Insulation

How to pick the best Shed or Garage insulation!

When deciding which shed or garage insulation is right for you there are so many key factors to look out for. Some of the biggest factors we have found are understanding heat transfer, where you are installing your insulation, and looking up the recommended R-Value for the area you wish to insulate. We have taken the time to find these answers for you. Take a look at this video from Mike Sammartano’s Youtube channel that better explains how to understand heat transfer and the three different ways it occurs. This video will explain heat transfer and how heat energy moves and gets from point A to point B.  The three different ways heat transferer occurs are conduction, convection, and radiation. 

Now that we understand heat transfer it is time to get into some of the other factors to consider when picking your shed or garage insulation material. In this article we are going to assume that we are talking about insulating your shed or garage. While insulating your shed or garage will definitely prove to be very helpful especially with the dreaded Florida summers it is important to note that you will not feel the full cooled effects if you do not plan to add an A/C unit in you structure. However insulating your structure will help to protect the valuables you store in it. Did you know that it is not recommend to store things like photos, paint and glue, clothing, and electronics in a hot environment. This is why picking the proper insulation for you shed can be the difference in maximizing your shed experience. With the proper insulation you shed will be at a much more bearable temperature.

Insulation can be a great upgrade to your shed whether you plan to put up dry wall or not. Insulation doesn’t have to just be for finished sheds. In the heat of Florida an insulated shed would be much nicer than a humid one! When it comes to keeping your shed insulated there are plenty of options but we took the time to select a few so that you could see a side by side comparison. Scroll down to take a peek at the comparison as well as a pros and cons list just a little below that.

How to pick the best Shed or Garage insulation!

When deciding which shed or garage insulation is right for you there are so many key factors to look out for. Some of the biggest factors we have found are understanding heat transfer, where you are installing your insulation, and looking up the recommended R-Value for the area you wish to insulate. We have taken the time to find these answers for you. Take a look at this video from Mike Sammartano’s Youtube channel that better explains how to understand heat transfer and the three different ways it occurs. This video will explain heat transfer and how heat energy moves and gets from point A to point B.  The three different ways heat transferer occurs are conduction, convection, and radiation. 

Now that we understand heat transfer it is time to get into some of the other factors to consider when picking your shed or garage insulation material. In this article we are going to assume that we are talking about insulating your shed or garage. While insulating your shed or garage will definitely prove to be very helpful especially with the dreaded Florida summers it is important to note that you will not feel the full cooled effects if you do not plan to add an A/C unit in you structure. However insulating your structure will help to protect the valuables you store in it. Did you know that it is not recommend to store things like photos, paint and glue, clothing, and electronics in a hot environment. This is why picking the proper insulation for you shed can be the difference in maximizing your shed experience. With the proper insulation you shed will be at a much more bearable temperature.

Let's compare the three most common insulations to see each benefits.

*Keep in mind that for maximum thermal performance and/or R- Value of insulation is dependent on proper installation.

Let's compare the three most common insulations to see each benefits.

*Keep in mind that for maximum thermal performance and/or R- Value of insulation is dependent on proper installation.

Types of Insulation:

Spray Foam

Foam Board

Fiberglass

Rock Wool

Cellulose

Reflective

R-Value For 1 in. of Material

6-6.5 (Closed Cell)

3.8-5

3.1-3.4

3.1-3.4

3.2-3.7

1-1.1

Resists Mold, Fungus & Bacteria

YES (Closed Cell)

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

Squeezes Into Cracks & Crevices

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

Reduces Air Infiltration 

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

NO

Doesn’t Emit Hazardous Particles

YES

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

High Effective Sound Barrier

YES (Open Cell)

NO

YES

YES

YES

NO

Won’t Settle over Time

Yes

Yes

NO

Yes

NO

Yes

Types of Insulation:

Spray Foam

Foam Board

Fiberglass

Rock Wool

Cellulose

Reflective

R-Value For 1 in. of Material

6-6.5 (Closed Cell)

3.8-5

3.1-3.4

3.1-3.4

3.2-3.7

1-1.1

Resists Mold, Fungus & Bacteria

YES (Closed Cell)

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

Squeezes Into Cracks & Crevices

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

Reduces Air Infiltration 

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

NO

Doesn’t Emit Hazardous Particles

YES

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

High Effective Sound Barrier

YES (Open Cell)

NO

YES

YES

YES

NO

Won’t Settle over Time

Yes

Yes

NO

Yes

NO

Yes

Pro vs. Cons

Pro and Con list can be a super effective way to narrow down options but a very time consuming thing to put together. We took the time to weigh some of the pro vs the cons so you don’t have to!  These are a few things you can keep in mid when picking your shed or garage insulation.

