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Thread: Help with a garage door where concrete is not level

  1. #1
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    Help with a garage door where concrete is not level

    I'm posting this in the Workshops forum since I know a lot of SMC'ers have their shop in their garage - I however am going to be in the basement.

    I recently moved into a new home, and one of the things the pest inspector (and home inspector) noted was that the rubber seal at the bottom of the garage door was chewed away by mice. After further inspection, I've found out that the concrete is cracked likely due to some settlement. This has caused the concrete to not be parallel with the door in a couple places, for instance in the far corner of the picture the concrete is low meaning there is a gap between the door and the concrete of about 1". There is also one in the foreground of the pictures but a max of 1/2".

    I've got 3 ideas on how to proceed:

    1) The weatherstripping on the bottom of the door is only a piece of rubber and doesn't make up any gap or anything really. I've seen a couple aluminum extrusions with rubber that will make up 5/8". I'm not sure if that's enough though.

    2) shim the bottom of the door (made of wood) to make it match the existing concrete.

    3) Use Ardex K 301 (exterior concrete leveling compound) to level it all out. bring up the far corner of the picture. This would end up costing around $75. Might be too much to spend.

    Which option would you recommend? Any other suggestions?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    if you level the concrete , where will the rain water drain to ? , maybe into your garage ?

  3. #3
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    Here's what I'd consider "right way" #1

    http://brushweatherseal.com/garage_bottom_seal.html
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  4. #4
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    Matt,

    I have two suggestions that would probably work best if you did both. If the slab has more settling to do it might only be temporary though.

    1) Put the door all the way down and scribe the door against the concrete like scribing a cabinet to a floor. Remove the bottom section of the door and trim it to the line with a circular saw, jig saw, or hand planer. If the slab is out of level in both dimensions it might be wise to scribe it from both inside and outside and use a hand planer to meet both lines. (Note: I haven't actually done this, but it makes sense to me.)

    2) Replace the weatherstripping for one that has some dimension and flex to it and add a rubber threshold. (This I have done and it worked great!)

    With the 1" gap you describe I would probably do both. And keep in mind that if you have an automatic opener it will need to be readjusted when you're done.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Last edited by Charles Wiggins; 09-02-2011 at 3:12 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I think Charles' suggestion would work, but the idea of removing one section of the garage door is a bit daunting, especially if I had to do it by myself. Instead, you might consider making a tapered shim out of treated lumber that can be installed to the bottom edge of the door. You can scribe the piece by placing the blank under the door and bringing it down to meet the slab. You will probably have to disconnect the electric opener to do this.

    You may also consider calling in someone to mud jack the slab back where it should be, or least to the point where the door closes tight. Around here, the cost would be about $200 to $250.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input guys. I like the scribing idea! I've already removed the old chewed up weatherstripping and will replace it, but scribing and cutting makes a lot of sense before putting on a new seal. I can probably cut it in place without removing any panels too - after scribing I'll just disengage the door, clamp it in the best place for cutting, and have at it with the jigsaw.

    The house is from the 60's, so it's done settling. I thought about water drainage too, and was concerned about it but didn't want to write a novel in the post!

    The aluminum channel weatherstripping that Bill mentioned would be a quick fix (though it would probably cost about $150 after all is said and done), but not quite 100% for rodents. I don't want to spend a lot of money, only to still have a gap where a mouse could chew through - and I know the first thing to do is get rid of the mice in the first place and eliminate food.

    Thanks guys!

  7. #7
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    will mice eat thru. drywall or plywood ?, I not suggesting that drywall be fasten to the garage door but just asking what is mouse -proof

  8. #8
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    I don't know if this will solve your problem or not, but here's what I did recently.

    I was in the process of replacing the bottom seals on my sectional doors anyway ... I removed the old seals ... pulled the new ones into place, but before tucking the seals into the tracks to secure them, I placed a piece of 3/4" garden hose in the cavity. Set the door closer's pressure and sensitivity to accommodate the thicker seals, and all is well. I would guess you could use something other than garden hose as a filler material if the gap is too great. Over time, the new bottom seal with the hose embedded inside it took on the profile of my slab, and I now get a perfect seal without any daylight showing under the door at all.
    FINISHING : NO ART & VERY LITTLE SCIENCE ... just a learned skill that requires a bit of practice and patience ... anyone can learn it.

  9. #9
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    I need to mull this over a bit more, since I don't think scribing in a good option anymore. At each end is the main support that basically wraps around corner of the door. At one end it can stay, but the other would need to move up about an inch (which I noticed after scribing). I'm thinking of shimming now, but will sleep on it.

  10. #10
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    Do they make U channel aluminum with rubber bottom seals for garage doors that would slip over the bottom of the door then have some adjustment up and down for setting it where you want? They have them for floor sweeps at the bottom of a walk through door. If so, cut to length, slip on the raised door, lower the door, then push trim down to the floor and attach, allowing the trim to follow the contour of the concrete floor. Aluminum is soft enough to bend and should work fine for gradual changes, even in U channel.
    If not available then I would cut treated lumber to make a shim to fit the low spots, as was mentioned above, then mark and attach to the door when it is raised. You could Bondo the joint between the shim and the door, sand and paint and it would disappear. Mount seal to bottom of door as normal. Jim.

    edit: OK, not U channel, but L channel should do the same thing. See the last drawing on the page. http://www.elite-xpressions.com/gara...rubberseal.htm Aluminum piece is 6.20/ft custom cut to length. 3" seal is 1.75/ft. The aluminum is available in up to 5' lengths, so shipping is no big deal. You could custom cut your own ends. Seal is custom cut and one piece. Get a foot longer than you need and custom cut to fit.
    Last edited by Jim O'Dell; 09-03-2011 at 10:49 AM. Reason: added edit
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  11. #11
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    I put one of these on my garage floor to help keep the rain out.

    Tsunami Seal.jpg

    http://www.calcarcover.com/product.aspx?id=2325&cid=30

    T
    hey are now available in three different colors.
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  12. #12
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    I just scribed mine and used a power planer, upside down without removing the door, then installed a new U shaped seal that slipped over the door and can further adjust the fit.

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