Guide to Effectively Insulate Your Garage

It's that time of year again that we all look forward to. Football season is starting, and it's time to deck the garage out in your favorite sports memorabilia to have everyone over for Sunday watching parties. For many men, it's the best time of the year.

However, it also brings with it some of the most dreaded maintenance work of the year. Winterizing your garage and home can be a headache and a very expensive one. Unpredictable winter weather and cold temperatures batter our homes and garages, and it takes a great deal of preparation to keep these conditions at bay.

Unfortunately, many homeowners aren't aware of some of the many problem areas in the garage where cold air slips through. This can lead to sky-high energy bills and damage to the garage. If you're preparing to winterize, keep reading for a comprehensive guide that could spare some stress and save you money.

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

You like the Carriage House Style? These garage doors are in the Eastman E-21 Design, 9' x 7', Ice White doors and overlays, 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.

Do enjoy lighter colors? This garage door is a North Hatley LP Design, 9’ x 7’, Desert Sand Color, windows with Richmond Inserts.

What You Need to Know About R-values?

Efficient insulation is needed to winterize your garage fully. But how do you know what grade of materials to purchase to ensure this happens? R-value is how certain materials are graded for their ability to stand up to cold and other conditions that could compromise your insulation. Things like walls, ceilings, and garage doors all get graded with an R-value.

The higher the R-value, the better the material is at performing against frigid conditions. Certain materials and areas of the garage should be rated at different levels, depending on their importance and how susceptible they are to the elements.

How much thermal insulation do you need for your garage?

These factors should help when determining what R-value you need this winter. Use this list as a guide when you go into your favorite lawn and garden store to purchase your materials.


Garages that aren't heavily insulated would fall somewhere around an R-12 category. These aren't used as much and probably wouldn't be good to invite guests over. If you plan on hosting events, an R-16 is more suitable.

Attached vs. detached

The attached garages should use materials rated at R-16. They are directly connected to the home and can pass that cold air into your living space. Detached garages aren't as important. However, if you plan on having guests, again, you want something rated higher.


R-16 is the ideal rating if you plan on using the garage heavily. Heavy use is considered weekly events or guests, or having the garage converted into a living space.

Insulating materials

Two garage door insulations with distinctive properties:

Polyurethane is the most efficient insulating material for garage doors. After it forms, it's thick and dense, adding heavy insulation that your garage door needs. When this material is sprayed inside the door, it expands to fill every small crevice inside the door panels. This also makes the door more durable because of the heavy-weighted material.

Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is not as heavy-duty and most likely won't hold up to the winter elements without extra weather guarding. Styrofoam also makes the door more prone to damage because it's not as sturdy. Most standard garage doors come with polystyrene from the factor.

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 weatherstripping

Your bottom garage door weatherstripping is one of the most vital components when it comes to winterizing your garage. This rubber strip should be inspected twice a year, ensuring there is no major damage that would compromise the seal. Look for small holes and brittle areas that develop as a result of sun damage. Prolonged water exposure can also damage these rubber strips.

Garage door opener

Perform a test on your garage door opener to be sure it closes the garage efficiently. Even the smallest gap at the bottom of the door from not properly closing can have huge consequences for your energy bill.

Garage door gap at sides and/or top

Consider installing PVC weatherstripping or vinyl. Both of these are very efficient at protecting the garage from cold winter air and snow. The vinyl version also gives your garage a beautiful visual element that can be installed to match your home.

Are Your Walls Well Insulated?

Walls and ceilings

If you're unsure about the level of your walls and ceilings, you should contact a professional. The walls should be rated at around R-16 for garages that are used heavily. If you find out they're not, you may want to consider installing extra insulation and new drywall.

If you've never insulated your garage and hung drywall, here's a short guide from

Step 1: Clear your garage walls of everything hanging. They should be completely bare.

Step 2: Repair any holes, cracks, or chips. Fill these holes with plaster or mud and smooth them down with a sander.

