Are you thinking about insulating your garage door before the winter hits? Good idea. These days, many homeowners use their garage for more than just storage; it’s a space where hobbyists, fall and winter sports enthusiasts and crafters can escape the bustle of the household and enjoy a little room all on their own.
In addition to increasing the comfort of your garage’s interior, garage door insulation can also save money on your heating and cooling expenses. Since garages are typically under-insulated, they can diminish interior comfort levels in the living spaces adjacent to the garage wall. This means your HVAC system has to work overtime in order to keep your home at the preferred thermostat setting.
Not sold? Consider that trials performed by garage door companies show that a garage door with R-18 insulation can keep a garage at least 10° F warmer in the cooler months and as much as 20°+ F cooler during the hot months. That’s a temperature change worth striving for.
Garage Door Insulation is a DIY Job
Unlike the majority of garage doors and replacements, which are best left to the professionals, upgrading the insulation on your garage door is a pretty simple DIY job.
Note: If your garage door is outdated and/or needs to be replaced, don’t waste your time on DIY insulation. Instead, replace your door with a new, efficient and already insulated version instead. Read, Is it Time to Replace That Garage Door?, to determine whether it’s time to invest in a new model.
If you plan to do the insulation yourself, here are a few tips to get you started.
Decide which garage door insulation kit is right for you
There are a few different options. The first and best, in our opinion, is an R-8 vinyl-faced fiberglass garage door insulation kit. It comes in kits for single garage doors, so you’ll probably need to purchase two or more kits. These panels are the highest insulation options in the DIY insulation market.
You also have the option of purchasing R-4 precut R-4 expanded polystyrene (EPS) panel foam kits. In our mellow climate, the R-4 insulation might be sufficient. However, even here in the Bay Area our nights and winters are cool enough that the R-8 kit is a better option – especially if your garage does double as a recreational or livable space.
Alternately, some homeowners choose to use 1 ½-inch thick foil-faced fire-rated extruded polystyrene. This option will slightly increase the R-value. However, your cuts need to be very exact with this product. If you haven’t done this before, this material isn’t the best DIY bet.
Wash & Dry Your Garage Door
Before getting started, make sure to wash the garage door panels with water and an all-purpose cleaner. Then rinse them with more fresh water and then them dry. A clean garage door will ensure your new insulation panels are installed properly and on a nice, clean surface –as they would be in a new garage door.
Measure Each Individual Panel to Ensure a Snug Fit
Don’t take the easy route with a one-size-fits-all approach. There can be slight variations in panel heights and widths that may not be discernible to the naked eye, but will really tick you off when you pre-cut a series of panels based on a single measurement – only the find some of them won’t stay put.
Instead, measure each panel individually – to be safe, add one-inch to both the width and the length as you measure and cut each panel. This way the panels will fit well, rather than loosey-goosey.
Once you’ve installed the retaining pins, fit the panels in place with the vinyl side facing away from the garage door.
Don’t Forget the Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is an essential component for a winter-proof garage. Bring your garage door measurements or the door manual with you so you get enough vinyl weather stripping to cover both the sides and top of your garage door. You will also need enough vinyl bottom seal to fit the track. If your garage door track is damaged, this might be a good time to replace it.
Once your insulation panels are in place, it’s time to install the replacement garage door weather stripping, making sure it will provide a tight fit even in strong wind and weather conditions.
Are you running out of time to complete your DIY insulation update? Contact us here at R&S and we’ll be happy to do it for you. Or, if your garage door is outdated, we’ll be happy to provide you with a free onsite estimate for a new automatic garage door, complete with top-quality insulation.