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How To Replace a Commercial Door Panic Threshold Bumper Seal

Panic thresholds or bumper seal thresholds are usually characterized by the seal that the door rests on. They are also characterized as panic thresholds because in some cases they work together with exit devices. The exit device can latch on the back side of the seal. These seals see a lot of wear and tear and are usually the first and sometimes the only point of failure in panic thresholds. The constant contracting and collapsing from the door resting on against the seal usually results in the quick wear of the seal. These seals are usually made of vinyl or neoprene, but often come in pile versions as well. As with weatherstripping, these seals are not universal and are not the same between different manufacturers, or even different models. If you are unfamiliar with your brand and or model of threshold, it may be easier to just replace the entire unit, as finding a specific seal is hard to do as most manufacturers do not list dimensions of their seals, and the slight variances between them is enough of a difference to make it not work.

Replacing a commercial door panic or bumper seal threshold is usually a pretty straight forward process, however it does require more work than simply sliding out a seal and sliding in a unit. Depending on how or where the threshold is mounted, you most likely will have to remove the threshold and reseal it. You can follow the steps below to walkthrough the process of replacing a commercial door panic threshold seal. Replacing a panic threshold seal should take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to complete and will require you to remove the threshold from the floor.

Tools Required

  • Screwdriver
  • Razor Blade / Box Cutter
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicone caulk or alternative weather resistant type caulking

Seal Replacement Instructions

Step 1: Remove Fasteners

Find all fasteners holding the threshold in place and remove them. If your threshold is old or dirty and the fastener head is not visible, you may need to first clean your threshold to find all your fasteners. Use the proper tip and remove these fasteners from the threshold and set them aside. We will be reusing these later when you reinstall the threshold. You should be careful to inspect the screws and make sure the heads are not rounded out or bent. If this is the case, replace these fasteners before reinstalling the threshold. If your threshold has been sealed, this will not free your threshold from the floor. Check to see if your threshold is free, by trying to remove it. If it is removable, please skip past the next step.
Step 2: Remove Caulking
Find and locate the caulking seal around the perimeter of the threshold. Use a razorblade or other knife to cut the seal and free the threshold from the floor. Once the threshold is removed, be sure to clean up any excess caulking as the threshold will need to be caulked again during the re-installation process.

Step 3: Remove Existing Seal

Remove the threshold from the door and slide the seal out of one end of the threshold. Sometimes, seals are pinned in place to keep them from sliding around in the channel. Try using a good pair of pliers to yank the seal out of the end of the threshold. If this does not break the seal free, you may need to run your finger against the seal to find any spot that has been pinned. If you find a spot on the extrusion with a burr or some kind of rough irregularity in the channel, this could be what is fixing the seal in place. Use a small screwdriver to deburr the channel. Check again with pliers if the seal is free. Repeat this procedure until you remove the entire seal from the threshold.

Step 4: Install New Seal

Slide your new threshold seal in the channel. This should not be excessively loose or able to pull straight out of the threshold. If installing threshold from a roll, be sure you leave about an 1/16" extra on either side of the threshold. This will ensure you have a good seal when reinstalling against the door. It will also allow negate any contracting from cold weather so your door will stay sealed on the ends.

Step 5: Pin Seal In Place

Once you have the replacement seal in position, you will need to pin the seal in place. This can be done in several different ways. The best method we found is to use a small screwdriver and hammer to score the channel. The diagrams below shows the process and where you want to score the threshold.

Step 6: Reinstall Threshold

Reinstall your threshold back to its original position. If this is an exterior threshold, caulk the threshold perimeter to create a proper seal. If you need help with this process, please follow our how to seal a threshold guide. This should complete your seal replacement.


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