An experienced homeowner will have you know that garage door insulation (and a properly-installed one at that) is extremely important for your home. It effectively encapsulates your car garage against the extreme temperatures outside – a boon if you’ve got your home workshop in there.
During the winter, it prevents your garage from becoming incredibly cold and too hot in the summer. However, using a garage door insulation kit will target vulnerable areas within the door to prevent heat from escaping in the cold or heat coming in when it’s hot. Just garage doors, whether steel, wood, or steel, may be useful in blocking out strong winds, but they are not effective when it comes to maintaining a comfortable temperature.
So, if you’re not prepared to add a thousand extra dollars to your garage remodel cost by buying a pre-insulated model, consider gearing up the garage door you have got with some quality insulation.
Still not convinced? Read on.
Why go for garage door insulation?
In addition to helping you save money and protecting your valuables, an insulated door tends to travel up and down much smoother, rattling far less than typical garage doors. Not only is the door quieter but your house is too. For many people, an insulated door is also a sound barrier to the ruckus outside. Anyone living on the busy road should consider installing an insulated garage door to keep out the noise pollution entering through their garage space.
A comparison of insulated garage doors
If you are buying a garage door with in-built insulation, you may see different values, such as R-value and U-factor, attached to them. They measure the effectiveness of the insulation.
An R-value of a garage door refers to its ability to slow the transmission of heat. Greater the R-value, slower the transmission of heat. This translates to less cold air leaking into your space during winter and less heat invading it in the summer. Therefore, the higher the R-value, the better it is!
Though not used as frequently as R-value, U-factor refers to the flow of heat through a material. The lower the U-factor, the better. Generally, these are not used across all residential garage doors manufacturers. Hence, it’s best to focus on R-value.
Keep in mind that you should match your garage door to an insulation that’s easy to install and perfect for your climate. Here are some popular types of garage door insulation for your house.
Types of garage door insulation
Any type of premium insulation will boost the energy efficiency of your garage doors. And, will lessen your energy bills to a large extent. So, which insulation must you choose for your garage? Here is a list of the most popular kinds to apply to the back end of garages.
Foam board insulation
These rigid panels are typically made of polystyrene foam, providing a high insulating value for relatively little thickness. Panels usually range from 0.5 inches thick to 1 inch. The foam board is often faced with aluminum or vinyl.
Since it is considered one of the most flexible insulations, batt is commonly made of fiberglass and is often found stuffed into exterior walls. It is usually backed by foil or paper, which act as air barriers. The insulating values are R-3 to R-4 per inch of thickness. Cost is about 30 cents per square foot.
The rolls of reflective insulation have highly reflective aluminum foil applied to either or both sides of insulating materials, such as polyethylene bubbles and cardboard. This type of insulation, in particular, reflects radiant heat, making it an excellent insulation choice for garages that heat up quickly in the summer months or hot climates.
How to execute a garage door insulation project?
Studies done by garage door manufacturers have proved that an energy-efficient R-18 insulated garage door (for instance, the Owens Corning garage door insulation kit) can keep your garage around 12 degrees warmer in the winter and around 25 degrees cooler in summer. How? It reduces the loss of energy along the ceiling and insulated walls.
A new R-18 garage door costs around $1400; so it doesn’t pay to replace yours based on the energy savings alone. However, you can add insulation, doorstop weather stripping, and a new bottom seal to your existing garage door to gain some comfort as well as savings. The project can be completed in about 4 hours under $200. You just have to buy the relevant materials from any home center and gather up a tape measure, straightedge, saw, dusk mask, a utility knife, a hammer, and nails. Here is a summary of how to do it.
1. Buy the necessary materials
You can easily purchase two kinds of garage door insulation kits at local home centers. An R-8 vinyl-faced fiberglass batting kit. It provides high value since it takes two kits to insulate a typical 16-ft wide garage door. Or, you can purchase a pre-cut R-4 expanded polystyrene (EPS) panel foam online. Just cut the panel to length and bend-snap it into the horizontal rails of your garage door.
Next, you can buy enough doorstop vinyl weather stripping to seal the upper sides of your garage door. You will also require a new vinyl bottom seal to fit your existing track.
2. Measure, mark, and install
The next step is to measure, mark and install the retainer pins. Locate the spot that is 12 inches from each edge of the panel (and midway between the horizontal rails).
Mark the location, peel off the adhesive backing paper and press the retainer pin base onto the panel.
Next, install two retainer pins on each panel. Wash each door panel with household cleaning spray and rags. Before installing the pins, make sure to rinse the area with clean water and let it dry.
3. Lock the batting in place
Then, line up the insulation — ensuring that it’s centered in the panel and push it against the retaining pin till it punches through the vinyl facing. Push the retaining cap over the pin until it falls into place with a snap.
Do not pre-cut all the panels based on a single measurement. The reason is that panel sizes may vary in a garage, so make sure to measure each one separately. Carefully fit the cut insulation into the panel with the vinyl side facing straight into the garage and secure into the retaining pins.
4. Mount the doorstop weather stripping
Start this step from the top of the door and tack the doorstop weather stripping to the top jamb. Then mount the side doorstops the same way, pressing against the door to simulate how much it might move in the strong winter winds.
You can then readjust the doorstep, so it seals against the garage even in windy conditions. Then pound the cells along the way. If you can see the light through the doorstop weather stripping or in case the door has too much to play to adjust the doorstop correctly, replace the existing hinges with spring-loaded versions so that they remain intact with the weather stripping regardless of the weather conditions.
Read more: Garage Door Tips To Improve Your Curb Appeal
5. Slide in the new bottom seal
You can slather some local dishwashing liquid detergent onto the door slots along the bottom track or spray them with silicone. Then insert the vinyl seal and pull it carefully into place. Scrape off the excess vinyl with a utility knife, crimping the ends of the track with a pair of pliers. Then install the new one.
6. Test the door
A properly balanced garage door would stay in place if you lift it part-way and let go. Insulation, however, adds weight to the door, throwing it off balance. In case your door falls after you let go of it, hire a garage door service company to readjust the spring tension. Leaving the door in a consistent unbalanced state can damage your garage door opener.
Any garage door insulation project will significantly increase its weight. The extra pounds are not usually a big problem if you have at least 9 foot wide doors. But still, it can substantially strain the opening mechanism of bigger garage doors. If anything of this sort happens and the garage door’s spring extension needs a readjustment, a professional garage door repair company should be called in.
Going for a garage door insulation cuts your energy bills and street noise significantly. We hope our comprehensive guide helps you in choosing a garage door insulation that’s perfect for your home.