian weather and climate from entering the garage, you can also send the youngest out there to practise on their new drum kit – it is great for sound insulation too!
Speak to your local professional garage door specialist. They can help you save money on heating and air conditioning bills, as well as give you the peace and quiet you deserve.