Garage door panels play an important role in the appearance of your garage door. Over time, panels may become unsightly for a variety of reasons, including physical damage and discoloration. Fortunately, garage door panels are replaceable, so you can refresh the appearance of your entire garage door without replacing the entire system.
Here’s how to replace garage door panels.
How To Replace Garage Door Panels
Sometimes, you’ll need to replace the panels on your garage door. No matter what happened to them, you can replace them yourself if you’re feeling confident. Here’s how to get them replaced and make your garage door look as good as new.
When Your Garage Door Panels Need To Be Replaced
When do you need to replace your garage door panels? As careful as you are, sometimes they get damaged and need to be replaced. For example, if you’ve had a heavy storm and the panels have been dented thanks to hailstones or heavy debris. Sometimes, balls are kicked into them or kids even fall into the door, denting it. Then, of course, you may have accidentally driven your car into the door, denting it. It happens to everyone, so it’s no cause for panic.
Replacing the panels is a smart and cost-effective move, as you don’t have to worry about replacing the entire door. It’s a lot cheaper too, and easier than having the whole door replaced. If the panels have been damaged, then you can replace them quite quickly and easily.
Why Replace The Panels?
If the panels on your garage door have sustained damage, then it’s important that you replace them as soon as possible. Why is this?
A damaged garage door will put a lot of pressure on the whole garage door opening system. In some cases, they can get stuck, or cause the door to become misaligned. To keep the door working correctly, it’s best to replace the panels as soon as possible.
Repair Or Replace?
It’s true that you can repair garage door panels in some instances. How do you know if you should repair the garage door panel, or replace them entirely?
This will depend on many different factors. For example, do you feel confident in repairing the panel? Is it only a minor dent or scuff? If so, then it may make a lot more sense to simply repair the dent. For many homeowners, all you’ll have to do is use a 2×4 piece of wood, and a rubber mallet to pop the dent back out.
If the damage is more serious, then you’ll need to consider whether you’ll need to replace the door itself, rather than repairing the panels. If several panels have broken, or are interfering with the way the door opens and shuts, then you’ll need to consider replacing the door. You’ll also need to take the age of the door into account. Most garage doors are built to last about 20 – 25 years. If your door is getting on in years, then you may need to replace it entirely. After all, you don’t want to spend time and money on replacing the panels, only to replace the garage door itself shortly afterward.
How To Replace Garage Door Panels
Now you’ve decided to replace those garage door panels, you’ll need to think about how you’ll go about it. This short guide will walk you through how to replace the panels without any fuss:
Step One: You’ll need to buy the new panels for your garage door. If you have an older garage door, you may need to order the panels directly through the garage door manufacturer. Otherwise, you should be able to order them easily through a company that sells garage doors.
Step Two: It’s time to make the garage door safe before you start work on it. If you have an automatic garage door opener, unplug it so it can’t be activated while you’re working on the door. Next, remove the garage door springs. It’s vital you do this as if the springs are still attached, then you’ll find that the door could spring open while you’re working, causing injury. Be careful when you’re removing them, for this reason.
Step Three: Now it’s time to remove the old garage door panels. Depending on how your door is constructed, you may need to keep removing panels until you reach the one that needs to be replaced. Loosen the screws until the panel comes loose, then slide it off the track and set it aside for later.
Step Four: It’s time to attach the new panel onto your door. Slide the rollers into the track, and then insert the new panel into the slot. Lower it down until the existing panel is touching the new panel. You’ll then need to attach it, either by bolting or screwing it on, depending on what fastenings your garage door uses.
Step Five: Now that the new panel has been installed, reinstall the older panels that had to be removed first, going one by one until they are all reattached.
Step Six: All your panels are now back in place, so you’ll need to set the door back up to work again. Reattach the garage door springs, and plug the garage door opener back in. Test the door by opening and closing it, to ensure that all panels run smoothly in the tracks.
Step Seven: Now, you’ll see that the new panels won’t quite match in color to your existing garage door. As the door has had some exposure to the sun and weather, and the new panels haven’t, you’re going to have a mismatch. The best thing to do is repaint your garage door so it will all be one, uniform color. There are lots of guides online that show you how to repaint your door, so check them out if you need help with this.
Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll have successfully finished replacing the broken panels in your garage door. It’s very satisfying being able to repair it yourself, and once it’s done it’ll look as good as new. If you’re at all unsure about doing this yourself though, you can always call on a garage door repair service to handle it for you.
It’s easier to replace garage door panels than you’d think. If you need repairs to your garage door, follow this guide to get it done right.
Photo by Kevin Wolf