Which Garage Door Seal is Better: Brush or Vinyl?

Sealing your garage or other entry points is crucial to protect against the elements, dust, dirt and infestation from unwanted pests. As you research what's best to seal your garage, the amount of information out there can get overwhelming. Especially when it comes to choosing between brush seals and vinyl seals. Both offer distinct protection from different adversaries, which is why the North Shore team has compiled the information on each so you can choose the garage door weatherstripping that best fits your specific budgetary and efficiency needs. At North Shore Commercial Door, we carry top quality weather seals manufactured in America by our trusted partner Action Industries. The meticulous process they follow ensure you get the highest quality weather seals on the market.

Why Do You Need Weather Seals?

If you’ve ever felt a draft blowing around the edges of an unsealed closed door, you know that being shut does not equate to being sealed. Doors and entry points have small openings that pests, debris, and air can infiltrate. Air leakage problems are the result of the "chimney" or "stack" effect. This effect means hot air rises then exits through openings around the top of the structure and cold air enters through the door gaps and openings near the building’s bottom. This loss of heated and cooled air causes an HVAC systems to work harder, which can result in higher utility bills.

Weather Seals shut out these problem points and create a barrier between your home and the outside world. Areas affected by wildfires and poor air quality will especially benefit from stopping pollution from entering their residence. 

How Effective Are Brush and Vinyl Seals?

North Shore Commercial Door offers high-quality weather seals from Action Industries, which can stop up to 99% of air infiltration, as shown in the chart below.

What Parts of an Entry point Should Be Sealed?

For full coverage, weather seals should be installed around an entry point’s top, sides, and bottom. Having a top seal, bottom seal, side seals, and jamb seal installed will maximize your protection. The sides of your garage door are what is called a door jamb. Side and Top seals on the outside of a garage door can also be called jamb seals. With all of these products installed, they create a seal that will leave your garage dry, clean and pest free to ensure the protection of the valuable things you keep inside.

What is the Difference Between Brush Seals and Vinyl Seals?

Brush and vinyl seals both offer your entry points protection with different materials that carry their own pros and cons. Vinyl weather seals boast a better aesthetic and array of colors while being made from PVC plastic. Brush Seals put efficiency over aesthetics and are extra durable, but lack the color options that vinyl has.

Best Weather Seals for a Residential Garage Door?

Coiled DuraSeal Garage Door Jamb Seal Weather Seal

Homeowners looking for aesthetically pleasing garage door protection often choose a vinyl seal like the popular DuraSeal due to their array of colors that can suit many doors and buildings where style is an important factor. DuraSeal looks like wood but won't crack, rot or warp like a wooden weatherstripping does. It is made using a foamed PVC that's rigid while the fin is made from a flexible PVC.

Vinyl seals are renowned for being long-lasting and holding up in extreme temperatures. Also known as polyvinyl chloride, vinyl is a type of weather-proof PVC plastic. These seals are flexible, allowing them to conform to the irregular shapes and contours of doors, windows, and other surfaces while holding their shape and not cracking after installation. This flexibility helps to create a tight seal, minimizing gaps that could otherwise let air and moisture in.

The PVC in vinyl is made from the polymerization of the vinyl chloride monomer, which creates chains out of the monomers called polymers. These polymers are then processed into plastics like PVC. Vinyl is a cheaper alternative to brush seals, and its versatility and moisture resistance have made it one of the world's most widely used thermoplastic materials.

Sealing the Sides and Top of Your Residential Garage Door?

The best option for a home's garage door seal, is a vinyl stop molding seal to seal your garage door sides and top. Coiled DuraSeal is an attractive option that looks like real wood and comes in white, grey, black, sandstone, and almond. The reason the seal comes coiled is to make the cost of shipping very affordable. It also assures that the seal arrives without damage. DuraSeal is very easy to install and DIY friendly. So its a perfect project to tackle on a weekend afternoon!

Sealing the Bottom of Your Residential Garage Door?

