We’ve all had those “oops” moments when a driver bumps into the garage door with their vehicle. Or a panel has been damaged by bicycle crashes or lawn mowers on the loose.
Sometimes, there’s no way to prevent accidents like these! Unfortunately, they can cause structural and cosmetic damage that may also jeopardize the safety of your home.
How do you know when the damage is significant enough to require a new garage door versus just replacing a garage door panel or two? Here are a few indicators you can look at to help you decide which option is best for your home.
“Even small damage, such as dents, can lead to cracks and more extensive mechanical damage.”
When to Replace Garage Door Panels Versus the Entire Garage Door
Sign #1: Damage to a Single Panel
In the case of a minor accident, like a kid’s bicycle crash, the door may only sustain damage to a single panel. There may only be scratches that you can’t clean off or a small dent.
It could also happen that one panel, for whatever reason, seems to be aging more rapidly than the rest. It could get more direct sunlight due to uneven shade and look older or more discolored than the rest.
In both cases, replacing that one panel would be far more cost-effective than installing a new garage door. Remember that even small damage, such as dents, can lead to cracks and more extensive mechanical damage in the future.
You may want to get a professional’s opinion before deciding on panel versus door replacement.
Sign #2: Multiple Panels with Damage
The typical garage door has four panels. If only two are damaged, you may save money by replacing only those two panels, depending on the level of damage.
If three panels have sustained damage, cosmetic or structural, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire door rather than having only one panel that’s older than the rest.
Sign #3: Cosmetic Damage to the Garage Door Panel
Garage door panels can become dented, rotted, faded, and get holes or rust. If these issues are localized to a single panel, replacing that single panel will give you the greatest savings.
Make sure the garage door service you choose contacts the manufacturer to try and get an exact match for your door. You don’t want to lower your curb appeal with a patchwork solution!
If your entire garage door is speckled with rot or rust, you need to consider how these issues impact the structural soundness of the door, not just how it looks.
If your garage door is made of wood, you can extend its lifespan by touching up the paint or stain before replacing it. Watch out for rot or excessive moisture, which may indicate a larger problem.
Garage Door Panel Replacement: What’s Involved?
If you have a powered garage door opener, it will be disconnected and the springs removed, so the door does not close unexpectedly.
The panels are connected horizontally with bolts and fasteners as well as vertically along tracks on either side. If the damage is to the bottom panel, that’s the only one that will need to be removed. However, if it’s a panel further up that needs to be replaced, each one will need to be removed starting at the bottom.
The cost for replacement ranges greatly, from a few hundred dollars to just under a thousand dollars. This is influenced by the type of panel, its placement in the door, any additional materials required, and the professional’s time.
How to Know When You Need to Replace a Garage Door
How old is the door? If it’s more than fifteen or twenty years, it’s definitely past its prime, and a new garage door is the best investment you can make at this time.
If it’s fewer than ten years old, depending on the extent of the damage, garage door panel replacement may be the right choice for you.
If the damage is significant enough to have decreased the function or safety of the door itself, you should consider a new garage door to get the best return on your investment.
Does your garage door sag or not close all the way? It’s definitely time to consider a new one! Not only for proper operation, but for the safety of your home.
Is the door energy efficient? Does it open painfully slowly or make a horrific squeal? You could save money in the long run and experience improved functionality now by replacing your garage door.
Consult Your Local Garage Door Service Professionals
If you’re not sure how to evaluate the condition of your garage or would like an expert opinion, reach out to our highly-qualified team at Austin’s Greater Garage Doors and we’d be happy to help!