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How to Replace Garage Door Seal

how to replace garage door seal

Every garage door owner needs to know how to replace garage door seal in order to keep the outside elements out.

Every garage door has a seal near the bottom that prevents the outside elements from entering your garage. This seal helps keep unwanted pests out as well, which can be particularly important if you have a food cabinet or refrigerator in your garage.

Over time, this seal may deteriorate and require either maintenance or replacement.

In this article, you will discover how to replace garage door seal.

How to Replace Garage Door Seal

Is the seal on your garage door starting to get worn out?

You often don’t think about that rubber seal on the bottom of the door, but it’s more important than you know. 

Here’s how to replace garage door seal.

1. Remove the old seal

Firstly, that old seal has to come off before you can replace it with a new one. Lift the garage door up about 6 feet high, and secure it in place. If you have a garage door opener, it’s a good idea to unplug it to ensure that it doesn’t move. Then, pull out the bottom seal through the gap behind the door. 

2. Check which kind of seal you need

Now the old seal is gone, you need to check which kind of seal you need to buy. These are usually named after what their cross-section looks like. If you don’t know, take a pair of scissors and cut a few inches off the old seal. What does the seal look like? For example, if the cross-section looks like a ‘J’, then that’s a J-type seal. If you’re not sure which one you should use, take the cut-off section to a hardware store, where the staff can help you out. 

3. Measure the seal

Before you buy a new seal, you need to know how long it needs to be. Measure the old seal’s width, so you can ensure the new one will be able to fit into the channel in the door. Also, measure the width of the garage door so you’ll have a seal that’s long enough. 

4. Clean out the retainer

The retainer is the channel that the garage door seal slides into. Take a wet cloth and clean it out thoroughly. Once it’s clean, use some soapy water to lubricate the channel, ready for the next step. 

5. Feed the seal into the channel

It’s best to have two people for this part. Fit the bulb of the seal into the channel, and have one person pull it along while the other keeps feeding it in. Once the whole seal is in, you should have about three inches of extra length on both sides. Fold that back on itself, and tuck it into the channel. This is all you need to do to keep the seal in place. 

6. Lower the garage door

Now the seal is installed, you need to test it. Lower the garage door and re-engage the garage door. Once that’s been done, you’ll need to try the opener. The seal can add extra height to the door, as it’s not flattened out like the old one. If the garage door auto reverses when you try it, you’ll need to adjust its limits to account for this change. The instructions for this will usually be in the owner’s manual for your garage door.

Why Is A Garage Door Seal So Important?

If that seal has begun to get worn out, it’s easy to assume you can leave it for later. While it doesn’t affect how the door opens and closes, you will find it affects the overall health of your home. Here are some reasons why you should replace it as soon as it shows signs of wear:

  • Stop Pests In Their Tracks: Pests are always trying to find a way into your garage, and that goes double now the colder weather is coming. They like to get into garages as they offer more protection from the elements, a good source of food and water, as well as a secluded spot to nest and breed. They’ll look for any gaps possible, so a garage door seal will stop them from getting in that way. This is particularly important if you have a refrigerator in your garage. As a reminder, it’s important to clean an outdoor refrigerator regularly to avoid attracting ants and others pests. Here’s a quick guise on how to clean a stainless steel refrigerator
  • Keep The Weather Out: On the subject of the weather, temperatures will start to cool soon. With that comes more rain, and possibly even snow. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, you don’t want it getting into your garage. If there are gaps in your garage door seal though, it will get in. Water damage can easily occur in your garage if this happens. A good seal will keep those elements out. 
  • Keep The Heat In: If you’re trying to keep your home or garage warm, then you don’t want any gaps. If there is a gap in the seal, cold air can make its way in. In the summer, it’ll let the hot air in, too. This leads to rising energy costs as you struggle to balance this out. Seal the door properly, and you’ll save a lot of cash in the long run.

When To Replace Your Seal

You’ve seen how important it is to replace the garage door seal. How can you tell if the seal needs to be replaced?

Usually, there are obvious signs of wear and tear on the seal itself. As it’s been attacked by the elements, it may have cracked, got torn, or gone hard over the years. If it has been a long time since it was replaced you may find that the seal has gaps or chunks missing from it. 

If you’ve had problems with pests, you may also see bite marks or sections that have been chewed away. This will be where animals have tried to chew the seal away, in order to get inside. If you see any damage like this, it’s time to replace the seal. 


Now that you know how to replace a garage door seal, you can decide whether you need to call a professional garage door service provider or try it yourself.

If you’re not comfortable working with the various garage door parts, you may want to consider contacting a professional. A pro will have the skill and materials needed to get the job done quickly.

For more information, contact Your Garage Door Guys and request an estimate if you’re in our service area.

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