Your garage door seal plays an important part in keeping moisture and cold air out of your garage. It also helps to keep small critters and insects from crawling into your garage through small cracks or spaces under and around the door. If you need to replace an old or damaged seal, here are some DIY tips to help you through the process.
Measure Your Door. First, you'll need to measure the width, height and depth of your door to buy the right seal. You'll need to buy V-strip weather stripping and a tube of exterior caulk. If you have a wooden door, buy a can of wood sealer as well. For maximum energy efficiency, a rubber seal typically works best, but in locations that get a lot of ice and snow, a “cold weather” silicone seal will resists cracking and remain flexible in extreme temperatures. If your door has a metal track that holds a replaceable seal, you can replace the old seal by sliding the new seal into the track. For easier application, you can lubricate the new seal with household dish washing liquid before sliding it into the track slots.
Old To New. Raise the garage door to a comfortable working height so you can reach the old seal, then begin to slide the old seal out of the track. If it's difficult to remove in one piece, cut it into pieces for easier removal. If the ends of the track are damaged or crimped, open them up with a flat screwdriver to get the old seal out. Cut the new seal to the right length, thread the T-shaped edges into the metal track, then begin to slide the new seal into the track across the garage door. If you have a wooden door, you may need to remove a nailed rubber seal first, then use the wood sealer to seal the wood. For maximum energy efficiency, clean the areas between the door sections and install pressure-sensitive V-strip weather stripping in each section.
If your garage door has a threshold attached to the concrete where your door opens, you may want to replace it as well if it's old or damaged. Remove the old threshold and clean the concrete with a degreaser and warm water, then rinse and let dry. Cut the threshold to the right width, then roll the threshold into place with the hump on the inside of the door. Next, glue the threshold into place along the concrete and gently close the door firmly against it. Leave the door closed until the adhesive dries completely.
Depending on the type of garage door you have, there may be side and top seals that need to be replaced as well. Since there are numerous types of these other components, it's best to check the manufacturer's replacement requirements or contact a garage door company for the correct replacement parts. Although replacing the bottom seal for your door is relatively simple, it can take time and some pushing and pulling to get the seal into the track. If you're not up for a DIY project, call a professional garage door company who can help you replace your old seal properly.