Best way to fill 3 inch gap between top of garage door frame and joist

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Old 11-28-18, 04:15 PM
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Best way to fill 3 inch gap between top of garage door frame and joist

Hello everyone,

I have a 2-3 inch gap above my garage door between where the top of the frame meets the wood joist that touches the exterior brick facade. I'm trying to figure out the best way to caulk/fill the gap. It looks like some type of caulk was used previously, but as you can see in the pics, it's now deteriorating and needs to be repaired. After I fix the gap, I'll paint the wood.

Any advice? I want an air-tight/water-tight seal. As cold air that gets in, it makes the kitchen and garage feel much colder. I'm in Philadelphia, PA so it gets cold.

Pics below.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-28-18, 04:35 PM
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It looks like the right side of the garage door frame and sunk. Is there rot or settling in the frame allowing that side to move?

Is that a steel beam/header above the garage door frame?
 
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Old 11-28-18, 08:06 PM
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The left side is about 2-2.5 inches and the right side is about 2.5-3 inches. It's a wood header beam. No rot, but I think it looks uneven/slope downward to the left due to the original frame on the top of the garage that is covered by the aluminum capping/flashing.

It's an old row home, but otherwise in good condition.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 06:24 AM
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If everything is solid and in good condition otherwise, and the door operates smoothly, you could use Great Stuff spray in foam insulation (low expanding type). After it's cured you can trim it smooth and flush with the surface. But if you ever need to repair or work on that particular area, you'll have a hell of a time getting that stuff off.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 06:43 AM
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I thought about spray foam, but had the same reservations about how difficult it would be to remove if needed.

Is there a large enough backer rod and type of caulk that can be used? I've found some caulk that lists it can be used on joints up to 2 inches, but I'd need something for up to 3 inches. Also, the local big box stores don't carry backer rod bigger than 3/4".

I also thought about using a 2x4 and trying to cut the long way the uneven angle. I only have a circular saw, so that may not work out too great.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 06:55 AM
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Maybe install some sort of drip cap/flashing on the outside (tucked behind fascia board) then stuff fiberglass insulation in the gap from the inside.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 07:20 AM
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maybe use rigid foam insulation cut to fit as it will be easier to trim to size.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 07:22 AM
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Rigid from is the ticket. Great idea from another member.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 08:21 AM
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Rigid from is the ticket. Great idea from another member.
That could be tricky (and leaky) because the gap isn't consistent. Batt insulation would conform to the shape of the gap, rigid foam would not. Spray foam would be ideal, but the OP said he didn't want to use this.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 10:29 AM
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I may revisit using spray foam if I can find one that would be easier to clean/remove if needed. I believe DAP used to have (or still does) have an easy water clean up spray foam, but I'm not sure how difficult it would be to remove at a later time if needed (after it has cured).
 
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Old 11-29-18, 10:47 AM
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If you need to remove it in the future (not sure why you would), then it isn't a big deal IMO. Sure, it will stick to whatever it comes into contact with, but the stuff is easily cut and breaks apart. It will leave a residue, but I don't think it would be a big deal. You still need to close off the gap from the outside and provide backing for the foam though. Flashing seems like the easiest way to me. Although you'd need to remove that fascia board first, or pry it outward a bit to get the flashing tucked up behind it.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 11:50 AM
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I would clean off all the caulk and use a grinder to get the concrete surface smooth and clean. Use spray foam very sparingly and place it as far back as you can... being sure the outer 1 1/2 - 2" stays open.

then get yourself a piece of White 5/4x2 pvc trim (Azek or similar) and scribe it to fit. If you are careful you can do it with a skilsaw or jigsaw. It can be 1/8" loose. You will push it back to the foam so it's slightly recessed behind the concrete 1/2" - 3/4" or so. Then caulk the top and bottom with a bead of OSI Quad.

Dap foam is not very good at filling large gaps... it would take a few cans... and you would need to get the cans hot.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 11:54 AM
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Just use the spray foam. If you have to remove it in the future you'll be doing rough and dirty work anyhow and can really go at it to scrape it out.

If you want the exposed face of the foam to look decent for painting get some waxed paper and a board. You'll spray the foam into the crack. Then cover the crack with waxed paper. Then nail or screw the board in place over the crack and waxed paper. The foam will expand flush up to the wax paper and cure. Then a day or two later remove the board and peel off the wax paper. You'll be left with a reasonably flat and smooth surface that can be painted.

If you just let the foam expand and ooze out you can easily cut off the excess after it's hardened. Unfortunately this leaves a bubbly, rough surface that doesn't look good. To make it pretty you can cover it with a strip of molding or vinyl trim.
 
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Old 11-29-18, 12:25 PM
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I would cut and fill with rigid foam board, then use spray foam to fill in the areas that are not fitting tight.
 
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Old 11-30-18, 05:51 AM
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Hi Everyone,

Some great ideas. I've been thinking and I really don't see why I would have to remove/reopen the gap in the future, so I'm back to considering spray foam as my solution.

I like Pilot Dane's idea of using the wax/board to cover the front after spraying so the expanded foam can form to the exterior and be smooth for painting (but with one concern-listed below).

I do not have access to that beam or to that exterior gap from the inside as that is where the ceiling is on the inside, so everything will have to be done from the outside.

I also thought about using spray foam to fill about an inch or two, but leaving the outer 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch from the surface not filled with foam, then finish off with caulk. I'm thinking of using Big Stretch or DynaFlex 230 (both are rated for up to 2 inches, but for the most part, it will be 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch depth, but 2.5 to 3 inches in height). I'd be okay with multiple layers to fill/smooth the void so it will look nice after painting.

I am concerned with just using leaving the surface exposed with the spray foam, as I'm not too sure how it would last over the years from harsh northeast weather (even after painting). I can also cover the exposed header beam down to the garage top with more aluminum flashing to prevent any further weathering (which would include the gap). This is why I'm thinking of finishing the surface with caulk as I should get a good amount of years before the caulk starts to break down.
 
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Old 12-02-18, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane
Is that a steel beam/header above the garage door frame?
Correcting my earlier response that the header beam is wood. It's actually steel. I was able to get the spray foam in the gap, but I have to trim the excess. I hope to get that done today so I can put a layer of caulk up.

Now I have to get some exterior paint. Any recommendations since I'm painting over steel? Ideally, I'd prefer something latex based for easy cleanup.

Thanks.
 
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