Your Guide to Effective Garage Insulation

Are you reaching another year where winterization has crept up on you? Save energy and money on your garage heating costs with these tips.

There’s a lot on your winter to-do list, from your heating to your landscaping, and it’s easy to forget something when you have so much on your mind. Fortunately, we’ve got your garage covered with this handy checklist.

We’ve even taken the time to find the most affordable and cost-effective solutions for winterization that will decrease your utility costs and save money in more ways than you expect!

This garage door is an Eastman E-21 design, 9' x 7' size, Ice White doors and overlays, 8 lite Orion windows.

Does this door strike your fancy? This is an Eastman E-21 design, 9' x 7' garage door, Ice White color doors and overlays, with 8 lite Orion windows.

Preparation is the first step

This garage door is an Eastman E-21 design, 9' x 7' size, Ice White doors and overlays, 8 lite Orion windows.

Do you like this look? This garage door is a North Hatley LP design, 9' x 7' size, Desert Sand color, windows with Richmond Inserts.

R-Values: What they are and why they matter

Air getting into the garage can drastically affect the temperature, which is why you need proper insulation. This will ensure that the warm air stays in and the cold air stays out. When shopping for insulation, you’ll want to look for the R-value, which is the unit used to measure how resistant to energy conduction the insulation will be.

When you have a higher R-value, you will see better performance and less heat loss. There are different levels of insulation for different areas in the home. The R-value you need may also be influenced by where you live. For example, you’ll need heavier insulation for your roof than you would for your interior walls, so the R-value will be higher for the roof insulation.

So, what does the garage really need?

When you have an attached garage, it’s creating an additional entry point to your home. That means it also affects the temperature in your home, energy regulation, and energy costs. Choosing the right R-value insulation for your garage requires you to consider these factors:

Insulation

If you want your garage to have the minimum insulation, R-12 is fine. If, however, you want heavier insulation for a more comfortable space, R-16 is the way to go.

Attached vs detached

Because attached garages let heat and cold air into the home, they need better insulation than detached garages. While some detached garages aren’t insulated at all, attached ones should use a minimum of R-12.

Usage

Is the garage a living space, or do you want it to be? If so, you’ll want to use R-16 for premium insulation from the cold (or heat). This is also a good idea for garages that have a living space above them.

Insulating materials

There are two main options for insulating your garage door:

Polyurethane is a foam that’s injected between the door panels. It expands quickly, with heat, allowing it to fill in the gaps and prevent air leakage. It also protects against pests getting into the door or chewing the insulation because it is so much more resistant. This thick foam is better than polystyrene, but also more costly.

Polystyrene, also known more commonly as Styrofoam, is made in large sheets. They’re cheap and easy to install. These are less effective at insulating the space because they aren’t as dense, but they’ll do a minimum job.

See the difference between polyurethane (on the left) and polystyrene (on the right) insulation for garage doors

See the difference between polyurethane (on the left) and polystyrene (on the right) insulation for garage doors.

Other Must-Haves:

Bottom garage door gap

If you notice a gap at the bottom of the garage door, it might be time to replace the garage door weatherstripping. Otherwise, you could find pests, water, dirt, and other things getting into your garage.

Garage door opener

If your garage door opener isn’t properly positioned, it won’t bring the door down to the floor close enough to seal the gap. You can find instructions on adjusting this in your owner’s manual.

Garage door gap (top and sides)

The perimeter weatherstripping also needs to be in good condition. This is a piece that consists of a rubber flange on one edge that rests against the door, which keeps the elements from coming in.

The stop molding, which is also important, is usually made of PVC to look like wood and helps prevent air from coming in, too. You’ll need to make sure that the stop molding and perimeter seal are intact and in good condition, as well as properly secured to ensure optimal protection from the elements.

Are Your Walls Well Insulated?

Walls and ceilings

You’ll spend a different amount on insulation depending on the level you need and the style that you choose. Bear in mind that walls will have a lower R-value in most cases than ceilings since air rises and leaks through the roof more often than not. The best choice is to hire professional insulation experts to help you choose the right material and install it properly.

