You have the kids dressed and loaded, coffee’s in hand, and it’s dark and raining out. You throw it in reverse, focused on dropping everyone off at their appropriate places and keeping that cup of coffee upright, when, CRUNCH!! Sounds like a ginormous piece of aluminum foil being balled up. You backed into the garage door.
First of all, assess the damage carefully. If your garage door came off track or if some of the panels were bent, it may be dangerous to attempt to lift the door manually. Hopefully you can get out of the door at least and on your way, but you may need to call a garage technician to open the door for you.
In terms of cost, usually a backed into door means repairs are necessary, depending on how many feet you backed up. First, check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if they cover this type of damage. If so, move forward with calling an expert technician who can help assess the damage. Most of the time, you’ll pay a deductible and the insurance pays for damages. However, if the deductible is more than repair costs, it might be best just to foot the bill yourself. Costs vary based on the size of garage, type of garage door, and how much damage occurred.
If necessary, you can replace the entire door, but replacing sections is possible. However, if the door is 10 or 15 years old, the manufacturer may have discontinued it. In this case, if you find one that isn’t discontinued, it may be best to replace sections. If the accident damaged your tracks, they can be easily bent back into place in most cases. But you should allow a professional to replace rollers and hinges if damaged.
Can you “hammer out” the dents if they’re not too bad? Not really, but if you want to try, make sure to use a block of wood and a hammer. However, your garage door is usually 25-gauge steel so dents are difficult to get out on your own. Plus, you may cause more damage by trying to pop out the dents on your own.
If your car damaged the rollers, spring, motor, or pulleys, in a lot of cases, the sections, hinges, and rollers will need replacement. After all, it’s better to operate with new parts in case your old parts were damaged. In terms of exterior, if you painted the door previously, you will probably need to repaint if you replace sections. However, there are only about eight standard colors of garage doors you can pick from to color match so it is typically an easy fix.
Costs depend on how far you drove through the garage door and the type of door you have. A traditional garage door with individual panels will probably cost between $200-300 to replace individual panels. If your garage is older and no longer produced, you may consider replacing the entire garage door. If you are considering a new garage door, think of how it will increase your home’s value, curb appeal, and overall safety.
See Life of a Garage Door for more information on replacement.
How can I prevent driving through again? Slow down when leaving or entering the garage. Make sure it’s all the way up before entering or leaving. Always double-check to make sure it’s open.
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