Many homes have a garage, and people use these in different ways. For some people, it is where they keep their car overnight or when it is not in use. However, other people use their garage as a storage space or as a utility room. People who have a garage at their home but do not have a car often utilize the space for their hobbies, such as a home gym, a workshop, or a craft room. No matter how you use your garage, it is important to protect the contents. One way that you can do this is to have a garage door seal fitted. Here is everything you need to know about how to choose the best garage door seal for your garage.
What is a Garage Door Seal?
A garage door seal is a type of threshold or weather shield. It is fitted to the floor below the garage door so that there is no gap between the garage door and the floor. According to the Overhead Door company of Greater Cincinnati, some commercial doors already come with a garage door seal already fitted, but that a seal is something you will need if your garage door does not have one. There are also some types of garage door seals for the sides and top of your garage door to give extra protection.
Why Would You Need a Garage Door Seal?
A concrete floor below a garage is often uneven and will leave gaps between the floor and the garage door. The garage door seal is a solution to this problem as it closes the gap. There are several benefits to choosing to have a garage door seal fitted, and these include:
- Water protection-The main purpose of having a garage door seal is to prevent groundwater and rainwater seeping into your garage. This can cause serious water damage to your possessions and can also lead to mold in your garage.
- Weather protection- It is not only rain that can cause damage to the contents of your garage if there is a gap under the door. Wind, snow, and frost can also damage your stuff. A seal will reduce the likelihood of this.
- Pest control- Mice, insects, and other small creatures can get inside your garage if there is a gap, but a seal will stop this from happening.
- Leaves and debris- Without a garage door seal, leaves and debris can blow inside the garage. They can create a slippery and dangerous surface, damage the things inside your damage, and begin to smell as they rot. Having a seal can reduce the risk of this happening.
- Temperature- Using a seal will help to keep your garage warm as draughts cannot get in under the door. This is particularly important if you are storing goods that are affected by temperature or if you use the garage as a hobby space.
Types of Garage Door Seals
According to The Spruce, there are several different options when choosing a way to seal your garage door. They are:
- Garage door bottom seal-This is a strip of vinyl or rubber that attaches to the bottom edge of the garage door. As these are flexible materials, the compress when the garage door is closed to seal the gap between the garage door and the gap.
- Garage door threshold seal- This is attached to the floor rather than the bottom of the garage door. This is the most popular option when it comes to garage door seals as they are effective at keeping water out of the garage. However, they are not a good choice for people who hose down their car in their garage as they also keep the water in.
- Garage door weatherstripping- This is a type of seal that is fitted to the sides of the garage door or the garage door frame to stop the wind and rain getting into the garage. It usually comes in rolls that you can cut to length, and it is generally fitted with screws.
- Vinyl doorstop with integrated weatherstrip- These are a good option for garages that have old, rotted, or damaged door stops. It is made of vinyl and uses a specialty stop molding technique. They are a one-piece, flexible molding strip that is easy to cut with a saw and install with stainless steel siding nails.
- Door panel weatherstripping- This is designed to fill the gap between individual door panels and is usually V-shaped. Using this type of weatherstripping is better suited to wooden garage doors rather than metal or fiberglass doors. It is sold in rolls and is self-adhesive.
There are also several types of door seal from which you can choose in terms of their shape. Some of these include:
- Bulb seals-These have a large T-shape on the top and a circular shape on the bottom.
- Bearded seals- A bearded seal is T-shaped, and they are used for double channel retainers with circular grooves.
- J-Type seals- Used for single channel retainers, these seals are J-shaped.
- T-Type seals- These are like bearded seals, but they have a T-shape on both sides, and they are used for double channels.
Features to Look for in a Garage Door Seal
Not all garage door seals have the same features. According to Weatherstop, some useful features to look for when choosing a garage door seal include:
- Central profile- This should be sealed to fit tightly against the door frame.
- Warning lines- A domestic garage door seal may have a single yellow line to prevent tripping and falling over the raised area. Commercial garage door seals sometimes have a double or triple yellow line. These are also intended to give a warning to reduce the likelihood of tripping and falling.
- Serrated bottom edge- This creates a stronger bond to the adhesive.
