- Why You Should Insulate Your Garage
- Areas You Can Add Insulation
- Types of Garage Door Insulation
- Are Garage Door Insulation Kits Worth It?
- Do-It-Yourself Garage Door Insulation
No matter what the weather is like outside, the temperature of your garage will typically follow the same temperature pattern. For the average homeowner, the garage is an area where temperature control can be a bit of a challenge.
The garage is well-known to be plagued by constant temperature fluctuations. Not only do these fluctuations have the potential to damage all the items you store in side, but it can wreak havok on your energy bills. Depending on the layout of your home, a poorly-insulated garage can ever have an affect on the temperature inside your home, especially within any rooms with a connecting wall to the garage.
So, what’s a homeowner to do? An easy solution is to add insulation to the garage door. Here’s why every homeowner should invest in this (relatively) cheap project.
Why You Should Insulate Your Garage
The most notable benefit of adding insulation in your garage is the ability to have better comfortable over the temperature. However, there are many other benefits you can expect from this easy DIY improvement.
One important benefit is the amount of energy you can potentially save. This can equate to a dramatic slash in your bills long after the insulation has been installed.
Another lesser-known benefit is that it can help create a sound-proof environment, keeping sounds out or in, depending on your situation. For example, if you live on a busy street, garage insulation can help quiet the loud noise of traffic. Or, perhaps, you are using your garage as a workshop or to learn to play the drums, insulation will help prevent that noise pollution from becoming an annoyance to your neighbors.
Areas You Can Add Insulation
Within your garage, you have three main areas in which you can add insulation. While it would be ideal to sure all three areas are properly insulated, it’s not always going to be feasible, as least not for the average homeowner.
1) Garage Door:
The easiest and cheapest area is to add insulation on your garage door. You can buy different types of insulation or buy a garage door insulation kit that has everything you need. Either way you go, this DIY project should only take a few hours to complete, and will save you thousands of dollars over the course of its lifetime.
As the main barrier to the exterior, adding insulation on your garage door is strongly recommended for every homeowner. This is especially true for anyone that has an interior wall connected to the garage.
2) Garage Walls:
Adding insulation to your garage walls is going to be a little more complex of a project. Likely, this is one area you shouldn’t need to be concerned about as homes, by law, are built with insulation in the walls. This is primarily due to the fire hazards associated with garages. Specifically, the type of combustible materials stored in the area, as well as the fact that most garages do not have a smoke detector.
Regardless, insulating the walls in your garage is something you should consider, especially when your home has an interior wall connected to it.
3) The Ceiling
The often forgotten about area in your garage, the ceiling is an incredibly important area to have insulation. If you have a bedroom directly above the garage, that room will experience the wrath of the weather outside if your garage does not have proper insulation.
Of course, adding insulation inside a ceiling is a very complex project that your average homeowner will be hesitant to embark on. You would need to consider the air flow and whether condensation may build up, which could lead to mold. This is definitely a job for a professional.
While installing insulation in the ceiling of your garage will certainly slash your energy bills and add comfort to the room above, it’s going to be significantly more expensive and time-consuming to complete and you may never fully see a return on your investment.
Types of Garage Door Insulation
Before you attempt this project, you should have a pretty good understanding of the different types of garage insulation available to you. While each of them will help you regulate the temperature and create a favorable environment within your garage, they do come with their own set of pros and cons.
1) Foam Boards:
Relatively cheap and easy to work with, foam boards are a stiff, firm insulation option that is a great choice for your garage door. Usually made from polystyrene, foam board insulation is easy to install, extremely lightweight and durable enough to handle extreme environments.
Available in large panels, foam board insulation is the easiest material for your average homeowner to work with. All you need is a measuring tape, box cutter, and an adhesive to adhere the board to the garage door. Out of all garage insulation options, this is the one that most homeowners will be interested in.
- Ideal For: Installing on garage doors.
2) Batt Insulation:
Another cheap option that is easy to work with, batt insulation is going to be a great choice to install inside the walls and directly between studs. This type of insulation is typically made from fiberglass and available in precut sizes. It’s not the best choice for insulating your garage door, but can still be strategically used in this area.
- Ideal For: Behind drywall, inside walls and ceilings.