Pro and Con list can be a super effective way to narrow down options but a very time consuming thing to put together. We took the time to weigh some of the pro vs the cons so you don’t have to!  These are a few things you can keep in mid when picking your shed or garage insulation.

Spray Foam

Pros

*Spray foam insulation provides an airtight seal that is difficult to break

*Spray foam insulation can reduce the utility bills

*Closed Cell Spray foam insulation is impermeable to water, making this a great product to use when picking shed or garage insulation

*Spray foam insulation can deter mold and mildew buildup

*Spray foam insulation offers a longer lifespan compared to other products

*Spray foam insulation is an eco-friendly product

*Spray foam insulation can add strength to your walls and roof

*Spray foam insulation does not lose its R-value over time

*Protects against pest and rodents

Cons

*Spray foam insulation can sometimes shrink

*Spray foam insulation requires a lot of experience to get it right

*Spray foam insulation costs more to install than other options

*Spray Foam Requires a trained professional to be installed, DIY installation is not recommended for this material

Foam Board

Pros

*Foam Board offers a higher R-values compared to loose-fill insulation

*Polyiso board is manufactured with various facings (plastic or aluminum, for example) to further improve its R-value

*Installation requires no special equipment or extraordinary protection for workers

*Mid-priced, between expensive spray foams and low-cost blown and batt styles

Cons

* Foam Board insulation in wall cavities must be tightly fitted to stop air infiltration

*Joints between sheets and boards must be taped to prevent air flow

*The air bubbles inside expanded polystyrene board (EPS or beadboard) stop heat transfer but can accumulate moisture and thus become ineffective

*Extruded polystyrene board (XPS or blueboard) uses HCFCs in its production, which deplete the ozone layer

*Polyisocyanurate board (polyiso) uses the worst HCFCs in its production

*Polyiso suffers from decreasing R-values over time

 

Fiberglass

Pros

*Easy installation

*The material is noncombustible, or fire resistant

*Some fiberglass insulation uses recycled glass

*Fiberglass insulation is inexpensive

*Insects do not eat fiberglass insulation

 

Cons

*Protective gear must be worn when installing fiberglass insulation

*Improper insulation reduces efficiency

*Unless you use plastic-sealed batts, fiberglass insulation requires a vapor barrier to protect it from moisture.

*A lower efficiency overall

*Fiberglass blankets do not seal wall and ceiling spaces very tightly

*Inhaled slivers of fiberglass irritate the alveoli and can cause lung disease

*Some fiberglass insulation still uses formaldehyde as a binder

Rock Wool

Pros

*Made from tough and durable raw materials like steel slag and igneous rock

*Rock Wool helps with soundproofing

*It is dense and rigid, making it easier to make precise cuts

*Made from molten rock and steel residue, mineral wool is very tough and durable. 

*Rock Wool is naturally moisture-resistant

Cons

*Protective gear must be worn when installing mineral wool insulation: the tiny slivers will lodge in skin and are small enough to be inhaled

*Inhaled slivers of mineral wool irritate the alveoli and can cause lung disease

*The extreme density of Rockwool makes it heavy and unwieldy

*Requires an extensive manufacturing process, which drives up the price

*Rockwool is not biodegradable, which reduces its environmental benefits.

*The nature of mineral wool batts and rolls is that there will always be gaps when it is laid. This means that it is never 100% able to stop airflow and heat loss in your structure

Cellulose

Pros

*Cellulose is treated with boric acid, which increases fire resistance, resists mold and makes it unpalatable to insects

*It is eco-friendly and sustainable

*Blown-in insulation is useful in most application areas

*The health risks from cellulose are far fewer than those from fiberglass

Cons

*Installation costs for cellulose can be higher than for fiberglass

*Cellulose insulation creates an enormous amount of dust when it is installed, so a certified breathing mask is absolutely essential

*Dry-blown cellulose sags and settles, reducing its R-value over time

*Cellulose insulation absorbs moisture easily, which not only reduces long-term efficiency but can cause the insulation to mold and rot. Even wet-blown cellulose can suffer from these effects.

