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 falling out.

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.
Opener Trolley Release Cord

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.
Vise Grip Garage Door

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.
Rubber Bottom Seal

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.
Bottom Seal Tucked

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.

If you have any questions feel free to Contact Us and we'll do our best to help you out. If you still haven't purchased your replacement seal yet then check out our other blog post Bottom Garage Door Seal - Measuring and Buying Tips.

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