- Removable cap- A removable cap covers any screws used when fitting the garage door seal.
- Bottom insert seal- This compresses against the floor to create a watertight seal.
Other Factors to Consider When Buying a Garage Door Seal
There are also some other factors you need to consider when choosing the best garage door seal for your home. You should take into account:
- The height of the door seal- The height of the door seal is essential as buying the wrong height means you will have an ineffective garage door seal.
- The length of the door seal- Garages are all different sizes, so it is important to buy the right length.
- The materials- There are various materials available. Two to consider are thermoplastic materials and aluminum. Thermoplastic materials are durable, flexible, recyclable, and will not degrade over time. Aluminum is durable, recyclable, and is designed to withstand heavier loads. Therefore, the latter is ideal for commercial garage doors.
- The cost- The cost of a garage door seal can make a difference to which you choose. Factors that affect the cost of these products are the materials, the size, the brand, and the various features. However, they are generally considered an affordable item that is worth the cost for the benefits it will bring. According to Garage Door Doctor, you can buy a weatherstrip seal for under $30, but you may pay anywhere from $50 to over $100 for a good quality threshold seal.
Choosing the Correct Height for the Garage Door Seal
One of the main factors to consider is the height of the garage door seal. If you get one that is too high, it will not fit well against the garage door. On the other hand, one that is too short means you will still have a gap, so the garage door seal is not effective. Weatherstop gives the following advice for choosing the right height of the garage door seal:
- Using a tape measure, take the measurement of the gap between the floor and the bottom of the garage door.
- Next, take the measurement of the gap between the floor and the bottom of the garage door at either end of the garage door.
- If all three measurements are equal, then you have found the height of the garage door seal you need.
- On the other hand, if the measurements are all different, you should measure the gap at several more points. Most gaps are not completely even, so this is not uncommon.
- If the measurements are uneven, then you should use the largest measurement as the one to decide the height of the garage door seal you will need.
- Deep garage door seals made of flexible materials, such as thermoplastics, will adjust to fill the gap.
- Aluminum garage door seals will not adjust in the same way, but you can still create a good door seal with good floor preparation.
Choosing the Best Length for a Garage Door Seal
Garages are all different sizes, so it is vital that you choose a garage door seal that is the right length. Garadry explains that measuring the right length of garage door seal is easy. You just need to measure the width of the garage door. It is unlikely that you will get a garage door seal that is exactly the width of the garage. Look at the sizes available and choose the longer length that is closest to the measurement you have taken. You can then cut them to size using either a pair of scissors or a hacksaw, depending on the type of material from which the threshold is made.
How to Fit a Garage Door Seal
Once you have chosen your preferred garage door seal that is the correct height and length, it needs fitting below your garage door. You can get someone in to do the job for you, as there are many companies that can deliver this service. However, it is also possible to do this yourself. It is important to remember that each type of garage door seal is fitted differently, so you should always follow the instruction for the specific product carefully. Usually, you will need to follow these steps:
- Prepare the area by clearing away any debris from the floor below the garage door.
- You will need to cut the seal to the right length, so check your measurement before making the cut.
- Use a hacksaw to cut metal thresholds and scissors to cut thermoplastic garage door seals.
- If you have a steady hand, you can create a better seal by cutting a notch in each end so that the garage door seal fits snugly around the frame of the garage door.
- How you will fit the garage door seal in place depends on the type of door seal you have chosen Some are fitted with adhesives, while others are fitted with screws. Read the product instruction carefully to make sure you use the most appropriate method of fitting the garage door seal.
Garage Door Seals – The Final Verdict
One f the most common problems that people have with their garage is water seeping into the garage. Other problems include wind damage, leaves and debris blowing in, and pests entering the garage interior. The simplest solution to many of these problems is to fit a garage door seal below the garage door. There are several types of garage door seal from which you can choose, but the most common is a garage door seal that fits below the garage door to fill the gap between that and the floor. However, there are also seals for the tops and sides of garage doors. Most garage door seals are affordable and they are worth the expense for the benefits of having them fitted. The length, height, and type of material are the most important factors to consider when choosing your garage door seal. Once you have made your choice and bought the product, it is something that you can easily fit yourself without the extra expense of bringing someone in to do the job for you.