No matter how careful you are, there may be times when your garage door panels take on damage. Mistiming a turn onto your driveway, a kid kicking a football too wide, or even heavy hail storms can lead to denting and damage. When this happens, repairing garage door panels becomes necessary to get your garage door looking as good as new again. Here’s what you need to know.
The Importance Of Repairing Garage Door Panels
If you have dents or damage to your garage door, it’s usually important to repair it as soon as possible. Even if the dents are minor or just cosmetic damage, they will take away from the curb appeal of your home. As such, you’ll want to repair them quickly, so your garage door still looks good.
When damage is left alone for too long, it can actually cause more damage to the garage door structure. A sizeable dent can lead to bends in your garage door tracks, and that can lead to the door sticking or even becoming unusable. If you’re leaving repairs because you think it will be too expensive, then you’ll soon see that you’ll spend even more on repairs later down the line.
As such, you want to address garage door panel damage as soon as possible. The quicker you deal with it, the easier and cheaper the repairs will be.
Can Garage Door Panels Be Repaired?
You absolutely can repair a garage door panel if it’s taken on damage. There are a couple of ways you can go about doing this, depending on the severity of the damage.
If there’s a small dent on one panel, you may be able to hammer it out yourself. This can literally be done using a hammer and a 2 x 4, or you can use a trick with aluminum foil, compressed air, and a lighter to ‘pop’ the metal back into place. Typically, this will be enough to repair minor dents in the garage door.
If the damage is more extensive or multiple panels have been damaged, then instead, you’ll want to replace the panels themselves. This allows you to correct the damage and keep most of the old garage door without having to replace it. This is a simpler repair than it sounds, so you’ll save money on a whole new door by replacing a panel or two.
When to Replace Rather Than Repair?
In some cases, it’ll make more sense to repair the garage door panels rather than replace the whole thing. However, if the damage is too severe, then you’ll want to replace the whole garage door. Here’s when you’ll want to think about replacement:
Consider the Age of the Door
The age of your garage door will have a tangible impact on whether you repair or replace it. All garage doors will have an average life expectancy, depending on the style and the materials used.
If there’s damage to the garage door panels, consider the age of the door itself. If it’s nearing the end of its lifespan, then you’ll see that it’s not worth repairing the panels. After all, you’ll just have to replace the door in a year or two. Instead, it’ll be better to just replace the door.
Consider the Damage to the Panels
The damage your garage door has taken will be a significant factor, too. If there’s only damage to one panel, it makes a lot of sense to just replace that one panel and carry on using the garage door as needed.
However, if multiple panels are damaged or the damage is quite severe, then it will make more sense to replace the door entirely. A garage door expert will be able to advise you on the right thing to do.
Look at Any Other Issues
There may be damage to the garage door panels, but take a look at any other problems your garage door has right now. For example, is it sagging? That’s a sign that it’s bending or buckling, leading to more damage along the line. You may also see the wood starting to crack, or it’s just not functioning as it should. Either way, you’ll want to look at replacing the door rather than repairing it. You’ll actually save a lot more on repairs in the long run.
What You Need To Know About Repairing Garage Door Panels
Now you’ve looked at your garage door and decided that repair will be better than replacement, you need to know what to do next. Firstly, think about color matching your new garage door panels. You could buy a new panel that matches your garage door in theory, but over time the sun and the elements may have faded your door. You’ll want to look at repainting the door once you replace the panel, so you can be sure the door looks its best.
Also, consider how many panels need to be replaced. Changing one or two out is usually quite sensible, as it keeps the garage door working as it should and ensures that you get the look that you want. If it’s any more than that, you will need to look at replacing the door itself. That’s especially true if your door has taken on more damage due to the damaged panels.
Finally, you’ll want to find a reputable contractor to replace those panels for you. While you can replace them yourself, it’s a tough job and can be dangerous when done alone. Plus, you don’t have the expertise a professional garage door repairman has, so you may not do it to the proper standard. Hire one to handle it for you, and it’ll be like the damage was never there.
It’s easier to repair garage door panels than you’d think. They’re designed to be taken out and swapped around when needed, so if one’s taken damage, you can replace them and get the door back in perfect working condition.