A Step by Step Guide to Repairing a Damaged Garage Door Panel

Sometimes it seems Murphy’s Law was invented for homeowners. If you own a garage door, at some point you’ll inevitably back into it, denting one of the panels. Or your kid may kick a soccer ball too hard, resulting in a pretty sizable dent. Or maybe one of those crazy rain storms we get in El Dorado Hills sweeps in, and your door is damaged by hail.

When it comes to garage door repair, fixing damaged panels is one of the most common requests.

If you have a damaged panel, don’t worry. There are many ways we can repair a damaged garage door panel. Usually we can fix it or replace a panel or two without you having to break down and buy a brand new garage door.

Time is of the Essence

The important thing to remember about a dented garage door panel is you need to repair it quickly. Don’t wait. At first, the damage is purely a cosmetic issue. No big deal, you think, right? Wrong. A dented garage door will develop more problems over time if it’s not fixed properly. It puts more stress on the tracks, which can make it harder to close the garage door. A dented door is also more likely to jump the track, which can lead to more garage door repair problems.

The good news is it’s not too difficult to repair the damage — especially if you own a steel garage door.

Hammering Out the Dent

You may be able to hammer out the dent using a rubber mallet and a 2×4. Place the wood over the dent. Bang on the wood with the rubber mallet. This may be enough to pop the dent back into place.

The Aluminum Foil & Lighter Trick

Not only is this a neat trick for the kiddos, but it actually works. First, wash the dented area with soap and water. Cut enough aluminum foil to cover the dent. Leave enough access that you can hold the foil against the door. Run the lit lighter back and forth across the foil to get it hot. Remove the foil and then hit the dent with a can of compressed air, holding the can upright. The sudden change in temperature should get the dent to pop back into place.

Replacing an Entire Garage Door Panel

If the above tricks didn’t work or the damage is too extensive that such a simple fix isn’t feasible, you may need to replace the entire panel. Take a look at your garage door. Notice how several panels are screwed together so it moves smoothly. You can easily replace any garage door panel so you have a working door again.

To remove the panel, unscrew it from the one next to it and slide it out. Slide in a new panel and screw it back in. This garage door repair isn’t nearly as hard as it looks.

How Old is Your Garage Door?

The thing to keep in mind is that older doors are trickier to repair. And to be honest, sometimes it’s not worth the hassle. Perhaps you’re due for a new garage door installation anyway?

The average lifespan for a garage door is about 20 to 25 years. If you need to replace a panel, it may not be available for your model of garage door if the door is much older than that.

Is Your Garage Door Relatively New?

If you’ve only recently installed the door and damaged a panel, you should be able to get a replacement if you talk to the garage door professional who installed the garage door. They can help get you the right replacement, and even install it if needed. Who knows? Maybe it’s even under warranty. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Is the Damage Worse Than That?

For severe damage, you may need to call in the experts. A garage door professional can take a look at your door and see if it’s salvageable. We can suggest the best option for moving forward, and if it may be time to consider installing a new garage door.

The good news is we offer 24/7 emergency garage door repair service. And yes, we do house calls!

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The Advantages of Smart Garage Doors

Many homeowners looking to upgrade their garage doors are turning to smart technology. A smart garage door opener connects your garage door to the Internet so you have remote access from anywhere using your mobile phone, computer or tablet. If you forget to close the garage door, you can easily close it — from your office or even while you are sitting in traffic. You actually get an alert notification on your phone your door has been opened. Smart garage doors also make package theft a thing of the past. You can include instructions on your order to contact you when the package has arrived. The delivery driver can call you so you can open the door so they can tuck your package safely inside. If you haven’t upgraded to a smart garage door opener yet, it may be time to step into the 21st century.