We’ve all had those mornings... the alarm clock didn’t go off, the kids are late to school, your boss has already called wondering where you are, and you just wish you could start over before your first cup of coffee. And then, to add insult to injury, you back into the garage door on your way out. After banging your head into the steering wheel a few times for good measure, what can you do about the damaged garage door?
This situation often happens in the winter as well, when an icy driveway causes homeowners to careen right into the garage door before it can fully open. Garage door techs also often see cases where a forgotten bike or luggage rack crashes into the door as drivers attempt to squeeze under. In any of these cases, there are a few things you need to do to take care of the damaged door.
1- Assess the damage
The first step is to assess the damage. Most of the time, the bottom of the garage door is the most damaged. If you have an electric garage door opener, it is very likely that is can lift the door almost completely even with the damage. Remember that while most door openers are powerful enough to pull a load of up to 350 lb. (160 kilos), under no circumstances should your door opener lift more than its normal load, around 8 to 10 lb. (3.5 and 4.5 kilos).
So before you go lowering the door, be sure to check all the parts of the opening system. Are the lifting cables still properly aligned with the drums they wind around? Are the rollers still in their tracks and are they still attached to the hinges? The whole lifting system is under very high tension, equal to the full weight of the garage door, so it’s important to not touch any of these parts.
If everything looks correct, then go ahead and pull your car completely out of the garage. With your car out of the way, stand at a distance of about 8 feet (2.5 m) from the door, and see what happens when you push the button Hear any loud noises, or see that the sections are not fitting together properly? In that case, unplug your door opener from the electrical outlet.
2- Call a garage door technician
If the garage door is totally off the hinges, there’s nothing you can really do. Frequently, you can find the name and telephone number of the specialist who installed your door on the housing of the door opener. Give them, or another garage door specialist a call, and then go with your day by calling a taxi, friend, or family member to give you a lift.
3- Call your insurance agency
Whether your garage door or your car was the more damaged party, you need to call your insurance agency. Typically, your vehicle insurance agency won’t cover damages to your garage door, so you’ll need to call your home insurance agency as well. Be sure to consider the deductibles on either plan; it may be more affordable to simply pay for repairs yourself.
4- Know the costs involved
The biggest cost involved with repair or replacement of a garage door is labor. The exact cost depends on the extent of the damage and the age of your garage door. In the case that your garage door is so old that replacement sections are no longer available, you may find it necessary to replace the entire system so that the door operates properly. In this case, plan on about two hours of labor.
If just one broken section needs to be replaced, the price of the repair is less, but it represents a higher cost in labor. The door must be completely taken apart, except the tracks, then installed as if it were a new installation.
We are happy to come to your home to assess the damage, where we will advise you on the best choice to make in your specific situation. You can also use our Design Centre or take a look at our image gallery for inspiration.