Shedding Light on Uneven Garage Door Seals

Garage doors are essential components of our homes, providing security, convenience, and insulation. However, they can also be sources of frustration when problems arise. A recent discussion on r/GarageDoorService highlights a common issue many homeowners face: light leaking through the bottom of the garage door, but only on one side. This post aims to delve into the nuances of this problem, drawing from the collective wisdom shared by community members, to offer a comprehensive understanding and practical solutions.

garage door parts

The Issue at Hand

The person initiating the discussion noticed light leaking through the bottom of their garage door, specifically on one side. This observation came shortly after having the drums replaced and the springs adjusted due to the door slipping when stopped. Additionally, the spring on the affected side appeared misaligned compared to its counterpart.

Diagnosing the Problem

Several potential causes were discussed, with community members offering different perspectives based on their experiences:

  1. Leveling Issues: One suggestion was to check if the door itself is level. An unlevel door can result from improper drum installation or adjustment, leading to uneven closure and gaps through which light can pass.
  2. Drum and Cable Adjustment: It was proposed that the set screws on the drums might not have been tightened sufficiently, causing slippage even after replacement. Ensuring the drums are correctly set and the cables are not frayed is crucial for even operation and sealing.
  3. Foundation and Ground Leveling: Another point raised was the level of the ground or the garage floor itself. A door may appear uneven if the ground it closes onto is not perfectly level or square, affecting how the seal fits against the floor.
  4. Age and Condition of the Seal: The door’s age (with the home built in 1989) and the condition of the seal were also considered. Over time, seals can harden, crack, or flatten, reducing their effectiveness in blocking out light, air, and pests.

Practical Solutions

Addressing the light leakage requires a systematic approach, taking into account the insights shared:

  • Level Assessment: Begin by ensuring the door is level across its width. Minor adjustments to the door’s hardware can correct slight imbalances.
  • Inspect and Adjust Hardware: Check the drums, cables, and springs for proper installation and tension. Misaligned or loosely secured components can lead to uneven door movement and gaps.
  • Evaluate the Floor and Seal: Assess the garage floor’s level and the condition of the door seal. Adjustments to the door’s bottom bracket or replacing a worn-out seal can significantly improve the situation.
  • Professional Assistance: When in doubt, consulting with a garage door service professional is advisable. They can provide a comprehensive assessment and carry out necessary repairs or adjustments with precision.


The discussion on r/GarageDoorService underscores the importance of attention to detail and a methodical approach when troubleshooting garage door repair issues. Light leakage on one side of the door can stem from a variety of causes, from hardware misalignment to foundational irregularities. By considering each potential factor and applying targeted solutions, homeowners can effectively address this common problem, enhancing their garage door’s functionality and longevity. Remember, when faced with complex issues or in cases of uncertainty, seeking the expertise of a professional can ensure safety and efficacy in repairs and adjustments.

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