How to Choose Garage Door Insulation Material
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How to Choose Garage Door Insulation Material

Big garage with gray doors, brick wall and asphalt drivewayAn insulated garage door makes the temperature in your garage more comfortable, acts as a buffer against street noise and can help reduce energy bills. If your garage door isn’t insulated, you might be happy to know you can actually insulate it yourself. Installing garage door insulation isn’t difficult and doesn’t take long. Before you install though, you need to decide which material you want to use.

There are essentially three types of garage door insulation you can use:

  • Reflective foil
  • Polystyrene foam
  • A Fiberglass or foam DIY Panel Kit

As with everything, each type of insulation has its pros and cons. The toughest part of your DIY project will probably be choosing the material. To help you make the decision, here’s a brief overview of the three options.

Reflective Foil

Reflective foil insulation is sold on rolls. The total thickness of the material is around an inch and a half. You can purchase either single foil or double foil insulation for your garage door. The material consists of a layer of polyethylene foam sandwiched between two layers of aluminum foil. Double foil insulation has two layers of foam. This material insulates well, it’s only drawback being that it’s not very attractive visually.

Polystyrene Foam

Polystyrene foam insulation is sold in large sheets which will need to be cut to fit in the panels of your garage door. It’s a little tougher to work with than foil because of its rigidity. It is however, a better insulator than reflective foil.

Panel Kits

These kits come with about 8 pre-cut panels which fit inside the channels of your garage door frame. The panels can either be made of fiberglass or plastic laminated polystyrene. Of the two materials, polystyrene offers the higher insulation. Fiberglass panels are more resistant to water and mold. Both types of panels look good and installation is easy and fast. You should be able to insulate your garage door with a panel kit in around an hour. This is probably the best option if aesthetics are important to you.

Things to Consider When Choosing

There are a few things you should think about when deciding upon garage door insulation material. In particular, the weight of insulation is something to be mindful of. The extra weight may affect the operation of your garage door. You may need to contact a garage door technician to rebalance the springs after you install the insulation.

Another thing to consider is something called R-value. This is the rating given to a material according to its insulating effectiveness. Ideally you should obtain material of the highest R-value that you can fit inside your garage door panels.

Under no circumstances should you use spray-in insulation or fiberglass batt insulation. Neither of these insulating materials is suitable for use in garage doors. Also, don’t try to place insulation over the springs of your garage door. Doing so may affect your ability to open or close the door.

Once you have decided upon the right insulation material, the remainder of your garage door installation project should be a piece of cake. After an hour or so of labor, you’ll have a cozier, more energy efficient garage to show for your efforts.

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