Garage doors are built to last. On average, garage doors are expected to last between 10,000 and 15,000 uses, based on the quality of the equipment used in the door. This may sound like a long time, but you must consider how often you actually open and close your garage door. For an average family, the garage door is used roughly 1500 times a year. Ideally, you can get at least five or six years of service from your garage door, but there is always the possibility of human error causing damage to the door.
In addition, certain materials in the garage door work better or worse depending on where you live, so if you buy the wrong parts for your door, you risk something breaking down and requiring a repair. Garage door repairs typically cost between $100 and $250, depending on where you live and the extent of the damage. Repairing a garage door is not as involved as other parts of the house, but there is still a fair amount you should know before making any decisions.
Types of Garage Doors
There are many variations of garage doors. Some of the differences between the doors are major, such as the material and insulation, while others are minor, like how the door opens. There are four different ways for a garage door to open. These are swinging outwards or upwards or rolling upwards or to the side. Garage doors that swing outwards are good if you want to keep the ceiling of your garage clear. On average, most garage doors are sectional roll-ups.
Garage doors are commonly made out of three materials, either wood, steel or aluminum. Wood is considered the most stylish of the three materials, but it is also the weakest. As a result, most wooden garage doors have a limited warranty. Wooden garage doors are also at risk of water damage, which makes them a poor choice in damp climates. Heavy types of wood, such as mahogany, cedar and redwood are recommended because of their durability.
- Steel is considered the standard for modern day garage doors. It is much more durable than wood, though heavy impacts can still cause dents in the doorway. Steel also rusts, which can potentially cause damage if left untreated, but most garage doors employ a fiberglass overlay which not only prevents rust, but it offers additional protection from dents.
- Aluminum was once the standard for garage doors, but it has largely been replaced by steel. High quality aluminum is strong, but much more expensive than steel. One advantage aluminum has over steel is the weight. If you have an extra-wide garage door, aluminum puts much less strain on the operating mechanism due to the difference in weight.
- Another variation is whether or not your garage door is insulated. Insulation is commonly recommended because it provides additional padding to the door, decreasing the risk of accidents or damage to the door. It also helps save energy by keeping the heat inside of your house. However, insulation is not always the best choice. If your store lawn chemicals or any solvents in your garage, your insulation can pick up and store these dangerous materials. While this may not damage the actual garage door, it does put your health at risk.
Recommended Brands for Garage Doors
There are numerous brands of garage doors available. Amarr is one of the top companies. It has been around since 1951 and produces some of the highest quality garage doors in the United States as well as Canada. If you want to customize your garage door, consider choosing C.H.I. Overhead Doors. They are a newer company, founded in 1981, but they offer some of the best customer service and pride themselves on making custom doors to best suit the needs of each client.
Clopay is another garage door company which prides itself on customer service. They have one of the largest selections of garage doors, ranging from basic to stylish designs. They also provide a generous warranty on all of their doors.
If you are interested in a strong garage door made out of steel or aluminum, consider shopping with Raynor. Raynor has been producing steel and aluminum doors as far back as 1944. They have many base models available, but also work with customers to make custom garage doors.
Common Garage Door Problems
There are many potential garage door issues. Some of the problems are small and can be solved on your own, even if you are not experienced with do it yourself home projects, while others are more serious and require hiring a repair service. One of the most common garage door issues is the door opener stops working. Fortunately, this has an easy solution. Apply lubricant and clean off the door cleaner. If there any parts of your garage door that squeak or grind, lubricant will also fix this issue.
If your garage door starts to crack or has small gaps, you can use a sealant or waterproof filler to close up the cracks. This is especially common with wooden garage doors. For bigger damage, such as holes or large gaps, consider hiring a repair service.
Another common issue is your garage door starts to open but then immediately closes, or it starts to open again after it closes. If your door starts to open but suddenly closes, the issue is mostly likely related to one of the springs. Identifying which springs are broken can be difficult. In most cases, it is recommended to replace all the springs. Not only does this save time, but it is likely that if one spring is broken, the others are close to breaking as well.
If the door starts to open again after closing, the alignment on your door may be off. Garage doors have a safety feature, known as photo-eyes, which determine when it is safe for the door to close. If the photo-eyes become misaligned, you will have a difficult time closing the door, because it constantly senses that something is in the way and tries to open. Realigning the photo eyes can be tricky, and if done incorrectly, can cause more damage to your door.
Choosing a Garage Door Repair Service
Most garage door repair services are smaller businesses, though there are a few larger chains such as Garage Door USA, Aladdin Doors, or NationServe you can choose from. If there is a home improvement store in your area, such as Home Depot or Lowes, check to see if they provide garage door repair services. When you are considering a repair service, it is worth viewing several options to find the right price. Do not hire anyone who charges you any sort of fee just to look at your garage. Price for repairs ranges from $100-500. There are 24-hour services available. Some garage door repairman works independently and does just good of a job compared to bigger repair companies. A legitimate service will appraise the garage, tell you what the problem is, then give you a price breakdown.