How To Seal Garage Door Gaps On Sides [A Step By Step Guide]

People having a garage in their homes know that they are usually noisy. Oftentimes, garage doors are loosely fitted and therefore allow dust, noise, insects and everything else to get inside.

If you are tired of a noisy,  dirty garage and want to get rid of it, you have come to the right place. You can make garage doors airtight by putting in some little effort! Isn’t that good news?

You need to ensure all sides of the door are tightly fitted in position, not just the bottom of the door. That’s important because gaps can serve as the entry point of rodents, outside dirt and dust, not to mention unwanted  noises.  Therefore pay attention to the gaps on both sides of the door, besides the top and the bottom portion, if you intend to keep your garage clean. 

Let’s see how one can one make their garage doors airtight and turn the garage into a quiet place. 

How to seal garage door gaps on both sides?

How To Seal Garage Door Gaps On Sides

Luckily, adjusting the gaps and sealing the garage door gaps isn’t labor intensive. It can be done in simple DIY steps. Without any further delay, let’s go through the step-by-step process to seal garage door gaps and make it airtight. 

Take the measurements of the garage door first

This is the first step you must follow before installing seals for resealing gaps on the sides of the door.

To measure the sides of the door, add the height of the door, after multiplying it by two, with its width. This gives you the length of the seal that you will need for this process.

While taking the measurements, do not forget to measure the gap between the garage door and frame.

While taking the markings, make sure to leave an 8 inches gap from inside the edge. Accordingly, note the measurements. This will help you in finishing the next step.

A lot of people tend to leave more gaps at the bottom of the door only to let fresh air come inside the room. If you do the same, it’s no use trying to make the door airtight.  While taking the measurements, note the following:

  • Inspect the gaps along the sides and top of the door

Inspect the  garage door stops. If your stops aren’t functioning properly, it’s time to replace them as well. Otherwise you can move them closer to the door and see if they work better.

  • Check the tracks

If the stops seem perfect, but the door doesn’t close vertically straight, perhaps the roller tracks present on either side of the door need some attention. See if they are holding the door at a consistent distance. If not, loosen the bolts to unmount the tracks and nudge it to bring it closer to the stops. However, do not go too far.

  • Inspect the gaps Along the Bottom of the Door

A gap at the bottom of the door, where the door meets the floor is extremely common. It occurs due to several reasons. The cause determines the solution that must be implemented.

If your garage door doesn’t close entirely, readjust the limit switches. Do not insert a flexible garage door seal. Even if you have already installed one, readjust the limit switches so that the seal is compressed and animals cannot chew them away.

Clean The Dirt And Dust On The Track By Brush

The next important process is cleaning the door gaps, tracks, etc. It’s the backbone of the sealing process, because any dirt or dust left can create an air bubble, making all your efforts futile.

Use a brush and clean the tracks. Make sure there is no dirt and dust left. Clean the top, bottom, and sides of the garage door.

Gather everything you will need for this process

Make a list of the supplies you need for this process. Not much is required to seal the gaps on both sides of a garage door. Hence, you wouldn’t face any difficulty in finding them.

  • Buy a weatherstrip of your choice. They are available in rolls. Usually, they come in a variety of finishes nowadays.
  • Get a pneumatic stapler or drill and a hammer.
  • Some nails or screws
  • For the finishing touch, buy some caulk.

Install garage door seal retainer at the bottom of your garage door

If the previously installed vinyl stripping is good even now, it’s great. If you didn’t install anything previously, and see that the retainer of the garage door is broken, it’s time to replace it. Before anything else, install an aluminum retainer first. This will help you in installing a new weather stripping later

To pull out the old weather stripping, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Take a flathead screwdriver.
  • Take out the roller. Hence, get access to the bottom seal of the garage door.
  • Now, take off the previous weather stripping.
  • Install the new aluminum retainer in position.
  • Lastly, using a screw gun, drill the screws at the bottom or through the surface of the retainer.

