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The 3 Most Effective Ways You Can Insulate Your Garage Door

Most garages are sensitive to outdoor temperature changes. They’re hot in summer and cold in winter. By improving your garage door’s insulation, you can prevent outdoor temperature extremes from making your garage an uncomfortable place to get work done. On average, adding insulation to your garage door can help keep your garage around 10 to 13 degrees warmer in the winter and 20 degrees cooler in the summer. On top of that, insulation materials are better at absorbing sound – meaning insulating your garage will also reduce noise coming from both inside and outside of your garage. These three methods are the best ways you can insulate your garage door quickly and efficiently.



Choosing the Right Insulation Using R-Values

Before getting started, it is best to understand what an R-value is and why it matters when it comes to insulating your garage doors. Garage doors come in a variety of styles and functions and are used in many different situations, so knowing what an R-value is will help you determine the kind of insulation you are going to need. Insulation is measured by its ability to control heat transfer – this is described using what is known as the thermal-resistance value, or R-value for short. The higher the R-value (usually determined by the thickness of the material), the better the material is at controlling heat transfer.


Here are some general tips on how to best choose the best insulation for your garage door:


  • R-Value 0-6
    • Ideal for detached garages. Since they are not attached to the home, you do not need to worry about your electric bill through heating or cooling and therefore do not need insulation with a high R-value.
  • R-Value 7-9
    • Ideal for your standard attached garage. An R-value between 7 and 9 is the perfect balance between insulation cost and electricity cost caused from heat loss.
  • R-Value 10-13
    • Ideal for heated garages. Since the goal of a heated garage is to preserve as much heat as possible, an insulation material with a high R-value is needed for a situation like this.
  • R-Value 14+
    • Ideal for garages with rooms above them. Since you want the climate of the room to be comfortable year round, maximizing the insulation of the garage door is key here.


Wooden garage doors are naturally better at insulating than steel garage doors. For more information on garage door materials and their specific pros and cons, check our article on the topic.


What Can You Insulate Your Garage Door With?

The most common insulation material used is fiberglass. Though there are a number of other materials you can use including rigid foam, spray foam, cellulose, and more.


Garage Insulation Material
Rigid Foam
3.5 (polyurethane), 8 (polyisocyanurate), 5 (polystyrene)
Affordable, best at absorbing sound
Less flexible
Spray Foam
7 (closed cell spray), 4 (open cell spray)
Airtight, mold and insect-resistant
Expensive, requires expertise to install
3 (batts), 4 (loose-fill), 5 (rigid fibrous)
Inexpensive, easy to handle
Vulnerable to moisture, reducing effectiveness
3.5 (loose-fill), 4 (dense-pack)
Green, fire-resistant
Expensive, requires drywall


Can You Paint Your Garage Door Insulation?

While great at keeping your electric bill down, insulation is not very attractive and can make your garage quite the eyesore. Thankfully, you can easily paint garage door insulation! However, be sure to used a water-based acrylic or latex paint on your garage door insulation. Oil and solvent-based paints have harmful chemicals in them that can damage the insulation material over time and reduce their effectiveness. If you are using an insulation material that is flammable such as foam, be sure to use fire-resistant paint as well to keep your home safe.



1. Buy and Install a Garage Door Insulation Kit.

Garage door insulation kits are sold in home improvement stores, hardware stores, and online. Measure your garage door before making your purchase to ensure the kit you buy is compatible. Kits can be installed by homeowners or garage door contractors. If you don’t feel up to the task of installing your own garage door insulation, contact a garage door contractor in your area for help.


2. Skip Out on the Insulation Kit and Do-It-Yourself

For the DIYers out there, some may skip out on the insulation kit and do the installation themselves with common materials. The easiest material to use is foam board with a sharp knife so you can easily cut pieces that fit onto the garage door. Check out this great article from Family Handyman for more information on DIYing your garage door insulation.


Keep out the weather with garage door weatherstripping.


3. Weatherstrip Your Garage Door for Extra Insulation

Insulation material is only the first part of controlling heat and cold transfer in your garage. If there is a draft and cold air is let it, the performance of your garage door insulation will be drastically reduced. By their very nature, garage doors don’t fit tightly against the door frame. When you shut your garage door and stand in your garage in the dark, you’ll be able to see daylight shining through a gap between the door and the wall. You can narrow that gap with weatherstripping. Follow the instructions to install properly, or contact a contractor to get help.


When cutting down weatherstripping, measure twice and cut once to ensure a good fit. There are many ways you can weatherstrip your garage, for more information check out Overhead Door’s Ways to Weatherproof a Garage Door.


Everything You Need to Know About Insulated Garage Doors


Bonus: Install a Thermacore Garage Door.

All modern garage doors sold by Overhead Door Company of Wilmington have insulating properties, but some doors offer superior insulation. The best way to improve energy efficiency in your garage is to install a Thermacore insulated garage door. These insulated steel doors provide maximum comfort and efficiency. They’re available in a range of styles and colors to improve your home’s curb appeal.


We recommend this type of garage door if you use your garage as a workshop or as a rehearsal space for your band. Thermacore doors are most effective if your garage is fully finished and insulated. If your garage is unfinished, consider upgrading your garage with insulation and drywall.


Improve Your Garage Door Insulation with Overhead Door Company of Wilmington

There are many benefits to insulating your garage door! Interested in our Thermacore models? Call Overhead Door Company of Wilmington today to discuss your home improvement.


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