Sealing the bottom edge of your garage door is not just a good idea in terms of keeping drafts, leaves and dirt out of the garage, it also eliminates a point of entry for little critters looking for food or a place to nest. Remarkably, a mouse only needs 1/4” of space to get into your garage.
Does Your Garage Door Need a Seal?
One way to determine if your garage door needs a seal is to stand inside your garage on a bright day. With the garage door completely closed, look to see if any gaps occur where the bottom of the door meets the concrete floor. Wherever you see daylight coming through there’s a gap.
Ideally, an overhead garage door’s bottom edge should meet the concrete floor evenly. Many times there are uneven spots along the door’s bottom edge and/or irregularities in the concrete. These uneven surfaces can create gaps.
Installing a flexible seal along the bottom edge of the door compensates for these irregularities. And, the flexibility of the rubber material of the seal allows the garage door to close to its normal position.
The above conditions were those that our mom was experiencing with her wood garage door. The door didn’t have a seal, and the daylight ‘test’ revealed numerous areas where gaps were occurring.
This seal is available in both soft rubber, or hard rubber. Both installations are the same. The rubber garage door seal was easy to work with, and for a 9 ft. roll of the soft rubber material, the cost was around $10.00 at the home improvement store, and that included the nails. You can figure about double that for a 18 ft. roll. We like the hard rubber seal because it’s a sturdier, more durable material. Whatever product you use, follow the manufacturers recommendations and installation instructions.
Before installing the seal, we noticed the paint on the bottom edge of the door was peeling in places, so we scraped, sanded, primed and painted (use exterior grade paints or stains), to protect the wood from water and moisture.
When installing the seal, position the garage door to a height that is comfortable to work at for you. If the door has an electric opener, for safety, disengage the opener from the door so that it can’t be closed accidentally. Secure the door by clamping two locking pliers onto the roller track just above and below a roller. You can secure a manually operated door this way, as well.
Typically, garage floors are higher than the driveway to prevent water and rain from draining into the garage. The seal we installed provides two barriers: the longer edge to the outside, reaches down to the driveway surface, and the shorter edge to the inside, rests on the floor of the garage.
This product was easy to work with, and installed fairly quickly. It goes faster with two people – one to nail, and the other to hold the seal and help position it correctly. One way to assist a one person installation is to use several squeeze claps with rubber caps along the bottom door edge and thread the excess seal through them so that it doesn’t hang while installing it.
As a side benefit, the seal gave a really attractive finish to the bottom of the door.
Note: Garage doors are constructed with various materials including wood, composites, and metal, and each will require a particular type of seal. Check the manufacturers recommendations for your garage door.