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Install the garage door seal

After the above steps are completed, it’s time to install a new weather stripping or foam to the top and bottom of the garage door to prevent unwanted things and noise from entering the garage. There are two major components of this step. Let’s go through them one by one:

Garage Door Top Sealing

To seal the top gap of the door, you need a tough auto care product which is flexible at extremely low temperatures. You shouldn’t keep gaps to let sunlight or fresh air enter.  If you do, all this effort would be in vain.  Make sure to seal every inch of the top portion to prevent noise and unwanted pests from entering your garage.

Usually, people opt for weather stripping. However, you can buy actual garage door top seals for this purpose. Reviews say the latter works better than the former. Once you install these door seals, you would notice a considerable difference in the amount of noise entering the garage thereafter.

To seal garage door sides and top, one must install the top door seal to the top frame and sides frame of the door. Do not install it on the door itself. It may cause damage to the door.

To ensure there’s no gap left, one can use a rubber strip to make the garage more soundproof and warm.

Use Garage Door Bottom Seal

Sealing the bottom of the garage door is another important step, if you want to eliminate unwanted noise and pests inside your garage. Now, there are two types of garage door bottom seals that people choose from.

Firstly, there is a T style seal which offers great insulation but makes noise when closing or opening the garage door.

The next is the U shaped weather stripping seal which is better than the T styled one, in terms of isolation, flexibility, warmth and everything else.

The best part is the U shaped seal doesn’t require any screws or stick to install it to the bottom gap. It comes with a simple clip using which one can fit it in the right position.

Inspect the seal placement and nail it in place

At this point, the seals are likely to be loosely nailed into the garage door frame on both the sides. To ensure there’s no further garage door gaps on sides, see if they are on the right spot. To do that, push your garage door a little. Change your position and see if there are visible gaps on both sides or between the seal and the door.

If you find any existing gap, you do not have to reseal a garage door. Simply take the closest nail out of the jamb and bring the seal a bit closer to the door. To check whether it is rightly placed or not, shake the door again and look for gaps. 

Repeating this process and nailing the seals accordingly ensures that they remain in their position even during a windstorm. After you have found the right places for seals, nail them properly. Remember to attach the top first, and then seal garage door sides.

Add more concrete to the floor

Sometimes, concrete floors settle over time, though it’s uncommon. When this happens, they leave a gap between the floor and the bottom of the door.

Therefore, adding a layer of concrete to the already existing floor will help you eliminate the existing gap.

This will bring the level of the floor to the right level for the door to close in properly, leaving no garage door gaps on bottom sides.

Install a garage door threshold

If you do not want to level the floor anymore, here’s another option to try. Attaching a garage door threshold is a great option to try. They can be easily found at any DIY hardware store near you. Also, they are easy to install. 

Garage door threshold comes with a glue and rubber threshold and sometimes a caulking gun as well. What needs to be done here is gluing the threshold to the floor. This will create a permanent barrier at the bottom of the door.

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The Bottom Line

As you can see, it’s easy to seal garage door gaps at home. What’s difficult sometimes is identifying what’s causing the issue.  That’s when you need to call a professional for expert inspection.

If you haven’t found the cause of the issue, it’s time to call a professional. One shouldn’t neglect issues like these.

When you are sealing or resealing the door gaps yourself, there are a few safety tips to be followed. Remember them while you are doing this project.

  • Don’t forget to wear protective equipment like eyewear. Remember that safety comes first.
  • Before anything else, clean the door, and the door frame. Ensure that the top, bottom, and sides are also cleaned.
  • After cleaning, you can place a rubber weatherstrip, do not forget to nail it in place. Otherwise, it will slide out of the garage door repeatedly.

These are some of the useful tips you must remember while sealing the gaps. With these tips and the steps we have mentioned above, we expect homeowners to complete this project safely, with ease.

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