Even a motor vehicle traveling at walking pace can leave a garage door dented and buckled. In addition to being unsightly, a bent garage door could pose a security threat if the damage prevents it from closing. Replacing a damaged garage door may be the simplest solution, but repair is a far more cost-effective approach. Another option is replacing the damaged panel, but even this may not be necessary. If your garage door is bent or dented, the first thing you should do is determine the extent of the damage.
Assess the Extent of the Damage
Minor accidents often cause cosmetic rather than structural damage to garage doors. These are the steps you should follow to determine how badly your garage door has been damaged:
- Visual inspection: Look at the front and back of the garage door and then check the track to see if the damage is likely to prevent opening and closing. If the damage is severe, it may be a good idea to contact a professional.
- Test the door: If the damage appears to be minor, open and close the garage door a few times to make sure that everything still works.
- Identify the type of garage door: Residential garage doors are usually made out of steel or aluminum and can be repaired fairly easily by most homeowners. Wood and fiberglass models are also available, but special skills may be needed to repair them.
Checking Your Garage Door Tracks
The tracks on each side of your garage door are designed to guide the rollers that allow the door to open and close. Identifying damage to these tracks is not always possible at ground level, so you may have to climb a step ladder to find the cause of your problem.
First, examine the screws or bolts that hold the track in place to see if they have been dislodged by the accident that damaged your garage door. Once this is done, check the track for dents or obstructions. Before you perform any work on an electric garage door, make sure that the power is disconnected.
Fixing Bent Tracks on a Garage Door
Garage door tracks are usually made out of fairly pliable metal, so you should be able to repair minor damage fairly easily by following these steps:
- Loosen the track screws or bolts: Use a screwdriver or wrench to loosen the screws or bolts that attach the track to the garage door frame, but do not remove them completely.
- Align the track: Strike the bottom of the track gently with a rubber mallet to make sure that it is vertically aligned.
- Repair the track: A pair of pliers or a claw hammer should be all that you need to repair and straighten a damaged garage door track.
- Tighten the screws orbolts: Once the damage has been repaired, retighten the screws or bolts.
Bent or Damaged Garage Door Panels – All You Need to Know
There are several ways to repair a bent or damaged garage door panel. If the dent is small, you may be able to hammer it out and then fill and paint. Here are a few tips:
- Use a block of wood: Make sure that you place a block of wood behind the dent before you start as this will prevent the hammer from causing even more damage.
- Be careful: To avoid injury, take your time and hammer gently. You should also check the indented side of the door to determine when to stop hammering.
- Sand: Use a coarse type of sandpaper to roughen up the surface on the indented side of the door.
- Apply body filler: Mix a small amount of auto body filler on a piece of cardboard and then apply it to the indented surface with a putty knife. The hammering should have removed most of the dent, so only a little filler will be needed. Make sure that you get the filler into every nook and cranny.
- Sand and paint: Once the filler has dried, which usually takes about 20 minutes, sand the area down until the surface is smooth and ready for painting. It may be a good idea to paint the entire garage door to hide the repair.
Fixing Dents in a Garage Door with Suction Cups
Automobile dealers use suction cups to repair hail damage on cars, and these devices can also be used to repair minor dents on residential and commercial garage doors.
Most home improvement and auto parts stores carry suction cups, and they are also available online. Make sure that the suction cup you use is big enough to cover the dent completely, and then clean the area thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Once you have pushed the suction cup into place, squeeze the handles together to form a seal. You should then be able to gently pull the gent out.
When it’s Time to Call a Professional
Not all garage door damage can be remedied easily, and a more substantial repair or replacement may be required. New York Gates has been installing, repairing and replacing garage doors and security gates for more than a decade, and we built our business on a foundation of customer service and attention to detail.
We serve residential clients in New York City and the tri-state area, and no job is too big or too small. If you need a garage door repair, you can set up an appointment by calling us on (718) 614-0616 or filling out our online form.