Polyurethane vs. Polystyrene Insulation for Garage Doors

If you want to insulate your overhead garage doors, it’s important to be aware of the options available to you. The most common types of garage door insulation are polyurethane and polystyrene. To help you choose the best material for your garage door, we have examined the advantages of each:

  • Polystyrene — The less expensive of the two, polystyrene is a popular choice for insulating overhead garage doors because of its good value and simple installation. It’s manufactured in sheets, and panels are cut and attached to your garage door’s individual sections. It’s also waterproof and comes in various thicknesses. The thickness of your polystyrene will directly affect your insulation factor or R value. Typically, you can count on a rating of R2 per inch up to a value of around R10. If thickness isn’t a limiting factor for you, polystyrene can be a great value for increased garage door insulation.
  • Polyurethane — The higher density of polyurethane makes it more expensive, but also a better insulator than polystyrene. In the case of polyurethane for overhead garage door insulation, you can expect R values from approximately R10 up to R17.5. An additional advantage is the extra strength polyurethane insulation adds. Bonded directly to your garage door, it increases stiffness, making it more resistant. It will also make your overhead door more silent when opening and closing, and less susceptible to vibrations and shaking.

How to Choose Between the Two

Before choosing the type of insulation for your garage door, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What is my budget for this project? What heating and cooling savings can I expect? Is my garage heated, or will it be a buffer between the outdoors and my home?
  2. What is my goal in insulating my doors? Is it just temperature control, or do I want more sound insulation and a stiffer, more robust door?
  3. Will the added thickness of insulation have any effect in my garage? Am I already tight for space when I park my car, and how much insulation thickness can I add?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a better idea of which material suits your overhead garage door insulation project best. The same rules apply whether you have a heated, attached or stand-alone garage. In all cases, temperature control, soundproofing and solidity of your garage door will be affected by your choice in insulation material.

Whether you’re installing new garage doors and trying to make the smartest purchase, or looking to add insulation to your current overhead doors, there is a vinyl back polystyrene insulation kit that can be added. At Custom Overhead Doors, we have experience with both polystyrene and polyurethane garage door insulation, and we can easily find the solution best adapted to your situation. Contact us today to get started. We’ll help you get the amount of insulation from heat, cold and sound you want at a price that suits your budget.