Signs Your Garage's Weather-Proofing Needs To Be Replaced, According To Our Expert Handyperson

Weather-proofing seals for the garage door keep the outdoor elements from coming in. It also helps prevent flooding, regulate the garage's temperature, protect the exterior door from everyday wear, reduce noise, and may even lower energy costs. To keep these seals performing at their best, they should be replaced ever so often. Brett Labeka, an expert handyman from Frontdoor, spoke exclusively to House Blog and said unwanted pests, temperature fluctuation, and light leakage are telltale signs you need to change the weather-proofing strip.

Generally, the average garage weatherstrip lasts roughly 5 to 10 years. Labeka explained, "Over time, exposure to weather or sunlight can cause the material to break down." However, the exact life expectancy depends on your area's weather and the seal's material. Fortunately, there are easy ways to check if your weather-proofing is in good shape, and we have an expert's tips on what to do if it isn't.

How to test if your weather strip is in good condition

Examining the garage's weather-proofing is the first step in knowing if it is in good condition. Brett Labeka told House Blog, "Cracks, crumbling, or warping on the seal are definitive signs that it's time for a replacement." So, take a good look around your garage door and check for fractures or buckling of the seal. If you have a hard time spotting any wear and tear, keep an eye out for these other signs the strip needs to be updated. "A noticeable change in your garage's temperature, feeling cooler or breezier, suggests there might be gaps in the door seal," Labeka explained. An influx of dirt, dust, debris, water, or bugs in your garage may also be the result of faulty weather-proofing.

You can check for drafts by feeling the bottom of the door for wind — or placing a tissue around the edges and seeing if it moves. Labeka also suggested "Shining a light along the door from the outside at night to test if light penetrates into the garage." If the seal fails any of these tests and light or air breaks through, it needs replacing.

How to replace the garage's weather seal

If your weather strip has reached its end, you can call a professional to replace it. Material, labor, and supplies can average $170 to $490, depending on your area, the size of the door, and the type of seal. Brett Labeka exclusively told House Blog, "For longevity and durability, PVC seals are the superior choice compared to rubber. They better withstand the elements and provide more effective sealing."

You can also replace the stripping yourself. Visit your local hardware store or shop online for the garage seal. Lowe's has 9 feet of PVC weatherstrip for $13. "While weather-sealing can be a DIY project with the right seal kit, ensure you select the correct size for a snug fit," Labeka shared. "Utilizing a high-quality adhesive is key to the seal's performance and longevity, securing it in place and ensuring it withstands the test of time." Once everything is set up, use Labeka's draft and lighting garage hacks to make sure the seal is properly installed.