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Old 07-01-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
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Garage Insulation


Hello everyone,
I have some questions about garage insulation.
Here’s a little info about my garage:
I live in a townhome which has a two car garage, attached to the unit. My unit is not an end unit, so each side of my garage wall is actually facing my neighbor’s garages instead of outside. The back of the garage (opposite side of the garage door) is facing inside of my townhome unite, so again, it’s not “touching” the outside.
The garage door and a small strip (about 2’?) of wall on each side of the door is obviously facing outside. Last winter I have install some insulation (the kind that folds out and gets stuck in the cavity of the metal garage door panels – I forgot the R value) on the door and weather stripping around the door frame, but I really notice any difference in the room temperature between before and after throughout the winter..
The master bedroom is located above the garage; however a little less than a half of the garage ceiling is under a roof instead of the bedroom. So, it’s one of those little extension roof (not sure if that’s how it’s normally called) that sticks out between the first and the second floor.
There is a square hole about 3’ x 3’ in size (maybe 2.5’ x 2.5’) on the ceiling, through which I can access this little attic space under the garage roof. So, I stuck my head in with a flash light to take a look… Well, all I could see was typical 2x4 framing and plywood. In other words, there was no insulation… have seen (and been inside of) the “real” attic space on the second floor, and I know there is a layer of blow-in insulation stuff on top of the ceiling, but no such insulation material, or of any other kind, can be found in the attic above the garage.

Now I wonder if the top side of my garage should be insulated, in order for me be able to feel more comfortable there doing my hobby woodworking stuff during the harsh winter and summer months of Chicago.
1. Can I expect a noticeable improvement in room temperature by insulating the garage ceiling (or the roof)?
2. Or, should I better insulate the walls and garage doors instead of worrying about the ceiling?
3. Or, should I do both; bulking up the wall and door insulation AND insulate the ceiling as well?

4. Or, should I not worry about the insulation too much, and install some AC and heating unit in the garage instead?
5. Or, should I do both; insulate it better AND install some AC/heating unit in the garage?

6. Or, don’t bother? Maybe it’s impossible to control the climate in the garage (probably because it has such a huge door)?
Having it listed out like this… I guess the no-brainer answer of course will be 5 (or 6). Well I guess I already know AC/heating units sure will help the room temperature.. so my question is more on the side of.. whether it would make sense to have those… or whether it would make sense to have them before improving the insulation (and vice versa).

If installing some insulation on the ceiling is recommended… how should I go about it? I guess I can put down some insulation on the bottom of the attic (ceiling of the garage) and close out that 3x3 hole… but wouldn’t that cause some condensation (and eventually mold) during the winter?
I also often hear people saying that the “roof has to be able to breath”… However, without any vent hole near the top of the roof (I guess there is none since it’s not a main/real roof) how would it ever breath or how would air ever be circulated if I close up that 3x3 opening?

Lastly, I am not trying to make my garage a livable space or anything. Since it still is a closed space, it still is way better than outside, and I can stay in there for hours working during the winter and summer; the water doesn’t freeze inside during the winter and with help of a big fan I don’t collapse from heat stroke during the summer.
However, I just wonder if there’s anything I can do to make it a little bit more comfortable to be in there. You know, when working with power tools, I think it can also be a safety concern if I had to wrap myself up with layers of clothes (which affects my mobility) or had to stay half naked with only thing protecting me being a pair of safety goggles which constantly gets fogged up with my sweat…

Thank you for reading my long posting and your helpful advices in advance!

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