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How to Install Garage Door Insulation Panels

How to Install Garage Door Insulation Panels

If you happen to live in an area where the winters are cold or the summers are hot, then you have probably thought about insulating your garage door but never got around to it. In the winter the door surface is freezing cold making the whole garage unbearable. The summer heat and humidity can make your garage door feel like a hot plate and it’s too hot to touch. Installing insulation panels will go a long way to alleviate both these problems. Read on and let us tell you why you should insulate the garage door and how to get it done.

Importance of insulating your garage door.

Insulation can be an added source of protection and longevity to a garage door. A well-insulated garage door can, by keeping your garage at a fairly consistent temperature, help to reduce energy bills. On average, if your garage door has insulation panels, then you can expect the garage to be 20 – 25 degrees cooler in the summer and 10 – 15 degrees warmer in the winter.

List of necessary tools and materials:

Garage door insulation kit.

There are many garage door insulation kits available, but to be most effective choose one with the highest “R” value. For attached garages, the recommended R-value is between 7 and 9. Most kits have items you will need for the installation: double-sided adhesive squares, gloves, and fiberglass insulation.

Utility knife.

A utility knife with a sharp blade is essential to cut the insulation to size.

Tape measure.

Needed to measure the height and width of each panel, and the position of retaining clips.

Foil tape.

Use foil tape to seal the edges of the insulation panels.

Straight edge.

A useful tool to obtain a perfectly straight cut.

Double-sided tape.

Double-sided tape is used to secure the retaining clips to the garage door.

Preparing for Installation.

Measure the dimensions of your garage door.

Take accurate measurements of the door. If you have a two-car garage door, you will more than likely require two kits. Measure each door panel individually. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that each panel is the same size, they may not be. Write all the measurements down to use later.

The recommendations are that you should put two marks on each panel, each 12 inches from the sides and centered vertically on the panel. These marks are where the retaining clips will be fixed to the door. But, supposing the panels are not of uniform size, the easiest way to make sure the clips are going to be evenly spaced is to take the panel measurement, and then divide it by three. If a panel measures 8 ft, then at 32 inches, and 64 inches are where the clips will go.

Selecting the appropriate insulation panel thickness.

Check the depth of the panels from the face of the door to the vertical/horizontal brace members of the door. If you live in a hurricane zone, then your door may have extra-strength hurricane brace members which may make the depth bigger than normal. The average depth is about 2 inches so getting insulation panels that are only 1.25 inches thick would not be the best buy. Fiberglass insulation is approximately 2.25 inches thick so they will fit the majority of garage doors.

Clean the surface of the garage door.

Give the inside of the garage door a thorough cleaning, removing any dust, grease, or oily marks with soap and water, or a de-greaser. This is to ensure the double-sided tape will adhere to the door’s surface.

Check for level surface.

While you are cleaning the door, check that there are no severe indentations or protrusions like screws. If there are any remove them or flatten them so they don’t interfere with the insulation and cause rips.

Safety precautions.

Avoid working alone on a ladder.

Although a standard garage door is only seven or eight feet high, if you can avoid it, don’t install the insulation on your own if you need to use a ladder. Reaching up or across the door to get the insulation to fit in the panel could cause you to lose your balance and fall. Better to have someone to help just in case.

Use caution with sharp utility knife.

When you are cutting the insulation panels to the correct size, make sure the knife you use has a sharp blade. Sharp blades are actually safer than blades that have lost their edge since a blunt blade can slip over the material and possibly cause injury. Whichever type of utility knife you use, pay attention to where the blade is in relation to your other hand. NEVER pull the blade towards the hand that is holding the material. ALWAYS keep your other hand behind the path of the blade.

Wear protective gloves.

Not only will wearing gloves protect you from accidentally cutting yourself, but if you are using fiberglass insulation, they will prevent the shards of fiberglass from irritating your skin.

Benefits of installing garage door insulation panels.

Improved temperature control.

When you add insulation to a garage door the temperature inside can be up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer months and about 10 – 12 degrees warmer during the winter.

