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how to seal garage door gaps on bottom sides and top

How to Seal Garage Door Gaps On Bottom, Sides and Top

If you have a gap at the bottom of your garage door, rain and snow can seep in and cause damage to your home. If you have gaps on the sides or top of your garage door, that air can escape, making your garage colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. In this blog post, we will show you how to seal those pesky gaps so that your garage door works more efficiently and keeps out the weather.

I have some great news for you! This task does not require many tools or materials and it can be accomplished quickly, and with minimal effort on your part. It’s a relatively easy and inexpensive DIY project that you can do with little experience, but it can make a huge impact on you moving forward.

Once you do a little research, you’ll realize that it’s almost too costly NOT to seal your garage door. More on this later, but for now, let’s talk about how to do it.

How to Identify Potential Leaks Around Garage Doors

The first step is to identify where the gaps are in your garage door seal. One way to do this is to check it at night. Turn the lights off inside the garage and have a partner go outside with a bright flashlight. Have them shine the light around the entire garage door, starting at one corner and moving around. Make sure you check the side seals, the top seal, and the bottom seal. Each one of these can be an area for cold breezes to infiltrate the garage door seals. 

light shining through top of garage door gap signaling that there is a potential air leak that needs to be sealed

The light that seeps through the door jamb is an indicator of where you need to seal your garage door by installing weatherstripping or a threshold seal. Mark these locations with a pencil or by sticking a small, thin piece of cardboard in the gap where the door closes.

Let’s take a look at how to seal off these pesky air leaks so that you can save money on energy costs and protect what’s behind those doors!

How to Seal Garage Door Sides and Top

Sealing garage door sides is different from the bottom seal. Think about it this way, a garage door frame only goes three-quarters of the way around the door. The door bottom seals against the concrete floor, not the door jamb like the sides and top, so we’ll address it separately below.

A properly sealed garage door starts on the sides and top. The area where the garage door meets the weather seal sees wear and tear constantly, every time you open and close your garage.  So, it’s no wonder that new weatherstripping needs to be installed from time to time.

If you found garage door gaps on the sides, you’ll first need to remove the old weatherstripping to replace it. There are likely some nails that you’ll need to pull. You may also need to use a utility knife to remove some rubber adhesive or caulk used to assist the nails/screws. Once removed, wipe the area free of adhesive and dirt so you have a clean surface to work with.

Installing a Garage Door Seal (Sides of Door)

There are several different types of new seals and weatherstripping used to cover the sides of a garage door. Consider a foam tape with an adhesive on edge of the weather seal (no need for glue, nails, or screws) to seal a garage door with only minor air leaks.  There is more than one way to seal a garage door.

For most jobs though, we recommend a vinyl seal with stop molding attached. It looks nice and works well with metal garage doors or a wood door alike. Installation is a breeze and works well to fill the gaps and give you a well-sealed garage door.

Vinyl Garage Door Seal for top or sides

Product Recommendation!

Randall Manufacturing Vinyl Garage Door Seal

Randall Manufacturing dual vinyl garage door seal is 7 feet long and can be used to seal the top or sides of your garage door.   It’s easy to install and can be painted to match any garage trim color.

How to Replace Weather Stripping on Side of Garage Door

1. Measure and Cut

Measure the length needed for this garage door seal and cut to size. A miter saw works great if you have access to one. If not, cut the seal with a pair of scissors, then the vinyl stop molding with a hand saw.

2. Determine Correct Location

Gently close the garage door and hold the weatherstripping seal in place to make sure it’s sealed tightly against the garage door, but that the seal remains flexible for when it moves up and down.

3. Mount and Attach Seal

Apply a thin coat of adhesive, such as caulk, to the back of the weatherstripping and place it in position. Use small nails to hold it tight to the door jamb. Nails should be 12″ – 16″ apart and placed no closer than 3″ from the end of the weatherstripping seal so it does not split.

4. Duplicate on Both Sides

Of course, it takes two sides to seal a garage door. Once you’re done with one side, you can do the same exact same process for the seals on the other side: remove, clean, measure, cut, and install. We’re hoping you find that these weatherstripping kits are easy to install.

5. Confirm Your Success

After you seal a garage door on both sides, it’s a good idea to lift the door and push it down again to ensure a successful install. Look good? Next, we’ll move to make sure we fill any gap not sealed at the top of the door.

example of garage door with new side seals installed

Installing a Garage Door Seal (Top of Door)

Installing a garage door seal at the top is nearly the same as the side. The top seal will likely be the same material as we used on the side. Again, for minor leaks, measure the small cracks where air is getting in and install some foam tap to seal top of the door frame.

Assuming your garage door needs a bit more, consider using the same vinyl molding we discussed above to seal a garage door top as well. This will ensure a good seal and another easy install to cover any openings where air and moisture are getting in the garage.

By now, you’ve got the process down. Just to be sure, it’s: remove the old, clean the surface, measure and cut the new weatherstripping seal, and install with nails and caulk glue. If you’d like to use screws rather than nails, that’s fine too.

Once installation is completed at the top, check the new seals again by opening/closing the garage door once again.

That’s it, we’re moving right along and three-quarters of the way done already!

