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Garage doors are a key factor in your home’s curb appeal. So if a couple of dented, damaged, discolored, or broken door panels are spoiling that visual appeal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to replace the whole garage door. You could simply replace the damaged garage door sections.
In this short read, we’re going to give you some helpful tips about garage door repair and panel replacement.
When to replace garage door panels
If you have only one or two panels that have been damaged in your garage door, then it makes financial sense to replace only those panels. Garage door panels are manufactured in a way that allows for them to be replaced.
However, this is a good option only when the damage is minor and involves only a couple of panels. Garage door panel replacement is not a very low-cost activity. In fact, the cost of replacing a panel could vary from $250 to $800, including the cost of the panel and installation charges. Professional installation contributes to about half of that cost. Most companies charge a minimum of one hour of labor to replace a panel.
So if you need to replace more than one part of the door, garage door replacement may actually make more financial sense.
The good thing is that while garage door repairs may be expensive, it is most often covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Any damage done to the garage door by your family, you, or a third party unintentionally, as well as damage caused by fire, theft, and vandalism, will be covered. However, damage caused by natural disasters and intentional damage will not be covered.
Can you replace the panels yourself?
While you may be able to buy garage door sections for the replacement yourself, actually replacing panels is skilled work and best left to professionals. Not only is it difficult and dangerous without the right skills and tools, aspects like getting the best color match with your old door definitely require expert attention.
The bottom sections of garage doors are particularly dangerous for novices to attempt because that part of the door is where the door torsion springs balancing out the door weight are. These springs exert a lot of pressure and handling them requires a lot of training as well as experience.
Which panels get damaged the most often?
The sections of your garage door most likely to get damaged and need replacement are the top and bottom sections.
The top panels are likely to get damaged because of the constant pressure applied on them by the automatic garage door openers.
Automobiles and lawnmowers also damage garage door panels. Since the bottom panels are close to the ground, they constantly keep getting bumped into by mistake, causing damage.
What to keep in mind while buying panels
There are several aspects that you will need to keep in mind when you want to buy panels for damaged garage doors.
Not all garage door panels measure the same. This makes it imperative that you measure the panels before you buy them. Overhead panels are a different height and width from the bottom ones.
The width of most replacement panels will be whole numbers unless your garage door is a custom size. The height of garage door panels is either 18”, 21”, or 24” inches in most cases.
You will also need to consider the thickness of the panel. Most often, garage door panels are either 2” or 1 ⅜” in thickness. Not getting these measurements right and trying to guess panel sizes may be an expensive mistake for you to make.
Keep in mind that it is not necessary to measure the garage door opening itself for panel replacement unless the broken panels were the wrong size, to begin with.
With multiple big brands in the garage door industry, not knowing which brand your door is can make finding high-quality and cost-effective matching panels difficult.
Always look for the manufacturer’s sticker before you go out to buy replacement panels. You ought to find them at the bottom where the roller and track meet. On these stickers, you are likely to find the name of the manufacturer, serial numbers, color, door models, and size.
In case the sticker isn’t there, try and locate at least a logo of the manufacturer.
If all else fails, try and contact the local garage door store you ordered yours from to find out which make and model number your door is.
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