For sealing the bottom of the garage door, use a standard vinyl garage door bottom seal. If you live in a particularly hot or cold climate, we recommend upgrading from vinyl to an EPDM seal. It has the same look as vinyl, but it won't crack or stick in extreme temperatures (though, unlike vinyl, EPDM only comes in black). Although EPDM seal has a higher price tag, the durability of this specialized rubber is unmatched.

We also offer the patented EZ Zip one piece push in bottom seal made by our trusted partner Action Industries. This revolutionary product is both a bottom seal and retainer all in one. This saves time during the installation process, once the EZ Zip is fixed to the bottom of a garage door, the seal can simply be pushed into the built in retainer. This product also comes coiled so it is affordable to ship and arrives with out damage. 

EPDM Weather Seals

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) seals are ultra-durable synthetic rubber that excels in severe temperatures ranging from -50 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Its single-bond molecular structure makes it much more difficult for UV rays and ozone to break the bond apart than double-bond rubbers. EPDM rubber is low maintenance, waterproof, and holds its shape over time. Its incredible durability means EPDM is typically used in commercial and industrial settings.

Best Weather Seals for a Commercial or Light Industrial Garage Door?

Brush Seals

With commercial garage doors, the focus is often on efficiency rather than aesthetics. Brush seals are extremely durable, and can be up to three times more effective than vinyl seals at reducing air infiltration. This makes brush seals perfect for irregular surfaces (think about the groove on a rolling sheet door). The soft bristles of brush seals won’t scratch the surfaces they touch as well, making them ideal for dock levelers, conveyors, and industrial machinery.

Sealing the Sides and Top of Your Commercial Garage Door?

Brush seals are your best bet for sealing the sides and top of a commercial door. Brush Seals are known for their durability from the densely packed polypropylene bristles they're made of. This construction allows a brush seal to create a powerful barrier and the bristles won't freeze or stick to the door in cold weather. Brush Seals can handle anything a commercial environment can throw at them.

To find the right brush seal, measure the gap you're trying to cover, then order the corresponding brush size. An even better option than brush seals is the WeatherBLOCK weather seal. It's a brush seal with an EPDM insert fin to give twice the protection. WeatherBLOCK is perfect for locations that experience harsh weather.

Sealing the Bottom of Your Commercial Garage Door?

While brush seal is the superior option for the sides and top of commercial doors, the same isn't true for the bottom. Brush seal doesn't prevent water leaks as well as vinyl bottom seal. However, we suggest upgrading from a vinyl bottom seal to an EPDM bottom seal for commercial applications.

How To Install a Garage Door Brush Seal?

North Shore is proud to stock an array of quality brush seals from Action Industries. Below you’ll find their easy DIY instructions that make installation easy! 

  1. Begin by measuring the header of the garage door. 
  2. Arrange the retainers in a line. Mark the header's length onto the retainer. 
  3. Cut the retainer and remove any leftover brush material. 
  4. Use the screws provided in the installation kit to mount the top retainers. Start this process at one end of the header and continue across. 
  5. Pick a side to measure, taking into account the already installed top retainer. 
  6. Lay down the retainers and mark the chosen side's measurement onto the retainer. 
  7. Trim the retainer and remove excess brush material as needed. 
  8. Attach the side retainers using the screws supplied in the kit. 
  9. Measure the remaining side. 
  10. Lay out the retainers and mark the measurement of the final side onto the retainer. 
  11. Trim the retainer and remove any extra brush material. 
  12. Install the final side using the provided screws.

Where To Find The Right Weatherseal?

North Shore offers a wide variety of brush seals and vinyl seals alike to provide the protection you depend on. Our handy seal kits contain all parts needed for installation to make your DIY home improvement or commercial installations easy!

Need More Information About Brush or Vinyl Seals?

Still not sure which weatherseal is best for you? North Shore Commercial Door prides itself on quality customer service and providing the best and most complete product information to its customers. Our in-house experts will be glad to answer your brush seal and vinyl seal questions. Get in touch with our support crew: