Your garage door is one of the largest components of your home’s exterior. Ideally, your garage door seals off your garage space from the elements, keeps would-be intruders out, and completes the look of your home.
However, damage to your garage door can make it nonfunctional, less safe, or simply unattractive.
Whether this damage comes due to a vehicle-related accident or to wear and tear over time, it’s important that you respond appropriately to protect your garage and your entire home. In this blog, we discuss which situations call for garage door replacement over repair and vice versa.
When to Replace
Garage door replacement can be a more substantial expense than a repair. Luckily, only a few situations actually necessitate a complete door replacement.
You may decide to replace your garage door to:
- Improve home appearance—If your garage door suffers extensive cosmetic damage, it may become a large eyesore. If refinishing the door is not an option, you may decide to replace the current door instead.
- Increase home value—Upgrading your garage door may be a smart way to increase your home’s value. Because garages often take up about one-third of the home’s front, an ugly garage door can turn away buyers. Additionally, a nonfunctional or energy-inefficient door may make buyers believe the home needs too much work.
- Make an unsafe door usable—If you don’t use your garage door because it has become warped or tilted and no longer feels safe, you may need to replace it.
- Reduce the need for future repairs—Low-quality or old garage doors may need a lot of individual repairs. In some cases, it’s a better investment to simply replace the door than to keep paying for repair work.
- Remove an aging door—No garage door lasts forever. If your garage door is outdated, well past its warranty, or showing signs of excessive age, you may need an upgrade.
- Restore a structurally damaged door—While many garage door problems can be repaired, as we’ll discuss in the next section, extensive structural damage often cannot be fixed. If your door appears crumpled or is missing a panel, replacement may be your best option.
If you decide to replace your garage door, invest in a high-quality garage door that’s perfectly fitted to your home. Doing so helps ensure that you won’t have to worry about another replacement for 15 to 30 years, depending on the door material you choose.
When to Repair
When garage door problems arise, they can seem like major issues. However, many garage door problems that show up suddenly can be repaired easily by a garage door expert.
You may need to schedule a repair if you notice the following issues:
- Door feels weighed down or heavier than usual. This issue usually results from an imbalance. The springs that operate the door may not have enough tension to move the door correctly.
- Door moves much more slowly than it should. Slow movement can also be related to torsion springs. The springs may have lost tension or have snapped. In some cases, slow operation can result from an obstruction in the door track.
- Door seems crooked. If the cables become damaged, they may not keep the door lined up the way it should be. If the door appears significantly misaligned, don’t try to move it until you have the door assessed. Moving a crooked door could damage the door, the track, or even your garage.
- No response to the opener. A lack of communication between your garage door opener and the door itself could come from a dead battery, a signal obstruction, or another opener issue.
- Track becomes bent or warped. If your garage door seems to make more noise or vibrate more than usual, visually inspect the track. Sometimes, tracks can become bent and make it more difficult for the door to operate smoothly.
Most garage door repair work takes less than one workday. Some repairs can even take less than an hour.
When to Request a Professional Evaluation
If you notice a change in your garage door’s appearance or function, take note of what you observe over the course of several days. If you can’t identify a specific problem from one of the lists above, a trained garage door professional can help.
You should schedule an assessment from a garage door expert before doing any work on your garage door yourself. Some simple maintenance tasks can be handled on your own, but responding incorrectly to garage door issues can cause permanent damage to your door, door frame, or opening mechanism.
Additionally, you should have your garage door evaluated at least once a year. If you aren’t sure when your door was last serviced, schedule a routine appointment as soon as possible.
As you work to keep your garage door moving smoothly, use the guidelines above to anticipate the consequences of problems as they arrive.