Tuck Under Garage Ceiling Insulation
Garage ceilings are usually located under bedrooms and bathrooms and often have cold and uncomfortable floors. The common walls and ceiling of the garage are covered with drywall as required by the building code as a fire safety requirement. The seams and corners of the drywall should be taped and sealed with joint compound, referred to as “firetape”, to provide a true fire barrier to the living area.
These garage ceilings can be framed with joists, wood trusses, wood I-beams or steel beams, creating distinct cavities that all share a common problem — the insulation in the cavity rests on the ceiling of the garage and drops away from the floor above it is supposed to be insulating. To be effective, the insulation layer between the cold garage and the heated bedroom floor needs to be continuous, from top to bottom. When there is a gap between the insulation and the floor above, its the same as having little or no insulation: the space between the insulation and the floor fills with cold air infiltrating from the outside walls and drops the temperature of the floor. This is why we commonly find insulation in garage ceilings, but it has little effect!
The cure is simple: to eliminate the gaps by filling each cavity with blown insulation so that the insulation fills the space completely, densely, and permanently. This is done by “dense-packing” — blowing a finely milled small-sized fibrous insulation, either cellulose or fiberglass, through a small diameter tube with a high pressure blowing machine. The material can be packed thoroughly by “overfilling” the cavity and creating such a mass that the material stays in contact with the floor above and does not shrink away from the floor over time.
Garage ceilings are insulated by drilling one or two rows of small two and one half inch holes across the ceiling so that the insulation tube can be inserted and manipulated around the cavity to fill it to capacity. When done, the holes are plugged and patched with joint compound to restore the fire barrier as required.
Reasons for Removing Old Insulation:
- Smoke or water damage. Water can breed mold and all issues with that.
- Bat feces and other Rodents.
- Ice Dams — the best possible solution for air sealing.
- Allow access to leaks and possible sealing opportunities
- Best access to attic bypasses (click to explanation of attic bypass)
- Upgrading your insulation to a newer more efficient cost saving, comfort creating, healthy, green option.