The last thing you want is a gap between the ground and your garage door. In the best of scenarios, a mouse or rat might crawl in; the worst scenario involves a burglar prying your garage door open. Gaps invite all kinds of problems into your home. Leaving the gap unattended only increases the chances of something happening.
Not only is it ugly to look at, there’s something in your mind that just can’t stand the sight of something that isn’t symmetrical. And to make matters worse, the value on your house can drop if potential buyers see a nasty gap in the garage door. How about we help you fix that?
How to Fix a Gap in Your Garage Door
A gap in your garage door doesn’t only apply to spaces along the bottom—gaps on the sides and top are just as common. Below you’ll find seven common reasons gaps appear in your garage door and how to go about fixing them.
1. Consult your limit switch
Important: As a homeowner, realizing that you need to waste another Saturday waiting for the landlord or handyman to come over to fix another damaged appliance is frustrating. It shouldn't feel like the norm to constantly have damaged appliances and systems in your home since it can come to a huge cost at the end of each year.
The Home Improvement Solutions eBook covers everything you need to do in your home when it comes to maintenance and improvement so you can avoid wasting another weekend waiting for someone to come to your rescue.
First and foremost, adjust the limit switch. Along the bottom of your garage door is a seal. When it is pressed against the ground, you will see why it’s called a seal. The limit switch will adjust how far down your garage door will go when it is being closed. If it doesn’t go down far enough, it can’t create a proper seal, which is what burglars and pests take advantage of. Sometimes it even prevents your garage door from closing.
To alter the limit switch, you usually have to check the controls on your garage door opener. There exist dozens of brands and manufacturers. That means the switch is never in one place. Check your owners’ manual to find the limit switch for your particular model.
2. Examine the garage door seal for damage.
Speaking of the seal, after you’ve consulted your limit switch, did you notice any damage to the seal itself? Sure, adjusting the limit switch is a good first step, but it’ll be useless if the seal is falling off or full of holes. A damage seal does not properly prevent pests, burglars, and weather from entering your garage.
Like the garage door opener, every garage door requires a specific seal replacement kit. You’ll have to go through the manufacturer, or get the model number on your garage door and purchase a seal replacement kit (View on Amazon) from an online store (sometimes for cheaper) like Amazon.
3. Install a garage door threshold.
Let’s say you do not want to add concrete to the ground (because it’s messy and you aren’t an expert with it), what are your options, aside from what’s already listed? Well, you can look into a garage door threshold (View on Amazon).
You know the garage door seal along the bottom of the garage door, right? Think of a garage door threshold as an additional seal, but it does a little more than that. Rather than sit flat against the ground, it’s slightly raised, almost like a tiny speedbump, and is really good at keeping water and pests from getting in. Perhaps a garage door threshold is more your speed.
4. Adjust the garage door stops.
Like the garage door seal running along the bottom of the garage door, there’s also strips of trim placed along the rest of the garage door. Their purpose is very much the same as the garage door seal: it keeps weather, critters, and people from getting inside by creating a seal.
If you just had a new garage door installed, chances are the stops simply need adjusting. This is usually done by adjusting the garage door stops to be closer to one another. With that said, if you have had your garage door for awhile and this is a recent issue, then your garage door is in need of some replacements.
5. Are the tracks misaligned?
After you’ve checked the stops, seals, threshold, and limit switch, it’s time to check for any improper garage door installation marks—specifically the tracks. Are they misaligned? This is assuming that nothing about the garage door is wrong, and everything looks good.
To check, simply close the garage door. Does the garage door sit vertically, or does it sit at an angle? If it doesn’t sit vertically, then the tracks are misaligned. If it does, then it’s something else (move on to the next step). Thankfully, aligning the tracks yourself is pretty straightforward and can be done yourself. However, you are more than welcome to give a professional a call if you do not feel comfortable.
To realign the tracks, simply loosen the mounting bolts, adjust the position of the tracks and then tighten the mounting bolts. With that said, there is a very important reason a professional should be doing this: if you misalign the track even more, you can screw up the movement of the garage door.
6. Level the garage floor with concrete.
You are thinking back to the day you had the garage door installed and distinctly remember the garage door being level with the ground. What has changed? Chances are the concrete around the garage door has settled. Sure, it might have been level at one point, but the environment changes. Even incremental changes eventually lead to a drastically different environment.
Naturally, to level the floor you simply add another layer of concrete. That is easier said than done, and probably outside your expertise, but it’s still an option. However, you should try every other method in this guide before you decide on something as drastic as concrete on your garage floor.
7. Have a wooden garage door? Trim it.
An equally drastic measure to concrete is trimming your garage door. This is unique to wooden garage doors only. It’s yet another answer to the problem of the surrounding environment settling. Sometimes the simplest solution is to trim your garage door down just a smidge.
To trim down your garage door, you’ll need:
Trim the garage door and then use sandpaper to smooth it out.
Never Have Gaps in Your Garage Door!
If you have gaps in your garage door, it can warrant uninvited pests and even burglars to enter your home. This removes all of your home security and it can lead to home intrusions via the garage door. Closing the garage door is just one form of home improvement and repair, but there are many more.
If you want to save $100s on Home Repair, learn the most important home maintenance and home improvement procedures, and increase the value of your home, you can download our Home Improvement Solutions book now. With it, you’ll learn about a wide range of home maintenance and improvement topics, and you’ll be able to make your home a better place to live in. There are also a bunch of tips in there that’ll save you loads of time and money when it comes to repairs, DIY, and general home hacks that you can’t find anywhere else.
Whether you are a new homeowner, have owned a home for years, renting, or just love home repair and improvement topics, our guide will give you an in-depth explanation of many everyday home maintenance procedures. A lot of our readers use this book to increase the value of their homes, and they’ve saved a lot of money on things like repair that would have cost a professional handyman $100s of dollars.
After you’ve tried all seven, or every solution you can do yourself, there is no shame in calling an expert. Leaving a gap unattended will only invite pests and burglars into your home. On top of that, if you plan on selling your home at some point, fixing the problem will only restore value to your home.