How to Replace a Garage Door Bottom Seal
One of the most neglected parts of any garage door is the garage door seal, also known as weather stripping. It is crucial to weatherproof your garage door and insulate your garage.
However, most people forget to check the condition of the seal during routine maintenance of the garage door. So if you start noticing water flowing from the outside into your garage, the seal is too worn out and needs changing.
Replacing the garage door seal is easy, but it may take a whole day if it’s your first time. Then, with a few tools and the correct garage door seal type, you’ll need to remove the old seal, clean the track, attach the seal and trim the excess length.
So why is the garage door seal important, and how do you replace it? Thankfully, this article will answer all those questions and give you the information you need to ensure your garage door works effectively and efficiently.
What is the work of the garage door bottom seal?
The garage door seal is a weather stripping that goes along the bottom or perimeter of your door to keep the weather out. Garage doors need a rubber seal because, typically, the bottom of the garage door doesn’t sit perfectly 180° flush with the ground.
Instead, it most likely has tiny dips or cracks. Unfortunately, even the smallest gap can impact weather, noise, and temperature insulation. A working seal helps prevent a lot of problems from occurring in your garage, such as:
- It is a cushion when your garage door comes down too hard, especially when it’s incorrectly adjusted. In addition, it prevents the impact from damaging the steel door.
- It keeps pests, bugs, and rodents out of your garage.
- The seal traps cool or warm air inside the garage. As a result, it will reduce your home energy bills.
- It also prevents rain from flowing into your garage door. Adding a dropping temperature during the night could leave your garage full of ice on the ground.
Can you replace the rubber seal at the bottom of a garage door?
Yes. Replacing the garage door rubber seal is part of routine maintenance of your garage door. However, the rubber seal at the bottom of the garage door experiences wears and tear over time.
In addition, rain, snow, heat, ice, and salt on the ground will cause the rubber to deteriorate, making your garage vulnerable to the elements. So how do you know when to change the rubber seal?
Usually, the lifespan of the garage door seal will vary depending on your location and the type of use your garage door gets. Using your garage door every day is likely to wear out faster. Also, it may not last long if you live in areas with extreme temperatures.
However, we recommend checking your garage door seal at least twice a year. Below are signs that your garage door seal needs replacing:
- Close the garage door, then look for any obvious signs of wear along the bottom of the garage door. Check for tears, cracks, holes, warped areas, and if the rubber bounces back.
- Next, try to feel for any draft entering or escaping through the garage door seal. Then, run your paper along the edges of the garage door and watch it closely for movement.
- Check for leaks by splashing water against the outside of your garage door. Then go inside your garage without opening the door and check if the water has passed.
- Finally, check for light passing through the garage door seal. Switch off the lights in the garage during the day and check your garage door from inside. You can also do this during the night. Switch on your garage light and stand outside the garage door. Any light creeping through means the garage door seal needs changing.
How do you replace the bottom seal on a door garage door
Replacing your garage door bottom seal is an easy job to do yourself. Here are the instructions to follow.
Things you’ll need
- New door seal
- Measuring tape
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Silicone spray
- Utility knife
- Someone to help
- Vise grips
If you have a wooden garage door:
- Wood sealer
- Nails or aluminum track and calk
Measure your garage door
Before buying your new garage door seal, measure your garage door’s length, width, and thickness and write them down. If your garage door seal goes all round real, you’ll also need to measure the height.
Turn off the garage door
If you use a garage door opener, unplug the motor and put the garage door on manual mode to avoid injury. Then, pull down the red manual handle to disengage the door from the opener.
Raise the door
Lift the garage door so the bottom is about eye level to ensure you can see what you’re doing. Set the vise grips on both ends of the track to prevent the door from dropping while changing the seal.
Choose your garage door seal
You need to consider the type of bottom seal on your garage door. There are four types of garage door seals, they include:
Also, measuring the garage door bottom seal is important as they are not one-size-fits-all. Take off a piece of the existing seal from the door and check the width and shape of the edges going into the track.
