Wednesday, October 08 2008
This article can be filed under the Do-It-Yourself section. One area home owners forget that also needs some form of maintenance is the weather stripping of a garage door. If the weather stripping is torn or brittle it needs to be replaced. In the long run you will save on utility bills.
How To Apply Weather Stripping To a Garage Door
Filed Under: Many homeowners prepare for cold weather by insulating, caulking and apply weather stripping to their homes. But, one of the most forgotten places that needs to be weather stripped is the garage door. While hardly anyone heats their garage, sealing the cracks can still help in keeping lot’s of cold air out.
Weather stripping your garage door can help to protect everything that’s stored in your garage even if you don’t heat it. Many items can survive the winter out of the damp air, that wouldn’t last if they were sitting out in the elements.
And, if you have the convenience of a door from the home directly into the garage, weather stripping can help keep lot’s of cold air from entering your home each time you open the garage door. But, since garages aren’t normally heated, most people don’t think to insulate them.
Most garage doors will last for the entire life of your home if they’re taken care of and properly maintained. Weatherstripping will keep moisture from leaking to the inside of the door that will not only damage the door, but can affect the way your garage door opener works as well. Moisture gathering on the metal parts of the door opener can lead to rusty components that stick.
Many homes have rooms or small apartment like additions over their garages. Another great advantage to insulating your garage is that the cold air won’t leak into the above room or suck all of the heat out of it wasting energy.
A garage door that has been properly installed and maintained should have even space all the way around the door. However, the door normally doesn’t fit up against the frame and this small gap is where weather stripping needs to be applied.
Garage door weather stripping is made of rubber and is very flexible. As the door opens and closes, the rubber flexes and forms a tight seal around the door. Eventually, heat and cold damage the rubber and it can become hard and crack. Sometimes the rubber stripping gets torn from bumps with lawnmowers, bicycles or other items.
Most home improvement stores and hardware stores carry rubber weather stripping. It generally comes in either white or brown and is pre-attached to a plastic backing that can be nailed right to the door frame. Measure the existing weather stripping to make sure that you get the correct size for your garage door.
When removing the old stripping be very careful not to damage the frame. You can use a hammer to remove the nails, but a small pry bar usually works better since the area is small. After you’ve removed all of the old stripping, check the area to make sure that none of the nails have pulled through the stripping and are still in the frame.
It’s best if you start attaching the new weather stripping at the top of the door. Depending on what the backing is made of, you can usually cut the stripping with a utility knife or a sharp pair of utility scissors. Measure the length across the top and cut a piece of stripping to the correct size.
The weather stripping can be over lapped slightly at the corners so that there aren’t any leaks. Nail spacing is a personal preference, but the closer the nails the less chance there will be of leaks. You can also use an electric staple gun if you have one handy.
After you’ve attached the top section of the stripping, measure, cut and attach the side pieces. Applying the weather stripping with the garage door closed will give you a much more efficient seal. With the door closed, you’ll be able to see any gaps and adjust the stripping before attaching it.
Don’t forget to inspect the weather stripping around the door that enters your home from the garage. And, if you have a window installed on the side of your garage, weather strip it as well. Any amount of cold air that you can keep out of your garage will help keep your home warmer and reduce your utility bill!