Your garage doors are one of the most important parts of your home, and while they're designed to be sturdy, they'll start to wear down over time. When garage doors start getting old, it's important to look out for warning signs that could mean your doors are damaged and need to be replaced. If your door is showing signs of physical damage, if it's losing its shape, or if you notice water coming into your garage, these are signs your doors may need to be replaced.
Bending, Warping, or Cracking
Physical damage to garage doors is one of the main problems that necessitate replacing your doors. While minor damage can sometimes be repaired, major damage, wear, or deformation of the doors' materials will either cost more to repair than replace, or not be repairable at all.
One example is warping or bowing. This happens more frequently in wood doors, as wood can change its shape when exposed to moisture. If you've noticed that your door has a distinct and visible bend or curve to it, it will likely need to be replaced completely.
Cracks in your doors not only let in the elements but add a structural risk. A damaged door could break if you continue to use it, which could damage other vital components to your garage door system, such as your springs or garage door opener. This poses a greater risk on single-panel doors; with segmented doors, individual panels can sometimes be replaced, but if multiple panels are damaged, the whole door will need to be replaced even if you can still get it to open and close.
Weather Damage and Pest Damage
Garage doors are installed with weatherproof seals, both to protect the door itself and to prevent wind and rain from getting into your garage. If this seal starts to fade without being repaired, it can cause issues like dents, warping, wood rot, and other problems that come from long-term direct exposure to the weather. Even in mild weather, your doors may still see hours of direct sunlight every day, which can cause certain materials to crack and split if the weatherproof seal is weak or absent.
If left unchecked, pests can also damage your doors. This may not always be immediately noticeable; certain pests, like termites, can tunnel into wood and weaken it from within, so give your doors a close inspection regularly to look for signs of harmful pests. While some materials are less susceptible to pest damage than others, it's a good idea to regularly inspect your doors regardless of what material they're made of. When in doubt, talk to a garage door professional to inspect your doors and ask for recommendations.
Water Coming Into Garage
When a weatherproof seal is properly installed on and around your doors, your garage will be completely protected from wind and rain. If you notice water coming into your garage when it rains, however, this could be a sign that your doors need work.
In some cases, you may only need the weatherstripping around your doors replaced. Your weatherstripping should be inspected once or twice a year; weatherstripping can fade or lose its effectiveness quickly, especially when exposed to inclement weather, so have your weatherstripping inspected first.
In other cases, water in your garage could mean that your door is broken or damaged. Water can make its way through improperly sealed gaps in segmented doors and work its way into wooden doors where it can start to rot the wood from the inside. It can also cause metal doors to rust, which can affect how your door moves when it opens and how well it seals when it's closed. If weather damage isn't caught quickly, it can continue to get worse and cause serious damage.
For further tips, reach out to a company like American Garage Door