Many of the repairs and maintenance steps to restore garage doors are best left to the professionals. However, replacing the garage door bottom seal is one thing you can do yourself. Replacing rotted trim and renewing a rusty track are fairly easy DIY projects that help make your garage more energy-efficient. For an investment of around $100, you can end up saving a lot more money by keeping outside air out and the air-conditioned air inside.
Even a heavily insulated garage door isn’t enough to keep air out when there are cracks in the seals. Replacing the bottom seal will create a weather-tight barrier to cold or hot air. This simple repair will help you use less energy and save money on energy costs to boot!
Step 1: Obtain the Materials
You’ll need to measure the height, width, and thickness of the door to purchase a new bottom seal and get a garage door stop with a built-in sealing lip. Check to see if your door has a metal track with a replaceable rubber seal. If it does, you’ll need to replace that as well. Check in advance since many home stores don’t keep them in stock so you may have to order it online. Apply dishwashing liquid to lubricate it before installing it into the track slots.
In addition to the seal, you’ll also need to purchase:
- V-Strip Weather Stripping
- Wood Sealer for a Wooden Garage Door
- A Tube of Exterior Caulk
- A Rubber Threshold
All of these items should be available at your local home supply store. If you aren’t sure of what to buy, ask for help. You don’t want to discover in the middle of replacing the seal that you didn’t get the right part.
Step 2: Remove the Old Seal
Lift the garage door just over your head. Slide the rubber bulb out. If the track ends are sealed, use a Flathead screwdriver to pry them open. Cut and remove it in pieces if necessary.
Clean the bottom of the door to remove the remaining pieces of the seal and any residue.
Step 3: Prepare the New Seal
Cut the new rubber seal in the length needed according to your measurements. Thread the T-shaped edges into the track before sliding the seal across the door. You may have to work at it to get the seal in place.
For wooden doors, the seal is nailed in place. Rip the seal loose and seal the wood with wood sealer. Allow it to dry completely. Meanwhile, cut the new aluminum track to length. Notch the ends so that it fits around the bottom roller. Use a thick bead of caulk to attach the aluminum track to the door.
Step 4: Install the V-Strip Weather Stripping
Use a multi-purpose household cleaner and a cloth to prepare the spaces between the door sections. Install the V-strip weather stripping. Repeat this process for each section.
Step 5: Install the Threshold
Use a degreaser and water to clean the concrete. After rinsing, allow the concrete to dry. Roll the threshold into place, keeping the hump on the inside of the door. Cut it to the width of the opening. Close the door gently onto the threshold, squaring up the hump so that it meets the door seal. Mark the edge of the threshold where it meets the floor on each end. Glue it into place. Keep the door firmly closed until the adhesive dries.
Step 6: Install the Stop
Pry the old doorstop loose and replace it with the new stop with a sealing lip.
Step 7: Replace Rotting Trim
Wood is highly susceptible to moisture and rotting around the garage door. Replace the rotting trim at the same time you replace the garage door bottom seal to create a like-new door. Instead of replacing it with wood, consider buying vinyl pieces that are resistant to cracking and decay. You can treat it just like wood but the pieces last a lot longer. It comes in white and can be painted any color. Fill nail holes with caulk or wood filler before painting for a smooth finish.
Remove the old jamb and trim before nailing the new vinyl jamb in place. Start with the top and fasten every foot to 16 inches along the length with galvanized nails (8d) or stainless steel trim screws. Pre-cut the miters for the top piece of mold trim before nailing it to the frame. Place a (10d) galvanized casing nail every foot along the length. For the stop molding, nail (6d) casing nails at the points on the trim you already marked.
For installations during temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, predrill the nail holes and leave a 1/8-inch gap at the ends for expansion.
Use PVC cement to glue the brick mold corners. Wait until the glue sets to nail the corners into place. Letting the glue cure fully will prevent you from breaking the joint. Splice long runs using glued butt joints.
Align the edge of the vinyl stop molding about 2-1/2 inches behind the garage door, allowing the rubber seal to sit loosely against the garage door.
Step 8: Clean the Rusty Garage Door Track
It isn’t unusual for the metal track to attract moisture from the concrete floor directly below. As a result, they become rusty over time. Cutting off ½ inch from the bottom keeps the track off of the concrete. Use a rag and thinner to get lubricant from the first six inches of track. Use a metal brush and scrape off as much rust as possible. Use a metal spray paint to paint the bottom and prevent rust from forming in the future.
The maintenance and repairs you make to your door help keep it performing optimally and extend its life. More serious repairs, like replacing broken springs, should be left to the professionals. If you aren’t comfortable performing a replacement to the garage door bottom seal, get a quote for a professional repair. The longer you let the seal go, the more energy you will lose.
Contact Coastal Garage Doors for fast, reliable service for all your garage door needs. We offer same-day service in the San Diego area when your repair needs can’t wait!