It happens all too often—you think your garage is in good shape, but then you notice a draft. You find that closing the door doesn’t even keep the air out, or maybe water is getting in under the door. This means it’s probably time to replace the weatherstripping.
Most people think that the R-value of their garage door is all that they need to worry about when they’re looking at insulation factors.
However, there are other elements to consider besides how resistant your door is to heat, cold, and other things. The weatherstripping on your garage door is the secret here.
Weatherstripping can help save energy and money!
To determine which weatherstripping needs to be replaced, you’ll need to do some investigating. With 4 types to consider, we’ve got the information you need to know below.
First Type: Bottom Weatherstripping
This is usually the weatherstripping that goes bad. It is constantly in contact with the ground and the elements, and it will wear and crack over time. The bottom threshold usually has two parts: a metal or PVC support and a rubber strip that creates the seal. The rubber can become brittle or cracked, or even tear completely.
You’ll want to look for cracks, drooping, or missing sections.
You will find all kinds of ways to weatherstrip your garage door at the bottom. Check them all out here.
If your garage's entrance is properly sloped, water damage could cause issues with the weather seal. Water can’t escape if there isn’t a slope, which causes it to turn to ice when things get cold. Then, the door is sticking when you try to open it, which can actually cause damage to your electric garage door opener.
This is creating more and more problems, and it all started because of a little bit of water that didn’t get addressed.
There are a couple of options here. You can choose to start by using sand to protect the door and absorb the water during heavy rains or storms. However, the sand will also get wet and become a freeze risk of its own eventually.
Another tip is to never use salt under or near the garage door. This can cause damage to the weather seal. Calcium is best to remove ice near your garage door.
You should keep lubricant on hand to keep the garage door safe and help prevent ice building. This should be silicone-based and designed specifically for weatherstripping.
Some people elect to install a Storm Shield threshold instead. This is a sturdy rubber component that creates a seal and slopes away from the garage door to help you prevent water from getting in and protecting your weatherstripping.
When you’ve got a garage floor that is old and works, the Storm Shield is also a good choice because it helps create the perfect seal for the door to guarantee protection. Then, you don’t have to worry about refinishing the garage floor right now.
Second Type: Perimeter weatherstripping
If the door was installed incorrectly or the weatherstripping wasn’t put on right in the first place, it could be rubbing around the perimeter of the door. This could create cracking, misshapen pieces, or tears.
Doors are not recessed—they are parallel. That’s why weatherstripping is needed.
It fills the gap and creates the seal from the elements. If the perimeter seal is damaged it doesn’t matter what else you do because drafts will still get into your garage.
PVC offers a good choice for those who want a lighter color. It also hides the hardware. Aluminum brackets are used with dark colors to hide the hardware and supports. You can choose different colors of PVC, but they’ll all be lighter shades.
Aluminum runs the risk of cracking, and more importantly, it could become oxidized and damaged if it isn’t protected.
UV rays are also notoriously terrible for garage doors and weatherstripping seals. These types of cracks and damage spots are usually found on jambs, but any door in direct sunlight can be plagued with this issue.
Third Type: Top weatherstripping
Most residential garages don’t have weatherstripping on the top. It can be added, though, and it will offer a way to make a more secure seal.
Commercial doors are usually where we see this top weatherstripping, simply because the doors are bigger and have more of a need for securing and sealing out the air.
The top seal is made of a flexible rubber to fill the extra space between the wall and the top of the door.
If you use the garage for a workshop or spend a lot of time out there, top weatherstripping might be a good choice. Otherwise, it’s not necessarily on your radar with a residential garage door.
You’ll also need to think about how the garage handles the “thermal break”, or the point at which the outside and inside air collide and affect the garage door. The heat makes the garage door and seal expand, while the cold causes it to shrink. The better insulated your garage door, is the less heat transfer that will affect it.
Doors will tend to bend over time just because they are constantly exposed to the elements and see a lot of heat. The extreme temperature differences in some climates affect the condition of doors more than others, so it might be a factor of where you live.
If you want to avoid this, consider installing a header that will add more support and keep more air out of the garage.
The garage door is always going to need attention, but it’s made in a way that should be easy to maintain and repair.
In the event that you think top weatherstripping or a header could benefit you, find a garage door professional and ask how they can help.
Do you like modern looks? This garage door is a Moderno SSG design, 12'x8', Black Ice color, window layout: Left-side Harmony.
It’s also important to allow the pros to provide you with the right equipment and parts for the job. Weatherstripping is something that you can do if you’re careful because it’s easy to get the materials.
However, it’s usually best to leave weatherstripping and other garage door maintenance to the professionals. They have the skills and experience, and also have a guarantee in many cases.
90% of all bad weatherstripping issues are caused by DIY installations gone wrong.
When you do it right, though, weatherstripping can last the life of the door or longer. Those who do a poor job could find themselves fixing or replacing weatherstripping every three or four months.
Fourth Type: Weather seal between sections
You have a fourth seal on the garage: the joints between the panels. InterlokTM joints from Garaga, for example, have three points of contact, which guarantee that light, air, and even water won’t get through. If the seal is damaged or stops working, you usually have to replace the entire door. Fortunately, when you choose a Garaga door, that’s rarely going to be an issue.
The InterlokTM joints are designed to block cold air and heat from seeping through. If you can fit a piece of paper in the crack that means the seal is bad and the door will need to be replaced.
How can my weatherstripping last longer?
We suggest cleaning your door at least twice a year to keep it in good condition.
You should also perform routine inspections to check for damage and make sure that you wash and rinse the door thoroughly to prevent residue buildup.
Dust can damage weatherstripping in more ways than you might realize. The dust is abrasive and builds up over time, leading to cracking and other damage. It can also cause mold and mildew growth, which causes damage and can become a health danger if you’re not careful.
Make sure that you rinse the garage door to get all the debris and dirt off. Then, to prevent further buildup, you can use a silicone-based spray lubricant to protect the weather seal.
You have to dust and clean your door regularly for the best care and longevity. Those who wash their cars at home have an easy job—just spray the door along with the car and you’ll be done.
Three months is the timeline for garage cleaning. You’ll want to use vinyl cleaner on the strip and make sure that it is designed for all-purpose use. A silicone-based lubricant will be necessary, such as these weatherstrip lubricants.
Petroleum can damage rubber and break it down faster, so you’ll want to avoid those products at all costs.
The bottom line? Clean your weatherstripping. Clean it and clean it again. If it is just worn out due to age or there’s damage that needs to be repaired, feel free to contact us for a quality garage door repair.
You need to repair or replace weatherstripping on your garage door?
Call us at 1-800-886-9409 to find out how we can help.
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