Does Your Garage Doors Need New Weatherstripping? Know the Signs!

With the garage door closed, does the temperature rise or drop? Do you notice drafts without the windows open? Those are both good signs that your door’s weatherstripping needs to be replaced.

There’s more to garage door insulation than R-value. Yes, that is an important metric, but you can have the highest R-value in the world and if air can still blow under or around the door, it’s only going to do so much good. The secret is your garage door’s weatherstripping.

Save energy and money with new garage door weatherstripping.

Save money and energy with new garage door weatherstripping.

When you think about weatherstripping, you probably picture the part on the bottom of the door. However, there are actually 4 types that you need to know about. We’ll cover them all here.

Your Garage Door Bottom Weather Seal

The most common piece of weatherstripping to suffer from problems is the bottom, U-shaped piece. It contacts the ground and helps to seal under the garage door. However, it can also dry out, crack, and eventually fall apart.

Take a quick look at your bottom weatherstripping. Is it discolored? Do you see cracks? Is it hanging on by a thread? It’s definitely time for a change.

Of course, there are multiple types of seals in use today. You can explore the different bottom weatherstripping types right here.

An example of the best bottom weather seal.

Here is an example of the best bottom weather seal.

It’s not just normal wear and tear that can damage your bottom weatherstripping. If water ponds at the door or floods under the door, it could freeze in cold weather. When you attempt to open the garage door with the electric opener, the force can tear the rubber and damage the weatherstripping significantly.

How do you get around this? You have 2 potential solutions.

First, a caveat: never, ever use salt to prevent ice from forming under your garage door. It is corrosive and will damage your weather stripping. Instead, try calcium. You can also use a silicone-based lubricant on the rubber strip, as this will make water bead up and prevent ice from forming.

Solution 1: First, apply a layer of sand under the door. If it is high enough, it should prevent the rubber from contacting the water and freezing when the temperature drops. However, once the sand becomes soaked through, that benefit disappears and you’re back to square one.

Solution 2: Second, try using a Storm Shield threshold. It’s made of rubber and forms a dam to help prevent water from reaching the weatherstripping in the first place and will form a tighter seal.

The Weatherstripping Around the Sides of Your Garage Door

Believe it or not, but you have weatherstripping all the way around the sides of the door. If the door was measured improperly, it could cause the weatherstripping to drag as the door opens and closes. That will lead to premature failure.

Remember – your door isn’t recessed into the wall. It moves parallel to it. There’s a small gap on either side, and that’s filled by PVC weatherstripping, although aluminum is sometimes used.

Example of Perimeter Weatherstripping: The PVC or aluminium support is used to fill the gap between the wall and the door, making a complete isolation

Here is an example of perimeter weatherstripping. The PVC or aluminium support is used to fill the gap between the wall and the door, providing complete isolation.

PVC is the preferred material for just one reason – it’s easier to hide the screws with

PVC than it is with aluminum. And aesthetics is a big concern here.

You may notice that if you have a dark-colored door, the brackets are made from aluminum. PVC doesn’t do well with heat, so it is available primarily in lighter colors that reflect more sunlight. If very dark PVC supports are exposed to the sunlight, they can deform.

Aluminum can also wear, but oxidation is relatively rare.

Both PVC and aluminum weather seals use rubber, which is also susceptible to damage. That’s particularly true for UV rays, which dry out rubber and make it crack over time. The jambs are most at risk for this as they’re more exposed to sunlight than other portions.

Your Garage Door Weather Seal Header

Some garages have weatherstripping at the top, called a header. However, it’s not all that normal for residential garage doors. It’s more common with commercial applications.

An example of a garage door top seal, which is made of a flexible rubber to fill the extra space between the wall and the top of the door.

Here is an example of a garage door top seal, which is made of a flexible rubber to fill the extra space between the wall and the top of the door.

There are a few cases where you might want upper weatherstripping on a residential garage door. For instance, if you use it as a workspace or shop, then you’ll want to prevent heat from getting out in the winter.

