Backed Into Garage Door (How to Fix)

If you’ve backed into a garage door you’ll need to know how to fix it. Here’s the types of garage door damage, insurance coverage and cost of fixing a dented garage door.
Damaged steel panel garage doorAccidents happen and when they do, you can either blindly panic all throughout or have a deep breath and look at the incident with logical eyes. That’s why if you somehow backed into your garage door, the best step is to think of a solution to fix it (But yes, you have the freedom to panic first if you wish to).

Backing into your garage door can cause different damages and in order to fix it, you need to assess the damage to know what you need to fix in the first place. [toc]

Hit Garage Door With Car – How To Fix 

First, calm down. It is essential to have a clear mind to solve a specific problem and this is the same way if you hit your garage door with your car. Take a deep breath first, and follow these simple steps. 

Step 1: Assess the Door Situation

This step involves two parts, including the following:

Check on everyone in the car – Once you’ve cleared your mind, check on everyone in the car if you’re not alone. Take note of possible injuries and which ones will need immediate attention first. Only when you confirm that everyone’s fine can you go to the next part of this step.

Inspect the damage you made – Check on the damages you’ve incurred and this goes both with your car and your garage. Don’t open your garage door immediately; assess the damages outside before you check on the damages inside.

Check if anything’s manually operable. Get a notebook and pen to list down damages and make sure to take a picture of these damages for the repair professionals and your insurance company.

Here are some specific areas of your garage door to inspect:

        •  Garage door
        •  Garage frame and opener
        •  Panel
        •  Tracks and brackets
        •   Rails

Step 2: Call Your Insurance Company

After inspecting all the damages, the next step is to call your insurance company and ask if the damages in your car are covered in your plan. Most companies will cover both the damages to the car and the garage door.

The car repair cost is normally covered by car insurance but the repair cost is significantly less than the deductible. Coverage is on the company and the kind of insurance you have so it’s best to call on the company to inquire.  

Step 3: Call the Garage Door Repair Company

If you’re a DIY master, you might prefer repairing the garage door yourself. While this is a good option to consider, calling a garage door repair company for help to assess the situation better is the best choice.

While it may look like it doesn’t have any damage, always be open to the possibility that there might be internal issues you don’t know about. And if you’re worried about the cost, you can ask for an estimate of the repair and possible replacements of parts before any work is started.  

Step 4: Decide on the Next Step to Take

Finally, decide on the solution for your dented garage door. Your action and solution depend on the extent of damage and the extra budget you can spare for your garage door. These are the two solutions you can do:

Repair the garage door – You don’t have to immediately replace your garage door when you can have it repaired at a lower cost.  And to know whether it can still be repaired, you need to have a technician look at it and ask for their professional opinion on it. For dents, you can just pound on them except if your garage door is made from wood or vinyl. 

Replace the garage door – For damages that are irreparable, the best option is to just replace the garage door entirely. You get to have a new garage door with a new and longer lifespan that’s shiny and new. Just call for a professional to install a new one for you.

Types Of Garage Door Damage 

There are different types of garage door damage you might encounter when you accidentally back into your garage door. It can get inconvenient for your garage door to be damaged, especially if you store important items inside it (From lawnmowers to grills and garden tools).

This is the reason why it is vital to assess and identify the damage you’ve incurred to be able to fix it quickly. 

Garage Door Not Closing

Garage door not closingThis is one of the issues that you can easily assess since you just need to try to open your garage door to see if it’s working. When your garage door is not closing, you encounter privacy and security issues since you, your family, and your possessions can be subjected to outsiders.

There are several major possible causes of this problem and identifying the specific problem is the more difficult task to take on. 

Broken Door Cables

Cables are vital parts of your garage door, responsible for its seamless opening and closing. These cables are structured to work with your garage springs to carry the entire weight of the garage door.

While the cables may be weakened and wear out over time, backing into the garage door with your car can do it. Some of the signs that there might be broken cables in your garage door include:

      • The garage door getting stuck halfway
      • Garage door not hanging straight
      • The garage door is kind of off the tracks 

Broken Door Springs

This is one of the most common issues you can encounter with your garage door, whether you backed into it or the springs just regressed through time.

Whether the problem is with the torsion springs or extension springs, it will be difficult to operate the garage door if there are issues in these parts. This is the reason why immediate repair, like broken cables, is recommended. And a professional should repair it since it can get dangerous to work on. 

Malfunctioning Garage Door Opener

A malfunctioning garage door opener results from a faulty or damaged locking and lifting mechanism. This leads to your garage door not properly shutting or locking, which can be dangerous for your possessions inside the garage and so needs to be dealt with immediately. 

