Your garage door should be strong enough to guard your home against the weather and keep thieves out. Upgrading this part of your house can increase your home’s curb appeal and even raise its resale value.
It may be time to invest in a new garage door if your door is not as durable and attractive as it used to be. To save money, you could repair a part of the door to make it work more efficiently. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, there are many options to improve or upgrade your garage door. Use this guide to determine when to replace the garage door.
How Do You Know If You Need a New Garage Door?
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your garage door, you might want to consider a new one. A brand-new unit is a wise home improvement investment for your property, especially if you’ve had problems with your garage door system in the last couple of years. Consider upgrading your garage door if you’re experiencing any of these conditions.
1. Your Garage Door Is Noisy
A garage door should be reasonably quiet as it opens and closes. Older doors tend to make noise due to dirt or debris. While some of these sounds are harmless, they could be a sign that you need a garage door replacement. Ignoring these issues for too long could damage your garage door beyond repair and may even damage the door opening.
Besides your door, the garage door opener could also be noisy, especially if there’s debris or rust around the chain. Upgrade the opener to one that has a smoother operation, like a belt-drive system with an AC motor.
2. Your Garage Door Is Sagging
Due to moisture and UV damage, wood garage door panels could rot, decompose or lose their color if you haven’t properly maintained them. The sagging panels may reduce the aesthetic appeal of your house, and they typically need to be replaced. If the door isn’t made of wood, sagging could be a more severe issue.
Open the garage door manually to check the balance of your door. If it’s off-balance, it could have a broken torsion spring. If you notice these issues, you may want to replace your garage door before it shuts down and you have to request emergency service.
3. Your Garage Door Isn’t Safe or Secure
A garage door comes with safety features like the automatic reversal system, which prevents the door from closing when a person or object is in its path. If this system doesn’t work, you should upgrade to new hardware to protect your loved ones from injury.
You should also replace your garage door if you’ve had a break-in recently. Old garage doors can be a weak point in your home, especially if thieves figure out the opener keypad access code. If you upgrade to a smart garage door opener, you may have the option to receive a randomly generated access code on your phone every time you need to unlock the door.
4. Your Garage Door Is Out of Style
You may want to change your garage door style or color to update its appearance. A brand-new door increases the value of your home and makes it stand out from other houses on your block, especially if your current door has chipped paint or rot on the panels.
You should consider how your garage door looks in tandem with the rest of your house. A garage door makes up a significant portion of your home’s exterior and can even be a focal point of the house. You can use the garage door design tool to upload a picture of your house and try out different styles while you shop. If you choose to upgrade your garage door, increase its technological features with a smart garage door opener that connects to a smartphone app.
5. Your Garage Door Is Costing You Money
Wear and tear on your garage door could affect how smoothly it opens and closes. While you can change out garage door parts or accessories when they break, if your door needs constant maintenance, the replacement cost of a whole system may end up being less than accessory garage door costs.
Along with money on repairs, you may pay more in energy costs with a worn-out garage door. Older doors may have gaps in the panels or around the sides that could leak in cold air during the winter. Insulated doors help regulate the temperature of your garage, putting less strain on your HVAC system. Check the energy efficiency of your garage door if you notice an increase in your energy bills.
6. Your Garage Door Doesn’t Work
A garage door should open and close when you press the remote on the opener. If it moves slowly or doesn’t move at all, you should consider replacing it. Over the years, a slow garage door may get slower and eventually stick on the track.
Any of the heavy moving parts on your garage door could cause it not to work anymore, and sometimes it’s easier to replace the whole system than to figure out why it isn’t working. This is especially true if the door is damaged from harsh weather or impact.
7. You’re Selling Your House
If you’re putting your house on the market, keep in mind that a garage door replacement yields the second-highest return on investment (ROI) for a home improvement remodeling project in North Carolina. While most homeowners focus on renovating the bathroom or kitchen, a new garage door has great curb appeal and can increase your home value and get you more money for your house. Invest in this remodeling project to give potential home buyers an excellent first impression of your house.
How Often Should You Replace Your Garage Door?
Do you need a new garage door? It depends on the age and reliability of the door. A sturdy garage door will last for decades in moderate weather conditions and with proper maintenance. Consult with a garage door professional for recommendations based on your specific situation.
Generally, if you need a new garage door, you should get it installed in the spring while you’re doing your spring cleaning. Consider these reasons why you should replace your garage door between March and June:
- If harsh winds, snow or hail from the winter beat against your garage door, you can replace your damaged garage door after the snow melts.
- Instead of taking on a renovation project in the summer, when the weather is warm and you have activities planned, you can get your house ready for this season by installing a new garage door in the spring.
- The weather is pleasant in the spring, allowing the garage door technician to work in moderate conditions while keeping your home at a reasonable temperature.
