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Insulating a Garage... in South Florida

Hey guys,

I live in South Florida, specifically... growing zone 10b (for you Roger Cook fans). I'm very interested in enhancing the efficiency of my home, and improving the conditions of the garage. Unlike most other homes in the US, it stays relatively warm throughout most of the year in South Florida. In the winter time, we basically open our windows... most homes don't even have heat. In any case, I wanted to know if there is any benefit to insulating my attached 2-car garage. In the summer, the garage is insanely hot. I figured maybe the garage needed better ventilation, so I opened the attic door, and all that did was make the garage even hotter. I understand the benefits of retaining heat during the winter for homes that are north of Florida, but is there any benefit to insulating to keep the heat out? My garage door is new and well sealed, but I was thinking of possibly using the expanding foam on the inside of the aluminum doors pockets, and sealing it off. I also thought about replacing the side door of the garage to the outside as well.

If I do insulate the garage, can I expect the garage to remain cooler through most of the day, and possibly even help keep the rest of the house somewhat cooler?

Thanks guys!!!

(Some obligatory pictures of my garage, note, those massive beams on the garage doors are required to meet Miami-Dade hurricane code)

Re: Insulating a Garage... in South Florida

I think I would start by insulating the ceiling of the garage first to keep the heat from the attic from radiating doen into the garage. as little as an R-11 blanket can make a big difference, R-19 would be better. Then add a vent near the ceiling and one near the floor so that you get a chimney affect to remove hot air.

MLB Construction
Re: Insulating a Garage... in South Florida

read this earlier and wanted to think about it for a while. i really think the answer is #1 ventilation, #2 insulation. i would install 1 or 2 roof vents, assuming this is not a flat roof, on each side or the peak to remove the hot air from the attic space which would drastically cool out the attic space. then wall and garage ceiling insulation to keep the temp more even.

Re: Insulating a Garage... in South Florida

You are looking at "mission almost impossible". The above suggestions might help some, but the investment will be large. Why do you want your garage cooler? do you spend time there during the summer?

If you want to insulate your new garage door, use pre-cut insulation foams to go in the sections, not expanding foam.

Re: Insulating a Garage... in South Florida

Thanks guys! I really appreciate the responses.

Yeah, I do spend a lot of time in the garage, even during the summer.

I was also told in a few places that by insulating the garage, it also helps keep the rest of the house cooler too.

So I do have a few roof vents, it's a hip roof, and there are vents all along the underside of the eves... but it still gets hot. I have an area where there's a covered side-patio that doesn't really get used, and I was thinking of installing a thermostatically controlled attic exhaust fan there.

I can't really insulate the walls since two of the walls are solid concrete, and the other two are already insulated, but have the "House Wall" stuff on it.

I noticed my attic doesn't really have very much insulation... so maybe that's where I'll start.

Thanks guys!

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