So you just made it home after a long day’s work and you’re ready to settle in, unwind and relax. Too bad your garage door is standing in the way of that. After clicking your remote, the door begins to rise but abruptly stops only a few feet in the air. Just your luck, right? Now, before you know it, 10 minutes have passed and you’re still hassling with the garage.
…Or maybe the opening of your door isn’t exactly the issue. Perhaps, you have a problem with bad weather seals or rotting trim. These are all normal wear and tear issues that happen over time. Fortunately, we have some easy step-by-step instructions on how you can fix them, yourself.
Installing New Weather Seals
Don’t let summer temperatures overheat your garage or winter ones freeze it. Instead, use weather seals to control the air. This project can be done in one day for as low as $100 on a regular sized garage. Learn how to install and do it yourself.
- V-strip weather stripping
- Screw driver
- Dish wash soap
- 1-inch screw
Step 1: Measure the Garage Door for the Seal
Before replacing your weather seal, it’s important that you get the correct measurements for the garage door stop that you’ll be purchasing. Start by sizing the width, height and thickness of your door. Next, it’s time to take a trip to the home center store. While there, you’ll need to buy a V-strip weather stripping which is a tube filled with exterior caulk (water proof sealant). If you have a wooden door, this will also include a can of wood sealer. For a more powerful seal, you can use a rubber threshold or strip of wood.
Step 2: Remove Your Old Garage Door Seal
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Once you’ve measured and gathered these materials, raise your door about 6 ft high so that the track doesn’t interfere with the seal. Then, begin to pull that old rubber out. If needed, a screw driver works great for prying crimped track ends open. You may have to cut them into pieces if they’re really hard to pry.
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You don’t want to have any dirt or corrosion in the garage door, so clean it out by using a screwdriver and stiff brush. Next, using scissors, chop the weather seal into its needed length.
Using dish wash soap, lubricate the rubber. Then, you’ll need to thread the t-shaped edges into the seal track and slide it through the garage door. During this step, patience is key. Remember that pushing and pulling the seal into the track is not a skip-and-a-hop process, even with using a second hand.
With a wooden garage, tear off the nailed rubber seal and attach the wood using wood sealer. As it dries, get the aluminum track ready by chopping it to needed length. Then, place the track into caulk and make sure that it is secured tightly inside the bottom of the door. Next, using a 1-in. screw, drill the track behind the door.
Get the areas within the door sections ready by removing any dirt or debris with a rag and household cleaner. Be careful while doing this to avoid pinching your fingers. Next, chop the weather stripping into pieces that make up the width of the door and fold the crease over so that the “V” faces outward. Place the clear strip in between sections of the garage door, tear off the adhesive backing and stamp it into place. Repeat this for each section.
Step 3: Install the Threshold
Now, it’s time to take on the threshold! Begin with a good cleaning to the concrete using water and degreaser. Once this is washed off and dry, follow the label directions and squeeze out the adhesive.Then, align the strip of wood along the hump that’s inside the garage door and cut it into the width of the opening. Press the door down gently onto the threshold, making sure that the hump connects to the door seal. Leave the door shut firmly against the threshold until the adhesive is dry.
Step 4: Install the Stop
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Lastly, the door stop needs to be slid against the door, allowing the vinyl seal to bend at nearly a 45-degree angle. Next, nail the stop into position using aluminum 1-1/2 in. nails.
Replacing Rotting Trim
Garage trimming protects your door from water and weather damage. If the trimming becomes ragged and old, it’s a 90% chance that it’s rotting and needs to be replaced. Good trimming not only ensures a good-looking garage door on the outside but a protected one on the inside, too.
Tools That You’ll Need:
- Flat crowbar
- Claw hammer
- Diagonal pliers
- Miter saw
- Cedar trim, 3/4-inch by 3-inch by 96-inch
- Fir studs, 2-inch by 6-inch by 96-inch (for interior perimeter trim)
- 2-inch nails
Step 1: Remove the Trim
Place a flat crowbar’s tip under the trim. Using a hammer, press on its back and push it in as far as it’ll go. You’ll then need to tug on the crowbar to remove the trim. Take the crowbar out and position it 24 inches to the left or right. Then, place in the tip and continue to take out any remaining trim. Carry this procedure on around the garage door, as well.
Step 2: Remove Nails
Take the trim in your hands and move it in a back and forth motion until it detaches. Don’t panic if it crumbles into pieces, this is normal. Remove all remaining nails from inside of the garage stud frame with a claw hammer and diagonal pliers.
Step 3: Measure the Top of the Garage Door
Now, from both inside and outside, you’ll need to get the sizes for the top of the garage door. If the trim is just found on the inside of the door opening, get the measurements for only the inside top door. With a miter saw, separate two pieces of trim to those sizes.
Step 4: Nail Trim Against the Frame
Insert the trim and position it with a hammer, nailing the trim against the frame. Be sure to separate the nails every 8 inches.
Step 5: Place in Nails
Measure the trim that is along the top outside door to the outer corners of each vertical trim pieces that you just tacked on. Next, cut out a trim piece to that size and place nails in the top piece of trim to the header frame, separating the nails every 8 inches. If the trim is located on the inner side of the door, size it and cut a trim piece to fit between both vertical pieces. Then, place nails from the header on down.
Step 7: Paint
Drag a nice amount of caulk along the perimeters of the new trim, both inside and outside. Close up all nail holes, cracks, joints and seams with caulk. Now, it's time to paint! You should do this using exterior grade paint.
Cleaning Up a Rusty Door Track
Garage door tracks allow your door to be lifted or lowered. So imagine if your tracks were rusted or damaged. Your door wouldn’t move as easily, quietly, or smoothly as it should, right? That’s why it is important that you maintain your tracks to avoid the annoying noises and dysfunction that comes from rusted ones. Here’s how:
Step 1: Remove the Grime and Dust
Start by getting a spray bottle and filling it with hot water and liquid detergent. The hot water helps with removing hard and stubborn oil/grease. Now, use the spray to take off any grime or dust from your garage door, one section at a time. Immediately, after spraying each area, wipe and clean it with a rag.
Step 2: Remove the Rust
Rust can be removed by scrubbing with steel wood. And for really hard rust, you can use sand paper or a sand sponge which will help the paint stay on the surface better. Then, gather some dirt-free rags, place them into vinegar and remove any remaining amounts of rust.
Step 3: Apply a Coat of Primer
Now, you'll need to put a layer of primer to the treated spot. Once it's fully dry, apply a second coat. Keep in mind that the first layer may take up to two hours to completely dry.
Step 4: Paint the Door
Finally, it's time to finish it off with paint. Make sure you paint the treated area with the same color as the rest of the garage door. You don't want to bring attention to your once rusted area. Allow enough time for the paint to dry between layers.
With all of the common wear and tear items in and around your home, let you garage door be the least of them. Using these step-by-step instructions, you should be able to get yours back to working good as new! As for any other unexpected household appliance breakdowns, save yourself some time and worry by getting protected through a home warranty plan with AHS.
American Home Shield Intern – Memphis, TN
Clivona E. Burse uses each day as an opportunity to advance and learn in the city she calls home-- Memphis. She is a recent Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Memphis where she majored in journalism with a concentration in public relations. Clivona now looks forward to pursuing her MBA degree in Marketing. When she's free from her busy school and work life, she enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with loved ones.