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How to Tell If You Should Repair or Replace Your Garage Door

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No one wants to spend money they don’t have to. That’s why so many homeowners have the same question: Should I repair or replace my garage door? There are benefits to both choices, but the cost of replacement is obviously much more than repair. So if your garage door isn’t looking or functioning as well as you would like, you need to make a decision. TrustDALE has compiled this handy guide to help you decide if you should repair or replace your garage door.

How to Tell If You Should Repair or Replace Your Garage Door [infographic]

The Value of a Garage Door

Your garage door has more value than just going up and down to let your cars in and out. In addition to its practical value, your garage door makes up a significant portion of the facade of your home. The state of your garage door has a considerable effect on your curb appeal. And curb appeal is a huge factor in the overall value of your home.

An old, beaten up garage door, even if it functions perfectly, can be an eyesore, dragging down your home’s value. On the other hand, a new garage door can have an outsized impact on your home’s value. If you intend to sell your home, a new garage is an excellent investment.

Many variables go into the cost of a garage door replacement. While the labor is the same for most replacements, the cost of the door itself varies widely. Depending on the size, material, style, and other features, a garage door can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. According to Home Advisor, a typical garage door replacement ranges between $735 and $1,488. High-end replacements tend to have the highest return on investment. Remodeling Magazine reports that a $3,695 garage door replacement has a 94.5% ROI. However, even a mid-range replacement can help a home sell more quickly.

Why Choose Repair Over Replacement

Garage door replacement is typically an excellent investment. We’ll talk about when it’s best to replace your garage door. But if you can repair it, the costs are usually quite low. Home Advisor reports garage door repair costs ranging from $147 to $341. Typical repairs include part replacements, especially springs, drive chains, or a single damaged panel of a garage door. The actual cost of replacement depends largely on the type of garage door and the price tag on the new part. Often, when a garage door is not functioning, it just needs realignment, which is a quick and cost-effective fix in most cases. 

So if you can repair your garage door, you can save quite a bit of cash. On the other hand, repairing a door that needs to be replaced is throwing out your hard-earned money. It just doesn’t pay to make minor fixes on a door that is failing or falling apart.

Common Garage Door Problems and When to Repair or Replace

So you know that a new garage door can bump up your home’s value. Overall, it’s a good investment with a high ROI. But repairs are usually relatively cheap. So why spend the money when you don’t have to? At this point, we’ll run down a list of common garage door problems, and address each one as to whether repair or replacement is in order.

The Door Suddenly Stops Working

If your garage door has suddenly stopped working, you may imagine that it’s dead, and you need a new door. However, sudden breakdowns are usually easier to repair than you might think. The first thing to check when the door stops working is your garage door opener. Take out the batteries and put in new ones. Often, that’s all it takes. However, if you’ve put in new batteries and the door still won’t budge, it time to call a professional.

When your door stops working all at once, the problem is likely isolated. Often the issue is a broken spring or misalignment. Occasionally, the motor has died. A garage door service professional can usually diagnose and fix the problem relatively quickly. You may need a couple of new parts, but the parts are generally not that expensive.

CONCLUSION: FIX

The Garage Door Feels Heavy

Your garage door is really heavy—probably heavier than you imagine. Yet, when the door is functioning properly, you can actually lift the door by hand with very little effort. That is due to the magic of springs. Your garage door is fitted with two high-tension springs that help support the weight of the door as it opens. That takes a huge load off your motor and makes it possible to open the door manually.

If the door seems heavy, the springs are likely wearing down. It is important not to ignore this warning signal. If you ignore a heavy door, you are putting extra strain on your motor, and you could wear it out prematurely. Even worse, if a worn-out spring snaps and you’re in the way, it could cause severe or even fatal injuries. That’s why only a certified garage door professional should ever work on your garage door springs. You can find a trustworthy garage door specialist in your area right here on TrustDALE.

CONCLUSION: FIX

A Single Panel Is Damaged

When it comes to isolated damage, your garage door is like your roof, your car, your siding, or any other part of your home that has many components. Dealing with isolated damage quickly is the most cost-effective choice, and it can prevent damage from spreading. When a single panel of your garage door is damaged, you can usually get a replacement panel installed for far less than replacing the whole door.

