Design Guide: Garage Doors for Cold Climates
Garage doors for homes in colder climates are designed and built with certain features that make them more suitable for the weather and temperatures common in these areas. While some design features are mandatory for these types of doors, others are simply convenient. If you are looking to purchase or design a garage door for a climate that has freezing temperatures, ice, snow, hail, or strong winds, these are the major design features your custom garage door should have.
Mandatory: Materials that Insulate
When temperatures drop, your garage door should be able to keep the cold out. The door needs to be designed to insulate well and built with materials that offer a good R-value, which measures how well the material reduces heat flow. Wood is a natural insulator that is suitable for cold climates, but that’s not all a cold climate garage door needs. The highest-quality garage doors offer added insulation using the right type of foam at the interior of the door. Look for garage doors that insulate with high-quality foam, like polystyrene.
Optional: Forgo Windows
Garage doors look great with windows, but these design additions can take away from the insulating properties of a garage door. The glass panes in the windows will allow energy to transfer through them, as will the seals around the windows themselves. It’s a small detail that will ultimately only have a small impact on the garage door, but if you’re looking to maximize insulation, design a garage door without windows.
Be Unique: Add a Walk-Through Door
One extraordinarily unique design option for cold climate doors (that most people forget about!) is a walk-through door. Your garage door is the largest opening on your home. When open, it allows cold air in at a rapid rate. Even if you open and close it right away, it still takes time to slowly open, then close. Walk-through doors allow you to reduce the number of times you have to open your garage door, limiting it to only when you must drive in and out.
Walk-through doors are small doors that can be built into the garage door itself, or be integrated into the garage door opening, allowing you a small access door that operates independently of the main overhead door. This allows you to enter and exit the garage space quickly, limiting the loss of heat during the winter months.
Learn more about custom walk-through doors here.