In many homes, a garage serves as far more than simply a place to store the car; they can also provide an excellent place to work on mechanical projects, a handy storage area, and can even be converted into a multi-purpose room like the others in your home. However, if you plan on spending any considerable time in your garage, you may have to contend with a problem common to many modern garages -- poor insulation.
Many garages which were originally intended purely for car storage have no insulation at all, making them unpleasantly cold in summer and often unbearably hot in summer. s such, anybody planning to use their garage more frequently should seriously consider installing insulating materials in the walls of their garage. A number of different insulation materials are available, each with their own pros and cons, so make sure to familiarise yourself with your choices before deciding which is best for insulating your garage walls.
Fibreglass rolls and batts
These forms of insulation are made from tightly woven fibres of insulating glass, and are available in solid batts and larger, malleable rolls. If your garage has cavity walls these rolls and batts can be inserted directly inside to provide a superbly effective heat barrier, while solid walls can have rolls attached to their inner sides which are subsequently covered with drywall or foam board.
FIbreglass rolls and batts tend to be the most popular types of insulation used in buildings, and consequently are widely available for surprisingly low prices. When installed snugly, they provide exception heat insulation and minimise heat exchange through your garage walls, keeping heat in in winter and cool air inside in summer. Many fibreglass rolls also come fitted with attached vapour barriers, which prevent condensation from forming inside your garage and causing problems with damp.
Fibreglass rolls and batts can also be very easy to install if you intend to simply attach them to solid walls. However, installing them inside existing cavity walls can be far more difficult, and may require significant modifications and expensive building work. Fibreglass batts and rolls can also be difficult to work with due to their skin-irritating qualities, and eye and breathing protection must be worn while working with them to protect against loose glass fibres.
These sheets of strong, durable plastic foam may look far too thin at first to provide much in the way of heat insulation. However, the countless air pockets trapped within these boards of foam make them surprisingly effective, and foam boards can easily be attached to the interior or exterior of your garage walls without dramatically increasing their thickness, a particularly useful quality in compact garages.
Foam board also has other advantages -- it is less expensive than most other insulation types, and is very quick and simple to install, making DIY insulation installation a viable prospect. It also provides built-in protection against condensation due to the vapour barrier created by the plastic, and is fire resistant if disaster should strike your garage. However, foam board simply cannot match up to the insulating properties of thicker, more complex insulation materials, and may not be up to the challenge of insulating your garage during extremely hot or cold days.
These insulation types are made from a wide of materials, ranging from recycled newspaper to plant cellulose and even loose stone wool. Unlike other insulation types, these materials are not solid, but exist in a loose, granular form which is blown into the wall cavities of your garage using special pressurised nozzles.
Having your garage walls insulated with loose fill is extremely fast and thorough, and does not require significant modifications to be made to your garage -- insulation installers can often pump loose fill into your walls through one or two small holes drilled in your walls. Despite this simplicty, the insulation loose fill provides is exceptional, and its unique application method ensures that no gaps or air bubbles remain within the insulating layer.
Unfortunately, loose fill insulation can be a disruptive process, and you may be forced to vacate a large portion of your home while the insulation is being installed. Loose fill can also be badly undermined by poor quality installation, so choosing a reputable and experienced insulation installer to apply your loose fill is especially vital.