Oh, no! You’ve backed into your garage door. What now? You may be wondering if you need garage door repair or replacement services. First, don’t worry. You are not the first person who has backed into their garage door, and you won’t be the last. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to address it. And it may be that you can repair it yourself. Let’s first address the incident before we address the fix.

What’s the Damage?

Once you have backed into the door, the first step is to take a deep breath and calmly assess the damage. First, check on everyone’s safety, then get out of your vehicle and have a look at the door and component mechanical parts. The first bit of advise we can give you is to look, but do not touch right away. Depending on the damage, you cold either put yourself in harm’s way or maybe even do more damage. Remember, your door may look okay from the outside, but that does not mean it is.

Another important consideration is to make sure you do not use your automatic door opener or try to force it open manually. You have no idea which components are damaged and trying to open it before a diagnosis could bring it crashing down unexpectedly. It is also possible to do additional damage by trying to move the door yourself before a professional diagnosis.

The best way to assess the damage is to take notes and photos of the damage. Look at things carefully, but only look. In the end, you want to call the experts to have someone look at it. If the problem turns out to be just a dent, that is less expensive than you may think to fix. Meanwhile, as you wait for garage door repair professionals to arrive, have a look at your car. Document any damage to your car. And be careful opening any doors. Final step? Call your insurance company! But we’ll get into that later.

What Kind of Garage Door Repair Will You Need?

Let’s examine the different types of garage door damage that could result from you backing into the door. First, your garage door might now be stuck open. If you hit the door while it was being opened or attempted to open it after the accident, it may be stuck. Obviously, a garage door stuck open is more than an inconvenience, it is a security risk to you and your household. The most important thing to do if it is stuck is to refrain from trying to force it open.

Another common type of damage after a run-in with a car includes your garage door falling off its track. You should be able to easily tell through a visual inspection if your garage door is off its tracks. Simply examine the tracks where the garage door rollers or wheels meet it. If you see those wheels or rollers exposed, and out of the track, you have found the problem. There could be problems with your overall garage door system. Of course, this is another garage door repair scenario you want to leave to the experts.

You may also notice from a visual inspection that the bottom of your garage door is not bent or crooked. This is where some homeowners may get the DIY bug and think they can fix it. Keep in mind, this may be more complicated then simply banging out a dent. Of course, if it is a very small bump and there is no other damage to the door, certainly this is a DIY job you can do yourself. But anything larger than a small bump should be addressed by a garage door repair professional.

Finally, even though you backed into the garage door, you may find that your automatic opener is no longer functioning. Perhaps your garage door still looks completely normal. Just remember that you cannot always see the damage, especially if internal components and mechanisms are damaged. You can probably figure out what we are going to say next. Yup! Don’t try to fix it yourself. Call the experts.

Replace the Whole Door for Just a Dent?

Here is a pertinent question. What if all you’ve done is dent your door? It is important to note that depending on the amount of damage, your garage door may be safe to use with just a dent. As long as the tongue and groove joints on your garage door still line up, you may not need to replace the entire garage door. If they do line up, you can get away with reinforcing the damaged panel with a strut to ensure it doesn’t split. If these instructions read like Greek to you, however, then you may be better off calling a professional.

Now, if two or more panels have large, extensive dents, it might be best to replace the entire garage door. In this case, a simple garage door repair might not do it. You don’t want to mess with the structural integrity of the door. Of course, it might also be possible to replace individual panels on the door. Doing so, however, might end up costing as much as just buying a new door. And if your garage door is more than five years old anyway, you are probably better off replacing it anyway.

Fortunately, replacing your garage door can bring one of the highest returns on your investment out of any home improvement job. Besides, if you have home or auto insurance, you should be able to claim the damage on the door and have it replaced. You may see a slight bump in your premiums, but what is more important, a higher payment, or a functional garage door? Next time you hear a bump in the night – and it’s your garage door – give the expert garage door repair professionals at Prestige Door of Uniontown, Ohio a call!

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