How to insulate a garage door

The most notorious part of any garage is its door; this is so simply because it’s a very large, usually wall-sized aperture made from thin metal or polymers and is housed on hinges or tracks that are not insulated in any way.

There are a number of garage door options to insulate, and each one demands a different insulation application.  Garage doors come in many configurations, and these include the notoriously hard to insulate roll-up door, to the easy to insulate standard hinged door, or solid frame on rails door.

Any door that is retained in its plate-like the format is easier to insulate, and if you want a fully insulated garage you must replace the roll-up door you have in place, that would be the best, easiest and possible cheapest solution.

Types of Garage Door Insulation

When considering insulating your garage door, there are a number of insulation materials that you can choose from. For doors, these include three basic options: 

Foam Board

These polystyrene foam products are lightweight and easy to install and require little or no experience in insulation when DIY. All you need is to take a careful measurement of the door, buy enough foam board, take a box cutter and some kind of adhesive and cut away the shape and adhere it to the door. This is the most popular insulation material and works great on the door panel itself. 

Batt Insulation

Batt insulation is those yellow rolls of fiberglass that you see insulating a roof. Or wall. These rolls come in a variety of thicknesses and are great when sealed between two walls. You can use them on garage doors too but will need to place a drywall section over them to make sure they work perfectly. This is the best insulation material you can find and is usually used on walls and ceilings. However, if you want a comprehensive solution, this is a messier application but works wonders. You would, however, only use this on extremely large garage doors. 

Insulating Foam Sealant

These are foams that spray onto surfaces and adhere. They then become hard or foam-like dependent on the category you chose. These are perfect for sealing around windows and hinges, and when combined with a waterproof cover that holds it into place, acts as a perfect door hinge insulation material.

You would also use this along with the edges of the rails that some doors have that connect them to the walls and ceiling. The other option for sealing long rails is using silicone.

Garage Door Insulation Kits

Instead of buying every material separately, there are garage door insulation kits; they usually come in standard sizes that fit standard garage doors. These kits are not expensive but do require that you fully comprehend the dimensions of your garage door, and are prepared to DIY without a bespoke fitment. Consider that a pre-made kit is made to fit a standard size, always check your garage door and check to see that the kit you buy fits it perfectly.

I suggest you look at the costs of different insulation materials and tools, before you buy a kit, and see if the kit is really worth the value of performance you pay for.

After measuring every component, make a list of the materials you will use for each one. This material list will look something like this:

  • Drill and bits

  • Hammer and Nails

  • Screwdriver and screws

  • Box Cutter

  • Adhesive or Duct Tape

  • Wide waterproof fabric

  • Paint and Brushes.

  • Sealant (silicone)

Ceiling and walls require either screwing in the plates over the insulation if you decide to go for double wall insulation, and this requires a drill with the various components for securing the drywall over the insulation.

The garage door insulation kit usually comprises of a box cutter, insulation material, and adhesives to attach it.

The box cutter is used to cut the insulation, as well as any drywall to account for power outlets and light fitments as well as windows.

Paint is used to paint over the finished wall, and if you opt to paint the floor, then a rubber paint for the floor.

The wide solid or waterproof fabric is used on the door hinges to protect the garage from air entering via these locations, as well as to act as a container for any foam insulation you decide to apply.

Silicone sealant is used to close any gaps in some garage walls and door fitments, where the wall and the fitment are connected, but not sealed or not covered with foam insulation.

Conclusions

Insulating a garage door is not a hard job, in fact, it’s so easy that DIY kits are sold in the millions online. All you need to consider are the conditions of your location and your garage door. Consider that insulation is not just about keeping water and cold out, it’s about keeping heat in. If you live in a hot climate than insulation is about keeping the heat out and the cool in.

As such, make sure that all components of the door are sealed perfectly, that includes the ceiling, the sides, and the floor. Apart from insulating the garage door, take a look at the rest of the garage and consider insulating all the walls and roof, as well as the floor, which is application specific, but as important as insulating the door.

One final consideration, take into account the volatility of the insulation materials you decide to use and minimize this so that the insulation does not become a fire hazard. You can check the materials ingredients and see if they are flammable, it’s best not to avoid flammable insulation materials at all costs.

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