Author Topic: Insulating Garage Door in Houston  (Read 1800 times)

doublezer6

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Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« on: July 12, 2018, 12:52:51 PM »
I live around Houston in a house built in the early 80's, meaning that the overall energy efficiency is terrible. As it stands, our AC unit can't keep up with the heat in the 95+ degree days. I'm trying to make some changes to help lower our electricity bill.

Here are the facts:

1) Two story home with two car garage on first floor.
2) Master bedroom/bath directly above the garage, kitchen and living room on other side of the two interior walls of garage, none of which are insulated. Exterior wall of garage is brick, unknown if any insulation on that wall behind the drywall.
3) Garage door is a roll up multi-panel door.
4) Garage door faces almost due West, so the sun is hitting on that side of the house during the hottest part of the day, which is usually when the AC starts not being able to keep up.

My main question is what type of insulation should I use in the garage door panels? Foam Board? Reflective insulation? Some sort of Batt insulation? I've seen DIY videos suggesting and using all types, but can't seem to find a straight-forward answer of which is most effective against afternoon heat. I want whatever will be the most effective in both summer and the few times it actually gets cold in the winter. What is the minimum R-value I should be looking to achieve?

I'll also be re-sealing the garage door to prevent air leaks, but is it also worth it to also insulate the ceiling between the garage and the master bedroom? How about the walls between the garage and the rest of the house? Or is this just overkill?

Thanks for any and all advice!

chops

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 08:36:26 PM »
Foam board is likely the easiest to glue onto the garage door, but I know MMM used batts on his garage door of his last house (there is a pic of batts appearing to be duct taped to the inside of his garage door)  https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/11/18/first-understand-then-destroy-your-home-heating-bill/

I would definitely also insulate the walls of the garage which can be accomplished best by cutting a small hole in between each stud and blowing in cellulose.  It's not overkill at all and is standard for all new construction.  I would also do the same for the exterior wall of garage.

Make sure you air seal (using great stuff or something similar) not only the garage to the outside but the interior walls between the garage and living space.  I air sealed my attic and the difference keeping the heat out of my living area has been very significant this year. 

Best of luck!  Let us know how it goes!

 - Chops

Lulee

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 10:12:38 PM »
Would it be worth it to consider replacing the doors you have with a light colored insulated door?  I've no idea what doors cost and am not clear from your post what your door is made of & what its condition is so maybe I'm way off base.

I peeked at two sites who claimed to get between a 9 and 20 R value on their doors (https://www.clopaydoor.com/residential/buyingguide/garage-door-materials/insulation and https://www.overheaddoor.com/insulated-garage-doors-thermacore if you want to see them).  In more moderate climes than your super heated Houston and my freezy NH, it likely wouldn't be worth the upgrade versus DIY but perhaps in our more extreme areas, it might make sense.

But heck yeah, insulating and air-sealing the structure should make a very appreciable difference.

ysette9

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 10:14:19 PM »
Can you get an energy audit done? Get a professional in to identify all of the areas that can be improved. You could get quotes and see what you would be comfortable doing yourself and what you might outsource. In addition to saving money on utilities, I find a well-insulated house is so much more comfortable to live in. We insulated everything in our old house including all interior walls. I am thrilled with it. More comfortable in summer and winter and my kids don’t wake each other up when they wake up and scream at night (though they will soon when we move them into the same room!).

bacchi

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 10:48:38 PM »
The problem is that the garage door can never be sealed properly. All of that 95 degree heat is going to leak into the garage. Putting some kind of radiant barrier on it is the best choice to reflect heat back.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-garage-energy-efficient-Easy-install-of-/

Then insulate the fuck out of the garage ceiling and interior garage walls.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/guest-blogs/should-i-insulate-my-garage-door

doublezer6

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 09:26:15 AM »
Thanks for the advice so far everyone.

Lulee: The door is a metal door (not sure what type of metal), works fine, and is in great condition. Instead of spending over $1000 on a new insulated door, I'm opting for the cheaper route of insulating the one I already have for (hopefully) under or around $100.

Ysette: I've looked into getting an energy audit done, but I think that is something I will tackle a little later down the road. Right now there are several things that I KNOW need to be taken care of that are within my capabilities so I will look to an auditing service once I'm trying fine tune later on.

