How to Insulate a Garage Door Yourself

If you are marveling at how high your utility bill is lately, you’re not alone. Meanwhile, inadequate insulation is typically the culprit behind unnecessary energy costs. In light of that, you’ll want to gird yours as soon as possible. 

People typically kick off this improvement project by insulating their home’s walls, but the garage door is another weak link in a home’s thermal envelope. In fact, by simply insulating the garage door, you reduce utility bills and help protect the items inside the building from extreme temperatures.

And, since the benefits of a well-insulated garage door will pay dividends over time, we’ve put together the following guide that discusses how to insulate a garage door yourself. 

Maximize Your Insulation Project

One way to make the most of your insulation project is by applying insulation to the garage door’s interior channels. Surprisingly, this simple action helps the garage stay around 20 degrees cooler in the summer and 10 to 12 degrees toastier in the winter. 

Other ways to protect the garage from drafts is by replacing the rubber sweep at the bottom of the garage door and adding some weather stripping along the windows and door frames.  

Types of Insulation

When our contractors are doing garage door repair in the Nashville area, we are often asked which type of insulation for garage doors works the best. We answer that the best ones are going to depend on the insulation R-values. 

The Importance of R-Values

 R-value refers to how you measure the effectiveness of the different kinds of insulation available. You’ll need to figure out your insulation requirements, compare and get the closest R-Value for what is required. 

Typically, insulation rated with a higher R-value offers better energy efficiency and climate control for your home. On the other hand, the higher the R-Value, the higher the insulation cost. 

To insulate a garage the best and stay within budget constraints, select the insulation rating based on the type of garage and garage door you have. The following guide can help you select the suitable insulation rating for your garage door:

  • Garages not attached to your home: R-Value of 0-6
  • Attached garages: R-Value of 7-9
  • Heated garages: R-Value 10-13
  • Garage w/living space above: 14+

Additional tips:

  • Use foam board for insulating wooden frame-and-panel garage doors.  
  • You can use any insulating material on metal garage doors. One affordable option that works well here is insulation batts. 

7 Steps to Insulating a Garage Door

Once you familiarize yourself with R-values, you can use the following steps to insulate a garage door yourself

Tools, Materials & Equipment You Will Need

Tools

  • Utility knives
  • Metal tape measures

Materials

  • Rolled or panel-type fiberglass insulation material
  • Adhesives & tape
  • Composite fasteners (retaining clips)
  • Foam board insulation
  • Insulation accessories like quiet wrap or insulation kits
  • Garage door seals
  • Slow sealing insulation foam (optional)

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Safety glasses
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Respirator or dust mask
  • Long-sleeved shirt and pants
  • Cap or hat 

 

Step 1: Plan the Location of the Fasteners

Start by planning the location of the fasteners. Then, using the steel ruler, go to the back of the garage door and make two marks per each garage door panel. The marks need to be 12 inches in from each side and vertically centered. 

Step 2: Apply Two-Sided Tape

Cut off two pieces of two-sided tape that are roughly the size of the back of your retaining clips. Remove the backside of the tape and press it onto the pre-marked spots you made in the previous step. 

Step 3: Attach Retainer Clips to Tape

Peel off the front side of the two-sided tape that you placed on the garage door. Then, press a retainer clip onto each piece. 

Step 4: Measure Door Panels

Next, measure every door panel. Note each one’s measurements, as they may not all be the same dimensions. 

Step 5: Measure, Cut the Insulation

Begin by suiting up with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Next, measure 1-2 inches longer than the door panel. Then, use a utility knife to cut a piece of insulation that’s based on your measurements. Do this for all the panels. Finally, peel off any extra insulating material.    

Step 6: Put the Insulation into the Door Panels

While still wearing PPE, tuck a piece of the fiberglass insulation you measured and cut, vinyl side outward, into the garage door panels. Do this for each door panel. 

Step 7: Secure the Insulation

While still wearing PPE, press the fiberglass insulation flat against the door until you feel retention clips on the door panel. Using a utility knife, cut 1/2-inch slits through the insulating material to let the retention clips show. To secure the insulation panels, attach the front of the clips to the back.

Areas You Can Add Insulation

If you are adding heat to your garage, whether temporarily or long-term, it pays to insulate it. Areas you can add insulation to keep the warmth from escaping from your garage besides the garage door include the sidewalls, ceiling and concrete floors. 

Tip: If you have cracks or gaps, they need sealing. If you wait to spray until after installing, things tend to get messy. Instead, take a can of slow expanding foam insulation and spray areas you see daylight shining through to fix them.

Garage Door

As mentioned previously, the garage door area is a place you can apply insulation. By adding it, you’ll not only notice how it cuts your energy bills but see how it decreases street noise as well. 

Sidewalls

Energy costs are almost always made worse because an adjoined garage is sucking heat out of the home through uninsulated sidewalls. Therefore, you should insulate any garage walls adjoining the house to the max (14+) to keep this from happening.

The Ceiling

Heat rises, so if you have a garage that does that or if you have living space above your garage, insulating the ceiling is pretty much a no-brainer. Doing so will increase the life of the roof and the floor above it, while also raising the value of your home.  

Concrete Floors

Insulating the concrete floors of your garage is a good course of action, especially if you are converting the garage into a living space. It’s easily done over a couple of weekends too. First, you cover the slab with a vapor barrier and add rigid-foam insulation on top of that. Next, add a few layers of plywood and complete the job with some finish flooring. 

Should You Insulate Your Garage Door? 

After reading this post, you may still have some doubts. So, should you insulate your garage door or not? We’re glad you asked, and we’ve listed a few reasons why you shouldn’t:

  • It’s inconvenient to do it: Do-it-yourself projects can give you a sense of accomplishment, but not everyone has the time or even the energy to take on one. The extra incentive to save a few bucks may not be worth it in these circumstances. 
  • Insulation makes garage doors heavier: It may be inadvisable to do it because any type of insulation added to a garage door increases its weight significantly. With this added heaviness, you’re looking at replacing the whole lifting mechanism down to the cables, motors and springs eventually.  
  • Insulating garage door panels is problematic: If you open the panels to put in insulation and don’t reassemble them back to the original factory standards, you’re likely to wind up with a loss of structural integrity and leaky insulation.

Let New York Gates Retrofit Your Garage Door

With the inconvenience and issues you can run into with insulating a garage door yourself, you’d do better to replace the old one with a new, insulated one that’s properly and safely installed by garage door professionals. 

New York Gates has been protecting businesses and homes with our overhead garage doors and advanced security rolling gates in New York City and its surrounding boroughs for over a decade. So, if you need a new garage door with insulation, we have the expertise to help. To find out more about it and all the other high-quality products we offer, you can contact us at (718) 614-0616. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us by filling out our online form.