So whether your kid threw a fast pitch into your garage door, or someone backed into it with some lumber sticking out their trunk, a dent or scrape to a single panel is usually repairable. In some cases, the damage is minor enough to be repaired with sanding and painting. However, it is more common to simply replace a damaged panel.

There is only one caveat to replacing a single damaged panel. If your garage door is old and showing signs of wear, a brand new panel won’t match the other weathered panels. You could try power washing your garage door before replacing a panel. It’s amazing how much a good power washing can restore what looks like years of damage. But if the door is faded by sunlight or just showing its age, matching the panel will be impossible. In that case, you may have no choice but to replace the whole thing.

CONCLUSION: IT DEPENDS

The Garage Door Looks Like It Is Sagging

When your garage door is half-way up, does it look like one side is hanging lower than the other? That’s a sagging garage door, and it requires immediate attention. A sagging garage door brings us back to that essential component of your garage door system, the springs. If the door is hanging unevenly, the culprit is likely unevenly worn springs.

While the problem and its solution are simple—replace both springs—ignoring this problem can have dire consequences. As we mentioned, your garage door is really heavy. When the springs aren’t supporting its weight correctly, it puts all sorts of strain on your whole system. An unevenly-weighted garage door can strain the motor, pull itself out of alignment, or even warp the garage door track.

If you catch it early, this is a simple problem to fix. Just don’t let it linger, or you will be looking at some much more involved repairs or even replacement.

CONCLUSION: FIX IT QUICKLY

Your Garage Is Always Too Hot or Too Cold

While this isn’t a problem with the functionality of your garage door, it is caused by your garage door. The primary function of your garage is to protect your vehicles. A garage door also makes it easier to go from your dry, climate-controlled home to your dry, climate-controlled vehicle without facing the weather outdoors. If your garage is too hot or too cold, you and your vehicles are missing out on one of the main benefits of a garage. Many homeowners also use part of their garage as storage. If your garage is too hot or too cold, you could damage the items you have in storage.

Maintaining a steady, comfortable temperature in your garage is a matter of proper insulation. And there is no aspect of your garage that lets in or keeps out heat and cold than your garage door. If your garage door doesn’t seal well or doesn’t provide much insulation, any other insulation—like the walls or doors—is futile.

Many older garage doors come with no insulation at all. And even insulated garage doors can become less effective if they aren’t making a tight seal all around. If your garage feels like it lacks insulation, a new door may be in order. You can install weather stripping around the edges of an old garage door. But without a newer, better-insulated door, you won’t see much of a change. If you’re looking for better insulation, you probably need a new door.

CONCLUSION: REPLACE

Damage to Multiple Panels

If your garage door has isolated damage, replacing a panel is less expensive than replacing the whole door. But once multiple panels need to be replaced, you may end up spending more to replace panels than buy a new door. If a tree has fallen on your garage door or someone has accidentally backed into it, you probably need a new door. It just doesn’t pay to start replacing multiple panels.

CONCLUSION: REPLACE

Your Garage Door Is Old

If your garage door is over 15 or 20 years old and showing signs of wear, it may be time for a new one. You can repair worn out springs, replace a motor, or repaint faded panels. But as your garage door ages, you may end up spending more on repairs than you would on a new door that just works. Plus, with the additional insulation and energy efficiency of more modern doors, you can save money on utilities, too.

Garage doors have improved a lot over the last couple of decades. New doors are safer and more secure than they used to be. You can also enhance your style, usually for less than you might imagine. And replacing an old, worn garage door with a new one can provide an instant boost to your curb appeal.

Think of your old garage door like an old car. You could keep pouring money into it, but at a certain point, it’s time to abandon the old and welcome in the new. Garage doors don’t last forever, and trying to make your last forever can be a costly mistake.

CONCLUSION: REPLACE

Finding a Reliable Garage Door Company

When it comes to repairing or replacing your garage door, you want to know that the company doing the work is trustworthy. Excellent customer service, qualified technicians, and reliable warranties make a difference. That’s why consumers love TrustDALE.

You can find a reliable TrustDALE certified garage door company in your area right here. You know that Dale has done the research to ensure that the company is legit. And you’re protected by Dale’s trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right™ Guarantee.