What is R-Value, and What R-Value Do I Need for My Garage?

If you are shopping around for a new garage door, you have most likely come across the term “R-value.” The R-value is in reference to the door’s level of insulation. But what is the R-value, and how do you know what level of insulation you need for your garage? Let’s get an understanding of the meaning of R-value.

What is R-value?

R-value is short for resistance value. It is a measure of thermal resistance, meaning how much resistance the insulation must provide for heat flow. R-value is dependent on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. The higher the R-value, the more resistant it is to heat flow. Basically, the higher the value, the better the insulation is, so for example, an R18 garage door has a higher insulation value than an R12 door.

Types of Insulation

When deciding on the level of R-value for your garage door, it can also be helpful to understand the types of insulation available, as it is often spoken of with the R-value. There are two commonly used types of insulation for garage doors, which are polystyrene and polyurethane.

  1. Polystyrene

Polystyrene is also known as Styrofoam. It is pre-formed and glued between the panel layers. It does leave some air pockets within the panels, but it still provides good insulation and makes a huge difference compared to an uninsulated door.

  1. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a spray foam insulation. It is the better and more expensive option. Polyurethane is sprayed into the panels so there are no gaps in insulation, and it does provide a higher R-value than polystyrene.

So, what R-value do you need for your garage door?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as if you have a detached or attached garage, if your garage shares walls or ceilings with a living space, and what you use your garage for. A garage door is recommended to be at least an R10, and if you use the space of a home office, gym, et cetera, a higher R-value would definitely be a good investment.

If you need help deciding what R-value would be ideal for your garage, our experts at The Door Master are always happy to help you choose the best option for you!

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