*Both dry- and wet-blown cellulose need a vapor barrier

Reflective

Pros

*Best used in warm climates to reflect heat

*Simple to install

*Does not deteriorate or compress like other inexpensive insulation materials

*Lightweight and not bulky

*Resistant to moisture

Cons

*Cannot be the only insulation in cold climates

*Does not provide any sound barrier effects

* Should be kept clean of dust which may pose some problems

*Not efficient to use in houses or buildings

*Low R-Value Permanence

*It can pose an electrical hazard

* Reflective insulation is a more costly product

Spray Foam

Foam Board

Fiberglass

Pros

*Spray foam insulation provides an airtight seal that is difficult to break

*Spray foam insulation can reduce the utility bills

*Closed Cell Spray foam insulation is impermeable to water

*Spray foam insulation can deter mold and mildew buildup

*Spray foam insulation offers a longer lifespan compared to other products

*Spray foam insulation is an eco-friendly product

*Spray foam insulation can add strength to your walls and roof

*Spray foam insulation does not lose its R-value over time

*Protects against pest and rodents

Cons

*Spray foam insulation can sometimes shrink

*Spray foam insulation requires a lot of experience to get it right

*Spray foam insulation costs more to install than other options

*Spray Foam Requires a trained professional to be installed, DIY installation is not recommended for this material

Pros

*Foam Board offers a higher R-values compared to loose-fill insulation

*Polyiso board is manufactured with various facings (plastic or aluminum, for example) to further improve its R-value

*Installation requires no special equipment or extraordinary protection for workers

*Mid-priced, between expensive spray foams and low-cost blown and batt styles

Cons

* Foam Board insulation in wall cavities must be tightly fitted to stop air infiltration

*Joints between sheets and boards must be taped to prevent air flow

*The air bubbles inside expanded polystyrene board (EPS or beadboard) stop heat transfer but can accumulate moisture and thus become ineffective

*Extruded polystyrene board (XPS or blueboard) uses HCFCs in its production, which deplete the ozone layer

*Polyisocyanurate board (polyiso) uses the worst HCFCs in its production

*Polyiso suffers from decreasing R-values over time

 

Pros

*Easy installation

*The material is noncombustible, or fire resistant

*Some fiberglass insulation uses recycled glass

*Fiberglass insulation is inexpensive

*Insects do not eat fiberglass insulation

 

Cons

*Protective gear must be worn when installing fiberglass insulation

*Improper insulation reduces efficiency

*Unless you use plastic-sealed batts, fiberglass insulation requires a vapor barrier to protect it from moisture.

*A lower efficiency overall

*Fiberglass blankets do not seal wall and ceiling spaces very tightly

*Inhaled slivers of fiberglass irritate the alveoli and can cause lung disease

*Some fiberglass insulation still uses formaldehyde as a binder

Rock Wool

Cellulose

Reflective

Pros

*Made from tough and durable raw materials like steel slag and igneous rock

*Rock Wool helps with soundproofing

*It is dense and rigid, making it easier to make precise cuts

*Made from molten rock and steel residue, mineral wool is very tough and durable. 

*Rock Wool is naturally moisture-resistant

Cons

*Protective gear must be worn when installing mineral wool insulation: the tiny slivers will lodge in skin and are small enough to be inhaled

*Inhaled slivers of mineral wool irritate the alveoli and can cause lung disease

*The extreme density of Rockwool makes it heavy and unwieldy

*Requires an extensive manufacturing process, which drives up the price

*Rockwool is not biodegradable, which reduces its environmental benefits.

*The nature of mineral wool batts and rolls is that there will always be gaps when it is laid. This means that it is never 100% able to stop airflow and heat loss in your structure

Pros

*Cellulose is treated with boric acid, which increases fire resistance, resists mold and makes it unpalatable to insects

*It is eco-friendly and sustainable

*Blown-in insulation is useful in most application areas

*The health risks from cellulose are far fewer than those from fiberglass

Cons

*Installation costs for cellulose can be higher than for fiberglass

*Cellulose insulation creates an enormous amount of dust when it is installed, so a certified breathing mask is absolutely essential

*Dry-blown cellulose sags and settles, reducing its R-value over time

*Cellulose insulation absorbs moisture easily, which not only reduces long-term efficiency but can cause the insulation to mold and rot. Even wet-blown cellulose can suffer from these effects.

*Both dry- and wet-blown cellulose need a vapor barrier

Pros

*Best used in warm climates to reflect heat

*Simple to install

*Does not deteriorate or compress like other inexpensive insulation materials

*Lightweight and not bulky

*Resistant to moisture

Cons

*Cannot be the only insulation in cold climates

*Does not provide any sound barrier effects

* Should be kept clean of dust which may pose some problems

*Not efficient to use in houses or buildings

*Low R-Value Permanence

*It can pose an electrical hazard

* Reflective insulation is a more costly product