Garage door insulation is one major consideration for homeowners, considering the fact that energy costs are always on the rise. Therefore, it is imperative to seek additional means to keep the home insulated while keeping heating costs down. Some parts of the home, such as the garage, are frequently insulated. A garage that shares walls with the home can cause heat loss, so it is important to evaluate the garage door for insulation.
For an attached garage, the garage door is usually seen as a weak spot in the thermal system of the home. In a lot of homes, the garage door is opened several times during the day, exposing the home to outdoor air. The garage door can be likened to a huge window wall that doesn’t serve its purpose unless it breaks the thermal circle every time its use is required. Therefore, efforts must be put in place to seal the garage door and protect the entire home from the harsh outdoor air.
With garage door insulation, you can make your home a lot warmer, cooler and quiet as you wish. You can also get to save energy cost and make your home generally more comfortable for you.
What is the Best Insulation for Garage Doors?
Depending on your home, any insulation type will definitely boost the energy efficiency of your garage door. However, here are some of the most popular types of insulation for your garage door:
• Batt Insulation
Batt Insulation is one of the most commonly used insulation systems and it is made of fiberglass or mineral wool. This insulation material was initially manufactured in rolls but over time, it is now precut into various standard sizes. It can be installed either with facing or without facing and the climate determines what type of batt insulation to use.
In some climates, the facing on batt insulation can also serve as a vapor barrier. Meanwhile, in other climates, a separate vapor barrier might be required against water. In such a case, unfaced batt insulation is installed. Batt insulation is manufactured in various R-values and the R-value of your project is dependent on your climate, the surface you are insulating, and local building codes.
The effectiveness of this type of insulation is determined by how it is installed. To get the most value for your batt insulation, it mustn’t be compressed or packed into a space. Also, a professional contractor with experience and skills should be contacted for proper installation of your batt insulation.
• Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation are strong panels of insulation that can be made from polystyrene, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate. Foam board insulation can be obtained in a variety of length, thickness and facings so it can be customized to suit your garage door. Some brands of foam board insulation include a foil vapor barrier to ensure that water doesn’t move through it.
Foam board insulation offers great thermal resistance and it minimizes heat conduction through structural elements like steel studs, wood, etc. Since conduction refers to the passage of heat through a medium, it means that reduced heat conduction as a result of the foam board insulation can be effective in keeping your home more comfortable.
• Reflective Insulation
Reflective Insulation is basically a type of insulation that uses a reflective facing, with materials like plastic film, cardboard, polyethylene bubbles, or foil-faced kraft paper. Radiant barrier insulation involves the use of one or more reflective materials such as aluminum foil. Most common insulation materials function by slowing the process of conductive heat flow, but reflective insulation is designed to minimize radiant heat gain.
How to Insulate a Garage Door
After obtaining all the necessary tools and material for your garage door insulation, you can then begin the process. It might seem like a difficult task, especially if you want to get the insulation done yourself. However, with the following steps, you can insulate your garage door and do it even professionally. Again, this is how to insulate garage doors:
1. Take Measurements and Cut Your Insulation Materials
- First, you have to take a measurement of 12 inches from each side of the door panel and halfway between the rails horizontally. Mark the location after measuring and each marking should be centered vertically and also ensure that each subsection is marked.
- Next, peel off the adhesive paper from the retainer pin and place the base on the panel. Install the retainer pins on each of the markings already made.
- Whatever insulation material you opt for, the next thing after taking the measurement is to cut your insulation material into the appropriate length. Though there are pre-cut foam core panels, they are not usually firm. To cut your insulation material, roll out the material with the vinyl side down. Then measure the material and mark the lines for cutting.
- The length of panels may vary, so each one should be measured separately instead of cutting them all into uniform sizes. Then, place the insulation on a stable and hard surface such as concrete or plywood, and with a straightedge, compress the panel, then cut carefully with a knife.
2. Compress Insulation Material into the Insulation Panel
- After cutting your insulation material into the required length, center it using the panel and apply pressure to push it against the retaining pin till it pierces the vinyl surface.
- After doing this, push the insulation material into place using a retainer cap to make sure it snaps into place. Once you’ve secured it, repeat the process until all the insulation panels are secured in place.
- To ensure it fits the doorstop, place it along with the side jams and the edge of the garage door. Then place the weatherstrip at an angle of 45-degrees and secure it by putting the nails into the side temporarily.
- Replicate the effect of a strong wind by applying pressure to the exterior of the garage door. Then move the doorstop inward to ensure that it is secure. The gaps may differ in length for the spots along with the garage door, so check and readjust the doorstop at all the locations when necessary.
- Begin at the top of the garage door. Replicate wind with pressure; then pound the nail securely. Repeat the process, till you reach the bottom of the door. If you are unable to properly fasten the doorstops or if the light is still shining through after its application, you may need to replace your hinges with spring-loaded hinges, which will press the garage door continuously against the weatherstripping.
- After the back and sides of your garage door have been insulated and secured in place, you can then tackle the final part of the project, which is the bottom seal. First, you have to remove the seal track slots at the bottom. To do this, you can use a flathead screwdriver to bend it and this should be done for both sides till it comes off.
3. Remove the Bottom Seal and Install the Insulation Material
- After removing the bottom seal, spray some dishwashing detergent or silicone on the bottom slots. Then slide your new vinyl seal into place along the bottom of the insulated garage door.
- In a case of excess vinyl, you can use a utility knife to cut it and use the ends of a pair of pliers to fasten it. It is also necessary to crimp each side of the vinyl properly to ensure that it is tightly sealed and to prevent the vinyl from cracking or breaking.
After completing the steps listed above, your garage door should be tested. To know if your door is properly standing, the garage door should remain in place if lifted halfway. If the door is unbalance, it will most likely fall after you let it go.
An unbalanced garage door can damage the garage door opener, creating more problems. In that case, consider getting a professional to check and adjust the spring tension in the garage door.
Best Garage Door Insulation for Hot Climates
There are several ranges of garage door insulation kits and it could be a daunting task making a choice among the many options available. However, if the insulation system meets the following requirements, then it is suitable for use.
- Energy Conservation: One of the most prominent benefits of garage door insulation is energy efficiency. By stopping the drafts in your garage, you can conserve a lot of energy and save yourself some money.
- Impact Resistance: The layers of insulation material should be thick enough. This will make your garage door more durable and impact resistant.
- Weatherproofing: The insulation material should be able to protect against outdoor elements, that can have long term effects. The padding should work as a barrier to protect your door from bending over time.
Garage door insulation is a necessity for any home that desires warmth and quiet. It serves as the perfect barrier against harsh weather conditions and noise. Therefore, it is imperative to insulate your garage door to protect your home. By following the steps highlighted above, it is obvious that garage door insulation can be done by almost anyone. However, if the situation calls for it, a professional should be contacted to ensure the insulation is properly installed.