Garage doors do more than just let you in or out of your garage; they serve as an insulator and seal for our homes. The ideal scenario is having a garage door that seals snugly to the driveway, eliminating gaps that can lead to increased energy bills, water damage, and unwelcome pests. But driveway slopes, shifting foundations and worn garage door seals can create a gap between the garage door and the floor. For homeowners in the Athens/Huntsville, AL area, this can be a real problem, especially when it rains or heating/cooling costs go up. If this is you, and you are not sure what to do, don’t worry. There are solutions available that are also affordable. Let’s go over some solutions and help you fix the gap at the bottom of your garage door.
Possible Causes and Solutions For Your Garage Door Gap
Identifying and Fixing Weather Stripping Issues
Weatherstripping is the first defense against external elements. It can degrade over time, becoming brittle and less effective. Critters can also nibble away at the weather stripping, leaving noticeable gaps. If your weatherstipping has gaps you will need to replace the strip. This is a task that most homeowners can undertake themselves
Here are the steps to follow to replace the U-shaped weather stripping:
- Raise the garage door to a convenient height so it’s easy to work on.
- The weather-stripping insert may be stuck in the retainer. If so, use a silicone-based lubricant or water mixed with a little dishwashing soap to loosen it.
- You can cut one side of the weather-stripping insert, moisten it thoroughly with your water-soap mixture and then pull on the other side to remove the whole piece.
- Once the insert is removed, clean the retainer carefully with a wet rag to remove any dirt or debris.
- Insert the weatherstrip with a pair of vice-grips while the other one guides it through the retainer. Don’t pull the weather-stripping too tight. Instead, just let it rest naturally inside the retainer.
- Cut off any excess weather stripping at each end of the door panel. It is best to cut it 1/4 inch longer on each side to allow for shrinkage over time. You may also want to cut it 1.5 inches longer on each side, and then fold the excess back into the cavity.
Using a Threshold Seal for Foundation Settling and Driveway Slopes
When homes or the soil underneath shifts, it can cause a gap under the garage door. A practical solution is installing a garage door threshold seal. By attaching a threshold to the driveway itself, they created a tight seal that can work when you have a unique gap under the door
How to install a garage door threshold seal
- Clean the garage door area. The adhesive will not stick to dust or dirt. Sweep the area clean of dust and debris with a two-inch leeway on each side of the closed garage door. You also want to clean the bottom edge of the garage door, so it forms a nice tight seal. Make sure everything is dry before moving forward.
- Unroll the rubber garage door threshold to test the area and what length you need. Unroll the rubber stopper directly underneath the door. Cut off any excess on the ends and make sure it meets the door jambs on the side exactly.
- Close the door to test the seal. The bulge in the rubber formed should be on the inside of the door. Make sure the bulge is even across the door.
- Trace both the inside and the outside of the area in which to lay down the adhesive.
- Raise the door, remove the threshold, and install the adhesive. Lay down the adhesive in a zigzag manner in order to ensure the maximum adhesive surface when you lay down the threshold.
- Lay down the threshold seal between the lines as before, applying pressure in order to create a tight seal and adhesion with the floor.
- Lower your garage door down and allow time to dry. It is best to give it 18-24 hours before driving over it. Be sure to plan your time accordingly.
Maintaining Garage Door Tracks
Proper alignment of garage door tracks is crucial. Misaligned tracks can prevent the door from closing fully jamming near the bottom and leaving a gap. If the tracks are causing an issue, you can loosen the mounting bolts and move them slightly, so the garage door rests down smoothly again.
Adjusting the Closing Limits
Sometimes, the issue can be resolved by adjusting the closing limits on your garage door opener. This tells the door how far to close. You will usually find that the limit adjustment is a part of the original setup procedure. It’s best to read the instructions for your door opener make and model, and follow the suggested steps to make the right adjustments
When to Call the Professionals
There are instances when DIY solutions may not be enough. Persistent gaps despite all efforts to seal them indicate a more complex issue. If you are in the Athens/Huntsville AL area, call Stateline Garage Door LLC for all your garage door repair needs, we can provide you with a thorough inspection and tailored solutions.