Insulating The Garage: How Does It Work? How To Install Insulation in Garage Ceiling Floor Above Occupied Room? What Should Be Considered?

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Basically, the insulation of a garage is (almost) always possible. This applies to both new buildings and existing garages. And both prefabricated garages and freely planned garages can be insulated (in case you are curious how to install insulation in garage ceiling floor above occupied room). The questions remain: When does it make sense to insulate a garage and when is it perhaps even harmful? And: How can a garage be insulated (retrospectively)?

Background: What exactly is meant by the term insulation?

The term insulation is a generic term for different forms of insulation. These include, in particular:

  • Thermal insulation
  • Cold insulation
  • Sound insulation

Garage insulation is about thermal and cold insulation. In other words, the interior should be protected from cold outside temperatures in winter and from too high outside temperatures in summer. In addition, insulation is intended to ensure that heated room air cannot simply escape to the outside.

Overview: What types and uses of garages are there?

Whether the insulation of a garage makes sense or not also depends on the type of garage and its use. Therefore, it is worthwhile to first get an overview of the different garage variants and usage concepts of garages.

With the garage type, a distinction is made between the following variants:

  • Attached garages: These are attached directly to the house and thus share an outer wall. In some cases, there is a direct connecting door between the garage and the house.
  • Integrated garage: These garages are integrated into the house. Either they are located, among other rooms, on the ground floor, or they are built at basement level. In both cases, there is almost always direct access from the house to the garage.
  • Detached garage: This garage is freely positioned on the property. It is usually placed on a property line. However, it can also be located directly next to the residential building, but it is then a separate building, which is decoupled from the residential building. In the case of free-standing garages, a distinction is also made between prefabricated garages and freely planned garages.

Garages, according to the definition that results from most state building regulations, serve the purpose of housing the car: This is protected in the garage from wind, weather and theft. In addition, the space in the garage may be used to store garden furniture or garden tools as well as bicycles, as long as the car still finds space in the garage. Because the goal of a garage is usually to reduce the lack of parking space on the street.

The permit for the construction of a garage therefore basically refers only to the purpose described above. Nevertheless, garages are often used differently. Whether and under what conditions this is possible is provided by the respective state building regulations. Before complex conversion measures for a new type of use, the conversation with the responsible building authority should be sought. In most cases, it should be unproblematic if the garage is to be used exceptionally as a party room and otherwise serves the storage of the car.

Overview of types of use of garages:

  • Storage of cars or classic cars
  • Workshop/integrated workshop corner
  • Party room
  • Gymnasium
  • Office/Home Office
  • Real living space (e.g. youth or guest room)

Useful or not: When is the garage insulation worthwhile?

If it is a garage fully integrated into the house, the same regulations usually apply to it as to the entire rest of the house. After all, it is precisely a part of the house. Such an obligation for elaborate insulation does not exist in the form of a garage attached to the house. Basically, an attached garage even represents an additional heat and cold protection. However, it is important that the transitions between the residential building and the attached garage are designed in such a way that they do not become heat/cold bridges. Because inside an uninsulated and unheated attached garage, the temperatures are naturally lower than in the residential building. This cold air could enter the residential building via heat/cold bridges or warm air could escape from the residential building into the garage. Both are not desirable from an energetic point of view.

The situation is different if a garage is to be heated: Then in most cases a garage insulation makes perfect sense. In such cases, garage insulation can only be dispensed with if heating is only to be carried out selectively and at very short notice. This is the case, for example, if the workplace in the workshop corner is to be heated with an infrared heater. Whenever a garage is to be heated permanently or even for a long time completely to a certain temperature, garage insulation is actually unavoidable from a financial and ecological point of view.

Cons: What problems can arise from insulating the garage?

In order for garage insulation to be really effective, care must be taken to create a closed insulation shell. This means that the formation of cold bridges is avoided. Therefore, ideally, all elements of the garage must be insulated:

  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Soil
  • Garage door and garage door

In addition, care must be taken to ensure that the transitions between ceiling and walls or between walls and floor are designed in such a way that no cold bridges are created here. The insulation must therefore also be applied continuously at corners between the walls and the transitions between walls and floor or ceiling. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that windows achieve the desired insulation values.

However, insulation of the garage can also cause problems if the insulation is not carried out professionally. Because of the insulation, it may be easier to form mold and rust in the garage. Therefore, in an insulated garage, attention must be paid to regular ventilation or automated ventilation must be integrated.

Garage with insulation: what are the possibilities? (New building, prefabricated garages)

In principle, any type of garage can be insulated. This applies both to garages integrated into the house (there is even a need here), to garages attached to the house and to detached garages. In addition, both freely planned and prefabricated garages in uninsulated and insulated versions are possible.

All types of garages can be built from the beginning as well as with insulation or subsequently insulated. In the case of insulated prefabricated garages, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the insulation. In addition, it is important to check whether a suitable ventilation system has been integrated. But not only the garage itself should be insulated, but also the foundation should be built with integrated insulation layer.

Retrofitting garage insulation: What should be taken into account when insulating garages?

In the case of subsequent garage insulation, all elements over which a temperature exchange with the outside air takes place must be insulated. The easiest way is to install the insulation from the inside. For insulation from the outside, a specialist company must be commissioned – usually a roofing and façade construction company. Therefore, the individual steps for the subsequent garage insulation in the interior area will be shown below:

Insulating the garage floor

The garage floor can be subsequently insulated with thermal insulation panels. The insulation panels are laid on a vapor barrier layer. The final layer consists of screed.

Insulating the ceilings of the garage

Insulation panels are glued to the ceiling with mortar. The remaining joints are also filled with mortar. It is important that the ceiling insulation is pulled down on the wall so that there is a direct connection to the insulation of the garage wall. Otherwise, thermal or cold bridges are created.

Insulating the garage wall

The garage walls are also covered with insulation panels. It is important that there are no distances between the insulation boards. Not only can a heat-cold exchange take place here, but mold can form particularly easily in these cracks.

Insulating the garage door

The garage door should also be covered with insulation panels. In the case of so-called double-walled door plates, the cavities can alternatively be filled with construction foam. If you are looking for optimal garage insulation, you should also insulate the sides of the garage door.

Insulating doors and windows

If there is a door in a garage, it must also be insulated. Here it is necessary to proceed according to the principle that is applied to the garage door. Depending on how high the demands on the results are, simply glazed windows should be replaced. As a compromise, the panes can be provided with a thermal insulation film.

Result

In principle, all garages can be built with insulation or subsequently insulated. Whether this makes sense depends on the purpose of the garage. However, if you have a heated garage, you should also insulate it. In the case of garage insulation, the following points must be taken into account:

  • Quality of insulation: Both in terms of material and execution. Thermal/cold bridges should be avoided.
  • Garage doors, doors and windows must also be insulated.
  • Insulated garages must be ventilated regularly to prevent moisture damage (mold, rust).

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