How dangerous is it to have exposed insulation in a garage

I just bought a house that has exposed insulation in the ceiling without a drywall

covering. I do park a car in the garage

and was wondering how dangerous this might be.

Fiberglass insulation is fireproof, although if the vapor barrier is paper, that will burn. Is this garage attached to the house? If so, this might be a building code violation.

Definitely a code violation; even fiberglass needs to be covered to protect you from the fibers which will find their way into you car’s A/C system. If it’s covered with aluminum foil, it will likely meet code, otherwise you will need to drywall over it.

Won’t fiberglass insulation also find its way into your lungs? Cover it up with drywall, plywood, or particle board.

This is not especially dangerous. we assume the vapor barrier forces the interior of the garage. Its chief drawback is aesthetics. There is no urgency to deal with this situation.

It is very dangerous if it is the wall between your home and the garage. That needs to be drywalled. Drywall is a fire proofing. If it is an outside wall, it is not bad IF you have a vapor barrier as it will help keep the fibers in place, but I would (and did) cover it anyway.

If the garage is attached to the house and the insulation is between the garage and the house it needs to be covered with fireproof drywall. All other walls are NOT in violation. The only way the fiberglass particles become air-born is when the fiberglass is moved. As long as it’s just sitting there in the walls it’s NOT going to be a problem.

In the garage, cover it with PEG BOARD and your tool and implement organization is a snap.

Assuming you have wood floor joists and sheathing This is a code violation.

It needs to be covered with fire barrier sheetrock, which is slightly thicker than normal sheetrock. It’s readily available at any big box hardware store.

That would only be a violation if there’s a room above the garage. I have insulation in my garage ceiling, but there isn’t a room above it.

Good point.

I agree.

Most codes require firecore sheetrock on the common wall between living space and garage, on the garage side. A vapor barrier is on the HEATED side so it may be behind or above the insulation. This can vary by city. Firecore is not only thicker but also has fibers (i forget if its fiberglass) and has a rating by an “x” to denote time of resistance. A flame retardant poly is acceptable too in most cases. And the covering of the insulation that docnick refers to is IIRC to also cover the wood framing.

The insulation in the real world is pretty inert as long as it is intact. The covering that is typically required(building code) is fire rated dry wall. It basically gives you an extra minute or two before the whole thing goes up, that is all. Just install a loud smoke alarm or hardwire on to others for general safety measure and extra in this case.

Type X drywall has a 60 minute fire rating. However, the actual fire resistance is dependent on the entire wall structure.