The Importance of a Properly Insulated Garage

The Importance of a Properly Insulated Garage

Canadian’s love affair with big-ticket items, like cars and homes, can indicate many things like wealth or debt, and regardless of what side of that equation you’re on, you still need to take care of your stuff. That means having a garage, attached or detached, to protect your car. 

Garages are great, but every Canadian knows that working inside your garage is weather-dependent. I know it sounds strange, but the reality is that the temperature in an uninsulated garage still fluctuates with the outdoor conditions, and effectively reducing its usability at different points in the year. To this point, Mike Holmes in a National Post column, notes that “A properly insulated garage is a safety must.”

Mr. Holmes, like many of us, uses his garage to “get away from all the chaos, to unplug and decompress.” A garage, this unique cultural space, and a car park are great for storing tools, building materials and extra stuff like tires and bikes.



When a garage is attached to your home, the most important thing is to make sure it’s sealed properly to keep fumes, exhaust, and carbon monoxide out of the house. This often means proper insulation.

In new construction, some developers have used a wall cavity in the garage as a return air duct to feed the furnace - you never want to use the inside of your garage as an air return. First, minute particles are being pulled inside your home, like car exhaust, that your family is now breathing and it’s an uninsulated opening into your home. You also need to consider fire protection: install a 20-minute fire-rated door between the garage and the inside of the house, and, your door should be about an inch thick and self-closing.

If there’s a room above the garage, unless there’s insulation, it’s going to be cold. This is where spray-foam insulation can provide a thermal break, and closed-cell spray foam gives you a barrier between the carbon monoxide and the inside of your home also.

If the garage is heated you should definitely insulate. If it isn’t, you don’t want to insulate; doing so can cause mildew. There are times when it makes sense to insulate your garage, such as when you routinely use it as a workshop, you need to keep the space comfortable. Also, if you plan on remodeling the garage to use as an actual room, it makes sense to insulate it in preparation for the transformation into the usable living space that many homeowners desire.

If you have raw framing in your garage, simply add insulation between the studs and apply a drywall finish. And as with any insulation project, sealing gaps around windows and outlets is an important part of battling drafts and air leaks. This is about controlling the temperature and comfort in the garage itself. When you consider how often you use the space, your comfort alone is worth the effort to insulate.



If your garage needs insulation, or if you have questions about insulation services, contact Reitzel Insulation at 226-241-9991 today for more information on our five-year workmanship warranty and our second-to-none project clean-up procedures. We serve HamiltonMississaugaKitchener-WaterlooGuelphBrantfordOakville, and Burlington.


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