Gap between top of garage door and seal


Old 11-18-04, 08:24 AM
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Gap between top of garage door and seal

Hi. I'm having a minor problem with my garage door, but one that my buyers want fixed before they'll close on my house. There is a gap between the top of my garage door and the rubber seal going across the top of the opening. It's been like that for years, and I never got around to fixing it. I've been told that I need to replace the trim and seal combination, which is cheap and easy to do. However, when I look at it, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it, and I don't see how replacing it is going to help anything. The problem seems to be that the space between the door and the top of the doorway, when the door is closed, is just wider than the space covered by the weather stripping. In fact, if I disengage the garage door opener, and slowly lower the door manually, I reach a point where the door is nearly closed, and the seal across the top looks just exactly like it's supposed to. Note that in this position, no light comes through either above or below the door -- the rubber seal at the bottom appears to be just touching the ground. However, I can still push the door down a little farther, and when I do, the top seal loses contact with the door and folds inward, opening a gap.

Anyway, before I waste $20 and an hour or so replacing the weather strip on top of the door, I would like to know if this is even something that I should be doing. Maybe I need a thicker and stiffer seal on the bottom of the door, so that it doesn't close so far. Or maybe I don't need anything except an adjustment of my opener. Any ideas? Thanks.

Old 11-20-04, 10:43 AM
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I'm having the same problem with a nearly new Wayne-Dalton door. Last spring when I had the door installed, the contractor told me that the gap would dissapear after a garage door opener was installed - that it would push the center of the door into the seal. I am right now in the process of installing the opener, but I can't envision it applying that much force. I am skeptical its going to work.

(By the way, the seal is attached to a header that is straight - the framing is not the problem.)

So I am curious what suggestions will show up here.

Old 11-22-04, 03:20 PM
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Well, I resolved my issue to the best of my ability over the weekend. For anyone who had the same question and is still seeking an answer, I'm posting what I learned in the hopes that it will help you out.

Like I said, the seal at the top of the door didn't look like it had anything wrong with it, it just didn't reach to the top of the door. What I ended up doing was calling the local garage door companies looking for prices to get someone else to fix the problem, and advice on possibly fixing it myself. The first one I spoke to told me that the most likely problem is that the door opening is just a little bit too tall. He made it sound like it happens all the time. Anyway, he told me how they would fix it, and then volunteered that the fix was an easy DIY project, and that they could sell me the parts required.

So, the fix was as follows. The seal across the top of the door is attached to a piece of vinyl trim with a faux wood grain finish on it. The guy at the garage door place told me that the fix for my problem was to simply nail a new piece of that trim/seal piece to the bottom of the existing piece, effectively shrinking the height of the door opening by the fraction of an inch necessary to close my gap. He said that I could buy the trip for $1 a foot at their store, and it came in 8 and 16 foot lengths. My garage is 2-car, so I needed 16 feet. Luckily, the vinyl material is very flexible, and the entire piece of trim can be folded or curled up to fit into the trunk of a car. The one thing he reminded me to do was to make sure that I folded the trim in such a way that the rubber seal was on the inside of the curve, and not the outside, to avoid stretching. (I know this sounds confusing, but once you see the material it should be clear what I'm talking about).

Anyway, I brought the material home, measured the opening (I was about an inch and a half narrower than 16 feet, because of how the side trim was butted up against the top trim). I cut the trim with a plain old hack saw, lined it up in front of the garage door, and started driving nails into all of the pre-drilled holes. I then flipped the material over, lined one end of it up in the proper place along the door (letting the rest of it sag to the ground), and started nailing.

One last thing to keep in mind -- once you start nailing, make sure that you are supporting the weight of the sagging trim. If you let the last nail bear the weight, the trim will start to fall off of the nail.

The entire project took me about a half hour, including measuring, cutting, and nailing (but not including figuring out what I had to do!). If I'd known it would be so easy, I would have done it years ago. Good luck!

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