Garages are one of the areas that homeowners seldom think about weather-proofing. After all, most homeowners are only in their garage for a few minutes out of the day. But many homes can lose a substantial amount of energy through their garage, especially if their home itself is not well-insulated. Here are a few ways that a garage and garage door can be winterized.
Install or Replace the Weather-Stripping
Weather-stripping needs to be replaced periodically to remain effective. In a garage door, the weather-stripping generally comes in the form of a bumper that is tacked directly onto the bottom. If the bumper has become discolored or warped, it probably needs to be replaced. You can either do this by hiring a professional or by simply installing it yourself with a tack gun.
Take a Look at the Interior Door
The interior door between a garage should ideally be a solid core door that has been properly sealed. In many older homes, a hollow core door or thin wood door may have been used. This does not provide a sufficient barrier between the garage and the rest of the home. Replacing this door will not only improve energy efficiency but also safety -- otherwise, someone with access to your garage can easily break in.
Test Out the Garage Door Seal
Over time, garage doors can warp and become misaligned. When this happens, even the best weather-stripping will not help. You can test this in two ways. You can light a match (or another open flame) and then place it along the line of the door. If you see the match blowing in or out, air is flowing through the door. This commonly happens if the door has been struck by something and becomes dented. You can also use a hose and target it at the bottom exterior of the door. If water flows through into your garage, the bottom is not properly sealed or aligned.
Replace the Garage Door
Finally, if it's time for you to get a new garage door, you can consider the purchase of an insulated garage door. Insulated garage doors come with insulation built in; though they are more expensive, they can pay for themselves over time through energy savings. An insulated garage door is especially useful for those who do work in their garage, such as those who have tool areas.
The bulk of energy in a garage will exit through the garage door. Due to this, a garage door repair or replacement service may need to be called in for an inspection. An inspector will be able to identify any areas that could need to be repaired for better energy efficiency.