Garage Insulation Q&A


Old 10-14-09, 01:48 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 1
Garage Insulation Q&A

I would like to put insulation between the beams in my unheated, non insulated garage. Between one set of beams, running about halfway through, is a steampipe that runs up to the living room radiator. Sometimes the gap between the steam pipe and floor above is a few inches, towards the wall it is flush.

Can I put insulation in between that entire beam on and over the steam pipe without any fire issues?

Should it be unfaced batt or can I put faced in? If faced, should there be a gap between the face and the bottom of the floor?

Lastly, when done, can I choose to leave the insulation open to the air or is it better to cover it (plywood or sheetrock or other)?

Many thanks

Jordan Gerhard
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Old 10-14-09, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,995
Hi Jordan,
A steam pipe would not be a fire hazard. Although the kraft paper on faced insulation is not really a good vapor barrier, it can get tou in trouble if it is in the wrong place. I would put it to the inside of the garage as that is the side you want to stay a bit warmer, however, I would also recommend you cover it with something that provides an air barrier, plywood, osb, or sheetrock will all work, if you seal the seams. Or cover with 4 mil plastic before you put up the air barrier.

If you have an uninsulated steam pipe as part of your heating system running through an unheated garage, it may be costing you a bundle. All steam pipes need to be well insulated.

Some reading: Energy Savers: Vapor Barriers or Vapor Diffusion Retarders


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