Bacchi: I agree that the door can never be 100% properly sealed, but hopefully I can get it sealed better than it is currently. As of right now, there are some major gaps that allow in way too much sunlight, not to mention the ongoing battle I am having with wasps coming in and building nests along the door perimeter (but that's another story for another time...). It looks like I'll be going with foam or batt (depending on which has the higher available R-rating) and then using a radiant barrier as that person did in the post you shared. Then some new rubber seals and such for the door perimeter to help seal as much as possible.

This weekend's goal will be to complete the garage door, then I will look into insulating the garage ceiling and doors. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Lulee

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 01:01:25 PM »
Yes, you're right, doublezer6, the much better course is to insulate your current door.  All garage doors I'm familiar have been wood and many have been in declining health as it were, even the few on houses with living space over the garage.  I doubt any of them were ever intended to have use in temperature control, just trying to keep the worst of the elements out of the building.

Just being nosy.  Once you get it sealed up (stupid wasps! get 'em) and insulated, are you thinking of redoing the garage insulation?  Sort of do a Mike Holmes and rip out everything to the studs so you can spray foam the ceiling and walls?  That'd not only give you great protection in your living space from higher temps coming in from the garage, but it'd seal things off so no fumes would ever get in either.  Plus you could use fire resistant foam & board for added safety.

SweatingInAZ

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2018, 02:06:40 PM »
The problem is that the garage door can never be sealed properly. All of that 95 degree heat is going to leak into the garage. Putting some kind of radiant barrier on it is the best choice to reflect heat back.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-garage-energy-efficient-Easy-install-of-/

Then insulate the fuck out of the garage ceiling and interior garage walls.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/guest-blogs/should-i-insulate-my-garage-door

Yes! West-facing garage door needs a radiant barrier. I like to use the foil-faced foam for stuff like this, but be sure to add air space between the garage door metal and the foil.

I recommend sticking a thermometer in your garage and tracking the temperature for a day or two. If the garage is hotter than the outside, you should increase ventilation and try to stop heat gain (radiant barrier garage door, shade on the South wall, ??). If you are stuck having a hot garage, you will benefit most from insulating the ceiling and any interior walls.

One thing to consider is that if you insulate the garage from the outside, you will trap the heat of your car inside if/when you park in the garage. A friend of mine insulated his garage from the outside, and it ended up trapping all the heat of his car inside well into the night. He ended up attaching foam board to his interior garage walls.

doublezer6

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2018, 08:32:20 AM »
Update: Made some great progress this past weekend. Woke up early AM and in about 3.5 hours I have most the foam in the door (about 75%). I had to stop because I was using only a sawsall and a circular saw to cut and trim the foam board and my batteries finally gave out on me in the last few minutes. Planning on completing one morning this weekend before the sunlight starts burning the ever-loving shit out of that side of the house. I'll try to remember to take some pictures to share as well.

The materials I went with are FOAMULAR 150 rigid foam board (R-10 rating) and Reflectix radiant barrier double reflective insulation (assuming I'll be able to get another R-3 or more according to the label). I wanted to go with batt insulation for simplicity and ease, but I couldn't find any at the local Home Depot that really met my specific need that had a higher R rating than the foam board. The foam is tough to pop into place under the panel lips, but once I get everything in place I will fill in the gaps with some Great Stuff spray foam for a more secure fit and to fill in air gaps. I'm aware that radiant barrier works best when there is an air pocket between the surfaces, but I'm going to roll the dice and just put it directly on top of the foam and hope it still has a positive effect. Seen several postings in other places that followed this method and reported positive results. Also, we use our garage as a small workshop and storage room, so heat from vehicles, etc. is not an issue. I'll be adding the new garage seals around the edges soon as well.

For those that aren't aware, we are in the middle of a particularly hot stretch down here right now and it's pretty damn miserable to do just about anything outside. Afternoons are breaching 100 degrees, and add in the humidity and most days currently feel 110+. Surprisingly, even though only 75% of the door is finished, I can already feel a noticeable difference. I forgot to take "before" temp readings, but I would guesstimate the temp has already dropped 15-20 degrees.

ysette9

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2018, 08:39:33 AM »
Great update. I’m really glad that you are seeing improvements already. Hopefully that only improves from here.

katsiki

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2018, 09:11:20 AM »
Great info.  Thanks for the update, OP. 

I need to do something with my attic door...  Seeing this thread gives me some great ideas.

kms

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 10:16:00 AM »
Thank you for all your input, doublezer6. Also struggling with the current Texas heat wave here in Austin, and my garage heats up to levels where Thanksgiving turkeys would feel comfortable in. I'll try insulating the garage door this week and see how far I'll get in the current heat.

