Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Garage Workshop Transformation: Insulate the Garage Door

After I put Insulate the Garage on the Garage Workshop punch list, I realized we’d lose heat through the garage door if we didn’t replace it with a new insulated garage door.

Then I fell over at the price of insulated garage doors.

I wondered if I could save myself a truck full of money and the hassle of installing a new garage door and disposing of the old one ethically by insulated my current garage door.

Turns out you can. Whew!

I looked at garage door insulation options.


  • Spray foam is the best insulator because it gets into the nooks and cracks of the structure before it dries rock hard. This will be a problem if/when the spray foam gets into the door mechanisms. It’s not a DIY job, it's the most expensive option, and most likely will make my garage door too heavy to open and close properly – pass.

  • Reclaimed/recycled cotton bat insulation They make some cotton bat insulation from recycled denim. However, it is still soaked with chemical flam retardants, which is a concern. Of the DIY options, it’s more expensive than fiberglass (although it’s potentially less itchy.) I’m not exactly sure how I’d get the cotton bat insulation to stick to my garage door and stay put when opening and closing the door. My test of wedging bat insulation in the door channel and running the door and up and down allowed the insulation fall out – pass.

  • Foam board garage door insulation kit The kit looked easy to install. It should be there is nothing to attach the foam board insulation to the garage door. Again, there are concerns about the insulation falling out of the door channel when I opened and closed the garage door. In addition, the foam board insulation doesn’t have any recycled content – pass.

  • Fiberglass garage door insulation kit – I know, I know once recycled denim insulation hit the scene; fiberglass insulation was poo – pooed as to not being eco. Turns out Owens Corning fiberglass insulation contains recycled content from glass bottles. Truthfully, I was shying away from fiberglass batting because it can be itchy to work with even though it's a more affordable option. However, the Owens Corning Garage Insulation Kit promises to be less dusty (itchy) than the brand of fiberglass I’ve worked with in my own home, Owens Corning has an Ohio connection (the home office is in Toledo and they have several plants in Ohio) and the Owens Corning kit gets better on line customer reviews than the foam board kit – Fiberglass garage door insulation is a go!
Project Manager Blitzkrieg models the Owning Corning Garage Door Insulation Kit because every time I pull out the camera to take project photos Blitzkrieg jumps in them. I learned not to fight it.


I make this look gooooooooood!

Each kit has eight panels of insulation and enough clips to insulate one garage door. I have a double garage door. I used two kits.

You will need to provide a tape measure, pen, utility knife and straight edge.

The installation is crazy easy! It took about an hour to complete. Seriously, if Blitzkrieg had thumbs and could peal double stick tape, he could insulate the garage door with this kit. That. Easy.


How to Insulation a Garage Door

1.    Stick the tape to the garage door panels. The PM insisted I measure, mark, and center the tape as the instructions suggest.

Stuck on you.

2.    Stick the hanger to the backside of the double stick tape.

Hanger time!

3.    PUT ON THE GLOVES that come with the kit before you pull the rolls of insulation out of the box to cut down on the itchies. I didn’t and my hands itched a bit because of the glass fibers. It was not too bad, because the fiberglass is less dusty (itchy) as they promised and unlike other jobs, it didn’t go through my long sleeved shirt and jeans and make me itch. I’m sure if I had put the gloves on first, I wouldn’t experience any itching from the fibers. Don’t be me, put the gloves on first.

Latex gloves come in the kit. They are your friend.

4.    Measure the height and width of your garage door panels and cut the insulation panels accordingly. I didn’t need to cut the first set because they are wide enough to fit in the door channel. I staggered the panels like laying tile because they aren’t long enough to fill the channels in my door.

Staggering!

5.    I cut a small slit in each panel to allow the hanger to poke through and capped it with the other piece of the hanger. The hangers fit together and work like a snap.

Together forever.

6.    Next, I measured and cut the remaining panels to fit the empty spots on each row of my garage door and attached with them to the door with the hangers.

Fill in the gaps.

7.    I opened the second kit and repeated the process with the other side of my garage door.

 Finished!

Ta Da! An insulated garage door!

I am one step closer to my garage workshop!

Update November 8, 2011: Owens Corning has a contest this month for homeowners to make their own version of their DIY Guy advertisement. The grand prize is a $1,000 Home Depot gift card! The First Place video wins $400, (four) Second Place videos win $200. They are also doing a daily giveaway of $25 from now until November 30, 2011. Sweeeeeeet!

Disclaimer: Owens Corning sent me one garage door insulation kit for this review. This did not influence my opinion of the kit or its installation.  I bought the second Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation kit with my own money.

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