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How To Replace Your Garage Door Weatherstripping

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When it comes to winterizing your home, your garage door is very problematic. Although your door was installed with sufficient weatherstripping, exposure to rain, UV rays, and other environmental factors has caused your weatherstrips to crack and leak heat. Luckily, you can replace your door's worn weatherstrips in just a few hours by following these steps:

Gather Your Supplies

Measure the width of your door and count the number of panels that must receive new weatherstrips. With this information, head to your local home improvement store to purchase a suitable amount of weatherstripping. Additionally, purchase a hammer, paint scraper, cutting tool (a razor blade will work best), two pairs of locking vice grips, caulking gun, and caulking adhesive if you don't already have these items on hand.

If you must replace your bottom panel's weatherstrip, then you'll need to purchase a specialized type of weatherstrip. Your bottom weatherstrip will typically be secured by a T-shaped or U-shaped groove in the bottom of your door. Although shaped weatherstrips are available at your local home improvement store, it's typically best to purchase a replacement bottom seal from your garage door manufacturer to ensure a tight fit. To avoid ordering the wrong seal, familiarize yourself with the various types of bottom seals before contacting your manufacturer for a replacement.

Remove Your Existing Weatherstripping

To remove your worn weatherstripping, disconnect your garage door opener by releasing the operator. Manually lift your door until your top panel reaches the curve in your guide tracks. Place a pair of locking vice grips under the top roller on each side of your door to secure your door's position.

Depending on the extent of the existing damage, you may be able to simply pull your old weatherstripping from beneath your panel. However, if your weatherstripping isn't quite that worn, you can use the claw end of your hammer to either pull the nails from the weatherstripping or break the adhesive seal between your weatherstrip and panel. Once the weatherstripping is removed, use a degreasing agent or paint scraper to remove any remaining adhesive. Remove your vice grips and lift your door until your next panel enters the curve in your guide tracks.

Repeat this process until all your worn weatherstripping is removed.

Prepare Your Supplies

Cut your replacement weatherstripping into strips that match the width of your panels, but make sure not to cause any accidental damage. If one of your strips is slightly torn, then its integrity will be compromised—which will result in decreased insulating ability and a faster rate of deterioration. Dirt, moisture, and other contaminants will enter the tear in your weatherstrip and cause internal damage.

Take this time to read the instructions and cure time on your caulking adhesive's packaging. Load your adhesive into your caulking gun and break open its seal.

Install Your Replacement Weatherstrips

After removing your worn weatherstrips, your garage door should be almost completely suspended. Apply your caulking adhesive to the last panel from which you removed the worn weatherstripping and press your replacement weatherstrip firmly into the adhesive. If your panel used nails or screws in addition to caulking adhesive, then reinstall the fasteners through your new weatherstrip. Let the adhesive bond to the replacement weatherstrip for 15-30 minutes.

Once the adhesive has bonded to your panel and weatherstrip (the time will differ based on your adhesive's curing time), lower your door until your next panel sits inside the curve of your guide tracks. Repeat the installation process until all unsealed panels have received a new weatherstrip.

With brand new weatherstrips, your garage door will no longer serve as the biggest source of heat loss in your home. However, if you have trouble replacing your door's weatherstrips, or if your garage door continues to leak a significant amount of heat, then hire a professional garage door repair technician to take care of the job for you.