How to Make a Noise-Proof Garage
Is your garage noisier than you’d like? Whether your garage is an entertainment room, a workshop, or your car’s personal parking space, you probably don’t want it to pick up all sorts of noise from outside. Additionally, noise-proofing your garage can have the beneficial side effect of weatherproofing it as well – this will keep your garage warm in winter and cool in the summer.
The best way to noise or weatherproof your garage is by sealing the gaps near your garage door. Garage doors naturally have gaps resulting from the installation, they usually fit well enough to the space, but not nearly so well as to create a perfect seal without a little effort.
This guide will show you how to seal garage door gaps and let you turn your garage into the noise and weatherproof room that you’ve always wanted.
Starting to Seal the Gaps
Garage doors help keep unwanted visitors out of your home, but they’re notorious for letting in the cold, insects, and general background noise. If you have some time, and a little elbow grease, you can create an airtight seal that will block out noise, weather, and pests!
The method of sealing your garage door will vary slightly based on which part of your door you’re trying to seal. The top, bottom, or sides, will all require sealing for a perfect, air-tight finish.
Sealing the Bottom
The bottom of your garage door is the easiest part to seal and can be accomplished in a few cost-effective, and quick ways. By far the easiest way to seal the bottom of your garage door is to purchase a universal bottom seal.
These aluminum garage door seals create a weather seal between your garage door and the concrete floors of your garage. This prevents cold air, water, or unwanted noise from intruding into your garage through the small floor gap.
Instead of buying a universal seal, you can also go directly to the manufacturer of your garage door to purchase a specific seal for your exact garage door. While this might be slightly more expensive, some people find the manufacturer’s model to provide a better fit.
Not all garage door manufacturers will sell door seals, but the majority will, giving you plenty of options to seal up the bottom of your garage door.
Installing a bottom garage door seal is quite straightforward. Before starting make sure that the area beneath your garage door is clean and free of any debris. Any dirt, leaves, or other detritus that gets between the standard seal and your garage door will negatively impact the seal’s functionality.
Once the floor area is clean, your garage bottom universal seal will most likely have an included adhesive strip or adhesive chemical that you can use to affix your door seal firmly to the ground. The strip of rubber should not move once the adhesive dries. Test it several times by opening and closing the garage door to ensure that no parts are moving and that you have a tight seal.
Sealing the Sides
Most homeowners will stop once they seal the bottom of their garage door, however, achieving a perfect seal requires more attention to detail. There are likely to be gaps along the side of your garage door that occur from natural wear and tear of opening and closing the door.
Other structural issues may be affecting the integrity of the side seals – like framing or structural shifts – but as long as those issues aren’t overly pronounced you should be able to achieve a tight seal around the garage door frame.
The easiest way to seal the sides of your garage door is to use a weather-tight rubber seal that will fill in any gaps between your door and the garage door frame. These rubber strips create an effective seal that will bring you one step closer to making your garage doors airtight.
Similar to installing the bottom guard, make sure the sides of your garage door, as well as the garage door frame, are clean and free of debris. As with the bottom guard, any dirt caught between the rubber strip and your garage door frame will compromise the effectiveness of the seal.
Once the surface has been cleaned, measure the length of the door frame and then cut the side guard strip so that it will have an exact fit. Once you have cleaned the surface and trimmed the side guard to be an exact fit, you’re ready to begin installing your side guards.
Most side guards differ from garage door bottom guards as they do not come with a self-adhesive strip or compound. The side guards need to be nailed into place with small siding nails. Grab a hammer and gently hammer the nails into place to secure the side guard.
Try to put the nails roughly even length apart to create a more uniform seal. If you have the option, you can also try to purchase a side guard that comes with an adhesive strip, these are less common but easier to work with than non-adhesive guards.
Once you’ve nailed or glued the side strip into place, use a caulking gun to fill any potentially loose areas. You can use caulk to fill in any smaller gaps in both the side and bottom seals to create a truly airtight seal from wall to wall.
Sealing the Top
Determining if you need to seal the top of your garage door can be a bit tricky since it’s not so easy to get a visual of this area. A quick hack for this is to close your garage door and turn off any lights in your garage. This way you can see how much sunlight leaks through only the top part of your garage door.
If it’s still too bright in your garage, the top of your garage door likely needs the attention of a seal kit. You can use the weather stripping that you purchased to seal the sides of your garage doors to create an airtight top seal. You’ll need to measure and cut the weather strips to match the garage door threshold so that you have a perfect fit.
Once you’ve measured and cut the rubber strip, use nails to secure the strip directly to your garage door. A more elegant solution for the top of your garage door though would be to purchase a specific top seal similar to how you sealed up your garage floor.
Working with garage door top seals is easier, as they will conform to the garage door threshold without any cutting or measuring. Plus you can utilize an adhesive strip to fix them in place, as opposed to nailing them and being overly meticulous.
Sealing it All Up
Regardless of whether they are top or bottom seals, or weatherized rubber strips, most of these seals are fairly inexpensive. A normal-sized two-car garage can probably be sealed for less than $100. However, measuring, cutting, and nailing can become quite a time-consuming (not to mention, labor-intensive) process, as any mismatch will create an imperfect seal.
You could hire a contracting service to seal your garages for you, although this will increase the cost significantly as most contractors have a minimum engagement fee that this job would likely fall below. This means you would be on the hook to pay the minimum, even though you used less of their time and materials.
If you can spare the time, it’s well worth it to learn how to seal garage door gaps. Properly sealed garage doors will keep unwanted insects and rodents, cold and wet weather, as well as neighborhood noises out of your garage.
Regulating the temperature in your garage is important and believe it or not, can even affect the temperature of the other rooms in your home! By regulating the temperature across all rooms you’ll reduce your energy usage and energy costs, and create a slightly more eco-friendly home, all from a simple garage door seal.
Remember to focus on sealing every side of your garage door, including the top and sides, not just the bottom. While quick and easy, you’ll get the most effective noise-proof seal by sealing the entire frame of your garage door and not just the gaps along the floor.
These weatherized sealant strips should last you for several years – possibly longer if you live in a mild climate that will stress the materials less. Don’t let cost concerns stop you from sealing your garage door gaps and creating the perfect, noise-free garage for your home today!