When we think about maintaining our home, one of the areas we often forget is the garage. Often, the first time we notice a problem with the garage is when we’re running late, all we can think about is needing coffee, we press the button and…the door won’t open. You’re already stressed and pressed for time, and now you can’t get out of your own garage. It’s the worst time to realise that you’ve neglected your garage door.
However, your garage door will give you subtle hints before it’s time to upgrade. Paying attention to these signs will save you time and money in the long-run.
The average life-span of a typical garage door is 15-30 years. This can vary depending on materials, location, and size. The first step to inspecting your door is tracking its age. As a general rule, anything older than 30 years has either gone out of style or is due for a mechanical malfunction.
Check for cosmetic issues regularly as they could be a sign of a more significant problem. Chips in the paint and small cracks could be signs that your door is beginning to warp or crack. In warmer, humid climates with varying temperatures, extra attention to wood doors is a must. Wood tends to expand and contract, cracks can form, and wood can begin to rot. Similarly, metal doors can develop rust, and become brittle, making the door more susceptible to cracks. Be sure to check your garage with changing seasons to monitor cracks. If you see a crack, take a photo and keep track of the length and width of the section. If the size expands, even slightly, this means that you need to have that section of the door repaired.
The mechanical systems opening and closing your garage door are under a lot of pressure. These mechanisms are made up of hundreds of tiny pieces all working simultaneously. If one piece begins to malfunction, you might notice a slight change in your door, such as a small hitch as it opens and closes, maybe a short delay. Often, these signs are small and do not interrupt the usage of the door. However, after hundreds of times operating with one piece malfunctioning, the entire system can be thrown off. Don’t wait until it’s too late to fix, at the first sign of an issue, have your door looked at by a professional.
Remember to listen to your door; if you notice it making strange noises when it opens and closes, this could be an indicator of a more significant issue within the mechanical structure. Garage doors, especially modern ones are built to be quiet and unobtrusive; if this is not the case with your door, it most likely needs to be fixed.
Check the shape of your door. If you notice that one side of the garage looks to be sagging, or off balance with the other side, this an important indicator that it’s time for a new door. As mentioned above, the opening and closing mechanisms are delicate, an imbalance of weight puts extra stress parts of the mechanism that will quickly cause it to break down.
Dents or damage to your door always need to be fixed. If someone has broken into your home, or the door has been hit by a car, a repair needs to be done right away. A damaged part of a door can cause much more significant problems the longer it goes unfixed. Any change in the shape of the door affects the weight distribution and functionality of the door. Additionally, changing one or two panels of a door will add years to the life of it, and save you from replacing the entire door.
Finally, one of the most compelling reasons to upgrade your door is for safety. New doors are equipped with child and pet safety features. Sensors detect movement, such as when a child or a pet are crossing beneath a moving door. The movement triggers the sensors, and they stop the door from causing potential harm. Newer doors can also sense pressure, and if something is under the door, it will stop immediately, preventing injury. New doors are also a significant deterrent for thieves. Old doors are easy to open with universal openers or weaker structures that are easy to force open. More complex opening systems and stronger materials make new doors a challenge for anyone trying to get inside your garage.