Do you struggle to keep drafts out of your garage, even with the door closed? Do you notice moisture on the floor at the door after it rains? Chances are good that the problem is the garage door’s weatherstripping.
When you think about your garage door’s insulation, chances are good that you immediately imagine its R-value. That’s understandable. A high R-value means you’re your door is better able to withstand temperature changes and maintain a consistent temperature. However, that R-value can only do so much if there’s a one-inch gap at the bottom of the door. If the door isn’t airtight, you’ll experience problems.
Installing new weatherstripping saves resources and money.
Don’t know much about weatherstripping? We’ll cover what you need to know here, beginning with the four types currently in use.
Lower Weatherstripping of Your Garage Door
The most common weatherstripping to suffer damage, this is located on the bottom of the door. It forms the barrier between the door and the concrete and is usually made from PVC with a metal support and rubber to help improve performance. Usually, the rubber part is where most problems occur because it can dry rot and crack as it loses moisture.
The good news is that this weatherstripping is visible. Raise the door and inspect it to see if it is discolored, dry, cracked, or otherwise damaged.
Your garage door could have any one of several different bottom weatherstripping styles. You can learn more about each of them here.
If you’ve noticed water seeping in under the garage door, it could be because the weather seal is broken. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the most common is that your garage's entrance does not slope enough to keep water away from the door, or if the threshold is cracked and damaged. During the winter, this could even ice up and cause the garage door to stick. Trying to use your electric opener in this instance may damage it. Of course, water entering the garage could also mean major damage for anything you have stored there.
How do you solve this problem? There are a couple of options.
One, apply a thin layer of sand under the door before the water freezes. The sand should prevent the door from sticking to the ice. However, once the sand is soaked through, the door may stick once more when the water freezes.
Please do not put salt under your door or anywhere near it. Salt is corrosive and will damage the weatherstripping further. If you need to deglaze the pavement, calcium will do the trick.
You should also consider lubricating the rubber strip. Using a silicone-based lubricant will help prevent the rubber from sticking to the ice.
Your second option is to install a Storm Shield threshold directly below the door. This creates a shield that encourages water to flow away from the door and helps prevent the problem from happening in the first place.
Weatherstripping Around the Perimeter of Your Garage Door
In addition to the bottom weatherstripping, your garage door also has it installed around the perimeter. The most common problem here is if the door was improperly installed. If the dimensions are off, the rubber may rub on the sides of the wall. Eventually, that will create major damage that allows air to flow through.
When you look at the garage door, you’ll notice that it is not recessed within the wall. Instead, it’s installed parallel to it. To help close the gap left by that, weatherstripping is installed. Most types are made from PVC, but aluminum is also used.
The main reason for PVC’s use is that it can hide installation screws, while aluminum cannot. This is particularly true on lighter-colored doors. PVC can also suffer from heat exposure – lighter colors help reflect light and keep the material from warping and shrinking. In some cases, aluminum may oxidize, but this is rare.
If your garage door is exposed to sunlight all day long, UV light may have damaged the weather seal. Over time, sun exposure will make the rubber crack and fail. Generally, this is seen more often with rubber on the jambs because they suffer from more sun exposure.
Weather Stripping at the Top of Your Garage Door
In some cases, you may have weatherstripping at the top of the door. This is rare, but it is done, particularly in colder climates. They are also more common on commercial garage doors.
Unless you use your garage as a workspace or shop, the top weatherstripping isn’t really necessary. It’s more about keeping heat inside during the cold months than it is keeping moisture or wind out.
During the winter, when the temperature difference between the inside and outside is at its greatest, garage doors tend to bend a little inward. This occurs even with well-insulated garage doors with thermal breaks to prevent the worst temperature transfers.
In cases like this, a header might be beneficial. It will provide greater stability and rigidity for the door, and if it does bend slightly back, it can prevent cold air from entering.
A garage door will rarely have to be replaced because of damage or wear to other parts. In most cases, parts can be changed out as needed. That also means that if your door doesn’t have weatherstripping at the top, but you feel it would be beneficial, it can be added without a problem with a local garage door specialist.
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You’ll also find that your local garage door specialist can help with installing or replacing perimeter weatherstripping, as well as bottom weatherstripping.
Of course, it’s possible to replace the weatherstripping on your own. However, we highly recommend you call a professional if you are not entirely sure you have the right tools, materials, or knowledge. With professional installation, you know your weatherstripping will stay in place and protect your garage for years to come. In most cases, it will last for 30 years.
Sectional Weather Seals of Your Garage Door
Finally, you need to consider the weather seals between sections. You’ll find that the InterlokTM joints from Garaga provide three contact points. That helps prevent air and light from entering. They’re even waterproof. Note that if a weather seal fails, you’ll need to replace the entire door. That’s not likely with a Garaga door.
The InterlokTM joints between the panels help block temperature transfer thanks to the triple contact point design. To test it, try to slip a piece of paper between the panels. If it passes through, the seal has failed.
I Want to Make My Weatherstripping Last Longer
Want to make your weatherstripping go the distance? The best advice is this: clean it twice per year. Cleaning the weatherstripping will also give you the chance to inspect it for wear and tear, as well as signs of degradation and damage.
Cleaning is about more than just making it look pretty. Dust and dirt buildup can actually damage the rubber, and mold and mildew can thrive in this type of environment. So, if you want the weatherstripping to last, you need to maintain it properly.
How do you maintain it, though?
First, you’ll need to rinse the door and weatherstripping to remove dust and loose dirt. Next, dry everything thoroughly. When all the water is removed, spray a silicone-based lubricant on the weatherstripping. This will help to keep it flexible and protect against further damage.
We really recommend cleaning your weatherstripping once every 3 months. If yours is PVC, make sure to use a vinyl cleaner. Use a silicone-based oil to lubricate.
Do NOT use petroleum-based products. These can actually damage the rubber.
To sum everything up, it’s important to make sure your weatherstripping goes the distance. Clean it, lubricate it, and maintain it. And, if it eventually breaks down or is damaged, make sure to contact us to get things back in working order.
Is the Problem Deeper Than Just Weatherstripping?
Call us at 705-733-1211 for guidance from the garage door pros. Investing in a new garage door can be a big decision and we’re happy to provide all the help you’ll need to reach an informed decision.
At Georgian Door & Gate, we are happy to communicate in person, on the phone, or even with a quotation via email.
We can even help you get the right door for your home if you’re not sure what your architectural style might be. Check out these 3 styles. Make sure to take a detour through our Design Centre app where you can try your favorite garage doors on a picture of your house.