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Weatherproofing Your Garage Door: Garage Door Seals

Winter trees covered with fresh snow.As winter approaches, it’s time to think about weatherproofing your home. When you do, don’t forget the garage door.

The garage door is by far the largest door in your home. Consequently, it offers the most opportunity for cold air to enter. That raises your monthly heating bill, especially if part of your living area is directly over the carport.

The best way to protect your garage from cold air entering is with weatherstripping. Also known as garage door seals, you can buy them at any home improvement or hardware store. While they can lower your monthly heating and cooling bills, these seals offer many more benefits than keeping your garage temperature more comfortable. They also:

Keep insects out. Everything from spiders and centipedes to ants and termites can find their way into your garage through a poorly sealed door. Once there, many can do damage.

Block dust. Maybe you do woodworking and other projects in your garage. Or maybe it’s your home office. Either way, dust is your enemy. It can impair power tools, computers and other expensive equipment. Sealing your garage door will keep your workspace cleaner.

Reduce noise. A garage can serve many uses besides storing cars. Those who convert a garage to a bedroom, home theater or game room want to

keep as much sound out as possible. Conversely, those who use their garage as a workshop or band rehearsal space may well want to keep sound in to prevent bothering neighbors. Weatherstripping helps in both situations.

Inspect. Purchase. Install.

Obviously, weatherstripping your garage door offers numerous rewards. Taking care of it involves three steps.

First, measure the height and width of your garage door, then check all four sides to see if the current seals are in good shape. The older your garage door, the more likely some replacement is needed.

When the door is closed, can you see light under it? Are the sides flush against the side of the garage? Are any of the seals cracked, split or gapped? Over the years, extreme heat and cold can cause this seal to become brittle and chip away.

Most modern garage doors have an aluminum track at the bottom into which new seals can be slid in and out. The seals on older garage doors are attached directly to the door itself. Know which kind you have as you proceed to the next step.

Once you’ve made your inspection, it’s time to buy what you need to make repairs.

You can find garage door seals at any hardware or home improvement store. Garage door top and side seals are similar and packaged together. The bottom seal is a separate item sold in different lengths. Don’t hesitate to ask store personnel to help. You may even want to take a piece or strip of your old weatherstripping to help in your selection process.

If you’re a DIYer, installing garage door weatherstripping is a breeze. If you’re not so handy but want to try it, you can always find a YouTube video or home improvement websites that provides solid step-by-step instructions. Or you can have the local handyman take care of it for you for a reasonable fee.

Whatever you choose, the sooner you choose the better. Old Man Winter is on his way, and garage door seals are one important way to keep him out of your house.

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