When was the last time you took a good look at the weather stripping on your garage door? If you can't remember (or if the answer is "never") then it's probably time for you to take a good look at it. Worn out weather stripping can lead to an increase in your energy bills because it allows air to flow in and out of your garage. And where air can flow, pests can travel – worn out weather stripping can also be ground zero for a pest infestation. Learn how to identify worn weather stripping and how to choose and install new weather stripping to take its place.

Find Out if Your Weather Stripping Is Worn

What you need to look for when examining your weather stripping for signs of wear depends on what kind of weather stripping you have. Rubber and vinyl are commonly used to seal garage doors, and these materials become dry and brittle over time. If the rubber is stretched out of shape and doesn't spring back, or if there are cracks in the vinyl, you need to replace the weather stripping.

You may find an adhesive foam used to line the sides of the garage door. When this material wears out, it loses its ability to stick to the surface, and may become loose or fall off. Like runner, foam may also lose its resiliency and be stretched out of shape. In some cases you may find metal weather stripping. If it's cracked, missing nails, or bent out of shape, replace it.

Decide Which Weather Stripping to Use

Even if you're not enthusiastic about DIY home improvement projects, weather stripping a garage door is usually a pretty easy project if you choose the right material. One simple way to proceed is to simply choose the same type of weather stripping as the kind you're replacing. You can see as you remove the old weather stripping how the new weather stripping should be applied.

If you're still not sure, opt for rubber weather stripping. It's not much more difficult to apply than the self-adhesive foam, and it has a longer lifespan.

Make Your Installation A Success

Rubber weather stripping is pretty simple to install. All that you need to do is cut the rubber weather stripping to fit, then nail it into place. Use a utility knife to cut the rubber.

To increase your chances of success, measure the weather stripping twice before you cut it, to prevent any mistakes or wasted material. Before you start the installation, be sure to remove all of the old weather stripping and clean and sand the surface so that it's smooth and dry. This will ensure that your new weather stripping creates the best possible seal.

Once you've installed your new weather stripping, you can feel confident that you've blocked any unwanted air flow and that you're keeping new pests out of your garage. Make sure that you keep the rest of your garage door in great shape as well – ask a local garage door installer to give your automatic opener a tuneup or adjust the garage door springs as needed.