A garage is a sanctuary for your car and other personal belongings. It keeps these belongings dry and out of the elements no matter what time of the year. Whether we're talking about snow, cold temperatures, or blistering summer heat, a garage is an essential part of any home. Garages also serve as a great layer of protection against any unwanted critters getting into your home.
But what do you do if your garage door has a gap? Having a gap in your garage door can defeat the purpose of having an enclosed garage in the first place. A gap can allow an opening big enough for annoying critters to get in, which is the last thing you want. If these pests infiltrate your garage, your personal belongings could be seriously damaged. Even worse, these pests could gain access to the interior of your home.
Aside from unwanted animals, having an opening in your garage could allow for the elements of rain, snow, heat, or cold to seep in. This could lead to an increase in your electricity bill. Water damage is also more likely if there is a gap in your door which could also result in costly repairs.
Luckily there are solutions to fixing a gap at the bottom of your garage door. In this article, we will provide you with three easy ways to make sure your door stays completely shut year-round!
This garage door is a Standard+ Shaker-Flat XL, 9' x 8', Black, with Clear windows.
1. Replace Your Garage Door Weatherstripping
What is a bottom weatherstrip?
A garage door weatherstrip is a piece of rubber, PVC, or other material found on the bottom of your door. This strip seals the door from the outside, protecting the interior of your garage from cold air, rain, or snow. The seal you choose will ultimately depend on your garage door model. Having a weatherstrip can greatly assist you in keeping your garage insulated from the elements.
U-shaped bottom weatherstripping is adaptable to all surfaces. It is usually made from soft and flexible materials such as PVC or rubber and is extremely simple to install. These weatherstrips can withstand freezing temperatures up to -62℉ (-52℃).
Here is an image of a u-shaped weatherstrip.
When Should You Change it?
If your weatherstrip is starting to look cracked or dried out, it could be time to replace it. We recommend having a seal inspection done before the fall season to better assess your weatherstrip's flexibility and vulnerability. Inspecting this seal will allow you to detect any possible air seeping into your garage and can save you a lot of money on energy bills.
Regular maintenance is also important if you're trying to avoid racking up high energy bills. By maintaining the seal under your door, you can also be protected from home invasions that could occur from having a loose seal, making it easier for burglars to pry open a garage door.
Tip: Add a lubricant to your garage door maintenance routine!
When considering what type of lubricant to use, it's important to choose a silicone-based product specifically for PVC parts. Petroleum-based lubricants will end up hardening your weatherstrip, which will reduce durability. Lubrication should be applied at least twice per year during the spring and fall. Here's why:
● Spring is the season where the weather starts to get warmer, bringing more life to insects and other unwanted pests. These pests could easily enter your garage if your seal isn't secure and lubricated, making your garage more susceptible to damage.
● Your second application should be made in the fall to ensure that your seal stays strong before winter hits. Maintaining your weatherstrip to withstand cold winds can be easily done by applying lube that will ensure your seal won't crack and become compromised to extreme weather.
All garage doors are different, and you should try to look for the right weatherstrip that will best fit your specific door. Weatherstrip material quality can vary depending on where you get your weatherstrip. With that in mind, our advice is that you talk with a professional who knows which one would work best for your situation.
How can you change the bottom weatherstripping?
While it is usually recommended to have a garage door specialist install your weatherstrip, changing this piece on your own is possible. If you have all the parts and tools necessary to do the job, you can follow the guide provided on this website.
2. Check the Condition of the Ground Near the Garage Door
This illustration above shows the proper placement of bottom weatherstripping for an optimal door threshold.
The ground outside your garage must be sloped to direct water away from your door. An outward slope angle allows water to flow away from your garage door.
When installing a weatherstrip, you need to make sure that the floor where your garage door meets the ground is flat and without any significant cracks. Luckily, a U-shaped bottom weatherstrip is flexible enough to adapt to uneven surfaces.
If your surface isn't level and there are significant cracks, there are many garage door seal strips on the market that can fill in any gaps in an uneven floor. Door threshold seal strips are easy to install and are made of adaptable and flexible rubber. To install, just cut the strip to length and glue it to the desired surface.
If your garage door threshold is on a concrete surface, you have many options for how to ensure that the door threshold is sealed and flat. These options include epoxy, paint, tiles, or mats.
● Epoxy: This adhesive can be used to smooth out the surface where your garage door meets the ground. With many different color options, you will be able to add your creative touch and still maintain a durable sealed surface.
● Paint: Painting the concrete of your garage floor, much like using epoxy, can refresh your garage flooring, making the space look cleaner and brighter. It can also flatten the surface of your door threshold, allowing for a secure seal.
● Tiles: Tiling the uneven surface can also be a great option for making sure your garage door stays sealed. Plastic, rubber, or wood material tiles are best for garages.
● Mats: If you're looking for an even simpler solution, just use a floor mat to even out the surface you're looking to correct.
Not all cracks are created equal. Some can present huge issues and making your door more likely to take in cold air. To learn more about how cracks can affect your garage door and what causes them take a look at this blog.
● Cold Joints
Cold joints refer to cracks that are caused by chunks of concrete mixed during the installation process that harden at different consistencies. When concrete doesn't harden uniformly, it can leave cracks where the concrete doesn't connect, leaving you susceptible to an uneven surface.
● Cracks During Foundation Settling or Construction
Over time a house can begin to settle. As the weight of the house comes down on the foundation over the years, it is normal for cracks to appear and shouldn't be anything to worry about.
● Hairline Cracks
Hairline cracks are faint and barely noticeable. They can occur when a concrete surface wasn't prepared properly before installation.
Should you be concerned about this crack? Pixabay.
Tip 1: If you're concerned about concrete cracks, you can take steps to control where those cracks extend to. To do this, cut linear control joints so the cracks don't start expanding in different directions.
Tip 2: Always be observant of any new cracks you discover while inspecting your garage. Try to determine if they are foundational or just minor cracking from installation or construction.
3. Adjust Your Garage Door Opener
Having gone over the first two steps to take when installing your weatherstrip, the final step is adjusting your electric garage door opener.
To do this, consult the adjustment settings that can be found in your garage door opener manual.
After adjusting, test the Protector System and then move onto the Safety Reversal System. By doing this, you will be sure that your garage door is still functioning properly.
Finally, try slipping your finger under the weatherstrip. If it can fit through, consider your installation a success.
This garage door is a Cambridge CM, 9' x 7', Ice White door and overlays, 4 lite Panoramic windows.
Contact One of Our Professionals
If you're considering replacing a weatherstrip to completely seal your garage door threshold, get in touch with a garage door specialist today. With years of experience, they are professionally trained to repair all garage doors.
With Bouma Bros. Sales and Service Inc., your garage door will last for decades and be able to withstand any weather!
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Find out what garage door style best matches your home's exterior. Once you do, try out our Design Centre app to design the door of your dreams. Please feel free to review our image gallery of past projects.
We offer a wide variety of services ranging from installation to regular maintenance for your garage doors. Contact us now at 616-452-4704 and get your free quote by email!
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