Insulating over garage

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Old 01-09-15, 07:33 PM
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Insulating over garage

Hello,

I live in a two story home in FL and want to use the space above my (non-A/C) garage as storage, but I'm not sure how to protect it from extreme heat. I want to store seasonal items that could be damaged by the higher temps.

Currently there's an access in the ceiling (towards the back wall) of the garage. This opening gives access to the plumbing under the master bath. This space is sealed off to the other 2/3 of the space above the garage using insulation.

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When you peel back this insulation, you can see hanging plywood that belongs to an exterior wall.

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(looking through to the open space)
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(a view from the unused space towards the back of the insulated area)

Rather than trying to cut this plywood and find myself squeezing through a very narrow space, I'm planing to cut an add'l opening in the drywall on the other side of this barrier to install an attic ladder and lay particle board as a floor.

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This volume of air already has vents in the eaves & has a vent nearly at the ridge. (seen in the lower middle part of this pic)

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Here come the questions...
  • What parts do I need to insulate; between the ceiling joists, between the rafters or both?
  • If I need to insulate the between the rafters, do I need to install ventilation ducts under the insulation?
  • What is the least expensive option that I can install? (Styrofoam, fiberglass, etc)
  • Do I need to pull a permit to do this?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:19 AM
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Attic spaces are meant to replicate the outside temperature of the structure and temper the air via ventilation. Insulation on the ceiling joists buffers this heat/cold and keeps the living space "livable". You won't gain anything but moisture in the attic if you insulate the roof rafters. Providing eave and ridge ventilation is the best way to equalize the heat/cold in an attic. It will never be temperate up there, especially in Florida, unless you build insulated knee walls and a ceiling system and condition the air, which may prove to be expensive and less than perfect.

Bud9051 will be along shortly with much better solution/advice.
 
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Old 01-10-15, 05:37 AM
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Good morning,
Chandler covered it well.
@pollito <I'm not sure how to protect it from extreme heat. I want to store seasonal items that could be damaged by the higher temps.>
Without a source of cooling that attic will hit temperatures well above the outside temperature on sunny days. There are steps you can take to minimize the heat rise up there, but expecting something less than 120° to 140° is unrealistic.

As Chandler suggested you could build a well insulated space and add air conditioning, but at a cost. I'm not following all of your pictures, but I do see trusses and they, unfortunately, do not lend themselves to converting an attic to storage. They can have load limitations as well. I'm also concerned about code required fire and smoke barriers between the garage and the living space. That attic hatch should be self closing and fire rated. I'm not a pro on the fire barrier issues, just concerned.

Any cool basement space that benefits from the ac used in the house?

Bud
 
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Old 01-10-15, 06:26 AM
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No basements to speak of in Florida. One thing about the barrier wall. The barrier must contain a self closing door and it must be of a size for fire fighting personnel to transverse. You may want to consult your local authorities on what that size would be. You must keep smoke and heat at bay between the two structures, even though they are connected with a common wall. In addition, any door leading from the garage to the main house must be fire rated and have self closing apparatus attached, whether it be a closer or hinge springs.
 
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