Step 3: Place your fiberglass installation onto the surface, making sure you have plenty to work efficiently.

Step 4: Install the drywall directly 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.


It's great to have natural lighting for your garage, but don't get too crazy. If you don't have windows rated for all types of weather, there are small hacks you can use that work for all budgets:


Use weatherstrip tape for a quick fix and insulate your windows. This is the fastest and easiest way to guard cold air against entering cracks around your window. All you have to do is cut a strip to fit the area where you're having trouble, apply the tape, and smash down to remove any air bubbles.


Refer to this article to learn which caulk is best for you and how to apply it. There are higher grades of caulking you can use for your windows that won't dry or flake off from sun damage. Caulking around your windows is a great way to winterize if you use the proper materials.

Window treatments

If it's in the budget, purchasing special components for your windows can be a great idea. There are insulated curtains made specifically for winterizing purposes. These curtains also protect your garage during the summer months when it gets too hot.

Note: Use these hacks on your garage door windows if you have them!

Light switches and outlets

According to Conservation Mart, 2% to 5% of frigid air sneaks in through your outlets and light switches. Most homeowners don't even think of these areas when preparing for winter. A little attention to these areas could save you a fair amount of money.

These are 7 easy ways to insulate your switches and outlets this winter. Don't skip this guide or ignore these areas; you could be losing vital warmth through these pesky cracks.

Reduce condensation in your garage

Condensation is another problem area that many homeowners don't think of when they're preparing for winter. Garages allow condensation and moisture to build up easily, which can be detrimental to your energy bill and damage to various parts of the garage. Concrete can break down before it should, and electronics in your garage could also suffer as a result of condensation. Use these tips to keep your garage dry.

Keep the water out from your garage floor

A small drain pipe in the middle of your garage floor can work wonders. If you don't want to break the bank on installing a drainage tube, you should always keep water off the floor and use a squeegee to keep water at bay.

Having efficient heating in your garage can prevent humidity. Dry heat will block humidity from forming and prevent condensation build-up that damages your garage. It doesn't take much to generate this heat, either. You'd be surprised at what a small space heater can do.

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.

Combining an efficient floor sealer with a dehumidifier and space heater can virtually eliminate all moisture from your garage. Using effective heating techniques can save you from a ton of damage this winter.

Heat your garage to control your home temperature

There are several heating solutions for your garage. There are multiple reasons why keeping your garage warm and dry is of utmost importance. Take these factors into account:

● Garage door parts aren't exposed, and pipes won't freeze

● Your storage items and electric components on certain appliances won't be damaged

● Avoid moisture building up

● Your car battery will last a lot longer

● The indoor temperature is easier to control and keep at a comfortable level

Do you Still Have Questions Regarding Your Garage Door Insulation?

These tips should be a great deal of help to you heading into the winter season. However, if you have more questions, it's important you contact experts who can help.

Have you inquired about our services?

International Door Corp can come to your house for a visual inspection before you replace your garage door. We can point out other problem areas or spots that need attention. If you're going to do it, you should do it right! We can also help with the hardware accessories you need!

Take a break from inspecting all the vital areas of your garage and your garage door. We know you're busy; that's why our technicians are more than happy to come to inspect for you. Let us know when you're available for us to assist in the inspection!

Maybe you decided it's been your garage door causing the issues the whole time. In that case, we're standing by to help with a more energy-efficient option. Contact us at 207-784-0622!

Buying a garage door can be an overwhelming process without the proper guidance from an expert. Let us walk you through the whole process and make sure you receive the help you need.

Start with our image gallery to get an idea of all the residential options we have to choose from. Our Design Centre is available to give you a better visual of options to choose from and help you create the garage door you want.

When you're ready, we'd be more than happy to send you a free quote by email for your next garage door. We can't wait to meet you and help get your garage ready for football season. Just make sure you invite us over for a game!

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