Many residential homes these days are utilizing every space they have, and that can also mean finding a use for the attic above the garage. This can be used as storage, a living space, a bedroom, or any number of needed areas in your home. The problem with utilizing this space is keeping the temperature at a comfortable level without shelling out a lot of money on your utilities bill. The truth is you might be paying the electrical company quite a bit more than you should if you do not have an insulated garage door underneath your used space. Your door may keep the elements out of the garage, but with thin wood paneling. the chances of keeping the cold or hot air out and away from the room above the garage is slim at best.
- Weather Stripping
Weather stripping the edges of your door is the first place to start to insulate it. You will want to attach the weather stripping on the top, sides, and bottom of the garage door to help prevent harsh temperatures from entering the home, as well as rain, sleet, and snow. This is an important beginning step to fill cracks around your garage door, but it is not enough to keep the unwanted hot or cold air out altogether.
- The First Layer of Defense
On the inside of many residential wooden garage doors you will see panels running horizontally. In addition, vertical planks of wood are raised on top of the horizontal wood planks causing a recessed square design. These squares are where your first line of insulation needs to go. In order to do this, simply measure the inside of the squares and count how many you have. Since the squares are recessed in because of the vertical planks, we can't just lay insulation boards over the entire door. This is because there would be open pockets on the door underneath the insulation. Instead we want to use foil boards, a type of insulation that will be placed inside the recessed squares on the garage door. You will have to cut the foil board to fit inside your square, but once done you can hang the insulation in the squares with an adhesive like liquid nails or any industrial strength glue.
- The Second Layer of Defense
Now that the recessed areas are filled with a first layer of insulation, a second layer can be applied. You will notice that this may be a bit more difficult than simply cutting the foil board into smaller squares. You will need to take into account all of the hinges, the control arm, the locking bar, and a number of other materials sticking out that shouldn’t be covered. You will want to measure halfway across each board and measure how tall the planks are as well for cutting purposes. Since you want the garage door to lift and not have the insulation pinch each other or against anything, it is smart to leave a half inch of space around each wood plank. Once you measure, cut the foil board accordingly and then hold it up to install it. Instead of gluing it, make marks where hinges and other parts are in the way and cut the pieces accordingly. Once you have cut the foil accordingly you can use the same adhesive you used before and hang the foil board on the door over the first layer of insulation. Since this is not recessed you may want to push in large wall tacks to keep it secure until the glue dries.
When it comes to keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, insulation is a big help. With a garage door that is insulated well, you won’t have to worry if you might be spending more money than you should. You will notice a difference during the harsher summer and winter months when the space above your garage is neither too heat or cold, and walking from your home to the garage is not much of a temperature change. Whether you contact a professional garage door technician or you do it yourself, insulating the garage door will always yield a cheaper utility bill and a comfortable home.