Garage doors are essential in most homes, providing security and easy access to vehicles and other items stored in the garage. However, one common problem is the gap at the top of your garage door. This gap can lead to issues like unwanted moisture, debris, and pests.
This blog post will provide valuable information on how to address the issue of gap at top of garage door using a garage door top seal. It’ll also provide a step-by-step guide and everything you’ll need for the work.
What are Garage Door Top Seals?
Garage door top seals are flexible strips attached to the top of the garage door. They are designed to fill the gap between the garage door and the frame or header above it. Garage door top seals come in various materials, such as rubber, vinyl, and foam, and can be customized to fit the specific width of the garage door opening.
Garage door top seals have various uses. However, their main uses include the following:
- Preventing unwanted elements such as rainwater, snow, dust, dirt, debris, and pests from entering the garage. This is especially crucial if the garage floors are uneven (even in the slightest) since the garage door will not fit tightly against the ground.
- Garage door top seals reduce external noise from entering the garage. This is especially helpful if you often work on projects in your garage or need peace and quiet to relax after a long day.
- A gap between the door and the frame can create an easy entry point for burglars. Burglars can use this gap to pry open the door or use tools to manipulate the lock, and they can access the frame through the gap and release the emergency cord.
- Garage door top seals act as a protective shield and prevent these types of break-ins by creating a tighter seal between the door and the frame.
- Aesthetics is another benefit of garage door top seals. You no longer have to look at a gap between the door and frame but instead can enjoy a sleek-looking exterior.
You can apply various methods to tackle gaps at the top of the garage door. Each method varies depending on the situation and cause of the gap. Before diving into the method for fixing gaps at the top of the garage, it’s crucial to be aware of potential dangers.
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How to Fix Gap at top of Garage Door Easily
- Risk of injury: Installing garage door seals involves heavy lifting and working with power tools. These tools pose a risk of injury if not done properly or handled by an inexperienced person.
- Damage to the garage door: Repairs require professionals to do the job safely. Without proper experience, you might apply improper tools or techniques that may cause scratches, dents, or other physical damage to the door.
- Decreased insulation: Some sealing methods may reduce the insulation properties of the garage door, which can lead to higher energy bills.
Tools You Need
Before we proceed with the step-by-step guide, here are some of the tools you’ll need:
- Ladder or step stool
- Measuring tape
- Drill or screwdriver
- Screws, nails, and bolts
- Weatherstripping material (such as rubber or foam)
- Scissors or a utility knife
Step 1: Locate the Gap Take the Correct Measurements
Use a ladder or step stool to access the top of the garage door. Look for gaps between the garage door and the top frame. Measure the length and width of the gap at the top of the garage door. An accurate measurement will help you shop for the correct size and type of garage door top seal.
Step 2: Check the Track on the Garage Door
It’s crucial to check the track on the garage door when fixing the gap at the top. A misaligned track can cause the garage door to stick or even come off the track, which can be risky.
To confirm if the track is in excellent shape, close the garage door and inspect it to ensure it’s aligned with the rollers. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as dents or cracks, that may cause the track to be misaligned. In case you find any misalignment, proceed with the fixing.
First, loosen the screws or bolts that hold the track to the frame to fix the misaligned track. Use a level to adjust the track until it is straight and level, and tighten the screws or bolts to secure it in place.
Step 3: Check For Loose Screws or Nails
Loose screws or nails in the garage door may also contribute to the gap at the top of the door. Inspect the garage door for any loose screws or nails using a screwdriver or drill. If you find loose screws, tighten and replace any missing or damaged ones. This will help prevent further damage to the garage door and ensure it operates smoothly and efficiently.
Step 4: Adjust the Limit Switch
To adjust the limit switch, first, locate it on the garage door opener. Typically the limit switch is located on the side or rear of the opener motor. Next, using a screwdriver, adjust the limit switch up or down to ensure that the garage door closes fully.
Test the garage door after each adjustment to ensure that it closes properly. If you need help adjusting the limit switch, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional garage door technician.
Step 5: Look For Cracks In The Wood
Cracks in the wood of the garage door can allow air and moisture to seep in, causing gaps to form at the top of the door. You can use a flashlight to inspect the wood of the garage door for any cracks or damage.
If you notice any cracks, fill the crack with wood filler and allow it to dry completely. This will help you prevent further damage and ensure the door is properly sealed, and eliminate any gap at the top of the door.
Step 6: Inspect The Hinges
Worn or damaged hinges on the garage door can cause it to become misaligned, resulting in gaps at the top of the door. You can use a ladder and inspect the hinges on the garage door to ensure they are secure and free of damage. You may need to replace the hinge entirely if you notice any issues.
Step 7: Check For Broken Or Missing Parts
Broken or missing parts like the springs, cables, rollers, or hinges on the garage door can cause it to function improperly and result in gaps at the top of the door. Inspect the garage door and its hardware for signs of damage or missing parts, and replace them accordingly.
Garage Insiders Tip: If you need help replacing a broken or missing part, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional garage door technician.
Step 8: Install Garage Door Top Seal
After you’ve inspected and fixed other issues with the garage door, it’s time to install a top seal to prevent any gaps from forming. You can select a top door seal made of rubber or foam, depending on the complexity of the gap.
Begin by measuring the length of the top of the garage door and cut the weatherstripping material to fit using scissors or a utility knife. Clean the top of the garage door thoroughly to ensure the seal will adhere properly.
Next, apply a bead of adhesive along the length of the weatherstripping material. Press the material firmly onto the top of the garage door, ensuring it’s aligned correctly and adheres securely. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before operating the garage door.
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Why Should I Fix the Gaps Immediately?
Sealing gaps in your garage door as soon as possible is highly recommended to avoid potential issues. Leaving gaps in your garage door can lead to problems like the following:
1. Pest Infestations
Small gaps in the garage door can be an entrance for various pests, such as rodents, insects, and spiders. These pests can cause damage to your garage and pose a health risk to you and your family.
2. Flooding and Water Damage
Gaps in the garage door can allow water to seep into the garage during heavy rains or floods, causing water damage and potentially ruining any items stored there.
3. Chilly Wind or Snow
A gap on top of your garage door allows chilly wind and snow to enter the garage, causing a decrease in temperature inside the garage. This makes working in the garage uncomfortable, forcing your heating system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. The increased workload on the heating system can cause it to consume more energy, resulting in higher energy bills.
When Should You Call a Professional?
While fixing gaps in a garage door is a relatively simple job, it’s recommendable that you call a professional to do the job. Calling a professional can save you time and ensure the job is done correctly.
Below are some situations when you may want to consider calling a professional:
- If you are not comfortable working with tools or on ladders
- If you are unsure of what type of seal or weatherstripping material to use
- If you have a particularly old or damaged garage door
- If you have attempted to fix the gaps but are still experiencing issues with drafts, pests, or water.
Overall, fixing the gap at top of garage door is a simple task that can help improve your home’s comfort, safety, and energy efficiency. To fix gaps in your garage door, you should start by taking accurate measurements and identifying any issues with the garage door components.
Once you’ve identified any issues, you can install the garage door top seal to prevent drafts, pests, and water from entering the garage. While fixing gaps in a garage door is a relatively easy task, it’s still advisable to seek the help of a professional for a well-done job.