Bottom Garage Door Seal - Installation Tips
You've had your garage door for a while and noticed that the bottom seal is hardened, cracked and torn. So you figured out what seal to buy for your door (if you haven't then give our Bottom Garage Door Seal - Measuring & Buying Tips post a read). Now you need to remove the old seal and install the new. Before you start though you should check & make sure the
new seal will work. Take measurements of it & compare it to your old
seal. Also take the new seal & see if you can slide the seal into
the retainer a little bit & that the "T" part of the seal fits in
the retainer easily without being too hard to put in or too loose and
Unplug the Opener and Lift the Door - now that you
confirmed that you have the proper seal for your garage door you can install it. First you
should take a few safety precautions: A) Unplug the garage door opener
(you don't want someone to accidentally pushing a remote while you're
working on the door). B) Pull the red emergency cord on the opener to
disengage it from the door (while the door is closed) and lift the door manually. At this point if
you can't lift the door or it's too heavy to lift you should stop &
call a professional as there may be something wrong with the door
springs. A balanced garage door should be easy to lift manually.
Raise the Garage Door - raise the door up until the bottom of
the garage door is just below where the horizontal track curves away
from the vertical track (about 3/4 of the way open). Put vise grips on
the vertical track just below the bottom roller to keep the door from
drifting closed while you work on it.
Remove Old Seal - pull the old seal out of the aluminum
retainer. The ends of the seal may be tucked back into the retainer
& need to be pulled out first or sometimes screws are put in near the ends
of the seals to hold it in place so look for those & remove them if
your having trouble pulling the seal out. You may also need to use a
utility knife & cut down the length of the seal and pull the seal
out in pieces.
Clean the Aluminum Retainer - use a wet cloth &
wipe down the entire length of the retainer (this is the part of the
door the seal slides into). You can also take a screwdriver and run it
the entire length of each channel & make sure it's smooth. If you
find any parts that are dented or bent use needle nose pliers to
straighten the channels.
Lubricate the Retainer - use a bucket with some soapy
water and a rag or sponge and coat the entire retainer so it's dripping
wet. This will help let the seal slide through the retainer channels.
You could also use a lubricant if it's too cold to use water but soapy
water works best.
Find A Helper - you are going to want to find a friend or neighbor to give you a hand. You can do it by yourself but if you want to take some of the
frustration out of installing bottom seal then find someone to help you
at this point. It is much easier with two people.
Install the Seal - if you found a helper then you will
put both of the "T" parts of the seal into the retainer channels and
start pulling it while your helper will "feed" the seal into the
retainer while keeping the seal they're feeding level with the bottom of
the door as they "feed" it to you. This will keep the seal you're
pulling from flopping over & catching. If you're trying to do this
by yourself then you'll need to keep going back & forth from trying
to "feed" the seal in and then going over & pulling it through.
Fold the Seal - once you have the seal pulled the
length of the door you should have about 3" sticking out beyond the
width of the door. Now fold that 3 extra inches of seal back onto itself
so it goes inside the retainer. Do this on both ends of door. Some
people put screws into the seal to hold it but there's no need to put
extra holes into your door. Folding the seal back onto itself will hold
the seal in place.
Lower the Door - remove the vise grips from the track
and lower the garage door. Engage the door to the garage door opener
(check your garage door opener manual - most will re-engage
automatically). Plug your garage door opener back into the outlet.
Run the Garage Door Opener
- sometimes a new seal will
add a little height to the door (since it's not all flattened out like
the old seal) so it's a good idea to run the opener & see if it
closes properly. If the door goes down and then reverses once it hits
the floor you'll need to adjust the close travel limits on the operator
so it doesn't go down as far. Follow the instructions in the operator
owners manual for instructions on travel limit adjustments. If you don't have an owners manual for your garage door opener you can search our Support Manuals site
and download the manual if we have it available.
YOU DID IT - you now have new bottom garage door seal that should last for years and help keep your garage warm and dry.