If it’s not because you backed into it, some possible reasons for its malfunction are:

        • Burnt out motor
        • Electrical short in the system
        • Need new batteries in the remote (For the electric opener)

Faulty, Bent, and Broken Rollers and Tracks

Another possible issue that can be an impediment in the opening and closing of your garage door is faulty, bent, or broken rollers or tracks. If there are issues with your garage door’s rollers and tracks, you need to resolve them immediately. 

These parts are also more sensitive since the tracks can easily get bent but more than that, another possible issue you can encounter is the track’s misalignment.

This means that the door track may not be square anymore and you need to adjust them to their original position and shape. Hearing a knocking and grinding sound can be signs of this issue. 

The best solution to these problems is to reach out to a professional and either make the necessary repairs or replace the garage door track entirely. 

Faulty Garage Door Opener Remote

Faulty opener remote garage doorDepending on the type of garage door you have, a faulty opener remote can either mean you run low on batteries or there’s an issue (code or power problems) with a keypad installed on the side of your garage.

Issues with these types of opener remotes can hinder you from accessing your garage and opening the door. Exposure to outside factors like rain and other weathering elements can cause issues with these opener remotes.

Damaged Garage Door Panels

Since garage door panels are usually facing outdoors, there is a high chance for them to be damaged from weathering elements, activities, and backing on them.

Most professionals recommend replacing the panels altogether but you won’t need to replace the entire garage door. And while a single panel replacement does not cost too much, several panels can be costly to replace so make sure you know what you’re dealing with. 

Faulty or Damaged Garage Weather Sealant

Many garages have weather sealant to protect the area from possible harmful outdoor elements and when it is damaged, rain, cold, and snow can easily get inside the area and cause havoc and damage. While this does not make the area temperature-controlled or heated like most parts of the home, it is vital that it can affect your utility bills. 

Getting a professional to repair or replenish the weather sealant is the only option to consider to protect your garage and avoid increasing your utility bills.

Appearing Cracks and Gaps

Depending on the type of garage door you have, cracks and gaps may appear after some time or because of a collision. Wooden garage doors are more prone to cracking compared to other materials used as garage doors. You can either repair these cracks and gaps or upgrade to a more durable garage door. 

Bent Garage Door Panel

Bent garage doorGarage door panels are installed in the exterior of your garage, exposing them to elements that can damage them (from strong winds and rain to a serious impact from a car). Even just a small dent can hinder your garage door’s operation and strain all the other parts of the system. 

One sign that there’s an issue with the garage door panel is that a lag is noticeable when operating the door. And this lag can easily be caused by a small bend in the panel. In addition to this lag, the garage door is also bound to sag because of a broken panel. 

And depending on the gravity of the damage, you can either have the garage door panel repaired or replaced. Leaving it as it is, despite the damages, can worsen the situation. Get the panels inspected by a professional to identify if it is repairable or not to save money rather than spending too much replacing these panels. 

Bent Garage Door Frame 

Hitting your garage rood with a car can lead to a bent garage door frame. But this does not mean that you immediately need to replace the entire door system or even just the frame. 

The first thing you need to do is to stop using your garage doors if there is damage after the collision. Damages can worsen if you continue to use your garage door even under these circumstances. If you need access to your garage, use the indoor entrance or other doors you may have to access the garage. 

The good thing with a bent garage door frame is that it’s simpler and easier to fix compared to problems in the motor, rods, tension springs, and pulley system. Frames are usually made of vinyl or aluminum but may depend on your preference.

Aluminum can easily bend but it is highly unlikely for it to crack so a bent aluminum garage door can easily be fixed and you can either DIY or have a professional do it for you.  

Can A Bent Garage Door Be Fixed 

Yes, a bent garage door can be fixed but the difficulty of doing so depends on the gravity of the damage and the material the garage door is made of. A garage door is comprised of a garage door frame and panels that support the door to be sturdier and more durable. 

A bent garage door where the panels are welded to the door frame is more difficult to fix since you will need to take out the panels first before repairing the bent area of the door or replacing the frame. But this is only if the damage doesn’t stretch to the panels and stops the frame.

It can be quite costly though if you need to repair or replace all the panels installed in the garage door. This is why calling a local professional to help you with it can be a good option to fix your bent garage door. 

How To Fix A Bent Garage Door

If you choose to DIY your bent garage door rather than hiring a local professional, you can do so with the right tools and knowledge at hand. The easiest way to handle a bent garage door is to replace it with a new one, including the frame and panels involved.

The downside to this solution though is that it can get expensive, especially if you’re dealing with several panels. Some of the DIY solutions you can apply to your bent garage door include:

Using Heat 

Heat is an element that can help you manipulate a metal’s form and in the case of a bent garage door, you can heat the metal to transform it to its previous form, especially if the frame is made from aluminum. This is also a good option if you have metallic panels that support the frame of your garage door. 

Use aluminum foil to apply heat to the garage door, straighten the metal to its original shape and form, and then let it cool off to harden the metal to this new shape. 

