When Do You Know Your Garage Door Needs New Weatherstripping?

When your garage door is closed, you may still feel drafts entering the garage at unknown points. Even when the window is tightly secured, you still feel breezes and other small drafts as you enter the garage area. These are two telltale signs that the weatherstripping is failing.

The airtightness of the weatherstripping is vital for combatting drafts in the garage area. Many people believe the R-value is the only dynamic that determines how insulated the garage is. However, there are several other elements that dictate how warm or cold your garage stays.

Save energy and money with new weatherstrippings.

New weatherstrippings will help you save energy and money!

Four main types of weatherstripping exist to keep your garage insulated. We examine the four separate types below.

Bottom Weatherstripping

The bottom weatherstripping takes the most damage out of all four types. This component is normally made of rubber or some type of PVC and stretches from left to right across the bottom of the garage door. It’s easy for this piece of weatherstripping to become rigid, drily rotted, or have pieces flake and break off.

When this weatherstripping becomes dry, it may crack and become loose. Pieces will flake off, and the weatherstripping will start to wear one section at a time. Vital warm air is lost through these small gaps that break off as wear sets in.

You can examine the different types of seals that exist for bottom weatherstripping here.

An example of a garage door bottom weather seal.

Your garage’s entrance is sloped for a specific reason. This angling of the entrance prevents water from collecting over the threshold area of the door. When water pools in this area, it can cause the weatherstripping to become weak and falter. During the winter, these water particles can freeze to the electric opener and cause permanent damage to this component as well.

There are many types of severe damage that can manifest as a result of small amounts of water entering the garage.

You have two possible remedies when you have water issues in the garage area. Sand can provide a temporary solution, but it’s important to note this is only effective for a short time. After the sand becomes wet, it’s possible the area will begin to freeze over again.

Always use calcium instead of salt as a de-icer underneath the garage door. Salt will cause permanent damage to the concrete on your garage floor and cause stress fractures and other cracks.

Use a silicone-based weatherstripping cleaner to maintain the weatherstripping. This causes small water droplets to bead and freeze, at which point they will flake off the weatherstripping instead of sticking and causing damage. When ice sticks to this rubber or PVC, it can cause it to weaken and break off in large sections.

A Storm Shield threshold seal is the most effective component you can install to prevent water buildup in the garage. These large rubber mats are angled on both sides and prevent water from building up and entering the garage.

These also can protect your car from damaging the threshold with its weight. This Storm Shield is durable enough to protect the concrete of your floor and can lead to a longer life of your garage floor surface.

Different Perimeter Weatherstripping

When you install perimeter weatherstripping, this is made to prevent drafts from entering around the sides and tops of your garage door. If these pieces are not cut properly, they won’t seal the way they are intended to. This can cause drafts to enter the garage area and ruin the insulation.

This particular weatherstripping runs parallel to the wall and seals gaps between the garage door frame and drywall. Filling these gaps is what ultimately prevents drafts and cold air from entering the garage area.

The PVC or aluminium support is used to fill the gap between the wall and the door, making a complete isolation.

PVC is mainly used for visual purposes on perimeter weatherstripping. In areas where extreme heat is an issue, PVC will not hold up as well as other materials. In hot areas, aluminum is used as an alternative.

Rubber perimeter weatherstripping is also fragile when it comes to sun exposure. Direct heat causes the rubber to crack, which will compromise this weatherstripping over time. Instead of maintaining PVC and rubber in hot areas, the best course of action is to install aluminum from the start. This can end up saving you a substantial amount of money in maintenance costs.

Top Weatherstripping

Normally you only see top weatherstripping used in commercial garage doors. Most residential areas don’t need top protection installed specifically because the door closing normally covers any gaps.

The top seal of your garage door is made of a flexible rubber to fill the extra space between the wall and the top of the door.

Typically, the only time a residential garage needs top weatherstripping is if the area is used as a workshop.

There is one main reason workshop garages need top weatherstripping. Normally, the homeowner will have some type of heater installed to keep the area warm. This heats the inside of the garage door. If cold air enters through the top of the garage, this makes the interior surface of the door cold. These contrasting temperatures can cause the door to warp over time, which will lead to the need for a replacement.

