Weatherstripping is located on all sides of a garage door. Its primary functional purpose is to seal the door to regulate the internal temperature of the garage, keep Mother Nature out, and prevent any critters from entering.
As a garage door gets older, it becomes increasingly important to inspect the weatherstripping for natural wear and tear, cracks, and other damages that may make it less effective. When completing the inspection and determining next steps, keep in mind the location of the weatherstripping around your door as it will dictate the type of weatherstripping present and the appropriate method of replacement, if needed.
Sides and Top of Door
The sides and top of a garage door use the same type of weatherstripping, but the design differs between older and newer garage door models.
Older Models (20+ years old): Many old garage door models have a wood stop that goes around the top and sides of the door instead of weatherstripping. Oftentimes, garage door professionals will recommend removing that wood stop and replacing it with a vinyl stop that has built-in weatherstripping. Vinyl stops are available in various colors and can even be painted to match the color of your door. There are also two different sizing options, 2 ½- or 3 ½-inches wide, so you can find the fit that gives your garage door a seamless appearance.
Newer Models (10 years old or less): New garage door models are likely to have the vinyl stops with weatherstripping installed along the garage door. The primary focus with these models is regularly inspecting for cracked or worn weatherstripping. When these issues are present and/or you can feel a draft coming from around your door, it’s time to replace the weatherstripping.
Bottom of Door
Bottom weatherstripping is its own unique design. Most residential garage doors nowadays have a metal or plastic retainer attached to the bottom of the door that the weatherstripping slides into.
If during your inspection you notice the weatherstripping at the bottom of your door has become stiff or no longer seals to the floor, consider replacement. Replacing a garage door’s bottom weatherstripping is a task that can often be completed by do-it-yourselfers. The steps are not dangerous or overly complicated – with some basic mechanical skills, a DIYer can likely get the job done. However, you should be aware of these likely situations you may run into when replacing your weatherstripping…
Situation #1: You cannot use just any weatherstrip as your replacement piece because each door brand has a specific retainer profile, meaning the corresponding stripping is the only kind that can fit inside.
Solution: Know your garage door’s brand and model to find the weatherstripping that is designed for that specific retainer.
Situation #2: Don’t be fooled by how easy it is for the old and worn weatherstripping to slide out of its retainer. The hard part is getting the new weatherstripping to slide back into the retainer.
Solution: Use soapy water and the help of a second person to slide the new weatherstripping into place.
Situation#3: When your door is closed and you can still see light peeking in from under the bottom corners, it’s probably because you have an unlevel floor. The uneven concrete prevents your door’s weatherstripping from properly sealing the entire length of the garage floor.
Solution: Pick up foam back rod from the hardware store. Insert a 12” piece into the weatherstrip loop. This round piece of foam will add more length to the portions of your bottom weatherstripping that aren’t meeting the ground.
Situation #4: When water is leaking into your garage from underneath the door, it is an indicator that you may need an additional threshold to stop the water.
Solution: Storm Shield Threshold Weather Seal can be glued to the garage floor. This black piece of flexible PVC (as seen in the diagram below) acts like a tiny dam preventing water from entering your garage. This product is made for garages and is safe for cars to drive over.
ODW has a lot of experience working with weatherstripping. We can help you assess your situation and find the type of weatherstripping you need, even if the make and model of your garage door has been discontinued. We sell the parts for you to DIY, or we can take care of the entire replacement for you if you’d prefer to leave it to the pros. Either way, you can contact us for all your garage door weatherstripping needs.