Dents, Scratches, And Big Ol' Holes: Should You Repair Or Replace Your Damaged Garage Door?

Whether your garage door was damaged by a hurricane or a car bumper, the big question is whether you should have it repaired or replaced. While repairs can save money when it comes to small problems, having your door replaced with a brand new one confers multiple benefits. Therefore, it isn't a decision to be made lightly - you should know what each choice has to offer before you decide.

What Benefits Do Repairs Offer?

The first step when you realize your door needs repairs is to check whether or not it's within the dates of the manufacturer's warranty. If it is, you should read your warranty or contact the manufacturer to find out if the type of damage your door sustained is covered by the warranty's terms. If it isn't covered, you might still find repairs offer more benefits than a replacement.

If less than half of your garage door is damaged, especially if the damage is limited to a single panel, you could save significantly by choosing to have it repaired. Individual door panels or patches are not expensive, so replacing one or two could leave your pocket fuller than replacing the whole door. Similarly, having a damaged opening mechanism replaced can be less expensive than a whole new door in some cases, but you should discuss prices with your garage door contractor to be sure.

Minor damage, like dents and scratches that don't produce holes, are relatively quick and simple to repair. Minor dents can be pushed back out from inside your panels, and scratches on metal can usually be buffed out. In wood and fiberglass, scratches can be patched with resin and sanded down to be level with the door. After a coat of paint, you may not even be able to tell the door was ever damaged.

Depending on the damage to your door and which panels were affected, replacing problem panels may extend your door's life more than you might expect. Panels that are frequently dented by contact with your car's bumper, for example, can be replaced with reinforced material to prevent future dents. You can also choose to replace your old panels with insulated panels to increase your energy savings and further extend the life of your door instead of buying a new one.

When Is It Better To Replace A Broken Door With A New One?

While a whole replacement door is more expensive than repairs in some cases, if more than half of your door is damaged, the costs may be similar enough for the benefits of a replacement door to outweigh a slight increase in price.

New doors typically feature higher-quality materials than doors constructed over a decade ago, and often they come with more insulation. This means not only will a newer door last longer and be more damage resistant, but it will also save you money in energy costs thanks to improved insulation. Typically, doors made today also require less maintenance than doors made a decade ago or longer.

Replacing your door also provides you an opportunity to opt for a material that's better suited for your climate and area - for example, wooden doors are highly susceptible to damage from salt water in coastal regions, so you could opt for a vinyl or fiberglass replacement door instead.

As an added bonus, new doors will come with a brand new manufacturer warranty that could last anywhere from a decade to the lifetime of the door depending on its materials and the manufacturer. You may also be able to get a limited warranty from the garage door service that does the installation for you as well, providing you with twofold protection in case something goes wrong with the new door.

Whether you want to save money, lower your energy bill, or just prevent future damage to your door, both repairs and replacement have something to offer. Your choice depends on your situation, your budget, and the advice of an expert garage door technician. Whether you choose to patch up your old door or spring for a brand new one, you'll be more likely to feel satisfied if you mull over the benefits of both options for a while beforehand.

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