How do I insulate My Garage Door During Cold Weather

Discussion in 'Spare Parts & Tools' started by mlcorson, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    Midwest weather has been cold this year. And I have my workshop in a 2 car 375 sq. ft. detached garage. When I first set it up, I insulated the walls and ceilings. However, the big heat loss area is the garage door. It's a single, sheet metal, on a track with multiple panels. The fit is loose all around the track and the bottom fit is also loose. What can I do (for the winter) to insulate, seal that door without being it a permanent install? I don't mind it being inoperative for the winter, but I need it to work when the weather improves. Thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009

  2. Pablo

    Pablo Motored Bikes Sponsor

    I think most critical (and toughest) will be the air leaks. How about some 3 or 4 mil plastic over the whole door? Will look trashy outside, and inside well be hard to do.

    Maybe stuff some insulation around the edges, they make nice bottom seals for garage doors. Post some pics for better ideas.

    For sure bond some rigid insulation foam to the inside panels.
  3. jimraysr

    jimraysr Member

    Cold In Az

    I call it cold when i go in the garage and the digital says 55 degrees (F). None the less I can feel the heat being sucked out of my tenderfoot bod by the door.

    I purchased Styrofoam 4' X 8' sheets with aluminized plastic on one side from Home Depot. I cut it to fit the 12" - 18" door panels. I used 1/2", but you might be able to use thicker foam. It does make a difference. Harbor Freight sells a garage threshold strip (10' or 16') to seal the bottom of the door against the floor (It sticks to the floor). I have no suggestion for the sides.

    Our garage is also detached. It is stucko finish which has a layer of foam under the chicken wire. the roof is also foam, so I didn't do anything to either of them.

    I use an Infrared Space heater on a 40# propane tank to heat me and not the air. The door leakage eliminates the possibility of the heater consuming the O2 in the space. I never leave the heater on when I am out of the space. The heater has a safety that shuts off the gas if the flame is out.

    That really doesn't make it all that safe. Propane, being heaver than air deserves the respect that one would give a bottle of nitroglycerin.

    The tracks run on a wedge towards the bottom and when the closer makes its' final move, the door is pushed against the jam. I would look for weather strip to fasten (and paint to match the garage) to the jam and seal the door.

    Of course only tools go in the garage. Cars live in the carports in the shade. )

  4. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    I put poly on the outside of the door fastened with lathing screwed to the door frame. Made it tight enough that moisture condenses on the inside of the poly. Took about 10 minutes. My door is already insulated, otherwise I would glue styro to the panels also.

    The doors fit can be adjusted by moving the tracks closer to the stops, but it does make the door harder to operate. I like the plastic for a winter only option.
  5. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    Thanks everyone for your advice. Here's what I was able to do this weekend. I found a kit made by Owens Corning to insulate a metal garage door. However, none of the hardware stores in town carried it. Alternatively, I found some 3.5"x23"x93" (r13) paper faced fiber glass insulation and the width matched the garage door panels nicely. At least width wise. I fitted the insulation in the panels and used plasticore boards secured to the metal door to secure them. Easy fix and used the extra insulation to insulate some of the attic space above the garage. I can already feel the difference.
  6. professor

    professor Active Member

    One other thing to do if you want-weatherstrip that looks like a bead attached to a flat strip is useful for the top and sides of the door.
    Lightly staple it on the frame around the door and make wood moulding to lock it down and look pretty. When the door opens, it pulls away from the weatherstrip because of the track angle.
    I have a wood door, did the above and stapled some aluminumized plastic bubble type (about 3/8 inch thick) on the inside of the doors.
    Got it from HD. Made a significant difference. Warmer in winter - cooler in the summer.
    This it it in front of the bike-
  7. mlcorson

    mlcorson Member

    Great suggestion, I'll try that.