A cracked garage door can make your home look unsightly and make your garage susceptible to pest infestation and wildlife intrusion. But what do you do when you have a cracked garage door? Can you fix it? Should you replace it? We've looked into this issue to address these concerns for you. Keep reading to learn more.
Here are the steps to fix a garage door:
- Prepare the area
- Measure the aluminum foil and then cut it
- Heat the damaged area
- Apply the compressed air
No matter how well you maintain your garage, accidents are prone to happen. If a garage door becomes damaged or broken at any time, it's essential to get it fixed ASAP--this isn't something that you want to put off. Let's discuss the most common ways a door can become damaged and what to do if it does.
Steps to Fixed a Cracked Garage Door
Things you'll need:
- 2-gallon bucket
- Water hose
- Grill lighter
- Cleaning sponge
- Dish soap
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Can of compressed air
Prepare the area
Start by filling up the 2-gallon buckets with warm water using the water hose. Then add a tablespoon of dish soap to make the water a bit frothy. Next, take a sponge and thoroughly wash the damaged area. Be sure to remove all grime and dirt from the panel.
Then take your water hose completely off the panel to remove any remaining residue. After cleaning the area, take your dry towel and dry it off completely. Let the panel sit for about 5 to 10 minutes to air dry so that no moisture remains on it.
Measure the aluminum foil and then cut it
Next, grab the aluminum foil and remove it from the box. Then extend it over the surface of the dent so that it covers the entire area. Keep in mind that you only need one piece of foil--even if the dent is large. Afterward, cut the aluminum foil from the roll or tear it with your hands. It's best to cut it--this way, you don't have to worry about tearing too much off.
Heat the damaged area
Next, grab your grill lighter. Then, leave the aluminum foil completely flush against the damaged area, making sure to cover it completely. And then, while holding the aluminum foil in place with one hand, take your grill lighter, ignite the flame, and move it over the dented area in front of the aluminum foil. Use a steady back-and-forth motion to heat the area with a lighter. Do this for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Make sure not to leave the lighter in one place, but move it constantly. If you have a large dent on the panel, be sure to only cover no more than a square foot of area at a time. Make sure that the entire area is heated.
Apply the compressed air
After the dent has heated, remove the foil and grab your air can. Hold the air can upside down and then spray the dent for about 30 to 40 seconds. The compressed air can be held upside down, allowing the can to release carbon dioxide, which is essential for removing the dent from the panel.
If the dent is particularly deep, it's best to have someone on the other side of the garage pressing the damaged area using a rubber hammer. That'll make it easier for the material to fall back into place. You should notice the dance starting to disappear within 1 to 2 minutes.
What causes garage doors to crack?
There are a few different reasons why a garage door may crack. Let's look at the most common ones.
If you live in an area that regularly has drastic changes between the nighttime and daytime temperatures, there may be cracks in your garage door at some point. The reason is that the door panels are likely to expand and contract as the weather gets warmer and colder.
Ultimately, this can cause the panels to become brittle, making them way more susceptible to breakage. Ideally, you can purchase more expensive panels that are made to be substantially more pliable and less likely to break.
Precipitation and humidity
Precipitation and humidity will always play a part in the wear and tear of outdoor structures, and this is no different for garage door panels. As humidity enters your garage, water droplets will condense onto the door panels. Over time, the panels can rust and develop cracks, ultimately making them more brittle and prone to breakage.
It's important to note that not all garage doors are created equal, and most panels are made to withstand harsh weather conditions. However, over the years, the finish on the panels can become worn. This and precipitation in cold weather is a recipe for cracks, mold, and other damage.
The age of the door
As garage doors become older. They all naturally become more vulnerable to pest issues, water and weather damage, and ultimately, cracks and scratches. And sometimes, you'll see cracks on the door that form from everyday wear and tear. If you start to notice more rough patches, warped, or dented areas on the door, it may be best to replace it.
Accidental car damage
One of the most common reasons for garage door damage is accidental taps from vehicles. Who hasn't accidentally hit their garage door or wall when pulling in or exiting the garage? It's bound to happen at some point. If you find that this happens more often than not, it may be a good idea to place some bumper on the garage door panel.
When doing this, be sure to carefully consider the thickness and weight of the material, as you don't want to hinder the raising and lowering mechanism of the garage door. You also don't want it to get caught on the garage light when it raises completely.
Can a cracked garage door be repaired?
Yes, but it depends on the extent of the damage. If the garage door has a dent that is too deep or too large to be repaired, it will have to be replaced. This is usually the case if a vehicle has hit the panel to the point where the garage door can no longer close and has caused the door to dislocate from the lift tracks.
However, the panel may be repairable if the dent is relatively small or doesn't affect the opening and closing mechanism.
Can you just replace the panels on a garage door?
Yes. Replacing the panels on a garage door can be an option if there is extensive damage. However, it depends on the type of door that you have. Some garage doors don't have removable panels. And if this is the case with your door, you'll need to replace the entire door. If the panels are removable, you can remove the damaged panel and replace it with a new one by contacting your door manufacturer.
Remember that sometimes replacing a panel may be more or just as expensive as replacing the garage door. That being stated, it's always a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of replacing a single panel. For example, if the garage door is over 15 to 20 years old or has other noticeable damage, it may be best to replace the entire door.
How often should you replace your garage door?
Garage doors typically last anywhere from 25 to 30 years and more with proper maintenance. There isn't a need to replace the door earlier than this if there isn't any significant damage or were on the door. However, when the door is worn or starts to have functional issues when raised or lowered, replacing it may be the best option.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has helped illustrate how to fix a cracked garage door. Keep in mind that this process may not work for every type of garage door. It's always best to contact your door manufacturer before attempting to repair any damage, as they may have their own recommendations.
Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts: