Saturday, October 18, 2014

Random Repairs: Garage Door Weather Seal Edition

This is what my view was for about 30 minutes straight last night:
I went cross-eyed several times.
And my right knee fell asleep. It was not comfortable.

Back story: the weather seal on the bottom of my garage door needed replacing. It was worn and flattened and was missing a large chunk towards one side, leaving a bit of a gap between the door and the floor. Not that the garage floor where the door rests is in much better shape, but replacing the rubber weather seal seemed like an easier and quicker fix than attempting to repair the concrete floor. Or so I thought. At least it was probably cheaper.
This hot mess wasn't sealing much out.
The not-so-even floor under the garage door.
Maybe someone should do something about that.
When I decided to replace the weather seal, in part because snow blew into the garage through gap last winter, I did some research and found what I thought I needed. My research showed roughly two main options for replacing the weather seal on the bottom of a garage door. One version is sort of like a door sweep, and it's nailed to the bottom of the garage door - fine for wooden garage doors. Mine is vinyl and aluminum door, which instead requires a weather seal that creates a bulb-shape from the edges fitting into two parallel grooves running the length of the bottom edge of the door.

What I neglected to observe on the old weather seal was the edges, which feed into the two grooves. Oops. Thinking I knew what I needed, and knowing where it was available, I picked up this last weekend:
Perhaps I should have headed the descriptive key word: "Most"
Then, spent the better part of a half hour trying to figure out why the T-shaped edges wouldn't feed into the two grooves on the bottom of my garage door. No amount of crimping the edges flat, or "greasing" them with dish soap per the instructions on the package would get the weather seal into the grooves. I even youtube'd it, and found a video from a nice dad-like guy. Alas, despite his words of wisdom (which I did recall and employ last night), there was now way the weather seal I bought was going to fit the grooves in my garage door. 

And then I looked at the old seal, and saw this:
ROUND edges. . . dang it.
What the. 

Round edges. . . Of course. . . It figures that my circa-1980something garage door would have the type of weather seal that is not readily available at your standard box-store. So I drove to the local hardware, but they only carried the door-sweep version. I almost bought it anyway, and some metal-friendly adhesive, but I knew that given the state of the floor, it wouldn't do quite the same job as a bulb-shaped seal would. I needed the real deal. So, back to the internets I went, and lo-and-behold, I finally found a company that sold what I needed.  

The weather seal arrived yesterday, and I figured it would be a quick install. One side was - the edge that could easily slide into the groove that was open on both ends, unlike its parallel partner, which was slightly crimped on both ends so as to hold the old gasket in. Figures.

I shaved a little off the end of the weather seal to it could better squeeze into the crimped groove, and pried the groove apart enough to kind-of get the edge into it. Cursing and more prying and WD-40'ing ensued before it did start to budge a little. I even got it about four inches before I realized I probably needed help. So I finally enlisted the help of the sister (and some adult beverages, because those are always helpful). In her defense, she did offer earlier, but I was having a do-it-myself moment, so refused her kind offer. What can I say, I'm stubborn. 

After ten minutes or so of getting the weather seal to slide maybe a few more inches, we established a system that involved me wearing a headlamp, sitting on the woodstove, leaning against the wall, staring at the edge of the track (see above) and gingerly guiding the gasket into the tracks while she pulled it through the grooves; but just a bit at a time, as the one ill-fitting edge would pull down every few inches, and she'd have to come at it with the flat-head screwdriver and jam it back into the groove. It's a wonder nobody (me) lost an eye. 
half-way there!
Thirty or so minutes later and, viola!! We successfully replaced eight feet of weather seal on the bottom of my garage door:
There's almost no gap under the door anymore, although you can still tell from the first picture that there's a bit of unevenness to that part of the concrete floor. We'll worry about that another day. The garage isn't insulated, and there is a hole to the left of the garage door that needs attention (the bricks are helping), but this will keep the snow from blowing in like it did last winter. Eventually I'd like do some finish work in the garage, but it's more than sufficient of a space right now: gardening, gear, and tool storage. What more do I need?

Despite our success, we did lose most of my beer:
Party foul. Although, it wasn't the easiest space to maneuver in.
Right down the jeans. . . and onto the pile of burlap coffee
bean sacks, stacked on the woodstove, upon which I was
precariously perched so as to obtain the best view
possible of the edge of the track on the bottom of the
garage door.
Next up: planting garlic! Probably an easier task.

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