3) Loose & Blown-In Insulation:
Often used within attics or between walls, this type of insulation is loose and, as the name suggests, blown into place. You can find this available in a variety of materials and is relatively cheap to buy and install. Because of the nature of how it is applied, you can fill the small crawlspaces, corners and crevices within your attic.
However, for your garage, this type of insulation may prove somewhat difficult to use.
- Ideal For: Attics, crawlspaces and wall cavities.
4) Insulating Foam Sealant:
Another insulation option is spray foam, also called insulating foam sealant. This type of insulation is available in different forms. You can buy large quantities that work great for attics, or a small can of spray foam that work great at sealing the flow of air around windows or doors. For the purpose of insulating your garage door, we will only discuss insulating foam sealants available in small cans.
While a can of foam sealant is relatively cheap, these aren’t going to be the cheapest option for insulating a garage. These are best used to seal the flow of air around the edges of your garage door, or any other area that is hard to reach.
- Ideal For: Small cracks, crevices and hard-to-reach areas.
Are Garage Door Insulation Kits Worth It?
This largely depends on your situation, the size of your garage door and how much time you’re willing to put into completing the project. For most homeowners, a garage door insulation kit is going to be the easiest option.
Featuring fiberglass or polystyrene panels, these kits will generally come with enough pre-cut panels to cover a garage door with a width of 9 ft. Equipped with pretty much everything you need, you can buy a garage insulation kit at a variety of retailers, including Home Depot, Lowes or Amazon. The cost of an insulation kit will range from about $70 to $100.
The Downside of Pre-Packaged Insulation Kits
The downside of buying a pre-made insulation kit is that they are all designed for the same size garage door in mind. This may leave you too much, or not enough, insulation to complete the project.
While this is an easy problem to resolve, nobody wants to pay for something that they don’t need. Or, be forced to make a second trip to the hardware store because you discovered at the tail-end of the insulation process that you don’t have enough materials to complete the job.
Do-It-Yourself Garage Door Insulation
While a garage door insulation kit is certainly a convenient option, you can often get better results by simply building our own kit. This is an easy DIY project that shouldn’t take more than a day.
It entails separately buying all the materials you’d find in a garage insulation kit, and then replicating your own insulation and putting in a little bit of work on your own. Customizing the insulation to fit your garage door ensures that you get maximum coverage, leading to increased savings and comfort.
How to Install Insulation on Your Garage Door
Below are some general tips you can follow to help you install insulation on your garage door.
Materials You Will Need:
- Foam insulation panels
- Box cutter or razor blade
- Adhesive or glue
- Measure Door & Calculate Material Needs — First, measure your garage door and calculate how much insulation you will need. Measure the dimensions of each panel on your garage door. Typically, these panels will be the same size, making it easy to calculate how much insulation you will need.
- Buy Materials — Next, head over to Lowes, Home Depot or your preferred hardware store and purchase the required insulation. While you’re there, you will also want to pick up some adhesive to glue the foam insulation to the garage door. Also, a box cutter, if you don’t already have one.
- Cut Foam Insulation to Size — Now that you know the dimensions for each panel on your garage door, cut the foam insulation to size. Repeat this step until you have cut enough insulation to cover the entire door.
- Adhere Insulation to Garage Door — Open your adhesive and start adhering your cut insulation to the door. If needed, you can use a little bit of masking or duct tape to help you hold each foam panel in place as the glue dries.
- Let Dry — Allow plenty of time to completely dry. The amount of time may differ depending on the type of adhesive you use. Generally, a few hours will be sufficient, but it may be wise to wait a full day to allow the adhesive to bond.
- *Optional: Apply Foam Sealant &mash; To really put the final touches on this project, you can use a can of foam sealant to help fill in any small gaps. This could include between the foam panels on the garage door, or even the small openings along the wall just inside the garage.
Please Note: The DIY option may cost a bit more in materials and time, but it’s well worth it in the long run.
Thinking about adding insulation in your garage, but still have questions we didn’t address here? Or, perhaps, you’ve already completed this project and would like to add a few tips to help others?
Let’s hear it! Please contribute to the conversation by adding your questions, tips or concerns down in the comments below.