When a garage door is installed, and for the lifetime of your garage door, it should close and the bottom should seal to the bottom of your driveway. This is not always the case though. There are times and instances where the garage door will not quite seal to the driveway, leaving a small gap. You don’t want to wait to fix the gap, as it can affect your energy bill (especially in this Houston heat). Also, it can lead to water, bugs, and rodents getting into your garage. There are a few ways you can fix the gap at the bottom of your garage door of your Houston area home.
If you have had your garage door for some time, the weather seal can become brittle and not contour to the driveway. It is also possible rodents have damaged the weather stripping, or has even been torn by accident. In this instance, you would just need to replace the weather seal at the bottom of your garage door. The good thing is, this is something you can do yourself. Regardless of whether they’re made of wood or metal, most garage doors under 12 years old have a two-part seal consisting of a U-shaped weather-stripping insert and an extruded metal or PVC retainer. In some garage door models, the garage door seal may be manufactured in a single piece.
How-To Change Garage Door Weatherstripping:
Here are the steps to follow to replace the U-shaped weather stripping:
- Raise the garage door to a convenient height so it’s easy to work on.
- The weather-stripping insert may be stuck in the retainer. If so, use a silicone-based lubricant or water mixed with a little dishwashing soap to loosen it.
- You can cut one side of the weather-stripping insert, moisten it thoroughly with your water-soap mixture and then pull on the other side to remove the whole piece.
- Once the insert is removed, clean the retainer carefully with a wet rag to remove any dirt or debris.
- Insert the weatherstrip with a pair of vice-grips while the other one guides it through the retainer. Don’t pull the weather-stripping too tight. Instead, just let it rest naturally inside the retainer.
- Cut off any excess weather-stripping at each end of the door panel. It is best to cut it 1/4 inch longer on each side to allow for shrinkage over time. You may also want to cut it 1.5 inches longer on each side, and then fold the excess back into the cavity
In some cases, especially in the Houston and the gulf coast region, the housing foundation will settle and can raise the garage section of the house to where the garage door has a small gap between it and the driveway. Alternatively, the driveway just might have a slope or gradient that makes the door hard to seal. There a few things that can be done in this case.
First, you could change out the weather stripping at the bottom of the garage door with a larger size weatherstrip. The bottom seals can start as small as 3 inches to as large as 9 inches. If you plan to change the weatherstrip, use the instructions above.
Another alternative is installing what is called a garage door threshold. A garage door threshold seal is a seal that is attached to your driveway instead of your garage door. There have been instances in installing a garage door, where a threshold seal has been needed due to driveway gradient. You also can install a threshold seal yourself.
How to install a garage door threshold seal:
- Clean the garage door area. The adhesive will not stick to dust or dirt. Sweep the area clean of dust and debris with a two-inch leeway on each side of the closed garage door. You also want to clean the bottom edge of the garage door, so it forms a nice tight seal. Make sure everything is dry before moving forward.
- Unroll the rubber garage door threshold to test the area and what length you need. Unroll the rubber stopper directly underneath the door. Cut off any excess on the ends and make sure it meets the door jambs on the side exactly.
- Close the door to test the seal. The bulge in the rubber formed should be on the inside of the door. Make sure the bulge is even across the door.
- Trace both the inside and the outside of the area in which to lay down the adhesive.
- Raise the door, remove the threshold, and install the adhesive. Lay down the adhesive in a zigzag manner in order to ensure the maximum adhesive surface when you lay down the threshold.
- Lay down the threshold seal between the lines as before, applying pressure in order to create a tight seal and adhesion with the floor.
- Lower your garage door down and allow time to dry. It is best to give it 18-24 hours before driving over it. Be sure to plan your time accordingly.
A quick thing to check would be your garage door tracks. Your garage door tracks need to be aligned properly when your door is closed. If it is not, it could be jamming near the bottom. If the tracks are causing an issue, you can loosen the mounting bolts and move them slightly, so the garage door rests down smoothly again.
One other way to fix the gap at the bottom of your garage door is to increase the closing limits of your garage door opener. The exact method depends on what type of opener motor you have. You will usually find that the limit adjustment is a part of the original set up procedure. It’s best to read the instructions for your door opener make and model, and follow the suggested steps.
The Houston area weather, along with life in general can play havoc on your garage door causing these little gaps between the driveway and garage door. If the gap issue with your garage door is not easy for you to diagnose, or you’ve carefully inspected it and you’re still not sure how to proceed, you can contact your Houston garage door repair service company Spectrum Overhead Door LLC. We can come out and give a free inspection and quote on all your garage door repair needs.