Is It the Right Time to Replace the Weatherstripping on Your Garage Door?

Are you having trouble with garage drafts? Experiencing problems with keeping the temperature where you want? If the garage door is closed and these issues are present, make sure the window is closed. If that doesn't help, your weatherstripping could be to blame.

The R-value of your garage door insulation is important but don't make the mistake of thinking it's the only thing to think about. Even the best insulation possible isn't going to be much help if wind can get through an inch of space around the door. R-value matters, but so does the weatherstripping's condition.

Save energy and money with new weatherstrippings.

New weatherstrippings will help you save energy and money!

Four types of weatherstripping are available for garage doors, each of which is unique. Therefore, the first step to solving a problem with weatherstripping is deciding which is the problem.

1. The Garage Door Bottom Weatherstripping

The most common weatherstripping to adjust or replace is the bottom piece. It's typically made of one rubber strip and a support made of aluminum or PVC. In most cases, the issues will be on the rubber section. It can be overly damaged or become too rigid, which makes it less flexible.

When you're inspecting the weatherstripping, it's easy to see if it needs replacement. It will be dried out, droopy, cracked, or discolored.

An example of a garage door bottom weather seal.

Several weather seals can be used at the bottom of the door. Learn more about your options here.

Water that accumulates under the garage door can also lead to damage to the bottom seal. If your garage's entrance has damage or isn't sloped enough, this can also occur. In the winter months, ice can also make the door stick or cause damage to the electric opener.

This can damage the garage even more, which goes to show that water under the door is something you should avoid.

There are 2 options for fixing this issue. The first is putting down sand at the door before water can freeze. This prevents sticking without causing damage to the concrete and rubber like salt would. The problem is that this is only a temporary measure. Once the sand is wet, the ice will stick again.

Avoid ever putting salt under the garage door. Salt is going to damage the concrete floor and the weatherstripping rubber. If the cement needs to be deglazed, try using calcium.

When you clean the rubber strip, make sure to apply a weatherstripping lubricant with a silicone base. It will cause the water to bead in cold months and prevent ice from forming on the garage door.

You can also have a Storm Shield threshold seal installed below the door. It's a rubber band that creates a slope to keep water from straying under the door or getting into the garage.

Storm Shield can also be used if you have patchy older garage floors. It's an excellent alternative to placing a wider rubber strip underneath the door, which can create extra wear of the weather seal. It also helps ensure the door closes tightly.

2. The Garage Door Perimeter Weatherstripping

If dimensions of the sides aren't adequately calculated when the door is installed, the rubber might constantly be rubbing against the door and dealing with wear. As a result, it might be incapable of holding its shape or experiencing tears.

Rather than being recessed into the wall, garage doors are parallel to the wall. Weatherstripping is used to fill the space between the door and wall. As with the bottom weatherstripping, the supports around the perimeter are mostly PVC but can also be made of aluminum.

The PVC or aluminium support is used to fill the gap between the wall and the door, making a complete isolation.

PVC is typically used for aesthetics since the screws aren't hidden when using aluminum. However, aluminum is more common with dark-colored doors. In addition, PVC supports come in only light colors since the materials don't react well to heat. Black supports, for example, can be exposed to the sun and shrink and twist.

It's uncommon, but the aluminum frame can also oxidize.

Exposure to the sun can crack the weather seal. The UV rays beat down the polymers in rubber and, over time, can cause cracking. This is most common for rubber on jambs since they experience more sunlight exposure.

3. The Garage Door Top Weatherstripping

While weatherstripping can be placed on top of the door, it often isn't. Header weatherstripping is more common on large commercial doors rather than residential ones.

The top seal of your garage door is made of a flexible rubber to fill the extra space between the wall and the top of the door.

Most people won't need weatherstripping at the top of their garage door. The only exceptions are when the garage needs to be kept very warm in the winter or the garage is used as a workshop.

Since the weather outside can be freezing while the temperature inside is nice and warm, thermal breaks can occur because of the polyurethane insulation. The hot metal will slightly expand while the cold metal will shrink by a small amount. The insulation prevents the heat from transferring so the door cannot bend.

Over time or through severe cold, doors will bend a small amount when the temperatures inside and out are very different

Weatherstripping at the top of the door will prevent this bending and keep cold air outside if bending does occur.

In most cases, garage doors are created so that components can be changed or repaired on an individual basis. For example, if there's no top weatherstripping, but you want it added, a garage door specialist can provide more information about the process.

You like this look? This garage door is a Vantage Moderno SSG, 12' x 8', Black Ice, window layout: Left-side Harmony.

You like this look? This garage door is a Moderno SSG design, 12' x 8', Black Ice, window layout: Left-side Harmony.

This same expert can help you with any need you have for other weatherstripping types outlined above.

Weatherstripping can be replaced on your own if you have the right materials. However, it's recommended that you bring in a professional to handle any garage door repairs. When done professionally, you know the weatherstripping will be installed correctly and have a longer life. Ninety percent of weatherstripping issues are a result of poor installations.

When weatherstripping is installed correctly, it typically lasts about 30 years or as long as the garage door itself. However, when installed incorrectly, it might last only a few months.

4. The Garage Door Weather Seal Between Sections

The last seal is located between the two panels of the door. For example, the Interlok™ joints by Garaga include three contact points to ensure light, air, and even water can't make it through the door. If the weatherstripping is defective, the door needs to be replaced. Garaga doors are unlikely to have this issue.

The Weather Seal Between the Sections of Your Garage Door: The Interlock joint, located between the panels, use triple contact points to stop water and wind from going through the door.

The joints on Interlok™ doors between panels have three points that prevent heat and cold transfer and block out cool air. As a result, the weather seal isn't effective if a sheet of paper can be slipped between the panels.

Keeping Your Garage Door Weatherstripping In Good Shape for a Longer Period

The best thing you can do is thoroughly cleaning the door no less than twice a year to keep it in great shape. Inspecting the door regularly will also ensure you see problems before they get serious. Regular maintenance is key to keeping the door in perfect condition for as long as possible.

Allowing dust to build up can cause damage to weatherstripping components and the garage door. In addition, dust can become abrasive and cause problems. Cleaning the door also prevents the buildup of mildew or mold, which can darken the weatherstripping.

The first step is to do a rinse to get rid of dirt and dust. Next, cover the weatherstrip with a silicone-based spray for protection purposes. Dusting it regularly can be helpful. For example, you could spray the door each time you wash your car and even add a water rinse.

Cleaning the weatherstripping every three months will keep it in good shape. Since it's made of premium PVC, it should be cleaned using an all-purpose vinyl cleanser. Afterward, lubricate the weatherstripping using silicone-based lubricant. Avoid oils made of petroleum since they can break down the rubber polymers and make seals less flexible.

image of someone cleaning

The basic idea is to clean the weatherstripping a few times each year to make it last. Then, if it breaks due to wear and tear or an accident, contact us so the proper repairs can be made.

Are you dealing with more issues than worn weatherstripping?

You can reach out to us at 603-524-4778 to speak with an expert for advice. We'll help you make the right decisions based on your specific situation.

At Laurent Overhead Door Systems, we make everything simple by providing a quotation via email. Not sure which house style you have? Look at 3 styles to learn more and get help selecting the perfect garage door for your home. You can also visit our Design Centre and try your favorite garage doors on a picture of your home.

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