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How to replace garage door weather stripping

men installing weather stripping on a garage door

If you have a garage door long enough at some point in time you will probably notice some of  the weather stripping at the bottom of the door is missing. You also may also at some point in time need to replace the vinyl weather stripping around the door. A quick trip to the hardware store will reveal that its not quite as simple as going and picking up some material and heading home to do the job. We will discuss how you can replace the garage door weather stripping and some of the challenges you may face.


If you are wanting to change the bottom rubber on your garage door, how you go about it will first depend on whether your door is metal or wood. 


For wood doors you want to buy astragal for the bottom of the door. Make sure you measure your door first and always order a little more than you need. Besides the astragal you will also need ½” roofing nails, a hammer and a razor blade. 


The first thing you need to do is remove the old rubber and nails, either pull them out or pound them flat. In order to get started you will need to get the rubber nailed in at one end first. As you move down the length of the door you want to stretch the rubber tightly, but not so tight it rips on the nails. There is no hard and fast rule for how far apart the nails must be, just keep the rubber tight and try to make it so there are no gaps showing between the door and the rubber.  Cut off the excess with a razor blade and you are good to go. 


For metal doors it is a little bit different and more difficult. On metal doors the bottom rubber slides into a metal retainer. Every manufacturer designs their panels differently and therefore the retainers and the rubber are different for every door. Another difficulty is that if the retainer is damaged at all it can be impossible to get the old rubber out, let alone get the new rubber in. This means you will need to replace the retainer and the rubber at the same time. Matter of fact, since getting the correct rubber can be a challenge it is actually generally easier to replace the rubber and the retainer. That way you can be sure the rubber will fit into the retainer. 


If you do change the retainer you need to pay close attention, because if it is attached behind the bottom fixtures you DO NOT want to remove those as that is because they are under extreme tension and you can be severely injured. If your retainer needs to be replaced and it is behind the bottom fixtures you should call a professional.  Lastly, if you are able to get the correct rubber for your specific garage door model, use some white lithium grease to grease the retainer first it will make sliding the new rubber in. 


Vinyl Trim


If you are wanting to replace the thermal seal around your garage door this is a bit of an easier task. Although the vinyl trim you can get at home depot or lowes is not as thick as the stuff pros use it will still work. The other downside is that you will not be able to get a 16ft or 18ft piece so if you have a double door and need to change the top piece of trim you will need to use 2 pieces.


In order to replace your trim you will need to first score the paint and caulk between the trim and wood with a razor blade,then use a trim puller, or a hammer to pull the old trim off.  Once it is off, scrape the old caulk off with a 5 in one painting tool. Then measure and cut your trim ( do the top piece first). We nail our trim using a battery operated nail gun, but you can use aluminum siding nails and a hammer if you do not have one ( hardy plank will make this almost impossible.)

Once your trim is nailed up go ahead and caulk all the way around. 


You may save some money doing these projects yourself and they are not impossible for the DIY type of person, but using a professional company will save you some headache and leg work. 

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