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How To Insulate A Garage Door?

Studies have shown that having an insulated garage door can keep your garage about 12 degrees warmer in the winter months and about 25 degrees cooler in the summer. If you do not have insulation that is rated at least R-18 on your garage door it is a simple do-it-yourself project that you should be able to accomplish very easily. 

Adding insulation, doorstop weather stripping and a new bottom seal to your existing garage door is a job you should be able to complete in about four hours and should cost less than $200. You will gain some comfort and savings in a short amount of time.

Purchasing Materials 

In order to insulate your garage door, first, you have to purchase the correct materials. There are 2 main types of insulation materials you can buy: R-8 vinyl faced fiberglass and R-4 expanded polystyrene foam board. Both contain unique characteristics and are suitable for different environments.

You will also need weatherstripping to complete the project. Sometimes it is easier to order a garage door installation kit off of Amazon or pick one up at your local home improvement store. 

Choosing the Insulation

The R-value in insulation is the unit of measure to determine the thermal resistance for a product, so a higher R number equates to higher thermal resistance. 

Due to a higher R-value, R-8 is more suitable for energy savings in colder climates. So if you are looking to insulate your garage door and you live up north you may want to consider using R-8 vinyl-faced fiberglass insulation. 

Another type of insulation that is effective is the R-4 EPS foam board. These panels can be cut to the right length to create a tight seal. It does have a lower R-value but if you live in a more temperate climate the R-4 should do a great job on your garage doors.

Whatever insulation you chose steer clear from XPS rigid foam. This insulation is extremely flammable and yields toxic fumes when it is on fire and can put you and your family in danger.

How to Insulate A Garage Door

Now that you have gathered all your materials to insulate your door it may seem overwhelming to do it yourself. You do not have to be an experienced handyman to get this simple chore done.

This type of home improvement project takes an intermediate level of experience and should only take you a few hours on the weekend to complete. Follow these easy steps and it should look like you hired the professionals.

Step 1- Measure, Mark and Install Retainer Pins

Your first step is to use a tape measure and measure a spot that is 12 inches from each side of the door panel and about halfway between the horizontal rails. Once you have this measured, mark your location with a marker. Each marking should be vertically centered and you should have each subsection marked.

Then, you can peel the adhesive backing from the retainer pins and press the base on to the panels, continue installing each pin on every marking.

Step 2- Cut the Insulation

The next step is cutting the insulation you chose to use to the correct length. You will need to roll out the insulation with the vinyl side facing down. Measure the foam insulation with a tape measure and mark the lines where you need to cut.

Panel lengths may differ, so make sure you measure each one and do not just cut everything the same size. Next, you will place the insulation on a hard surface such as concrete or a piece of plywood. Compress the panel with a straightedge and then cut with a knife.

Step 3- Lock the Insulation in Place

Now that your insulation is cut, center the insulation with the panel and push it against the retaining pin so that it pierces the vinyl facing surface. Once the pin has pierced the surface push the insulation in more with a retainer cap until you hear it snap into place. Repeat this process until all of the garage door insulation panels are secured.

Step 4- Weatherstripping

test fit your piece of weatherstripping. Once you know it is the correct size, angle it at 45 degrees and then secure it in place temporarily by using the nails and inserting them halfway.

Step 5- Readjust Weatherstripping

Apply pressure to the bottom and sides of the garage door to replicate how the door may react with a strong wind. Check your garage door in several spots and adjust the weatherstripping as needed to fill in all the gaps and cracks. 

Step 6- Install a New Bottom Seal

Now that you have the back and sides of your garage door insulated you need to do the final piece, the bottom seal. To remove the bottom seal track slots, use a flathead screwdriver and bend it out of place. Repeat on both sides until it is removed.

Step 7- New Seal

Once the old seal has been removed you are ready to install the new one. Get your new vinyl seal and slide it into place along the bottom of the garage door.

If you have excess leftover you can cut it with a utility knife and fasten the end with a pair of pliers. Make sure you crimp the sides properly to ensure a tight seal.

After completing all the steps on installing your new insulation, test your door. If it is properly balanced, it should stay in place when lifted about halfway. If the door falls when lifted, it is not balanced.

If your door is unbalanced you may need to adjust the springs as an unbalanced door can damage your garage door opener. This is something you should leave to the professionals. Consider calling us if this happens and we would be glad to help. 

New York Gates is the leading security gate and commercial garage door supplier and installer in New York City. We service all the 5 boroughs of NYC. Get in touch with New York Gates today for a FREE quote.

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