The unsung hero of the garage door, the door seal helps in reducing flooding, keeping out pests, and improving the overall insulation of the garage and the home. Nevertheless, the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” does apply: most people never think about checking whether their garage door seal is working properly until it’s too late. The garage door seal does need to be replaced from time to time, as it will become old and less pliable.
Why Is Your Garage Door Seal So Important?
Your garage door seal is the small, rubber piece at the very bottom of the door. It runs lengthwise underneath the door and creates a seal whenever the door is closed. The garage door seal is also a “bumper” of sorts; when the door automatically detects something beneath it, it will lift up again. The garage door seal provides a bit of cushion so that the item underneath the door (most likely your car) isn’t scratched badly or dented.
A garage door seal provides an extremely important function: it protects your garage from the environment. Much like weather-stripping protects your exterior doors, a garage door seal prevents airflow, water, and pests from intruding upon your garage (and its contents).
The door seal insulates your garage by keeping air both in and out, and it protects your garage from flooding by preventing water from getting in. The door seal also provides the extremely important function of keeping out pests. Even a small hole in your garage seal could potentially let in cockroaches, mice, termites, and other nuisances.
How Can You Check Your Garage Door Seal?
- Look for light at the bottom of the door. At night, turn on the light in your garage and then go outside and look at the bottom of the door in the dark. If you see light peeking out through the bottom of the garage door, you know that the garage door’s seal isn’t functioning properly.
- Test it out with water. Splash some water against the base of your garage door with a hose, and then go inside and inspect (without opening the door). If you see any leaks moving into your garage from outside, there’s something wrong with the seal. You can also perform this during periods of heavy to moderate rain: the garage should be protected from these issues.
- Search for drafts beneath the door. You can search for drafts quite easily by holding a small piece of paper against the perimeter of the closed door. Slowly walk around the door and see whether the paper moves. If the paper does move, you know that there is an area where the seal is not holding.
- Perform a visual inspection. There are a few signs that your garage door seal may be getting a little too old:
- It’s discolored in places. Your garage door seal may range from a dark grey to a light grey to a pale white in different areas. If the coloration isn’t consistent, the seal is likely damaged.
- It has very little give. When you push on the garage door seal, you can see it cracking in places rather than simply bending. It feels stiff under your hand and there may be some visible deterioration or holes.
- It’s warped. You can see areas in which it is hanging much lower or pulled much higher than others. In order to provide a good seal, the garage door seal has to be consistent.
How Do You Get Your Garage Door Seal Fixed?
A garage door seal is generally fairly easy to replace. All it really requires is that the old one is removed and that a new one is tacked on at the bottom. However, it should still be done by a professional. An improperly installed garage door seal could throw off the alignment of the door, and applying a garage seal does require the use of equipment on the door itself — which could throw the door off the tracks if not done by a professional.
If your garage door seal seems to need repair or replacement, you may want to consult with a professional as soon as possible. Though it may seem to be a minor issue, the consequences of a malfunctioning seal can be fairly significant, from flooding to a rodent infestation. If you do find any issues with your garage door seal, be sure to call the experts at Action Garage Door to fix any issues you may be having.