How to Seal Garage Door Bottom

The garage door bottom seal is a completely different animal than the top and side seal. There is no door jamb to mount the seal to in this case. It doesn’t matter if you have a metal or wood garage door, the garage door bottom seal will actually mount directly to the door itself.

There are universal weatherstripping kits to seal a garage door on the bottom too, so that helps a lot. You’ll just need to measure the length of your garage door to make sure you get the proper kit. They come in all the standard garage door sizes.

Garage Door Bottom Seal U shape O ring combination

Product Recommendation!

Papillon Universal Garage Door Bottom Seal

Papillon’s universal garage door seal combines a U-shape and O-ring rubber seal to ensure a tight fit on the bottom of your existing garage door.  The kit is easy to install with pre-drilled screw holes and come in 10ft, 16ft, and 20ft lengths.  

Garage Door Bottom Seal

This bottom seal kit comes with all the screws needed for installation and will ensure the bottom seal meets the floor and doesn’t allow dirt and cold air to pass under the garage door when closed. This is an inexpensive way to save money on your energy bill over and over each month.

For most, this seal will make sure the door meats the garage floor and seals it off from the weather, and doesn’t allow rodents to get in. However, if this isn’t enough to fill the crack below your door, there’s something else we can do. 

Garage Door Threshold Seal

There are a few cases where you might want or need to install a garage door threshold seal. Examples would include older garage doors that don’t seal well against the garage floor or a garage that’s at the bottom of the hill.

In both of these cases, you’ll want some added protection to make sure the floor seal and door stop any water and dirt from infiltrating your garage. 

This floor seal will install with glue directly onto the concrete and under the doors bottom seal.

Weather Defender Garage Door Threshold Floor Seal

Product Recommendation!

Weather Defender Garage Door Threshold Seal

The Weather Defender garage door threshold floor seal provides a weatherproof seal to keep your garage dry and clean.  It’s easy to fit to most garage doors and comes with adhesive and full installation instructions.

Best Adhesive for Garage Door Threshold

It’s a common question to wonder what’s the best adhesive for a garage door threshold. In some cases, there’s one that’s included in the threshold kit. It’s always recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions if included. If not, we recommend using heavy-duty Gorilla Glue.

There are a many reasons why you should seal the gaps in your garage door. The main one has to do with increasing it’s energy efficiency of course. First, if you have an attached garage and it is not insulated or has no heating, then sealing the gaps will make all of the difference in how comfortable the space can be for you to enjoy.

By sealing off small leaks, air from inside cannot escape outside and cold air from outside can’t enter your home. The garage is the buffer zone. The same is true in summer months when hot air wants to go inside your cool house; closing up those gaps means that heat stays out and coolness stays in!

Gorilla Heavy Duty Adhesive Garage

Product Recommendation!

Gorilla Heavy Duty Adhesive

Gorilla heavy duty adhesive is an all-weather adhesive perfect for sealing garage leaks.  It holds in 30sec and provides a long-lasting waterproof seal.

Reasons to Have a Properly Sealed Garage Door

There are a many reasons why you should seal the gaps in your garage door. The main one has to do with increasing it’s energy efficiency of course. First, if you have an attached garage and it is not insulated or has no heating, then sealing the gaps will make all of the difference in how comfortable the space can be for you to enjoy.

By sealing off small leaks, air from inside cannot escape outside and cold air from outside can’t enter your home. The garage is the buffer zone. The same is true in summer months when hot air wants to go inside your cool house; closing up those gaps means that heat stays out and coolness stays in!

Saves Money

It’s more than just about your comfort though. Installing a new seal or rubber strip around the garage door sides will make this area of your home more energy-efficient, meaning you’ll spend much less on heating and cooling your house. This could mean saving big bucks! Now, that’s what I’m talking about. You can’t afford to NOT do this!

garage door with bad bottom seal has leak and dollars are blowing in the air
This is even more important if you’re heating your garage in the winter.  Well, not sealing the gaps around your door is like paying to heat the outside.

Sealing around your garage door also helps keep out rainwater and snowmelt which can cause water damage over time if left unattended.

Protects Your Possessions

Do you use extra space in your garage for storage? This is very common, especially for items that are bulky and won’t fit in a closet somewhere. You don’t want to be storing your nice, expensive things in a hot and sweaty garage! You also need to ensure electronics or liquids aren’t damaged during freezing conditions.

By sealing the gaps you can keep the temperature consistent and stop moisture from getting the best out of your belongings.  This is especially important for items like seasonal clothes stored in your garage.

Keeps Rodents and Pests Out

Sealing off gaps towards the bottom of your garage door also keeps out rodents and pets. We’ve probably all seen spiders and other bugs crawling on the floor and walls of the garage. By sealing all the tiny gaps and cracks near the garage floor, they’ll have nowhere to enter.

So yes, sealing the gaps around your garage door is a smart investment for homeowners. If you have noticed that there are gaps in your garage door or if you want to be proactive about it before any damages occur, then we recommend sealing these questionable areas as soon as possible.

Your Comfort

More and more these days, we hear about families repurposing the garage as a family and friends area.  It’s a great place for neighbors to come over and spend some time without having to open up your house.  

Get your garage all sealed up so you can put a television the wall, start up a garage band, or host a summer party.  Grab some chairs and kick back with a cold drink and some great friends! 

three boys having band practice in garage (playing guitars and drums)