Everything You Should Know About Insulating Your Garage and Your Garage Door

When the cold weather seasons are approaching, it's important to start winterizing your home. Here are some tips that will help you save money on energy costs this winter.

You know you want to winterize your home, but where do you even start? There are tasks to be completed both indoors and out, from the heating system itself to covering plants outside and making sure the weatherstripping on your doors and windows is in good shape. It's easy to do, but don't forget anything concerning your garage.

You might think that winterizing your home will be expensive, but the truth is that there are many cost-effective winterization options that will end up saving you money on your utilities for years to come.

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

What a beautiful look! These garage doors are an Eastman E-21 Design, 9' x 7' size, Ice White doors and overlays with 8 lite Orion windows.

Get Your Garage Ready

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

This garage door is a North Hatley LP Design, 9’ x 7’ size, Desert Sand Colour, and its windows have Richmond Inserts.

What is an R-value?

When it's cold outside, the temperature in your garage can be affected drastically if it is not properly insulated. When there is air infiltration or leakage, installing good insulation will help keep the temperature stable. You don't want the warm air to leak outside or the cold outside air to leak inside the garage.

The R-value measures the resistance to the conductive flow of heat. The higher the R-value, the better insulation performance and preservation against heat loss. The R-value needed will depend upon the area being insulated.

Is thermal insulation needed for your garage? How much?

Attached garages can affect the temperature of your home and can increase energy costs if they are not weathertight. Deciding on the appropriate R-value for your garage depends on these factors:


Garage insulation R-values generally range anywhere from about R-12 to R-16. Remember, the higher the number, the better the insulation.

Attached vs. Detached Garage

If your garage is attached to your home, it's important to properly insulate it because it will affect your heating bills. We recommend an R-value of at least 12. On the other hand, detached garages aren't usually heated and won't need as much insulation, but that depends on your personal preferences.


In garages that have living space above, we recommend using an R-value of at least 16. If it's a room that is used frequently, you will want a higher R-value to make sure it's comfortable.

Types of Insulation

There are two different types of insulation typically used in garage doors:

Polyurethane: This type of insulation is an expanding foam that is injected between the interior side and interior side of the garage door. It fills in all of the gaps and crevices and is resistant to bending.

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

The image on the left shows polyurethane insulation and the image on the right shows polystyrene insulation on a garage door.

Polystyrene: This type of insulation is also called Styrofoam. This is an affordable option that is easy to install. However, it may not insulate as well as the polyurethane insulation.

Additional considerations:

Top and Bottom Reveal

Check the reveal (gap) at the bottom of the garage door, between the door and the concrete, as well as the reveal between the top of the garage door and the wall. There should be a tight seal between the two. If there isn't, you may experience air and water leakage as well as pests entering the garage. The garage door weatherstripping should create this seal. It's important to inspect the weatherstripping each year and replace it if there are any signs of wearing, rips, or tears in it.

Side Reveal

Check the weatherstripping between each side of the garage door and the wall as well. You can also check the stop molding, which is a rigid piece that is generally made out of PVC to look like wood. This piece can be nailed or screwed to the door jambs to prevent air and water leakage. It has a rubber flange along one edge, which helps create a tight seal.

Adjust the Garage door opener settings

You may be able to adjust your garage door so that it closes farther and reduces the gap between the door and the concrete. Refer to the garage door opener instructions for further details.

Check Wall and Ceiling Insulation

Walls and ceilings

Exterior walls will not have the same R-value as ceilings, simply because warm air rises and it will leak through the roof. If you are unsure which insulation to choose, having professional assistance can be helpful.

For DIYers, you can insulate the garage yourself following these 4 easy steps from Dumpsters.com:

Step 1: Remove any shelving or anything attached to the garage walls

Step 2: Inspect the walls for damage and gaps. Perform any repairs

Step 3: Install insulation

Step 4: Install drywall

There are various types of insulation that are discussed in the link above. Choose the one that works best with your application.

