Rot and Rodent-proof Garage Door Seal With PVC and Weatherstripping




Introduction: Rot and Rodent-proof Garage Door Seal With PVC and Weatherstripping

About: Engineer. Advanced woodworker. Maker. Car repair. Advanced home improvement. I work from home, stuck behind a computer, dreaming of retiring from my computer job to do more fun things.

How to seal a garage door to keep rodents out.

Keeping the weather and rodents out of a garage can be tricky. Using all PVC products you can keep these guys out.

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Step 1: The Problem...rot and Rodents

Wood trim that touches the concrete, rots as shown above. As a result, current building code requires the trim be cut up higher so the end-grain does not wick up water. In general, wood should never touch concrete. Code also requires the end is cut at a bevel so that it can be painted. Older homes can be repaired. The photos show a repair I did at my parent's house. I Attached a temporary block of wood with a 45 degree bevel to act as a guide for an oscillating tool plunge cut. Looks great after painting.

The problem is that this fix, and my home which was built to the updated code, leaves a gap that rodents can enter thru.

So let's go all the way to the ground, just not with wood...Here is a retro-fit that works and looks great.

Step 2: The Plan...

The builder-installed PVC weatherstripping, shown in the pictures, is low quality and warps. it is unsightly and wasps and mud-dabbers are always flying in my garage. Additionally, rodents are sneaking in the crack in the corner, since the door casing and weatherstripping stop short of the concrete.

So I researched and found more solid PVC weatherstripping that should resist warping. The old PVC weatherstripping was thin and hollow. It could be rolled up even.

I will use some 3/4" thick PVC scraps to build up custom fit blocks to fill the gap and provide backing so that the weatherstripping can go all the way down. Install with construction adhesive, then caulk and paint.

Step 3: Build PVC Blocks

This part is tedious: Cut pieces of PVC to build up a block that custom fits each corner you need to fill. I had to make four, since I have a two garage doors.

After you have a test fit that will work within construction adhesive and caulking tolerances, label the pieces and glue them up with construction adhesive.

Step 4: Glue the Blocks In

  1. Remove the old weatherstriping.
  2. Line the PVC filler block up with the back of the door trim, and flush with the surface the weatherstripping will be attached to.
  3. Glue it in with construction adhesive. In the photo, you can see on this particular repair I also had to add a very small bock of PVC behind the trapezoidal block. Do what you need to leave no larger than 1/4" cracks.
  4. Let it cure.

Step 5: Install Weatherstripping and Paint

  1. Install the new weatherstripping. Be sure to follow the manufacture's instructions for nail type and nailing pattern. My builder used half the nails, and the PVC warped and pulled off in the hot Texas sun.
  2. Caulk.
  3. Paint.

No more rot, bugs, or rodents. Sealed from the cold winters too.

Some rodents may still chew thru the PVC. Search for metal solutions to reinforce the weatherstripping. One is called Garage Door Rodent Guard. However, I have no experience with these products.

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Nice job.

    I've been planning on doing this to the jambs on my garage door. Whoever built it actually sunk the wood down into the concrete for extra moisture trapping rot action.


    4 years ago

    i installed those exact weather stripping seals you have at the pool i work at, and i have got to say you made a good choice they have worked great for us. and by the way great build.


    4 years ago

    Nice! I have the exact same rotting problem! Soon as it warms up this Spring, I know what my next project is going to be...


    Reply 4 years ago

    Home inspectors do look for this when you sell. It's a good DIY project. I don't know how I would have done it without an oscillating cutter. Good luck!