Backing into or hitting the garage door is actually quite a common occurrence so don’t feel too embarrassed if this has happened to you. In most cases this type of accident happens early in the morning when people are tired and rushing around to get kids to school and get to work. Maybe you’re momentarily distracted, or so worried about being late that you begin to back up before the door has fully opened. Otherwise maybe you hit it from the outside. Maybe you accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, or your car slipped on ice and went into the door. It happens a lot more often than you think. So, you hit your garage door, now what do you do?
Especially if you hit your garage door from the inside there is a greater chance that you have done more than just cosmetic damage to the door. You need to take precautions because depending on the damage, the garage door could potentially be unsafe to operate. The first thing you need to do is assess the damage. Check that the rollers are still in the tracks, also check to make sure that the cables are in their drums and have a look at the condition of the springs. If these all seem to be ok and the damage doesn’t look too severe then you can attempt to close the garage door. Stand a minimum of 8 feet from the door and press the button on the remote. If the door continues to open, then it should be safe for you to close it.
If you notice that the door parts are not moving smoothly or hear abnormal noises, you should immediately stop the opener and unplug it. You can then use the emergency release to disconnect the door from the opener and very carefully attempt to close the door manually. Again, if the door is off the tracks, the cables are not in place or has visible damage to the cables, springs, or other parts other than the door panels, you should not attempt to raise or lower the door. This can be extremely dangerous. Call a garage door company such as ONC Doors if you are in Toronto or the GTA so that they can properly assess the situation and make the necessary repairs safely.
You may wonder if you should contact your insurance company. This depends on the amount of damage. Always get a few estimates from different reputable companies before making this decision. Most insurance policies require a $1000 deductible so it may not be worth it for you to put in a claim.
The next decision to be made is whether you should replace or repair the door. Again, this will be determined by the amount of damage sustained, the general upkeep that has been done on the door, as well as the age of the door. Usually, the damage done to a door when it has been hit is in the bottom panels. The cost for replacing panels is generally $400-800 a panel depending on the brand, model, and door size. If your door is a significantly older model, it may even be impossible to find the correct panels.
Regarding the upkeep of the door, you need to consider the parts and how old they are. If you have a door with springs that have not been replaced within about 7 years, they are probably at the end of their lifespan. Therefore, if you are going to replace the panels and then must replace the springs in a few months, it may not make financial sense to repair the door.
Another consideration is that garage doors will fade in time especially if they get lots of sunlight. This means that if you replace the panels, you will most likely need to paint the door. Otherwise, the newer panels will be a noticeably different shade than the older sections. Even from a distance away, the new panels will be brighter and will stand out from the older ones.
If you have accidentally hit your garage door, call ONC Garage Door Services. Our technicians respond quickly and have the expertise to effectively assess the damage. We will give an honest opinion on whether to replace or repair and will get the job done quickly. Trust the experts and never put your safety in jeopardy.