3 ways to insulate garage doors

7 min

What is garage door insulation for?

insulation of garage doors 1First of all, garage door insulation is, of course, taking care of your “four-wheeled friend”. If you create good conditions for your car, then it will last much longer. After all, a car can also “catch a cold” and “get sick” from a too cold or damp room. And like every patient, he will require treatment, which costs a lot of money. Therefore, it is cheaper to anticipate the “disease” in advance and prevent its occurrence.

The garage can be used not only as a parking lot, but also as a warehouse for old things or even a place for a man’s personal space. There may be a small workshop with a set of different tools for creating various useful things or repairing. And even just a rest room for spending your leisure time with friends. Therefore, you need to carefully consider the insulation of this room and garage doors, in particular. To keep it warm in winter and cool in summer, that is, to create the most comfortable conditions for being inside.

According to the laws of thermodynamics, heat through the garage door will be transferred in two ways, which we will discuss below:

  • The first way is actually the surface of the doors themselves (we are considering the gates that are closed by the shutters), by transferring heat from a warm body to a cold one. Cold means the external environment, and the door surface is correspondingly warm.

  • The second way is the convention of warm air with cold air, which occurs by opening and closing the flaps. This loses a huge amount of heat. In places where the shutters do not fit tightly to the wall opening, there is also a significant loss of warm air.

Therefore, solving these two problems will minimize heat loss and create comfortable conditions for staying inside the garage at any time of the year. To solve this problem, a reliable barrier should be put between heat and cold, or vice versa, depending on the season. The building code SNiP 21-02-99 says that in winter, for optimal location of the car in the garage, the temperature should be kept at around +5 degrees Celsius. This will allow you to start the car without problems and moisture will not condense in its internal cavities.

What is the best way to insulate a garage door?

insulation of garage doors 2For high-quality insulation of garage doors, the modern market for heat preservation materials will give a wide field of choice. It is best to choose today’s traditional insulation materials such as polystyrene foam, extruded polystyrene foam and foamed polyethylene foam. These three insulation materials will do their job well. Below we will consider each option separately – the properties and the step-by-step process of laying the heat insulator on the door surface.

Some may wonder why mineral wool was not mentioned. It is very simple, it is better not to use this material for insulating garage doors, although many do so. Mineral wool has the ability to absorb moisture well. And since the garage is a place where the humidity level will regularly exceed the normal indicator, thereby contributing to its concentration in this insulation, which loses its properties from this.

Additional insulation of garage doors

insulation of garage doors 3There are several ways, in addition to laying insulation, that will help reduce the escape of warm air to the outside, thereby creating a comfortable indoor environment.

  • These are ordinary curtains, just not the same as in the apartment, but made of dense material that keeps the cold well and does not immediately let it into the room. It is very simple to build them – you first pull a steel thread or a thin rope, and on it, using rings attached to a dense material, for example, a tarpaulin, then hook the canvas. This is useful for those who often open the gate or, due to circumstances, one leaf should be open.
  • At the first stages of building a garage or installing a gate, many car owners do not take into account that less heat is emitted through a small hole than if the gate is opened completely or partially. That is, it is better to build a small doorway in the gate, then you do not need to open it to the entire garage in order to simply take, for example, a tool such as a hammer for hammering in nails. Therefore, when ordering a gate, ask for separate doors.
  • You can additionally insulate the joints between the gate and the wall, as well as put a sill so that less heat evaporates through the cracks. A vinyl material of the appropriate thickness and size is good for this. Attach vinyl tape around the edges of the joints where gaps are formed with nails or mounting glue. This will create an additional barrier to heat loss.

Insulation of garage doors with foam

insulation of garage doors 4Polyfoam is the best option for insulating garage doors, as it has excellent heat retention properties and does not absorb moisture. Also, this material is quite easy to fit on the surface and is very light, which is important for the total weight of the gate wings. At the same time, foam is the cheapest insulation material that is available to absolutely everyone.

Stages of styling foam

  • foamFirst treat and clean well the inner iron surface of the gate from rust and paint residues. Then paint them or waterproof them with bituminous mastic, you can also put polyethylene, but this is at your discretion. It is possible not to waterproof the gate at all, since the foam does not react at all to moisture and does not lose its properties.

  • The second stage is to create a lathing of wooden bars between which you will lay sheets of foam cut to the required size. For this, slats 50 × 50 millimeters in size are suitable, depending on how thick the corners (sides) are at the edges of the gate. Do the crate with a step of about 30-50 cm, decide for yourself based on your case, since the gate can have a different configuration.

  • Then you mount the foam panels themselves, pre-cut into pieces of the desired size, between the battens of the crate. It is possible to glue the material to the iron surface of the gate wings using polyurethane foam, which is also a good insulator, whether it be moisture or sound. Or use any convenient adhesive that is available at your nearest hardware store.

  • The last stage is finishing with another material. For example, plywood sheets or plastic panels, which will create an extra layer to keep warm and give the aesthetic finished look.

Insulation of garage doors with extruded polystyrene foam

insulation of garage doors 5Creating a protective barrier against heat loss using extruded polystyrene foam is the best option, as it carries several advantages. Unlike foam, this insulation material has good rigidity and the best physical characteristics for keeping warm inside the room. If you purchase extruded foam, as this insulation material is also called with one foil side, then waterproofing is not required at all.

At the same time, for laying the insulation on the surface of the garage door, it is not required to create a system of wooden slats (lathing), since the high density of this material allows you to directly mount the panels on any surface. For fastening to metal gates, you will need good assembly glue, preferably which is designed specifically for such work. Quick-setting liquid nails are fine. It is better to choose an imported manufacturer, for example, from Germany, in order to be 100% confident in the quality of the adhesive.

expanded polystyreneCut out the sheets of extruded polystyrene foam to the required size and glue to the surface. It is advisable to seal the joints with polyurethane foam, which can also be used to stick panels on metal. Then create another layer of plywood, wood planks or plastic panels, whichever you prefer. You can at least glue the wallpaper, but it is advisable then to putty the surface with a cement compound.

Insulation of garage doors with foamed polyethylene foam

insulation of garage doors 6The latter type of insulation is used more often in combination with other insulation materials, for example, with already presented foam and extruded polystyrene foam. Of course, you can only use this material, but if you want more effective insulation, it is better to combine the two options. Insulation is a foamed polyethylene with a layer of foil on one side. This provides not only excellent thermal insulation, but also good waterproofing. It is more often used for the latter, together with the properties of good heat retention.

In order to insulate and waterproof with foamed polyethylene, lay the material directly on the previously cleaned metal surface of the garage door. In our case, you can simply glue it on with a good adhesive, such as instant “quick nails”. The material is quite flexible and easy to lay down even in the most difficult to reach places. If you do not use additional heaters in combination, then the work on insulation from heat loss is completed.

foamed polyethyleneIf you combine foamed polyethylene foam with other heaters, then lay the foam on top of it, if you chose it, having previously built a lathing or fix the extruded polystyrene foam. After that, another layer of polyethylene foam can be created to achieve maximum thermal insulation and waterproofing too. It will turn out to be a kind of triple sandwich, which will be a rather effective barrier for heat escape from the room. Your garage will be warm and cozy with additional indoor heating.


In the complex, all the tips and options for insulating garage doors will help create really good thermal insulation, which will last for a very long time. Since all the materials presented have a long service life of about 50 years.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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