Insulate your walls to save energy costs with foam.

Adequate insulation will save you money on utilities. Image from Pixabay.


Windows are wonderful for adding natural light to the garage to brighten up the space. Proper installation is essential for weathertight windows that keep the cold air out. Here are a few maintenance tips to consider:


Most windows have weather stripping attached to the windows. Inspect the weatherstrip for any rips or tears. You can contact the window manufacturer to order replacements or visit a local hardware store. Another option is to use weatherstrip tape. It's easy to install; just follow the directions on the package. Weatherstripping prevents air leakage from occurring.


Over time, with exposure to the elements, caulking can crack. It's a normal part of care and maintenance to repair and re-caulk the windows. Simply inspect the windows annually to check for any cracks or breaks. This article provides information about which caulking is best for you and how to apply it.

Window treatments

Thermal curtains can be an effective way to cut energy costs. It's an easy way to improve the insulation around the window.

Note: You can also follow this advice for your garage door windows!

Are your light switches and outlets weathertight?

It's not something that immediately comes to mind when you think about insulating your garage, but air can leak through and around light switches and outlets. In fact, Conservation Mart reports that approximately 2% to 5% of air infiltration comes through electrical outlets.

This article shares 7 easy ways to fix this issue and prevent heat loss. It only requires three items!

One easy method is to place foam outlet gaskets, which can prevent air leakage and heat loss. One example is how to install foam outlet gaskets to prevent air leaks through cracks and small openings.

Control Condensation

Condensation is inevitable. When warm air comes in contact with colder air or surfaces, condensation will develop as a result of moisture in the air. While condensation is sometimes inevitable (dew point), there are steps that can be taken to control and prevent condensation.

Reduce the humidity in the garage

It may be helpful to run a dehumidifier in the garage to help reduce the amount of moisture in the garage. When the humidity level is low, condensation is less likely to occur. This is another reason why weatherstripping and good insulation are important. Not only can air leak into the garage but moisture can too.

In the event that condensation builds up, it's important to have proper drainage to help the water flow away from the garage so it doesn't pool up on the floor or other surfaces, which can create a variety of problems.

Sitting water, often as a result of condensation, can lead to mold problems as well as eventually creating cracks in the concrete. Not to mention, it can make your garage floor slippery!

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

This is an example of a garage that is weathertight.

Applying a floor coating is another great idea that will help prevent these problems from occurring and damaging your garage.

Keep your garage heated

Whether you choose to heat your garage with a portable heater, install radiant floor heat, fiberglass, or any other method, it is important to keep your garage heated to reduce energy costs for your home. Here are a few reasons why it's important:

● Prevent frozen doors, windows, and pipes

● Maintain performance of appliances and other items

● Prevent condensation

● Extend your vehicle's battery life

Additional Questions?

Are you ready to properly insulate your garage from top to bottom? We hope this article gave you plenty of guidance to help you get started!

Hire a professional for garage door maintenance and repair

If you're not sure where to begin, contact our specialists at A‑1 Overhead Door Systems. They can inspect your garage door and let you know if any parts should be replaced before winter. Not only can they verify that your garage door is weathertight, but they can also check for general operational issues to determine if you need replacement springs, rollers, lift cables, or any hardware accessories.

This convenient service will save you the time and trouble of completing this work yourself. Our garage door technicians are professionals and experts at diagnosing any issues.

Your garage door may be the culprit that keeps you from energy efficiency in your home. If it's time to replace it, you can contact us at 1-800-409-3667!

There are numerous options to consider when purchasing a new garage door. We can help you choose the style, color, and size of the garage door to fit your needs.

You can get ideas by looking at our image gallery, which features our residential garage doors. Check out our Design Centre for a visual!

We are more than happy to provide a free quote by email. We can't wait to meet you and help you select the perfect garage door for your home.

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