Using a Hammer

Another way you can deal with a bent garage door is by using a hammer or mallet to straighten it. Compared to using heat though, you might need more force when you choose this solution.

The end result of the hammered garage door is rougher compared to when you use heat to manipulate the metal’s form. 

Can You Fix A Dented Garage Door 

Yes, you can fix a dented garage door rather than having it replaced and spending more. Dents can range from a sizable crater to a small curb and you can base your decision to DIY the dents on this factor. If you choose not to hire a professional, here are some solutions worth checking out: 

Using Suction Cups for a Dented Garage Door

Suction cups can also be used to fix the dent in your garage door and get it back to its original form. The thing with suction cups though is that the solution is quite new but it’s also the solution that professionals mostly use.

The downside to this solution is that it only works for small dents and may not be compatible with sizable craters. You also need to have a garage door made purely of metal for the suction cups to work. 

Place the suction tools on the affected area and the pressure from these tools is expected to surely straighten the dent. And this task only takes a few minutes to be completed.

Hammering Out a Garage Door Dent With a Mallet

Another solution you can choose to get rid of that dent is by using a hammer or mallet. You will need to be careful though when you hammer away on a dent so that it will not end up even more dented. And of course, make sure that you don’t injure your fingers in doing so.

Here are simple steps to follow to successfully hammer away a dent in your garage door.

1. Collect the necessary tools and materials you will need for this little project, including but not limited to the following:

    1. Rubber mallet
    2. Wooden block
    3. Fine-grit sandpaper
    4. Putty knife
    5. Patching material
    6. Primer
    7. Paint

2. Prepare your garage door for the work by washing the dented area using soap and water and then letting it completely dry.

3. Place the wooden block over the opposite side of the indention.

4. Gently tap the section using your mallet until it sits with the surrounding panels.

5. Even out the area using fine-grit sandpaper.

6. Cover the dented area using a patching material and make sure it’s even using a putty knife. 

7. Let the area completely dry out then sand it again. 

8. Apply primer to the garage door’s surface and let it dry. 

9. Apply preferred paint and then let it dry again. 

Hit Garage Door Frame With Car 

When you hit your garage door frame with your car, another vital consideration is your insurance. It is necessary to call your insurance company and inquire about its coverage.

While the possible damages in your car will definitely be covered, the damages to your garage door frame may be a different thing entirely. 

Are Garage Doors Covered By Home Insurance?

Garage with ceiling mount garage door openerWhile it might depend on the insurance company you enrolled with, as well as the specifications of your insurance policy, most standard home insurance does cover garage door repair. 

Usually, the insurance covers repairs for the damaged garage doors but if the cost of replacement is cheaper than the repairs, insurance companies would lean towards the replacement instead. 

Some of the factors that can affect whether the garage doors will be covered by your home insurance or not are the following: 

          • The garage is detached or attached to your home
          • The garage is located outside the premises of your home
          • Specification and level of your home insurance
          • Garage door’s structural damage – covered by building insurance
          • Cosmetic damage and wear and tear results may not be covered by the insurance

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Damaged Garage Door?

A damaged garage door can be expensive, depending on the gravity of the damages and the area or parts of the garage door that has been damaged. Low-end fixes can cost an average of $75 while high-end fixes can cost an average of $561.

To give you a general estimate of the possible costs you will have to deal with when fixing a damaged garage door, here are the amounts and their specifications:

Garage door service fee – Average of $80/hour or $249/project

• Pulley repair cost – $50 to $90 (Average of $102)
• Torsion spring repair – $40 to $100
• Extension spring repair – $5 to $30
• Garage door damage assessment fee – $150 to $200
• Garage door panel repair/replacement – $250 to $400

                • Steel – $130
                • Wood – $190
                • Aluminum – $170
                • Fiberglass – $150

• New panels installation fee – $240/9-inch panel and $690/16-inch panel
• Door opener replacement and repair – $50 to $350 (Average of $200)
• Dents – $75 to $100
• Wheel tracks – $130 to $160
• Hinges and rollers – $10 to $15/each
• Alignment and adjustment – $150 to $300
• Chain and cables – $150 to $200
• Circuit board – $100 to $150
• Glass – $75 to $100

Read more about the measurements for standard garage door sizes here.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Jammed Garage Door?

The cost of fixing a jammed garage door will depend on the cause of the jam in the first place. If the garage door is jammed because of broken panels, you will be forced to cough up $250 to $400, depending on the damage to the panels and whether you need to repair them or replace them. And if your garage door is jammed because of the wheel tracks, you may need to spend $130 to $160.

This is why make sure to have your garage door assessed by a professional first to identify what you’re dealing with and how much you will need to spend to fix it. 

Visit our guide to trackless garage door for more related content.

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