Also, most seals are made of rubber but if you live in a place with very cold weather or very cold winters, consider using a silicone seal. Silicone seals are more durable as they can withstand low temperatures and last longer.
You can go to the store with your measurements and desired seal material. We recommend adding a few inches to the measurements to ensure you don’t run out of a seal when installing it.
Remove the screws
Check for screws before pulling out the seal. Both metal and wooden garage doors may have screws that hold the bottom seal. If they do, they’ll usually be one screw on either end. Use a screwdriver and take out all the screws.
Remove the old seal
The process of removing the garage door seal depends on if your garage door has a bottom track.
Metal garage doors
These garage doors usually have a track at the bottom. In this case, pull the seal from one end to the other. It may come out in one piece if it’s not too damaged.
Wooden garage doors
On the other hand, wooden garage doors do not have a bottom track. This means that there are nails that secure the seal. So to remove the seal, use a claw hammer or nail puller to take out the nails. Then pull the seal off the garage door.
Prepare the surface
After removing the old seal, clean any broken pieces sticking to the door. If your seal has nails, you can use wood filler to refill those nail holes.
Use a brush to scrub off the surface dirt, gum residue, and debris. If your garage door doesn’t have an aluminum track, we recommend installing one to make replacing the seal much easier. In addition, there will be no holes to fill every time you replace your seal.
Buy a track and cut it to the width of your garage door. Then cut the notches to fit around the rollers at the sides of the garage door. Next, pour a sufficient amount of caulk on the door’s leading edge. Then attach the track to the garage door bottom.
Install the seal
- If you opt out of a track, you must nail the new seal. However, you must be careful as you have to place the seal in the exact right position, and it should be level all along the door.
- If you have a track, first look for two grooves running along it. These are where the T-shaped sections of the rubber seal will attach. Next, use silicone spray to lubricate the end of the track and help feed the rubber seal.
- Fold the seal widthways to make a “U” shape, then insert two T-shaped prices into the end of the track. Next, fold the end of the seal you’re feeding into the track with one hand and hold the rest of the seal level with the track with the other hand. If the seal hangs down, it will pull on the section you’re already feeding on to the track.
- If the seal is too long, have a friend hold the other end that you haven’t threaded into the track. Have them hold it level and fold it widthways.
- Take your time and slowly slide the seal across the track.
- Once you get to the other end of the track, if the previous seal has screws, you may notice the track has flattened. You can use a flathead screwdriver or utility knife to open it out.
- After sealing the door, install a screw at either end to keep it secure.
- Then use a utility knife to cuff off any excess seal. You can cut it so that it’s flush with the edge of the door or flush with the side of the opening.
Pro tip: It’s best to install the rubber seal on a warm day as it is more pliable and easy to fold. If that’s not possible, try soaking the seal in warm soapy water before installing it.
Check and make adjustments.
Remove the vise grips and lower the garage door to the floor. Then engage the garage door opener and turn the power back on to the opener. Run the garage door up and down. If the garage door lowers and bounces back open again, adjust the limit of the garage door opener.
What is the seal on the bottom of a garage door called?
The seal on the bottom of the garage door is called a door bottom, door sweep, or door gasket. It is either made of neoprene, silicone, or rubber. It seals gaps at the bottom of your garage door to prevent the elements such as light, sound, wind, water, and smoke from entering the garage. It also protects the garage door from impact.
How much does it cost to replace a garage door bottom seal?
Typically, replacing your garage door bottom seal will cost an average of $60 for a single garage door and about $85 for a double garage door. This amount will vary depending on the type of fastening of the seal, the amount of material and tools needed, and additional repairs.
Hiring a professional will cost between $170 and $490, depending on the company and location. Note that weather seals with higher densities could cost a bit more due to their increased durability.
Replacing your garage door seal regularly is crucial as it keeps out bugs, rain, snow, and draft. It also insulates your garage and reduces energy waste. We hope this article has helped you replace your garage door seal correctly.