Extreme cold will cause garage doors to bend over long periods of exposure.

A header will be used in these cases to stop the door from bending. When this bending sets in, drafts will enter all areas of the door because none of the perimeter seals will work efficiently.

Luckily, different components of the garage door can be maintained and exchanged individually. When one area of the door becomes damaged, you can usually contact a garage door specialist and have that specific area of the door serviced. This saves thousands as an alternative to purchasing a new door entirely.

You like this look? This garage door is a Vantage Moderno SSG, 12' x 8', Black Ice, window layout: Left-side Harmony.

You like this look? This garage door is a Vantage Moderno SSG, 12’x 8’, Black Ice, window layout: Left-side Harmony.

Your local garage door specialist will carry all the components you need to service the main types of garage door sealers.

It’s possible to repair weatherstripping by yourself using home remedies, but we don’t recommend it. Suppose you attempt to repair the weatherstripping and don’t get the gaps sealed properly. In that case, this can cause even more drafts to enter the garage, causing a substantial rise in your utility bill. The best course of action is to call a professional from the start and get the job done properly.

When weatherstripping is installed or repaired correctly, there should be no problem getting 30 years out of life out of these components. However, if you notice only a few months of life, there is a huge problem with the installation.

Sealing Between Door Sections

InterlokTM joints from Garaga have three points of contact, which protect the door from air, light, and cold temperatures from damaging the inside of the door. This is the fourth type of weatherstripping. The money this type of weatherstripping could save you is invaluable. Normally, when the inside of a garage door becomes damaged, you are required to replace the entire door. These joints allow you to repair certain parts of the door since they protect the entire interior.

The Weather Seal Between the Sections of Your Garage Door: The Interlock joint, located between the panels, use triple contact points to stop water and wind from going through the door.

The InterlokTM joints between the panels also protect the door from heat transfer. These seals are so tight that you shouldn’t even be able to slide a thin piece of paper between the joints. If you are able to compromise the contact points in any way, this means the seal is not efficient.

How Can I Get More Life Out of My Weatherstripping?

Clean your garage door efficiently twice per year to maintain the maximum amount of life. Small, routine cleanings can be done in between to remove small particles of dirt and dust. However, always remember that a thorough cleaning should be done right before winter and right before summer.

Buildup can ruin parts of the weatherstripping if you don’t remove them intermittently. Dust, dirt, mildew, and other particles can permanently damage these components and warrant the need for a replacement. Even the smallest particles need to be removed when you notice them.

Rinse the area with a decent amount of water before wiping it down. The water ensures that all the particles are loosened so they can be wiped away. You wouldn’t wash your car without spraying it with water first, right? Your weatherstripping should be treated in the same manner.

The smaller levels of cleaning should be done about every three or four months. To lubricate the weatherstripping, use Garaga’s weatherstrip lubricant. This prevents these parts of the door from premature drying and breaking off. This is especially important if you live in a hot, dry area. Always avoid using any type of petroleum-based cleaners or lubricants, as these can cause premature drying after the lubricant has faded off.

image of someone cleaning

To summarize, you should use the following tips to maintain the weatherstripping of your door. Alternatively, contact us if you feel that you can’t efficiently maintain the weatherstripping on your own.

  • Clean the area with a light-to-medium method every three or four months.
  • Avoid petroleum-based lubricants.
  • Do a heavy cleaning twice per year.
  • Summer and winter are the best times to do the heavy cleaning.
  • Make sure you remove all the dust and dirt particles from the weatherstripping.
  • Use water to rinse the weatherstripping but make sure to wipe the area dry when you are done.

Is There More than Just Damaged Weatherstripping?

Call us at 1-800-561-7555 to get advice if you have found major problems. We have years of experience in garage doors and weatherstripping and are prepared to assist you with any maintenance or replacement issues.

Here at Overhead Door of Nova Scotia, you can even get a quotation via email. Use our 3 styles to help you get started in the right direction when you need to choose a garage door. From there, you can branch off into more specific designs and styles. Alternatively, our image gallery can give you more detailed ideas for specific designs and models of doors.

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