Cozy Up: How To Keep The Room Above Your Garage Warm

Is the room directly above your garage colder than the rest of your house? If so, the cold air in your garage is likely rising through the floor. This is a common problem, as most people have unheated garages. Unlike the other rooms in your house, which share most of their walls with adjoining rooms, the walls of the room above your garage are exposed to the outside and are usually under-insulated in either the floors, walls, or both. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to maintain a comfortable temperature in the room year-round. Here’s what you should do.


Put down a carpet or rug and hang drapes

If the room has wood or tile flooring, you can add some warmth by installing a wall-to-wall carpet or rugs (the thicker the better). Moreover, having heavy, insulated drapes on the windows will help to prevent heat from escaping the room. Embrace the theme by including plush throw pillows or Moroccan floor cushions.  Weatherproofing windows can also help.


Upgrade the insulation in your garage’s ceiling

The ceiling in your garage is likely already insulated. However, it may not be insulated to the extent it should be. Commonly, building companies insulate garage ceilings with fibreglass batts. However, this type of insulation leaves gaps through which the cold air in your garage can pass. Spray foam insulation is much more effective, as it fills the entire ceiling cavity, closing off any paths allowing airflow.

Spray foam can be installed around existing insulation or can replace the batt insulation once it has been removed. To install the spray foam, the ceiling drywall will need to be removed and redone afterward.

If you don’t know whether your garage ceiling has batts or spray foam (or whether it has insulation of any kind), you can remove a sheet of plywood or cut a small hole in the drywall and look inside.


Add insulation to the room’s floors

Adding floor insulation to the room over the garage is another option. The insulation won’t be nearly as thick as the insulation in your garage ceiling, but it generally costs less to install.

The floors in your home contain two or three layers. The top layer is the finished floor; the surface you see and walk on, which may be wood, carpeting, tile, vinyl, or another material. The bottom layer, which rests on the joists, is the subfloor, a thick layer typically of plywood or oriented strand board that serves to provide structural support. Another layer, known as the underlayment, may be sandwiched between those two. Underlayment is meant to provide a smooth, consistent surface for the finished floor but can also serve as insulation.

There are a number of underlayment products on the market that contain materials such as synthetic cork or polystyrene insulation, which have excellent insulating properties. These aren’t difficult to install; however, the process will involve removing and afterward reinstalling the finished floor.


Ensure that your heating system is working well

Good heating is essential. If you have central heating in your home but it doesn’t extend to the room over your garage, you may decide to have additional ductwork and registers put in by a contractor. If this isn’t feasible, you have several other options.

The simplest solution is to get a space heater, which will circulate heat throughout the room. Alternatively, you could have an electric fireplace installed. Though fireplaces aren’t cheap to install, they’re efficient and attractive.

Another option you may want to consider is radiant floor heating. With this type of system, heat is circulated through flexible tubing installed beneath the floor. This warms the floor and allows heat to radiate throughout the room.

Replace the insulation in the walls and ceiling

It’s important that the room has good insulation. Inspecting what you currently have in the walls and ceiling will require cutting into the drywall. If the insulation is of poor quality, badly installed, thin, or old, you may choose to have it replaced. Again, spray foam is the ideal option.


Choose a high R-value garage door

Another approach you can you take is to make your garage warmer and thereby eliminate the problem of cold air passing through the ceiling. Having a well-insulating garage door is helpful in this regard.

Insulation levels for garage doors are measured by an R-value (or, less commonly, a U-value). The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. A value of at least R-11 is recommended for garage doors in Canada.

To learn more about R-values and U-values, read our comprehensive article on this topic.

Of course, if you want to completely eliminate cold air in your garage, you’ll have to heat it (and possibly replace the wall insulation). This can be a costly option, so it typically only makes sense if you decide to convert your garage into a living space.

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At Creative Door Services, we offer a vast selection of quality garage doors designed to keep out the cold. For more information about our products and installation services, contact our team today!

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