Weatherproofing Your Garage is a Vital ProjectNovember 28th 2011
When we think about keeping the heat in our homes, weather-stripping is considered a cost effective way to help keep the heat in. Weather-stripping is installed around walk-in doors and windows, but an area often overlooked, that causes a major impact around your home; especially during the winter months is your garage.
Garage doors should be weather stripped especially if the garage is under bedrooms or living space. Cold winds blowing in and around garage doors can cause discomfort especially on the floors, by cooling the hot air furnace ducts running within the floor joists, unless it is a heated garage.
Using garage door weather stripping around the perimeter of the door on the wood frame, and convex rubber door stripping on the bottom of the door will give you the weatherproofing required.
After weather stripping the garage door, it is most important to vent the cavity of the garage, as moisture will need to get out by means of proper ventilation. A simple way would be to install 8 x 8 wall vents at the top of a wall, 6 inches from the plate, and at the bottom of the wall, 6 inches from the plate. This will allow the moisture to evaporate and exit through the passive wall vents.
A WizzVent is an item that can control moisture in your garage. It is a multipurpose moisture control unit, which is suited for areas such as this. It monitors any increase in humidity and will respond automatically to maintain humidity levels. This unit is easy to install as well, you simply cut a 4.5-inch hole in the outside wall, no more than a foot from the floor. Fasten the unit to the wall, attach the vent cover to the outside wall and plug in.
Wood or single skinned steel garage doors can be insulated using as a foil type insulation such as Reflectix, keeping your garage cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Properly weatherproofing your home will help you keep the warm air in, saving you money on your utility bills with the added benefit of having a more comfortable home.
Insulating Unheated Garages
To insulate an unheated garage, you must first strap the inside of the building, then apply rigid foam insulation (a minimum of 1 inch thickness.) Remember to install your 2 vents on opposing walls, at least 6 inches in diameter. Finish the inside of the building with thin plywood wall paneling (NOT Drywall) over the foam insulation doing both walls and the underside of the roof.
Tips on Wood Garage Doors
Garage doors should always be painted or stained on the inside as well as the outside including top, bottom and side edges. Remove rubber weather-stripping from the bottom of the door and reinstall after finishing. Wooden garage doors with panels should be caulked using acrylic latex caulking around the inside of the panels (where the panels insert into the door frame) before painting or staining. All wood garage doors over 12 feet wide with automatic door mechanisms should have a sag eliminator device installed to eliminate any chance of the door sagging in the middle (commonly known as a garage door smile: up at the sides and down in the middle).
When vehicles are parked in a garage during the winter months with snow and ice melting off, there must be ventilation provided, which allows the moisture to evaporate and escape without condensing on your garage door or windows.
When moisture evaporates it increases the relative humidity within the space. By installing 2 vents in your garage, as described above, this will allow air currents to vent the garage space, lowering the relative humidity. Therefore no moisture will condense. These vents should have an outside wall rain cap and an inside adjustable diffuser to control air flow.
Relative Humidity will always take the least line of resistance thereby taking the easy way out through the vents, leaving no puddles, drippy doors or windows.
Garage Door Tune-Up
Your garage door does need to be maintained from time to time, as springs, hinges and bolts can come loose, making your garage door drafty, noisy, and even warp in some cases. Older steel wheels are very noisy, and must be maintained with grease or oil. These outdated rollers can easily be replaced with nylon rollers which are much quieter than the metal rollers, require no oil, no maintenance, and will last twice as long as the older style metal rollers.