This is common when the outside of the garage door is very cold, and the inside is very warm. The door will bend slightly at the top, allowing heated air to escape. This occurs during the summer, too, when the inside is cool, and the outside is hot.

A header will be very useful in this case because it provides the garage door with additional stability to prevent it from bending. It will also help prevent the exchange of interior and exterior air.

If you’re experiencing wear and tear on the garage door (like the weatherstripping), there’s good news. Most parts are modular and can be replaced when they wear out without having to replace the entire door. You’ll want to work with an experienced garage door specialist here, though.

This garage door is a Moderno SSG design, 12' x 8', Black Ice color, window layout: Left-side Harmony.

Want to add a touch of the Modern style to your home? This garage door is a Moderno SSG design, in 12' x 8', Black Ice color, window layout: Left-side Harmony.

If your weatherstripping is cracked, damaged, or missing entirely, your local garage door specialist will help you get it repaired or replaced, whether it’s the bottom, perimeter, or top.

Of course, you can always attempt to do the job yourself. It will require the right tools and the right materials. However, we strongly recommend letting a trained garage door specialist handle it.

90% of weatherstripping problems are caused by incorrect installation.

The most common problem is a reduced lifespan. Ordinarily, your garage door weatherstripping should last up to 30 years. However, if the installation is incorrect, you might have only a few months.

Your Garage Door Section Weather Seals

Finally, we need to talk about the 4th seal – it’s located between the door panels within the joints. The InterlokTM joints from Garaga are good examples. These make contact at 3 different points to ensure an airtight seal.

They also prevent air, water and even light from penetrating. The sectional seals are integral to the door’s functionality. If they fail, the door has to be replaced. With a Garaga door, that’s not particularly likely.

A garage door section weather seals: The Interlock joint, located between the panels, use triple contact points to stop water and wind from going through the door.

The Interlok joints feature triple-contact technology, so the interior of your garage is always protected. A piece of paper should not be able to slide between the panels. If it can, the weather seal has failed.

Do You Want Your Garage Door Weatherstripping to Stand the Test of Time?

Want to make sure your weatherstripping goes the distance? The secret is simple: maintenance.

The most important part of this is regular cleanings. We recommend that you clean the weatherstripping (and the entire door, for what it’s worth) at least twice a year. Cleaning it will remove dirt, dust, debris, and mold, and mildew, too.

Dust can be a threat. Over time, it can become abrasive and actually degrade your weatherstripping. What do you need to do? It just requires a quick rinse and wipe down. When the weatherstripping is dry, apply a silicone-based lubricant to help protect it.

You should also consider deeper cleaning every now and then.

Use a high-quality vinyl cleanser and then your silicone-based weatherstrip lubricant. Whatever you do, DO NOT use petroleum-based products.

These will accelerate the damage to your weatherstripping and cause it to fail that much earlier.

An image of someone cleaning: Your garage door should be cleaned regularly to avoid futur troubles.

Your garage door should be cleaned regularly to avoid future troubles.

When it’s all said and done, you need to take care of the weatherstripping if you want it to last as long as possible. Regular wipe downs, occasional deeper cleaning, and regular lubrication go a long way toward ensuring that you’re protected against premature failure and wear.

Of course, if your weatherstripping is already damaged, contact us so that we can repair your garage door.

Deeper problems than just your garage door weatherstripping?

Dealing with more serious problems than damaged weatherstripping? Thinking about the prospect of having a new garage door installed?

Call us at 860-668-7991!

We’ll be happy to provide you with professional advice and guidance to solve the problem. Yes, buying a new garage door can be quite overwhelming, but we can tame the chaos.

At Atlas-Coles Door Systems, we believe it should be as simple as possible to get in touch. You’re free to stop by in person or call us directly. However, you can also request a quotation via email.

What if you’re not sure about your home’s style? No worries. Explore these 3 styles to ensure you’re able to make the right choice in a new garage door. Don’t forget to spend some time in our Design Centre to try your favorite garage doors on a picture of your house.

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