A garage was originally designed as storage for motor vehicles. However, throughout the years, a garage is now being used as storage for various types of materials like paints, gasoline, sprays, and other types of chemicals. With this being the norm today, a garage needs to be well maintained to protect not only your cars but also all the materials that are being stored in it.
Garage maintenance should now include proper insulation to protect such materials from extreme changes in the weather. With certain chemicals being stored in a garage, there can be possible danger whenever the area becomes too hot or too cold at certain times especially in a country like Canada that experiences extreme climate changes all year long.
In addition, insulation is another way to help lessen energy costs in your garage and house. By applying or installing the proper type of insulation, the temperature within the garage will be balanced all day long. There are different types of insulation that can be installed on your garage. In this article, the focus will be the use of spray foam insulation.
Different types of garage insulation
Before focusing your attention to spray foam insulation, it is recommended for you to get an idea of some of the other types of insulation that can be done to your garage. The list below shows information on some of the more common insulation types:
Fiberglass blanket roll/batt
- One of the most commonly used insulation for garages.
- Extremely fine glass fibers are used to make a fiberglass blanket.
- It is designed to be placed between wall studs and ceiling joists.
- It can be easily cut to fit smaller areas.
- It is designed to slow the rate of heat and cold spreading into the garage.
- This type involves blowing into areas the insulation material which is composed of recycled newspaper that is treated by a fire retardant.
- The cellulose is also aerated by the blowing machine which in turn fluffs it up to cover the cracks and gaps of the surface of finished garage walls and ceilings.
Rigid foam board
- A foam board is usually composed of extruded or expanded materials such as polystyrene or polyisocyanurate.
- It can be used on garage walls and doors.
- It can reduce heat conduction and also provides good thermal resistance.
What is spray foam insulation?
Being one of the widely used insulation solutions for the past 20 or so years, spray foam insulation has been preferred, not only for military use, but also for house and building application. Spray foam insulation is polyurethane based and is applied by spraying the mixture, isocyanate and resin, on to the surfaces of roofs, ceilings, attics, internal walls, and other areas of a building structure. It is usually sprayed on to gaps and cracks that may let hot or cold air pass in and out of the building.
When the chemicals touch the surface, the mixture turns into a foam-like texture. The foam then covers up the gaps and cracks which in turn insulates the structure. There are 2 kinds of spray foam insulation to choose from depending on the location and coverage. Open cell spray foam is a soft low-density material which is suited for interior application. This kind can be applied on attics, basements, roof deck, and wall cavities.
It can improve the air quality within the building and it also helps lessen the volume of sound or noise coming from the outside. Open cell spray foam allows for moisture permeability for the purpose of moisture management. The other kind is called closed cell spray foam. It is a rigid medium-density material that helps improve the impact resistance of walls. It is intended for both indoor and outdoor application. Having a closed cell composition, it has stronger protection against water damage, which makes it a bit more expensive than the open cell spray foam.
Cost of using spray foam to insulate a garage
Application can be done by anyone with the use of proper tools and safety equipment as the chemicals, when incorrectly applied, can be harmful to the health. With that being said, it is recommended to be done by professionals who are more familiar with the correct steps and processes. When thinking about the costs to insulate a garage, one should consider the current state of the garage.
Spray foam insulation is applied on open wall cavities. One must identify which walls and surfaces are finished or not as different types of installation may be needed to be applied on different areas of the garage. In addition, experts know if there will be issues with the chemicals if the result turns up with the foam being either too soft or the foam turns brittle. However, to get an idea of the cost for spray foam to insulate your garage, some variables need to be factored in.
Let us use the following information on the average costs of labor and materials to get a rough estimate on the costs:
Project: Applying spray foam insulation on the garage door and ceiling
- Garage door area: 90 sq.ft.
- Garage ceiling area: 200 sq.ft.
- Closed spray foam insulation: average price per sq.ft. for R-7 is CAD 1.30
- Labor & installation (includes other materials needed, preparation, installation, & cleanup): average price per sq.ft. is CAD 1.15
With the information above you can first compute for the cost to insulate the garage door first. This can be done by multiplying the average price per sq.ft. of the R-7 closed spray foam insulation to the total area of the garage door. The amount would come up to CAD 117. Then the labor & installation cost per square foot is multiplied to the total garage door area. This results in CAD 90. By adding up both results, you can get the cost of insulating the garage door which comes up to CAD 207.
Next is to compute for the cost of insulating the garage ceiling. Just like the previous computation, you can first multiply the area covered by the garage ceiling and the price per sq.ft. of the spray foam insulation. The amount for this is CAD 260. Then by multiplying the garage ceiling area to the labor and installation per sq.ft., the amount would come up to CAD 200. Adding the costs in relation to the garage ceiling, the amount to insulate the area is CAD 460. To get the total project cost, by adding both of the costs to insulate both the garage ceiling and door, the amount of the project will be CAD 667.
Advantages of applying spray foam insulation to the garage
Insulating the garage is an expense that gives a long-term benefit to the owner. Choosing which type of insulation may rely mostly on the cost of the labor and materials. Compared to some of the common types of insulation, spray foam insulation is known to cost a bit more than some of them. However, each type of insulation has its respective advantages. By looking at the list below, you will get better idea on why the cost of spray foam installation is worth it:
Since a garage with no insulation will retain hot and cold spots within the garage, any heating and cooling systems that you have installed will continuously work inefficiently. But by applying spray foam insulation on the ceiling and garage doors, the temperature within the garage is regulated. This would result in considerable savings on your energy bill.
A typical setup of a garage is that it is usually connected to the house. If the garage has no insulation installed, there is always the chance for the hot or cold air to seep into the house which in turns affects the energy efficiency within the house. But a properly insulated garage will prevent this from happening.
With the insulation material being able to cover tight spaces, spray foam insulation is the best way to prevent water from seeping into small holes and cracks in your garage. This prevents mold and mildew from forming. In addition, this type of insulation is known for its water resisting characteristic. This means that water is not absorbed nor retained which avoids any form of molding in any parts of the garage.
As it seals even the smallest areas of the garage, the amount of outdoor noise is reduced. In addition, if you tend to use the garage as a workshop, the sound of any power tools being used can also be toned down if there is spray foam insulation applied on the garage doors. This is because the insulating material prevents sound from traveling.
Maintenance is not a problem for spray foam insulation. The insulation material is known to retain its shape for a long time due to its draft protection and water resistant quality. It is less susceptible to wear and tear.
Since the garage is an extension of the house, you must also treat and maintain your garage the same way as you do with your house. Insulation is very important for houses and garages in Canada as there are extreme changes in weather conditions throughout the year. Insulation not only saves you from increased energy bills, but it also prolongs the quality of your home. Though it may seem easy to do, you must always be cautious when it comes to applying chemical based products on to your home.
Always remember that incorrect mixing and application may incur long term issues that may become costly to fix in the future. With that being said, there are always professionals who are ready to help maintain your home. Here are at Foam Insulation Company, our team of experts will always be open to help guide you on your insulation needs. Just call us at (416) 880-1927.