Energy savings.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) tells us that A/C cooling is responsible for approximately 15% of a home’s energy bill, and heating plus heat pumps almost 16%. Air, whether it is warm or cool, can escape through gaps in your garage door, and via thermal transference using more energy than necessary, so your A/C system may be running continually to keep the temperature at a pleasant setting.

Noise reduction.

If you use part of your garage as a workshop, then you most likely make a bit of noise with power tools, etc. Having an insulated garage door means you won’t be disturbing your neighbors because of the extra thickness of the door reducing the amount of decibels. Conversely, passing traffic noises will be a thing of the past, so you won’t be disturbed by noisy vehicles passing your house.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Do I need an air gap with garage door insulation?

Yes. An air gap between the insulation and the door’s surface improves the insulation’s effectiveness. Even the smallest of gaps can have an impact because air is a very good insulator.

Do garage door insulation panels work?

They work to a certain extent by helping to slow down the process of radiant heat and cold. They will not, however, help to heat the garage, merely prevent it from getting hotter.
How do you install reflective insulation in a garage door?
• Start by measuring each panel.
• Cut the product to match the measurements.
• Attach each cut piece to the panel with double-sided tape, acrylic adhesive tape, or spray adhesive.

Which way should insulation face in a garage?

If you are installing foil insulation and you live in an area where the summers are hot, then the foil should be facing the garage door panel. If, on the other hand, you need to heat the garage more than cool it, then install the insulation with the foil facing inward.

Is it a good idea to insulate garage door?

Insulating your garage door is a good idea if you use it for any reason other than housing your car. It helps to reduce energy bills and can give added protection to stored items from extreme outside temperatures. Noise reduction is another reason why insulating a garage door is a good idea.

What is the best way to insulate a garage door from heat?

According to Forbes Home, a reflective insulation kit made from “close cell foam” covered with reflective foil on both sides is the best way to insulate your garage door if heat is a concern. The kit is reputed to be able to prevent 95% of radiant heat from coming into the garage.

What is the easiest way to insulate a garage door? suggests that the easiest way to insulate a garage door is to purchase a kit that has either foil-faced stiff foam boards or foil- or vinyl-faced insulation batts. What makes these kits easy to install is that the majority of kits not only contain the essentials you need like adhesive tape, a knife, and gloves, but the panels are already cut to industry standard sizes.

How many sheets of insulation do I need for a garage door?

As long as you don’t make mistakes when measuring the door panels’ height and width, four 8’ x 4’ sheets of foil-backed insulation foam board should cover a standard two-car garage door.

Does a garage need an air barrier?

An attached garage should have a complete air barrier between the garage and the house to prevent carbon monoxide and other fumes from passing into the house through any shared walls, ceiling, or floor systems.

Should my garage door have a gap?

There shouldn’t be any gaps around the garage door or between the door panels. If there is any light visible at any point around the perimeter of the garage door, then you need to take steps to reseal the gaps.

Do you need Vapor barrier in a garage?

Unless your home is in a cold climate zone like Alaska, the majority of garages do not require a vapor barrier. The reason for this is that the small amount of water vapor that can permeate through the garage walls, floor, and ceiling is small enough so as not to cause any damage.

How do you attach insulation to a door?

If you are using rigid foam panels, then you can attach them to the door with epoxy adhesive. If the insulation is a fiberglass kit, then attach the insulation using the supplied retaining clips.

Which way do you install reflective insulation?

If you live in a cold climate zone, then the reflective surface should face inwards. If you are in a warm zone, then face the reflective foil out.

How do you insulate a gap in a garage door?

Any gaps around a garage door can be insulated by installing weatherstripping, either with a bottom seal, or side and top weather strips.

Can I insulate my garage myself?

Yes, you can insulate your garage yourself, although having a helper or two may make the task easier. Fiberglass insulation is the easiest to install and can be used on the walls, and ceiling.

How do I insulate my garage myself?

You can insulate your garage in five easy steps.
1. Remove everything that is mounted on the walls.
2. Seal any gaps or cracks in the exterior walls.
3. Any existing drywall should be removed. If the walls are block, secure timber slats to the walls to accommodate insulation.
4. Install insulation batts between the existing studs or the newly installed slats, and cover with new drywall.
5. Insulate the ceiling and the garage door.

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