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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Choosing The Right Bottom Seal For Your Raynor Garage Door


The bottom seal is essential to any garage door. The seal helps keep out the wind, rain & insects. Over time the bottom seal will harden and no longer seal to the floor like it did when it was first new. This can happen in as little as 3-4 years or you may not notice it for 8-10 years but it will eventually happen. It all depends on where you live and what type of weather your garage door has to endure.

WHY DO I NEED SEAL?: The vinyl seal can get hard and it won't seal tight along the garage floor. A new seal will be more flexible and follow the small contours of the floor better. A new bottom seal can help keep water out of the garage but there's no guarantee that it will stop it. If you install new bottom seal on the garage door and you're still getting water in the garage then you have other problems that need addressed and more than likely it's the garage floor. The floor may have cracked, sunk or slopes in a way that is letting the water in...most of the time new seal won't stop the water from coming in. The floor should be corrected to keep the water out.

HOW TO IDENTIFY A RAYNOR BRAND OF GARAGE DOOR: If you purchased your house that already had an existing garage door then you probably don't know what brand it is or perhaps you purchased the garage door so long ago that you can't remember. Finding out what brand of garage door you have will make things easier when purchasing bottom seal. Some brands of garage doors use the same type of seal as Raynor but most of them are different so identifying the brand will be helpful for finding the correct seal.

Raynor brand garage doors have a sticker on the end stile of the sections that contain a lot of info about the door. Look on the end of the sections of your door for a white sticker. Once you find it  (don't remove it) you'll be able to find all the info you need. It may be a little hard to read so using a flashlight is recommended or you can take a picture of the sticker with your phone & read the info off your phone.

Below is a picture of a sample tag found on all Raynor garage doors. There's a lot of different info on the tag but the most important is the manufacturer. If you see Raynor Garage Doors then you have a Raynor door. Don't remove the sticker as there is other info on the tag that will be useful if you ever need to replace a part or a section of the door. The Door Serial Number is also on the tag but isn't shown in the picture below (the serial number is off to the right). This is usually a six digit number with a letter in front of it (like B321456). So if you have a warranty issue or need to replace a section you can give that number to a Raynor dealer & they can have Raynor Mfg. look it up. This will give the dealer all the info they need to help you in getting the correct replacement part or section. 

What if you can't find any stickers on the door? Someone has either removed the stickers or it's not a Raynor door. You can still determine if the Raynor seal will work on your door by looking at the bottom seal. Below we explain the different Raynor bottom seals.

NO RAYNOR TAG? NO PROBLEM - MEASURE YOUR SEAL: If you can't find a Raynor tag (like the one pictured above) on your door it doesn't mean that you don't have a Raynor door or that the Raynor seal won't work in your door. You'll need to measure the existing seal on your door.
  • Disengage your garage door opener (if you have one) and lift the door manually. Raise the garage door about 3/4 of the way open. Put a pair of vise grips on the track just below the bottom roller - this will keep the door from falling. If you do this using the opener you should unplug the opener while doing this so no one presses the opener button & starts the door in motion while you're looking at the seal. 
  • You should now have easier access to the seal from the end. 
  • The end of the seal is probably tucked back into the seal retainer. This is done to keep the seal from sliding out of the retainer. Pull the tucked piece out of the seal.
  • Measure the "T" part of the seal. If you're having a problem measuring it you could cut a 1"-2" piece of seal off.
  • If the "T" measures 1/4" then you know that you may have a Raynor door but more importantly know that your door needs the 1/4" "T" seal. 
  • Also measure the seal as it lays flat. The seal should measure 3" or 4" across - these are the two widths of seal that Raynor use.

THE DIFFERENT RAYNOR SEALS: Assuming that you found the sticker on the garage door (or measured your existing seal) and identified it as a Raynor brand garage door lets take a look at the four different seals available for the Raynor brand doors.
First let's look at a profile of the seal. Raynor uses what is called a "T" seal. The seal has a "T" on either side with the seal material between the two "T"'s. The seal slides into the aluminum retainer on the bottom of the garage door with each "T" on the seal sliding into a slot on either side of the retainer forming a "U" shape.
IMPORTANT: Raynor seals have 1/4" "T"'s on their seal. A couple other brands also use 1/4" "T" seal but most of what you'll find in the hardware & box stores is 5/16" "T" seal. The 5/16" "T" seal is too big for the retainer on Raynor doors & won't work. Some vendors online claim to have a seal that will work on Raynor doors but their seal actually is 5/16" "T" and won't work in Raynor doors.

There are two different widths of seal available - 3" and 4". The width of the seal is determined by measuring the seal when it is laying flat. The 3" seal is what is installed on the doors at the factory.  Most likely this is what's on your door BUT it's possible your door has the 4" seal. The factory could put the 4" seal on the door if the dealer requests it when the door is ordered or if the dealer puts it on while they are installing the door. The reason this would be done is usually because of a known problem with your garage floor that was noticed by the dealer.

Pipe Insulation
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 3" AND 4" SEAL: Some people may think that the 4" seal is better than the 3" seal....bigger is better right?
Not in this case. The 3" seal is the standard seal used because it usually will do the best job. The only reason to use the 4" seal is when the garage floor is out of level. The 4" seal is able to fill in some of the gap between the bottom of the garage door and the uneven floor. It's usually only about a 1/4" - 1/2" gap that the seal can fill. If your floor is anymore out of level than that then you should fix the problem with the floor. So if your door doesn't need the 4" seal it's not recommended.
TIP: Use 1/2" pipe insulation inside your weather seal to help keep the "U" shape of the bottom seal. It works well in both the 3" and 4" seals. The pipe insulation won't absorb water and will help in filling in any small gaps in the floor. It will also keep the seal in a "U" shape and keep the seal from getting floppy or folding over. You can usually find it at the hardware store in the plumbing supplies. Note that if you do put the pipe
insulation in your seal you may have to readjust the garage door operator down travel limit since the pipe insulation will slightly raise the door and the operator will sense it as an obstruction. Read the owners manual for your operator on how to adjust the operator's down travel limit.

GRAY SEAL OR BLACK SEAL: Raynor offers two types of seals - a gray vinyl seal and a black rubber seal. The gray seal is the standard seal that is installed on the doors at the factory. The gray seal is made of vinyl and is thinner & more flexible than the black seal. The black seal is made of rubber, has ribs on one side and is a little more heavy duty. Both seals are made specifically for Raynor doors but will work in other makes of garage doors that have retainers that accept a 1/4" T" seal.

BUYING RAYNOR SEAL: At the Garage Door Zone store we offer the Raynor seal that is used on Raynor garage doors. This seal can also be used in other brands of garage doors that use the 1/4" "T" seal. The seal is available in 3" Gray Vinyl, 4" Gray Vinyl, 3" Black Rubber and 4" Black Rubber. All of the seals are cut to the width of your garage door plus 4"-6". The seal is cut an extra 4"-6" so you'll have that extra seal to tuck back into the retainer. So if you have a 16' wide door and order the 16' seal you'll actually receive a 16'6" seal. You may wonder why the extra seal...if you tuck the extra seal back into the retainer this will keep the seal from coming out of the retainer over time. Click Here to go to the Garage Door Zone store and purchase bottom garage door seal today!

Do you have a question about the seals that wasn't answered above? Fill in the contact form on the left side of the blog, click on the CONTACT US tab at GarageDoorZone.com or email us at Store@GarageDoorZone.com and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.



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