For the most part, garages aren't built to have the best insulation in the home, nor are they built to be completely airtight. Typically, insulation is installed on the walls only, but should you insulate the ceiling as well? We've researched the answer to this question, and in this post, we will answer for you.
A garage ceiling does not necessarily need insulation. However, if you're looking to increase the average temperature in the garage, it can definitely help to prevent warm air from escaping through gaps and holes in the ceiling. For the most part, the walls of a garage or typically the areas where installation is often installed. That being stated, some benefits come with ceiling insulation that are worth taking into consideration.
Whether you intend to install insulation on your garage ceiling yourself or have a contractor do it, it's best to know how to go about it and the best insulation types to use. Continue reading to learn more about situations where ceiling insulation can be beneficial, the biggest benefits, and the steps for installing it.
Benefits of Insulating a Garage Ceiling
If you already have insulation on the walls in your garage, it's best to match the insulation on the ceiling with that of the walls. For example, if the insulation of the walls has an R-value of 30, you'll want to place the same R-30 insulation on the ceiling as well. You can visit the Department of Energy's website to determine what R-value you'll need for your home.
The main purpose of insulation, be it in the home or the garage, is to regulate the amount of heat flow on the home's interior. In the winter months, you want to keep the home as warm as possible, and in the warmer months, you want to keep it as cool as possible. Insulation helps to regulate extreme temperature swings.
If the garage is only used as a space to store cars, then insulation typically isn't necessary on the ceiling, especially if you have it in the walls. However, if you have wall insulation but still find that the temperature in the garage tends to fluctuate, installing it on the ceiling may be worth the time and money.
Protect high-value items in the garage
Motor vehicles are built to have resiliency and stand up to severe weather conditions, especially cold weather. However, if you're garage is stocked with personal items, decorations, or valuable collections, extreme weather and humidity can cause these items to become damaged over time, greatly diminishing their value. This is especially true if the garage does not have any wall insulation.
Protect appliances in the garage
If you have a laundry room in your garage or pipes that run through the walls and ceilings, insulation and heat are an absolute must. Frozen, busted pipes can be time-consuming and pocket-draining, to say the least. Insulation can help prevent these issues. If you're spending significant time in the laundry room, you want to be comfortable during the coldest and warmest part of the year. Adding insulation to the ceiling can help keep the garage more comfortable, even when there is insulation on the walls.
Protect against carbon monoxide poisoning
If your garage does not have insulation on the walls and or ceiling, this could be a carbon monoxide trap and a hazardous environment--especially if you don't have carbon monoxide detectors in the basement. One of the ancillary benefits of insulation is that it can help trap carbon monoxide floating around within the interior of your home and garage.
Without insulation, the poisonous gas can seep into your home and have a hazardous impact on the household. Insulation on the ceiling can help to reduce any carbon monoxide that may flow from the other areas of the home to the garage.
Reduce energy costs
Most homeowners want to reduce energy costs as much as possible. Additional ceiling insulation can potentially help with this. While you'll have significant savings by installing wall insulation as well, ceiling insulation can add to this, especially if your garage is detached.
It's common for homeowners to use their garages for recreational activities, and sometimes these activities can be on the noisy side. Having additional insulation on the garage ceiling can help dampen any sounds that may reach the rooms above the garage. This is especially helpful if you use your garage for activities such as band practice, car repair, or carpentry work.
What Type Of Insulation Is Best For A Garage?
There are different insulation options for garages that will work well. Let's look at the best ones.
Fiberglass installation is typically used for garage walls and ceilings. It can be purchased pre-cut and sold in three-foot batts. You can purchase it in rolls as well and cut it yourself, however. The thickness level will depend on the R-value.
Fiberglass batt insulation is the most common insulation used because it's inexpensive and can easily fit between the ceiling joist and wall studs in a garage. You'll need a ladder to install the batt rolls on the ceiling, but it's generally considered one of the easiest methods to use.
Check out this batt insulation on Amazon.
Rigid Foam Insulation
Rigid foam insulation typically comes in four-foot by eight-foot panels that are anywhere from half an inch to four inches thick. The most common material used to make this foam is polystyrene, which is similar to styrofoam. The R-value of rigid foam will depend on its thickness, but it can be cut to fit in between almost any space or gap.
It also offers an easy way to insulate your garage ceiling. It's a bit more expensive than batt insulation, but not that much. Installation requires using either a nail gun, staple gun, or glue, and you can do it yourself in a matter of hours.
Read more about this rigid foam insulation on Amazon
Blow-in or Cellulose Insulation
Lastly, cellulose insulation can also be used to insulate your garage ceiling. This method is more popular in attics than garages, however. Cellulose is typically made from recycled materials treated with a fire retardant and other chemicals to prevent pests, degradation, and fire hazard. To install this insulation, you'll need a blower and several bags of loose-fill insulation to completely cover the ceiling.
It's best to take measurements of the ceiling first and determine the R-value needed for your garage specifically before purchasing any tools or materials. One of the biggest benefits of this insulation type is the fact that the blow-in material can fit into the smallest cracks and crevices of your home. This can save you time on having to cut small, oddly-shaped pieces for smaller gaps and crevices.
How Do You Insulate A Garage Ceiling?
The method that you use to install attic insulation depends on the type of insulation that you purchased. You'll first need to get the measurements of the ceiling for all insulation methods beforehand. You also need the necessary material such as ventilation masks, a ladder, gloves, and safety glasses to ensure your safety.
Next, if working with batts or rigid foam, you'll want to cut the insulation to match the joist's space on the ceiling and then nail or staple the insulation securely. If you're using blow-in insulation, you'll want to learn how to operate the blower machine effectively before installing the insulation. Still, you're generally going from joist to joist, blowing in the insulation in between each space until you reach the desired thickness required.
Does Insulating A Garage Ceiling Add Value?
It can, but the value estimation can be negligible compared to other things such as appliances and material upgrades. It also depends on if the walls of the garage have insulation. If the walls have insulation, a potential home buyer may not necessarily be worried about insulation on the garage ceiling.
How Much Does It Cost To Insulate A 2-Car Garage?
Garage insulation costs can vary depending on the total square footage of the garage space. The average square footage of a two-car garage in the U.S. is 576 square feet. On average, the cost to insulate a garage using batt insulation can range anywhere from $0.50 to $1.25 per square foot. Installing blow-in insulation can range anywhere from $1 to $2.50 per square foot. So for an average-sized two-garage, you can expect to pay anywhere from $238 to $1,440 for the insulation.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has helped answer your questions about garage ceiling installation and the best scenarios to install it. If you decide to install ceiling insulation in the garage, it's best first to get accurate, complete measurements of your garage ceiling beforehand to make sure that you have everything you need for the job.
Also, have a look at our other posts:
Does A Basement Ceiling Need Insulation?