Let’s say you’re in the process of deciding on a DIY garage kit. Weather is a factor. You’ll either be keeping out the cold of winter or pushing back against the heat of the summer (or maybe even a combination).
Insulation is going to be a factor in your decision – mainly, how easy it’s going to be to accomplish it based on the design of the pre-fabricated metal building kit you plan to purchase. Don’t forget about those garage doors. They often are key places of energy loss because most roll-up garage doors are not insulated.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Insulation
Your rolling garage doors are made with light-weight pressed metal panels. Adding insulation will increase the weight of these panels, so it’s important to make sure your choice will not impact the operation of the door. Refer to the information that came with your garage doors or garage door openers to determine how much weight you can add with insulation.
Insulation effectiveness is measured by R-Value. The higher the R-Value, the more the insulation will protect you from the outside heat or cold.
You’ve Got Choices
There are three main types of insulation that work best for rolling garage doors. Start with reading the information that came with your doors, as there might be recommendations. There also are many garage door insulation kits on the market – most with fall into one of the three following categories.
1. Reflective foil
This type of insulation tends to be inexpensive and is a popular choice for people who don’t really care what the inside of the garage door looks like after installation. In other words, they’re not planning to spend much time in the garage and looking at these doors in the closed position.
Reflective foil acts as a radiant barrier on each side. The foil sandwiches a layer of polyethylene foam that’s usually about an inch thick. This is a better choice for insulation against summer heat than winter cold.
2. Polystyrene foam
You might not be all that thrilled by the shiny aluminum surface of reflective foil insulation, but it often comes pre-cut in the sizes you need for each garage door panel. Polystyrene foam is usually sold in large sheets that you’ll have to cut to size yourself to fit in the panels of your garage doors.
The benefit to polystyrene foam is that it has an insulation value that’s superior to reflective foil. This might be a better choice for you if you live in an area where you have to insulate against the cold. It also does an adequate job with cutting down on heat transfer through the metal garage doors.
3. Panel kits
These are more expensive than reflective foil or polystyrene, but they tend to be a better choice if your objective is to install insulation that helps with giving you something nicer to look at when you’re inside the garage with the doors down.
The kits provide everything you need to install the insulation yourself. The pre-cut panels are often made of fiberglass or polystyrene that’s been laminated. The panels fit securely in the channels of your garage door frame. If insulation is more important than looks, go with the polystyrene. It’ll offer better protection against energy transfer through the metal garage doors than fiberglass.
While spray insulation might be a good choice for other parts of your pre-fabricated metal building, it’s not suitable for garage doors. We can help you with insulation information when you request free information from us about our DIY building kits.