Aluminum and steel garage doors are made to be light and lift easily. Unfortunately, this means that they are also easy to dent. In addition to being unsightly, these dents will weaken the door and should be fixed. Thankfully, many dents can be easily repaired on your own or may only require a single panel replacement.
Why does my door dent so easily?
Insulated garage doors, though more expensive than other types, are comprised of a metal skin surrounding a core, which serves to improve energy efficiency as well as a protection against being bent out of shape. Wooden and fiberglass garage doors involve quite a bit of upkeep, so the majority of homeowners have doors made of aluminum or steel. Though sturdy, a door made from 24- to 28-gauge steel, for example, will be very susceptible to front bumper taps, kids' ball games, and other accidents.
Does it need to be replaced?
Depending on the extent of damage and the garage door repairs necessary, replacement is not your only option. You may, however, need to replace the entire panel if the dent is that large, rather than trying to bend it back into place. When dealing with larger problem areas, use caution to avoid making the problem worse, such as bending a section so out of shape that it affects the opening and closing process. Still, many garage doors are paneled, and a single panel can be replaced if needed at a fraction of the cost of a new door.
Do-it-yourself garage door dent repairs
If you are hesitant to make garage door repairs yourself, call a specialist; otherwise, you may enjoy a do-it-yourself project. There are several methods for repairing dents, depending on the type, location, and the extent of damage.
Some dents can be filled in, using a specialty filler, and then sanded until flush with the surface. This type of repair may mean having your garage door repainted in order to hide the patchwork.
Using brute or physical force is one of the most common methods of dent removal. Working behind the dent, place a block of wood over it to protect the door. Tap the wood over the affected area with a hammer or rubber mallet. Use great care as you work to find the necessary amount of force until the dent begins to even out. Continue working around and over the dent until it is gone.
One additional method of dent removal is through rapidly heating and cooling the problem area. With a hair dryer, warm the dent for about two minutes. Be sure to hold the hair dryer back far enough to avoid overheating the area, which can cause cracking or paint damage. Once the whole of the damaged area has been warmed, spray it with a can of compressed air for several seconds. This blast of cool air should cause the metal to contract quickly, popping the dent out on its own.
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