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How to Repair Wood Garage Door Panels

how to repair wood garage door panels

If you have a wood garage door, you may need to repair panels at some point. Things happen. Fortunately, you should be able to repair most damage or panel as needed, even for a wood garage door.

In this article, we’re sharing a few tips on how to repair wood garage door panels quickly and efficiently.

How to Repair Wood Garage Door Panels

Your wooden garage door will look fantastic when it’s properly cared for. The look of a wooden garage door really adds to the overall look of your home, and you want to keep it that way. However, there are a few different things that can cause damage to the panels and make it less than perfect. If you see any issues, don’t worry, though. You can repair the damage and have it looking as good as new again. 

Here’s how to repair wood garage door panels.

What Can Damage Wooden Garage Door Panels?

Firstly, you need to understand where the damage to your wooden garage doors is coming from. What should you be looking out for?

Bad or changing weather: The weather is the number one enemy of your wooden garage door. Wood is susceptible to changes in weather, and this can be enough to cause you problems. If water gets into it, it can start rotting or splitting. If it’s left long enough, it can even affect the way the door is balanced. You’ll need to address this quickly to stop it from getting worse. 

Pests: Pests are another big issue with wooden doors. You have to watch out for them whatever your garage door is made of, as they love to get into garages and nest, undisturbed. If you have a wooden door, they can easily gnaw their way through and get in. Plus, you’re vulnerable to pests like termites, that feed on wood. Learn more about the different types of garage door bottom seals to prevent pests from sneaking in.

Strike damage: Just like any garage door panel, wood can be damaged if something hits it with enough force. For example, a stray football could hit the door, or you may accidentally back into it with your car. If that happens, you’ll need to repair the damage. 

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How to Repair Wooden Garage Door Panels

Have you suffered damage to your garage door? There’s no need to worry, as most damage can easily be fixed without having to replace the door itself. 

To change out a panel, you’ll need to work from the inside first. Cut out the quarter round from the inside by scoring it with a utility knife, and remove all four pieces of trim. Once they are removed, you can knock out the damaged panel with a hammer. 

Once the panel is gone, use a chisel to smooth and clean up the edges where the panel was attached. Then, apply a coat of wood hardener to those newly cleaned up edges, so they’re ready for the next step. This helps avoid water penetration and makes the wood harder to the elements. 

You’ll now need to get a new panel to put into place. You can cut it to size yourself, with a table or circular saw. If you want to get it just right though, it’s often better to get it cut to size when you buy it. Once you have the panel, prime and paint it to match the existing door. 

Fit that new panel into the hole, and use caulk and finish nails to attach the quarter round back around the interior panel to hold it in place. Caulk the exterior of the panel, to give it added protection and keep it in place. 

Finally, touch up the areas that need it by scraping any excess off and painting them, and you’re done. No one will ever know the panel was damaged. 

These steps are designed to help you replace a panel that sits above the bottom rail. If the bottom rail has become damaged, you can replace that too fairly easily. To do this, you’ll need to support the door as you take the bottom rail off, before replacing it. 

Before doing that, assess the damage. It may not be bad enough to necessitate a whole replacement. You can scrape out rotted sections and replace them with wood filler, before painting over it to match the rest of the door. 

How to Maintain Your Wooden Garage Door

The best way to prevent damage that requires repair or replacement is to schedule regular garage door tune-ups throughout the year. A professional will often offer a 25-point safety check to ensure your garage door is safe, operating properly, and doesn’t need additional garage door repair service.

Here are some steps you can take to keep it in good condition. 

Check for rot: Keep an eye for any wood rot that’s happening on the door. If you see any, scrape it away as soon as possible before it can spread. If you get it quickly enough, you’ll be able to avoid major damage and simply patch up the wood. 

Replace weatherstripping: The weatherstripping on your garage door will help keep the weather, and those pests, out of the garage. If you see the seals are getting worn, or you see any sign of pest damage to them, replace them right away

Lubricate hardware: Lubrication is essential for any garage door. Every year, you need to lubricate using a lithium-based grease and cover all hardware, to prevent rusting and other damage. 

When to Replace The Garage Door

In some cases, your wooden garage door will have taken a lot of damage. When that happens, you’ll need to consider whether it’s best to replace the door itself, rather than changing out the panels. 

For example, have multiple panels been damaged? If wood rot has been allowed to spread, or undetected water damage has split and cracked the door, that’s not going to be something you can fix. It’s better to replace the door entirely and start again with a new one. 

Also, you need to consider the age of the door. A wooden garage door can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, depending on how well you take care of it. If it’s getting to the end of its lifespan, you can decide to replace the door instead rather than try to patch up the damage. 

If you’re ever unsure, you can always ask a garage door repair expert to help you out. 

There you have it. It’s easier to change out a wooden garage door panel than you’d think, and it helps stop issues in their tracks. Now you know how to do it, if you ever do spot damage. 

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