A Guide to Effectively Insulating Your Garage

With winter right around the corner, you might be wondering if your garage is effectively insulated. Maybe you remember paying high energy bills last winter season, and you have a hunch that it's because of the cold air coming from your garage. If you're looking to save on energy bills this coming winter, read on to find out how to insulate your garage door and keep the cold out of your home.

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 an Eastman E-21 Design, 9' x 7' size, Ice White doors and overlays, with 8 lite Orion windows.

Prepare Your Garage Door Beforehand

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 color, windows with Richmond Inserts.

What is an R-Value?

When it comes to preparing your garage door for winter, it is important to know how well insulated your garage is. Your garage door's level of insulation is determined by its R-value, which measures the resistance to the conductive flow of heat.

Insulation with a higher R-value will be more resistant to cold air and will protect the cold from infiltrating your garage. Having the proper level of insulation is critical if you're trying to keep the warm air inside and the cold out.

The insulation R-value necessary for your garage will depend on the square footage of your space as well as the climate you live in. The floor level of your garage will require a lower R-value than the attic space seeing as attics are usually more susceptible to drafts.

How Much Thermal Insulation is Necessary for Your Garage?

Believe it or not, your garage door's insulation can affect the temperature inside your house. The cold air that penetrates through a garage door cools the interior temperature of your garage which in turn cools the temperature inside your home leading to higher energy bills.

Picking the R-value that will work best for your garage will depend on these factors:


Garages with little or inadequate insulation should look for at least an R-12 level of insulation. R-16 levels of insulation are the highest and should be used for garages that are not insulated at all.

Attached vs. detached

The attached garages typically need at least an R-12 level of insulation. Those that are detached are usually not insulated.


If you have a loft or second story in your garage that you wish to convert to a living space, you're going to want the highest level of insulation. In this case, we would recommend R-16 level insulation.

Insulating materials

Two garage door insulations with distinctive properties:

Polyurethane is a foam that is applied to the interior of the garage door panels. Once applied, it will expand with heat to fill in any weakness or cracks in the door where cold air would be able to get in. Because of its thick and solid consistency, it is very resistant to bending and has twice the strength of polystyrene.

Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, comes in affordable easy to install sheets. The only drawback of this type of insulation is that it is less effective than polyurethane because it is less dense.

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 Essential Elements You Don't Want to Forget

Bottom garage door gap

Having a gap at the bottom of your garage door can be a major issue. Gaps under the garage door can leave a space big enough for unwanted critters like mice or bugs to get into your garage, and not only that. It can also lead to water getting in. These are two things you don't want anywhere near your garage. To remedy this, consider inspecting your garage door weatherstripping. Weatherstripping that is cracked or worn out can lead to a gap under the door if it is no longer properly sealing to the ground.

Garage door opener

If you notice any kind of gap between your door and the floor, you should try to adjust your garage door settings. Consult your owner's manual to find out how to get your garage door to close all the way, so it meets the ground.

Garage door gap at sides and/or top

Having a loose or cracked perimeter seal on your door can lead to cold air getting in. If your seal is worn out, consider installing some stop molding to remedy the situation. Stop molding is a rigid piece of PVC that can be nailed or screwed into the perimeter of the garage, which can provide effective insulation to your garage door.

Are Your Walls Well Insulated?

Walls and Ceilings

The level of insulation for walls and ceilings will differ. Walls will typically require a lower R-value than the ceiling because warm air travels upward and is released through the ceiling. This makes a ceiling more vulnerable to cold drafts, which will require high R-value insulation.

If you want to insulate your garage yourself, you can follow these 4 easy steps from Dumpsters.com:

Step 1: Clear your garage walls

Step 2: Repair any damage and seal the gaps

Step 3: Put fiberglass insulation in place

Step 4: Place drywall over the insulation

Insulate your walls to save energy costs with foam.

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


Windows can be an excellent addition to any garage as they allow for natural light to get in. However, they will need to be installed and insulated properly to keep the cold from getting into your garage. Here are some considerations to make when installing windows.


A great way to keep the cold from getting in through your window frame is to use weatherstrip tape. Simply cut the tape to your desired length and apply it to the perimeter of your window. This will help keep the cold air out and away from your garage.


It is important to re-caulk your windows. Window caulk cracks over time and should be reapplied at least once per year. Refer to this article to learn which caulk is best for you and how to apply it.

Window treatments

Thermal curtains made of thick material are another great way to insulate your garage windows. They are relatively inexpensive and can also add a nice design element to your space.

Note: These tips can also apply to your garage door windows.

Light switches and outlets

According to Conservation Mart, approximately 2 to 5% of air infiltration comes through your electrical outlets. Electrical outlets and light switches are often overlooked when homeowners are thinking about insulation, but not properly insulating them could lead to a colder garage.

Here are 7 easy ways to help you insulate your garage switches and reduce heat loss. Learn to seal all types of junction boxes with just three objects!

Reduce condensation in your garage

Keeping Water Away from Your Garage Floor

To keep water from pooling on your garage floor, it is important that your garage door threshold is sloped and directs any water from rain or melting snow away from your garage door.

Having an uneven door threshold can lead to excess moisture and water building up on your garage door and floor. Inspecting for any cracks and leaks near the perimeter of your door is important to ensure your garage stays dry.

It is often underestimated how much excess humidity can prevent your garage from heating. Condensation can damage a garage door over time and can also lead to bacteria building up in your garage. With this in mind, it is very important to keep your garage as dry as possible.

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

This garage has the proper garage door seal, and floor finishes to prevent water from leaking.

Garage floor coating and a dehumidifier are two great solutions to keeping your garage dry year-round. Both are effective in keeping unwanted moisture from building up in your garage.

Heat your garage to control your home temperature

Aside from keeping the moisture out of your garage, you might also be interested in ways to heat your garage. For this, there are many options. You could consider radiant flooring, a unit heater, or fiberglass batt insulation.

Here are the main reasons why it is important to keep your garage warm at all times.

● Avoid damaging garage door parts and frozen pipes

● Keep your belongings and appliances safe from the cold

● Prevent moisture

● Prolong your car battery life

● Optimize indoor temperature

Do you Still Have Questions Regarding Your Garage Door Insulation?

If you're interested in replacing your garage door, contact the professionals at Regional Doors & Hardware. With years of experience, they guarantee your satisfaction.

If you don't know if your door needs a full replacement, have one of our professionals stop by to inspect your garage. They will be able to point you in the right direction. Whether you need new springs, rollers, or lift cables, we have all the hardware accessories you could ask for.

Replacing a garage door is not an easy process. Having a professional who has years of experience in installation can save you a lot of time and headaches. If you're looking for exceptional installation and service, contact us at 905-684-8161!

Picking the type of garage door you wish to install can be a daunting task. With so many styles and colors to choose from, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Thankfully when working with us, you can expect one of our garage door design specialists to assist you with any of your questions and help you choose a door that matches your house and style.

If you're interested in previewing what your garage door could look like, check out our image gallery featuring our previously installed residential garage doors. And don't stop there. Use our Design Centre app to design your new door.

Contact us today for a free quote. One of our specialists will get back to you right away with all the different options we have available. Installing a garage door doesn't have to be a hassle. Contact the professionals at Regional Doors & Hardware for the garage door of your dreams!

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