Garage doors serve an important functional and aesthetic role for the home. According to Popular Mechanics, the average homeowner opens a garage door three to five times each day. This translates into 1,500 times per year. Because you look at your Indianapolis garage door quite frequently, it is understandable that you might notice any sudden appearance of dents or defects. While it may feel tempting to grab a can of paint or a handful of tools to fix it yourself, tampering with the garage door is the last thing you should do. Any attempts to alter your garage door will likely cause more harm than good. A look at the main reasons to leave repairs to the experts can help protect your property and ensure that it gets the care that it deserves.
What are the Most Common Causes of Dents in a Garage Door?
It happens to the best of us. Dents can easily occur when you accidentally bump or reverse your vehicle into the garage door. All of a sudden, the garage door becomes the proverbial object that was “closer than it appeared.” Dents can even occur from wayward bicycles or delivery trucks. While dents may look like minor dimples or scratches, they can actually represent a great deal of underlying damage. The top causes of garage dents include vehicles, weather-related incidents, and sports equipment, among others.
Whether your own a car or a guest’s vehicle accidentally bumps into the garage, any impact can cause substantial damage. Dented garage door panels can eventually cause the entire structure to warp. Dents can also cause bending that puts stress on the garage door’s torsion springs, bolts, or other hardware. You should never underestimate the damage that can occur from the force of impact. Did you know that the average pickup truck weighs 3.0 tons? What looks like a small dent at first can actually knock the garage door rollers out of alignment or damage the garage door track. After a vehicle hits your garage door, it is important to have an expert evaluate the situation and professionally fix the door so that it is back in workable shape.
Weather is another culprit for causing dents. Hailstorms release a torrent of solid precipitation that can easily damage your garage door. In addition, hail ranges in circumference from icy pellets the size of peas to large spheres the size of marbles or even golf balls. Since hailstorms are often sudden, there is usually no warning and no way to protect your garage door from the onslaught. Most people work with a professional after a hailstorm to address any garage door nicks or dents. In addition to hail, even common windstorms can create garage door damage. If the wind speed is strong enough, it can cause rocks or even lawn furniture to slam into your garage door. The combination of force and velocity can cause major damage to your door. A professional home services company can fix any weather-related damage before it becomes an eyesore or escalates into a structural problem.
Sports equipment can dent your garage door within a few moments. Many people do not think about the risk of this type of damage before it is too late. For example, hockey pucks and baseballs can easily damage the door upon impact. Since many households have a basketball hoop installed above the garage door in the driveway, stray basketballs can also dent the door. Cricket balls, golf balls, and soccer balls can cause similar damage. In addition, even sports equipment like skateboards can damage garage doors if they get close enough. If sports are popular on your street, pay close attention and get a professional to make repairs as needed.
Garage maintenance is another key to a lasting garage door. Most experts recommend reaching out to a garage door company twice a year as part of your seasonal maintenance checklist. During a routine checkup, a garage door professional can fix any dents before they morph into greater damage.
Can You Fix a Dent in Your Garage Door Yourself?
Once you notice the dent in your garage door, you may feel tempted to roll up your sleeves and turn it into a DIY project. While homeowners have tackled other errands around the home with varying degrees of success, the garage door is an entirely different scenario. Did you know that the garage door is usually the largest and heaviest moving part of any home? Attempting to fix a garage door yourself can be ineffective and even quite dangerous. It is important to let a trained professional efficiently repair any door problems.
Risk of Injury
Attempting to fix a garage door puts you at substantial risk of injury. A garage door that swings loose from its moorings can cause severe injury or even death. Some doors weigh over 300 pounds and are usually several yards tall. Even the springs that open and lift a garage door operate under enormous tension. If one of these springs breaks off, it can also create a missile effect that causes injury. People who work for professional service companies undergo years of training to hone the skills necessary to work in garages. A professional also has the equipment necessary to complete the job correctly.
Risk of Compounding the Problem
Fixing a garage door dent is not a simple job of patching or painting over an area. Knowing the right way to fix each type of dent involves training. Any effort to fix a dent on your own can compound the problem instead of resolving it. Homeowners who attempt to “correct” a dent themselves can end up taking things too far and causing the dent to bow out the other way or spread. This creates an even more difficult and costly issue to repair than simply calling a professional to fix the original problem in the first place. Moreover, some dents involve underlying structural problems that the average person can miss. If a large automobile has hit your garage, there is a strong likelihood of underlying issues with your panels or frame. Resolving the issue is more than a matter of painting over a slight ding. Allowing a garage door professional to troubleshoot the issue saves you a lot of trouble in the future.
Risk of Voiding the Warranty
While some people skip the fine print of a garage door warranty, the terms are usually quite clear. Most manufacturers will only honor the warranty if you can prove that a professional has completed any repairs. If you attempt to complete the repairs on your own, the warranty becomes null and void. The reason is simple. An untrained individual can inadvertently worsen garage door problems without realizing it. A manufacturer is not liable for any errors that you make on your own. Retaining your warranty is especially important in the event of recalls or rebates. To avoid the risk of your warranty being cancelled, always consult with a garage door services company so that you have a proven record of all repairs.
Risk of Losing Time and Money
Attempting to fix a dent on your own often involves rudimentary research as well as purchasing all the equipment and materials yourself. Unfortunately, watching a few tutorials is no comparison to the training that garage service technicians undergo to complete their jobs. Garage door companies have relationships with component manufacturers and already possess the necessary parts that you may never find at your local hardware store. When you add up the opportunity cost of time and supplies, it is much more economical to schedule an appointment with a garage door company instead.
Get Help From Experts Today
Contact the experts for professional assistance. Garage Door Doctor provides services for homes and businesses in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Carmel, and the surrounding areas. We offer diagnosis, troubleshooting, maintenance, and repairs for every type of garage door. Our company also provides 24/7 services in the event of a garage door emergency. Contact Garage Door Doctor today to get the help you need.