March 22, 2016

Can I change the bottom weather-stripping on my garage door by myself?

f you notice that the bottom weather-stripping on your garage door has been damaged by a rodent or torn by accident, you’ll be happy to know that you can replace it yourself. However, you shouldn’t wait too long to do it because cold air might be blowing in under the door, raising your heating bills. You’ll also want to prevent bugs from getting into your garage.

What kind of garage door seal do you have?

The first thing you’ll need to ascertain is the configuration of the seal at the bottom of the door. 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. Alternatively, your garage door seal may be manufactured in a single piece. All three types of weather seals are secured to the lower panel using screws.

Aluminum bottom weatherstripping
PVC bottom weatherstripping
Weatherstripping

What’s the situation?

Is it just the U-shaped weather-stripping insert that’s torn or damaged? Or is the retainer damaged, as well? If your weather seal is like the ones in the first or second pictures, you can change just the U-shaped insert. But if it’s like the one in the third picture, you’ll have to change the entire seal assembly.

Tools needed

Whether you need to replace just the weather-stripping insert or the whole assembly, you can find replacement weather seals at any good garage door retailer. If possible, bring a sample of your existing weather-stripping so you can order the same kind from the dealer. You may also want to take photos of your door, as well as measurements of the width and thickness.

Once you have the replacement part, you’ll need the following:

  • A cordless drill
  • The appropriate bit for the screws being used
  • Extra screws (if needed)
  • A pair of vice-grip pliers
  • A silicone-based lubricant (or a little dishwashing soap mixed with water)
  • A utility knife
  • Protective eyewear

Removing the existing weather-stripping

Here are the steps to follow if you only have to replace the U-shaped weather-stripping insert:

  • Raise the garage door to a convenient height so it’s easy to work on. If you don’t have an electric door opener, you can hold the door in place by securing a pair of vice-grips to the vertical rail.
  • 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.
  • When installing the new weather-stripping insert, it’s recommended to have someone help you. One of you will pull the insert with a pair of vice-grips while the other one guides it through the retainer.
  • Cut off any excess weather-stripping at each end of the door panel. Don’t pull the weather-stripping too tight. Instead, just let it rest naturally inside the retainer.

Is it perhaps time to replace your garage door?

Instead of simply changing the weather-stripping at the bottom of your door, do you think it might be time to replace your whole garage door system? Garaga is one of the most widely recognized garage door manufacturers in the industry, thanks to the high quality materials and workmanship of its products. Take a moment to check out the large variety of residential garage doors you can choose from, or get an estimate at absolutely no cost.

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