Garage doors are notorious for letting in cold air, dust, insects, and noise. But fear not! With a little effort, you can make your garage door completely airtight. In this guide, I’ll show you how to fortify your garage door by sealing the top and sides, ensuring a comfortable and quiet space.
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Paying Attention to Neglected Areas
While most people focus on sealing the bottom edge of their garage door, it’s important to address all sides. Even if you seal the bottom, air can still enter through cracks in the sides and between horizontal panels. So let’s dive into the steps for sealing the sides of your garage door.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Before you start, make sure you have everything you need. You’ll require weatherstripping seal rolls, which often resemble painted wood. Additionally, have a hammer, pneumatic stapler, or drill, along with nails or screws. If you prefer not to use nails or screws, grab something to clean the jamb with.
To determine the length of the seal you’ll need, measure the sides of your garage door. The sum of the door’s height (multiplied by two) and width will give you the necessary length. While you wait for your seal to arrive, let’s take a look at removing the old seals.
Step 2: Removing the Old Weatherstripping
If your current vinyl seal has deteriorated, you’ll need to remove it before installing a new one. You can use a sturdy kitchen knife to cut away the old caulk and lift the seal. Slide the knife under the vinyl strip, twist to lift it, and continue until you find the first nail. After removing the top and side seals, assess the door frame for any damage that may have occurred during the removal process. Sand and finish the jamb if necessary and use wood putty to fill any old nail holes.
Step 3: Preparing the Seal for Placement
Once your surface is clean, it’s time to prepare the seals. Measure the sides of the garage door again for accuracy and cut the seal down to size using a utility knife or circular saw if available. Garage seals usually come in rolls, so you’ll have to cut two or three pieces depending on the state of your old seals. If you’re replacing the top and both sides, start with the top. It’s important because it allows you to adjust the side seals to ensure a perfect fit.
Before affixing the seals to the door jamb, put nails through the thicker parts of the strips. The nails should be an inch and a half long and spaced about 16 inches apart. Temporarily attach the seal to the jamb by tapping some of the nails. Just remember not to drive them all the way in yet.
Step 4: Checking the Seal Placement
With the seals loosely nailed into the garage door frame, it’s time to check if they’re in the right spot. Push the garage door with your hands, shift your position, and keep an eye out for any gaps that may appear between the seal and the door. If you spot any, adjust the seal closer to the door by removing the closest nail from the jamb. Shake the door again to confirm the new placement. This ensures that your seals will remain impenetrable, even during a windstorm. Once you’ve found the right spot, drive your nails into the seals completely, starting with the top and then the sides.
Step 5: Applying Caulk to the Gaps
If you used nails or screws to attach the vinyl seals, you may still notice tiny gaps between them and the jamb. To increase your chances of success, use a bit of sealant. Run the sealant along the edge between the door jamb and the seal, and smooth it out with a finger wearing disposable gloves. This will help seal any remaining cracks that may allow air to flow in and out of the garage. If you used adhesive to attach the seals, you can skip this step.
Say Goodbye to an Unpleasant Garage
By following these steps, you can transform your garage into a tranquil and comfortable space. However, keep in mind that sealing the sides is just one part of the equation. Consider other measures such as thickening the door from the inside with MLV curtains or soundproofing techniques to further enhance your garage’s ambiance.
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