Garage Door Repair vs. Garage Door Replacement: Which Do You Need?

How to Know When It’s Time to Repair or Replace Your Garage Door

Your home’s garage door is probably something you take for granted. You hit the button on the remote and expect the door to quickly and quietly open and close. But when your garage door has a problem, it can be a real pain. The question is, do you simply need a repair or is a replacement in order?

Signs You May Only Need a Repair

hanging garage door
Before & After – Garage Door Off Track

In most cases, a garage door replacement isn’t necessary. Garage doors – and the mechanisms that control them – are made to last and most issues are tied to simple fixes. If you’re experiencing any of the following, then a repair should be adequate.

  1. The Door Stops Opening and Closing (Without Warning)

The most common issue homeowners report is a garage door that won’t open or close. And while this can be alarming and inconvenient, it isn’t usually a reason to worry. In almost all cases, an unresponsive garage door can be repaired and brought back to fully functioning order.

One of the more common causes is photo-eye sensor obstruction. The photo eye sensors are located about six inches above the ground, one on either side of the garage door. These sensors send out an invisible beam that connects them. It’s easy for someone or something to bump one of these sensors and move them out of alignment. When this occurs, you simply need to realign the sensors.

If the sensor isn’t the issue, it may involve your opener. Perhaps the battery needs to be replaced in your car opener, or something has happened with the wiring between the wall opener and the system.

Finally, there’s always the chance that there’s some sort of physical obstruction in the wheel track. Conducting a simple visible inspection should be able to tell you if there’s a problem here.

  1. Uneven Garage Door Movement

Have you noticed that your garage door seems to be uneven when opening and closing? Perhaps one side moves faster than the other, or something seems to be out of whack? When it comes to uneven movement, the problem tends to be related to either spring issues or track issues. A garage door repair professional should be capable of quickly identifying and correcting the problem to restore normal operation.

  1. Slight Squeaking and Squealing

As homeowners, we tend to become used to the little quirks and issues of our houses. So maybe you stopped noticing how squeaky your garage door is…until someone else points it out. Should you be alarmed?

Slight squeaking is nothing to worry about. In most cases, it’s simply the result of parts scraping against each other. There may also be the presence of dirt and debris, which can gunk up the tracks. A repair professional can come in and get everything cleaned up, or you can try applying a lubricant yourself – such as WD-40 – to see if it makes a difference.

Signs It’s Time to Replace the Garage Door

While they’re made to last, garage doors certainly aren’t made to last forever. There comes a time where it simply makes more sense to perform a total replacement than to keep limping along and throwing money into regular repairs.

If you’re currently dealing with some issues and are unsure how to proceed, here are some possible signs that you need to go ahead and think about replacing your existing setup.

  1. You Don’t Like the Appearance

Sometimes homeowners simply don’t like the appearance of a garage door and feel as if it takes away from the aesthetic appeal of the home. If you’re tired of looking at an ugly garage door, then there’s not much you can do to repair it. A replacement may be your best option.

  1. The Door is Seriously Damaged

A garage door is unique in that part of it is “indoors,” while the other half is exposed to the outdoor elements. Between weather, vandalism, and collisions, garage doors can take a beating over the years. If there are entire broken/dented sections on your door, or you fear it’s actually a security issue, then a replacement is probably something you should seriously consider.

Dented garage door section
Broken Panel on Garage Door
  1. Unreasonably Loud Vibration and Noise

Squeaks and squeals shouldn’t worry you too much, and can be remedied by applying some lubricant or cleaning the parts, but unreasonably loud noise may be cause for concern. If you notice that there’s also severe vibration and parts look to be rubbing against each other and causing excess friction, then it would be smart to have a professional come out and look at the situation and provide more clarity on how to proceed.

  1. Lacks Child Safety Features

For the most part, today’s garage doors have features that are designed to keep infants and pets safe. They can detect when an object is in the way and will stop before completely closing. However, it’s possible that older homes still lack these updated features.

If your garage door doesn’t have some sort of mechanism that prevents it from closing when an object is in the way, like photo-eyes, it’s best to invest in a replacement. Some people will try to upgrade old doors with these features, but it’s typically a better investment to go ahead and replace it.

Let Us Help

Believe it or not, garage door repair can actually be a very dangerous task. Not only is the garage door the largest moving mechanism in your home, but the springs are under extreme tension and could seriously hurt or even kill someone who isn’t properly trained in the field.

While most garage door repairs are very affordable, messing something up by attempting to do it on your own can result in a much more expensive bill when you’re eventually forced to call in the professionals. It’s best to avoid the risk and save your time and money by calling on the experts the first time around.

At, we connect you with local garage door repair experts from around the country. Find a locally licensed company with highly-trained technicians who can provide 24-hour garage door repair services in both commercial and residential settings.

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