We tend to think of garage door maintenance come Fall when “Winterizing” is on our minds, but weatherizing your garage doors will protect your home from pests, insects, leaves,water, dirt and extreme temperatures any time of the year.
Is the above photo shocking?
This is the bottom weatherstrip on my garage door. It’s shifted, been chewed and/or frozen to the ground and ripped, it was full of sawdust and water and clearly completely ineffective in sealing out anything that wanted to come hibernate in my garage.
What’s worse is I had no idea.
When the garage door is down you don’t see this, and I’ve never looked up when the garage door is up. Thirteen years and I’ve never once thought to check the seals around my garage doors.
It was the peeling paint and rot at the bottom of my garage door frame that finally made me aware that winterizing the garage doors was in order. (That and the mouse poop all around my empty bag of bird seed)
In case you are/were in the dark (like me), your weatherstripping should NOT look like this:
Bent, ripped, chewed and nowhere near the ground – this old weatherstripping (garage door seal) wasn’t keeping anything out. If you’re thinking “yeah, but you work in your garage, I don’t need to worry” – you’d be wrong. This is only partially about keeping my She-shop warm in winter, but more importantly, it’s about keeping critters from making a home in your garage and eventually moving all of their kids, grandkids and great grandkids into your house. (One mouse ‘couple’ can have 40 babies in one year!)
I contacted my friends at M-D Building Products and begged for their help to tell me what products I needed for winterizing the garage doors.
*This post is sponsored by M-D Building Products. I was provided with the weatherization materials necessary to protect my home in exchange for detailing my process.
My garage didn’t look too bad from a distance,
but up close you could see the damage to the weatherstripping, the bottom seal, the rotted wood and where the critters (in this case bumblebees) had decided to make a nest.
I started winterizing the garage doors by removing all the old weatherstripping from around the top and sides, and then sliding the old garage door threshold out of its track.
I sanded the garage door frame down to remove any loose and peeling paint and filled in any gaps (and bee holes) with an outdoor appropriate silicone.
Did you know that your garage door frame isn’t supposed to sit directly on the concrete? I thought my wood had rotted away, but my friend corrected me and told me that there is supposed to be a small gap so that the wood doesn’t sit in accumulated water and soak it up like a sponge.
Something learned every day!
I washed everything clean with water – garage doors and frame – and let dry in the sun.
Next up came the painting. I went with Benjamin Moore’s Cromwell Gray HC-103 for the garage doors and Hush AF-95 for the garage frame.
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Look at that chick work! She’s phenomenal!
(I’ll admit to being a little shocked at the size of the backyard I’ve carried around – yikes!)
Two coats on each garage door and two on the trim/frame and it was time for winterizing the garage doors.
M-D Building Products Dual Vinyl Garage Door Seals for top and sides comes in different lengths and three different colours (white, brown and beige). I received the 9′ long beige seal and cut it to fit my garage doors with a mitre saw – super easy.
Dual Vinyl Garage Door Seal for Top & Sides
Flexible vinyl seal formed with firm vinyl base
Excellent protection against energy loss
Nail around garage door to seal out air, moisture and dust
Can be painted to match trim
Once I had my top seal cut to length, I marked it every 8″ and pre-drilled small holes for making screw placement easier.
I started in one corner and slowly moved my way across the top of the garage door, making sure that the vinyl flap was butt up against the door itself.
You want your seal flush, but not jammed against the door. Enough to keep out light, but not enough that it will get caught on the garage door when you open and close it.
The side garage door seals will but up against the top seal as tightly as possible, and will require a small 45° cut on the flap in the corner so that it sits flush. This is easily cut with a utility knife.
I should disclose – I used the wrong type of galvanized screws to attach my garage door seals. The proper option would be a washer head screw or hexhead screw, and don’t over-tighten or you’ll get gaps.
If beige, white or brown Dual Vinyl Garage Door Seals don’t match, don’t worry – the vinyl sides (not the flap) are totally paintable to fit your style.
Next up in winterizing the garage doors is installing the garage door bottom. I removed the old bottom earlier, so now all I had to do was clean out the metal track with a bit of soap and water. I found this great video on installing your garage door bottom.
I will attest that using the soapy water method did make sliding the bottom seal into, and along, the track easier. (No tools necessary!)
I didn’t cut my garage door bottom seal until I had slid it along the entire track to make sure I wasn’t left short anywhere. It’s easily cut with utility knife, so I recommend doing it this way to be safe.
Vinyl Replacement Door Bottom
Vinyl replacement door bottom that stops cold air, dust, leaves and moisture from blowing under your single garage door.
Extends the life of your door by providing a shock-absorbing cushion when it is closed.
Remains flexible during cold temperatures
These simple steps in winterizing the garage doors have made a huge difference.
To get an idea of how tight the seal is on my now weatherized garage door, versus my unfinished one – check this out:
Granted, this much light wasn’t coming in when the old weatherstripping was on, but there certainly was some light coming through – which is an indicator that it’s time to replace your seals.
No light = no critters, leaves, dirt, water or temperatures getting in or out.
Winterizing the garage doors could have been completed in an hour or so if I was just doing the weatherstripping. As it was, with sanding and two coats of paint thrown into the mix, the entire project took me a day.
I’m feeling much better about storing birdseed in the garage now. lol
Truthfully, this will make my She-shop so much nicer in the frigid temperatures and will keep Hubby’s car ice-free for work.
It took a bit of work, but in less than a day I’ve winterized / weatherized the garage doors and protected my home for years to come.
Thank you M-D Building Products!
Have a great one!
Well done. You are an inspiration. And your home is beautiful.
It was a learning curve – but I am feeling a bit plucky about it – I’ve never done weatherstripping before so it was learn-as-you-go (and it turned out great! (Whew!)
I was just reading about how to secure your garage for the winter and it got me thinking of the things I could be proactively doing now to prepare for the winter months. I am INSPIRED and so happy I stumbled on your post. Your post actually makes me feel like I might have a shot of doing this on my own. All of the tips and photos helped me get a better idea of the process and will definitely help me feel safer and more secure. Plus win win, it will for sure keep the cold out.
I’ve never done anything like this before, so I promise you it’s easy. Now that the weather has gone cooler I can’t tell you what a HUGE difference a little bit of insulation makes, so it’s definitely worth your time. Have fun – you got this!