Your garage door opens and closes so noisily you’re pretty confident everyone two streets down can hear it. Each time you have to go into your garage for something, you can’t help but feel self-conscious about all the ruckus you’re making. Is a loud garage door a sign you need a new one? Is there any way to make yours quieter?
There are many ways to soundproof a garage door. You can seal door gaps, add acoustic panels to the walls, take out your air vents, plug any windows, and use acoustic blankets or moving blankets. If none of those options work, you can always relent and get a new garage door.
Whether your budget is wide open or pretty tight, at least one of the methods I just touched on should work for you. If you want more detailed info for soundproofing your garage door, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s get started.
How to Soundproof a Garage Door
1. Make a Vent Sound Maze or Get Rid of Air Vents Entirely
You probably don’t think much about the vents in your garage, but these could be a significant source of noise. Don’t start soundproofing until you tackle the vents. Otherwise, your efforts could be for nothing.
You have two choices here. The first is to create what’s known as an air vent sound maze. You only need some wooden sticks and acoustic foam to do this. Here’s an illustration that shows how you should construct your maze.
First, take your acoustic foam and trim it, so it’s roughly the width and length of your stick. Don’t necessarily use thin sticks for this project; thicker ones work just as well. Then, arrange them per the diagram above, and your garage door noise should be no more.
If that fails to help your noise problem, you might think about taking out any garage vents. As you can imagine, without air flowing through the garage, it will be very toasty in there pretty much all year long.
That’s nice in the winter but not so much in the summer. If you make your garage into a workspace, man-cave, or recreation zone, you’ll have to stay cool somehow. I recommend oscillating fans or even a window AC unit.
2. Use Acoustic Panels on the Walls
If you have a bit more money to put into soundproofing your garage door, then acoustic panels or sheets are a great way to go. These have a more professional look than hanging acoustic blankets. Your garage will almost resemble a recording studio, and it will sound like one, too: quiet!
We like these panels, which are available on Amazon. They’re highly-rated and designed with a wedge style. Each tile measures 12x12x1, and you can get six of them in a pack. You might need several packages to cover any significant surface in your garage, though.
Each panel is an inch thick. The design and thickness of the panels are intended to catch echoes and prevent them from traveling. Acoustic panels like these can also aid in sound absorption, especially mid-frequencies and higher ones.
Many acoustic panels, including the ones I linked to, have an incredibly fast and simple installation. You can use 3M Command Strips, double-sided tape (make sure it’s durable, though), impaling clips, push pins, or adhesive spray.
If you plan on taking down the acoustic panels anytime soon, you might use a less permanent means of installation.
While I wouldn’t advise you to cover your floor in acoustic panels, the door, walls, and windows are fair game. These are a handy solution to cut down on garage noise.
3. Plug up Your Garage Door Windows
If you’ve never plugged up your windows before, let me explain to you how it’s done.
You take any ol’ unused cabinet door handle you have lying around. Then you find some backing board that’s roughly the same length (longer is better since you can cut it). Finally, you get some acoustic panels, like the ones I linked you to in the last section.
You put all three items altogether, and you get a window plug. The plug should adhere along your window frame. Before you do this, you want to know your window seal depth.
Take that number and divide it in half and that’s how deep your window plug should go.
While your window plug should sit against the frame, it shouldn’t touch your window pane. If you see a small opening between the plug and the pane, that’s okay.
Plugs aren’t your only options for garage door windows. Acoustic or moving blankets both work here, but you’ll definitely have to cut the material down to size.
If you want to soundproof the windows in your garage as well, soundproofing blackout curtains are another solid choice. You just hang these over the window and enjoy less noise. They tend to look quite nice to boot.
4. Attach Acoustic Blankets to Your Roll-up Garage Door
If you have a roll-up style garage door, then you can use acoustic blankets. You’d want to adhere these to your garage door on both sides.
Do keep in mind that each time you wanted to open or close the garage, you’d have to remove the blankets from the door. Otherwise, they’d probably get caught in the fragile mechanisms, preventing you from using your garage door. Then you’d have a whole other headache you don’t want to deal with.
As I mentioned in a previous article, moving blankets are an inexpensive alternative to acoustic blankets. You might want to try them for soundproofing first because they’re so cheap. If they don’t quite solve your noise problem, then it’s time to move on to acoustic blankets.
Acoustic blankets are designed for soundproofing, so they should work better. Here’s one such blanket on Amazon that measures 72 inches wide by 78 inches long. Per every nine inches, there are reinforced metal grommets that give you plenty of hanging options.
These acoustic blankets cut down on noise and vibrations, so there’s no more loud garage door screeches and rumbles.
If your blankets are too big, you can always cut them down with scissors. You can also fold the blanket and then hang it up on the garage door. This way, you get two layers of sound absorption.
5. Create Insulation with Fiberglass Panels
If you still haven’t blocked out all the noise from your garage door, don’t lose hope. Fiberglass panels (Amazon) could be just what you need. You can use hanging strips or adhesive spray to secure these on. The ones I linked to come in interesting colors like red, blue, or black.
These fiberglass panels are beneficial in several ways. There’s less friction against your garage door, and the panels are moisture-proof and shock-proof as well. They also will insulate your garage, retain warmth, and cut back on sounds via absorption. You can get 12 panels per the link above.
As an alternative, you might also consider using mass-loaded vinyl. These aren’t panels, per say, but just a single soundproofing barrier. This MLV here is four feet by 25 feet. The barrier itself has a thickness of 1/8th of an inch. You can even bring it in the house if you have noise issues inside.
6. Block up All Gaps
You should not have any gaps around the sides, top, or bottom of your garage door. If you do, then you’re letting in air and noise. Weatherstripping should be replaced regularly.
This weatherstripping from Duck Brand even lets you select how much sealant you need by the size of your garage door gaps.
High-density foam tape is another awesome solution for, particularly large gaps. Just make sure you can open and close the door with this tape, as it’s half an inch thick.
7. Get a New Door
Hopefully, one of the methods I shared above was enough to cut down on the rate of noise from your garage door. If all else fails, you still have one more trick up your sleeve. That’s to get a brand-new door.
If you don’t already own one, make sure you shop for an insulated garage door specifically. Although these can sometimes cost several thousand dollars (for the biggest ones), they insulate your garage from the most noise.
No door is completely silent, and some sounds will always travel. You should notice a marked improvement with an insulated garage door, though. For your own sanity and that of your neighbor’s, that’s a good thing.
Is your garage door the loudest and creakiest on the whole block? Okay, make that the whole neighborhood? It doesn’t have to be that way.
By plugging up gaps, using acoustic blankets and panels, and insulating your garage, you can reduce all that unwanted noise. If worst comes to worst, you can always get a new garage door.
Once you soundproof your garage door, you’re now free to enjoy the inside of your garage for entertainment or even letting your teenagers have band practice without any more noise complaints.