A sectional roll-up door in your garage consists of at least 3 hinged panels typically made of steel (some are made of wood, though). It could happen accidentally that you damage one of the panels with your vehicle. Wind and other extreme weather conditions can break a panel as well. If such a thing occurs you will face a very serious challenge, you will have to decide whether it's better to repair or replace a damaged panel.
Time of Operation
The decision should depend on how long the door has been in use. The expected life of a garage door is somewhere between 20 and 25 years, therefore if a panel breaks and your door is only 10 years old it would be OK to repair the panel. Replacement would make sense only if you find a used panel in great condition otherwise you will simply overpay. Please remember that the replacement panel should have a suitable weight and shape. Sometimes it's necessary to paint the entire door after panel replacement so that all parts had similar look.
Speaking about arguments for garage door replacement we would like to mention that modern garage doors look much more stylish and are more sophisticated. Today's garage door has all those useful technical innovations like electronic eye sensors, automated reverse mechanisms, high-quality insulation, and many more. Finally, if you are planning to sell your house a new garage door will certainly be a good contribution since it changes the entire look of the building. Check it yourself.
How a Garage Door Panel Gets Damaged
Without a doubt, the cause of damage should be considered when you need to choose between repair and replacement. Regular wear and tear do not cause any serious cosmetic damage. Normally a garage door gets dents, scratches, and cracks during its operating life which can be easily repaired. Consult a specialist and he will advise if it is better to change the whole panel for a new one or if it could be repaired with paint, wood filler, or a strut.
In case of more severe damage when a garage door was hit by a vehicle or got broken because of a natural disaster it would be better to replace the entire door. Seriously damaged panels make the whole construction unstable and thus unsafe. The easiest way to check if important mechanisms are broken is to open and close the garage door several times. If it goes smoothly then the mechanisms are fine. However, if you have to struggle when opening or closing the door then something is certainly broken. It's maybe springs, tracks, or struts.
Garage Door Types
When it comes to garage door repair works panel replacement is the priciest issue. It will largely depend on how much a worker charges per hour. You have to be prepared to pay for at least one full hour of work and additionally for the materials used.
Costs by Size
The prices for panel installation vary from $250 for the most basic 9' panel, whereas the replacement of a 16' panel can easily cost $700. The prices for replacing the whole door, however, will start at $1000 with all the labor and material included. Before making a decision you should see what is covered by your warranty and choose which option will work best for you
Costs by Material
Wood garage door - Wooden doors look solid and aesthetically pleasing, but it is not a good choice for humid areas. Humidity makes the wood rot and cracks quickly unless it is regularly painted with high-quality paint. In general repair cost for wooden doors is between $190 and $215. Please keep in mind that certain wood types would also have an additional impact on the price.
Steel garage door - Steel is the best option for homeowners from areas vulnerable to hurricanes, typhoons, or other natural disasters. Well, the same may be said about those who live in a neighborhood with a bad reputation. Steel is stronger than wood, but this material is also ruined with humidity - wood rots and steel rusts. Steel doors are cheap in repair - you'd pay about $135 - $155 for an average repair operation. Coating a steel garage door with special anti-rust liquids will extend its life and postpone possible repair or replacement.
Aluminum garage door - Aluminum doors have all the advantages of the steel ones, but these are also rust-resistant. Thus people living in humid areas can be sure about aluminum garage doors which are reliable, safe, and durable. Repair costs are higher (from $176 to $200), but the probability of urgent repair is lower than with steel doors.
Fiberglass garage door - This material is created for functioning in extreme temperatures. It withstands both heat and frost easily providing perfect insulation. In addition, fiberglass garage doors require quite a cheap repair - $148 to $165 per one repair procedure on average.
The eliable result is a priority
While choosing between the alternatives you should consider which one will be the safest. Never ignore the damage of the garage door. Do not use it until it is fixed or replaced. The slightest damage in the panel can turn into a serious issue if you leave it without proper attention. A dent can easily grow into a crack which will make the door less resistant to water and soon the door will become rusty. In the end you will be facing the need to replace the whole thing and it is not the result you are looking for. Broken garage door make your home attractive to the criminals which is a major risk to the safety of your family.