If you are going to DIY, make sure that you follow these steps found on Dumpsters.com:

Step 1: Clean the walls

Step 2: Repair all damage and seal gaps

Step 3: Put the insulation in place

Step 4: Install drywall over the insulation

In this article, you’ll also find the pros and cons of different kinds of insulation. You’ll get lots of tips on preventing cold air in the garage from their blog.

Insulate your walls to save energy costs with foam.

Insulate your walls and ceilings adequately, and you will save energy! Image from Pixabay.

Windows

Having windows in the garage can be a great way to add natural light to the space. It also enhances the appearance of the space, but they need to be carefully installed to offer the best of everything. Fortunately, there are sealing options that work for every budget.

Weatherstripping

You can buy weatherstrip tape that will allow you to protect the window frame from leaking. Just buy a roll, cut it to size, and install it around the windows to seal leaks and keep the garage more comfortable.

Caulk

Check out this article to learn all about caulk. This is something that cracks and needs repair over time, so it should be inspected regularly.

Window treatments

Enhance the décor and improve the energy efficiency by adding thermal curtains or blinds that block heat. This can help reduce the air coming through the windows and save on energy costs.

Note: You can also use these tips for windows on your garage door!

Outlets and light switches

In a study done by Conservation Mart, it was noted that 2-5% of all air loss comes through electrical outlets and switches—one area that many homeowners forget about insulating and sealing.

You’ll find 7 easy ways to insulate the switches and outlets in your garage to reduce lost heat and more. You’ll be able to seal anything with just three simple products.

One example is using foam outlet gaskets that fit behind the plastic cover to prevent air leaks. Learn more about keeping out cold air from the simple tips in the guide.

What about condensation?

When water comes into contact with a cold surface, like a door or floor in the garage, it can create moisture and condensation. If there’s no barrier between temperature changes (proper insulation), this could increase condensation, too. Of course, regardless of how well-insulated the door is, you’ll want to check other areas for leaks and potential condensation issues.

Mind the floor

You need to ensure that the drainage in your garage directs water away from the garage and the garage door. The interior floor should slope slightly to a central drain and outwardly so that flooding and slips don’t occur. Inspect for cracks and leaks regularly.

Condensation and humidity can also affect whether or not the garage is capable of heating properly. Excess bacteria and moisture could develop from this condensation, too, creating a potential health hazard.

A garage door that keeps rainwater from running in your garage.

This garage has a sealed floor and proper drainage to assist with preventing leakage.

You can consider a dehumidifier and a good floor coating to prevent these issues.

Control the temperature in the home by heating the garage

You can find several ways to heat your garage. Radiant floor heating, standalone heaters, and fiberglass batting insulation are the popular options, but there’s a lot out there that you can do to warm up the space. When you keep your garage warm you can:

● Avoid frozen pipes and damage to mechanical parts

● Prevent moisture buildup and dampness

● Prolong battery lifespan in cars and outdoor power equipment stored in the garage

● Optimize the temperature in your home without increasing the furnace usage

● Keep appliances and belongings stored in the garage safe from the cold

Perhaps you’re still curious about insulating garage doors or upgrading yours?

So, now that you’ve got the facts about insulation, you’ll be able to prepare your home for any weather and keep it a comfortable space year-round.

Did you know we also offer maintenance and garage door repair solutions?

Before you do anything, call the team at Ram Overhead Door Systems. We’ll come to your home and make sure that your garage door is in good shape with routine maintenance and inspections. Plus, we have all the hardware accessories that may need to be replaced at prices that you’ll love.

Why go to the trouble of doing the work yourself when our team of experts can do it for you? Our experienced garage door technicians are doing this work every single day and they’re going to give you the best results. Plus, that will free up your time to take care of other things.

So, your garage door is the problem after all? Finally decided it’s time to give it the old heave-ho and upgrade to a newer, energy-efficient model? Contact us at 613-749-2138!

We understand that choosing the right garage door includes several choices, and that’s why we are here to help you each step of the way. We’ll ensure you get the perfect garage door for your home, no matter what you have in mind!

First, take a look at the image gallery to see what kinds of garage doors best fit homes like yours. You’ll also want to check out the Design Centre so that you can create the perfect look virtually before you decide.

We can provide a free quote via email showing your future door and all the costs. We look forward to helping you create the perfect garage and garage door that you’ve always wanted.

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