Now that a week has passed, what are your experiences with the foam board and the Reflectix? Is your garage noticeably cooler now than it was before?

kms

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 02:36:28 PM »
Quick update: we've insulated our garage door and it made a huge difference.

However, the spray adhesive we used (3M Super 77 spray adhesive) was utterly useless as the Reflectix radiant barrier foil keeps falling off all the time as the adhesive gets almost gooey and mushy once the garage door heats up. Any ideas what other adhesive would withstand the immense heat of the Texas sun on a garage door?

cheapbarb

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HipGnosis

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2018, 12:07:19 PM »
Stove gasket glue / cement

Fishindude

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2018, 04:51:06 PM »
You can probably put new insulated overhead door panels on the existing track with some minor adjustment, no need to replace everything.   If you are handy enough to insulate a door you should be handy enough to swap out door panels.  Most attempts I've seen at insulating existing garage doors don't work out all that well, plus it won't be a "tight" as insulated panels.

dgdoors

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2018, 02:29:13 PM »
I would recommend foam for your particular situation, something similar to this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cellofoam-Garage-Door-Insulation-Kit-8-Pieces-Garage-Door-Insulation-Kit-8-pcs/203630159
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 02:32:13 PM by dgdoors »

TomTX

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2018, 03:50:22 PM »
The problem is that the garage door can never be sealed properly. All of that 95 degree heat is going to leak into the garage. Putting some kind of radiant barrier on it is the best choice to reflect heat back.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-garage-energy-efficient-Easy-install-of-/

Then insulate the fuck out of the garage ceiling and interior garage walls.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/guest-blogs/should-i-insulate-my-garage-door

When our garage door catastrophically failed 9.5 years ago, we paid the extra ~$200 above a base replacement to get a fully insulated, double walled door (ie metal on both the inside and outside)

Made a big difference keeping the garage temperature cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Austin.

Zetalic

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Re: Insulating Garage Door in Houston
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2018, 08:10:16 AM »
I ordered 2 boxes Atlas EPS Matador Garage Door Insulation Kit https://mechanicguides.com/best-garage-door-insulation-kit/ , each containing 8 foam tiles, for our double garage door. Tools required are a sharp utility knife, measuring tape, straight edge and a marker of some type. Make sure you use a new blade in the utility knife for easier cuts and less mess. Look at your garage door and remove any hurricane bars, lock chains, handles etc which might be in the way. In my case I simply had to unattach the locking chain from each side and remove its rotating handle in the center by removing a pin. Once the project was finished attach each end and reinstall the handle.

As for the install it took me maybe 90 minutes total with my 4 year old son helping. :) I did the two center columns first starting with the center four then the top center two and the the bottom. The left hand column came next then over to the right hand side to complete the door. The left hand side and both center columns fit recessed in tightly behind the frame lips at the top, bottom and left side while the right side slides straight in flush with the frame. The right column has recessed edges on all four side which doesn't work and is noted in the instructions. I cut four pieces at 2.5"" which fit behind the right side of the column flush with edge. Next cut the panels as the rest it fit in the right, top & bottom recesses and flush in tight beside the smaller 2.5"" piece. I did not have to but decided to run a length of duct atone from top to bottom in those four right hand areas over the joint. Just a personal choice and wasn't required. Neatly done and hardly noticeable.

The tiles are extremely durable and bendable! I'd start at a slight angle inserting the top left edge first and as much as possible then bending or cupping the panel insert the bottom left edge while straightening it out. Once most of the panel was inserted pull the right side out away from the hinge brackets and slide in towards the left and behind the lip. Bend the top in followed by the bottom until you finally fit the right side edge in. Watch the hinge brackets when you slide the panels so they don't catch and tear the slotted side corners. They are so durable and bendable that they can fit extremely tight. I cut the first 3 columns at 45 13/16th inches (instead of just cutting at 3/4"") and the right edge fits in snugly against the frame. You couldn't slide a sheet of paper between any of the edges. So when cutting and fitting in cut to the exact size for a perfect fit!

The laminated side looks great in our otherwise roughly finished garage which badly needs a painting! I was amazed at the easy & quick install, how durable the panels were, how tight they could fit in and that they could look as good as they do. The final raising and lowering test of the door showed that the panels remained in place with no movement. Perfect!

I have 100% total product satisfaction with this! Completed photo included. I'd have moved the cars out but it was too cold to bother with. Enjoy!
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 06:42:28 AM by Zetalic »