garage door weather seal

How to Replace the Bottom Seal on Your Garage Door

BY ROBERT BROOME, OWNER

For any garage door repair, the components used and the skill of your technician will play a crucial role in how well the fixed unit will function. While garage door bottom seals don’t seem to be that important, they actually play an important part in helping keep your garage secure from the elements, pests, and intrusion, as well as being more energy efficient.

In today’s spotlight, we’ll focus on the best ways to replace a garage door seal that’s been damaged with high-quality parts and materials for the best performance possible.

What is a Garage Door Bottom Seal?

Closing your garage door should keep things like yard debris and pests on the outside of the garage, thanks to your garage door’s bottom seal. The rubber seal on the bottom of a garage door provides both insulation and protection for your garage space by acting as a way to secure any gaps between the door and the floor below.

When your garage door is the most-used access to your house, the bottom seal will sustain a lot of everyday wear and tear. As time and the elements break down the integrity of the seal, its performance will start to decrease. If you’re noticing a draft, seeing signs of pest intrusion in the garage space, or water under the door after a rain, these may be signs that your garage door bottom seal is failing and needs to be replaced.

Common Garage Door Bottom Seals

The most typical garage door bottom seal is the type that uses an aluminum or plastic bottom retainer that is screwed to the bottom of the garage door. The retainer has a track on the bottom that is used to hold the bottom seal in place. Standard bottom seals like these are 3-3/4” wide.

In some cases, our technicians need to use a 7” bottom rubber when trying to fill a larger gap. The retainer used to hold this bottom rubber in place is from 1-3/8” to 2” wide. Always make sure to measure the thickness of your garage door carefully before purchasing a retainer. If you have a small gap at the bottom of your garage door when the door is closed and level you may also consider upgrading to a 7″ bottom rubber.

Getting the Right Wood Garage Door Bottom Seals

wood garage door seal When it’s time to replace the seal on the bottom of your garage door, you need to be sure that you buy the right type of seal. Standard aluminum garage doors and wood garage doors require different types of bottom seals. Aluminum garage doors typically have an aluminum or plastic retainer on the bottom of the door that holds the weather seal in place. However, wood garage doors use rubber bottom seals that are nailed into place.

Always make sure to carefully measure the width of the garage door before making a purchase. For the best performance, your garage door bottom seal needs to fill any gaps between the door and the garage floor. When not installed correctly, your bottom seal may still leave gaps.

Commercial Rolling Steel Bottom Seals

rolling steel garage door seal The bottom weather seal on a commercial rolling steel door can be a little more complex than a residential garage door. The bottom seal on most commercial rolling steel doors are held into place by the doors’ bottom bar. As you work to replace the bottom seal, pay special attention when pulling the old seal off off the bottom of the door. Some rolling steel doors employ the use of pneumatic or electric safety devices.

Pneumatic hoses can often be pulled from the old bottom seals and placed inside a new seal. However, if you find that there are wires built into your bottom seal, you may want to give a professional a call. Your door may have an electric safety edge and the new device may have to be custom made.

Contact our team if there’s ever any questions about a garage door safety device. Our highly trained technicians can quickly diagnose the issue and outline your options going forward.

Increasing Protection with a Bottom Seal Threshold

To lessen the amount of rainwater and other debris intruding into your garage, a garage door threshold can be the perfect solution for many homes and businesses. A garage door threshold that we typically install is a professional-grade rubber strip that is glued to the floor of the garage with industrial adhesive. This type of system is fairly simple to install and can be cut to fit with a simple box cutter after taking careful measurements.

Our team has had great success with gluing down these thresholds for Charlotte-area customers with one notable exception when the outside temperatures were below 40 degrees. Learning from this, Presto technicians highly recommend waiting for temperatures to warm up a bit before attempting to adhere your garage door threshold to the floor.

How to Replace a Garage Door Bottom Seal

Now that you’ve locked down the right type of garage door bottom seal for your unique application, it’s time to get down to replacement. As with most improvement projects, preparation is everything.

No matter what kind of replacement garage door seal you’re installing, always make sure to clean the area really well to get the best fit for your new seal. With thresholds, pay special attention to your garage floor, making sure it’s free of grease, dust, or other debris that could interfere with the adhesion process.

For replacing the bottom seal on steel garage doors, you can follow a pretty straightforward process:

  1. Raise the garage door to a comfortable level but usually not all the way so that you have room to work.
  2. Untuck one end of the old garage seal and remove by sliding it out of the track to one side. If the seal or retainers are damaged, this process is a bit more difficult and you may need pliers.
  3. Put the new rubber seal onto the outside of the track by placing the t-tabs into their respective retainers and slowly working into place along the track.
  4. Once in place, give the seal a little tug to make sure it holds tight. It should never pop out if you have the right size and a high-quality garage door bottom seal.
When installed correctly, your new garage door bottom seal should provide many years of useful life.

Installing Garage Door Bottom Seals on Uneven Floors

Often, our customers install new garage doors onto existing properties. In some cases, we remove old wood garage doors that have begun to sag badly. Due to the sagging, many homeowners do not realize that their concrete has settled and become uneven. The old garage door would conform to the settling of the concrete. When we install a new garage door, it becomes apparent that there is a big problem.

Depending on the situation, you may be able to use a large garage door bottom seal and threshold combination to help bridge the gap. While this can work for slightly uneven floors, when concrete starts sagging and creating large gaps, a more permanent solution is required. To accomplish this, our team now recommends customers explore PolyLevel® products.

Lifting Concrete with PolyLevel

PolyLevel uses polyurethane to actually lift and stabilize your concrete back to its original position. Seeing the benefits this product provides, we can confidently recommend this course of action as one of the best permanent solutions available for sagging concrete. PolyLevel uses a special kind of expanding foam that acts very quickly to fix sinking concrete. This product is lightweight yet extremely durable. This is important because you never want to add a whole bunch of extra weight to soil that’s already overburdened with sagging concrete, which may just compound the issue.

View the video below to see the PolyLevel products in action in a variety of commercial and residential applications. Added bonus—the video description can help you find a licensed PolyLevel dealer in your area. If you’re in the Charlotte area, we recommend Dry Pro Basement Systems.

Schedule Your Garage Door Bottom Seal Installation

We’re proud to have helped so many homeowners and business owners in the Charlotte area with their garage door repair issues. Our well-trained technicians only use top-of-the-line seals and thresholds to exceed expectations and maintain a consistent level of quality on every project we undertake.

Schedule an appointment to have your garage door bottom seal evaluated. We’ll cover all your options and will never install any parts or move forward with a repair without your approval.

 

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