- Garage door companies tend to have promotions on their garage doors in the spring.
If you need to replace your garage door, you should do it before the cold winter or the hot summer. An attached garage often shares a wall with one of the rooms in your interior, so the temperature in your garage can affect the whole house. Installing in the spring may also help you prevent the need to call a technician in the middle of winter because of an emergency.
Can You Replace Just a Section of Garage Door?
You can repair a part of the garage door instead of replacing the whole system. If you have a stable door, you may be able to save money by having a professional fix a broken spring or a cracked panel.
If your door doesn’t open or close, try replacing the batteries in the opener remote before calling a technician. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for information on how to replace the batteries if you need assistance. If this doesn’t work, inspect the door and call a professional. They can complete the following repairs safely and effectively:
- Adjust or replace the torsion springs: If your garage door feels heavy or it’s off-balance, the springs are probably worn-out. Be sure to call a professional to install new springs because garage door springs can snap without warning and cause severe injury if not handled properly.
- Replace a cracked panel: Wooden garage doors are vulnerable to moisture damage, and vinyl panels could lose their color after exposure to the sun. In some situations, you may be able to change out a cracked or warped piece instead of replacing the whole door to enhance your home’s curb appeal.
- Replace the garage door sensor: If you’re having issues with the safety sensor — the component that activates the automatic reversal system — try cleaning it first. Any obstruction, even an accumulation of dust, can affect its functionality. After cleaning it, try opening and closing the door. Call for a photo eye inspection if it’s still not working.
- Upgrade the garage door opener: You can order a new garage door opener without getting a garage door. Wi-Fi-enabled openers are compatible with older garage doors as well. Consider upgrading your garage door opener for a quieter and smoother operation.
- Replace the broken cables: Your garage door comes with torsion springs, extension springs and safety cables that hold it in place. If any of these cables break, the door may stop moving or the metal parts could rust. Contact a garage door technician to repair broken cables before they cause further damage.
- Put the garage door back on the track: If your garage door is off the track, you may need to tighten loose hardware to get it to move again. You could also get a damaged track replaced if it’s not working correctly. If this is the case, close the garage door manually and schedule an inspection with a professional.
How Long Do Garage Doors Last?
Garage doors could last up to 30 years if you properly maintain them. Here are some tips for prolonging the integrity of your door that you should do at least once a year:
- Lubricate all moving parts: The moving parts in your garage door are metal. To prevent rust and allow the garage door to move freely, spray lubricant on the springs, track, chains and handles.
- Tighten up the hardware: If you keep your garage door tracks and hinges tight, you can prevent debris and damage to your door from loose parts. Use a screwdriver or a socket wrench to tighten up the loose bolts you notice on the moving parts.
- Test the door’s balance: A garage door that’s off-balance can damage the rest of your property. To test the balance of your door, disconnect it from the opener and move it manually. If you discover an issue as you open and close it, contact a professional to inspect it.
- Inspect the rollers: Check your garage door rollers about twice a year for damage. These parts should last for several years, but if they’re damaged, they could affect the operation of your door. Get damaged rollers replaced so you won’t have to replace the whole garage door.
- Install new weatherstripping: Your garage door seal and insulation are essential for protecting the inside of your garage from snow, rain and air leaks. Seal any gaps you notice under the door to keep your garage comfortable throughout the year. You might have to get the weatherstripping (rubber seal) replaced under the door if it’s broken or worn.
- Test the auto-reverse feature: To ensure your garage door is reliable for years to come, test the auto-reversal system. Place a piece of wood or a brick in the way of the photo eye sensor. When you close the garage door automatically, it should reverse once it notices the block. If it keeps going, contact a technician to have it serviced.
- Clean out the tracks: In the winter and spring, use a broom to sweep out debris, cobwebs or animal nests in the way of the tracks. Avoid using water or cleaning chemicals that could damage your metal tracks.
- Inspect the garage door: Try operating your garage door both manually and automatically. Listen for any unpleasant noises coming from the door, and check that it isn’t getting stuck as it moves. Contact a professional if you have any concerns about the door.
- Care for the panels: Once you know your garage door is functioning correctly, you should check its appearance for worn-out or chipped pieces. Reseal or paint wooden door panels, and wash metal or vinyl with mild soap and warm water. You should also inspect the door for dents or rust stains after a harsh storm and replace door panels if necessary.
While you can complete most of these maintenance tasks on your own, you can schedule an appointment with a garage door company to have them inspect the door if you have specific maintenance concerns:
Contact Us for a New Garage Door in Charlotte, NC
If you need a new garage door in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, schedule an inspection with RCS Garage Doors. We can help you decide whether you need to repair a broken part of your unit or replace the whole system. We have a large selection of residential garage doors and garage door openers to enhance your home’s curb appeal. For more information, contact us online or call us at 704-523-8066.